It’s been quiet here at the App Shack, but that is the sign of a long and arduous week. Thankfully there has been a break in the onslaught, and we are back with an exciting interview with Rodeo Games (the brains behind the Hunters series). With Hunters 2 releasing this week, hopefully this article gets you excited for the game if you aren’t already. Watch for our review soon.
Initials stand for Ben Murch, Adam Clixby and Richard Brooks.
– Tell us a bit about the Rodeo Games team. How did the four of you get together?
BM: We were all friends before Rodeo formed. Laurent was my next door neighbour when I first moved to Guildford. Adam, Rich and I all worked together at Codemasters. Then two things happened. Firstly, the App Store appeared, which empowered people like us to make and publish the games we wanted. Secondly, Laurent and I got stranded in Vegas for an extra week when the whole volcano ash cloud thing happened. In between all the gambling and drinking, we outlined what to do and hit the ground running with Adam and Rich when we got back!
– We all know that the migration into outer space is coming sooner or later. Is the story line of Hunters really what you guys envision of the distant future?
BM: I really hope not! The Hunters universe is pretty bleak. A sort of morally bankrupt place where killing people is seen as a means to get paid! Private corporations running things though, that seems more believable. You can already see the current world going that way a little now, and you can imagine someone like Branson landing on Mars and claiming it in the name of Virgin.
– In Hunters Episode 1, one of the hunters was named “Atticus”. Have you guys read “To Kill A Mockingbird”? Is that where the name came from?
BM: Haha, good spot! It was originally in there for a joke, because that Hunter had 100% accuracy when we were testing the game. Then we just got attached to the name. It seems to fit for some reason.
– The artwork in Hunters Episode 1 is absolutely gorgeous, but it seems limited by the top-down camera angle. What made you guys decide to avoid a more up close and personal view?
RB: From a technical point of view, using a top-down camera allows us to do a lot to make the game look as good as it does. It means we can keep the fidelity of the graphics really high.
BM: Yes, our choice of viewing angle is mostly based on the nature of the game. Top down is the most effective for turn based strategy. The whole up close and personal view could be cool for kill-cams, but the amount of work we’d have to do to get it in the game wouldn’t be worth the payoff!
– How are you guys expanding on the original Hunters in Episode 2? Will we see a return of the contract system?
AC: Absolutely. The daily contract system is something we really liked about the first game – and something we got a lot of positive feedback about. By getting a new set of contracts each day, you really want to keep coming back – it keeps the game feeling fresh.
Something else we’ve included in Hunters 2 after a lot of requests is a ‘hardcore’ mode in which your hunters are permanently removed from the game if they are killed on a mission. It makes for some very tense (and cowardly) play!
BM: We’ve also totally revamped the talents system. It’s now more dynamic and personalised than before. Each hunter has access to general talents and two specialist trees. Figuring out which combinations work for your style of play is really cool.
– What do you guys have planned for after Hunters 2? Will there be a third installment?
BM: We do have something really really awesome lined up, but we can’t talk about it just yet.