Introducing Tobii Eye Tracking in theHunter

2015_07_toby_large

As we’ve mentioned in one of our status updates, we’ve partnered with the Swedish company Tobii to bring their sophisticated eye tracking system into theHunter and with today’s game update that integration is finally live!

From now on, if you have Tobii’s nifty EyeX gadget, you can control certain aspects of the game by moving just your eyes. The camera will pan to what you are looking at, which will bring a new intuitive experience when scanning the terrain for animals to hunt. It is even possible to raise your weapon with your eyes. Using traditional controls (keyboard and mouse) you navigate the same as always, except now, as you look to the left of the environment so will your character – all without breaking stride. This is called ‘Infinite Screen’ because no longer are you restricted to the size of your monitor to explore the territory freely. As a player, not only do you feel more immersed in your environment, you now have the ability to become more aware of your surroundings as you explore the unknown.

You can customize the EyeX settings in the Options menu in-game to make it behave exactly as you want. Note that these options are only visible if you have the EyeX connected with the relevant drivers installed (for any hardware-related issues please contact Tobii support).

Here’s how one theHunter player who has been helping us to test eye tracking describes it:

“The Eye Tracking software was a great surprise – it was technology that I wasn’t sure about initially, but I ended up really liking it the more I used it. It’s very configurable and aiming by closing one eye is really immersive to the entire hunting experience. Watching the view move as I scanned my peripheral for animals really makes you feel like you’re actually there, and helps keep track of any animals you may have otherwise missed as you walk around. Waterfowl and pheasant hunting is a blast with this technology, and makes leading them a bit easier as well. One of my favorite experiences with it was soon after I first got it up and running, had jumped into Whitehart Island, and was tracking a herd of Roosevelt Elk – sitting motionless both in game and in real life, and having my view change to follow them without touching anything was incredibly immersive and fantastic, and I found myself holding my breath in real life.”

You can purchase your Tobii EyeX here for just $99 (regular price $139) using the code TheHunter. When playing theHunter with Tobii EyeX installed for the first time, you’ll receive a special Tobii Eyemaster membership bundle bundle which includes a 14 day membership, 12 GA Pump Action shotgun, Male Mallard Decoys, Waterfowl Blind and a Sneaky 3D Summer Swamp outfit.
Happy hunting!

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Introducing the new species in theHunter – Non-Typical Rabbit!

Howdy hunters,

When we introduced the Non-Typical Antlers for Whitetail Deer back in January, we promised to add them for any other animal for whom it makes sense as well. As this feature was highly appreciated by the community, we’ve decided to enhance the Non-Typical portfolio of theHunter species and today we’re happy to present its next instalment – the Non-Typical Rabbit! You can hunt it in Logger’s Point, Settler Creeks, Bushrangers Run and Val-des-Bois, hope you’ll enjoy it!

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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

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Introducing the new theHunter launcher

With an aim to make theHunter more unified and intuitive, we’ve carried out an overhaul of our launcher and added new functionality and a completely different look.

The new launcher will look like theHunter.com website, with everything but the Downloads tab available and accessible from within. This means you will be able to log into the new launcher as you would to the website, and navigate the web interface (store, profiles, stats etc.) while it downloads and installs the game / patches. Clicking on external links will open your default browser. You will still be able to log into theHunter.com website, as usual. The new launcher will have a different background image, for you not to confuse it with the actual website.

With the new launcher installer available on the Downloads page, you will be able to create a shortcut, so you won’t need to access the website at all to start a game. It’ll be possible to do so from within the launcher by clicking the Hunt Now button which will open the drop down menu with Singleplayer and Multiplayer game options, currently available on the website. The Hunt Now button on the website will also be adjusted; instead of showing the drop down menu, it will now open the new launcher.

The new launcher will be released tomorrow, on May 28th 2014. You won’t need to download it separately, it’s going to be available as a part of our regular patch. If you run into a problem when installing the update, try to download and reinstall the launcher from the Downloads. For launchers older than 6.2.2 the installation wizard will open, in that case just click the Next button until the installation is done.

Here are some screenshots of the new launcher:

New Launcher New Launcher extracting New Launcher Full Download New Launcher Full Download 2 New Launch Patch

Looking forward to your feedback on the new launcher and happy hunting!

