THE HUNTER: CALL OF THE WILD
WORLD DESIGN INTERN
theHunter: Call of the Wild is an open-world hunting simulation where the player tracks, shoots and harvests animals in different reserves – maps. Each reserve focuses on different biomes and locations from the frozen forests of Siberia to the scorching hot open fields of the savanna, hunting various animals.
As part of my internship at Avalanche Studios as a World Designer, I spent a lot of my time in their proprietary engine, Apex, learning the ins and outs of the engine. I was tasked to use already existing assets from a previous reserve and find a similar environment as that reserve and use those assets to create a new, smaller map. This reserve was never intended to be published or played by anyone else; it was only created for me to learn the engine and World Design. I used the assets from the first DLC of the game, the Medved-Taiga National Park, and created a map based on the Caucasian Mountains. The area the player as meant to hunt in was roughly 4000*4000 meters. The environment, with its mountains and valleys, was sculpted using the Apex engine and no other tools were used.
Production Time Three Months
Role World Design Intern
I created three distinct areas for the presumed player to encounter and explore; the Central Ridge, a Western Valley, and an Eastern Valley. Rivers flow through both valleys, with the eastern river being the largest one and functioning as a landmark in and of itself, while the western river is smaller and dried up, functioning more as a way for the player to orient themselves locally. Both rivers originate from a lake in the far south of each valley. The Central Ridge is always sloping upwards, towards the south where some mountain peaks act as a landmark for the player to navigate by.
The Western Valley is dominated by pine in the north and spruce further south with a small dried-up river running through it from north to south and surrounded by steep cliffs on the western side. On the valley’s eastern side rises the Central Ridge, which is fairly easy to reach from this valley. The valley has a gentle slope going downward from south to north.
In the middle lies a frozen lake which functions as a local landmark telling the player that they are halfway up the valley. North of this lake is mostly dominated by pine forests and to the south is mostly spruce woods.
The major feature of the Eastern Valley is the frozen-over river that runs the length of the valley and the deciduous woods, marking it out from both the pine and spruce heavy Central Ridge and Western Valley. This valley has more gentle slopes to the east and west and doesn’t have a north-south rise. Paths up to the Central Ridge is restricted to a few places since a lot of the ridge ends in a steep cliff towards this side.
The river that flows from south to north is one of the most open spaces in this map, making it recognizable from afar. The river runs unhindered from a big lake in the south until it starts getting dotted half-way through with small islands created from silt and other discharge, giving it a different appearance.
At the far south lies a big lake covered in ice, with an uninterrupted view to the other shoreline. This is one of the few open spaces in the reserve and functions as a landmark that is recognizable from a great distance.
The Central Ridge has a gentle slope in the north, running upwards south, that is dotted with smaller lakes until a mountain peak rises up in the middle of the ridge. North of the peak lies pine and spruce woods, while on the south side there is only tundra and one of the few big, open spaces in the reserve.