Ludicious 2014
International Prize
Adventure awaits!

The roguelike expedition simulation set in the 19th century


"A love letter to exploring" Leigh Alexander, Gamasutra


"... has all the marks of a particularly fine undertaking." Adam Smith, Rock Paper Shotgun


"... might be able to plant a stake in a crowded genre in the tradition of FTL." Ian Birnbaum, PC Gamer


"... this could end up being very special indeed." Mark Brown, PocketGamer


"Okay, I would play the crap out of this game." Matt Lemmons, Indiestatik


"The graphics are an absolutely gorgeous blaze of brightly coloured sprites …" Joe McGuinness, IndieAltRepeat


"I'll be eagerly awaiting this game because it seems fun, but also a little bit more thoughtful." Matt Lemmons, Indiestatik


"A strategy roguelike inspired by Jules Verne stories and the tales of real-world 19th century explorers." Craig Stern, IndieRPGs


"19th century-expedition roguelike looks great" Ed Key - PROTEUS

See Special Editions here!
Play on
27th November!


procedurally generated worlds with diverse landscapes and precarious challenges for the ambitious explorer.



your trek and keep everyone alive. Balance the needed supplies with the desire to carry that precious treasure.



and defend your trek against wild animals, grotesque creatures, giant crabs and even dinosaurs.

Choose your explorer from famous persons of the 19th century


How much will the game cost and when will it be released?

The game will cost around 10€ (~ 12$ US). There will be the option to buy the game with additional digital content, like the soundtrack, a digital art/dev book or the possibility to get a handmade pixelated portrait of yourself. More info on these at a later point.

Our goal is to release the alpha version by the end of 2014. We're aiming for end of November currently.

What is the current state of the game?

The game is in an early state, but it is fully playable and already a lot of fun. We’ve been running a closed test for more than 3 months now, and the response from our testers has been very positive. The worlds you’ll be able to explore are created from different landscape types which are mixed together to create various settings. The currently implemented landscapes are grasslands, jungles, swamps, deserts, mountain regions, drylands and fantastic prehistoric regions with sulfur lakes and giant mushroom forests.

To put it in numbers, we think that the game is roughly 50% finished. There is still room to add content such as more locations, items or characters, which we’ll be doing throughout development. Some aspects such as feedback elements and the inventory or trading interface are still in a rough but functional state. Most of the features have been implemented in at least a basic form. There are very few aspects which have not been implemented at all yet.

Probably the biggest missing feature is a dedicated skill-check mechanic. This is most obvious in the current placeholder for the combat gameplay. However, we don’t see combat as a major aspect of our game, so we won’t be adding a mechanic that is solely dedicated to it. Instead we plan to implement something that can be used for combat, but also for other situations such as diplomatic encounters with natives or analyzing ancient inscriptions.

Another big aspect which is only partially implemented yet is the lifetime-career which connects the individual expeditions to a combined campaign. While you can already play a lifetime-career, our plan is to include more features and a more dedicated graphical representation for this aspect of the game. Within a lifetime-career you will be able to carry over things like leveled characters or equipment from one expedition to the other. However, beginning a new lifetime-career means a clean cut in terms of advantages. You unlock new player options though. Besides this, there are various other, small aspects we want to experiment with. Some examples are travelling by rafts, procedural river generation, advanced special powers or taxonomy.

Why are you doing an alpha-access release?

First and foremost we want The Curious Expedition out in the open and to have it played by more people. As our player base will increase, we’ll have access to more player feedback, which in turn will help us to tune and balance the many procedural aspects of the game. During our closed playtest we have established an update interval of 2 weeks, which allows us to provide you with impactful (and tested) updates. When playing the browser version you’ll automatically have the most recent version, without a need to manually download and update the game. We’ll provide a detailed overview of the latest changes through a changelog (probably from within the game). There will also be a dedicated forum (or subreddit) for the purpose of voicing ideas and feedback. You can also expect twitch streams.

Another big reason for our alpha-access is that we feel our game fits perfectly to this approach. The game can be replayed over and over. We don’t have a fixed story line, so there is no narrative to be spoiled by having early access. Going from version to version will increase the replayability and deepness more and more.

When will the game be finished?

Our planned final release of the finished game is July 2015. As usual with game development, this date may shift. We’re working full time on the Curious Expedition. That being said, we’ll start developing a prototype for our next project sometime early next year. This means that we’ll be taking 1 - 2 days per week to work on the new project. However, we guarantee that our main focus will be on finishing The Curious Expedition.

We would love to bring a version of the game to touch devices, but this highly depends on the success of the game. The touch version would most likely have to be bought separately.

Will there be an offline version that I can download?

Yes, we will provide a DRM-free offline version, which will be made available in the first quarter of 2015. Even though the first release of The Curious Expedition will run in your web browser, it is not and will never be a free to play game with hidden additional costs. You pay for the game once and will be able to play it, just as in the good old times. If there will be additional payments, it will be through the sale of additional content packs like different themed world packs or explorer types.

Will the game be available on Steam and will I get a key if it does?

We can’t guarantee a Steam version at this point, since this in the hands of Valve and the community, but we aim at getting a release on Steam in 2015. If we release on Steam you’ll get a free key if you bought The Curious Expedition during our alpha-access sale.

Which browsers are supported?

We’re currently supporting Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer. These are independent from your operating system, so as long as you use one of these browsers you can play the game under Windows, Linux or Mac.

Will the game support modding?

We would love to support modding. However, we are a very small team. Supporting mods usually means quite a lot more work, so we cannot guarantee that this will happen in the future.

How long does it take to beat the game?

Our goal for an average full playthrough length is approx. 2 - 3 hours, with every expedition taking no more than 10-30 minutes. We don’t want the game to take forever to finish. Instead, we’ll provide enough content and variety to make replaying an interesting and long-term option. Also, as with traditional roguelikes, you'll die often before ever reaching the end of the game. With each playthrough you’ll unlock new characters and options, and learn to play the game more efficiently. We really like how FTL handled this aspect and are striving for a similar quality.

Are there difficulty settings?

We hope that we won’t need a rigid difficulty setting but provide or more flexible, self-determined approach. You’ll be awarded with fame for every successfully completed expedition. This fame can be spent on equipment to have better prepared expeditions in the future. However, at the end of your lifetime-career the accumulated amount of fame determines your ranking in the hall of fame. So it’s your choice to spend the fame on equipment to make it easier for you or try to get along with minimal costs if you want to score high in the hall of famous explorers.

How big is your team and what have you done before?

We are currently two persons: Riad Djemili (code) and Johannes Kristmann (art). We have been working closely together at the AAA games development studio called YAGER in Berlin for 8 years. During our time at YAGER we worked on SpecOps: The Line and Dead Island 2. At the beginning of 2014 we quit our jobs and founded our own company, called Maschinen-Mensch. We are currently working with one freelancer who is providing the music and sounds for The Curious Expedition.

Imprint: Maschinen-Mensch UG (haftungsbeschränkt), Gubener Strasse 51, 10243 Berlin,