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$51,707 pledged of $50,000 goal
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Welcome to the World of JetGetters!

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Hey backers, I’m back with another design update. As promised, here’s where I talk about why the hell this game is about pirates!
 

What is the role of the world, in JetGetters?

I personally don’t think games are a good medium for telling authored stories-- or at least I’m not good at it. Aesthetic theme, in this project, will be a medium for tone and atmosphere, and to support gameplay principles like stealing and fighting and teamwork and skydiving.

JetGetters Day 1 Prototype, 22nd of June 2013!
JetGetters Day 1 Prototype, 22nd of June 2013!

 The short version of how JetGetters came to be as a gameplay concept goes like this: Unity was picking up speed in the browser space, and there were all these brand new 3D browser games. A LOT of them are basically just Counter Strike clones, so we’re going crazy that small developers have these amazing tools and they’re making the same old grits. You can do so much with online deathmatch- what about Tribes? What about Team Fortress? Why does nobody ever focus on the dumb running gags and start from there?

Of course I print-screened this.
Of course I print-screened this.

A few weeks after concepting and protoyping some solid constants with the gameplay-design, we have enough material to give us some direction with world-building.

Goals in designing the world of JetGetters

With some gameplay constants nailed down, we know that our setting for JetGetters must support these concepts:

  • You fly aeroplanes, and eject out of them a lot.
  • You ride ontop of aeroplanes
  • You hijack aeroplanes in mid-air, and boot pilots out into the sky
  • You need a tether to reel yourself in to nearby planes.
  • If you fall down, you'll die.
  • You will shoot people.
  • Gravity plays a significant gameplay role.
There are still a lot of different ways we could go with this. You can easily imagine a straight military aesthetic that grows out from leaning on the airforce fighter-jet angle, or a sci-fi Halo version of this game. Catching missiles in mid-air is something Iron Man does every day, and there’s nothing more American than supersonic jet-planes and machine guns. The jet-planes could be dragons, we could all be wizards, and if you think I’m above looking into anime schoolgirls then you are dead wrong.
Ask me anything about ストライクウィッチーズ.
Ask me anything about ストライクウィッチーズ.

 Having worked on “Robot Dinosaurs That Shoot Beams When They Roar” and “You Have To Eat The Other Guy’s Poop”, I had learned one useful trick for this stage in the process that they don’t teach in you in school. That is to ask the valuable question: “Would I be happy talking about this game to people I know, and people I don’t, for the next 12 months?” Morale and enthusiasm for the project is important, and now is the time to consider it. It’d work out nice for all of us if the themes of JetGetters were positive and light-hearted and fun. Something unique that I can feel good talking to press about, but not so outlandish that I feel like a moron explaining it to my dad.

Personality

I went through a phase last year of watching movies for little girls. Fox and the Hound, Beauty and the Beast, through Hunchback of Notre Dame, Aladdin, Road to El Dorado and Treasure Planet, up to Brave and Tangled, you name it. Animation is my wheel-house, so I’m watching things like this all the time anyway. The protagonist in basically all of these is an unapologetic low-life, thief, criminal scumbag who is outstandingly charming. I started looking at people who get so much enthusiastic joy from stealing and hijacking, and jumping off of cliffs and throwing themselves into danger- which is mostly a classic adventurer type, and a couple other things I didn’t expect to start liking.
 You can actually spot some of the costume pieces I ended up using in here, like the waistcoat and turned-up pants. Poses in all the eject animations are actually 100% evoking the spidey-swing, because Spider-Man makes falling to your death look more fun than anything else in the world.

