About Björn Öjlert

Game Designer

Introducing HunterMate Apps

App Selection

There are now a total of three different apps to run on the HunterMate and to accommodate for this we’ve created a new App Selection Menu.

How to launch an app:

  1. Hold the G-key
  2. Move the mouse in the direction of a desired app
  3. Press the left mouse button to launch

How to close an app:

  • Press the G-key at anytime to close an app

Environment Camo App

2014_10_camo_app

The environment camo app is a new free tool that can be used to learn in which areas your environment based camo such as the Sneaky 3D and Ghillie outfits are active.

Legend:

  • Green – You are wearing an environment based camo item and you are in an area where it provides camo
  • Light Grey – You are wearing an environment based camo item but you are not in an area where it provides camo
  • Dark Grey – You are wearing an item with no environment based camo

Note that species-specific camo such as the B&C Outfit is counted as items with no environment based camo. These are active everywhere, thus there’s no need to include them in the app.

Bust Through

Since we now have a way to select multiple apps again we’ve brought back an old friend that should be familiar to most veterans of the game. The HunterMate mini-game “Bust Through” is now available via the App Selection Menu and free to all players of theHunter. To add a competitive touch we’ve also added an all new leaderboard for this game on the website.

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Introducing Climbing & Falling in theHunter

2014_9_climb_gear

Why climbing?

When we design a new species for the game we strive to add as much unique gameplay around it as possible, preferably inspired by real life characteristics. One of the most distinguishable features of the Alpine Ibex is their ability to scale almost vertical walls and already in the beginning of the research process it became clear that this had to be included in the game to make the species justice.

This, coupled with the fact that Ibex are not known to respond to any lures, puts the hunter at a great disadvantage. Climbing evens the playing field by allowing agile hunters to follow their prey up even the most difficult slopes while adding an all new type of outdoor experience to the world of theHunter.

Do I have to climb?

Climbing is as much a requirement for hunting Ibex as lures are generally for other species. In other words, it makes it easier but it is not required. Most of the reserve, including the high areas where Ibex roam, can be reached by walking and climbing should be viewed more as taking a shortcut than a requirement.

How Is It Done?

Climbing Gear Characteristics:

  • Creates permanent climbing paths
  • Rated for 2 safe falls per climbing season
  • 75% of deployed units are recovered on dismantle

How to deploy:

  1. Add a couple of Climbing Gear to your field inventory
  2. Find a suitable rock wall, look for extruding stones in vertical cliff areas
  3. Equip your Climbing Gear & click the Use Item Button (Left Mouse) to deploy
  4. Note that deployment cost is dependent on wall with taller walls costing more units

How to climb:

  1. Walk up to your deployed climbing path & hold the Use Environment button (E) for options
  2. Select “Enter”
  3. Use the Move Forward & Move Backward buttons (W/S) to move up or down
  4. When you see a balance bar use Move Left & Move Right (A/D) to keep the balance arrow centered
  5. If the arrow go too far to any edge of the bar you will fall, the first couple of falls in each climbing season are recovered by the rope but eventually the rope breaks which lead to a fatal disagreement with gravity. Note that falling and breaking the rope does not affect the wall. Climbing gear can only be lost through dismantle
  6. Once at the other end of the wall press the Use Environment button (E) to exit

How to dismantle:

  1. Walk up to your deployed climbing path & hold the Use Environment button (E) for options
  2. Select “Dismantle”
  3. Note that only 75% of deployed climbing gear are recovered on dismantle due to wear & tear

Is there a reserve limit for deployed climbing paths?

The amount of climbing paths that can be deployed in a reserve is only limited by the amount of available deployment spots which in Val-Des-Bois is about 20.

Fall Damage

In addition to climbing we’ve added another new feature requested by many players for a very long time. Basically it is about addressing the immersion breaking superman ability of the hunter to survive falls from any height without any of the bone breaking consequences one would expect from such an event in real life. While this has worked well in most areas of the old reserves, simply due to the lack of places to fall from, it became more of an issue in a mountainous reserve such as Val-Des-Bois.

Unlike climbing, this will affect gameplay in both the new and old reserves, however, as mentioned above, there are not that many places to fall from in the old reserves except extreme areas such as the hangbridge ravine on Logger’s Point.

