It's been an incredible journey over the last 4 years. It hasn't always been easy, but we're super proud of how the game has grown in this time. Your feedback shapes how we develop the game, and we couldn't have done it without you.
We have started this year off in a great way with our latest Twitch drops Campaign that came with our Anniversary celebrations, but this is just the beginning. We have a lot more planned for Hunt, not just this year but for many years to come. Before we go down that much longer route, lets take some time to focus on the not-too-distant future.
This will be the first in a series of detailed blogs that will come throughout the year that will take a deeper dive into what is happening with the development of Hunt. We will also be making video format versions so keep an eye on our YouTube channel.
On top of this, soon after each of these developer updates, we will also be publishing further blogs/videos that contain details of the most current hot topics (for example, hit registration, kill trades and more). Our aim here will be transparency on as many topics as possible, but today we want to focus mainly on the next first half of this year and what you all can expect.
For the first half of 2022, you will notice that our focus will be on the service aspects of Hunt. This will involve working on performance from both a client and server perspective, new live events, UI changes, new in-game systems as well as some new in-game features which we will get into later.
All these additions will be aimed at ensuring the longevity of Hunt. We have a lot of plans, but first we need to lay the groundwork for what is to come.
Remainder of Q1
Update 1.8 (Currently available on the live servers)
Historically, we would consider 1.x updates as the larger, content driven updates. Any following updates in that series would then be aimed at resolving issues, adding additional smaller features/content and other adjustments where needed. This will not be the case with Update 1.8.
This will be a service driven update which will come with some performance improvements for both server and client, new menu weapon animations for Tier 2 Hunters, some new Legendary content, and will also include the bulk of the next live event which will come at the end of March.
Server Performance improvements
We will also be making some changes on the server side of things with this update. These changes are as follows:
- Improvements made on the server side to the physicalized entities in the world. This means we have reduced the processing costs attached to AI, Doors, chains and any other interactable object in the world.
- Removed an unused component that could impact server performance.
- Improvements made to spikes in performance that were caused by idle AI. These AI were using more recourses than needed so we have made some improvement to their cost on the server when idle. Please be aware, idle AI may have a slower reaction time than normal.
Client performance improvements
We know that Update 1.7 brought several performance related issues for some of you, and we have been working hard ever since to narrow these down and resolve the problems. Along with the performance improvements outlined in the above section, we also have some client side fixes as well as a new tool to help further our performance related investigations.
We have made improvements to the way the game interacts with the Steam API. During a game session, we were calling some features of the Steam API every frame, this can be costly for some systems, so it resulted in a decrease in performance for some of you. We are hoping that this change will be a step in the right direction to resolve some performance issues, but in case you still encounter issues, we have the lightweight profiler below to help us.
To help us further investigate the performance issues that
some of you have been experiencing, we are bringing back the Lightweight
Profiler tool to help us dig deeper into the root cause of the performance
issues that appeared with Update 1.7.
This feature will be very user friendly, so there will not be much work from the user end and will go a long way in helping us further our investigations. The lightweight profiler will use a beta branch code that should be entered through Steam. While this is active, more information regarding the issues you encounter will be captured in two files (game log and a new file that will be generated once the profiler has been activated). IF you encounter issues, you can use this profiler and send a copy of these files to our Customer Support or Community team who will pass on the details to the dev team for further investigation.
The patch notes for Update 1.8 contain the full details of what to do with this profiler if you encounter performance issues.
New weapon animations
In this update, we will also be adding the remainder of the menu weapon animations that have been worked on since last year. This will bring the Tier 2 Hunters in line with the remaining cast members and complete the set of animations for all Hunters.
Live Event (~End March/Beginning April)
Live Events have become a concrete part of Hunt: Showdown over the last few years. The stories we have been able to create for you all have been enthralling to say the least and this year will be no different! We'll be diving deeper into the story and a close look at Mr. Charry and what brings him to the AHA, so be sure to keep a close on eye on what's coming up, you won't want to miss it!
