INSIGHT is a casual and competitive multiplayer First Person Shooter based on a unique gameplay concept and movement system.
INSIGHT is a casual and competitive multiplayer First Person Shooter based on a unique gameplay concept and movement system.
Concept & Movement
Each time a player makes a sound they become briefly visible through all walls throughout the level. You must utilize the advanced movement techniques in order to stay silent and remain hidden.
Plan creative movement and combat strategies on the fly to out-skill your opponents, by combining loud movement to gain speed at the cost of revealing your location to other players, and silent movement to stay out of sight.
Advanced movement techniques include:
- Bunnyhopping: By performing consecutive jumps you can gain speed, however, each time you land from a jump uncrouched you make a sound.
- Crouchslides: By landing in the crouched position you will enter a crouchslide. This keeps your landing silent but will gradually reduce your speed. Crouchslides can also be used to slide through tight spaces or to dodge enemy projectiles.
- Wallslides and walljumps: Silently slide along surfaces and jump from walls to quickly reach different areas of the level.
- Rocket jumps, railcharge boosts and more: A variety of techniques using weapons and powerups are available to add further movement freedom.
The various movement techniques provide you with unlimited ways to maneuver around the level and can be combined to string together complex and fluid movement sequences to beat your opponents. You are free to choose whether to move silently or to gain speed by bunnyhopping.
Generally players will make frequent switches between loud movement to pick up speed, before switching to silent movement to obscure their exact location. The movement options create vertical gameplay with a variation of pace and depth. The techniques are not simply gimmicks or unnecessary features, but neatly tie in with the sound visualization mechanic to add stealth and strategy.
The sound visualization minimizes spamming (repeatedly shooting in hopes of hitting an enemy) because each time you fire your weapon you make a sound - making you briefly visible through walls and revealing your position. It also discourages players from always moving around the level at top speed which mixes in a slower and more tense dimension of gameplay. Players will need to enter the mind of their opponents to predict and read them, as well as using their own sound to trick and mislead the enemy.
INSIGHT has three core weapons which will be common throughout the main game modes (Rocket launcher, lightning gun, ricochet railgun - each with an alternate fire mode), as well as additional weapons specific to custom maps and gametypes.
Each of the main weapons has a method of indirect attack (for example, reflecting beams off of surfaces and projectiles which can pass through walls), meaning you can hit enemies who are not directly visible, placing a greater importance on staying silent.
The possibility of indirect attacks places an extra importance on moving silently to hide your exact position. You may choose to shoot around or through walls to find your opponent and deal damage, but keep in mind that your position will be revealed each time you shoot, which will minimize wall spamming.
There will be a variety of other weapons with unique functions that will feature in certain maps and gamemodes which are not yet fully implemented in the game.
- Teleporter: Which will function similar to the weapon from the game "Portal" except modified to suit an arena game, combined with the movement system for mind-bending fast paced gameplay.
- Time Manipulation: Capable of creating temporary time displacement areas which will slow down anything that passes through - including projectiles and players, which can be used for area denial or to set traps by delaying your own projectiles, and to block enemy fire.
- Tripmine: Firing a fast projectile which spawns a tripmine on the surface it hits, which explodes and damages the enemy if they pass through the beam. This can also be used for area denial and forces players to find new movement routes.
INSIGHT will feature most of the standard competitive and casual game modes, such as 1 on 1 duels, team games, free-for-all deathmatch and capture the flag.
There will also be various modes which center around the game’s unique weapons and movement mechanics, such as a one-shot-kill mode featuring the ricochet railgun, arenas featuring teleporter weapons, and chase modes.
Experimental Game Modes
The core game has been developed to suit a wide variety of maps and settings, and so there will be many experimental game types available to test.
For example, there will be a build and destruction mode where each team has a short time to build a base before the match goes live. When the game is live they must capture the enemy’s flag while navigating the unique layout built by the opposing team.
Singleplayer / Practice
INSIGHT will include singleplayer and practice modes where you can perfect your movement and aim. As well as timed speedrun challenges and bot gameplay. Competitions will be run to keep the community active, where players can compete to complete a movement course in the fastest time or the highest score against bots.
A variety of powerups unique to the games concept and movement system will be available on different game modes, for example, a powerup allowing you to temporarily move and shoot silently. It will be at the discretion of the mapper which powerups are included in each level.
INSIGHT will be community driven and the players decide which gamemodes they want to play. It is impossible for any developer to predict how their game will eventually be played, and rather than trying to force a specific gamemode or playstyle, INSIGHT will provide a solid underlying gameplay mechanic and various modes for people to test and explore.
Visual Style & Level Design
The overall design is based around a futuristic but stylized world, featuring bright neon lights and wireframes and glowing models & players.
