Our producer Hannes has been away at the time of this Ask Us Anything, so Phil in his role as an interim producer has answered some production questions.
Hope you will find some replies that you were looking for, happy reading!
What are your plans for 2016?
Short answer: I can’t tell you anything specific, except to say that there will likely be a new reserve, a couple of new animals, a few new features, new items, bug fixes, missions and competitions. If you have been with us long enough, you will know that we (much like many other studios out there) always keep our plans a secret until almost the very last minute. The main reason for this is game development is a super dynamic environment where things change with the speed of light, like in the past when we’ve had to cancel huge features one day before release. Once we announce that we’re working on something we get inundated with questions: When? Now, if things don’t go as planned and we’re not able to release something we’ve announced, the community tends to express its disapproval (to put it mildly). I think that for a game like ours it’s better to under-promise and over-deliver, even though I personally would communicate everything and anything if you let me
Will you ever fix the 200 meter view limit? (Also: Could the game engine support it or evolve? (+ all the rest of questions related to the update of the engine, graphics and tech)
Probably not, at least not in the foreseeable future. The render distance is the limitation of the current engine we have. Is there any chance we might upgrade it? There is always a chance, but the hard truth is that it would require many months of work to convert the game and everything in it to the latest Avalanche Engine. This is not something we consider a priority for theHunter right now.
I have a question regarding the TheHunter T-shirt the dog is wearing in the status update! Where / When / How can I get it?
We’ve started to look into the possibility of creating these and similar T-Shirts and other merchandise. I don’t know when this will happen though as I currently don’t have time to allocate to this task.
Did EW ever pay back Avalanche all that was invested?
Yes, we did.
Have the noob EW staff practiced enough to take on the community in a MP competition hunt that was proposed? I assume it didn't happen yet because there weren't enough skilled hunters on staff to compete with us Maybe you're all on injured reserve? I've heard paper cuts are real ouchy
Don’t know, I’ve seen Dennis and Morris hunting pretty heavily, I’ll check their HS for you The competition hunt got postponed mostly because in the last months the team has changed significantly but also because I’ve been swamped. I promise that we’ll revisit this project soon though!
How long will it take before someone will slam his fist on the table and Say: "Now we gonna show all those nay sayers in the forum, that we really care and that we can and will be the best Hunting game developer that is"... no offence meant to any side but those "fix fix fix threads" get out of hand imho, i mean as rightful as they are how do the devs feel of them?
To be frank, the developers feel very bad about those threads. We are all humans, after all, we spend a huge chunk of our life at work and no one enjoys hearing that they are doing a bad job, don’t care and similar stuff. I know that some of the devs have actually had a very hard time because of the constant complaining on the forums and the pressure to balance the requirements set by the roadmap and sincere wish to make the players happy, and I believe that the brimming negativity and sarcasm is one of the reasons why very few of them come to interact here nowadays. It used to be different back in the days. It’s tough. As a mediator, I see both their side and community’s side and feel the pain of both. Both are equally frustrated, because both care. If you think that the devs don’t care I am inviting you to come over to the office and meet these brilliant, kind people in person and talk to them about the game and their work. As for the “fix fix fix threads”, I have nothing new to say here apart from I’ve said multiple times over that last two years I’ve been working here, so I’ll just quote Danny from his old Ask Us Anything: “We create the best game possible with the current tools we have.”
Do realize you just opened the biggest can of worms in the forum's history?
Yeah, but we like worms!
How many people access the Wiki and which pages are accessed most?
Here is some data for the English wiki for January 2016: 48,600 unique users (42% new), 357,808 page views.
Top 10 most popular pages in January were: Main Page, Troubleshooting, Huntable areas, Weapons, Missions, Species, System requirements, Whitehart Island, Logger’s Point, Evergreen Reserve.
Thanks to you HooCairs, our support manager David and the rest of the wiki team. The wiki is an absolutely invaluable resource for the game and community. I use it all the time, and so do our game designers
Did you ever consider participating at a gaming convention?
Not actually. Do you have any suggestions for us?
Where do you - the developers - see the game in five years? In ten years? Will development stop at some point, the Hunter being (even more than today) a niche game for the connoisseurs for a few more years, opened for offline play when servers get abandoned? Or do you think the game will still be developed for more than 5 or 10 years?
I definitely hope that the game will continue for 5 or even 10 years (it will need to undergo some significant changes, of course) and I believe that this is more than possible, as I love it deeply and I see what amazing potential it has. However, I am not the one in charge and I don’t know whether my beliefs are shared by the decision-makers in this case.
I think that your guess about the offline mode does make sense (it’s just my personal thought, not based on any facts or internal knowledge), but I am not sure whether this will be possible.
Can you guys bring back the beta?
We are planning to do open betas for as many major releases as possible in the future.
Did you have a good / What did you get for Christmas?
It was lovely thanks! I spend it in a wood cabin in the north of Sweden with my boyfriend and cat and no Internet.
What was the best live concert you ever attended?
I haven’t been to many I’m afraid. But the one I had most fun at was the Ukrainian band Perkalaba, which I attended when I studied in the south of Germany. Would do it again in a heartbeat!
On a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being shoddy, and 5 being the best since sliced bread) what does the entire team honestly think of the games condition as far as thing that work correctly, and things that don't?
It’s a tough one. When I judge by my own experience when playing, I would give it 4 as I almost never experience bugs or other big issues (not counting Moose moving weirdly on the hills of Hemmeldal and other not aesthetically pleasing stuff). When I ask people whose opinion and common sense I trust and who play the game a lot, they give me 3 (some issues, but in general it’s playable and enjoyable). When I come to the forums, I see in most cases 1 and often not even that (everything is totally broken and the apocalypse is upon us). So, taken all this into account, I’d say 2.5 - 3.
Can we see this mystical, magical to-do list?
Eh, sorry but no See my reply to question 1.
Who in EW staff plays TheHunter the most in 2015 (and how many hours / kills - if you can tell )?
On beta, where the devs mostly play and test, it would be probably Daniel-san, David Lucas a.k.a. NAOutdoors or Danny. On live NAOutdoors. Hampus is pretty great too, he always wins when we do our internal hunting competitions.
Can we expect more interaction with theHunter: Primal as far as listening to what players want?
We do our best to listen to the Primal players and note their wishes, but I can’t promise that any of these will happen, or whether they’ll happen at all. The main reason is that we are a small team and we are still trying to figure out how to juggle both games. theHunter is our main product and it will remain so in the near future. Having said that, we have some plans for Primal too, so I hope there will be some good news this year for dinosaur-lovers too.