A downloadable game for Windows

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A Soviet Submarine has been intercepted in the North Pacific, 140 nautical miles west of Los Angeles. It's unknown if the vessel is armed with Nuclear Weapons. The Soviet minister for foreign affairs insists that the Submarine is in international waters and therefore has no obligation to abandon it's routine training exercises. 

Seemingly trapped in a nightmarish reality of ever changing worlds and environments it's up to you to figure out exactly what has happened on board the stricken submarine and to ultimately save the world from a nuclear catastrophe.

 First Winter is a first person horror set in 1982 during the cold war with a highly distinctive retro style.

"...dozens of horror games release on Steam every month (really!) and it’s really hard to figure out what is interesting and what isn’t, but I think you’re making a safe bet with First Winter" - PC Gamer

"That was fantastic!" - MrKravin
"One of the best indie horrors for me for 2018 so far!" - GG Gab
"Overall.. Decent" - John Wolfe


Key Features:

  • Incredibly unsettling tension from start to finish.
  • Multiple endings.
  • Nostalgic 80s sound track (Licensed for broadcast).
  • Professional voice actors.
  • Beautifully crafted levels.
  • Translated into German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese and Russian.

Game Information:

First Winter is a retro style horror game  with interesting puzzles and an ever-present feeling of dread. Although your progress is saved frequently throughout the game it is intended that you complete First Winter in one sitting. It is also recommended that you use a pair of headphones rather than speakers.

Background:

In June 2017 Dan Sanderson published a micro horror game called Pacific which, to his surprise, was picked up and praised by popular horror YouTubers such as MrKravin, Markiplier, John Wolfe, GirlGamerGab and RaedwulfGamer. Enthused by over 1.5 Million views and featured in Waypoint Vice and IGN's "12 Awesome Games you might've missed", First Winter was born. First Winter is the full length remake version of Pacific.

Disclaimers:

Despite the option to 'disable flashing images' I can not guarantee that this will make it safe for persons with epilepsy.

Purchase

Buy Now$1.80 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $1.80 USD. You will get access to the following files:

First Winter PC 32 bit (zip) 254 MB
First Winter PC 64 bit (zip) 256 MB

Development log

Comments

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(SPOILERS!) Got two important questions: first, was that russian soldier who had initiated the nuclear launch the captain of the submarine? Secondly, the one who stopped (Avoiding Catastrophe) the initiation using the secret code was one of the russian soldiers or was it an american soldier sent there to prevent the launch?

Hi T-0400TP.


Thanks for purchasing and playing First Winter. It means a lot when people not only play my games but theorise the meaning behind them. I’ll do my best to give my interpretation and the narrative I had in my head when building it. I think it might be the first time I’ve spoken about it actually. 

SPOILER ALERT

First up (if you haven’t already) I’d suggest you play my first game Pacific. It shows the green shoots of what First Winter would become. In that game, rather than playing as a particular antagonist you are more like an observer, a spirit if you will. An explorer in a peculiar, dream-like, post-apocalyptic purgatory. Wandering around strange, morphing rooms and corridors which appears more like a museum than a Nuclear Bunker. 

Despite your spirit-like qualities however, you are able to interact and have influence to a certain extent over your surroundings. 

These same mechanics and game personalities persist throughout First Winter where you’ll recognise quite easily many scenes from Pacific. In fact I rebuilt (apart from the 2nd to last scene) the entire game for First Winter. That being said the extent of the Pacific-like personality depends on which world you’re in. 

For example when inside the Apartment scene you are a more literal,  tangible element of game, able to pick up and interact with pretty much everything you can see. Whereas in Pacific you’re more like an unsuspected visitor to that museum of the dead. 

The Submarine scene is a mixture of both, where you are indeed witnessing situations unfold but also have quite an influence over future outcomes (quite literally when it comes to codes). 

The cassette tapes are your main clue when it comes to working out who’s who and who’s responsible for what. 


Cassette Tape 1: Talks about proximity threats and merely backs up what the guy on the radio said. USA is bound to protect itself against an enemy if it’s close enough, even if it’s not doing anything. 

Cassette Tape 2: Talks about the best way to get your foe to do something he doesn’t want to do. It gives an example of a child not wanting to tidy its room. The child is far less likely to tidy its room if you scold and shout. In diplomatic terms you need to guide your enemy to the solution you want them to take and make them think it’s their idea. It’s a way of them saving face and feeling like they’ve won even when they’ve lost. This tape tells the story of the two countries trying to handle the situation of the Nuclear Submarine being too close to the Los Angeles shoreline. The Soviets can’t merely retreat without looking weak. 