Being knocked out from falling follows by the same procedure as similar features such as animal attacks. Once knocked out you can choose to use a First Aid Kit to respawn at the spot or respawn at a Tent or Campsite.

Tips

  • Mastering the balance act of climbing can take a few tries. It’s recommended to bring a couple of medkits or place a tent near your practice wall for quick respawns.
  • Be easy on the keys when balancing, holding too long can tip the scale over to the other side and lead to acceleration towards epic disaster
  • While you need to focus on the balance bar while climbing don’t forget to check for the “exit wall” icon in the right corner of the screen as you approach your destination
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Ballistics Tweak

Yesterdays patch included a major revamp of trajectories, damage & penetration for the following weapons:

  • 300 Rifles
  • .30-06 Rifles
  • 8×57 Rifles
  • .308 Rifle & Handgun
  • .270 Rifles
  • .243 Rifles
  • .357 Revolvers
  • .44 Revolvers
  • .454 Revolvers
  • .50 Cal Muzzleloader Round Ball
  • 12 GA Shotgun Slug
  • 12 GA Buckshot

Kinetic Energy

The primary change for all these weapons is that they now use kinetic energy derived from our advanced trajectory system as the basis for their damage & penetration calculations instead of the old legacy system of linearly reducing velocity that did not take into account things like air resistance, bullet shape and weight.

This system has been applied to most new weapons since the release of the 9.3 Rifle, but until now there has not been enough time to convert the old weapons, as a lot of research and experimentation was needed to make sure we got things right.

Air Resistance

While this change mostly affects damage & penetration due to the fact that all weapons already use the advanced trajectory system for things like bullet drop, there have been some additional minor tweaks, primarily involving adding more precision to how air resistance is calculated. I expect that it will be mostly noticeable for large calibre weapons such as handguns, slug & the muzzleloader, although as zeroing has been updated to compensate for the changes in bullet drop it may only be noticeable at very long distances.

Rifles

Penetration and base damage mostly remain the same as before for most rifles as they worked fairly well with the linear system, however, you can expect somewhat more base damage from .300 & .270 rifles, which in turn means quicker deaths at the cost of trophy integrity (better reflecting calibre & bullet weight).

Handguns, Muzzleloader Round Ball, Slug & Buckshot

Previously these weapons had very high base damage and very low penetration. This has now been reversed to reflect how they commonly work in real life. The result is that poorly placed shots become less lethal while well-placed shoots are more likely to result in things like double-lung shots vs. permitted species. It also means that it should be easier to get good trophy integrity values using these weapons as this number is dependent on base damage.

Legacy Weapons

So, are all weapons now converted to this new glorious system? Sadly no, all arrow based weapons still use the old linear system as well as both 12 GA & 20 GA birdshot. But, the good news is that I am currently looking into converting these weapons as well and that by doing so we may finally be able to address some of the realism problems that have been plaguing these weapons since they were first introduced to the game.

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Status Update

It’s that time again and as fate, or rather careful planning, has it this status update correlates with the release of a new patch that adds a brand new feature to the game that should put a smile on the face stats loving players everywhere.

Before we delve deeper into the mechanics of this new mathematical wonderland we want to recognize the work of our programming intern Robin that made this new feature possible as an introductory task while learning our tools.

Now lets get into what this new stat is all about!

Harvest Value

Harvest value is a new way to score harvested animals that focus on how the animal was harvested rather than how it looks.

Harvest Value

The aim of harvest value is to reward practices that lead to less animal suffering and that prevent unnecessary trophy damage. This is achieved by balancing two new stats against each other; Wound Time & Trophy Integrity.

It’s important to note that harvest value does not in any way replace the regular trophy score nor CSS (which is derived from the regular score).

Wound Time

Wound time is the time from first wound to death. To gain high harvest values you need to keep this time as low as possible which in turn means less animal suffering. The best wound time results are achieved through proper shot placement using a weapon with enough penetration to damage critical organs such as the heart and lungs. As most of you probably know by now a penetrated heart in theHunter leads to instant death which in this case means the best wound time that can be achieved, 0.

Values range from 0-infinite seconds where 0 is awesome and more than 60 is horrible.

