What is Gunscape?
What makes Gunscape different from typical FPS games is that the players create the gameplay. Inspired by the first-person shooters of the past that we loved, we're taking all the most memorable elements and putting them in a toolkit to be used and combined however you want. At its heart, Gunscape is a shooter sandbox where you can play in your own custom world. It's a game that lets you go wild with your creativity in a pumping action FPS sandbox! Gunscape does this by providing easy-to-use tools based on a block-placement interface everybody's already familiar with to create single-player campaigns, co-op maps and multiplayer arenas and the functionality to share your creations with your friends. Don't like building stuff and just want to blast your way through hordes of monsters or duel with other players? Maps can also be shared, played and voted on by the whole world, so you'll always have new levels at your fingertips!
The game is organised into themes taken from the entire genre of FPS games, from the early classics to the modern triple-A stealth and war shooters. Each theme set contains unique world building blocks, player models, enemies (and bosses!), music tracks, skyboxes, special level elements (like traps and teleporters) and--of course--GUNS (plus bombs, bats, swords, flamethrowers, chainsaws, rocket launchers and much, much more. 38 weapons planned so far!).
Assets from different sets are meant to be combined freely when building your worlds and the selection of content contained in each one has been carefully selected and planned out to avoid redundancy and to represent the truly iconic parts of the game it was inspired by.
It's important to us that anybody should be able to create their own levels. In the days of Doom and Build engine games level editors were simple enough that it didn't take long to learn how to create a whole new adventure for the player. The truly skilled could create impressive feats of architecture, but the rest of us could still create enjoyable challenges thanks to tightly-designed game engines that focused on making the core gameplay pure fun. In a game like that it doesn't matter how many times you test and tweak the layout to make your map the best it can be, or how abstract the level becomes as a result. This is the driving philosophy behind Gunscape. It's also the reason we've chosen to start by polishing the multiplayer experience in the pre-alpha demo, as we feel this is one of the best ways to develop and tweak the core gameplay.
Of course, there's no point in creating great play experiences if nobody else gets to play them! Gunscape has a server to share your creations and the game has a built in map browser with filtering and voting system, so that anybody can have full access to every public player-created level, regardless of which theme packs were used to make them. The available demo (more on this later) has game levels we have put together and we'll continue to add more as we complete new content to help show how much potential there is for you to create some truly amazing things with Gunscape!
Creative Mode and its multiplayer equivalent consist of a simple block placement interface in which elements, such as terrain blocks, are selected from your theme packs and placed in the world by clicking on the face of an existing block. You can easily copy or rotate already-placed elements with a single button press, and in the future you’ll also be able to select, flip, copy and paste large areas of your map to make things even easier. This style of editor should be familiar to most players--if you’ve ever played an Infiniminer-style game like Minecraft then you’re already qualified to make your own levels in Gunscape!
As mentioned, each theme is a set of elements such as player models, music tracks and skyboxes, but here’s a quick breakdown of the elements you’ll be able to directly place in your levels:
- Ordinary terrain blocks make up the bulk of a level. These are generally cubes, but most themes will include a few angled blocks for constructing sloped ceilings, walls or floors.
- Props are detailed objects like columns, statues or desks. They’re invaluable for decorating your stages and providing partial cover for players (note that props can be shot through in the pre-alpha version, but that’s temporary). Many props also act as light sources, like lamps or glowing computer screens.
- Special elements, which covers everything from doors to elevators, teleporters, lava floors, deadly laser emitters and spike traps.
- Special elements can generally be active or disabled, and you might wish to use this functionality to create interactive level logic using trigger blocks, which can mean invisible triggers, sneaky tripwires and pressure plates or obvious elements like buttons and levers. These are fairly straightforward to use: keep an eye out for a full post on the trigger system in a future update!
- Window blocks are a special block type which include transparent sections through which a selected environmental scene can be viewed. They aren’t “real” windows, meaning you don’t need to build an actual outside environment to be viewed through them. Instead you can simply plop a few windows into walls of your spaceship and players will be able to see a starfield--or whatever scene you choose--through them. Window blocks make creating interior spaces a lot easier and allow for tricks such as setting your world skybox to an ocean surface scene, and your window scene to an underwater view, so that players can begin outside on the surface before descending into a deep sea structure.
