July 02, 2018

Point Blank: Through the Fog

Welcome to Point Blank, the game development blog of Magnus Larbrant, Hunt: Showdown's Creative Director. Today he's here to discuss the addition of fog to the game.

Don't be afraid of fog—be afraid of what's hiding in it.

Or simply use fog to your advantage and kill players. Fog is perfect for our game. The concept has always been to immerse players in the unknown, with the audio hinting at what's going on around you. You could think of it as a “theater of the mind." Fog adds a lot to that feeling of tense anticipation about what might be out there waiting for you.

When we first started working on Hunt in Frankfurt, we had a bunch of location concepts, and fog was one of the first lighting setups we tried out on those maps. But most of those locations were cut due to quality concerns, making Louisiana our showcase map. That was a long time ago.

Once the Louisiana map became our priority, fog got put on hold for a while because first we wanted to do night time. Everybody on the team thought that was creepy. Fires and explosions really stand out in the dark, and the less you can see, the more claustrophobic and tense everything feels. Being alone in the dark with your buddy, and who knows what else.

Then, because Hunt is set at the end of the Victorian era, we wanted to have at least one light setup with warm, golden tones. The blue sky turns just a little bit green, and it's always sunset. At least that is how it looked in the movie references we used. We used a lot of movie references to get the golden lighting right—those guys are on top when it comes to lightning, and we can learn a lot from them.

With the priority on night time and golden dawn, and fog had to take a backseat for a while. Originally, we were going to release fog with scoped weapons because, if you didn't like scopes, you could always play in the foggy setting, where scoped weapons are pretty useless. Fog definitely changes the play style and how you equip your Hunters.

I really hope you like the foggy “time of day." But if you have any suggestions or ideas for improvements, you are more than welcome to let us know on the Hunt feedback page so we can fix it as we keep iterating, changing, and tuning every aspect of the game!

And one more thing: At the same time, we are continuously monitoring the feedback regarding the Dark Sight Boost mechanic. So far we have reduced the available time from 15 to 10 seconds. On top of that, we are looking into the effect itself to see if we can create an effect to make it more of a hint at a players' presence rather than, as some people currently describe it, a wall-hack looking effect.

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