Trophy Integrity

The second variable to make up harvest value is trophy integrity. Trophy integrity simulates how damaged the trophy is. The real life counterparts are things like meat, pelt and antler damage which lowers the monetary value of the harvest. Note that we use a simplified method to calculate this which means that it is not directly translatable to all real life situations.

Trophy integrity is affected by weapon type, distance to target and species. The rule of thumb is that the less damage the target takes the higher the integrity value.

Values range from 0-100% where 100% is awesome and 0% is horrible.

Balance Game

To calculate the final Harvest Value we simply multiply the two. This means that the highest possible harvest values can only be achieved when maxing both of them. This leads to a balancing game where you need to find the optimal caliber with just enough damage to take down the target as quickly as possible.

High caliber weapons are thus not suitable for small game (bad integrity & good wound time) while they excel vs. big game (good integrity & good wound time).

Low caliber weapons on the other hand are not suitable for big game (good integrity & bad wound time) while they excel vs. small game (good integrity & good wound time).

That’s nice but what is the point?

First of all we have a couple of fun new stats attached to each score sheet that you can marvel at. While this is enough for many players we do not stop there, we also plan to include this as a new condition for things like new competitions, missions and achievements.

The Hemmeldal Cull

Happy hunting!

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Unpermitted Harvests Bug

As many of you may be aware there has been a bug around for a while where achievements can be wrongly awarded when using unpermitted weapons.

In the coming days this bug will be removed and all achievements will be retroactively adjusted. This means that all harvest performed using unpermitted weapons will be subtracted from the amount that makes up each achievement and in cases where there is no longer a sufficient amount of permitted harvests the achievement will be removed.

Naturally this also affect HunterScore and the HunterScore leaderboard since less achievements means a lower score.

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Laura Francese Competitions

Expansive Worlds has teamed up with the famous archer and avid bow hunter Laura Francese to create new exciting content for the game.

The first thing to come out of this partnership is a set of all new multi-species competitions developed in close collaboration with Laura that are now part of the regular competition schedule, starting today. To learn more about Laura and her latest adventures, we highly recommend that you like her page on Facebook.

More content is in development so stay tuned!

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Server Update – GM$

What is it?

A new currency that can be earned through play and used to buy a select number of items in the store.

How do I get it?

You can earn gm$ through completing missions and in some cases by winning competitions.

It is not possible to convert gm$ to em$ or vice versa.

What can I do with it?

Currently you can use gm$ to buy a select number of consumable items in the store such as ammo, licenses and scents. More may be added in the future.

Does this make memberships redundant?

While gm$ allows players to experience more of the game for free earning it is hard work and the most convenient option is still to get a paid membership. Memberships also come with additional benefits such as the ability to host multiplayer games and we are working on more membership exclusive features, one of which should come very soon…

Finally keep in mind that missions are finite so there’s a limit to how far you can go using only gm$.

Do I get gm$ for missions already completed before this update?

No, gm$ will only be awarded for missions completed after this update. There’s, however, a new option to reset missions which allows you to complete these missions again.

This is a paid option but we will allow one free reset during this first week so that everyone has a chance to get on the gm$ train without paying.

Missions can be reset by purchasing this item in the store.

What does gm$ stand for?

Gm$ is pronounced “gems” but other than that it’s just a currency like $,€ or gold, silver and sea shells. It doesn’t stand for anything unless you want it to.

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Server Update

Features
– Animals licenses are now listed when hovering the mouse over your membership type

Bug Fixes
– Members now correctly always get 3 boxes of basic ammo for each owned weapon every time the client is started
– Tracer arrows and other ammo that have been purchased outside the membership no longer spontaneously disappear from the inventory*
– Empty ammo boxes and other consumables are now always removed correctly from the inventory when depleted
– Competition trophies, Em$ and “Doc messages” are now awarded correctly when competitions end**.

*We are working on restoring the ammo lost during the weekend to those affected. This should be completed in a couple of hours.

**We are working on restoring the trophies (Easter etc.) that went missing at the multiplayer launch.

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Multiplayer Update

Features

Multiplayer

Up to 8 players can now hunt together in the same game world.

Full Player Character

The player now has a full body opposed to the “floating torso” of the old game. Hundreds of player animations, including movement and item manipulation, have been completely remade from scratch using this new body.