- Enemies are one of the most important features of a singleplayer/co-op map--although there’s nothing stopping you from placing them in a multiplayer arena map if you wish. Each theme contains several smaller monsters in addition to a larger heavy-hitter or boss-level monster. Every foe has individual AI with behaviour based on the style of game it’s inspired by, and will automatically pathfind around the environments you create. Military guards will patrol until they spot you (but won’t leave the elevation they were placed on); raptor dinosaurs attempt to roam in packs, encircling their prey; and zombie mutants stand immobile until alerted--at which point they scramble up the nearest wall and try to leap at you.
- Finally, you should finish off a stage with a sprinkling of important invisible markers: weapon and ammo spawns (which may or may not respawn depending on the game mode/server settings); music blocks, which are used to lend atmosphere to your stage by changing the current music track at key moments, dialogue blocks which are cues for on-screen text you might want to show your players; and multiplayer spawn points and objectives, if your map is meant to be used in an arena game mode.
There’s no limit to how many different elements you use in your level. And while there is a maximum size, it’s huge: if you made your level as wide as possible it’d take players hours to walk from one side to the other!
- Solo and online co-operative multiplayer level creation! Build maps at your own pace or invite friends to help out! Jump in and out of action mode while editing to test your level on the fly or just to blast one another.
- Single-player campaign mode: play or create a sequence or branching tree of levels with or without a story. Build a whole self-contained adventure or a gauntlet of fearsome challenges.
- Co-op mode: invite one or more friends to tackle a dedicated co-op map with you or take a single-player map and crank up the difficulty.
- Multiplayer arenas: build a map with multiple spawn points and powerups and invite your friends or host a public game for some brutal online action using one of many multiplayer modes, including classics such as free-for-all and team deathmatch, capture the flag variants, king of the hill and domination/point capture modes and different tag/infection variants. We plan on including a lot of these, and to continue adding more, including flexible objectives like race to the finish which could be used to build multiplayer rocket jump courses or other types of challenge maps such as a competitive adventure through trap-filled dungeons, or hunter which awards points for killing monsters so you can create your own MP dinosaur safari.
- Cross-platform multiplayer: optional where it counts, but great to have for cross-platform co-op!
- Global and persistent map sharing: anyone can play the levels you share regardless of platform (votes are recorded and can be displayed per-platform, just in case).
- 8+ themes by the time we go to open beta.
- 38+ weapons @ open beta.
- 16+ player avatars @ open beta.
- 20+ enemies @ open beta.
- 4+ multiplayer match modes @ open beta, probably more!
You might be wondering what's already in the game, and what's still left to be completed. Currently we have 2 theme sets fully completed (Bathyscape and Tremor), 3 more mostly done (Bierenstein, Final Fortress and Triassic Park), and 2 in early stages (inspired by 2 much loved sci-fi series). The current early version of the playable demo focuses on building and playing deathmatch arenas and includes a selection of the current content: we'll be releasing new game modes and theme content including enemies over the next few weeks. The completed themes and major game modes will be fully implemented for the closed Alpha.
As we approach the beta version we'll finish up 6 of the themes in progress and ask you, the backers, to choose the 2 remaining launch themes.
The game server is functional, but we need to finish off all of the sharing features, such as voting. As mentioned there are a number of game modes that aren't quite ready for the demo, and additionally we need to finish off a user interface for the "trigger system" which Gunscape uses to make traps and mechanisms easy to set up (for example, linking a lever to a door, or a tripwire to a trapdoor that dumps a demon on your head). These elements are very important parts of the final toolkit that will allow you to come up with surprising puzzles and game styles that we haven't even dreamed of.
We really cannot wait to start the closed alpha and see what you build with a more complete toolbox!
An early pre-alpha deathmatch demo is available for you to try now! This version contains a small selection of theme content and 9 weapons, primarily from the Tremor and Bathyscape theme sets. Online multiplayer (both creative and deathmatch modes) are available, along with an early version of the online level sharing. We'll be releasing our own levels as previews of the other modes (single-player and co-op) in the near future, created entirely with the in-game tools to give you a glimpse as to what you can create when these modes are added for everybody!
Please let us know what you think of the deathmatch demo and any suggestions you might have for future content in the comments here or on our forum. Your continued support and feedback will help us create the best game possible!
