According to the developers on a blog post, the initial concept for Darkwood was that of a simple home defense game, to be completed within a month. A brief clip of an extremely early prototype of such game can be seen there.
? (Major Location)
- Main article: ? (Major Location)
A number of locations missing from the final game can be seen in both pre-alpha trailers and in the game's Greenlight page. On the first one there is a large house serving as the protagonist's Hideout. This house is in a considerably better shape than any building present in the final release, containing rugs, a kitchen, a bear pelt rug and even a piano, which was sometimes being played by the Orphan.
On the second one, besides the giant larvae, a large flooded area is traversed by the player, likely an early iteration of the Swamp, or a much smaller swampy-like location.
The OrphanThis character was supposed to play a central role in the game's storyline at some point in development:
He can be seen in the first pre-alpha trailer, playing the piano and then having a brief conversation with the protagonist. He also presents him with a simple drawing of an unidentified creature. In appearance, the orphan somewhat resembled the final release's Child, sporting blonde hair.
The devs had plans to implement a talking Generator in the game, which can be seen on the first Pre-Alpha trailer. He would start to converse with the player after consuming a certain amount of Essence further hinting at the Protagonist's dubious perception. The Generator had a very boastful personality, yelling at the player to bring him booze (Gasoline, in a Generator's version of alcoholism). He was cut due to having very vague implementing ideas and not fitting the overall tone of the game.
According to the developers on their Reddit AmA, their forum moderator had an idea for some sort of tumour that would sit on the player's hotbar and talk to him, possibly reacting to certain events etc. The developers enjoyed the idea, but it didn't see development for being too complex to implement.
There was an idea of adding in Mirrors to play with the player's FOV. They would likely "reflect" his cone of vision following the rules of optics. Mirrors were not implemented, however, for being very difficult to make.
Pre-Alpha trailers also show different types of barricades that could be built on windows: There were metal plates, a metal net and metal rods. These were never seen in action, however, and so it is likely that they were cut due to time constraints.
During the first Pre-Alpha Gameplay Trailer for Darkwood, a hammer, a hacksaw, a piece of wire screen, a metal can and another unspecified object can be seen on the player's inventory, besides some normal items present in retail. All noteworthy items mentioned did not appear in any publicly avaliable version of the game.
The "Darkwood needs your support!" promotional video also mentions hacksaws as being usable in crafting, for cutting shotgun pipes and making them into sawn-off shotguns. An unused "Nail bomb" recipe is also mentioned.
The hammer's flavor text was "Use this to hammer nails and bash skulls, depending on the situation". This can be interpreted as meaning one would need the hammer in order to barricade Entrances, as well as being able to use it as a melee Weapon.
Unused game art exists for a number of other unused items, including:
- All items seen during the first trailer, mentioned before;
- A hand grenade;
- Four different types of mushroom;
- A plain coin or medal;
- A screwdriver;
- A screw;
- A tube of what appears to be glue;
- A pear and what probably is an orange;
- A razor blade;
- A rake;
- An alternative icon for Tape;
- A spring;
- A scalpel;
- An animal fang;
- A fire extinguisher;
- A plain metal sheet;
- A rifle scope;
- A number of notes and papers with writing;
- A cassete tape;
- A syringe;
- Two teddy bears;
- A Metal Pipe with a broken, shattered end;
- A piece of barbed wire;
- A couple of electronics, like a radio and what appears to be a walkie-talkie;
- A semi-withered flower;
- A kitten, either sleeping or dead.
- A blue-hued, saturated image of a can with a heart logo.
Besides these, several more unidentified sprites exist.
Besides sprites, game code refers to a "Pellet rifle" which would be different from the Pellet gun (see below). Its description reads: "A precise, long-bore pellet rifle"
Items cut during playable Alphas
For more detailed information, see each item's respective page.
- Apples existed at a very early alpha, but were removed later. This item would regenerate health.
- A number of items would require owning a recipe in order to be crafted. All recipes have since been removed from the game.
- Gas Masks were needed to explore certain locations, like the Creepy House. They would lose durability just for being placed in the hotbar, could be purchased, and could not be repaired.
- The Pellet Gun used to be the weakest firearm in the game. It got removed, but its ammo type, Pellets, can still sometimes be found.
- The Big Farm Key could be found on a corpse in Hideout 2. It would unlock a loot-containing crate, in that same hideout's smaller building.
- A Warm Blanket could be stolen from the Pretty Lady, and sold to Piotrek for a high amount of Reputation. She asked for it to be returned, but there was no further interaction related to the item. It has since been replaced by a piece of Fabric.
