Hullbreach and Space

logo Hullbreach studios

Ever wondered what is it like to be developing a game, and showing each and every bit of it to your readers? Hullbreach Studios does!

Last week two indie game development companies followed me on Twitter, I checked them out and decided that I should do an article about both of them, so the first of the great ones are the lovely people from  Hullbreach studios.

More from Hullbreach Uncloaked image

Now to me, this article is a special one because the lovely people over at Hullbreach happen to be the first company that accepted me having to interview them and I respect that very much!

Hullbreach consists of only a small amount of developers, and only 3 core team members. The game will be open and full of exploration, you’ll be buying ships and hopefully having some Miis in some here and there. We’ll be trading, mining, chatting, surviving combats, beating missions,  forming alliances, and my favorite …exploring. Sadly there isn’t a release date yet, but as long as the game is good, I’ll be waiting! Hullbreach is now one of my favorite indie developers, read the whole interview to get more details about the upcoming hit…

  1. Tell me about HullBreach as the development team, how many of you are there?

There are currently 3 core team members and a few more who are assisting in various aspects of development.

  1. What exactly is HullBreach Uncloaked? How did you decide on the name?

I’ve been using the name “HullBreach” in space shooters since 1996, when I created a tech demo back in my high school days.  The title was a stylized way of describing the circumstance that would ultimately lead to a game over in combat.  The title “HullBreach” carried over to HullBreach Online for the Wii’s Internet Channel and now HullBreach: Uncloaked for the Wii U eShop.  Following the trend of naming conventions on Nintendo platforms (“Super … ”, “… 64”, “… D… S…”, etc.), we picked an appropriate subtitle that started with a “U”. “Uncloaked” refers to the method by which an attack was launched on Earth 4 generations ago, when a seemingly benevolent extraterrestrial species turned on the Terrans by uncloaking in orbit and opening fire on a research vessel.

We have been describing HB: Uncloaked as an exploration sandbox space shooter with MMO elements.  It will include many cross-genre aspects, such as trading, mining, combat, missions, alliances, exploration, chatting, etc.

  1. What the final goal of the game, are you developing HullBreach Uncloaked out of love for the genre or was it more suiting to your talents?

We are gamers making a game for gamers. It’s what we enjoy, and Nintendo finally opened up to indy development, so we are jumping on it.  I guess that makes it kind of a combination of the two.

  1. Are you planning on having a competitive online mode, or a team-based one?

The scope of online play hasn’t been fully determined yet. At a minimum, it will involve communication with and trading with other players at space docks and outposts.  We are considering team-based missions, as well. Online play will be free, so we will not have a massive infrastructure for the game to be 100% MMO, though it will have elements of that genre.

  1. Why did you choose to develop for the Wii U, are you planning on having good support to the gamepad with things like off-screen?

The Wii U is the first opportunity Nintendo provided for indy game development.

We are still determining all the aspects of GamePad usage for playing with a TV.  The most probable situation is that it would be used as a cockpit dashboard view so that the player can look forward for the windshield (solarwindshield?) and down for the dashboard. Thus, the TV would have HUD elements, and the GamePad would have indicators, communications equipment, and whatever else that particular class of ship offers.
For playing without the TV, there would most likely be a toggle to show and hide elements of the HUD and dashboard.
We are also considering additional control mechanics.  I suggested to the team a few days ago that we could implement the Balance Board for a sort-of gas pedal and brake (while sitting) with the Wii Remote Nunchuk for weapons and steering.  I’m sure they will have some other ideas, too, as development progresses.

  1. Are you having any power-related problems with the Wii U?

We were recently approved by Nintendo for a developer license, so we don’t have the dev kits yet.  All development has been simulated on a PC.  Screenshots we have released so far are based on the early simulations of the game engine.  We are making the ship models as low poly count as possible, without compromising appearance.  That way the game will work fine, no matter what.  If we are pleasantly surprised by the Wii U’s power, we will just increase the size and scope of battles and the expansiveness of the space sectors.  We want to cram everything we can into the 1GB of RAM and squeeze out every GPU and GPU cycle.

  1. Is the game more of a level base or is the work open and wide?

Open exploration all the way!

  1. Are we going to see more rockets or more aliens?

Rockets hitting aliens, aliens shooting rockets, rockets hitting rockets, aliens shooting aliens… plenty of every variation.

  1. What exactly is a player going to customize?

The full scope is to be determined. The plans so far include ship upgrades, ship purchases/sales, mercenary fleets for battle, potential Mii integration for multiplayer aspects, etc.

  1. What can you tell me about the story?

The story progression between each HullBreach game spans about two generations.  The first involved an alien species that came to Earth under the guise of peace but eventually launched an attack, leading to the Augment Wars, which were fought with genetically-modified Terrans.  The second came after the apartheid that arose from the victorious Terrans fearing the Augments’ power and banishing them the Mars Terraforming Outpost in the Great Schism.  The third comes after the Terrans have re-united with the Augments and have reverse engineered much of the abandoned alien technology to take humanity deeper into space than ever before possible.  This introduces humanity to all types of alien species, trade factions, etc.

  1. In development, we can see that the game is in its early stages, how much time do you think it’ll take till it’s released?

No release date has been set yet.  Rather than forcing ourselves into a set schedule, we want to release a 100% completed game.  We will continue to post progress on Twitter, the SDK Community (dsipaint.com3dspaint.com), and the upcoming HB: Uncloaked website.

  1. We’ve seen lots of images now, are you planning on releasing a demo on alpha or beta stage?

An eShop demo may be a good way to gain exposure, but we have not thought that far into the development and publication process yet.  When we get there, we will decide.

  1. Are you planning to release the game on other platforms like the PS Vita or Steam?

It is a Wii U exclusive.

  1. Your tweets show you’re Nintendo fans, what do you have to say about that!

I own TWO Nintendo Virtual Boys!

  1. The images of the game show real potential of a great game, but you obviously have plans for other games when it’s done, care to tell us about a couple?

It all depends on how everything goes with HullBreach: Uncloaked.  We have plenty of ideas and old projects that are possible to bring to fruition now, thanks to the Wii U developer license.  I’m sure the SDK Community (which grew up around HullBreach Online) would be interested in seeing The Mystical Journey one day… so would I!

  1. Where do you see HullBreach in ten years from now?

I hope that HullBreach: Uncloaked will be a fondly-remembered game from the old Wii U days, while gamers are playing a sequel on whatever the 10th console generation brings!

Hullbreach Uncloaked image
I would like thank the Hullbreach team again, I hope the game will be a success. Follow them @HullBreachGames and make sure you check their website for daily images of the upcoming game.
Follow me on twitter @GameOnGamerGuy for tweets relating to… Well lots of geeky stuff. Follow @nGeekLife, our main twitter account (lots of help needed as you can see). And for more articles directly to your email, click on the lovely 3 lines button on the top of the website to follow via email!
Thanks for reading everyone, until next time…
GAME ON!
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