Introducing theHunter: Call of the Wild

theHunter_call_of_the_wild_key_art

Dear hunters,

We wouldn’t be here without you, our community. For that reason we want you to be the first to hear our big news, possibly the biggest to come out of Expansive Worlds, ever. Next year we will be releasing our brand-new game, theHunter: Call of the Wild, offering you a visually breathtaking, technically groundbreaking, hunting experience.

What is theHunter: Call of the Wild?

Over the past 7 years, theHunter has grown and evolved at an astonishing rate. It’s been amazing to see the game – not to mention the community around it – thrive. We’ve introduced new species and reserves, weapons, equipment and gadgets. Meanwhile, gameplay, graphics, sound, animation, AI – literally every aspect of the game, has been continuously improved.

A few years ago, we started thinking about what was next for our hunting and outdoor gaming platform. We were – and still are – committed to supporting theHunter like we have in the past, but also wanted to build something new using all the experience and technical expertise that we’ve accumulated over the years. Our new title, theHunter: Call of the Wild, will stay true to the core gameplay of the original game, but will also include new features and challenges.

theHunter_cotw_lookout_tower

At release, theHunter: Call of the Wild will be a next-generation hunting experience, bringing rich and vast open worlds to hunters and wildlife enthusiasts around the world to explore. Our objective is to grow it into something even more immersive, engaging and fun over time. We have worked hard to create a unique gameplay experience by adding deep environment immersion, creating a strong connection and interaction with various kinds of wildlife, and offering a wide range of in-game activities motivating players in both single- and multiplayer. Last but not least, we’ve added an extensive tutorial element to make the the game more accessible to those who are new to hunting, offering them a helping hand on their way to bagging that trophy.

Perhaps the single biggest difference between the original game and the new one is the change to the business model. theHunter: Call of the Wild is not going to be a free to play game, but a one-time purchase which will be supported and evolved together with the community for a long time to come.

theHunter_cotw_fallow_deer

To give you a glimpse of what awaits, we are inviting you to sign up for a closed Beta session of the new game. You can do that on the official theHunter: Call Of The Wild site, where you will find more information, including some stunning screenshots and news for you to follow the development through to the release of the game in early 2017.

theHunter: Call of the Wild is built on cutting edge technology, in the shape of Avalanche Studios’ brand new Apex engine, and requires a powerful PC to run. This also means higher system requirements when compared to what you are used to with theHunter. You can find all the technical details in the Beta sign-up section.

What does this mean for theHunter as we know it?

Simply put, we have no plans to sunset our most successful game to date. theHunter: Call of the Wild offers a different kind of hunting experience, which we think is complementary to the theHunter experience that we have all grown to love. theHunter is valuable and deeply cherished by all of us. We are committed to the product and community and we hope to see it grow and evolve even further in the future. In fact, the roadmap of 2017 is packed with cool, highly requested features, and we can’t wait to spill the beans and hear what you think!

logo_greyHaving said that, some things will inevitably change. For one, the name. Adding a bright new title to the franchise got us thinking about how to make both games feel different and at the same time a part of one theHunter family. So, we’ve decided to rebrand theHunter into theHunter Classic. We chose that name because of what it signals; a timeless hunting experience. Newer, shinier games and technologies may emerge, but that doesn’t mean theHunter Classic is going out of style, it’s one of those games that you always keep coming back to. You’ll see the Classic brand more and more over the next few months.

Secondly, today we are releasing a new landing  page acting as a gateway to both games, dubbed theHunter.com – the Home of Online Hunting Games. You will be able to log in to your theHunter account from there as you are used to, so there will be no additional hassle.

Lastly, theHunter Classic ship will get a new captain. Philipp Strecker, whom you got to know in the last year as our brilliant producer, will now move on to lead the development and live operations of theHunter: Call of the Wild, and his place will be taken by Alena Rybik, who has been our highly regarded Community Manager for the past three years. The two teams are separate, but are looking into various possible synergies that can bring value to both games, and to the franchise as a whole.

