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» Interview to developers of RODEO GAMES - HUNTERS 2

Interview to developers of RODEO GAMES - HUNTERS 2


John Singer – (iDow.ru): Congratulations with the launch of sales of Hunters 2. How much time did you spent for the creation of the game and how many have people worked on it?

BM: Thanks! We officially wrapped on Hunters: Episode One in June last year. We’ve been working on Hunters 2 from then until now, which is nine months. There are four of us who worked on the game. Two programmers, one artist and a business guy. We all help out with design.

John Singer – (iDow.ru): Please, describe the process of creating Hunters 2 in detail: from first ideas to the launch in App Store.

BM: The first step is to go to the pub and do something we call “Blue sky”. We just throw all kinds of ideas around. Nothing is rejected, everything is listened to.

RB: Yeah, the Blue Sky phase is fun, but also a bit crazy. So many ideas get thrown into the pan. If we tried to put in all the ideas we come up with at this point it would probably take us 5 years to develop! Once we’ve finished coming up with ideas, we try and select ones that we think are cool and would make the best game going forward. Once this is decided we start building the technical architecture and tools to produce the game content. This phase is often called “pre-production”.

BM: We also collect a load of reference images from movies, games, etc and start to scope out the look of the game.

RB: When all the technology is ready, we enter “production” and start building the game, the maps, the levels, the characters and start designing and implementing the menu screens and UI.

BM: Production is the longest stage of the process and can get really tiring, especially when you’re working to a deadline. Production on Hunters 2 lasted about 5 months.

RB: Once we have all the features we want in the game we start bug fixing and polishing. The game can still look a bit ropey at this point and spending time tweaking and polishing is essential for a high quality release. When we’re nearly there we began beta testing. We sent out beta versions of the game to some of our fans. They then test the game and give us feedback. We use this information to further polish the game. Then we’re pretty much ready to begin talking to press, and Ben begins making awesome trailers.

John Singer – (iDow.ru): Hunters 2 has surpassed the first part of the game! How did you raise the bar? Have you realized all ideas?

RB: Yes, Hunters 2 is a massive improvement on the first game. We really learnt a lot from the first game. The capabilities of the device and how to make the most out of its power. We also learnt a lot from player feedback. We learnt what people liked and disliked about the first game and tried to address as many issues as we could as well as add as many other cool things.

BM: As for the artwork, it’s reached a new level of coolness! Because we already knew a lot from Hunters: Episode One, we had more time to really flesh out alien environments, new enemies, particle systems, all sorts. The effect is a better looking, more polished game.

RB: We really raised the bar in the level of polish. We went to town with the graphics. Real-time dynamic lighting, high resolution graphics and a fancy water simulator. We also worked very hard to improve the weapons and armour, trade and stats views in the game to be more intuitive.

RB: No not all ideas were realised. I don’t think they ever are. There were still a whole ton of cool things we wanted to do but didn’t have time for. BM: Multiplayer, for example!

John Singer – (iDow.ru): What to expect from players of two Hunters 2 in the future? Will update bring something new? Do you have any ideas concerning updates?

BM: We’re going to see how the launch goes first. Unfortunately, making DLC and updates is a very expensive process, and you need to have a huge player base to make it viable.

John Singer – (iDow.ru): Tell about your studio. How many people are working there? Do you have any new projects which will be released in the future?

RB: There are four of us on the Hunters 2 team. We all pitch in for most aspects of the game but essentially we are one artist, two programmers and a business guy.

BM: Rodeo Games consists of five people though. Our fifth member is working on something super secret though....

RB: We have an incredibly exciting new project that we will be working on after Hunters 2. But we can’t say anything about that yet.

John Singer – (iDow.ru): Why did you give name Hunters 2, besides first game was called Hunters episode one? All were waiting for Hunters episode two! Will you change name?

RB: Well we initially wanted to call “Hunters: Episode One” just “Hunters”, but someone beat us to it and we couldn’t use it. I also think “Hunters 2” has a good ring to it.

BM: It’s also a lot simpler. People just ended up calling the first game “Hunters” or “Hunters HD”. No-one bothered with the Episode subtitle.

John Singer – (iDow.ru): Do you plan to work on a Hunters 3? Will something change in the gameplay? Will be something unique?

RB: We have really loved working on Hunters 2 here at Rodeo and we all love the universe that we’ve started to create. We’ve got so many places we want to go with it that I’m sure we will revisit it in the future.

John Singer – (iDow.ru): Finally, thank you for the interview and your time spent with us. What can you say to your fans and users of iDow.ru?

RB: We hope you enjoy Hunters 2. We’re really proud of it and we think you’ll love it. And if you do love it, please tell everyone you know about it!

BM: ...and thanks for supporting us! Without our fans, we wouldn’t be able to create awesome games and run our studio. You guys really are the best!


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