×

‘The Forgotten City’ Follows in Footsteps of ‘Team Fortress,’ ‘DOTA’

A lot of smash hits have started out with humble beginnings as mods. ‘Team Fortress’, ‘Dota’, and even the recent Dota Auto Chess mod that’s become incredibly popular all started out as fanmade takes on games like ‘Quake’. That’s the hope that developer Modern Storyteller has with ‘The Forgotten City’, a fully fleshed out version of the fantastic, award-winning Skyrim mod.

“It’s sort of the combination of the people of Lost, the environment of uncharted, and the time loop mechanic of Groundhog Day or Russian Doll,” Modern Storyteller founder Nick Pearce tells Variety. “It’s all this set in an ancient underground city.”

The short demo I played at the ID@Xbox event at GDC felt straight out of Skyrim, although the story was nothing like the classic first-person adventure. It was only a taste, but that short bit was full of mysterious ambition that left me wanting more. I’ll admit, I never played the original mod (or any mods for that matter), so I was going in completely blind.

‘The Forgotten City’s’ gameplay is just as you imagined after hearing its origin story. It’s a first-person adventure RPG with a Bethesda-vibe that focuses on progressing the story through a time loop mechanic. Like the mod before it, ‘The Forgotten City’ features everything that Skyrim and Oblivion are known for– an extensive amount of voice acting and characters, an original score, and beautiful environments built completely from the ground up.

Pearce got his start working on the original mod and he quickly knew the success it would have if it could be made into a full game. Nothing is reused, obviously, since that would cause copyright issues. The standalone version takes all the specifics from Skyrim and the specific story beats from the mod and completely re-imagines them while keeping the basic story structure in place.

“‘Dear Esther’ and the ‘Stanley Parable’ were both narrative-driven games that started out as mods,” Pearce said. “So, you know, there’s definitely something about modes turning into games that gives a chance of being spectacularly successful. I’m hoping to follow in that tradition, but it’s always a gamble.”

Popular on Variety

More Gaming

  • Venn co-founders

    VENN Raises $17 Million to Launch a Cheddar-like TV Network for Gaming

    Video game industry veterans Ariel Horn and Ben Kusin have raised a massive $17 million seed funding round to launch a new gaming-focused TV network called VENN. Short for Video Game Entertainment and News Network, VENN wants to mix esports with Twitch-style video game streaming and other gaming-related entertainment content when it launches in 2020. [...]

  • JoJo Siwa'The Angry Birds Movie 2'

    Nickelodeon Star JoJo Siwa Gets Her Own Dance-Tour Mobile Game (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fans of JoJo Siwa will be able to join the teen influencer’s dance squad on stage — virtually — in a new mobile game. In “JoJo Siwa — Live to Dance,” players will become part of the Nickelodon and YouTube star’s worldwide tour on her professional dance team and experience what it’s like to be [...]

  • Game Awards OrchestraThe Game Awards, Show,

    The Game Awards 2019 Sets December Date, Will Live-Stream Across 45 Platforms

    The Game Awards 2019, the fifth annual video game industry kudosfest, will be held Dec. 12 in Los Angeles and will be live-streamed for free again on more than 45 different platforms worldwide. The Game Awards is an annual celebration of video games and the people who make them, created and executive produced by Geoff [...]

  • HTC Vive Cosmos

    HTC Replaces HTC Vive With New $699 Vive Comos VR Headset

    HTC is getting ready to retire the headset that was central to its expansion into the virtual reality market 3 years ago: The company announced on Thursday that its new Vive Comos headset will effectively replace the original HTC Vive, which was first released in April of 2016. “It was time to upgrade our consumer [...]

  • Sohu logo

    China's Sohu Seeks Games Consolidation With $500 Million Bid for Changyou

    Sohu, one of China’s Internet pioneers, is offering to buy out its games subsidiary Changyou in a deal that values Changyou at $532 million. Both companies currently have their shares listed on NASDAQ, but if the deal goes ahead Changyou would lose its separate stock listing. Sohu, which has interests covering search, digital advertising and [...]

  • marvel lenovo ar

    Lenovo, Disney Launch Marvel AR Headset

    Lenovo has once again teamed up with Disney to bring one of the studio’s iconic franchises to augmented reality (AR). After first launching the “Star Wars: Jedi Challenges” AR headset in 2017, the two companies are back with a new “Marvel Dimension of Heroes” experience running on slightly revamped hardware. News of Lenovo and Disney [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content