During my time at Wild River Games we developed an Open-World Adventure game for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
Horse Club™ Adventures is based on the well-known toys from Schleich, which are being sold all around the world. The game is also available worldwide since May 2021, on consoles and pc.
Horse Club Adventures is an open-world, story based, horseback-riding adventure game in which the player spends it’s vacation in Lakeside (the imaginary location of the Horse Club).
The game is broken down in 16 days during which the player has to complete various quests and gets to know the main protagonists or the Horse Club universe.
Next to the main storyline the player can complete a side quest chain which focuses on the background of the horse club, as explained by Edith Jacobs, an NPC in the game.
The game features an elaborate horse racing system with a total of 15 race tracks, each with 2 modes (normal/mirror) and 3 difficulties each (easy/normal/hard). Which results in a total of 90 races.
Furthermore the open world is full of photo spots where the player can collect pictures and complete its photo album.
Lastly the game provides a great variety of customizations for the player character and its horse. Progressing through the quests, as well as completing races, rewards the player with various items (haircuts, t-shirts, boots, etc…) which can be equipped at the dressing area within the game’s world.
Horse Club Adventures was created from scratch within approx. 18 months. My role consisted of managing/planning the project, programming game features and UI as well as porting the game to the Xbox One. Furthermore I was responsible for the release on Steam (PC) and the creation of a short playable demo, which would be released with the horse club magazine shortly before launch.
The main challenges encountered during development was the timeline. Having no prior experience with open world games or with console development, the team and I had to research a lot before being able to start working on the project.
Because of the short timeline we had to use various plugins for key aspects of the game, which we would have liked to develop ourselves, but couldn’t in the given time. One example of such plugin is Malber’s Animations which controls all the movements and animations of the horses and characters within the game.
Additionally we used Unity’s Universal Render Pipeline for the first time in order to gain performance for the Nintendo Switch, our main platform.
The combination of some plugins and the URP did not work straight away and we had to change our workflow a few times during the project.
Furthermore we had to replace the main game designer in the middle of the project, which resulted in a few chaotic months and a lot of features being cut in order to still reach the targeted release date.
Shortly before release I also directed the QA process done by Quantic Lab, managing the communication between our developers and their QA Team, and making sure the issues found were fixed asap and included in new builds sent out to the QA Team regularly.
Aside from planning the project I also did a lot of programming for the game.
Here is a short list describing most (but not all) things I programmed for Horse Club™ Adventures:
- Most of the in-game UI
- Splash-screen, Scene loading, Scene transitions
- Racetrack system
- Editor tools to create invisible colliders as well as vision blocking walls
- Everything Xbox and Steam related
- Small demo containing only the 1st day of the game
- Dynamic particle systems
© 2021 Wild River Games GmbH. Developed and Published by Wild River Games GmbH.
© 2021 Schleich GmbH. All rights reserved
More information can be found directly on Wild River Games’ website: