My name is Stefan and I’m the Community Manager for theHunter. Welcome to the second part of our blogging series about the game development of theHunter: Call of the Wild. 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 Andreas (Game Designer) to talk about mission design, wardens and the player journey in theHunter: Call of the Wild.
What’s your name and your job on theHunter: Call of the Wild?
My name is Andreas Wangler and I have worked on the design of the world, placement of world content and items in order build a narrative within Hirschfelden and make it interesting to explore. I have also worked on the missions for theHunter: Call of the Wild and the way they tie in with characters and the wardens that you come in contact with.
What made you want to become a game developer?
For me personally, being a Game Designer is a very rewarding position to have. It connects and deals with a lot of things I love in life such as narrative, games, movies and world building. I think that there might not be a better profession out there for me. It didn’t strike me right away but I found my way there over the years.
Which projects and games did you work on in the past?
At Avalanche Studios I have been involved in the development of Just Cause 2 and Mad Max as well as a few other projects during my 8 year long career in game design.
How does an usual day look like for you on theHunter: Call of the Wild?
As a Level Designer, being involved in the creation of missions and narrative, on theHunter: Call of the Wild, there are few days that are the same – and that’s what I love about the role I have. You can dig down into writing dialogue and lore one day, doing terrain work and positioning world structures the next day. My job also involves playing the game and communicating with other people on the project about what works well and which parts that need to be improved. I have found that as a Level Designer you are often what we call in Sweden “spindeln i nätet” (“the spider in the web”) meaning that I’m involved in several aspects at any given time.
The Mission and Story design in Call of the Wild is a fairly new feature in the theHunter Universe. What was your vision when creating it?
I could spend a lot of time discussing this topic but I will try to keep it brief- most of the time it’s good to start out with big visions and that’s what I did. Over time, the vision then becomes more clear and focused, which helps to progress from ideas into actual content. theHunter: Call of the Wild is a hunting game first and foremost, sothe things you are asked to do in the game should not distract from that. But what I think will bring something to the game is of course the fact that the wardens communicate with you, and react to what you do in the game.
Also, having characters who contact you through the HunterMate is something that I hope will make players feel more engaged and less ‘alone’ out there in the vast wilderness. It will help to contextualize the world you are moving in and bring more meaning to your actions and achievements.
What would you say was the biggest challenge and the biggest achievement from your perspective when implementing this new feature?
The biggest challenge for me was definitely to build something from scratch. How can you create some kind of narrative in a game about hunting and without meeting other people face to face on a regular basis? It was a fun and very interesting challenge!
What is your favorite part of theHunter: Call of the Wild so far?
My favorite part is when you have one of those ‘hunting moments’ in the game where an animal flees and you go on a really long tracking adventure through the beautiful world. That brings me back to those days when I was young, playing games in the woods or just wandering about, picking mushrooms. When nature encloses you – that is something truly magical.
Who is your favorite Superhero and why?
Isn’t “Animal Man” really cool? I think so. He is also a vegetarian, like me.
Thanks a lot to Andreas for taking time to talk about the Mission design and population of Hirschfelden in theHunter: Call of the Wild.