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Jeg forudsiger et Plunder Riot - Hyenas interview

Vi taler med Creative Assembly for at lære mere om deres kommende plyndring FPS-titel, alt sammen i løbet af vores tid i Köln til Gamescom 2023.

Audio transcriptions

"Hello everyone and welcome back to Gamereactor.
As you can see right now, we're standing in the Sega booth, right in the Hyenas sort of spot, and I'm standing here with Alex to talk a little bit about that very game."

"Now Alex, you know you've been working on this game for a while now, and I finally just had a chance to see it and play it for the first time, and I'm really excited to ask you a few questions about it.
So first things first, tell me about Hyenas, how did it come to be, what was the inspiration behind this game?
Hey, yeah, so Hyenas, it's a sci-fi shooter, and really it's come to be from Creative Assembly, we like to do new things, we like to explore genres we haven't explored before."

"So when it came to, hey, we want to go make an FPS, but we want to do our version of it, we want to make it different, and we really started focusing around the mode first, right?
So sitting there going like, we've seen a bunch of new modes emerge over the years, how can we create what we'd like a first-person shooter mode to be?
And then on top of that, what universe would we like to set it in?
So it's a combination of a really cool new universe and setting on top of an entirely new first-person shooter game mode."

"And it feels like there's a lot of sort of crossovers between what we've seen as of late in the shooter space, right?
You have those sort of arena shooter vibes, matched with almost battle royale-esque looting."

"Was that the sort of aim when you were creating Hyenas, to sort of merge those sort of sub-genres?
We didn't really see that as a restriction, it was more a case of, let's start exploring modes, and absolutely you kind of draw inspiration from other games that you're playing, but it's really about kind of looking down at the paper in front of you and going, what kind of mode can we create?
And kind of riffing on that."

"So yeah, we're aware that there are elements of it, but mostly it's our own thing.
And the really exciting part about Hyenas is the fact that there's all these different sort of brands clashing in this game."

"So, I mean, you know, it's all sort of Sega games as well that have been sort of, you know, weaved into this title.
So what was it like working with Sega?
You know, how did they allow you to do this?
Was it really, did they just open the doors, you know, open the floodgates, let you touch whatever you want?
They've been so amazing."

"Yeah, so Sega obviously have been super, super supportive in allowing us to work with their franchises and their IPs.
And for us, it was really, it was the perfect partnership.
The entire setting of Hyenas is it's a not-so-distant future where the world's gone to crap."

"And as part of that, streaming services, every way that we kind of consume content at the moment, it's gone.
So everything goes back to the mechanical, to the tangible.
So for us, I'm not sure if you've ever seen Zombieland, but it's kind of the what's your last Twinkie kind of energy."

"So, all right, in the apocalypse, am I going after a gold bar?
Am I going after a diamond ring?
Probably not.
I'm probably going to go after something that's more personal."

"And obviously, as you say, Sega's got a wealth of things that really speak to that, on top of other partnerships that we've got outside of Sega as well.
But to sit there and go, am I going to go, you know, loot someone for a Mega Drive in the apocalypse?
Yeah, I'm going to do that."

"And it's quite interesting as well that, you know, this is a game that's coming from Creative Assembly, who's in the past been known mostly for sort of strategy games.
I mean, granted, don't get me wrong, Alien Isolation, fantastic, different titles like that."

"But what was it like going and all of a sudden making this sort of shooter experience?
It's great, right?
I think the awesome thing about this industry and Creative Assembly is kind of a real focus point of that is creativity and problem-solving in general."

"So it was a space that, yeah, we've not been in before, but you called out two franchises that we had to branch out and do our version of.
So for us, it was a really exciting opportunity and to kind of take all the problem-solving skills and design skills and art skills and everything that we've got as a team and apply it to an entirely new genre was super fun."

"And tell me a little bit about the characters then.
You know, there's a whole bunch of different characters, all do different things.
What was the process behind that and how have you looked to make them all feel really special and different?
I mean, we're so proud of our range of characters."

"For us, it was about creating this real spread of individuals that kind of feel somewhat grounded, but also they're out of place in this weird universe and space, right?
So that was really, really fun for us."

"And it was about kind of starting with a place of either a weapon or either a character and then kind of building from there and then sitting there going, what would they be like, feel like?
How would they respond to this universe?
And then creating the characters up around that, working really, really hard with consultants to make sure that we're getting the representation of these characters right and making sure it feels authentic."

"But really, we had a lot of fun creating these personalities.
We've got a huge cast.
My personal favorite is Galaxia, who is our kind of tank drag queen who can, you know, take, absorb energy and blasts and then fire them back at people and really is at the front with her shotgun."

"But outside of her, we've got a whole bunch of characters.
My second favorite is Digits, our metal head, who weaponizes pyrotechnics in the apocalypse to create this area of denial and shut people down."

