The Development of HATE

Inside us all is the potential for hate. It may be hidden deep down under layers of love, caring, and understanding, but it lies dormant within, waiting for the spark to be lit. HATE is the new game coming to Kickstarter on January 16 from CMON and Guillotine Games. It is inspired by the popular graphic novel series, The Chronicles of HATE by Adrian Smith. 

The Chronicles of HATE tells the story of a world that has fallen long ago, and the vicious, brutal people that managed to survive and thrive in a land without laws or societies to judge them for their actions. Translating that story to the tabletop fell to the creative team behind Zombicide, along with support from Eric M. Lang and Alex Olteanu. 

In a way, working with such a savage, gritty subject matter was liberating for Lang, who, along with Olteanu, really embraced the experience.

“It’s not often you get to work on a game that is specifically for an R-rated audience,” Lang said. The team’s goal was to create an experience that gets into the players’ heads and challenges their sense of justice within the context of the game. “We wanted players to say, ‘Yep, I just cooked my opponent for a resource. That makes total sense.’”

Getting into the cruelty and bloodshed of the world of HATE allowed the designers to go to places they hadn’t in the past. The kid gloves were off in terms of theme and mechanics, and they could explore different ways to alter the perceptions of the players. 

“This is a game that puts you in that post-apocalyptic mindset. It is survival and survival only. Morality doesn’t matter,” Lang said, noting the fine line a designer has to walk when creating a visceral, mature experience, while still respecting the audience. “I wanted to do that in a way that was challenging, and dark, and smoky, without being an insult to anyone’s intelligence.”

HATE is the second major game for Olteanu, after he worked as the head developer for Massive Darkness. Teaming up with an accomplished designer like Lang was hugely beneficial for him. 

“Eric has years of experience in Development and Design, so he is kind of a teacher to me,” Olteanu explains “Not just that, we have a very good working flow. Sometimes, when I’m stuck, I just invoke him and a magical solution appears from nowhere.”

While working on HATE, Olteanu got to fully explore the world of miniatures and miniature painting. This knowledge was incredibly valuable when developing how each different Tribe member works in the game. Having Tribes with many different members was a big undertaking, but allowing for the customization of these characters over the course of a Chronicle proved especially challenging. 

“We decided to go a little megalomaniac in some aspects of this project, like each player controlling 11 characters and each one of them is unique as the game progresses. Our main challenge was to work around those elements without losing the flow of the game.”

Olteanu drew inspiration from a few different dark sources to get into the right head space to develop HATE.

“Listening to a lot of Heavy Metal is mandatory to get into the mindset. Of course, I always search for inspiration in horror movies and a bunch of horror games, too.”

Translating the unrelenting barbarism of Smith’s work to the tabletop took the concentrated efforts of a team of developers. HATE calls upon the talents of the experienced minds like Eric M. Lang, Raphaël Guiton, and Nicolas Raoult, and taps into the fresh eyes of younger developers like Alex Olteanu. Coming together, they were able to create a game that explores a post-apocalyptic world, where survival is not guaranteed, and the people are not above murder, torture, and cannibalism. HATE is a game that explores some very dark places while making sure things don’t become gratuitous. 

“When we were designing this game, we asked ourselves, ‘Can we do this?’” remembers Lang. “And the answer was always, ‘Hell yeah, we can!’”

With these mature themes, mechanics, and gameplay developed with a love of fictionalized violence, HATE is an experience like no other. It’s one that will affect those that play it well into the future, and make no mistake, it is intended for an adult audience.

HATE is coming to Kickstarter January 16 at 3PM EST. Follow the HATE Facebook page for regular updates, including art, miniatures, and articles.

Read the HATE overview here.

Read about the Villages of HATE here.

Read about the Um'Gra Tribe here.

Read about the Um'Rak Tribe here.

The Development of HATE

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