Recently I got to speak with Jon Jacob at Neverdie Studios about their new free to play, MMORPG Hunt The Thing. The game is based on the movie due in theaters October 14th. I want to thank Jon and Brandon for arranging the interview.
How did the idea for the game come about and what is the background and setting for the game and how close does it follow the new and previous film?
We were discussing with Universal the possibility of using ROCKtropia as a backdrop for Movie length MMO’s and The THING stood out as a perfect fit. Our Platform Entropia universe features the Cryengine2 which is an amzing graphics engine for creating stunning Landscapes and the Antarctic is such a powerful setting. We chose to draw our inspiration primarily from both John Carpenters’ The THING and the upcoming prequal, but our story is set on our Virtual World ROCKtropia which exists in a parallel Universe so we are not Locked into the specific storylines of the movie.
Is it opened ended or story-based gameplay?
The main adventure is story based, you are recruited to hunt down The THING, it’s a very tight adventure that can be completed in a couple of hours if your good, perhaps longer if you don’t watch your back. But once you have completed the initial story, you can take on tougher challenges in an open ended scenario.
What sort of graphics engine is the game using and what does it allow players to do that is new to the genre?
The Cryengine2 is a superb engine and with destructibles and new audio elements we are really bringing a solid FPS feel to the MMO genre, the initial reaction to Hunt The THING from the ROCKtropia player base has been overwhelmingly positive, I think that for those gamers that love FPS games like Crysis, the delights of an MMO like ROCKtropia may have just become more tempting,
How will players gain experience and level?
Almost every action you take in Hunt The THING gives you experience, all of which has an impact on your Professional levels, so you can expect to gain a fair amount of combat and healing skills on this adventure!
How will player deaths be handled in the game?
When You die you revive at the nearest revival terminal which typically puts you back along the path, you don’t actually lose any experience but you may have wasted some valuable ammo.
How will missions and tasks be assigned?
The moment you enter Hunt The THING you are given the choice between two Mission paths Soldier or Scientist, from there you will be given the next mission all the way to the conclusion.
How is player vs. player going to be handled?
Well since this is a free to play adventure inside an MMO with a micro transaction economy, you need to be super careful with Your free Ammo, if you blow too much, then you are going to have to visit the Supply Dump and try to pick up enough free oil barrels to trade for ammo, but the supply dump is a PVP combat Zone, so You are gonna have to fight for it. When you are ready for your final showdown with The THING, you are also going to be in a PVP combat zone so you are going to need to make alliances to survive.
How is leveling and new powers dealt with in game?
If you are lucky you may Loot a powerful weapon from one of the Mobs, if it is too powerful for you to use, you can either sell it to another player or you can start skilling up to get the maximum effect. After you complete Hunt The THING you can acquire some SIB Weapons (Skill increase Bonus) to train with. But you don’t have to go through any grinding to Complete Hunt The THING. That is purely optional if you decide you want to enter expert mode or explore ROCKtropia or the rest of the Universe.
The scope of the game sounds amazing. What are some of the biggest obstacles you see in creating the game, and what are your biggest goals for the game?
Our biggest challenge was to have the game have the same vibe as the film, so far the feedback on that level has been very positive. The other great challenge was to balance the game so that new users and experienced ROCKtropia players could enjoy it equally.
How is combat handled in game and what weapons will players be able to use?
Its an FPS style combat System and the missions reward you with automatic weapons and of course a prized Flamethrower and if you get infected by The THING you will grow a tentacle! There are also Very Powerful and valuable Weapons you can loot as prizes.
Do you plan guilds and commerce?
Yes You can Join Gangs, Guilds, Groups, companies, no doubt you will meet people ready to enlist you as soon as you arrive and the commerce system is simply mind blowing, go check out the in world auction when you reach the 3rd base camp, there is an enormous amount of player 2 player trade, with plenty of opportunity to make money.
Get in on the action at Hunt The THING