Hawken’s Next Step: Probably Story-Based Single-Player

By Nathan Grayson on June 12th, 2012 at 10:00 am.

Kill building.

As it stands, Hawken is the story of a few robots shooting a few other robots. Perhaps there’s subtext and pentameter and denouements underneath it all, but right now, this is far from the Black Swan of artfully destructive mecha-ballets – let alone the Nutcracker. A recent live-action trailer, however, suggested that – for probably the first time in history – there’s more than meets the eye to robots. And, if the folks at Adhesive Games have it their way, there’ll be even more where that came from.

“Yeah, I think we’d definitely [like to create a single-player Hawken story],” co-founder Christopher Lalli told RPS during an interview at E3. “It was always just a matter of resources, and doing a player campaign is way more resource-heavy than multiplayer. We didn’t have the manpower, and we really just couldn’t do it. So I definitely would like to get the game out, and maybe on a sequel or DLC or something explore a single-player campaign mode.”

That said, it’d be easy to overextend with a fresh $10 million burning a hole in your bank account, but Lalli assured me that Hawken’s heart is still pure mechanized steel – not needless bells and whistles.

“For us, the game hasn’t really been affected by the funding at all,” he said. “We have more people on our team to help polish and make it better overall. But creatively, it’s exactly what we wanted, and we have full say over that. Our passion is still there to create the game we want to create. So all it’s done is broaden our scope for the game. We’ve added a lot of features that the community wanted – like more customization. It’s allowed us to branch out with more things, like the graphic novel and those live-action shorts we’re doing that kind of explore the world more.”

The full interview and my impressions of the game (hint: it’s really great) will be up soon. Until then, though, what’s your take? Does the world need more tales of intrigue, romance, and improbably large metal exoskeletons? Actually, come to think of it, does the world need any of those?

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45 Comments »

  1. HisMastersVoice says:

    Refreshing mind and body stimuli along with the coolest thing since sharpened sticks?

    I’d say we need as much of those things as possible.

  2. magnus says:

    If it happens I’m deffinitely in!

    • G-Lord says:

      Same here. I’ll be in the multiplayer beta, but I usually don’t play any multiplayer game for very long. I simply prefer singleplayer campaigns.

    • JiminyJickers says:

      Yeah me too, would love a single player version. Not keen on multi player.

    • thesundaybest says:

      As someone who is totally crap at multi-player, but loves mechs, I am also in.

    • roryok says:

      Agreed. MP is a bit of fun but I’ve always preferred single player. I love stories. If SP is watching a film, MP is playing with the action figures.

    • Leandro says:

      Yes! This is exactly what I wanted to finally be able to be interested in this awesome looking game. A non tacked in story driven Single-Player campaign would sell me immediately. I’m glad some devs still feel like there’s a market for these things.

  3. mckertis says:

    ““It was always just a matter of resources, and doing a player campaign is way more resource-heavy than multiplayer.”

    Nonsense. Creating a single-player mode is WAY cheaper than MAINTAINING and BALANCING multi-player.

    “Does the world need more tales of intrigue, romance, and improbably large metal exoskeletons?”

    Only if they actually feel like improbably large metal exoskeletons. Hawken doesnt provide that.

    • HisMastersVoice says:

      Look, we have an experienced dev on board with us. Please, do tell more.

    • Okami says:

      Nonsense. Creating a single-player mode is WAY cheaper than MAINTAINING and BALANCING multi-player.

      No.

    • Koshinator says:

      There’s no way mulitplayer based arena combat takes more resources than plotting out an actual campaign with story, maps, AI, pacing, etc…

    • misterT0AST says:

      what kind of discussion is this??!?
      Probably a good and long single player mode requires more resources than some half assed multiplayer modes, and some well balanced steadily updated multiplayer modes require more effort than a 4 hours long half assed single player campaign. It depends, goddamnit!
      Isn’t it OBVIOUS???

      • Grargh says:

        You just spoilered the solution in the fourth reply. What a dramatic discussion we could have had!

    • Gnoupi says:

      “Nonsense. Creating a single-player mode is WAY cheaper than MAINTAINING and BALANCING multi-player.”

      Well that made my day.

  4. Zeewolf says:

    Story based single player, eh? What a coincidence, that’s exactly what I’m looking for in the games I play. :)

  5. Optimaximal says:

    Well, if it happens, i’ll be interested. Well, unless it’s paid-for DLC like GSB’s was.

    • cliffski says:

      Yeah that was a scandal when I charged people for the work that was done.
      I should have talked the artists into working for free, but that’s harder than it sounds…

      • dE says:

        I think you quite know what he was getting at. At least I hope you do.

        • Mr. Mister says:

          Considering the [multiplaye] game will be free to play, I don’t see any ethiocal problem with a pay-for single-player campaign.
          At all.

      • Unaco says:

        “Yeah that was a scandal when I charged people for the work that was done.”

        Maybe not a scandal, and I don’t think Optimaximal was saying it was the worst thing ever… just not the best, in his opinion. Can’t blame him that he’s only interested in free upgrades/expansions/Free-LC, when there are a number of companies going that route these days… The Witcher 2 with 2.0 and the Enhanced Edition all for free, or GasLamp and Dredmor’s recent free expansion, to name two. If there are companies charging for content, and companies providing it for free, it’s expected that some people are going to turn their backs on those that charge for the content.

      • Optimaximal says:

        I honestly missed the part about Hawken being F2P – the multiplayer-only aspect made me lose interest pretty sharpish, despite how nice it looked.

