theHunter: Call of the Wild chronicles part 1: A flourishing world

 
Hello Hunters,

 

My name is Stefan and I’m the Community Manager for theHunter. Over the next few weeks I’ll be meeting with some of the very talented people who are working on creating theHunter: Call of the Wild. Often, you only see the finished games once they are up on the shelves or on Steam – but what does it actually take to make a game of this scale, and who are the people involved? Today I met with Frida Thorén (3D Artist) to talk about environment and world design in theHunter: Call of the Wild. I hope you’ll enjoy it!  

 

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What’s your name and your job on theHunter: Call of the Wild?

 

My name is Frida Thorén. I’m a 3D Artist, focused on environment

and more specifically for this project, vegetation and terrain related work.

 

What made you want to become a game developer?

A series of interests and hobbies I think. I’ve always enjoyed drawing and started studying art in school. At the same time I had an interest for the fantasy genre, in both books, games and movies. That interest led me into concept art. I found all of this awesome artwork from incredible concept artists and I wanted to be a part of creating these fantastic worlds. For me it has always been about the worlds, and as a game artist, working on environments, I get to create just that for other people to experience. It’s just a perfect fit for me 🙂
 
How does an usual day look like for you on theHunter?
 
I’m mostly at my desk clicking away on some asset, adjusting the general distribution of vegetation in the game, or looking at reference images. It kind of depends on what stage in the project we are at. At the start there are usually a lot more meetings since this is when we need to get a good idea of the art direction, what we can and can’t do and what tech we need. But towards the end of production the Art Department are clear on what needs to be done and then we all can just put our heads down and work individually, more or less.
 
 
What’s your favorite thing about Hirschfelden?
 
The fall setting. I loved to work with such a rich color scheme and it gave us lots of good possibilities to create variation in the world.
 
What was the hardest part in creating Hirschfelden?
 
The fall setting. Yep it’s true, it was both the best and hardest part from an art perspective in the production (if you ask me). As I said it gave us lots of opportunities to create variation and make the environment unique and memorable, but at the same time we had to make sure to visualize the reserve as a whole, ensuring that transitions between different areas of forests felt gradual and fluent, that colors between all vegetation would blend together nicely and of course that the whole picture felt just enough colorful for a fall setting, not overly bright in color but still not too dull.

 

 

How does the creation process of such a vast map look like from a developer perspective – where does one even begin?

Well, you have to break it down into parts, therefore it starts with a lot of planning. For example for Hirschfelden we looked at a lot of reference images to start with, to see what kind of vegetation would be appropriate for that specific landscape. Since it is an open world (and a huge one, at that) we also knew that we wanted a good deal of variation to keep the players interested. So we broke the vegetation down into a number of different forests, fields, meadows and so on. Ones we have those planned out it’s good to set it all up in the game and this is one area where our engine really shines. It allows us to quickly spread forest, meadows and more over the world. As soon as all is in place, we can easily walk around in the game and see which areas work and which don’t. After that it’s all iteration, iteration, iteration.

 

On a scale from 1 – 10, how excited are you to launch Call of the Wild?

Of course I am super excited about the launch of theHunter: Call of the Wild – 10!

 

If you could choose one superpower, what would it be?

Flying, definitely! It would help me with my fear of airplanes. 😛

 

Thanks a lot, Frida, for taking the time to give us some insight on your work, thoughts and inspirations. I’m sure I’ll look at some of the details with different eyes when roaming through the beautiful landscape of Hirschfelden in theHunter: Call of the Wild.

 

Cheers,
 
Stefan