Category Archives: Game Design

Some energium for evolution

Hi there! We meet again to talk this time about one of the Energy Heroes gameplay features which will, without any doubt, spice up the game a little bit.

When a game starts, both bases begin with level one entities which do not make coffee and simply do what is written on their instructions: towers shoot enemies, the Energy Gate powers up minions who then go for a little walk in the fields. The ship itself is at its maximal level from the start: pew pew, shopping.

Energium is what makes the world go around for the Qen’Ory and the E’Nyhm, and mercenaries will be sent on Syrh in order to take part in the conflict resulting from it. Jorvak engineers installed a module inside Stage 375 that simulates the conditions and situations mercenaries will face on Syrh. This module which is on the first floor is in fact a room containing a resource stockroom (and a nice space view too).

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This resource stockroom produces energium during a game. Players may gather it and bring it back to their bases in order to stock it and unlock upgrades for their buildings. Beware, if the player is hit while carrying energium, he will drop a bit of it.

During a game, your team may be able to buy some or all of the available upgrades, and keep in mind: the last one is really powerful.

Here is the upgrade tree available for the alpha:

EntityEvolution_01

Of course, we worked hard to make all of these upgrades visually and easily identifiable in-game.

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This already unlocked pack at the start of a game is comprised of 2 towers, one Energy Gate and a colonization module which can create minions.

EntityEvolution_03-2The tower’s core is upgraded, making the tower’s shots more powerful.

EntityEvolution_03-1Minions’ core are upgraded, their attack is more powerful when powered up at the Energy Gate.

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The tower core is powerful enough to generate a shield around itself. This shield must be destroyed, beware though, given enough time it will replenish even if it has been destroyed.

EntityEvolution_04-1Minions’ cores are upgraded, making them more resistant.

EntityEvolution_05-1The tower core is so powerful that its attack now have an area of effect!

That’s all about entities’ upgrades available during the Energy Heroes alpha which will start in two days! If you have an alpha key, you may take part in it.

And by the way, someone dropped this on my desk, you might find a use for it! 😉 ALPHW1-G1CF-3HQ5-ESSV

See you soon!

Xarden, art stockroom


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

J0_2_Devblog_Article_Map


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