- The Key to the Cottage used to unlock the Cottage (A)'s door to the Silent Forest. This location has since been replaced by the Silent Forest Entry, and the door that this key used to unlock is now code-locked.
- Before Alpha 5.0, Repair Kits were needed to fix weapons. After this update, items are now fixed on the Workbench, although their icon was recycled for the Toolbox.
- Gray and Red Potions could be crafted from Weird Stones. The grey ones would permanently increase stamina, while the red ones did so for health.
Previous versions of sprites
Some sprites were slightly changed since the Pre-alpha versions. For example, on the "Darkwood needs your support!" promotional video, different art can be seen for the Medium Caliber Magazine and Shotgun Shells. However this is to be expected in most cases and games, and the total number of iterations on each graphical asset is likely large enough as to be unnacountable.
Status Effects & Skills
On the two Pre-Alpha Gameplay Trailer, a few unused Status Effects can be seen. On the first trailer, one is a detail of Van Gogh's "The Scream" painting, possibly indicating a "Panic" status effect. This makes sense in the character's context during that trailer (wounded, fleeing from an unknown threat). The second icon is an ear, appearing in both trailers. In the second trailer, a Status Effect with the icon of a blindfolded man is also present, possibly indicating limited vision.
Previous concepts for existing creatures
BansheesBanshees had a different appearance in the past. Before being bird-like humanoids, they resembled women with several long, black tendrils floating around and above their heads and back. Their concept art also shows hoof-like feet, long claws, and glowing eyes. This iteration of the creature can be seen briefly in the second pre-alpha trailer.
Sketches for a long-haired woman, possibly a banshee, charging like melee-fighting monsters as opposed to emitting its shout, can also be seen.
Other versions of the banshee show her legs and arms ending in spikes.
Finally, there is a single concept for a banshee-like creature sporting a hairy vest and wearing a large bird skull with horns attached on it, possibly a mask.
Besides these digital concepts, there are hand-drawn sketches for a woman with bird features, much like the current banshee, but possibly drawn for a Conversation Screen. This version of the banshee has the bird head and the human face merged in much cruder ways, sometimes popping from within the beak, sometimes from the face's side. The woman is also seen holding small birds in her arms, like babies, and protectively looking at them.
- Another creature, which can also be seen in the second trailer, is a humanoid sporting amphibian-like traits, such as membranes connecting his limbs, and moving similarily to a toad. This creature's art can be seen in the game's Art Book, where a progression of sprites clearly shows that its concept (including the same basic movement scheme) evolved into the Swamper. Other stages for its concepting show it with a frog head, or a mass of worms/tentacles in place of a head. The creature's sprites in its frogman stage also exist in the game files.
- Concept art for Centipedes includes one with up to 5 jaw-ended tentacles, as opposed to the release-version with only 1. They also posessed human heads pointed upwards, in an expression of pain.
- A humanoid with several semi-fused heads, and hands replaced by large growths which appear to exalate fumes or spores. A second, top-down concept of this creature makes it clear that its concept was evolved into the Mushroom Man. This humanoid's incomplete spritesheet, however, still exists in the game files.
Cut creatures & concepts
- Another cut creature existing in the game files, at least at some point during the Alphas, was an unnamed creature resembling a big mass of brainy-like tentacles, with a high number of spider-like appendages around it. It also showed a head with several eyes. It is unknown if it ever received code. Sketches for this creature and other very similar iterations of it also exist in the Art Book. Their general appearance was that of inflated ticks with spidery legs.
Besides cut creatures which appeared to be at least partially implemented, several ones were only concepted as sketches or digital-art mockups, and didn't make it into a playable state. Many can be seen on the Art Book or in old promotional material, including:
- A cricket-like humanoid, with long spikes as arms. Notes near this drawing translate to, approximately: "Hopper. Fast, attacks with leaps."
- A cat-sized creature with a thin tail, however having a human head and arms in place of frontal legs.
- Several humans attached together, but in a large, fat, bipedal body, unlike the release-version Human Spider.
- A human with an Elk's head in place of his own. One version of this concept shows it as a normal elk head, while others show it as an elk skull gradually converting it into the familiar roots and branches seen in Savages's heads.
- Several humanoids with insect-like features, bearing bodyparts of mantises and stinger-bearing insects. Another concept, this one a sketch, shows a humanoid with a mosquito proboscis, beady insect eyes and inflated belly, likely from blood.
- Bloated, fatty frogs, in some versions having humanoid torsoes, or humans fused to their backs like in many release-version Swamp creatures.
- A humanoid with empty eye sockets and a large, gaping mouth full of very large fangs.