We are sure you have lots of questions at this point and we will do our best to answer what we can in theHunter Classic forum and the official theHunter: Call of the Wild forum on Steam.

We are looking forward to this new adventure together and we are counting on your loyalty and support, both for theHunter Classic and theHunter: Call of the Wild. Thank you for all these years and here’s to many more!

Yours,
Expansive Worlds team

Discussion

Share this
facebooktwitterredditmail

Attention – Game Installation Unavailable via thehunter.com

Currently it is not possible to install the game via the launcher downloaded from the website (www.thehunter.com).

This is an issue we are working on and will fix within the next day.

Players who have the game already installed will not be affected.
The Steam version is not affected and can be played (or reinstalled).

We are sorry for the inconvenience and will keep you updated once the fix is available.

Share this
facebooktwitterredditmail

Status Update

Hello hunters,

Welcome to our weekly status update. The open beta has been ongoing for over a week now and due to the great results we’ve decided to continue it for another day. Great job everyone, thanks to your input and efforts we’ve made some good progress.

A lot of the bugs and issues have already been fixed on live, such as spotting and tracking stats not being registered. More fixes will be included in our next patch which will probably be released next week. We continue working on the remaining issues and will keep you updated on our progress. In the meantime, if you are still experiencing the issue with your stats not being registered, please submit a detailed report here.

454_splashNow onto the compensation plan for those turbulent times following the release of Whiterime Ridge. We’ve promised everyone a hard hitting gift – it’s going to be “El Bisonte”, a  new .454 handgun. It will be released with the next patch and will be added to everyone who logs into the game for free starting from the day it is patched (the exact starting date will be announced next week) until December 20th, irrespective whether affected or not affected by the recent issues. Individual compensation for players who have been experiencing game-breaking problems will be announced and given out once we can be sure that those are fixed.

Our Halloween event is now over and 1050 hunters have successfully fought the blood thirsty beast and got the trophy. The missions are hidden now, but you can still finish the ones you’ve activated.

About 10000 players have completed our survey, which is an absolute record so far, thanks for your time and feedback hunters! There is still 1 day left until the survey closes, so if you haven’t had time to complete it, hurry up and have your say. The winners of our em$ draw will be announced in the next status update.

Happy hunting!

Discussion

Share this
facebooktwitterredditmail

Status Update

Hello hunters,

This week’s status update is coming a bit earlier due to the big event that we’re preparing for you tomorrow. A lot of issues that have been persisting since the release of Whiterime Ridge have proven that we are in need of more versatile testing, involving lots of players, different software and hardware. We are working on optimizing our QA and testing procedures as we speak, in the meantime we’ve listened to your feedback regarding inviting the community for testing and want to offer everyone interested to participate in our 2 day long open beta session. The main objectives of this stress-testing session are to test the fixes and collect data regarding game crashes and other issues introduced after the release of Whiterime Ridge which we are still struggling to find a resolution for, and to test the new waterfowl species (no details on this, just go and find out for yourself ;)). If this is successful we are planning to make such open testing events a regular thing.

2015_11_OpenBetaCall to open beta testing

  • The testing will take place on our beta server and will run for 48 hours, starting from tomorrow, November 4th, around 13:00 CET. Please note that you won’t be able to create an account before that.
  • Players will be able to hunt all animals, regardless of whether they are members or not, and will receive 12,000 em$, some waterfowl equipment and warm clothes for testing purposes.
  • Please note that items you buy on our beta server with the aforementioned em$ won’t be transferred to your actual game account.
  • After the end of the open beta your access to the server will be revoked.
  • Testing on beta won’t have any impact on your actual game stats, hunter score, leaderboard positions etc.
  • Because it’s a stress test, server hiccups are likely to happen, so your game could crash or get disconnected, response times might be longer etc.

How to participate in the testing:

  1. Starting from tomorrow, November 4th, 13:00 CET, go to http://www.thehunterbeta.com/ and create a new account.
  2. Download and install the beta game client from Downloads.
  3. Hunt. We would like to ask you to pay special attention to waterfowl hunting (on Rougarou Bayou and Hirschfelden) as well as Whiterime Ridge.

