From today, Founders are able to download and preview the first Core Update to The Forge, Hunter & Hunted. H&H brings in the first version of a number of key features including the Mavericks Game Mode, tracking capabilities, and the game's social hub, The Capital.
It's exciting to see how The Forge has developed as we get to this milestone, especially as we look to bring in the first non-Founders to the game; the first 100,000 sign-ups from E3 2018. During this first week, Founders will be able to preview the Hunter & Hunted before we add in further optimised and additional features in the coming weeks with the introduction of the large-scale player base.
Hunter & Hunted
In H&H, players can now enjoy a first-look at the new tracking capabilities, following other players' blood trails, discarded magazines or bandaging, footprints, and uncover signs of foliage displacements. Although other FPS games do not traditionally have these features, we feel they allow players to invest a lot more in the world which allows for a far greater reward.
These features give players options with how they approach situations intuitively in-game, allowing players to adapt and change their tactics and strategies quickly. For example, if someone's footprints are visible, or bandaging/blood trails are present, players don't need to be told what those signs mean and can make judgment-based decisions off-the-back of it.
Starting next week, we'll be adding further updates particularly to do with the map and objectives. The planned map updates will make the Isle of Dern a much more beautiful setting for Mavericks. Objectives are also being added allowing players to have specific milestones to accomplish and achieve greater rewards.
From Launch to Present
We changed from our planned closed beta because we realised we could do so much more than the vertical slice, the beta, that was announced at E3 2018. We didn't communicate updates effectively, but since the launch of The Forge in November, we have been working hard to build a strong relationship with Founders, who have been integral to the development process to this point.
The game is still very early in development. Mavericks is only 1.5 years into its' development cycle whereas most AAA-games launch after 3-5 years in the shop being worked on and refined. We have brought Founders in now because we can learn from feedback (both from players and analytics) and make informed decisions based on that information. We reaffirmed the mission behind Mavericks in November and remind players of this today.
This is the main reason why the game is still covered by a Non-Disclosure Agreement [NDA] which all players must adhere to. We are looking to lift this as soon as possible and will communicate this to all players in due course. If you are unsure of anything to do with Mavericks, review our Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ] or email us at email@example.com.
As a studio, we've benefited significantly from this direct feedback, much of which has already been brought into the game. We've learned a significant amount from analytics and communication loop which has made the game far more collaborative and, over the long-term, will make Mavericks far more fun.
As part of this new Core Update, we will be inviting the first non-Founders into The Forge. The first 100,000 sign ups from E3 will be invited into The Forge starting in March, allowing us to fully test the game at scale. Players will be notified via email of their eligibility in advance of being able to play and download the game. If you do not receive an email but feel you are part of that original 100,000 player cohort, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This first week of the Hunter & Hunted is a preview to Founders, allowing them to test and trial features before we start bringing in further players. From next week carrying on into March, E3 sign-ups will be invited to play the game. In-line with this change, we have made a number of adjustments to our Forum and Discord channels so that E3 and Founders can engage in discussion about The Forge without the risk of accidentally violating the NDA in a public channel.