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May 29


Welcome, Hunters!

We've just been through an exciting couple of days lately, haven't we? Since the Play Button on our latest Alpha-Test version became available on Thursday, thousands of new Players have joined Steel Hunters and explored our post-apocalyptic Earth Fantasy for the very first time. 
With so many new Players (and welcome back to our veterans, obviously), we thought to hold a Dev Q&A on Steel Hunters.

In the Discord stage, our Creative Director (Tittarini) and Lead Designer (MrBeens) answered some of your most pressing questions.
See below a sum-up of the most interesting: 

What is the inspiration behind the Hunter design?

Tittarini: There are multiple sources of inspiration. They serve the high-level goal of building characters that fit a slow-paced tactical shooter experience. Each character is unique and identifiable, embodying various cultural archetypes supported by their abilities and playstyles. We draw inspiration from games and films, both Eastern and Western, as well as from ancient times. To answer one of the written Discord questions, yes, we are aware of Greek mythology. If you look at our Colossus, you will see some very obvious Hellenistic visual traits.

If we plan to accommodate people who have more than one friend, will there be more game modes such as solo, trio, or quad teams?

Tittarini: Yes, we are aware of this expectation. Please note that our game's core is about playing in duo squads in a 2vs2vs2... formula. However, for game events and exotic future mods, we do have plans and ideas on how to meet these requests for odd-numbered teams. Not much is done yet to provide any solid promises. Currently, we are very focused on refining the main mode's formula and getting it into great shape. Stay alert for future updates; we may test our revisited mode with you and our external Alpha Players later in the year. There is room for solo/FFA in our event releases.

Do you have plans to make PvE-only and/or co-op modes for progression, such as Base Defense, Eliminate Target, Survival, Infiltrate, etc.?

Tittarini: Yes, as mentioned, besides attempting to reinvigorate the main mode's game formula, there will be an objective to produce a competitive mode for ranked play. There may be event-driven and seasonal modes that are more exotic and experimental, and if those prove to offer a solid playing experience, we may add them to the roster of modes. Again, multiplying the number of available modes will depend on the game's population after launch. The best playing experience is when people play against others of similar progression and skill level. So, PvE events are possible. This aligns with our plans to expand our PvE elements, as we need more AI components to make PvE modes possible.

When the game is finished and comes out, will there be something exclusive to show that you were there for the game test?

MrBeens: We have some special hunter skins for Alpha players and early adopters already. We are definitely planning on even more rewards for future playtests, but It's too early to say exactly what those rewards will be. For now, I can tell you that one thing that will definitely be for you Alpha testers is these special skins you receive while playtesting: we will do our best to ensure that they stay with you forever, so you can show that you were with us for the whole journey!

You can earn seven of these skins (the B.E.S.T. Uniform Skins) in the current Hunter Trials event!

Hunter Trials

How would the balancing of the Hunters and their respective customizations be handled when the roster of available Hunters gets too bloated?

MrBeens: We start by ensuring each Hunter has a unique role, which helps reduce unhealthy overlaps and encourages diverse strategies in the game. We use data analytics to monitor which Hunters are performing too well or not well enough and adjust them accordingly. If one Hunter becomes overly dominant in the meta, we ensure there are always other Hunters that can counter that Hunter's strengths. 

This creates a rock-paper-scissors dynamic, leading to a shifting meta as different Hunter compositions become popular or fall out of favor. Lastly, down the line, we may introduce some form of class system to prevent unhealthy pairings of Hunters, such as two Weaver equivalents in the same team.

What is the process of recording a Hunter's VO like? How are lines written and by whom, and how is the voice actor/actress picked for the role?

Tittarini: Our narrative team writes a script based on a predefined list of in-game triggers from our audio team (for example, when an Ability is used, on Hunter Kill, etc.). We then try to find a fitting voice actor for the role based on the character's in-game lore (gender, age, dialect or accent, etc.) and conduct a recording session to get all the needed lines. 

It is worth noting that in the current Alpha stage, you can expect some of the casting decisions to change before release, and some of the lines may be changed or added to. 

In some cases, like our in-game announcer, we've used generative AI to create placeholder voice lines for testing and conducting our Alpha. The goal is to have something playable that conveys our idea and vision for how characters are represented in Steel Hunters. An additional layer of polish will be added to everything before release. 

Will there be any more skins that change the model of the Hunter, for example, like legendary skins in Overwatch? 

MrBeens: We plan to have a range of skin options for all Hunters, ranging from simple colour/texture variations all the way up to significant geometry changes. Watch out for new skins being announced down the line!


An example of a skin with patterning and colour change is our Discord exclusive skin for Weaver, which you can get for linking your game and Discord accounts (see the #free-discord-skin channel for details)!

Weaver Discord Skin

Another example of a skin without geometry change, but more complex texturing, materials and effects is the Weaver skin we released for Halloween last year - stick around and you may have the chance to get it as well!


Are there plans to make a "laboratory" or "Training" mode for solo testing of different Hunters? Personally, I would want the ability to test out a Hunter before purchase and do testing on different builds before going into PVP or PVE.

Tittarini: We want to develop and introduce practice range or "trials" mode for new Hunters. For now, people can test out their builds in the Co-op mode against bots.

Are there any big game-changing updates planned?

Tittarini: Our journey of a thousand change requests making it into our software begins with a small update. We prefer small work increments to be tested and if we and players believe new features and content is good, then we keep it. If it's not good enough, we return to design boards to make it proper. Our release cadence is every 6 weeks, so every 6 we are releasing new version with something small and new, so we don't accumulate change into big updates. This is our core loop of adding new change and making improvements. Yet, sometimes the complexity of a feature requires us to work on it for a longer  period of time and therefore there is always something in the works on our side being developed and tested internally or with our loyal Alpha super-testers who are providing us valuable support and feedback to evaluate unfinished content.

Will the game have controller support?

We will be working on full controller support - not only to support our future plans to release on consoles, but also to address the growing number of PC players who prefer to play with controllers. While we don't have a timeline for implementation yet, there is a workaround that our community members developed that let you use controllers now. You can find instructions for it in the #faq channel on our official Discord server!

And that's it for today, Hunters! Should you have any more questions, you can always reach out to our Community Team on Discord, who will be more than happy to follow-up!

A big thank you to everybody who participated and we hope to see you soon...either here or on the Battlefield!