        GSB was an example rather than a specific dig – I remember voicing my opinion to you over Twitter as I felt it was a key part of the game that was missing without paying ‘more’ for it, especially as I had bought into the game earlier in its life (just after its Steam launch before the rabid discounting). It was my opinion on the matter (and not limited to how I feel about your products – I don’t buy a lot of DLC out of principle) and I don’t besmirch you for operating how you do.

  6. Kollega says:

    Nash-kei! Nash-kei! Nash-kei!

    And yeah, i’m crap at competitive multiplayer and don’t like free-to-play so the game dosen’t interest me too much, but a story-based campaign to sink my teeth into would be great.

    • marcusfell says:

      Don’t worry, its team-based, we can cover your ass while you learn how :)

  7. Schiraman says:

    Sounds great, makes me a lot more interested in the game.

    Also: if they add single-player then it should be easy to have bots for the multiplayer, which would be cool.

    Also also: a co-op campaign would be lovely. Make that please!

  8. Iskariot says:

    I never play online.
    I would love a good single player campaign with cool mech upgrades etc.
    Also a good skirmish AI is mandatory.
    If these two things are in place I will buy this awesome looking mech game at first opportunity.
    I love the epic looking post apocalyptic landscapes of this game.

  9. Shortwave says:

    It would be pretty awesome.
    I often find myself laying in bed with the controller plugged in wishing there was something NEW and mech I could play without having my ass handed to me. Sign me up!

    I guess I didn’t like the live action trailer so much because it was simply just such a tease without really saying anything at all. : / It would be cool to see a random kick ass half hour long live action video.. Hells yea.. But yea, I felt it lacked anything other than some pretty things to look at. But they were mighty pretty, I’ll give them that much.

  10. piratmonkey says:

    I’d love to see this game expand. I demand more mech shooters!

  11. Spider Jerusalem says:

    you can keep your single player away from my f2p arena shooter, thanks.

    i will take another heavy gear game, though.

  12. rocketman71 says:

    Sounds nice, but I’d rather have LAN play, something I’m afraid we lost the moment the game went P2W… Sorry, F2P.

    • Shortwave says:

      Ah yes, much like Tribes is P2W right? >.>

    • Dominic White says:

      This is really most most tiresome meme on all of RPS. The game is free to download and try (or, at least, will be) – why are you passing judgement on it now when you can literally see for yourself and actually judge it based on facts rather than knee-jerk prejudice?

      • Shortwave says:

        I get annoyed with it because more often than not the reason people scream “P2W” at a game is because they generally just suck at it. I mean, in my own observations with friends anyways.. Gives games a bad wrap for no reason.. This game isn’t even out yet as you pointed out, hilarious really!

  13. wccrawford says:

    I just realized that I’m probably one of the few gamers that aren’t bothered by P2W. Not because I find it ethically acceptable, but rather because I know I’m not as good as others, but now I can blame it on real money transactions that give them an advantage. It takes some of the sting out of the thought of losing.

  14. Skystrider says:

    My wallet has been ready for a new mech stomping simulator for the last decade, so count me in for a new single player game in that genre.

    Another new F2P game, though? Not so much. Thank you.

    • Shortwave says:

      I used to feel that way before I realized that 80% of the games in the future are going to be free to play.
      And that a lot of the ones now are way higher quality than they used to be and have proven to be some of the funnest games of this year so far. Way higher quality in every aspect than many blockbuster titles.
      And really in many of the cases you more or less can just pay as much as you like as a “thank you” for all the fun hours and a few perks.. But you know, they still have a ways to go I will say.

      Not really much different than a free mod in my mind, which I occasionally donate to if I can.. Same thing really.

      • marcusfell says:

        Also the other-biggest mech game, Mechwarrrior Omline, is F2P as well. They kinda need to use this bussiness model.

    • Gnoupi says:

      You know, I played a lot of multiplayer games that I found fun, in the past couple of years:

      - Section 8 (and its stand-alone Prejudice)
      - BRINK
      - Shattered Horizon
      - Lead & Gold
      - Metal Drift
      - Plain Sight
      - etc.

      You know what they all have in common? Almost nobody played them anymore a month after release. Or two for the best case.

      So I’m not the biggest fan of F2P, especially if that involves grinding. But that’s one of the best way I’ve seen to keep an active multiplayer community with a reasonable pool of players, so far.

  15. roryok says:

    Does the world need more tales of intrigue, romance, and improbably large metal exoskeletons?

    Only if they bundle an army shooty game and a zombie game with them. There certainly arent enough of those.

  16. TsunamiWombat says:

    Goodness there’s alot of side, angry people in this thread. Does Hawken make people grumpy pants?

  17. Muzman says:

    I may be a visuals whore because of this, but this game has the most exciting look since Stalker for me.
    I’d much rather wander around in that world than just play capture the flag or whatever. Hoo rah. (though hopefully more anime and less military wank than the last trailer indicated. Even so I could probably endure it).

  18. Guhndahb says:

    Awesome! I was initially so excited about the earliest articles here on Hawken but was really discouraged about it being MP. If they can pull off a SP campaign I’ll be tremendously happy.

  19. LMN8R says:

    I do love me some F2P shooters, especially Tribes Ascend, but I recognize that the model doesn’t really work for single-player games.

    So I like this idea that the Hawken devs may take on. Try to get a large fanbase first with the free multiplayer game that you can optionally pay real money for, once you deem it worthy of your money, and then maybe release a single-player campaign for $15-30 (or whatever) with that already entrenched fanbase interested.

    I’m hoping that the MechWarrior guys take the same approach!