With a little less than a week to go for the Sir, You are Being Hunted Kickstarter, and nearly double the pledge brought in, one of the game's creator's took a moment today to reflect on what got him and the game to where it is today.
In an essay on the game, Jim Rossignol writes about how he has always been driven to be a game creator, even as he wrote about video games for the likes of Rock, Paper, Shotgun. He writes about how that desire blossomed into idle chatter and eventually (perhaps inevitably) into action.
First, he writes, came developer Big Robot's initial commercial project, Fallen City. And then came Project Lodestone, a bit of technology the group whipped up to procedurally generate entire science fiction landscapes. That idea, the idea of procedurally generating "huge, living game worlds" was part of the impetus for Sir, You Are Being Hunted, Rossignol writes. That and a player running from a game's computer-controlled denizens.
"The notion that captured our imagination, and focused our decision-making, was the idea of AI hunting a player. Sir is founded on this idea," he said. "The title tells you everything. We loved the feeling of being on the back-foot in games: fleeing as much as fighting, knowing that escape, rather than victory in combat, was the true goal. The fear from being vulnerable. Mix this with a strong stew of British sci-fi and our indigenous terrain and accompanying folklore - moorland, tweed, robots, pheasants, rain, poachers, hunters, hounds, horror - and we had a heady mix. We couldn't resist plunging into it."
Lodestone became The British Countryside Generator, and Big Robot started looking about for ways to fund their idea. Eventually they landed on Kickstarter.
The result, Rossignol writes, is a "big game."
"This is the "big" game for us, not just because it's about keeping our developers at their computers," he writes. "It's big because it's the game that showcases our ideas and ideals, while at the same time being exactly the sort of thing we ourselves want to play. It contains solid examples of applying things we're really excited about in games: procedural generation, stealth, AI autonomy and life in the world. (We're aiming to have groups of robots meet, and then either get into a fight, or stop and chat, drinking tea and smoking pipes. We're obsessed with the idea of games which get on with their "life" without you, even when you are at the heart of the action.)"
Rossignol wrapped up his essay by saying he would answer any questions in the comments of the story. Head on over if you have any.