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Hawken developers speak on cockpit view, ‘real’ mech gameplay, more

Monday, 4th April 2011 00:12 GMT By Brenna Hillier

According to the developers of the mechtastic Hawken, cockpit view is the only way to go when it comes to robot battles.

“Pilot view makes for a more intense experience,” technical lead Jon Kreuzer told IGN.

“Players feel more connected to the battle when they’re trapped inside a hunk of steel and sparks fly and monitors flicker and shutdown.”

Art director Khang Le agreed. “There is a sort of immersion and claustrophobia you can only get from being in a cockpit,” he said.

“We want the player to see their cockpit with all the complicated screens, switches and dials. To see them scramble when hit by an EMP, to see them spark and smoke when damaged. To make you really feel like you’re driving a 7 meter walking tank on the verge of breaking down.”

The first-person view also lends itself to Hawken’s FPS-like gameplay, and differentiates it from arcade-style third-person mech games.

Striking a balance between fun and realistic, slow mech movements has been difficult for the team.

“We wanted to keep the sense of weight to the mechs,” Le explained. “Our mechs walk and turn speed are actually quite slow.

“To compensate for that, we have the anime-like side-dash and a 180 degree instant-turn …

“The jetpack is very fun when you play. It creates a lot of vertical gameplay moments … It’s a difficult thing to juggle between heavy and weighty animations for the mechs while keeping the control responsive.”

Le cited a number of inspirations for Hawken’s post-apocalyptic, ‘Earth-like’ world and ‘Frankensteined’ mechs, including Blade Runner, Patlabor, Ghost in the Shell, and even Shadow of the Colossus.

Indie mech combat game Hawken is causing a bit of an Internet lovefest, to the delight of its creator Adhesive Games. It’s expected to release on PC, the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, although a date has not been set. Check out the first trailer and early gameplay footage.

Thanks, Blue.

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3 Comments

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  1. Old MacDonald

    Definitely agree with them about cockpit view. It makes pretty much every vehicle-based games approx. ten times cooler.

    This game looks pretty good, but unless I’ve misunderstood it’s MP only, and I’m not too keen on that these days.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Shubb9

    I want to play this game with my Steel Battalion controller

    #2 3 years ago
  3. OlderGamer

    IMO, and SP mode would be a waste. Really the only SP needed here is an offline MP mode with AI BOTs, for training and practice. Not to mention that like most XBLA games, once the launch windiw closes your left with not enough players still playing to make a MP focused game viable.

    Mechassult had Grinder, this game could use something like it too. Just leave the story at the door.

    If this game were a full retail, I would say it would benift from a SP story mode. But, being what it is, it would be a watse of time and energy.

    #3 3 years ago