When testing on beta you are likely to see some historical testing data (competitions, leaderboards, players’ names and such). Please disregard that as this is dummy data randomly generated from our live server for testing purposes. There is also a chance that some icons and images are missing from the Beta servers so there is no need to report this.
Please report all your feedback in this thread.

Tell us what you think

thehunter_survey_2015Today we’re launching a new player survey to gather your feedback on Whiterime Ridge and some other stuff, it shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes. It will be open until 13th November noon and we’ll randomly pick 3 people who will receive 1000 em$ from us (don’t forget to add your theHunter name in you want to participate in the draw).

Take the survey

Movember update

Movember started yesterday with 4 new moustaches in the store and we’ve already sold 563! This is great, thank you for your activity for this good cause. This year we are expanding our Movember event with a personal challenge in which our devs will join the global Movember community in growing their moustaches for one month to raise awareness of men’s health. You can track their progress here and you of course are very welcome to join them!

Join the challenge

Last but not least – don’t forget about our ongoing Halloween event, the beast is not going to hunt itself 😉

Hope to see many of you tomorrow during the open beta.

Happy hunting!

Discussion

Share this
facebooktwitterredditmail

Status Update

Hello hunters,

I want to begin with an update regarding the game crashes and issues which many players are experiencing, most notably those running the game on Windows XP and Vista. Our programmers are working flat out to resolve the matter (which has been given the highest priority) but unfortunately it is proving more difficult than we had hoped. It would really help us if you could provide a detailed game crash report in this thread (please make sure to provide all the details we are asking for in the description). We realise it is not the responsibility of the community to assist in this manner, but our aim is to get the situation under control as fast as possible and your cooperation will assist us in doing so. If you are experiencing any other bugs or issues, we have a bug forum for you to report those. Bugs posted in general threads disappear in the midst of thousands of post very quickly, so we are asking you to follow the bug reporting guidelines to help us find and fix the bugs. Thank you very much for your patience and support!

We want to extend our gratitude for the fact people are sticking with theHunter during these turbulent and frustrating times. To show our appreciation we will be giving everyone, regardless of whether your game has been impacted or not, a hard-hitting gift, more on this next week. People who were not able to play the game at all will be compensated on an individual basis at a later point, once the problems are fixed.

Once again, thank you for your continued loyalty and patience. We appreciate it very much.

Halloween event

halloweenDespite the fact some of you are having troubles with the game, we thought that it would be unfair to deprive the rest of the players of the traditional Halloween event. This year’s event consists of a special mission pack with a unique trophy for those who complete all the missions. The event starts today and will run throughout next week, until November 8th. A special Halloween bundle will also be available during this time. Please note that this event was created and implemented by team members who are not involved, and cannot assist in any way, with bug fixing. Good luck!

Movember 2015

logo_movember_smallThis year we’re repeating last year’s success charity event where we, together with our community, joined the Movember movement. This year we’ll be raising funds for cancer research and awareness for men’s health again. Last year we collected $1776 in donations, let’ see whether we can beat this number this time.

In addition to our last year’s moustaches which will become available again, our artists have created another four funky ones – in styles Walrus (on the picture), the Bat, Artisan and Showstopper. Same as last year, they will cost 300 em$ and we will donate $ 2,- for every moustache purchased in our store during November. You can track our progress by the Movember ticker on the theHunter main page. TheHunter Movember campaign will start on Monday, November 2nd, and will run throughout the whole month

Walrus_01If for some reason you don’t want to buy a moustache but still want to take part in this charity event,  here is the link to the Expansive Worlds page on the Movember foundation site, where you can make a donation directly. Money donated via our Movember page will go directly to the foundation.

That’s all for today.

Happy spooky hunting!

Discussion

Share this
facebooktwitterredditmail

Whiterime Ridge Release Notes

Whiterime Ridge

The new reserve is (as you probably already knew) cold. You will need to use the free Arctic clothes (grab your set for free here) or your hunt will be quite short and miserable. Do remember that the clothes you wear will not matter if for any reason you up in the icy waters of Whiterime Ridge. Water will cause your body temperature to drop rapidly and, if you end up in the water, you will need to fast travel to a lodge for some defrosting.