We're now up and running on Greenlight! Show your support by voting on the Gunscape page and feel free to drop a comment about how much you hate the game!
- $27,500 - Project funded! Primary goal achieved.
- $40,000 - Two extra theme packs in time for the Open Beta launch, chosen by backers!
- $50,000 - Occulus Rift support! Edit your creations using the miracle of depth perception!
- $75,000 - A new major theme set incorporating special RPG elements, inspired by games like Skyrim and legendary first-person dungeon crawlers like Wizardry! Using elements from this set you'll be able to create even more in-depth adventures with features like experience and levelling up, NPCs with branching dialogue trees, monsters that drop loot, currency, shops, and consumable potion "weapons" that can be collected, carried and quaffed.
We've identified some possible future stretch goals. Let us know what matters to you!
- Clans/Guilds: create your own clans or join existing ones and gain access to a dedicated in-game chat channel and multiplayer game lobby to play and build with people you trust. Compare level statistics with other clans and collaborate on clan maps. Compete with your clan-mates in ranked multiplayer.
- Even more themes and multiplayer game modes!
- Support for other VR systems.
- A major theme based on survival horror games: make players cower in darkness from terrifying enemies with sanity-draining attacks. Set up third-person cameras and triggers so they can watch themselves mobbed by unspeakable horrors (or use those camera triggers in a completely different context for all kinds of things!).
- A major new mode, completely separate from regular levels, in which level creators build a fortress-style level and raid other fortresses to improve and expand their own base.
- PS4, Xbox One, Wii-U and PS Vita versions.
The platform-related stretch goals might be important to some of you. Blowfish Studios is already an approved developer for Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PS Vita. We just need a successful Kickstarter to show Microsoft and Sony that Gunscape is indeed wanted by gamers! Also some funds to buy dev kits :)
Kickstarter reward keys will be multi-platform, meaning you'll be able to use the same account on any platform which Gunscape comes out on! We cannot promise that accounts started later on will be multi-platform though, it depends on the respective platform holder's rules.
If we get close to achieving our initial stretch goals we'll take all feedback from backers on which stretch goals will be prioritised next. Also, if a particular goal is obviously in great demand we can try to switch some around before they're hit.
We've created a great framework, game tools, themes and a few levels already, but Gunscape is at heart a community game. The players will be creating the vast majority of the content of this game themselves so we believe that the community should have the opportunity to steer the development of the game early on. We believe Kickstarter is the best place to not only complete the funding for the game, but also to find its community.
We know the kinds of themes we want in the game, but we don't know what everyone else would love to see in the game! We need you to help us choose. Every backer of Gunscape will have a say on what FPS themes are created next and from then on we'll always work on whichever themes and features the players want first.
While Blowfish Studios is already up and running and developing games, we have limited funds to expend on our own projects. We have self-funded Gunscape for the last year up until this point and now we need extra funds to continue producing art assets for new themes and building new features such as multiplayer game modes and time-consuming tasks like implementing and testing completely new weapons and enemy types. There are also separate costs for the multiplayer servers and hosting for level sharing.
- Theme packs content! The team had a vote and our current list of work-in-progress theme sets is inspired by games like GoldenEye 64, Tron, Aliens vs Predator, Hexen, Halo, Quake, Unreal Tournament, Thief, Wolfenstein 3D, BioShock, Portal, Team Fortress 2 and Doom. Every one of these contains unique terrain blocks, props, music, enemies, player models, weapons and more.
- Expansions to the trigger system, including timers and logic blocks which can be used to create more complex traps and level features.
- More features for customising enemy behaviour, like patrol points, enemy spawners and ambush tiles (which tell enemies to wait until the perfect moment to attack).
- Powerups such as damage multipliers and shields specifically for multiplayer, as well as theme-specific pickups such as Light Amplification Goggles. Overheal pickups are also upcoming, along with "spawn overheal" for freshly-spawned players in MP.
- "Dialogue blocks" for in-level text such as story exposition, NPC dialogue, or announcing the names of rooms or a boss.
- Extra multiplayer game modes: both fixtures like CTF or point control modes, and new modes of our own invention. We plan to make plenty of these!
- More cool ideas the from the community?!
