Interview: Klaudiusz Zych of Flying Wild Hog

What’s fast, frantic, and chock-full of ramming bots? Flying Wild Hog’s frenetic shooter, Hard Reset, of course! Before digging into the retail release for our review, I had a brief chat with Flying Wild Hog founder Klaudiusz Zych about what the full-fledged experience would offer. Now that there are just days left to the official launch, you can whet your appetite for all things steampunk with this shiny new interview.

Why did you decide to play it safe design-wise and opt to build on previously established cyberpunk design tropes? You could have had an all new approach to the look if you tried, and while the neon blues are refreshing, you had the potential to create something even more dazzling. Was this influenced by any certain film or another video game?

We have different influences while designing level art for Hard Reset. Some levels are based on Syd Mead’s concepts for Blade Runner. Some are based on social realism architecture designs from the 50s and how they would get adopted by a cyberpunk society. And later levels in game have completely different art direction.

What’s the story behind the name “Hard Reset?”

We had a long debate in company about the game title, we had brainstorm and came up with dozens of different titles, but Hard Reset just clicked from the beginning. And it easily won when we did voting with all Flying Wild Hog guys. It’s very techy, fits cyberpunk and has an old school connotation, and the game is meant to be old school.

The funny story is that while talking to publishers and marketing guys they said that title needs to be changed, because it won’t appeal to casual and younger audience. It was a crazy and bold, but I think good decision, but we decided to stick with it.

Can we expect to see more colossal boss encounters over the course of the rest of the game? And will they inject a little more chaos into the otherwise standard run-and-gun gameplay? Atlas was an interesting reprieve from the dimwitted bots for a while, but he quickly fell into a very predictable pattern. Can you give us a glimpse into what we can see in the full release?

Expect more bosses in the game with variety of appearances and behaviors

How confident are you that Hard Reset can stand up to shooter behemoths Call of Duty and Battlefield? It’s perfectly fine to stand out (and I personally encourage it) but realistically, what will be the main draw you’re counting on to pull in those gamers who only trust those two established franchises for their next shooter purchase?

Honestly, it’s impossible to stand up against Activision and EA studios’ productions for a small indie studio. That’s why we didn’t want to run into competition with them. Hard Reset is meant to be an old school shooter, we don’t have heavily scripted, gameplay like an interactive movie. We focused on core gameplay – fun with shooting guns and putting down enemies. And we focused on great visuals.

Why the decision to stay mum on Hard Reset and then unleash a flood of assets and playable preview build? Was this part of a covert strategy to see if a release devoid of hype could still generate respectable sales and garner enough interest?

Partially. We are small indie studio and just wouldn’t afford to generate enough hype for a year or two. We decided to do as much of a buzz as we could in a short period of time.

What are some of your influences?

We got our influences from other games but also from movies, comics, books based on Philip K. Dick, William Gibson, Neal Stephenson and many more.

Can we expect the complete build to focus more on the single-player campaign rather than automatically defaulting to the multiplayer this generation has been conditioned to accept? And if so, why did you make that decision?

Multiplayer should be done exceptionally or shouldn’t be done at all. Now, it’s much harder to succeed with multiplayer game, then with a singleplayer one. After all there are dozens of good single player shooters released every year, but only a few good multiplayer shooters.

Thanks to Klaudiusz and the rest of the team for the opportunity!

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