We'll have more details on this with in an upcoming Developer Live stream which will take a closer look at the story behind our latest chapter in the Bayou.
Quest system (First iteration of this system coming end April/early May)
One of the bigger additions in the first half of this year will be the introduction of a new Quest system that will replace the current daily/weekly challenges. This quest system will be the first step we take this year towards adding some more engaging elements of progression to Hunt and your daily play sessions.
This system will have something for everyone, which means there will be quests to help beginners come to grips with the core game play loop, quests aimed at our more experienced, hardcore players and everything in between. Our aim here is to add a system that gives you, the player, much more freedom and allow you to undertake the challenges that you want to focus on.
After the initial release, we will then further develop this into a larger quest system that is going to open a lot of options for us in the future. Not only will this be a way for us to bring new content to you outside of the live events but will also lay the groundwork for future systems that can be tied together with the Quest system and allow us to expand it even further.
We are very excited about the introduction of this Quest system, and we can't wait to share more with you in an upcoming Developer Live stream, closer to the initial release.
New AI variations
Along with the Daily quests, this update will come with two variations to the Grunt AI cast in Hunt. This will be the first step in introducing more variety to the AI in the game this year. We will go into more detail about these additions in our upcoming Developer Live Stream.
Crouch bug (misaligned 3rd person animations)
Before the new year, it was brought to our attention that there were some misalignments with the animations for certain weapons and stances in the 3rd person view. Since then, we have been working on correcting this and the animations will be aligned across the entire arsenal in Hunt. We want to thank the community for bringing this to our attention. We aim to bring this fix with Update 1.8.1.
Mid-Late Q2/Early Q3
Here is a quick overview of some of the aspects we are working on that are aimed for later in the year. Please be aware this is not a full list of what is to come for later in Q2/Q3, rather a selection of the bigger additions. *We are still working on the full plans but wanted to give you some highlights of what will come later in the year. As we get closer to this period, we will have further blogs & videos that will go into more detail about what is to come.
*Please keep in mind that everything below is subject to change or could potentially be delayed.
New gameplay feature
We don't want to give too many details at this time, but we will be introducing a brand-new feature to Hunt with Update 1.9. This feature will bring a new element of teamplay to the bayou as well as doubling up as an anti-camping mechanic. This feature is still in the works, so we will have more details for you leading up to it's release.
Quality of life UI changes
We have received a lot of feedback about many aspects of the
UI. In late Q2/Early Q3 we will be making some changes to several sections that
have been among the most discussed in the community. We are currently planning
to bring improvements to the Death screen & Team details screen. We know
many of you have been asking for us to share more information on these pages,
so that will be our main goal with these changes. As well as this, we also have
plans for a rework of the equipment screens to improve the overall usability
when in these menus.
We are looking forward to sharing these changes with you closer to their release. We have been keeping a close eye on the feedback the community have been providing about the UI as it is important to help us ensure the best experience possible for everyone, so we hope some of these changes will be welcome additions for you all.
Ping limit/Region Lock
We know the topic of out of region players has been a big
topic within the community for quite some time, so we are planning to be
introducing some limitations when it comes to playing out of region. We are
currently working on the best approach to take with introducing these changes
so the current available information is limited.
One of our main goals with this system will be to ensure fairness in the match ups, while still allowing players to always have access to at least one region. We have a lot of players around the world, some of which are in areas where we currently do not have servers, so we want to make sure that everyone can still play but make sure it is much fairer for everyone.
We do not have a lot to share at this time as this system is still a work in progress, but we wanted to at least make you all aware that this is something we are looking into and will have more updates on the topic very soon.
We will also be working towards some changes to the progression systems in Hunt. We will be looking at making improvements to all aspects of progression, including the prestige system. We'll have more details to share on this subject in future communications.
Keep an eye out for our upcoming blogs, videos, and Developer Live streams over the coming weeks/months where we will go into more detail on the above topics and much more.