Author Archives: Lunder

Choice of one’s team

This is a revolution!

Let’s talk about a topic often ignored and which in a lot of games, can be a source of great frustration: the matchmaking system.
Who has never wanted to leave it without penalty, simply because the proposed team wasn’t of your taste? Who has never went crazy, because the internet connection was interrupted at the worst moment, during the launch of a MOBA party?
Energy Heroes, based on a MOBA model, proposes a matchmaking system concept allowing the player to choose his team and even to discuss about it before going to the battlefield without any penalty if he changes his mind, and without any time limit to do so.

 

Put into practice

The principle of the system is based on rooms. It means that once the player has chosen the game mode, the player will then be sent into a room named “Squadron” in the game.
In it, the player will chose the character he wants to play, and the different content proposed. (skin, modules, etc.)
The player will be joined by other players of the same level who will have to do the same actions.
No time limit for the choice will be imposed. Every player will confirm his selection and once the whole team will have confirmed, the system will look for another Squadron with the same level.
During the selection process, players will be able to discuss about the characters to pick, and in case of disagreement or absence of one of them, they will be able to leave the room without penalty or kick an unwanted player, always without penalty for anyone.

J0Salon

 The purpose

The most important advantage is, obviously, the inexistence of constraints during the matchmaking step.
The system can be a bit slow if the players are taking time to choose and discuss of the strategy to adopt during the game, but it can also be extremely fast if the players want a quick launch. It’s up to the players!
Moreover, the system can be improved and allow players, for example, to create a Squadron, invite friends and keep some places reserved for random players.
Another advantage to highlight is that both teams are not made at the same time, and are not pre-selected. On our side, we are going to work on the matchmaking system in order to observe some rules, as the “mirror” inexistence (two players with the same character) or the balancing of the level of the squadron.

To conclude, I would say that the aim of this matchmaking system is to give to player as much time as they want and to avoid the frustration often created by the classic systems.

Lunder, team dispatcher


A prickly issue

I’m not so sure on how I gonna bring this to the public, so I’ll be blunt with you. This is not a post about Energy Heroes complex creation process or weird fantasizing on graphics and game design, but about an unexpected founding following the last posted video.

Cactus_videoI think you’ve all seen it on the foreground: a cactus.

You think it’s usual? You think it’s been created by some schizo graphic dude and settled by a paranoid level designer?

Actually, not at all, we found it at the same time as you did and preferred not to take the risk of touching a thing.

However we still investigate.

We questioned all and every graphic designer in the company, even the trainees, to get to know who modeled and inserted this cactus, but none of them answered despite our threats.

Even worst, as I was adding new elements to the under construction map setting, I discovered others, of course I preferred not to touch a thing as I didn’t know who putted it there.

Cactus_4Yet, I wish to reassure you all, after a week of investigations we finally found the one to blame for that mess. And in the end, it all made sense.

The culprit was no other than our pet cactus!

Cactus_2Then, after we made clear to him how important it is not to touch the game engine, we removed all the cactuses, and wish we didn’t forget one.

Lunder, Spiky detective


What’s the plan?

Just after Syalen will be done ripping off my gut for the title pun, I shall finally get to describe and show you the game map.
Indeed until now, we broadly described the game and I think now it’s time to get into some key details.

The universe

As  explained earlier in the synopsis, you gonna embody a bunch of soldiers of fortune who belong to a corporation called SCD, hired to supply all military resources necessary to sustain the upcoming conflict between the two top notch superpowers of the known universe.

This conflict is regulated by a council who watches over the conflict and keeps it under control in order to avoid entire systems and planets being dragged and destroyed in an uncontrolled conflict. The SCD served then as a buffer zone.

However, in orbit around the planet the troops train on waiting for the conflict to fly off the handle and SCD contingent to unload on Syrh.

And here is where YOU move to the action as the first map will feature SCD trainingship, a space nave designed by SCD where diverse conditions of the upcoming conflict have been reproduced.

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Overview

Here, inspect the plan of your future battlefield.

LayoutMap-1

Ground rules of the game

This first mode will confront two teams of three players.
As settled previously, Energy heroes is a TPS on which we added MOBA rules. Then there will be towers, boosters, henchmen and a main building per team.

Nonetheless, those elements were adjusted to match the overall outline of TPS gameplay, the towers don’t have limited range anymore and will shoot at you as soon as they detect you, to put them down, you’ll have to aim their central energetic core.

The Boosters will be shaped in an arc of a circle and all henchmen of your faction passing under will see both their power and resistance increased.

Two kinds of henchmen will be present, short ones who will have to get close to shoot and larger ones with longer range behind those you’ll have ways to hide.

And finally, the main building will display towers which you’ll have to destroy before tearing down the structure itself.