Whiterime_ridge_hunter

As far as your old clothing go, check the item descriptions in the store for info on how good they are against the cold. Some have no protection, others offer some. Bear in mind that very few of the old pieces of clothing will fully protect you from the savage cold of Whiterime Ridge.

Another thing to bear in mind is that this reserve is huge. Exploring Whiterime Ridge is quite an undertaking. It is a good idea to bring a tent to your first expeditions to make the exploration easier and to find your own perfect hunting spots.

26_150Bison

The Bison is huge, powerful and very grumpy. Hunting it is not the greatest of challenges as it is quite fearless. The real challenge is in shot placement. If you mess up you will have a long tracking session ahead of you. The bison is the heaviest animal in the Evergreen Hunting Reserves and it can take a lot of damage. This is also the reason why some weapons, such as the Longbow and the .50 Cap Muzzleloader, are excluded from the list of permitted weapons. They simply lack the penetration to instantly kill a bison. It might have been all well and good in the time before ethical hunting but not in this day and age.

25_150Snowshoe Hare

This is the prey for the expert hunters! They are small, fast and extremely well camouflaged. They behave much like Cottontail Rabbits but prove more of a challenge due to their excellent camouflaged fur.

 

24_150Arctic Fox

Here is another challenge! For much of the same reason as with the Snowshoe Hare, the Arctic Fox boasts excellent camo (plus all the elusiveness you should already know from encountering their red sisters in Hemmeldal). That is, as long as you don’t encounter the blue furred variety.

 

27_150Sitka Deer

The Sitka is much like its close relative, the Blacktail. They have smaller antlers and are a tad more chubby, helping them to cope with the cold weather. Other than that, they go about their business in a similar manner to what you might expect from other deer species in the EHR.

 

Share this
facebooktwitterredditmail

Special Primal deal for theHunter players

We’ve read and discussed all the feedback we received from you following the original announcement on Friday and decided to adjust the special deal in the way we can. So, here is the new deal – every theHunter player who will buy theHunter: Primal before December 25th, 23.59 CET will receive a 12GA Pump Action Shotgun ”Primal” (in their theHunter inventories) and a 1-month-membership in theHunter. Please note that your theHunter account must be connected to Steam for you to be able to receive the shotgun and membership and they will be given out after December 25th, 2014.

Here is what you have to do in order to get a deal:
1. Buy Primal before the end of December 25th.
2. Connect your theHunter account to Steam before the end of December 25th (here you can find instructions how to do it)
3. Important: Start theHunter before the end of December 25th, after your account has been connected to Steam.
4. Optional: If you want, you may disconnect your account from Steam right after you’ve done steps 1-3 (you can do under Account Settings > Steam Settings in your launcher)

Please note that in this promotion runs for one year, until December 25th, 2015. Requests received after that will be not granted.

shotgun_primal_12ga_1024

Happy hunting!

Expansive Worlds Staff

Share this
facebooktwitterredditmail

Introducing theHunter: Primal

theHunter Primal

Dear Hunters,

In a few weeks we will be releasing a brand new standalone product called theHunter: Primal.

Since we highly value our close relationship with all the players of theHunter, and are planning to continue working in this way in the future, we would like to give you a little insight and background to this project. It started off with a couple of our interns playing around with our engine, but has grown into something much bigger. Angrier. Hungrier. We call it theHunter: Primal.

In the last couple of years we have received numerous requests to add dinosaurs to theHunter. We’ve always felt that a game around hunting dinosaurs in a Jurassic environment could potentially be a lot of fun, but also worried that it would undermine the realism and credibility of theHunter, qualities that made many players fall in love with the game.

Even within the studio, dinosaurs has been a frequent topic of discussion. It really took off as a small breakout team started creating a dinosaur game as a side project, working after hours and over weekends. Avalanche Studios and Expansive Worlds management supported the initiative and offered the group of enthusiasts to use the Avalanche Engine that you know and love from theHunter, as the official development platform.