Soviet Note found in the Submarine: This note gives us more of the story. Mission Commanders are contacting the captain onboard the Submarine and informing him that he’s over 400 miles off his course and he should get back on course immediately. This implies that this is not a Soviet mission but perhaps the ship is lost, or something more sinister. 


Cassette Tape 3: This recording confirms the suspicions raised by the note. It speaks of mutiny. Somebody or bodies are deliberately not following orders. The Soviets are not directly responsible for this situation but as the recording goes on to explain, it’s important to not let the Americans know of this embarrassing development. Whatever the actions of the insubordinate individual it’s highly important to appear to endorse their actions. If the Soviet navy appears to be compromised it risks damaging not only the reputation of the military but of Communism itself. 


You’re then shot in the face by a guy who’s deliberately concealing their identity. Unlikely the captain or an officer with the clothes they are wearing. This is an intruder or a crew member gone rouge and/or crazy. This explains why you’ve seen so many dead crew throughout the submarine. The Nuclear Submarine (and its weapons) are in the hands of someone else who’s motives we do not know. 

Cassette Tape 4: This is quite self explanatory. It talks about the stalemate and how the two sides can’t agree to back down. It’s the folly of war. USA do not realise that the submarine is out of the control of the Soviets and the Soviets don’t want to tell them. If they did then a solution is more likely to be found. Reputation and suspicion takes preference though. The United States could be responsible for the submarine takeover as far as the Soviets are concerned. 

So then you enter the control room and again see the masked mutineer. Who is he? What are his motives? Who knows. But he intends to launch nuclear weapons at the United States, not to destroy the West but to start a thermo nuclear war and with it the destruction of the entire civilised world. 

Alas; we enter the first nuclear war. 



Take what you want from that. Hope it helps 😉

I cannot thank you enough...

I thought Pacific was creepy, First Winter certainly stepped up the chills my friend. The fact that it kinda shows "you" going through this stuff makes it all the more scary

I recommend this big time

Now, THIS is how you make a good atmospheric horror game. Although it contains flaws and very obviously failed attempts at scaring the player, it still held up and should be considered a good horror game.
What a wonderful setting, by the way. Easily one of the more unique one I've seen in video games.

I just finished it and got the first ending, I'll be working on the second one next. But this game was an interesting one.


I'd definitely say it's better than 98% of the dreck posted nowadays but there's just something holding it back for me. I can't tell what it is though. 

Don't get me wrong I loved the experience and it had a beautifully dark and intimidating atmosphere and the voice acting was tops. Just something felt "off" that I can't quite explain.

Anyway, please make more games in the future! This was great! 

Just finished the game, i got it on steam and let me tell you it was awesome, from start to end it was a beautiful and scaring  experience, i hope you still developing this kind of games.

by the way, what programming language did you use?

Ah thanks man. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it. It took a lot of work and time. I am still developing obscure type games but I start 50 projects and only finish one. I’m working on a few things at the moment. 

I’m using C# for all my game work. 

Thanks again. 

i hope to be able to enjoy more of your work, anyway i hope no to annoy you with the next question but you'll see, i'd like to start coding to make games but to be honest i don't really know where should  i start, what should i learn and how to make it work, do you think you could give some advice? 

Spooky! It reminds me so much the 80s!!

a real beaut. Thanks for it

Fantastic short horror game! I adored the sense of unease and helplessness you have as you play leading up the inevitable ending (at least the first ending). Please keep it up! I also (like many others before me) did an LP of this game fro my Youtube channel. Please feel free to check it out. Because spooks!

Really appreciate the comments and thanks for sticking your neck out and purchasing First Winter. I'll be sure to check out video later today!

Wow! I can not believe this game has been live for so long and nobody has even noticed that bug at the start where you walked through the wall. Unbelievable! I'll have to get round to filling that hole. As for the mouse cursor, it's really annoying. I will put a patch out for that to hide it automatically when you close the menu; however if you had just clicked anywhere on the screen it would've hidden; but you weren't to know that. 

Thanks for taking the time to play my game. I'm glad you enjoyed it. All the best. 

Senpai noticed me!!! Glad I could be of service, good sir! I'm looking forward to your next game!

Deleted 163 days ago

Thanks Will. I really enjoyed your video. First Winter is now finished, so that isn't get touched anymore, aside from little bug fixes if I spot any new ones. I'm working on a new game now about zombies. You can check out the teaser for it here: https://danthai.itch.io/homage-to-the-dead

Hello, how are you ?, I went to tell you that it is a great job that you have done I liked it a lot and I certainly admire your work, I wonder if maybe you could tell me with what engine the game is developed ... Thank you!

