In the Beginning

February 16, 2009
Development, History

I figured giving a quick account of how this project came to be would be in order.

It all started one rather snowy day in the year of 2007. After having just finished a four hour web design class, a senior student walked into the room to showcase his latest findings in the field of gaming excellence: a rather compact game named The Seal Hunter, where the player entered the thick threads of a Norwegian fisherman seeking revenge on the seal creatures stealing his catch. With guns. Big guns. And blood! Tons of it.

The original The Seal Hunter

Needless to say, I was enthralled. This simple concept of killing seals, assuring that not a single brown-furred mammal managed to creep past you, made for a most pleasant gaming experience that could be thoroughly enjoyed in about five minutes, even though the muttered phrase “just one more go” usually extended those to about half an hour.

The only form of multiplayer offered by The Seal Hunter was a two player hotseat, which in itself was a plethora of amusement for two friends huddled in front of a keyboard. However, I wished for more; multiplayer over the Internet with others, for one, which ended up being the basic premise for my own version of Seal Hunter (in addition to the original concept of “blood and gore is fun”, I suppose). So I decided to try and make a quick prototype in C++, just to find out if I had enough know-how to make a full game out of it. After managing to construct a rather ridiculous test level where seals appeared randomly and with no animations whatsoever (aiming using the mouse was even possible at this point!) I had a word with the authors of the original game, asking whether or not I was allowed to develop a version of my own. This seems like a good moment to throw out a big “thank you” to them once again, because as it is they are a pair of really nice guys who were rather quick to let me brutally tear their game apart. Thankfully, they also allowed me to use their art assets, which saved the project from instantaneous doom as my efforts when it comes to game sprites usually results in flood-filled blobs. As I turned senior myself, I even managed to sign up Seal Hunter as my graduation project.

And a little bit more than a year later, this is where we are now. A lot of progress has been made (despite great deeds of procrastination) and I’m quite happy with where things are heading right now. Over the next few weeks I’ll try to gradually work my way up from the initial prototype to where development currently is, to give you an idea of how this journey has progressed.