Icarus: First Cohort

While stumbling around the internet, searching for more info on the upcoming survival game Icarus: First Cohort from developer/publisher Rocketwerkz, I happened upon a series of docu-videos about the project. These are intended to give more insight into the development process for Icarus, as well as shine some light on the core ideals the team has when it comes to designing video games.

CEO and DayZ creator Dean Hall managed to assemble a slew of vets from several industry heavyweights, including EA Games, Blizzard, and Grinding Gear Games.

The team at Rocketwerkz set out not to craft another survival game — or even the survival game — but to instead rethink what makes a survival game great. This entire project, it turns out, began as a thought experiment with the intent of figuring out what worked and didn’t work about DayZ. To really get to the root of the problem, the team needed to look at the basic mechanics of survival games and rethink them from the ground up. How do you create a fun experience based on the core elements of the genre — elements like resource-gathering, which is so pervasive and often rather tedious?

And so before the scope of Icarus: First Cohort grew too large, the team started out by making a woodcutting simulator. And if that isn’t the most basic core feature of damn near every survival game, I’ll eat my hat. But how do you take what has been done before and iterate on it in a way that makes it feel more inclusive, more worthwhile, as opposed to time-consuming and tedious? How do you make the act of woodcutting feel satisfying in and of itself, rather than a thing you begrudgingly do in order to collect a resource that you need?

Well, the answer is complicated, but it doesn’t come without a ton of hard work, focus, and passion.

I’ve shared the first part of this video series at the bottom of this article. You can check that out to get a taste for RocketWerkz’s approach and thought process, which I personally find quite fascinating. The entire series can be found on the the Survive Icarus website, where you can also find a ton of info on the game itself. You can even join the mailing list for updates, like I did.

And if you see fit, why not add Icarus to your Steam wishlist? This will go a long way in showing support for this ambitious project.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x