We can afford to fund the development to alpha phase, from which point getting Kickstarted will really accelerate development and content creation up until launch. If together we can significantly exceed our goal then that could transform the current scope of the game, in addition to giving us the means to implement the crazier ideas sooner (including things like vehicles and themes which bring major new gameplay elements like the RPG or survival horror sets), and of course to create tons more themes chosen by you!
The pre-alpha deathmatch demo is up and running now. If you're in the INCEPTION tier, as soon as the Kickstarter ends in March 2014 you'll get exclusive access to the current alpha build, which includes full access to all of the completed content and modes to build your levels. The game can be played and enjoyed as it is now. It is, however, limited in themes, and there are bugs, partially-implemented features, and balance issues to be continuously tweaked. We want to continue polishing the game and get another round of feedback with the addition of the closed beta backers in June 2014. Then we can have a more stable and well-rounded public beta out in September 2014.
After the public beta we will continue development based on what people seem to want. Development will hopefully continue for a long time--hopefully as long as people keep enjoying and supporting the game!--depending on community response.
We're a team of highly motivated game developers that love playing all sorts of FPS games, both classic and modern (just played the Titanfall beta and it was pretty kickass fun!). Some of us have been in the industry for over 10 years and the rest of us hope to be in the industry for another 10 years!
As you can see we come from varied cultural backgrounds (Australian, Chinese, German, Italian, Chilean and Brazilian) and cover a wide age group (37 to 22 years of age). Also there is at least one "fanboy" of each gaming platform in our team, so you need not worry that your favourite platform will be neglected!
Of course, every Kickstarter backer is a part of the team, helping us to shape the game into the ultimate killing machine! By which we mean: a neat game. We would truly love you all to join us in this development journey and become a part of Gunscape.
Check out some of the awesome tunes that will be featured in the game! Each theme will include at least 2 evocative tracks, which can be played at the start of your levels or switched mid-stage using invisible music trigger blocks to change up the atmosphere. Have a listen and let us know wether you think the tracks have the right feel for each game.
Gunscape will be available for everyone to download and play the action modes (single-player, co-op and multiplayer) of every single map created and shared by players. This will act as a sort of demo to allow people to check out the content on offer and play with their friends.
Early backers will have exclusive access to all map crafting content from the closed alpha up until open beta. Once the game reaches open beta and beyond, new players will get one theme pack to try out when they first sign up (the particular trial theme on offer will rotate every couple of weeks. We might even get you to vote on which one should be next), with additional theme sets available for purchase.
Alternatively you can simply buy the whole game after it launches and get complete access to all new theme pack content forever--although the deal won't be as good as the Kickstarter rewards!
Not interested in creating, but want to look cool in multiplayer? You'll also be able to get packs of the player models (AKA avatars) for use in online play.
Most importantly, it should be reiterated: no matter what theme sets you use, if you're a level author and share your maps then every player will be able to play your awesome creations! If you invite friends to work on your level in collaborative creative mode they'll have full access to your themes to help you out, too!
Sure. See our development blog, and the forums, where testers can discuss their play experiences. We invite you to leave any feedback you might have here or over there, too. To keep updated you can also follow us on Twitter.
Track our progress with Kicktraq!
Risks and challenges
We won't kid you, making games is hard, finishing games is harder still. Yet Blowfish Studios has an excellent track record of developing, completing and publishing games to a variety of platforms. There's also the fully playable deathmatch demo with online multiplayer functionality which demonstrates our progress and sincerity towards achieving the goals outlined here.
The full game is actually pretty close at this point, although you might not entirely get that impression from the demo: co-operative level construction and the basics of multiplayer being complete what's left is mainly a matter of improving the menus and creative interfaces, bug hunting, setting up new multiplayer rule sets, and implementing the huge amount of new game content being produced by our artists that will make up the majority of the game from players' perspective. Special elements and the trigger system, once made available, will open up a great deal of the versatility that will really make levels special (and which isn't really possible in multiplayer maps at this point).
One remaining risk is the size of the playing community. Can we get enough players enjoying the game? That's where this Kickstarter campaign and you, our backers, can really help out. Have some buddies that you might enjoy building with and/or disintegrating with a giant ball of plasma? Please let them know about Gunscape!
Blowfish Studios is excited for this journey and we hope you come along with us!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (32 days)