many things. It is a defining characteristic of life. It can be a
source of anxiety, fear, resolve, or courage. It is reassuring, and it is
cruel. However, in the end, the choices that pervade our daily lives do
not affect us as much as our reactions to those choices do. The
Afflicted is a game of choice. It is a game that allows its
players to use a familiar setting—a third-person shooter—to discover the
outcomes of their own choices. These are choices that will prove vital to
the shaping of the game’s world; they are choices that are defined by the
amount of struggle and heart found in the inhabitants of Helios.
The game is structured in a
similar fashion to other competitive third-person shooters. However, one
of the game’s primary differences is found in the concept of team-building that
defines the core game mechanic. Players are not scored based on a simple
kill/death ratio; winners and losers are decided by which team can control the
majority of the playing field and progressively update their team’s equipment
by dropping off resource collections at their home base. Two other key
elementsare the free-running system and the barricade system.
During gameplay, players are able to create free-running lines through
the map. Walls can be vaulted, tables can be jumped, fences can be
scaled, and gaps can be crossed. So, how does an opposing team combat a
group of excellent runners? Simple—they barricade various passages and
streets to provide cover and hinder any movement through the area. Both
of these features work intuitively and “on-the-fly,” keeping players immersed
in the action of a world’s descent into chaos.
The Afflicted tells
the story of Helios, a planet in dire need of life-saving choices. In the
near future, humankind has united under the banner of twin corporations:
Globopharma, a hub of scientific research and development, and Hipparchus,
comprised of private militaries and fighting forces that keep peace in the
newly-united Earth. With Earth nearing a point of unsustainability, the
companies seek out a neighboring planet to terraform and colonize, and they
find it—Helios. After working to colonize Helios for years, a microbe is
discovered that will doom the planet’s inhabitants due to its lethality. So,
Globopharma and Hipparchus collectively make a business decision—they abandon
Helios, choosing to save themselves and cover up the disaster that will surely
define the final days of humankind’s involvement with the planet. Many
are left behind, watching sullenly as the last dropships take off and disappear
into the stars. Gradually, the remaining population of the planet splits
into three groups: the Pigs, who seek to restore the former order of government
on the planet; the Choir, who seek to eliminate man’s control over Helios’s own
life force; and the Nameless, who are so disillusioned by the actions of the
twin corporations that they only seek the destruction of all remnants of life
on the planet.
The Afflicted is a
project being developed with UDK to utilize the advantages of the Unreal Engine
and DirectX11. Autonomous Games, the developers behind the game, are a
small team of independent game developers who have chosen to focus on
AAA-quality development outside of the traditional triple-A game development
scene. After meeting and fostering friendships in college, the team has
now progressed to the development of 3D games using top-flight development
tools and technology.
features a number of mechanics that define its experience:
3 Team Multiplayer - Players pick one of
three teams and battle in matches with up to 24 players. The pitting of 3 teams against each other
keeps the pace frantic and the adrenaline high, as an enemy may be around any
Objective-Based Gameplay - Players
capture control points to win the match.
Control points can be defended using a variety of weapons and
Expanding levels - Every level has three
phases, creating a constantly changing experience as the battles shift from
location to location.
Resource management - In the style of a
traditional RTS, the path to victory lies in the ability to collect and utilize
resource items “looted” from the environment.
Team Upgrades - Players work together
to upgrade their arsenals and improve their defenses. Each player has the ability to earn upgrades
that benefit the entire team, encouraging coordination and strategy-building.
Barricade building - Teams can alter the
flow of combat by putting up their own fortifications that both alter the
available cover and the options for progression. This can be vital in defending
Free-running - Easily transition across multiple surfaces by running,
climbing, vaulting and scaling a variety of surfaces. Finding hidden routes and quicker paths can
be the difference between success and failure.
We've been developing The Afflicted for almost a year now. However, there is still a long way to go and we can't do it alone. In order to complete the game and release it it for online distribution, we will need to purchase software, licenses, and advertising to help get the game off the ground and into the homes of all our fans. Right now, the game is strictly multiplayer, but we want to expand it to create a full set of objective-based single-player and cooperative content.
That's why we're asking for your help. We aren't expecting a full production budget. We're just looking for a little bit of a helping hand to push us in the right direction. Whether you offer us $1, $10, or $10,000, we appreciate your support!
You can find us on the web at: www.indiedb.com/games/the-afflicted/