Our second project at the Games Academy is called Dusters, its about the manliest man of the Universe fighting each other to gain the chunks of DUST which are located on Astroids far far away. The basic idea behind this concept is a first person shooter combined with the mechanics of DotA (Defenders of the Ancient).
We got the first designs early on and structured our second project very well. Of course this has to be bigger than our first one so we did need more man power, too. At the end we had some design flaws in our game, things didn’t worked out that well but all in all we were pretty happy with the results. The best part is that we had learned quite an awful lot!
LE DÜSTERE ET LA DROID
The future, 3075: DUST (Dynamic, Unstable, Synergizing, Tellurium) is what makes the universe go round. It has become the main source of energy, hunted for by Intergalactic Companies who send their harvesters to planets, asteroids and anything else that holds the precious ressource.
The harvester ships are run by Dusters, a bunch of grumpy solid men who work hard to get the job done and who can also get very agressive if their provision is in danger. Since DUST is so rare and valuable and intergalactic claim is a difficult legal greyzone the mining sites are often viciously fought over.
The Artstyle of Dusters is a mix between Team Fortress 2 and Star Wars: The Old Republic, we had clear colors for the teams, for interactive objects and things that looked good but had no interactivity. Our art team worked with different silhouettes to distinguish the Droids from the Dusters, that made a great difference in the gameplay where you were able to prioritize your targets.
On a technical viewpoint the art team made also a great job e.g. for the Spaceship and the Asteroid. Instead of modeling them out of one giant model they were cut down to little pieces which made each lane on the astroid unique the same goes for the spaceship.
The basic gameplay mechanics are from the classical FPS genre: move, aim, shoot. But what happens when you melt these elements with the tactical mechanics of DotA? Well, the answer is easy, you get Dusters.
The game starts off with the Droids spawning in their chambers, they have only one mission: attacking the terminals of the enemy. But that will not happen until the Duster intervenes cause the enemy is doing the same with their Droids. At the center of the asteroid arises a pat like situation. Your job as a Duster is to destroy the enemy Droids and shoot your way through the enemy ship until you reach the terminal. When the terminal is destroyed you win or vice versa and you lose.
During this time I also worked a lot on the User Interface and digging into implementation.
Players are able to see how the droids are moving when looking at the mini map located in the center here. Hitpoints are visible on the right side and would only refresh when you are in the Spaceship. For the weapon the energy is recharging after every 6s when a bar is removed as seen on the left side, the indicator underneath gives the player the hint.
Players would choose to join either Starside Mining or the Planetary Prospectors. Both teams have the same droids and towers creating an equal battleground.
I created these with the help of Scaleform GFx and Flash. We used the UDK for implementation and it was a great insight into AAA development.
Are you manly enough for SPAAAAAAAAACE!!1