Development: Gameplay & Controls 01
From the Team
Sorry we haven’t posted any updates in the past week- Chris has been packing up and is currently on his adventure across the US to Athens, GA and I’ve been getting things ready for his arrival as well as getting a stack of updates prepared.
Here are some photos of Chris packing up.
Al is helping Chris pack (she is supervising).
Stuff goes into the "toaster".
Metacell 2 will be released on Windows, Xbox, if invited Playstation Network and Wii, and if funded at 144% on Linux and Mac. If funded at 190% it will be released on iOS and Droid. (If not funded at 144%, the Mac and Linux release will be further down the road; same goes for iOS and Droid if we’re not funded at 190%)
Since we are not at the point of development for gameplay videos (we are attempting to create a video of what we envision it as, in response to some comments on a Something Awful thread- people seem to want to see more content :D ), we’ve made a conceptual depiction of how I envision the gameplay. What you see here is a four player co-op game where the four players are battling a murder of Metaleeches, keeping them from passing through Hell’s Gate as it closes. (This is a concept for one of the possible tutorials at the start of the game)
A little more detail about how gameplay will work in Metacell 2: it is best described as a top-down shooter. For the majority of gameplay the player will be controlling a top-down view of the Judgment-Class Cruiser, maneuvering it and aiming the reticle in the direction they wish to have their ship face (the ship moves and faces the direction of the reticle at all times). The speed of the reticle is tied to the ship speed; as the ship speed increases so does reticle movement. When the reticle is on an enemy the player will fire their weapon and try to hit and kill the target.
Health Bar: This bar represents the character’s health. When the character is at full health (100%), the character’s fervor is active. Health restores at a minor amount over time. When the character is below 10% health the character is crippled. When this bar is empty (0%) the character dies and the player is out.
Fervor – All characters have a unique triggered effect that lasts as long as the character is at full health.
Crippled – When the character is at or below 10% health, the character firing speed and ship speed are reduced significantly until their health is above 10%.
Dies – When you die it’s game over.
Energy Bar: This bar represents the character’s energy. When the character is at full energy (100%), the character’s overdrive is active. When this bar is empty (0%), the character has no energy and a backlash occurs. Energy restores at a minor amount over time, and when killing enemies a portion of energy is restored. The amount restored depends on the enemy killed.
Overdrive – All characters have a unique triggered effect that lasts as long as the character is at full energy.
Backlash – When you reach 0% energy, the character’s powers are all locked for a brief period of time and removing all pickups.
Weapon Pickup: By default all characters have the same base weapon, the Pulse Cannon. When a character is touching a weapon pickup on the game board the player may press the “pickup” button to acquire the new weapon pickup. Unlike the Pulse Cannon, newly acquired weapons may have an energy requirement to use. If the character already has a weapon pickup activated and touches another weapon pickup, they may wish to swap weapons by pressing the “pickup’ button so that the new weapon replaces the old weapon. The replaced weapon is randomly dropped adjacent to the character.
Pulse Cannon – The basic weapon of the Judgment-Class Cruiser. It has a low damage attack and the rate of fire is based on the player’s button clicking speed.
Protection Pickup: Like the weapon pickup above, all characters have the same base protection, the Kinetic Shield.
Kinetic Shield – The basic protection of the Judgment-Class Cruiser. As long as the player is holding the protection button, all damage is taken is absorbed and all damage absorbed removes an amount of energy from the character (rather than health).
Powers: All characters have different types of powers that represent their play style; powers are either attacks or boosts. These powers will be activated with their appropriate buttons and their refresh rate will be displayed on the character’s HUD (Heads Up Display).
Innate – The core aspect of a character; all characters start the game with an innate power. The neat thing about the innate power is that it advances as you advance through the game.
Heroic – Once a character has progressed through a portion of the game, they will gain access to their Heroic power, a power that will increase a character’s effectiveness within their play style. Unlike the innate power, this power does not advance as you advance through the game.
Legendary – The last power to be unlocked through playing the game. When a character finally reaches their highest level they unlock access to their legendary powers.
Wrath-Class Bomb – This bomb acts much like a power, in that it has cool-down periods and uses energy to activate. All characters have access to this bomb, which is used to destroy entire swaths of enemies. The player presses the bomb button a first time to send the bomb flying in the direction of the reticle and then presses it again to detonate it. In this way, the player can detonate the bomb whenever and wherever they desire.
This is a conceptual visualization of the controls for Metacell 2. Movement and aiming will feel like a standard first person shooter; the only difference will be camera placement. The player will have an array of different powers to use as well as weapon and protection pickups to acquire which will aid in their journey to Zion.
Movement: You control the forward, backpedal, left and right strafe of the ship. The player has maneuver options such as back flipping behind an attacker who is tailing them, barrel rolling left or right to dodge an incoming attack or even doing a complete 180 instantly.
Aiming: The JCC will always face the reticle as the player moves the reticle around the screen. This may seem clunky, but don’t worry: as in a first person shooter, the player controls their movements with one hand and their aiming direction with the other. This allows the player to compete in intense battle sequences, dodging and shooting at once.
Quicktime Events:Yes, we have two buttons planned for quicktime events. The player will use these during cinematic events, creating a puzzle-type aspect of the game. Depending on the circumstance, the buttons will designate different things and must be pressed at the right time or in the right order to move forward through the story. For example, if a player is flying through an asteroid field the camera angle may change slightly to indicate a quicktime event. The player would then need to follow on-screen cues to block incoming debris on the left and right sides using the appropriate quicktime event buttons.
Weapon: By default all characters have the same basic weapon, the pulse cannon. This weapon fires at a rate of however fast the player can tap the button, and the projectiles also move faster when the weapon fire rate is higher. Whenever the player picks up a new weapon their pulse cannon is no longer used and the new weapon is used instead. Every weapon is different; some require energy to be used, some have ammo or a time limit, their activation method can even vary [Tap, Hold, Double Tap].
Protection: As with weapons, all characters have the same basic protection, the kinetic shield. This protection reduces energy rather than health when hit as long as the player is holding down the protection button. There will be several different protection pickups to gain while playing Metacell 2, each of them having a different effect on gameplay.
Pickup Pickup!: Pickups appear when you kill enemies and randomly throughout the game. To acquire pickups the player must press the pickup button while their ship is on top of the desired pickup. To remove the pickup the player holds the pickup button and presses either weapon or protection to remove the respective pickup, dropping the pickup randomly adjacent to the character.
Pause Menu: When the player presses the pause menu button the game is paused, allowing them to access their character screen, the menu or options. In the character screen the player can manage the build of their character, switching out powers and traits.