A few weeks ago I took part in the 7 Day FPS jam. I wanted to explore an idea I had a while ago around deer hunting in Scotland. It was partly inspired by this wonderful article by Cal Flyn and partly by one of my favourite books - The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemmingway. I wanted to try to explore some of the real drama and pain caused by killing a living thing. As in The Old Man and The Sea, finding and capturing the animal is only half the battle and the real struggle comes as you must bring your trophy home.
I took some creative liberties by reintroducing wolves into the Scottish Highlands, as the game needed some threat to the player. I also made use of some great open-licensed models and music, all of which are credited in the game. No jam game will ever be perfect, and I think the major fault of Hunter's Sorrow is the size of the landscape. The default Gaia setting of 2km square was much too big and means that it is very easy for the player to get lost and miss crucial bits of instruction and story, as this delightfully patient let's-player did.
Lastly the name of the game. I was recently on a stag do, we were not hunting stags but we were clay pigeon shooting, and one of the more experienced shooters told me that he had been deer hunting before. He said that the first time you kill something as large as a deer, with those big mammalian eyes, you can find yourself staring into them and realising the deepest regret and sadness. There is a common name for this feeling, apparently shared by so many after their first kill and that is "hunter's sorrow."
You can download the game for Windows from itch.io here.