Chris Keenan, design director on Hunted, returns this month to answer questions about the game’s cooperative gameplay.
When playing Hunted online, can you explain how they’ll connect with other players?
Our matchmaking system is really easy to use. We tried to simplify the matchmaking interface as much as possible. It is very easy to try to find someone who meets the same criteria that you want. When you send out a request (like a dating service), it will search for people who have the same request as you. These folks will have been sending out requests to play the same areas as you. Our matchmaking system attempts to find players who have similar play styles. If you tend to do more exploration, the game tracks that and will try to match you with another player that likes exploration.
If someone playing with you drops out of the game, will you be able to add someone on the fly?
When your co-op partner leaves you have a few options. You can choose to continue playing single player at the spot where you left off. Your partner will immediately become and AI buddy and you continue forward. You can also choose to use the seamless matching system to find a new partner. As soon as that partner is found, it will return you to the previous checkpoint with that partner and you get to move on as before.
For players not playing Hunted online, what options do they have when playing the game?
Over the last year, we’ve been working behind the scenes to try to get split screen into the build. While reading the early previews of the game, we noticed many of the comments from fans were talking about how important split screen is to this type of game. We’re happy to share news that split screen is now in the game!
Hunted allows you to swap from playing as Caddoc to E’lara (and vice versa)… how often are you able to do this within a level?
You get a very different experience depending on which character you play. For that reason, we made sure to place an abundance of swap stones throughout the adventure. The average per chapter is probably around eight or so but each level varies. One rule was to have swap stones before difficult arenas. If you play it once as Caddoc and notice you’d be better suited to try E’lara, there is a good chance we have a swap stone at that checkpoint.
Did you guys ever consider allowing players the ability to play with two E’laras or two Caddocs?
It crossed our minds but ultimately we decided that it took away from the experience. Aside from general story issues that could arise, the core gameplay that we wanted to get across was having two different feeling characters in the same environment. Too many co-op games focus around what is essentially the same character with a different weapon. I might have a fully automatic weapon and you may have collected a sniper rifle, but the core gameplay of the characters is the same. E’lara and Caddoc are very different and the situations that we put the player into require them to use the characters strengths to get through it. Having 2 E’laras or 2 Caddocs would negate or amplify the difficulty too much to be consistent.
I’ve heard discussion that Hunted’s matchmaking system is similar to how online dating sites work. Can you explain that?
There are a few main components that are similar to dating sites. The first thing you do is set up your personal profile or persona. This has the info on what character you like playing, your approximate skill level and the area that you want to enter. With this persona, you can send out multiple requests to others who share similar ‘interests’. During this time you can also get requests from others that want to play with you. This allows you to contact multiple people at the same time and put your feelers out there to more than a single person. The player can screen those requests and choose to accept or reject them based on the compatibility of those requests. You can scour multiple personas at one time to broaden your search. When someone accepts your request (or you theirs), you start up the relationship together.