Maps will encourage vertical gameplay and will allow full use of the advanced movement mechanics.
All aspects of the visual style can be customized and configured to your preferences.
Customization and Accessibility
The game is built around the principle of customization and accessibility. There is no ambiguity around visuals, for example, camouflage is not a concept within the game - if an enemy is in your field of view you should be able to see them. Likewise, sounds are always heard and visualized from any distance, allowing you to play with low sound volume or with music. INSIGHT is designed to be spectator and fragmovie friendly
The look of the game will be entirely customizable, from post-process settings such as lens flares and bloom, to replacement skins, models and map colors. The only limitations on visual customization will be to prevent players from seeing through walls and other ‘cheat’ methods such as spiked models. As with visuals, sounds can also be customized or replaced. The graphical configuration options allow INSIGHT to be played on lower-end systems. Users will be able to share their configurations with other members of the community and the game will feature presets for different preferences.
Due to the simplistic style of the game and the customization options available, INSIGHT is accessible to players who are colorblind or have difficulty seeing small targets (which can be a problem in most modern shooters that have a complex visual style). The sound visualization concept also means that deaf gamers will not be at a disadvantage.
Matchmaking and Demo Tools
It is important that modern multiplayer games have a solid matchmaking system to allow gamers to instantly get into a match with other players. This applies to both casual and competitive games. INSIGHT will feature a skill-based matchmaking system, utilizing Steam integration for player statistics and tracking.
INSIGHT will be spectator friendly (featuring Twitch integration), but it is also important that it is fragmovie / frag clip friendly. Often, players will discover a new game from seeing clips posted to YouTube, and so it is important to have a system that allows you to quickly capture gameplay moments. The current prototype of the game features a basic demo playback and editing system which allows you to create custom camera paths and record gameplay. This will be built upon to become more extensive in the future.
So far I have created the music used for the official soundtrack (including a collaboration with Sbeast), but with successful funding, a full soundtrack for the game will be produced by various electronic artists.
Future Team and Funding
I have been developing the prototype for the past two years, with an additional 3 years learning various aspects of game development and testing different arena concepts. I work full-time as a web developer and have been creating INSIGHT in my spare time, and so the development has been slow and gradual. If the project is successfully funded, individual experts can be hired to work on each area of the game to improve the quality from a working prototype to a commercial-ready game. This will speed up the development and also allow me to work on the project full-time.
Fees: Platform & payment fees, engine license fees.
Marketing: Cost of promotional materials and advertising.
Running Costs: Necessary costs such as servers, hosting, github, various licenses (eg. Substance Painter).
Development: Development and contract work, including design, development, music, etc. As all rewards also help towards the development of the game, those costs are included here.
There are certain aspects and features of the project that require specialized knowledge, for example; implementing advanced bot AI, anti-cheat technology, netcode programming, creating a comprehensive matchmaking system, in-game level creation, demo editing tools and more. These are critical to the success of the game and should have the best developers working on them.
In order to make the game visually appealing it is also important to have professional 3d artists and designers creating content for the game. While a lot of the content may eventually be created by the community, there needs to be a good selection of maps, models and gamemodes at launch to suit the style of the game and attract the initial community.
I have talked to various developers and designers to figure out the necessary costs to see the project to completion, and I have a shortlist of people I will be working with (to be finalized and confirmed after funding).
Your help is needed to get the project finalized and released on Steam. If you'd like to support INSIGHT or would like to be involved with the creation and testing of the game, see the full list of contributor rewards.
What makes INSIGHT unique?
As you may know, there are various arena-based first person shooter games available. Many of which are targeting veteran Quake players who would like the classic gameplay but with modernized graphics and features. Whilst many do a good job of this, the community is split between multiple games of very similar styles, and the audience is limited to existing fans who are still interested in playing what is essentially an unchanged formula. INSIGHT revitalizes the genre with a new and unique core concept, whilst staying true to the principles of arena shooters. Rather than starting with Quake (or similar) as a baseline and adding new weapons and features on top, INSIGHT has instead been designed from the ground up and provides a new game for people to learn. Whilst many features overlap with existing games (eg. projectile weapons, bunnyhopping, airstrafing), the underlying gameplay is built on a unique foundation, allowing players to explore the genre in a new direction.
In many arena shooters the winner is usually the player with the best aim or technical movement skill. Often intelligent gameplay is lost outside of the high-end competitive scene. INSIGHT hopes to re-introduce a layer of strategy and planning to the genre, by encouraging players to be mindful about their movement and sound.
Every aspect and feature is based on necessity: for example, there are no redundant weapons or movement mechanics in the main game modes; each has its own unique functionality and purpose. Because the game has been designed from scratch, the movement, sound and weapons all work together in unison to form the games concept.
