Game Muse’s Avijit Das caught up with Paul Loynd, Publishing Producer at Meteor Entertainment to get the low down on HAWKEN.
An interview that’s causing everyone over at Game Muse to want to get more hands on time with this game!
(Avijit Das) Paul Loynd, thank you for letting us catch up with you and answering a few questions. Lets get down to business! What were the major influences for the creation of this game?
(Paul Loynd) Creative Director of Adhesive Games, Khang Le, grew up watching lots of 80′s sci-fi like BladeRunner, Alien, and the Star Wars movies so that’s definitely had an influence in the design process for HAWKEN.
He also drew inspiration from his childhood in Vietnam, and its organic city of dense alleyways. The colors and complexity there are just awesome. Then there’s all the Japanese stuff like Ghost in the Shell, Patlabor, Cowboy Bebop and a slew of others. Adhesive wanted the game to take place somewhere other than Earth so that they had the freedom of creativity in what they put in the visuals.
(Avijit Das) When thinking about the concept art for Hawken, the setting is rather desolate, with vast wastelands and huge technological cities, is there a story behind the universe of Hawken?
(Paul Loynd) HAWKEN is a dystopian sci-fi franchise and its fictional story has been deliberately fashioned to enable the franchise to support a diverse range of interactive and passive content. The story focuses on a planet called Illal that has been destroyed by corporate greed. The outcome of that are the two corporations that are fighting for survival and the last resources, Prosk and Sentium. More of the story will be released in various forms of transmedia. The earliest piece is the digital release of the original graphic novel titled HAWKEN: GENESIS.
(Avijit Das)We see you are releasing a graphic novel for the Hawken universe. Will this potentially tie in updates, new mechs, and all DLC that could become available?
(Paul Loynd) The plan for HAWKEN has always been for it to be a transmedia title. We have a whole universe for the player to engage with. There will be the game, original graphic novel, digital series, and more. All the pieces can stand-alone as they tell a different time in the HAWKEN universe but they all compliment each other perfectly.
(AD) What were the influences for the 9 different mech types?
(PL) Primarily the influences come from sci-fi and the roles that various units and combat vehicles play, most FPS games have classes which allow for different strategic options, so it’s an extension of that and the fact we wanted to have a broad selection of mechs, to be able to balance the game and provide variety for our players. There is also the tactical aspect of the different Mech sizes and their innate strengths and weaknesses. Heavy mechs like the Brawler soak up more damage and excel at close quarter battles, where they can dish out maximum damage but are slower and not able to boost as far making them easier targets out in the open, whereas light mechs like our recently released Reaper Mech are sharpshooters and use sniper capabilities to deal damage with precision from afar, as well as their superior speed to move around the map and make themselves a hard target; catch them up close though, where they don’t have room to dodge around and they become an easy target.
(AD) Why was it decided to have these classes?
(PL) Balance and choice, we wanted to establish classes and then broaden those classes further with the additions of new mechs as the game evolves. HAWKEN is designed so that we can deliver new mechs, weapons, and maps to the community in order to keep the game fresh and engaging, needless to say, we’re working on that kind of content all the time.
(AD) Will there be any additions to these classes? i.e. flying classes, water based mechs?
(PL) Although we can’t promise any flying mechs or water based mechs for the time being, we are definitely exploring new mech and weapon designs that will change the dynamic of the game for all players and provide additional options for all ranges of skill.
(AD) Finally, what was the reasoning behind having both a solid credit currency system and level system combined?
(PL) The reasoning behind this was to protect against the pay-to-win stigma. We did not want players to be able to strictly buy everything in the game but also didn’t want to alienate those who do not have multiple hours a week to invest in the game. So we came up with a system where Meteor Credit is a conversion of real cash to in game currency that can purchase upgrades as well as cosmetic items. The other system is HAWKEN Credits that are earned by playing the game; these credits can be used to purchase upgrades as well. We are monitoring player behaviour; time spent in game, to make sure that the balance between earned and purchased credits is fair. This will continue to be monitored by all of us.
Well there you have it, the current low down on what’s happening with HAWKEN. We’re really excited that, HAWKEN: GENESIS, the graphic novel is on the horizon. We can’t wait to get our hands on it! HAWKEN could also be adapted into a film, a TV series, maybe even a phone app, a novel and goodness knows what else. One thing is for sure, and that is, HAWKEN is here to stay!
If you haven’t already, you can sign up to play Hawken at Meteor Entertainment’s website, and also read our preview here. We’d love to hear from those of you whom have signed up, and your thoughts on the game and upcoming novel, let us know on Twitter or Facebook.