Hunger Games: Roadmap (2021)

In a previous post I described my goals for 2021 which included updates to one of my oldest works, the Hunger Games. Since then, I’ve decided exactly what’s getting in as well as the order these updates will be added. These are overarching themes for updates, not just the only prospective content. Behold, my tentative roadmap for the Hunger Games in 2021:

  1. UI Update – Very Soon™
  2. Crafting and Items Update – Summer
  3. Allies & Private Servers – Fall

1. UI Update – Currently in Progress

The user interfaces in this game were clunky and dated, to say the least. If I’m going to continue on this roadmap, the inner workings of how it displays information to players is paramount to any future update’s success. So, I’ll be reworking the guts of the UI system with these goals in mind:

  1. Modernize the UI code so it’s future-proof and easily worked with.
  2. Maintain the present appearance and behavior of existing UI.
  3. Improve clarity and responsiveness in the controls/information on-screen.
  4. Add a few quality-of-life features.

As the title of this section suggests, I’m already working on this update and it’s been going well! Should be ready Soon™. I’m already loving the new structure I’m giving to this code. Perhaps I’ll make a separate post about the night-and-day differences that my Lua-savvy readers will enjoy. For now, enjoy this preview of a new addition to the spectate feature. You can see the spectated players health, hunger, thirst and kill count!

I shared this video earlier on the game’s Discord server!

(Related: updating the UI backend will make full support for mobile and console very much a possibility. No promises on that just yet, though!)

2. Crafting and Items Update

For this part of the roadmap, a little history: at one point, the Hunger Games allowed you to forage sticks and rocks from the arena to craft swords. You could also add Nightlock to bottles to make poison, which could then be applied to swords or kunai. Unfortunately, when the game was made compatible with the Filtering Enabled feature (Remember how I said this game was old?), the Crafting feature got the short end of the stick. It had still functioned for a bit until a subsequent Roblox update broke it entirely. Well, it’s time it got fixed!

This update comes after the UI update because I want to make sure this re-written content is compatible with the other reworked parts of the game’s interface. As for gameplay, crafting recipes will allow the survivalist tributes to take advantage of abundant arena resources, and open up the possibility of more useful items.

New Items 🎁

  • Spear: Ok, not new, but it’s coming back!
  • Bola: Ranged weapon which will briefly slow your target.
  • Knife: Crafting tool. Very weak melee weapon.
  • Rope: Material. Allows escape from terrain pits
  • Tinderbox: Lights fires using sticks. Fires increase HP regen and allow you to cook fish.
  • Survival Bag: Cornucopia item which contains Knife, Rope, Tinderbox and Compass.

Recipes 👩‍🍳

  • Club: 2 × Stick
  • Sword: Knife + Rock + 2 × Stick
  • Poison: Bottle + Nightlock
  • P. Sword: Sword + Poison
  • P. Kunai: Kunai + Poison
  • Bola: Rope + 2 × Rock
  • …and probably a lot more!
An image of the bola: an S-shaped rope with two wooden spheres at the end.
The bola, an item I designed a long time ago but never added. It’s your time to shine, buddy!

These new features will be subject to balance, of course. Each item/recipe has to be interesting, fun and nostalgic otherwise it’s not getting into the game. I’ll be interfacing with the community to get everyone’s two cents before I commit.

3. Allies & Private Servers

It’s no secret that the Hunger Games community is the backbone of this game. You all deserve so much more than the game currently offers, so after the necessary updates above have been made for the game’s health, I’ll add new features which bring everyone together more effectively. You’ll be able to declare allies quickly in the arena and fight together with some small perks.

Allies 🤝

You can offer to be an ally with someone while you’re both in the lobby, or while in the arena after a minute has passed. Think of it like a temporary friend request that’s only for one person. You’ll get some nice-to-perks to support each other:

  • See your ally’s health, hunger, thirst and kills. You can locate them with a compass-like interface.
  • Share tools and items directly, so long as you’re nearby, not in combat and standing still.
  • You won’t damage your ally, trigger their traps, etc. This won’t apply if you are the last ones remaining in the arena!
  • You can break the truce at any time, but beware: your ex-partner will know!
  • Staying allied the entire time you are in the arena will give you some bonus XP!

Private Servers

They’ll come in two flavors. The regular flavor is included with the server subscription and will be for those just wanting to experience the game with a specific set of players. The upgraded flavor will be available through a game pass purchase and will give full access to a customized experience.

Standard ⚡

  • Designed for individuals with a handful of friends
  • Owner can start/pause/reset the games at will; otherwise acts like a normal sever.
  • Owner-coordinated/curated rounds of the Hunger Games: tributes, districts, game makers, disasters.
  • Access to a private third-story of the lobby. Refreshments served!
  • Your XP/Level and Wins/Rank from the main game are used, but will remain unchanged to prevent XP farming. As a result, betting is disabled.

Upgraded ✨

  • Meant for big group owners, tournament hosts or experimenting individuals
  • Customize everything with an admin interface or commands. Health, hunger, thirst, tools, sponsors, disasters,…everything!
  • Owner may configure how tribute stats work:
    • Use the main game stats
    • Per-server, earned as normal
    • Manually-configured
  • Owner can share or restrict access to game pass perks, as long as they also own the pass themselves.
  • And more! This will be the ultimate “creative mode”.

For the purposes of this roadmap, it’s not yet clear in what order these will appear. The goal is to make private servers cheap and accessible while giving some bonuses to the power-users and community leaders.

And Finally, a Massive Disclaimer:

This is a roadmap: it’s just a plan of where I’d like to go with the game and its community. The updates the game actually ends up getting is subject to a variety of factors, to include my abilities and the capabilities of the engine itself. These updates will probably bring other unrelated changes with them; these are just the primary focuses of each. I will try to stay transparent with the community on my progress, in addition to updating the game’s patch notes.

Aside: I meant to post this roadmap in February, but as I’ve come to learn, there’s only 28 days in that month this year. Whoops! I missed my mark just slightly for posting at least once a month this year, but oh well ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ This won’t be March’s only post, though.

Author: Ozzypig

Roblox developer and computer scientist. I love all things coding and game design!