There are now multiple in-game characters to choose from with matching web avatars. This means that when you pose by your trophy in the game this photo will match your avatar on the web.

Inventory Revamp

The inventory has been completely revamped. Most notable changes:

  • Previously the amount of items you were able to carry where limited by the size of the “backpack” grid and the size of the item icons. This has now been replaced with a system where icon size no longer matter. Each item instead has a “capacity cost” and the sum of the capacity costs of the items carried must be lower than the maximum carry capacity. This capacity can of course be increased like before by purchasing a backpack. This system is a lot more flexible than the old one and allows for some interesting gameplay tweaks such as high calibre ammunition taking more space than low calibre counterparts giving the low cals a much needed edge.

  • Items can now be more quickly equipped by directly clicking the slot that you want to place them in. This action brings up a list with only the items that are compatible with the selected slot.

  • Clothing can now be changed in the in-game inventory when you are in a lodge area or near a tent.

  • Item descriptions can now be read directly in the in-game inventory by pressing the corresponding “i” icon.

  • There are now a total of 10 equipment slots that allows quick access to carried items. Some can be used from game start while others require a specific HunterScore to unlock. The HunterScore restriction can be bypassed by purchasing pouches and holsters in the store:

    Slot

    Type

    HS Unlock Level

    Store Unlock Item

    Weapon 1

    Any Weapon

    0

    Weapon 2

    Any Weapon

    0

    Small Weapon 1

    Only Handguns

    600

    Small Weapon Holster

    Small Equipment 1

    Any Equipable Small Item

    0

    Small Equipment 2

    Any Equipable Small Item

    0

    Small Equipment 3

    Any Equipable Small Item

    0

    Small Equipment 4

    Any Equipable Small Item

    60

    Small Equipment Pouch 4

    Small Equipment 5

    Any Equipable Small Item

    180

    Small Equipment Pouch 5

    Small Equipment 6

    Any Equipable Small Item

    360

    Small Equipment Pouch 6

    Large Equipment 1

    Any Large Item

    0

Unequip Current Item

It’s now possible to unequip the currently equipped item (default key: H). This allows you to walk around with no item obstructing your view since you have nothing in your hands.

Local Chat

There is now a local chat that allows quick communication with everyone in the current multiplayer game (default key: Enter).

The local chat has some commands that can be used for advanced communication:

Command

Function

/w playername

Whisper a message to the targeted player. This message will not be shared with the rest of the players on the server.

/r

Whisper a reply to the last player to send you a whisper.

/players

Show the names of all players on the server.

/afk

Set your status to “Away From Keyboard”. This is only visible to other players if they have the “Show player names” option turned on.

/clear

Removes all text from the screen.

There are also some keyboard commands:

Key

Function

TAB

Auto-Completes player names. For example if there is a player called John42 on the server and you type “Jo” then press TAB the rest is automatically completed resulting in: “John42”.

UP/DOWN ARROW

Cycle previous entries

Full Screen Map Revamp

The full screen map has received a facelift and a couple of new features. One of them is fast travel which you can read about in the next section. The other is the ability to draw shared images in the map. This is a feature that we hope may come handy when planning hunting strategies.

Fast Travel

Retire to lodge/campsite has been replaced by more flexible fast travel system which lets you quickly travel to any lodge, campsite or tent on the map.

Using the fast travel option cost Camping Supplies just like the old retire to option used to. The cost is now, however, based on distance (1 supply / km).

Fast travel can only be used once every in-game hour and will spook all animals at the target location once you arrive.

Fast travel is performed by entering the full screen map (default key: M) and clicking on the location you want to travel to. More information can be found by reading the store/inventory description of Camping Supplies.

First Aid Kit

The First Aid Kit can now be used to heal fallen friends in addition to healing yourself. Just walk up to your unfortunate friend and press the environment interaction key (default key: E).

Environment Based Camo

When browsing the store you’ll notice that there are a lot more types of clothing that there used to be. One of these is the “Sneaky 3D Summer Forest Camouflage Outfit”. What’s special about this set is that it’s using a new type of camo that give very good visual camouflage in the areas that it is tailor made for. In this case all forest areas at Whitehart, Logger’s Point, Settler Creeks and Red Feather Falls.