"So in fact, we've just introduced this new gameplay mechanic that really partners with partners of our abilities.
So over the course of the alpha, which has been great to kind of get that early feedback from players, what we found was our special abilities, although they felt great, it was a case of going, how can we make these deeper?
How can we make these feel more unique?
And Digits is my favorite example of that."

"So that pyrotechnic disc that I spoke about, it's area of denial.
It sets you on fire if you get too close.
That's cool.
But if someone does catch on fire and then you kill them, they explode into flames and then everybody around them catches fire."

"And you can see how that then escalates and cascades.
We call that perk, let's have a barbecue.
I love it.
But really, it's using those kind of additional perks alongside our special abilities to really make characters feel deep and unique from a gameplay perspective as well."

"And that's been so much fun.
It's kind of the last most recent change that we've made to really push characters and specialists and make them feel different."

"And one of the key parts of the gameplay as well, aside from the looting and the sort of gathering merch so that you can sort of amass value, one of the key things is the zero-g gameplay."

"So what was that like going from making a game where it has to feel fluid and it has to feel fast-paced and thrilling on foot, but then all of a sudden you take away that and you're flying around, you're zooming around in the sky."

"So what was that like, trying to merge those two areas?
It's a great challenge, right?
And we really wanted to create a unique movement for a first-person shooter."

"So that fluidity that you're talking about, a lot of our characters, we focus on what we call an evade archetype, which is really about how they can move around the map in unique ways to get one up on the opponents or one up on the environments."

"And zero-g was just the perfect way to do that.
And like I said, through Alpha, we've iterated and we've tried to feel what's right.
We started with more of a hook mechanic, which is more about tethering you to spaces and pulling it closely."

"And as you play today, we've gone for more of this jetpack mechanic with some inertia to be able to hold and do some cool trick shots.
And that journey and playing around with zero-g as a mechanic internally has been really fun, but then getting that into the hands of our Alpha players and seeing them respond and say, this feels good, this feels really challenging, and being able to have fun with balancing that and creating these unique moments in terms of, as you would have seen, transitioning from on-foot gameplay to at the shoot of a Switch, everything's up in zero-g."

"And the moments that creates in terms of gameplay, it's really unique, it's really fun, and we're loving seeing the stories and the moments that are emerging as part of that."

"And how have you built Hyenas then to, you know, the shooter sort of genre is quite an interesting one where you have really talented players who want the most competitive experience as possible, but you also have to design the game so that it's suitable to sort of, you know, accessible and people who may be not so familiar with the genre."

"So how have you looked to tackle that sort of problem with Hyenas?
It's a really interesting challenge, and every game that's even remotely competitive, you want to make sure that you've got that on-ramp that players can get their hands on it, but also you want to keep it competitively viable."

"It's something we've continued to balance during Alpha as well, right, as we understand how players are interacting with the game, they always surprise you and deliver mechanics in ways that we don't expect."

"So us, it's really about talking to our players and understanding their experience, where they're finding challenges in terms of either comprehension or gameplay, and really designing solutions and finding ways to make sure that the experience remains compelling no matter what kind of competency level you sit at."

"And we're continuing to do that.
We're really looking forward to going into Beta next week, in fact, and seeing how even more players jump on and continue to make sure that's balanced and more and more people can play Hyenas and enjoy it."

"And you mentioned there that, you know, the Beta is next week by the time you see this interview.
Maybe this week. What's next?
You know, we've heard of Hyenas for quite a while at this point."

"When will we be seeing the game, or when will you be looking to put it in the hands of fans?
Totally. So what we've really focused on throughout the last year as Alpha is getting ourselves to a point that we're confident taking this game to scale."

"And now we're in what we're calling our Beta phase.
It starts on August 31st, and that's our main focus at the moment is playing with players at a large scale.
And that's really the start of our Beta journey as we find out more and more from the players and we continue to iterate."

"So that's really the focus at the moment.
And then the last question then.
Obviously, you're sort of keeping it close to the chest right now as to when Hyenas is actually going to come out."

"But tell me about what's going to be the plan post-launch.
I know we're looking well in the future at this point, but how are you going to continue to support Hyenas down the line?
Totally. So right now, obviously we're focusing on Beta, but you've played the game, and really it's just about expanding that universe out in any which way we can."

"And understanding through the Beta and beyond what players are responding with and enjoying and really going and focusing on that.
We're really keen on making this kind of a community-driven game."

"So Beta is the first stop of us starting that conversation with our community wholesale, and then we'll see what happens.
We'll see what happens. Well, there you have it.
Hyenas, you can check out the Beta probably now by the time you see this interview, so make sure to check that out and tell everyone what you think about it."

"Otherwise, we'll hopefully hear more about Hyenas in the future and when we can actually dive into it in its full capacity.
But anyway, thank you, Alex, for being here.
Yeah. We'll see you on the next Game Raptor interview."