For the success of any multiplayer game it is important to build a large and consistent playerbase, this is a problem for many arena FPS games that are currently available.
INSIGHT aims to tackle this challenge in multiple ways.
- Unique Gameplay: One problem with other games in the genre is that the playerbase is split between multiple similar shooters, as they often feature essentially the same underlying gameplay, just with cosmetic differences. INSIGHT has the ability to appeal to experienced gamers by staying true to Arena FPS principles, whilst unique enough to stand out and attract a new audience.
- Wide Audience: As INSIGHT has been built with many custom gamemodes in mind it has a larger potential playerbase than most other arena games. Original gamemodes can be created to attract casual and beginner players who wouldn’t necessarily be familiar with arena FPS’s. Because these gamemodes will share the same underlying core mechanics, the skills learnt will be transferable to the standard gamemodes and build the competitive scene. Whilst it might seem like multiple game modes would split or dilute the community, each one would be targeted and marketed towards new audiences, increasing the total number of players.
- Player Retention: As well as bringing in new players, it is important to keep the current players active. Along with necessary features such as skill based matchmaking, INSIGHT will regularly run competitions for prizes. This will include match based competitions, frag movie making contests and speedrun challenges. The development team will quickly implement changes based on community feedback as well as continually add new features to keep players interested and active.
Another challenge with any multiplayer game is to keep it as cheat-free as possible. While there is no such thing as a foolproof anticheat, there are techniques which can be used to minimize the impact of cheating.
Along with implementing external anticheats, there are also in-game techniques which can be used. For example, a serverside anti-wallhack which performs visibility checks to see which players you can see, which only sends information on players you have a direct line of sight with, preventing any types of wallhack. Due to the simplicity of the geometry this may be a more viable anticheat technique than in other modern games.
There are also more experimental features such as heuristic aimbot & triggerbot detection which can be implemented to help to prevent or deter other forms of cheating.
As a last resort, there will be manual reporting of suspicious players so that they can be investigated on an individual basis.
Development Team Challenges
Projects which rely on multiple developers can often get halted if one team member doesn't pull their weight, or if they lose interest in the project. When the game is funded I will be hiring experts in different areas whilst managing the overall project. If there are any problems or delays with team members, new developers can be hired on a task-by-task basis. Also, because I have experience in all areas of game development, I will be able to fill in any missing pieces to keep the development moving.
The downside to a project being managed by one developer is that if they are not able to continue, the project will be halted. However, if for any reason I am not able to continue to work on the game, I have friends (developers) who are equally interested in seeing the game come to life who have followed the project from the start who understand the core principles and would be willing to take over managing the project.
The project will not be abandoned due to a lack of motivation or dedication on my part. Whilst INSIGHT in its current form has only been in development for 2 years, I have been testing similar concepts and ideas for much longer whilst self-teaching game development. Take a look at the video below to see some older concept tests and to see how INSIGHT reached its current form:
Thanks for reading. Your support is needed to help INSIGHT be developed from a prototype into a commercial ready release. See the list of rewards available for your contribution. If you are not able to contribute to the project you can also help out by spreading the word to friends, gaming communities, blogs and on social media.
- Epic Games (Providing Unreal Engine 4)
- r/ArenaFPS community and mods
- All YouTube, Discord, Twitter & Newsletter followers and supporters
- All testers of the game for your input and feedback
- Sbeast for collaboration on the INSIGHT soundtrack
- TITAN SLAYER for the use of their track "Dynamic Aggressive Industrial" [Soundcloud] [Facebook]
- Mark Fonzen Ricochet railgun model
- All previous donators to the project. NOTE: If you have donated to the project before the crowdfunding began, contact me to receive additional rewards with your backing.
- Every individual or community not mentioned above that has supported the project and helped bring it to life.
Risks and challenges
Some of the game-specific risks of the project have already been covered in more detail above, but the main challenge I'd like to address is the budget management.
Often game development projects run out of money after crowdfunding and are unable to meet their goals within the budget, including delivering rewards. It may seem like the scope of the project is high, but remember that the prototype in its current form has been created without any funding or team. There are also a lot of resources available which can be used to cut development time and costs such as plugins and code from the Unreal Engine marketplace. Along with this, there are people who are passionate about the project who are willing to help work on the game for free, which cuts down on development expenses and allows it to be spent on the most important and challenging areas.
Delays can often be expected with large development projects, however, I have a goal to meet and exceed expectations in relation to deliverables and rewards. Once someone has backed a project, I believe it is important to be reliable with promises and deadlines, they should be kept in the loop and considered to be part of the team. If any unexpected or unavoidable delays occur, I will make sure to communicate the issue with the community and revise the relevant estimated dates.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)