Hi David. Thanks for your question. I used Unity for this project and made use of a few shaders to acheive the effect. 

I’m glad you enjoyed the game. Thanks again.

Just like your other games I thoroughly enjoyed this one!

Thanks for the video Mr Toast. You've supported all my games and I truly appreciate it. 

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this was a great game and the concept was unique and interesting. I really appreciated the style and the tone of the game!

Hey man, thanks for the rad video! Glad you enjoyed it. 

This game really disturbed me with its atmosphere and sound design, loved it a lot! Looking forward to more games :)

Does anyone know who did music? There's no one credited.

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Great game. I like the pixelated graphics and ambiance is very tension building. The fact that you made a fantastic horror game without in your face jumpscares is great.

Hey thanks man. Enjoyed that video. Look forward to part 2. 

Je déteste les silhouettes sous un drap. J’ai quand même adoré le jeu!

Merci pour la vidéo et pour avoir joué à mon jeu.

Great game i always love the pixel style games and this was no exception. The controls were great and the whole story was just creepy most of the jumpscares got me. I have never played a game like this. The only thing i didn't like was that i got a bit confused but apart from that i loved it great game.

Thanks for playing bluebeargaming. Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the video.

HIGHLY recommend this game, it actually gave me the creeps all the way through! 

Thanks for the kind words. 

Great game!

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Yay, glad you liked it!

If i had been anymore scared I would have needed Depends. Great game. Worth the buy. I hope to see more from this guy in the future.

Thanks SkapeGote. Love that thumbnail! Hammer and Sickle and a Goat really do work well together :)

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JACK PLAYED IT MY MAN

oh yea! it's super amazing i loved the suicide part at the end

Wooo!

THE WORST POSSIBLE ENDING! | First Winter Full Gameplay Walkthrough

Great game! I like how crazy everything is in this and one of the few that gives me some jumpscare! Nice Job!!

I think that the text dimension scales with the resolution of the monitor you play with and on 1440p it was a bit small.

very cool. loved pacific and loved this. Nice and creepy.

Admin

i bought it but im too scared to open it :o

Fantastic game. Never knowing what a simple turn around a corner or even a look to the side might bring. The sound and atmosphere make this game really something special. Top work... :)

Thanks for the video. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. 

Interesting little game! 
I gave the game a go on my channel, ArthurPlays:

Thanks for playing the game! Love your video.

This game was very well done and a unique story. The atmosphere, graphics, and sounds provided a amazing gaming and horror experience. Thank you so much for making this game! Looking forward to seeing what else you make in the future!

So I dove back into this game to try and find the 'good ending' and I think I found it! It definitely took some thinking out of the box. Or rather, out of the game. I honestly thought that you were just supporting another indie developer with this reference in your game so I thought I'd check the game out. You blew me away. This game is phenomenal and the extra work that you put into this to make the alternate ending this clever is just amazing. Thanks so much for making this. New favorite indie horror of the year, hands down.

PS. If you want me to take this comment down due to possible spoilers, let me know!

Thanks for the free Key Dan!

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Loved it dude. Got some good scares outta you too. Cheers for playing. Great thumbnail by the way.

A nice fleshed out version of Pacific with some really nice details here and there.

It's very Good Game! I Played Fun!

Thanks for the video!! Glad you enjoyed the game.

Absolutely loved this game, well worth the money and a true gem. Thanks for the great playthrough Sir. My hats off to you!


This was definitely one of the best horror games that I've played this year. First Winter was awesome in so many ways. The pixel art and 80's references were golden. I'm an absolute sucker for nostalgia and this had nostalgia written all over it. You're a master at creating an atmosphere. The ambiance was ridiculously horrifying and had the perfect mix of many different fears, one being claustophobia in many cases. I LOVE that you referenced Pacific, as it was my favorite game of yours and I remember saying "it's too short" at one point. I only got one of the endings, but the entire experience was so surreal that I'm definitely diving back into this on my own time. As my friend PhuCat said, this game is a perfect mix of all our favorite horror elements. Thanks so much for making it, and HUGE thanks for the early access code!

I absolutely loved this game! the best game created by Dan yet! everything was perfect and so much work and effort has been put into this! really awesome job on creating this mate!
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This game was creepy af!! I loved the 80s and cold war vibes, as well as the pixelated graphics. There's more than one ending apparently and I can't wait to see what the other ones are. Watch my gameplay video if you want to check it out!