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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

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Sneak peek: Ultimate hat for the ultimate goose hunting experience!

Howdy Hunters,

As you know, we’ve always been striving to make theHunter the most realistic hunting game ever, so we thought you’d share our sheer excitement about the release of a new item, which is going to bring genuine, cutting-edge realism to your goose hunting experience.

This video is just a sneak peek for you to know what we’re up to, the actual release date will be announced soon.

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Introducing theHunter emotes

Feel like giving someone thumbs up after a great hunt? We’ve got you covered! It’s today that we’re rolling out our new feature – emotes. Now your in-game character can make a whole bunch of gestures, such as wave, listen, ask someone to move or stop by using a hand, give thumbs up and down. In order to be able to make those gestures, you have to be a member.

To activate emotes, press the ‘T’ key and choose the gesture you want to make.

theHunter emotes

We hope that this feature will add a fun real-life touch to your hunting experience. Go crazy 😉

Share your thoughts and profile pictures featuring emotes in this thread.

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About mobile payments

UPDATED LIST. Since some of you have missed mobile payments we’ve, in collaboration with our payment partner, added a few new options in some countries. Please see the list below to see what offers are available in what countries. Our aim is to add more options over time.

In some countries, like the US, the carriers don’t support Premium SMS, we are however working on getting some kind of coverage up and running there as well. We have no idea of how fast this can happen, especially with the Holiday season coming up.

 Country   Em$ Packages  Starter Bundles  Basic Memberships
 Azerbaijan  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Austria  1000 Em$  2000 Em$  3000 Em$    Wayfarer  Pathfinder    3 months  6 months  
 Belarus  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Belgium  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Bosnia-Herz.  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Brazil  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Bulgaria  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Canada  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Chile  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Colombia  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Croatia  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Czech Republic  1000 Em$  2000 Em$  3000 Em$    Wayfarer      3 months  6 months  
 Denmark  1000 Em$  2000 Em$  3000 Em$    Wayfarer      3 months  6 months  
 Finland  1000 Em$  2000 Em$  3000 Em$    Wayfarer      3 months  6 months  
 Estonia  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 France  1000 Em$  2000 Em$  3000 Em$    Wayfarer      3 months  6 months  
 Georgia  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Greece  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Germany  1000 Em$  2000 Em$  3000 Em$    Wayfarer      3 months  6 months  
 Hungary  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Indonesia  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Italy  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Ireland  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Israel  1000 Em$  2000 Em$  3000 Em$  5000 Em$  Wayfarer  Pathfinder    3 months  6 months  12 month
 Japan  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Kazakhstan  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Korea (Republic of)  1000 Em$  2000 Em$  3000 Em$  5000 Em$  Wayfarer  Pathfinder  Trailrunner  3 months  6 months  12 month
 Latvia  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Lithuania  1000 Em$  2000 Em$  3000 Em$    Wayfarer      3 months  6 months  
 Mexico  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Moldova  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Netherlands  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer          
 New Zealand  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Norway  1000 Em$  2000 Em$  3000 Em$    Wayfarer      3 months  6 months  
 Poland  1000 Em$  2000 Em$  3000 Em$    Wayfarer      3 months  6 months  
 Portugal  1000 Em$  2000 Em$  3000 Em$    Wayfarer      3 months  6 months  
 Romania  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Russia  1000 Em$  2000 Em$  3000 Em$    Wayfarer      3 months  6 months  
 Serbia  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Singapore    2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Spain  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Slovakia  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Slovenia  1000 Em$  2000 Em$  3000 Em$    Wayfarer      3 months  6 months  
 South Africa  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Sweden  1000 Em$  2000 Em$  3000 Em$    Wayfarer      3 months  6 months  
 Switzerland  1000 Em$  2000 Em$  3000 Em$    Wayfarer  Pathfinder    3 months  6 months  
 Taiwan  1000 Em$  2000 Em$  3000 Em$    Wayfarer      3 months  6 months  
 Thailand  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Tunisia  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    
 Turkey  1000 Em$  2000 Em$  3000 Em$  5000 Em$  Wayfarer  Pathfinder    3 months  6 months  
 United Kindom  1000 Em$  2000 Em$      Wayfarer      3 months    

 

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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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