One of the advantages of using this camo is that it works on all species, not only deer, as in the case of the B&C camo. The downside is of course that you need to be more aware of your surroundings, for instance only get close when you are in a forest area, and that it has no scent or sound reduction. In the end it comes down to which species you expect to encounter and which environments plan to hunt in.

Options

All options except the graphics settings* can now be changed in the game client. There are also a couple of new options under “Gameplay”:

Option

Description

Show player names

Toggles the display of player name, distance and status in the game

Show item name

Toggles a permanent display of the currently equipped item in the low right corner of the screen

Show player spotting information

Toggles the display of player spotting information in the game.

Show animal spotting information

Toggles the display of animal spotting information in the game.

Enable chat

Toggles the display of the local game chat.

*Graphics settings are still set in the launcher using the “gear” button.

Web

In addition to the new features required to handle multiplayer games the webpage has also been completely revamped with a more modern and accessible interface.

Tweaks

Memberships

Guests can now enter any reserve, both in multiplayer and singleplayer, but are only allowed to hunt Mule Deer unless another license has been purchased.

Guests are not allowed to host multiplayer games but can join members if the host allows it.

Callers

All callers now work like the Roe & Red Deer callers. This means that you no longer need to press the left mouse button to enter “call mode” before calling. You can now call as soon as the caller is equipped by holding down the left mouse button. It’s now also possible to use all callers while walking/running.

Weapons

All weapons now have a slight zoom when using the iron sights to simulate the player “taking aim”.

Default Controls

The default controls of the game have been slightly modified in order to make room for new features and to make the game more accessible for new players. If you don’t like these controls it’s possible to change them using the options menu. These are the changes:

Action

New Default

Toggle Walk/Run

C

Raise Weapon

Right Mouse Button

Zoom In (Optics)

Mouse Wheel Up

Zoom Out (Optics)

Mouse Wheel Down

Unequip Item*

H

Equip Weapon 3*

3

Equip Small Item 1

4

Equip Small Item 2

5

Equip Small Item 3*

6

Equip Small Item 4*

7

Equip Small Item 5*

8

Equip Small Item 6*

9

Equip Large Item 1

0

Equip Binoculars

Replaced by Equip Small Item 3

Make A Sound

F

Local Chat*

Enter

Messenger

Currently Disabled

*New feature

HunterMate Apps

The HunterMate has finally entered the 21st century and received a much needed internal flash memory. This means that you no longer need to equip apps in the game slot to use them. The “Lane Bandit” game can be played at any time by hitting the app button (default key: G) once it has been purchased from the store.

The free “Bust Through” game is not available anymore but may return if there is demand for it.

Tracking

Tracks older than the first tracked confirmed from an individual animal are no longer removed. This is to prevent confusion when multiple hunters are tracking the same animal.

Known Issues

Messenger

In-game access to the messenger is currently disabled (previous default key: Enter). We are working on a revised version of this service.

First Person Weapon Animations

It’s currently hard for the player to see what they are doing with their weapon compared to the pre-multiplayer version. This is because animations now need to look natural both to you (first person) and the other players (third person) in the game. Because of time constraints we had to focus on third person for this release. We are already working hard to fix this by creating brand new tailor made first person animations.

Track IR

Track IR support is currently disabled. It’s on our TODO-list but we have no exact release date at this point.

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Winners of the Deployable Tutorial Video Competition

We’d like to start off with thanking all of you who have participated in this competition. We appreciate all your hard work and we were very impressed with your creations. For those of you who didn’t win, we hope to see you enter the next video competition.

Congratulations Pratze, we’ve chosen you to the winner for this competition. Your prize is either 5000 em$ or a “Pathfinder” Membership Bundle.

We’ve also decided to award a second price to a very good video that unfortunately got disqualified for breaking the 5 minute rule. Congratulations Calcobrena, your prize is either 2000 em$ or a “Wayfarer” Membership Bundle.

Finally, we’d also like to mention these contestants:

NorthTexasHunt
http://youtu.be/Us3midQCwvE

EricGiftzahn
http://youtu.be/2QqTw_1gYUY

Gunoftruth
http://youtu.be/EYLKzpS34hE

Once again, a big thanks to all participants. Great work!

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