Australia is world renowned for having the deadliest collection of creatures on the planet on the best of days. Add an apocalypse and an accelerated rate of evolution, and you have yourself Huntsmen, a game concept currently driving two artists turned aspiring game designers.
Huntsmen is a single player FPS - RPG hybrid focusing on exploration, combat, and the manipulation of the evolving ecosystem inhabiting the game world. You will have to navigate the challenges posed by the animals, environment, and human NPCs in an ever changing ecosystem that reacts to your presence directly.
Set in a post apocalyptic vision of the remnants of a coastal Australian inspired city, it will include densely packed urban areas scattered around a mixture of bushland, desert, beach and underwater landscapes. The human population has decreased to a crisis point with the collapse of civil society, pitching the remainder of humanity in a constant battle for resources against the elements and each other. With this decline in human activity, previously assumed extinct animals have once again flourished and now roam the landscape at will.
Our vision of Huntsmen's gameplay is -
-A diverse simulated ecosystem that reacts to your presence in the game world by changing spawn levels, animal NPC behaviour and visuals according to your actions, and randomly places landmarks with every new playthrough
-exploration of the game world and mysterious backstory including unlocking new areas via puzzles,
-combat ranging from brutal melee to intense firefights,
-gathering and utilizing resources by crafting weapons, armour and shelters to defensive structures,
-cultivation of crops for survival,
-acquiring 'pets' and 'companion' NPCs
A central mechanic of Huntsmen is the simulated ecosystem / evolution system we are proposing. It will enable the mutation of all animals through prolonged gameplay, and is dependent on player choices and actions. Players will have the choice of whether to kill an animal they encounter or leave it, thereby affecting the population levels and by extension the likeliness of encountering a particular variant of the animal again.
The system would allow you to essentially control the direction of an animal's evolution through the direct application of bullets to NPCs. That is to say, you control what features become dominant in a species by killing the rest.
Dynamic Systems as a core feature
We want players to develop their own stories through the use of numerous dynamic systems such as the evolution system previously explained. Another system we want to implement is a randomiser that ensures all human NPCs encountered have a goal they are working towards, along with a random assortment of clothing and items. All NPCs will have a random distribution of personality and behavioural traits, which will also be indirectly subject to manipulation via the evolution system in the case of animals. If you want to stalk an NPC across the map and wait for them to go to sleep before making your move, that will be an option.
We also want to have a diverse weather system that includes extreme weather conditions common to the Australian continent such as floods, dust storms, fire and hail, along with other situations that requires the player to seek adequate shelter. We want to essentially simulate the Australian landscape whilst providing an immersive and dynamic game experience for you to get lost in.
The current concept level has been built around Unity 4, however we hope to utilise CryEngine 3 in the event of funding, and if proves to be the best fit.
We are two indie game designers operating under the name of Hermit Mode. We are based in Sydney and have been working on Huntsmen for over 8 months conceptualising all the systems that will make up the game, modelling and acquiring assets. At this point, we are in need of funds to hire programmers and professional artists to bring our vision to life. We are grateful for the opportunities Kickstarter has enabled and are hoping that the idea is attractive to you.
In the event that we are successful beyond our expectations, we have some plans that have been presently excluded. We will define them if we are able to surpass our funding goal.
$???? - P2P Co-op Multiplayer
$???? - Huntsmen turns into a persistent online game world where all the systems described are scaled up to a 50 player map, with the ability to play as some animals.
Risks and challenges
UPDATE - 14/11
Hi everyone, we would first like to thank you for all the support and interest we have received so far. Thank you especially to all the backers, your faith in our idea is very much appreciated.
We just wanted to clarify some things for you -
We are two designers by trade with no programming experience beyond our ability to set up the scene shown in the media on this page. We are self taught modellers that have an idea that we have been working on for almost a year, creating and purchasing assets out of our own pocket. Our plan is to utilise existing engines such as Unity, which has a wealth of plugins that contain core features which eliminate the need to build from the ground up whilst using the library of models we have created and acquired. We believe that our goal is achievable when taking this into consideration, and thank you for your interest.
We have been working on getting this project off the ground for 8 months now, and have invested a lot of time, effort and money into it. We believe it is an innovative idea that carries its own risks due to the nature of the dynamic systems we want to utilise. The amount of time we have spent planning the limits of the systems and game gives us the confidence that we will deliver a fun, new take on the survival FPS genre. We have set the goal at 200k because we want to be able to hire quality programmers and artists to ensure that standards of quality are not only met but exceeded.
At the moment it's for PC so we can focus on creating the best game possible. We are aiming on using Unity, which has multiplatform capabilities and therefore hope to be able to expand onto other platforms.
Enjoy ownership (digital distribution) of one copy of the completed game at a cheaper price than retail , along with 3x concept art wallpapers, and your name in the credits. We also promise to think about you for an entire hour.
Thanks to your generous assistance, you get access to a BETA build, along with ownership of one copy of the game (digital distribution), 3x concept art wallpapers and your name in the credits. We will also whisper your name, gently, at night.
This is flavour country. To thank you, you get the ability to play with your own face in the game. After you give us the required photos, we will model your head into a playable model for use in the final game! You will also have access to the BETA build, along with (digital distribution) ownership of the game, 3x concept art wallpaper and your name in the credits. At this point, you will be in our dreams, but not because of the endless hours of modelling. Because of love.
You obviously have placed a lot of trust and hope in us and our idea, therefore we think you deserve the same. You get to design an animal (name and look within the restrictions of context) along with: 3x concept art wallpapers, your name in the credits, access to the beta, your face as a 3d model for use in the game, and we will also personally hand write a letter of thanks which may or may not include the usage of kitten stickers.
Seems like you desperately want this to happen! To reward your insane amount of help, you will get to design your own character from the ground up, so you can stroll through a post apocalyptic 'coastal city' as whatever you like (within the confines of good taste, morality, and legal standing that is). You will also get all other rewards, but dinosaur stickers instead of kittens.
Plus all forms of undying love mentioned above.
We're going to assume you have been walking around Sydney in a gasmask waiting for the day to be able to play in it virtually. To reward your faith: Design a town, plus the 'gang' that controls it. Includes all other tiers:
-your face modeled for use in the game,
-design your character from the ground up,
-Have your name listed in credits under 'Good Friend',
-Personalised gift package including promo gear, and your designed character with your head 3D printed as a display figurine