The October Update learnings
Greetings, Kindred and welcome to our latest learnings article covering the recent survey. We have a lot of things to go through this time so let's get started!
As you know, Bloodhunt has been facing challenges with long waiting times during matchmaking over the last few months. The root cause is the number of active players, which initially was at a high level but has since dropped to a point where it affects matchmaking. As a result, newcomers also faced highly skilled opponents in uneven matches, contributing to them leaving the game and not coming back, further compounding the issue. We made several adjustments to mitigate this by rotating game modes, changing the player rating system, tweaking our matchmaking parameters, lobby sizes, adding TDM, and more.
With the October Update, our primary goal was to deal with the long waiting times in a way that worked for the size of the current player base. We accomplished this by adding bots that backfill the servers. Now, if there aren't enough players to start a match after reaching the time limit put in place, bots will fill up any empty slots, and a match will begin. By adding these conditions, we wanted to ensure that any player queueing for our modes Solo BH, Duo BR, or TDM would not have to wait too long to get into the game.
According to the survey results and the data after the October Update, we are happy that most of you now have a more enjoyable experience in Bloodhunt. We can see that many of you are getting a few more kills per match with the bots and that more matches are being played with faster overall matchmaking times. We have also seen a slight increase in players, and most of you have given us positive feedback about the update in general. However, those who prefer playing against human opponents are still concerned, particularly with the waiting times in our Trios game mode that doesn't have bots.
Improving Trios waiting times and the overall PvP experience
Since we know that a group of players appreciate the challenge of facing real players, we made sure to keep one game mode without bots. We chose Trios as it historically has been our most competitive game mode. Regardless, most of you prefer faster matchmaking times with bots to longer waiting times, which leaves Trios in a less-than-optimal state from a matchmaking perspective.
In investigating how we could solve this issue, we sent out an additional survey to get an impression of what actions would be preferred by you. The responses we received were helpful for us, and as a result, we have already made some alterations to mitigate the Trio waiting times by reducing the number of players needed to start the match (from 42 to 30).
We continue to monitor the situation and look at other potential improvements that may reduce waiting times further. Additionally, we are looking at possible solutions for reducing the number of bots per match in our other game modes.
Adjusted development team & the Core Vampire Crew
Given the size of the player-base we have decided to adjust the size of the team working on the game. We have an update planned for December, and after that, we will ramp down the team size.
Bloodhunt is our studio's first game, and lots of hard work and love have been poured into it over the years. It is a game that many grew to love, and for us, it is a vital part of Sharkmob’s story and legacy. However, most of the Bloodhunt team will move on to other projects within the studio after the coming update. A smaller but dedicated and highly passionate team will stay on Bloodhunt to continue working on the project in tight proximity with you – the players.
The team that will carry on the work is internally known as the Core Vampire Crew or CVC. They will drive Bloodhunt as a passion project with a scope better adjusted towards the current situation of a smaller but highly dedicated player base.
Introducing the CVC team!
It’s time to take a moment to meet and get to know some of our staff from the newly formed CVC team.
Let’s start with one of our game designers, William Karlsson!
William, you are already fairly known within the Bloodhunt community but let’s get to know you a little bit better.
How did you come to become the game designer on Bloodhunt?
- I started at Sharkmob just a little over five years ago when Bloodhunt was in its early days. I began working as a level designer but was doing a lot of game design from the get-go. The game design side-gig turned into my full-time job and here we are! I’ve worked on a bunch of different things in the game, but one of my main contributions has been the gunplay and combat which has been a lot of fun!
What are your favorite games?
- I play a variety of different types of games, but Dark Souls will always have a special place in my heart. Outside of that I’ve played a bunch of Overwatch, Apex Legends, TF2, Smite and a whole bunch of roguelikes.
What inspired you in your work?
- I really get inspired by the community. Seeing the game bring people fun and enjoyment in different ways motivates me to do more. And it’s a lot of fun working on a live game where you quickly get feedback on what works and what doesn’t.
Pineapple on pizza, yes or no?
- As a true swede I remain neutral in this question. I do not personally put fruit on my pizza, but hey, you do you Jaqub!
Additionally, we have our community developer, Tobias Solem joining us.
Tobias, you joined us in June of this year, but you’ve definitely been deeply involved with our community ever since then.
Tell us a little about yourself and your spare time hobbies.
- I’m a calm person with an overall positive mindset. I have an eclectic interest that has taken me all over the place. From Sociology studies, to spending 15 years as a teacher and around 8 in community management. I love nature, game design, photography, digital art, and programming. At the core I am most curious about how games work, what makes them good (in my opinion a mix of narrative and well-designed gameplay), and people’s interest in them.
Please tell us a little bit about what it is that you do for Bloodhunt!
- Well, my role is quite flexible and allows me to do a lot of things that are community-facing. That means I make sure to talk to the developers and stay up to date so I can write the learnings’ articles, patch notes, and other texts for social media. But perhaps my most important duty is to make sure that I represent the voice of the community in all our internal meetings. That includes posting and analyzing and summarizing surveys, feedback on our social channels, and listening to feedback from different audiences with diverse needs in Bloodhunt. That, and much much more.
We know you had a specific interest in Bloodhunt, tell us a little bit about that.
- Well, for starters I’ve been an enthusiastic fan of Vampire; The Masquerade all the way since the mid 1990’s. Writing and storytelling my own campaigns and scenarios, as well as running many of the pre-written ones. I’ve participated in several Vampire LARPs in my youth and consider myself an afficionado of the universe and lore. My initial impression of a BR in this universe was honestly not that positive, but once I had spoken to the team and learned about their vision, I got excited about the game, and what drew me in was the amazing visuals, the city of Prague, the story behind it and the fun vertical fast-paced gameplay. Vampires are interesting and exciting in so many ways.
Lastly, if you had to bring one game only to a desert island and play it for 7 years, which would it be and why?
- Since I’m on a desert island, I’m assuming I have no Internet connection. In that case I would definitely play The Witcher 3 with the DLCs. There’s such a plethora of side-quests, and the way that the devs made it into such a deep game definitely inspires me.
Thank you, William and Tobias, for your inspiring answers, and we look forward to taking Bloodhunt into 2023 with you both and the rest of the CVC team that we will introduce at a later point!
We also want to take a moment to say goodbye to two publicly notable team members who are leaving Sharkmob for new adventures and thank them for their legendary contributions.
Thank you, David Sirland, and Samir Arabi-Eter and best of luck to you both!
You are probably wondering what's next for the game and what is coming - we will be sharing more information with you soon regarding our upcoming December update.
Thank you, Bloodhunt community!
Bloodhunt launched in April, but many of you have been here to support us for much longer, cheering us on to keep us going. We are forever grateful for that! Our secret power has always been you, our dedicated and loyal players with whom we look forward to continuing our journey.
Thank you for your support and as always, see you at dusk!