Trailblaze is the love child of "Dwarf Fortress" and "The Settlers 3" with influences of "Don't Starve", "Harvest Moon" and "Diablo3", while being cute, yet atmospheric. Trailblaze takes established sandbox, survival and village building conventions and attempts to create a fresh, captivating experience that feels new to fans of those genres. Your village is the center of the Trailblaze experience, however, you will quickly realize the world does not revolve around you and your plans. Set up guards and walls to protect working villagers. Fend off savages and unpredictable monsters to protect your people. Go on dangerous missions to obtain rare items and resources for your smiths. Don't just survive in this world--thrive in it. Make Trailblaze your own. Built with Unity, it will be available on Windows, Mac and Linux. This indie game is currently a personal solo-dev project realized by Max Heyder Art. I will need your support to make this game come to life.

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***** About
I am Max Heyder and I am a freelance 2D and 3D game artist.

Trailblaze is *currently* a pseudo game project of mine that I work on in my spare time.
It started it in 2014, where I actually developed gameplay while twitching.
I put the project on hold because I was broke and started freelancing and earn money to live.
That freelancing thing never opened up enough freetime to actually continue developing.
However, since 2017 I take a few minutes here and there to turn my ideas into mockups that help me flesh out a proper vision for the game and ideally gather some support for the project.

Ideally, I would like to manage to get some money through patreon to support the development or run a kickstarter campaign. However I feel that there is not enough vision, content and an actual demo yet to allow for money to flow into the project just yet.

Therefore, I stick with what I know best: game art. I will work on models and content for the game to mock up various scenes and environments for the game to hopefully end up with a fully fleshed out game concept that "merely" needs programming and music to come to life.

If you would like to support me in this endeavour and help me get the confidence to put more time and effort into this project, I would really appreciate if you give feedback, comment, share, tell your friends and when the time comes support the development through patreon or kickstarter.

In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy some of the screenshots that I put together in april and may.

***** Screenshot zone
The very first screenshot 2017 edition. I worked on hand-painted textures and some generic props to start filling the world with some content.

170418 buildings

Here is a small breakdown of how I modeled a hand-painted weapon for the prototype within 4 hours.

170419 Weapon SpeedArt

For this project and due to my own lazyness, I will keep the characters in capsule form with floating hands and no legs/feet. I still don't want to sacrfice variety and customization, so I made a test with different textures and props.

170427 TB

Farming was always one of the most fun parts in games to me, so I really want to have farming in this project as well.

170501 Farming

To bring some fun and tension into the game, I imagine other tribes attacking your village if it prospers and if other diplomatic solutions fail. Manned walls and gates would be a great way to place archers for defense.

170503 TB02

Exploration is also a very important piece of the puzzle for me, so I would love to offer a big variety of biomes to explore that all feel different and unique in their own way. Here I am experimenting with different color schemes.

170504 Colortest

170506 ColorTest

I want the landscape to be rich and leave it up to you where you decide to place your village.
Want to farm along the shore to build up a prospering harbor town?
Would like to build a mining community with strong defenses in the mountains?

170513 ColorTest

And to conclude this art dump, here is a rainy night with an unexpected visitor.

170514 ColorTest

I have tons of ideas for this game and I would love to flesh them out as I go.
I would love to get a playable demo working soon, but time is really tight right now.
If you are an experienced Unity C# developer, love this project and think you could tame a beast like this (it will have a bazillion features like farming, fishing, fighting, sailing+sea battles, bosses, world generation, AI etc.)...then please get in touch via

Sound Designers, Musicians, Writers, Voice Actors: please don't get in touch. :P
I really appreciate your eagerness, I really do. However I have a great musician I would like to work with and the writing and voice acting will most likely come from me.

That's it from me, I hope you enjoyed this little screenshot dump.

Have a wonderful week everybody.

Comments  (0 - 10 of 15)

Hey Max, I'm on here too :P

Nice project, looks very interesting!
I've seen a few screenshots on twitter, but I didn't know that you started the development in 2014.

Good luck!

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Oh my god! Those NPC's are just cute! I think I will show this to my daughter when I'm arrived at home :-) She will like your "settlers" version more than my own version ;-)

I'm jealousy. I should look and use that kind of NPC look alike.

Btw. About those trees. Do you chop them in realtime, or do you have several pre made meshes?

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maxheyderart Creator

Hello Sir, thanks alot for your kind words, I really appreciate it.
Please do not copy those designs for your own game, thank you!
The trees are pre-built meshes.

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No I don't steel your "Super NPCs" :-)

Just wondering, why the heck I didn't test plain capsules ever as NPC use :-/

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maxheyderart Creator

hehe, thanks :P
well, it just happened, I never intended to keep them either, then it became a thing ^^

Reply Good karma+1 vote

About these new pictures. Just great! Keep up!Even, that you are my worst nightmare when we are talking settlers clone and which one will be popular in future X-D

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maxheyderart Creator

Thanks alot! Means alot to me :)
Hahaha, I don't want to be your nightmare.
And I don't want to make a settlers clone either.
I am just inspired by settlers3&4, they are some of my fav games from my childhood(among others).
My plan is to capture a similar feeling that the settlers3&4 evoked in me. I will break a ton of conventions of the series though.
Ultimately, I would like to create something that is unique on its own.
I think the fact that you are controlling a leader who is on the ground rather than being "god" and scrolling around is already a big difference. Maybe the other differences become more obvious, the more I progress through the project. xD

Reply Good karma+1 vote

I love the changes you did in the last week! Looking forward to watch more of your stream :)

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maxheyderart Creator

Thanks so much man, so happy you're part of the community! :)
I just wish I would remember to use that damn IRC xD

Reply Good karma+1 vote

Are the character models final or are those just placeholders?

They look so cute!

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maxheyderart Creator

In the beginning they were placeholders.
But after a lot of positive feedback about them from the community, I am seriously considering to keep them! ;)

Reply Good karma+3 votes

Funny how stuff like that turns out :) I would say with a little touch-up of the shape and perhaps a good set of toon shaders they will look amazing. Personally I don't think they feel out of place or anything like that. But the fact that they are just capsules is a little distracting.

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maxheyderart Creator

Hey Alex, I tried around with different Designs and the capsules actually work best xD
Once you get used to it, you'll love them! :D

Reply Good karma+1 vote

I'll watch the video tonight to make sure you aren't lying ;)

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maxheyderart Creator

*hopes for the best* :P

Reply Good karma+1 vote
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