Primal_landscape

The project as a testing ground

As you might have noticed from our regular updates, we actively support game development educational institutions. We have a long term commitment to several post graduate schools in Sweden and our aim is to have interns from these schools on our team at all times. In fact, many of the current EW staff started as interns and were then hired full-time.

theHunter: Primal, internally also known as “Project Flintastek” (ask a Swedish friend), has become an excellent side project for our interns to dig into, with some help and support provided by mentors from the full-time EW staff. This collaboration has become a safe isolated development environment where new items and gameplay features were born and tested. In fact, some of the findings from this project have inspired new additions to theHunter.

Since everyone who touched the project in one way or another seemed to be really enjoying it, we thought it would be a shame not to give it the extra love it deserved and release it to the general public. So, in the last few months a part of Expansive Worlds, with some help of Avalanche Studios and our interns, have been working to create a first playable version of the game. We’re happy to report that it will be released on Steam before Christmas.

We know how passionate our players are about theHunter, and that there might be some concern that this new project will overshadow it. We are here to put your worries to rest.

Primal_utahraptors

Our continued commitment to theHunter

theHunter is still the priority of Expansive Worlds. It has been enjoyed by over 4.5 million players from more than 190 countries since its release in 2009. Many of our staff members joined the company specifically to work on theHunter and further improve the most realistic hunting experience ever made. During the last five years, theHunter has grown from its initial 3 species and one reserve (Whitehart Island), to feature 8 immersive reserves, 20 species, 41 different weapons and more than a hundred different pieces of hunting equipment – and we are not even close to being done!

Having such a great community behind us, with several thousand new hunters joining each day, Expansive Worlds is committed to theHunter for many years to come. There is still so much that we would like to add to the game, not only in the form of new equipment, species and reserves, but also brand new gameplay features to enhance the hunting and wildlife experience even further.

theHunter: Primal is a side project for the Expansive Worlds studio, that will be released as a one-off payment product, in contrast to theHunter which is a service featuring continuous development and expansion. We hope that theHunter: Primal will complement the regular hunting experience of some of our players, as the game is a little more fast paced and has more focus on survival and exploration. Not to mention hunting (or in fact being hunted by) dinosaurs.

During the development of theHunter: Primal we’ve made discoveries and created content that we believe may benefit theHunter, in the future, including:

  • Revamped high quality player models
  • A significant overhaul of the environment audio system
  • Improved intra-species communication
  • Improved intra-species interaction
  • Improved animal behaviour including better attack behaviours

We are looking forward to your continued feedback and ideas related not only theHunter but also its newly born (and very cranky) little brother or sister, theHunter: Primal.

As a theHunter player, you’ll receive a special offer on theHunter: Primal. Expect to hear more on this later.

For news and updates on theHunter: Primal, make sure to like it on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

Happy future dino hunting!

Expansive Worlds staff

Comments

 

Share this
facebooktwitterredditmail

T-Rex on theHunter.com: What really happened

Dear Hunters,

On Saturday night two images of a dinosaur appeared on our home page announcing that T-Rex is a new species in theHunter. Those images were not official and were posted by an unauthorized person. Thanks to the community, we discovered them quickly and took them down. The developers responded immediately and, following a thorough investigation, the issue was resolved within a couple of hours.

A community member and player had discovered a slight security loophole in the method we use to add banner images to our main page and, instead of reporting it to the Expansive Worlds team (as required by our Terms and Conditions) he used it to add those unauthorized images. We know the personal details of the culprit and the necessary legal actions against him will be taken. (Legal actions will be taken for violating paragraphs 10, 13, 20, 21, 22 of our Terms and Conditions which the player agreed to when registering at theHunter.com.) We want to thank those members of the community who helped us to identify the player.