Also, need  to remember, both henchmen and towers weaponry have dispersal, that means you can dodge a bullet by rolling, crawling or seeking cover, but watch out for stray bullets!

In a next post I’ll extensively go through the features of each building.

The goal of this map will be to destroy the two defense towers which lay along the main access then wreck the booster and finally the main building starting with its own defense towers. The classic arrangement of MOBA’s ground rules.

 

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When level design meddle in

Energy Heroes stroke of originality also lies in well crafted level design. The trainingship map will play out on several levels and in this mode dynamic and interactive elements will be an integral part of  the game strategy.

For instance the central room, right in the middle of the map, is cut apart from main access by two doors, one on each team side, when both are closed henchman can’t pass  and the defense tower can’t reach any enemy within the central room. However players will be able to open or to shut those doors by getting to the switches.

I let you imagine what will happen if they do so…

 

To conclude

This map has been designed to mix up MOBA’s ground rules, TPS dynamism and the depth of a 3D map.

Naturally it’s still a work in progress which will surely evolve as we’ll run tests and thanks to feedbacks .

Lunder, Interior Architect

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From TPS to MOBA game, and not the other way around

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Definitons

Before going through the details of what Energy Heroes really is and explaining the thought process which has given birth to a strategic shooter, it would be interesting to define the different game styles which have inspired us.

First of all, the TPS, “Third Person Shooter” is a shooter video game in which one sees his character thanks to a positioned behind view camera which follows the players movements. Moreover, in a shooting game there is an aim system and in many of them a taking cover system.

The second style is the MOBA, “Multiplayer Online Battle Arena”.

To make it simple, the MOBA title can regroup every multiplayer game which are not coop.
But namely, this name style concerns a very specific type of game. Former mod of Warcraft III, called Defense of the Ancients (DotA) started the MOBA genre. The “MOBA” title was broadcasted by Riot Game and is now employed for every DotA-like, as Dota II, League of Legends or Smite.

The principle is quite simple: two teams of five players will fight in order to destroy the enemy base. In this purpose, they will have to respect many conditions and will be able to level up their character, becoming more and more powerful as the game progresses.

Veteran players, don’t be upset, it was only a chainsaw-cut version of what are really the MOBA and TPS game styles.

 

In the begining…

Now, let’s speak about Energy Heroes and its beginning. How did the game idea come to us?
Energy Heroes was supposed to be a MOBA. Yet another one.

The problem was: how to make us be a different MOBA? How can we propose to you, the player, something completely new?

In order to find answers to these matters, we had to deeply define the MOBA genre, which today is a very famous style, and what can be modified without losing the spirit of this game style.

Three points were found.

The first of them was evidently the universe, the lore: existing MOBA games are based on a medieval-fantasy world. What about making our game in another world, and possibly in another universe?
Our choice was sci-fi. Furthermore, we decided to make it really present in the game, creating a scene filled dimension for it. A whole world, we said.

Second point was the view, the camera position. The kept idea was to place the camera behind the avatar. Here came the TPS inspiration.

Finally, the map. The game being in 3D, it would have been sad to keep a map without relief. So we had relief, with a vertical dimension, modifying the paths leading to the two sides. We made worth; we cut the map in two levels, one on the surface, one in the underground, permitting to make the environment rich, different and adding possibilities to the map.

 

The result

Thanks to all these observations, one thing came to our mind: we set sail from a MOBA and in a gameplay view, we only had to change the camera place. But it has already been done before us, and that wasn’t what we wanted to do with Energy Heroes.

Therefore, in order to realize something new, we should not have the MOBA as the base, but the TPS.

The project has then made a complete turnaround to this style. During the studies and reflections, we had in mind a lot of questions, with one most important: Why is the camera behind the avatar?

Well, with a third-person view, one can see his character! One can see it jump, run, make incredible things! The kind of stuff we cannot see with a first person camera, huh?

Consequently, we decided to add TPS actions, like the sprint, the roll, taking cover, etc. in order to spotlight this third person view.

But if we change the MOBA basic gameplay, we have to change the entities (towers, heroes, etc.) functionality as well.

Explanations: in a MOBA, towers have a limited fire range and hit every time. But in a TPS, the player has a quasi-unlimited fire range. If we chose to take the TPS as reference, we had to change the towers range, and not the player’s one.

We adapted the towers so that they may not to have a limited range, but they don’t hit every time. We of course adapted the level design in order for our character to take cover to be able to evade the tower’s projectiles. The base gameplay stays coherent with the TPS game style and we obtain something… original.

Moreover, we adapted the level design to every idea we had on the TPS game style.

Every element of the MOBA game has been reflected in this perspective, in order to differently implement them. The principle stays the same, but the way it is done are totally different.

These are the reason why Energy Heroes is not a MOBA, nor a TPS, but a MOSS: a Multiplayer Online Strategical Shooter.

Lunder, headache dispenser