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Hawken interview: "we have a whole universe for the player to grasp onto"

We get the low down on the mech shooter from Adhesive Games producer Jason Hughes

Hawken is the online free to play first-person big mech shooter that's been drawing real buzz as it stomps its way towards open beta at the beginning of December.

Hit this link if you want a free beta key for the closed Hawken beta now

Starting life at Adhesive Games, the development team behind the now bought-out Project Offset, Hawken rapidly evolved into one of this year's hottest PC titles, being nominated for 20 awards at E3, winning ten, as well as getting great feedback at GamesCom.

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Thousands of CVG readers have already had their taste of Hawken via the closed beta tests and Adhesive has recently confirmed that they haven't ruled out a console version of Hawken, as well as confirming Oculus Rift support at launch.

CVG recently caught up with Adhesive Games producer Jason Hughes to learn the latest about the game.

How did the idea for Hawken originally come about and how did you form the team to start making it?

Before making Hawken we were working on Project Offset (later purchased by Intel) and when that got cancelled we decided to go independent and try something new. We discussed what sort of project we should do and we noticed that the mech genre used to be very popular, and then it kind of died out so we thought that developing something new within that genre might be a cool idea. I think Hawken is almost like a renaissance of it again. We already had a core group in place from Project Offset and we really wanted to stay together. The team just grew from there.

It's a brave move to start up as Indie developer, what were the main challenges in the early days of development on the title?

The uncertainty of it was probably the biggest challenge, not knowing where Hawken would eventually end up. Having a small team limited the time we had to make Hawken as well. So we had to learn to work around that. That is how kitbashing became such a huge component of making the game.

Development seems to have progressed pretty rapidly - you must be immensely pleased with the critical and fan reception Hawken's already received

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It is awesome to know that all the hard work we put into Hawken is getting noticed not just in the US but in Europe and the rest of the world. Working on something you love is a perk but equally working on something that gamers react positively to it is humbling.

You developed specifically for the PC using the Unreal Toolset - do the PC's unique strengths make it the most exciting platform to be working on at the moment?

Because we started with such a small team Unreal has really helped us do more with such limited resources. The tools are very user friendly. It has been such an asset to developing Hawken. When we realized where free-to-play on the PC was headed we made the decision to focus here. It is a very exciting platform and the PC gaming community has been great to work with.

You're also a using a Free to Play model - are you confident that this will prove a sustainable model for development? Do you think the future is free to play?

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