We hard-core gamers have probably all done it – making jokes at the expense of the popularity of hunting games on the market, and how poorly those titles look and play. Those games are for backwards folks who don't know a computer game from a Jerry Springer show, you probably thought.
That may be so, but the fact remains: These games are making money hand over fist. And companies have taken notice, with several developers launching their own outdoorsman products.
Not to be left behind, ASC Games is prepping its own title for release this fall, but with a twist that may actually bring hard-core gamers into the hunting game fold.
"There's definitely a fashion of players out there who aren't interested in Mysteries of the Sith or other games," said Travis Williams, executive producer of TNN Outdoors at ASC. "There is a market out there that buys Myst and Deer Hunter. Maybe if we catered a little more to them, we can broaden the (games) market."
So, ASC and developer DreamForge Entertainment is trying to do just that, using the same engine that powered Epic Megagame's Unreal to smash status will now power a world of trees and fields and big gamein TNN Outdoors Pro Hunter.
It all started with a joke among the guys as ASC, who were taking an early peek at Unreal before the game was released. While playing the game, someone looked up in the sky, zoomed in with the sniper rifle, and picked off a few birds. An idea was born.
"The more we thought about it," said Travis Williams, executive producer of the game, "the more it made sense."
Using the Unreal engine, the game definitely will have the graphic edge on its competitors. And Dreamforge Entertainment, the game's developers, were able to use Unreal's network and Internet options to add multi-player enhancements not yet seen in hunting games.
The games features include:
- Nine types of wild game to hunt including: small game (rabbit, quail, squirrel), big game (deer, elk, turkey) and migratory birds (ducks, dove, geese). Adding to the realism, each creature possesses “hit regions” and Artificial Intelligence that accurately depicts their true-to-life animal behavior in the wild.
- The debut of the new Active Wildlife Environment (A.W.E) which will affect each hunting situation including: varying climate, temperature, weather and ground conditions (leaves versus snow), scurrying animals active within the terrain.
- Dynamic game play options, including a huge variety and classes of weapons to choose from such as handguns, shotguns and compound bows, weapon attachments, equipment, and gear to enhance the thrill of the hunting experience.
- Hunting dogs to aid in the hunt and help flush out their prey.
- Players will be able to freely explore detailed and lush 3D environments over a wide selection of terrain types and seasons.
- Hunt with or against others in training, tournament, multi-player, or online modes.
- Two levels of play – beginner and hunter.
With the Unreal engine likely to draw in some hard-core gamers, a multi-player component playable over heat.net, and a TNN license for added publicity, TNN Outdoors Pro Hunter could be the first cross-over hunting hit when it comes to store shelves in November.