Fire Hazard Games was approached by Endemol Shine, the production company behind the critically acclaimed show Hunted for this summer. They wanted us to create a real life version of the show that could be played by multiple teams at the same time.
This presented me with a bunch of interesting challenges! The first, and one of the most intriguing, was how do you take a show format where the contestants have to live on the run for a month, and distill that down to an hour and a half game?
The solution came from watching the show and realising that the most intense part of it comes at the end of the month, where the remaining teams have to reach a getaway vehicle of some kind, and escape their pursuers. It’s the time the contestants are most likely to be caught and it’s pretty adrenaline pumping just to watch. And so it hit me. That’s what we need to replicate!
So that became the premise of The Hunted Experience. You and your team had been on the run for over a month. It was the final hour before you won the grand prize. Could you do it? Or would you get caught out by the hunters at the last minute?
The next challenge was giving the players the feeling that they were being hunted, just like they are on the show, without simply just catching them. In the show, the passing of time makes the contestants start to become paranoid, as well as their near misses. We obviously didn’t have a month to get our players in this mindset, so instead we opted to mess with them during the game.
One of the key methods we used, was the placement of several fake CCTV cameras (a huge element in the show) around the play area. When a player walked in front of one, it would take a short video and send it directly to their phone with the simple message: You Are Being Hunted. At the same time, a nearby hunter would receive a ping detailing where the player had been spotted and would immediately make their way to them.
All in all, Endemol Shine were happy with the overall game design, which was fleshed out over several months of close collaboration with them! It was invaluable for me to work with such a big company and be their Firehazard representative. It gave me an amazing amount of understanding around key stakeholder management.
Once Endemol Shine had signed off the basic concept of the game, we really didn’t have long to get everything underway. Just a few months! However, delivering a full game on a limited budget and with little time is something we specialise in, and this would be no different. Soon, fans of the show were running around London, trying to outsmart the hunters and the project went off to much critical acclaim.
If you would like to see more about how the game was received, you can read this extensive review by Scare Addicts.