February 15, 2018

Point Blank: Inside Hunt with Creative Director Magnus Larbrant

Welcome to Point Blank, the game dev blog of Magnus Larbrant, Hunt's Creative Director. A few times a month he'll be stopping by to give you an update about what's been happening around the studio in his own warped, Swedish way.

Week of January 29-February 2

Reactions to the first Hunt Streaming Event

So we had the first major streaming event of Hunt, the day before Closed Alpha. People would be playing Hunt live on Twitch and other places and discussing it publicly for the first time. Going into it, it was incredibly stressful. Everyone was tense.

It takes a lot of time and effort to get the game up and running, and you're trying to convince people this game is a cool idea. The only way to know is to get it out there and have people play it.

When the event started, I tried to get into a game myself, and I couldn't get in. I couldn't find a match. I hit cancel, and tried to get into a match again - nothing. Then I'm watching as the first streamer starts, with like 6000 viewers, and he couldn't get into a match. I thought, oh great, this is going to be the end of Hunt.

Just before my heart stopped, and I couldn't hold my breath any longer, he got in – and he had fun.

As the day went on, more streamers joined in, and we started to climb the ranks on Twitch. For Closed Alpha, it was incredibly cool. Seeing the game out in the wild and the genuine reactions was amazingly awesome for all of us (and slightly weird).

I've never been on a project with so many high and low points. We're still making it work, and that's really cool. It doesn't mean we are done though, not by a long shot. There's a ton of things to improve on all fronts - fix matchmaking, address performance issues, game balance (the list goes on and on) AND hit the deadline. There's a lot to do.

It begins…

Week of February 5-February 9

Servers and things

We have to fix matchmaking and a lot of performance issues, and then you're getting into the battle over prioritizing all the things we want to put in the game versus making it stable. We have a list of things to do, and it is quite large. It is a big challenge.

Right now the servers are down, so we have to fix them and get them up again and hope not too many other issues come up which then have to be fixed.


Week of February 12…

In medias res

This week we are tying up loose ends and trying to get the build as stable as possible. Obviously. We have connection issues, and we have some crashes and that sort of thing to deal with. The game itself is getting better and better, and everybody is working hard to get as many features in as possible. At the same time, every feature you put in has the potential to crash it, so, we have to think about that too, as we are in stabilizing mode currently.

So of course we are playing the game a lot. Repeating and testing everything and tuning everything: tuning the economy, tuning the guns, tuning the monsters. So we're focused on three things I guess: working on performance, getting in as many features as we can, and we have to look at the community feedback and plan for the future too. We have to start making new maps and we already have all these brainstorms about maps and AI and everything, so we have to work on all that at the same time.

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