Pirates, and The Utility of Restraint

So this is where I started seeing a lot of pirates. Let’s think about this:
  • Pirates give no regard to the concept of self-preservation. They are reckless and battered.
  • Pirates love stealing. Ships, gold, rum, everything.
  • Pirates are cunning and sneaky, but also stupid and loud. Above all, they are greedy.
  • Pirates love adventure.
  • Pirates kill each other.
  • Pirates have a disloyal, but strongly evident comradery
  • Pirates come with a hook-hand theme
  • Pirates live on the ocean.
  • Pirates have style.
This was my first sketch on JetGetters. They’re still closely tied to air-force pilots, but slightly evoking piraticity with the boots and skull buckle.
This was my first sketch on JetGetters. They’re still closely tied to air-force pilots, but slightly evoking piraticity with the boots and skull buckle.
Exploring the potential atmosphere of greedy-ass, gold-hoarding pirates.
Exploring the potential atmosphere of greedy-ass, gold-hoarding pirates.
After that, I started leaning more heavily into pirate themes. It was way too Disneyland; I was actually losing confidence in the idea and decided to pull back.
After that, I started leaning more heavily into pirate themes. It was way too Disneyland; I was actually losing confidence in the idea and decided to pull back.

 Pulling the theme back down to Earth isn’t something I have a very good eye for, and if you’ve played No Time To Explain then you’ll see that. I usually want to spread out on a macro level and draw a pirate with a machine-gun for a leg, but here’s the utility of holding back: A big major slice of this game, and a lot of multiplayer games, is to be a lobby for people to goof around with their friends in. If you’re laying it on too thick then the game is in a constant performance that drowns out the expression of everyone playing, when you should be stepping back and letting the PLAYERS project their own fun onto the game. Also it has to be an easy sell- not from tinyBuild to potential customers- but from our customers to their friends. We're asking a lot of strangers to be fast friends, and some of them won't like wizards and aliens and space-bears, so it’s better to back down and let the gameplay shine through instead of slamming your self-proclaimed hilarious nonsense down everyone’s throat.

I think this is why I like the aesthetics in Team Fortress more than in Monday Night Combat. It’s there when you’re looking for it, and isn’t when you’re not.
I think this is why I like the aesthetics in Team Fortress more than in Monday Night Combat. It’s there when you’re looking for it, and isn’t when you’re not.

 With these themes in place, things started coming together.

Mystery!

Aren’t the unsolved mysteries always more fun than the solved ones? Nobody cares about a solved mystery!! The utility of a mysterious world in JetGetters is, apart from being unquenchingly exciting, that we plan to make a lot of updates and not tell a lot of story. We don’t know what the game modes are going to be yet, or what interactive level pieces we’re going to have, so we need to construct an environment that allows the freedom to add a broad spectrum of things without break cohesion. Also, implying more of a plot than is actually here lets us have an interesting world without spending hundreds of man-hours writing lore, or asking you to read a codex.

 All of the characters have metal arms, did you notice this? It wouldn’t be that much of a twist to add transforming jets when this is the point we’re starting from. It’s there as a pretense to add something we haven’t thought of yet in an update 6 months from now.

Constructing unanswered questions is such a fun way to inspire discussion and creative thought. Playing together, like I keep saying, is a big theme in JetGetters! With this in mind, I’m trying to inject the world of JetGetters with more questions than answers.

Will we ever directly address whether or not this giant skull is the skull of an actual giant? Probably not! We’ll probably just hint at it forever and put a giant ribcage somewhere in another level!
Will we ever directly address whether or not this giant skull is the skull of an actual giant? Probably not! We’ll probably just hint at it forever and put a giant ribcage somewhere in another level!

 That’s just about what sums up the world and tone of JetGetters. It’s very bright and positive, but also a little bit bastardly. It’s hopefully restrained, and implies a greater world of mystery and adventure! Those are the goals, derived from function as all good aesthetics are! 

OH-- and here’s a treat just for the hell of it;

Hijacks was a good name, right?? Get high!
Hijacks was a good name, right?? Get high!

...I super seriously promise I will post gameplay soon. We just put in new animations and models, and tagging enemies and radar stuff and all sorts of cool stuff, the game's lookin' cool!

-Tom!

Pierre Laporte, Andy Griffiths, and 2 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. tinyBuild 2-time creator on March 29, 2014

      Kyle we'd loooooooooove to do that, but then we'd have to stop working on the game to make it. We're like 4 guys!

    2. Kyle Dockum on March 29, 2014

      It would be cool if you did videos like TF2 where they went out of their way to make funny but informative videos about the characters.

      Granted that would take some time, but I think it would give this game more of a motif that people are looking for.