Home / Uncategorized / The award-winning A Short Hike hits PS4 November 16 – PlayStation.Blog

The award-winning A Short Hike hits PS4 November 16 – PlayStation.Blog

Hello everybody! I’m Adam Robinson-Yu, the main developer of A Short Hike. I’m excited to finally announce that the launch date for A Short Hike on PS4 will be November 16th! With the release just around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to tell a little more about the world of Hawk Peak Provincial Park and how it took shape during my development.


The award-winning A Short Hike hits PS4 on November 16

In A Short Hike, you explore the park and work your way to the top of the mountain. There are lots of areas to find and explore, but that’s not how it started. In the beginning I just started sculpting areas that were fun to climb between and slide between them. At this point, the world and the player’s movements were designed hand in hand, and I’ve created hills and valleys at my own pace to test any tweaking of the character’s controls.

Through this process I got an idea of ​​what types of terrain are interesting and how I could make areas unique from the shape of their geometry alone. I also started brainstorming a list of landmarks that I could distribute around the world for players to discover. I gathered a variety of references, either from places I would like to visit or from places I had been in my own life. For example, the fire tower in the game is directly inspired by the one I personally visited while hiking Mount Pilchuck.

I also used photos to help me set the primary color palette for the world. I found a photo of a breezy fall landscape that really captured the feel I wanted, and then I sampled colors right from the photo to create a palette for texturing the rest of the game.

After this initial phase of experimentation, I finally had to commit to the general structure of the game. I wanted the freedom of exploration to be a central aspect of the level design. For me that meant avoiding any kind of invisible barriers or cutscenes that force you to go down a certain path – even from the start. I wanted the player to always feel free to explore any direction they wanted. However, this can make the game more difficult to design as I can’t be sure what the player has or knows at any given time. To solve this problem, I designed a quick map that divides the world into regions.

Each region would have a different altitude above sea level. In order to climb to the next region, the player needs a certain stamina (which is given via golden feathers) to get there. This allowed me to control the pace of the game a little better and to create a clearer beginning, middle and end.

One of the challenges in creating an open game like this one was making sure players didn’t completely miss out on important items. While almost all of the items are optional in order to complete the game, I think the game will be more fun when the player has more tools to play with. While testing the game, I found that many players plunge into the ocean and explore the back half of the mountain first. To guide them back to what they’re supposed to find, I’ve placed a small cave in the back that will get them back on track. Who can escape the charm of a good cave?

The hardest part of the mountain was the summit. While A Short Hike isn’t a difficult game, I wanted the last area to be a little trickier to level up. Our protagonist Claire is a little nervous about reaching the top and the atmosphere and music try to reflect that. This section should reward players who have researched the most and give them more opportunities to reach the top. But I wanted to make sure that it would be possible to get up there with barely any gold feathers. (It’s just a lot harder!)

I don’t want to reveal too much here, but I hope you enjoy exploring Hawk Peak Provincial Park. I tried to make each area unique – either by the types of flora that adorn it or the sights you will discover. A Short Hike isn’t a huge open world game, but I think it’s a little world full of things to discover. See for yourself when A Short Hike launches on November 16th.

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