Another day, another Kickstarter? No – not when it’s cyberpunk.
Glitch Hunter, the first digital cyberpunk CCG, hit Kickstarter earlier today and made nearly $3,000 in it’s first couple of hours. The developers, One More Rabbit, are seeking $63,000 to hire “additional expertise” (for artists, programmers and testing). Their aim is to make the high quality, polished product that they’ve always hoped for. Looking at the artwork, story and gameplay design, cyberpunk fans are in for a real treat!
So, what is Glitch Hunter all about?
Glitch Hunter, in the words of its creators, is “a dark fast-paced digital collectible card game in which powerful factions solve their disputes through lethal conflicts.” Something like Netrunner meets Hearthstone, then? Well, yes and no. Glitch Hunter borrows a lot of features from existing card battle games, but there’s a few interesting things about it that set it apart from a multitude of Magic: The Gathering clones. Some of the more interesting features include:
- Tech-noir setting with crazy characters
- Hybrid of high-res and 16-bit pixel art
- Jacked mode – a draft mode with an entry fee where you take on players of similar skill to earn rewards
- Trigger a doomsday switch that challenges your opponent for quick-play with timer, increased attack power and card cost
- Test your strategic skills with support zone – a second line of strategy for powerful cards that can be played over several turns
The Setting & Art
Shadowrun probably comes to mind almost immediately after seeing the concept art and game art of Glitch Hunter. The mix of familiar races and cartoon-ish art style suggest a light-hearted take on the gritty genre that is cyberpunk. Light-hearted doesn’t necessarily mean light on depth, though, as can be seen by One More Rabbit’s overview of the Glitch Hunter universe:
“Enter the world of Glitch Hunter, a vast retro-futurist realm where mega-corporations, renegade hackers and street gangs employ resources, technology and corruption to vie for dominance of the Hypernet. Bob Bissle, CEO of the mega-corporation Silverlining Ventures is applying all of its formidable resources to achieve absolute control of Hypernet, the network through which all of the world’s commerce, information and energy is traded. He must first root out the rebel AI leader Hyperlatch, mysterious founder of the Glitcher Crew, a ragtag group of hackers, underground inventors and outlandish warriors. Both factions must also employ or compete with The Spyders, the brutal mercenary gang that runs the streets of Hypernet, led by their violent leader Berserker.”
What is clear, though, is that One More Rabbit have spent a lot of time carefully crafting a living world that the game takes place in. It has personalities with motives and game mechanics backed up by logical story elements. Couple this with the cohesion brought about by consistent art direction and Glitch Hunter isn’t just your typical free-to-play game. It’s highly likely that, if the game is eventually released, it will gain a loyal following of fans who are in it just for the Glitch Hunter universe.
Using game mechanics from games such as Hearthstone, Netrunner, or M:TG means it shouldn’t be difficult for new players to get into the game and understand how it generally works. Glitch Hunter seems to do enough different to ensure that everyone has to do at least some learning and mastering of the mechanics (the different uses of Ally, Crony, Support and Script cards, for example). There are more obvious – and altogether more dramatic – design decisions that set Glitch Hunter apart from other card games, too. Take the Doomsday Switch:
“This highly volatile game accelerator is usable in all game modes. Once enabled, both players receive increased resources and the turn duration is shortened. Beware though, it will be game over for both players if the timer runs out.”
This alteration of the pace seems to speed up an already fast-paced game. The good thing about it is that the switch has to be pressed by both players for it to become active, preventing obvious strategies where you would build a big-hitting deck requiring the extra resources. Depending on the communication systems within the game, it could become a form of meta-tactic; persuading or taunting the opposing player into pressing the switch, giving you an advantage to your pre-planned deck. Add to this a large number of cards on the table (with the resulting abilities) and a 2-card draw each turn, Glitch Hunter is set to be a rollercoaster of flying bullets and cyberwarfare.
Catching Up With The Developers
Before the launch of the Kickstarter, Neon Dystopia had the chance of asking Zoot Nel (Co-Founder of One More Rabbit) a few questions.
CCG’s often use a fantasy theme. Why did One More Rabbit go with cyberpunk, and did the theme or the mechanics come first?
It is true; most CCG’s, TCG’s and MMO’s are fantasy. There are emotional and practical reasons why we chose not follow in these footsteps. The practical reason being the fact that a small studio like ours could never compete with the resources of, say Blizzard, to create such high quality fantasy art. Fact is, creating such art is just very very expensive and time-consuming. The emotional reason is that frankly we are a little bored with fantasy and wanted to bring something different to the table. Obviously you can’t escape those influences, but when making a game you always want it to leave it’s own mark.
To be honest ideas for the theme and mechanics came at the same time but we didn’t put the two together for a long time. We had discussed making a cyberpunk game for a while and we also wanted to make a CCG that would capture the core mechanics of the genre, and deliver a fast-paced digital experience. It was quite a pleasant surprise once we realized we should put the two together, and even bigger was our amazement when we learned that to our knowledge no cyberpunk CCG has made been made for a digital platform before.
Would you say Glitch Hunter’s version of cyberpunk is closer to Shadowrun than, say, Syndicate? Why?
Early in our production we learned just how big of an impact Shadowrun has been. But our goal was to make something different so we really put our efforts into creating characters people haven’t seen, for example the Mech pilot Werewolf or a giant launching drones from sockets on he’s back. In Glitch Hunter the race isn’t important. We concentrate on individuals and allow a lot of variations. Syndicate features a lot of cold and sterile tech, whereas Glitch Hunter is much grittier.
What inspiration has the content producer used to create the Glitch Hunter universe?
Actually the concept is a hybrid of our team members fantasies. Someone has an over-the-top idea and we see how it fits into the lore. We’ve found inspiration in classic cyberpunk writers like Gibson, over-the-top games like Borderlands and also a lot of inspiration comes from Japanese anime and manga, since most of our team members are into that. But also classic cyberpunk movies like Tetsuo: The Iron Man are always in the back of our minds.
Is the whole team a fan of cyberpunk? Any favourites (games, books, movies, etc)?
Pretty much, everyone has their own favorites, we seem to agree on the first Matrix movie though. Some of the favorites from manga are RoboCop, Ghost in the Shell, Tetsuo, Akira and Dennō Coil. The art of H. R. Giger is really valued by our team, also you can see influences of Jodorowsky’s concepts for Dune in the game. Lennart, our game designer is really into Syndicate Wars game and I’m playing Android Netrunner.
What are the plans for supporting Glitch Hunter post-release? New content, or a new project?
Glitch Hunter is a game we definitely plan to expand, we want it to have a much higher number of cards and themed expansions. Depending on how our Kickstarter campaign goes, we can adjust the scope. The feedback from our community is also very important to us and will determine a lot of how we expand the game. We are very excited for this game and I hope the community will see Glitch Hunter also as a new opportunity and with their help we can bring the game to life in early 2016.
What are you waiting for, fund it already!