I’m Arthur, a Game Designer on theHunter: Call of the Wild, and in this Dev Diary, I’m going to give you a sneak peek into how we add new weapons to the game. Hope you’ll enjoy it!
Deciding which weapons to add
The first step in bringing a new weapon into the game is selecting one.
For weapon packs, we start by compiling a preliminary list that usually has a lot of different ideas. For this, we look at suggestions both from the Dev Team and the Community, as well as popular weapons from theHunter Classic. We then try to compare all the pros and cons of each weapon to narrow our initial list down. By the end of this process, we are left with a final selection that has a clearly defined direction and synergy.
For weapons that come with a reserve, it is a bit different. We generally want those weapons to have a strong connection with the reserve itself. So we start by doing some research to figure out if there are weapons that are particularly popular in that region of the world or have historical and cultural ties to it. We generally end up with a handful of suggestions that are then evaluated thoroughly to pick out the one we believe fits best.
So now, we have made our choice, but how do we bring it into the game?
From pages to pixels
Once we have chosen a weapon, a game designer puts together a reference document that showcases the way it looks and works in real life, as well as information on ammunition, ballistics, scopes, etc.
Our hard surface artist then makes a 3D model based on these real-life references, as well as their own additional research. After that, the animation team and our sound engineer take this static model and bring it to life inside the game engine.
It all sounds very linear and straightforward, but actually, there is always a lot of back and forth between all involved at this stage. Everyone’s work is intimately intertwined, and there are always questions that need to be answered and problems that need to be solved.
Going out with a bang!
The final stage to make a weapon playable is once again handled by game designers. We start by fine-tuning the ballistics based on real-life references. Then we head to the virtual shooting range to zero all the sights and scopes, much like you would in real life.
After that, the new weapon can graduate from paper targets to animals, as we test it to make sure it is suitable for the range of species we selected for it in our initial designs. If we find some discrepancies, then we must figure out why and adjust either the terminal ballistics or the class restrictions until they match.
Finally, once the weapon shoots well, we also make sure that it feels good and different from other weapons. We fine-tune recoil, sway, sound, and animations until we are happy with the final result. Our QA team as well as beta testers also get their hands on the new toy at this point, to provide valuable feedback and iron out the final kinks.
Coming to a store near you
Next is a very exciting time when everyone is getting ready for the big reveal when we can finally show all of you what we’ve been working on! And soon after that, it is finally time for all the players to get their hands on a (hopefully) fun new weapon in the game. No matter how long I’ll do this, it’ll always be simultaneously exciting and a bit scary!
Upcoming new content
I guess now that you know more about the way we bring new weapons into theHunter, this is a good time for me to tell you a bit more about the weapons in Hunter Power Pack releasing on March 14!!
With this weapons DLC, we wanted to focus on large-game hunting. We noticed that there was an appetite in the Community for more large-caliber bolt-action rifles, as the .300 Canning Magnum has been the sole option for years. As a result, we decided to make two new bolt-action rifles chambered in 7mm Magnum and .338 respectively.
As for the third weapon in the pack, it is another bolt-action in the ever-popular .308 caliber. This one has been an extremely common request since the release of the Modern Rifle Pack, and we are more than happy to deliver!
Finally, all of our players can look forward to another long-requested feature making its way into the game via the free Showcase Update releasing simultaneously with this DLC: equipment loadouts! You will now be able to swap between your favorite combinations of weapons and gear at the press of a button, which should greatly reduce the time you have to spend gearing up before going out into the bush.
I hope you all enjoyed reading this Dev Diary, and I can’t wait to see what you’ll do when you all get your hands on these new rifles and features.