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.
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