Choose Wisely

 tl;dr – our game requires you to choose your weapon load carefully and utilize it selectively. Also, lasers are cool.

Blogging?! It’s been a while since we’ve done that. Unfortunately, I’ve been spending a good chunk of my time on administrative and legal issues, so the blogging and overall marketing has not received the nurturing love it deserves. But, I finally had a few minutes to put together some updates to share! There is a lot to talk about, but I figured this post should provide some updates on core gameplay elements. So, naturally, it will be about tank weapons – what else is more central to a tank game?*

Future Tank Weapons Theory (the class you wish you took in fake college)

While we’ve had the design principles written down for a while now, Austin has made great progress in the last few months coding this vision into reality. There are a couple things you need to know to understand our goals for the AOTW weapons system:

  • It is designed to make you upgrade your tank strategically between missions – taking into account upgrade delivery lag time.
  • The system forces you to play tactically, balancing between your chosen strategic focus and the realities of the mission at hand.
  • All tanks come equipped with both Primary and Secondary weapons types – the remainder of this post discusses only Primary weapons.

So, without further ado, let’s get to some concrete examples of Primary weapon types. After all, sometimes you may find yourself surrounded and in need of some firepower.

Surrounded

Give Me the Specs

Cannons: Future or not, it is our mostly humble opinion that any tank game worthy of the name has to have a classic cannon weapon.

Outbound Acid Cannon

In AOTW, your cannon is generally strongest against shields.

Acid in Action

But of course, this particular cannon shell also releases acid after hitting it’s target – because we wanted to have a bit of a fun twist. In the screenshot to the left, the enemy tank highlighted in green has been hit by a player’s acid cannon shell. Acid eats away enemy health for a limited time period.

Lasers: While we try to incorporate classic tank elements, this is a science fiction game at heart. So, lasers. And let me tell you – coding the lasers has been a real exercise in self-denial and mental endurance. I know this because our developer Austin mutters about these things (usually consciously).

Laser v. Turret

Lasers are especially strong against enemy tank hulls, and less so against shields. As you can see in depleted yellow bar at top of screen, they also take a lot of heat energy. So, while they can kick ass, you’ve got to be careful not to just button mash or else you’ll find yourself sitting pretty in an overheated tank.

Laser Blast

Missiles: And, third we have missile weapons. Because why not. Missiles provide a great excuse for including more explosions, and also provide a great foundation for weapon variations. After all, who doesn’t love a good EMP target seeking missile?

Outbound Seeking EMP Missile

You are probably aware that missiles are not typically considered instruments of zen-like balance. But, in AOTW missiles take the middle road – equally effective against shields and hulls, but not as effective against either one as are the cannon or the laser.

EMP'd Turret

In the image to the right, you can also see that the enemy turret has been hit with an EMP Seeking Missile, meaning that it is temporarily immobilized. Immobilized enemies are grayed out and unable to return fire.

I’m Ready for an Insightful and Thought Provoking Conclusion

To draw an analogy to one of our greatest inspirations – in a very simple sense our weapons set up is kind of like the inverse of the Halo set up. When fighting the Covenant, you use energy weapons to take down their shields and then move in with the conventional lead based firepower. As I explained above, in AOTW you generally want to lead with the conventional guns and follow with the energy weapons. Nevertheless, we’ve always drawn a lot of inspiration from Halo in designing the AOTW weapon system.

We want players to be able to upgrade a tank that they find fun to play. But, we also want players to have to use multiple weapons and to have to use them at the right time. We want players to scan the horizon for different enemy types and make the quick mental weapon selection calculations. Perhaps the best way to sum up our philosophy is this: We think that our potential audience is smart, and we want to give them something that they can play intelligently while having a great time.


 

*Perhaps the one thing more core to game progress is the status of our fearless leader, Austin’s cat Reginald. He is well.