To reiterate, this minor vulnerability was only affecting one small web-function for posting images and had nothing to do with the game itself or our database, hence we were not hacked. As far as access to sensitive data is concerned, no one has had any access to our database or our data in any way, thus you can be sure that your account details have not been compromised. To address the password question which has been touched upon numerous times in the community over the weekend, all passwords in our database are safely encrypted. Another important concern we want to reassure you about is that we never store any payment details on our servers. All payments are handled by our payment providers exclusively, so your details are safe.

A detailed technical description of what has happened:

The method for adding a banner image on theHunter.com is a part of our web API. One of the authentication layers of this API was missing, making it possible for someone to post an image by using a certain URL with some parameters added to it. The URL for adding banner images was guessable for someone determined enough to find it, and in this case the culprit would have had to make a HTTP POST request towards the URL in question, adding the title, link, image and so on, as parameters. Authentication has now been added to prevent further exploits.

We completely understand the security concerns that were raised in the community following this incident, however we want reassure you that it’s only one small web-function that had a vulnerability and we’ve taken all the necessary steps to ensure nothing like this can happen again in the future.

Best regards,

theHunter team

Share this
facebooktwitterredditmail

Status Update

Howdy Hunters!

We’re finally back from the Christmas vacations and, man, it feels good. We’re thrilled to tell you that we have grown – again! As many as three new people have joined theHunter team – Alena, who will be taking care of the community, a new Backend developer Adam, and a new intern Jonathan. Check out their stories below and give them a warm welcome in the forum.

We are very aware of the server issues and we’re working on fixing them as fast as we can. Herman and Emil has been doing some serious hardcore digging over Christmas to find the root of the evilness, and we’re now planning to move the game server to a more stable environment within a month or so. As a bonus, while digging, Emil and Herman has found a bunch of stuff, that they’ve fixed, that has had a positive effect on the games performance.

Alena

alena-rybik

Hi there, my name is Alena Rybik and I am your new community manager, as apparently it has been already leaked 😉 I’ve been lurking in the forums for quite a while now and I have to say that I’m very happy and humbled to be working with such an amazing community. My plan (and my hope) is to develop theHunter’s community and the dialogue between the team and the players in an even more constructive and fun way. The community has been such a big part of theHunter’s development and this fact was actually the biggest selling point for me when deciding to take on this job.

A couple of words about myself: I was born and raised in Belarus, lived and studied in Germany before settling down here, in Stockholm. I love online communities, all things web, games and languages. When not hanging out on the Internets I spend time traveling, exploring Sweden, snowboarding (typing this with my left hand due to a broken right :) and chatting to random people about life, the universe and everything.

I’d like to get to know all of you, so please do shoot me a PM if you have any questions, concerns or ideas, I’m the person to talk to and will be happy to do so. I still have to learn all the ins and outs of the game and the community, so please bear with me for the time being. Looking forward to this journey together with you!

Adam

adam-svanbergHi everyone, my name is Adam Svanberg and I’ve just started working on the Backend/Web team at Expansive Worlds. My academic background is in computational linguistics, and I worked a few years for a company called OpenAmplify, building a text analysis API. As I started getting more interested in general web development I moved on to an online marketing company, where we built all kinds of cool stuff using Python/Django. Off the clock, I used to spend most of my time either vacationing in an open world RPG, Skyrim obviously being my latest choice, or hacking away at some side-project. But for the last year and a half, free time is usually spent hanging out with my son Sam, who keeps me sleep deprived but happy.

Jonathan

jonathanGreetings!

My name is Jonathan, I’m joining the awesome team at Expansive Worlds as a creature artist intern.

For all my life I’ve had this strong fascination with nature, growing up we used to spend the summers in the Swedish archipelago, tenting and exploring the forests, this passion combined with my nerdiness for anatomy and artistry is what I hope will be reflected in the animals I’ll be making for the game.

With a background in fine arts and +5 years of art and sculpture studies, one of my main goals have been proficiency in human and animal anatomy, form and color – making the design as appealing and believable as possible. I love creating characters and creatures, this is something I’ve done since primary school, drawing and sculpting.

I’m looking forward to being part of the team bringing you new wildlife for this unique game experience.

Comments

Share this
facebooktwitterredditmail