April 18th, 2017
From modeling to game development: the story behind the Claw Hunter
“This island is revered by the tribes living on adjacent islands as a place where the heaven meets the earth - a forbidden ground. Some tribesmen are banished here for their crimes, some go here voluntarily to mine precious minerals and harvest rare plants. All must fight for their lives though as the island is populated by the dragons of the old times...”
These are the lines you read in the description of a new adventure game Claw Hunter, co-created by Jiri Adamec, or simply Adamec as known within CGTrader community. Having joined CGTrader in 2014, Jiri has brought some amazing work and expertise of developing photo realistic animal models to CGTrader community, and today he is sharing the story behind developing a video game.
On CGTrader you are known as 3D modeler, how did you get involved into game development? Was it a hard transition?
I have always been very close to the PC games professionally. A few years back I did a lot of 3D game models for Capcom, a video game production company originating from Japanese, as well as 2K Games, an American video game publisher. These experiences and later exposure to games has taught me quite some things about modeling for games and its specifics.
What inspired the creation of Claw Hunter, a pre-historic period focused game?
Honestly, it was a pure coincidence :) I have a partner from Brasil, who is a programmer, who could do development tasks, and then I had several dinosaur models in my database from my previous works - not necessarily only because I liked it very much or enjoyed creating. In the end, it just seemed like a good collection to be building a story line around.
Scene from Claw Hunter
Could you tell us a little bit about the team who worked with this project?
Unidreamers team consists of people who have been involved in the gaming industry for some time. There are nine people in the core team and additional 10 supporters, some of whom have more than 20 years of experience in game development. For example, we have team members who have worked on games like Mafia 2, Motorstorm 2, Need For Speed: Shift, UFO: Aftermath, or Forza Horizon 3. Everyone has a specialty and a rather clear function to carry the first steps towards a pre-alpha version of the game Claw Hunter.
How long did it take to create the game?
It took us a year of development to create the current version of the game - the pre-Alpha version, where a relatively small location with dinosaurs is created, graphics are mostly ready.The very first idea of the game was born in May 2016, but surely, as I mentioned, many 3D assets have been ready before, so for current stage there is quite a lot of work done. We are now striving to collect 800,000 USD to further develop the game and be able to launch beta version in November, 2018.
Example of a reward system associated with dinosaur in Claw Hunter
There are a number of your models used in the game, which one of them is your favorite and why?
I should say that around 90% of models are actually mine - from the smallest plants to Brachiosaurus, which is actually my favorite creature. I created this model first, so I guess it has the most sentimental value for me and also was among the first ones to be modeled in this animal category. I had done Brontosaurus and Pterodon before the idea of the game was born. Other models have been created specifically for the game.
Brontosaurus by Adamec
What are the biggest struggles for indie game developers with creating the games?
Money... :) Even though it is possible to have your project crowdfunded via different platforms out there, running the campaign is not an easy task. And game development is not cheap in general: there are many different people with different professions involved, and people, who can deliver high-quality work, usually are rather expensive.
What would you recommend for other community developers that are thinking of creating their own game?
At this point of our own campaign, I would recommend to reconsider the idea of creating the game 10 times actually :) This is not to scare people, but really - this is a very tough job.
Maybe it would be a good idea to work on an easy game in the beginning: test out waters, go through all processes, try running promotional campaign.
Do you plan to create a Claw Hunter version for VR?
Yes, actually it is one of the Stretch goals on Kickstarter. However, to even consider this we would need the target funding of 800,000 USD.
What are your future plans for the game and your own work?
The main focus for now is running the Kickstarter campaign for the Claw Hunter. If the campaign does not succeed, I would be then working on creating some mini games in Claw Hunter. We are now preparing the game for Stream Greenlight. And then I also plan to do some commercial work and create some models to other game projects.
Thanks for the interview and we wish you great results from Kickstarter campaign and the development of the game!
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