Is a community driven sci-fi multiplayer arena-shooter with focus on creativity, currently in the making by Five Studios Interactive. Players compete in an ever growing number of community created arenas, with their own unique drone designs, to become the smoothest drone operators in the galaxy.
Released Videos: Announcement Trailer, Gameplay Teaser #1, Gameplay Teaser #2, Gameplay Teaser #3, Arena Editor Series
Media Content: Dropbox Repository (more media is available on request for usage in exclusive articles)
Media Inquiry email address: moc.emagehtenord@sserp
In a nutshell
The drones are created by the player and their designs matter! Drone builds need to fit the playing style and (team) tactics. Scout, Support, Stealth, Tank, Dogfighter or a mix – using the right drone components in the right way makes the difference. It’s more than just fighting skill. In this game, the player needs to use his brain! Simply put, drones are constructed by attaching together various blocks and components like weapons, functional parts or defense systems. In the drone building process, factors like weight, heat or noise production and power consumption need to considered. As the player progresses, and more parts become available, the building process presents more challenges but also offers more advanced tactics in battle. Creating effective drones is a fun challenge as is the fast paced gameplay itself.
The easy to use but powerful arena editor allows the players to become celebrated arena architects. Not only can they create stunning looking arenas in a wide range of environments, they also have full control over a dynamic weather system, time of day, gravity and even environmental threats like meteorite showers and harsh temperature changes. Since all arenas are created and voted by the players, there will be a never ending supply of interesting levels to play in. The arena editor is AI assisted and makes sure that parts always fit together and the terrains adapt to the buildings that are placed on top. Plenty of comfort features increase the productivity of the architects furthermore: players who love building will be pleased to know that creating arenas is also possible in multiplayer. Rule-sets and game modes are in control of the player as well.
D.R.O.N.E. is a shooter at its core. The player controls a drone which can be equipped with plenty of gadgets. All drone components can be damaged or destroyed individually, this highlights how important a well balanced drone build is. Making clever use of components like radar systems, cloaking devices, shields, etc. can decide the outcome of a match. Observing enemy strengths and weaknesses is crucial and choosing the right tactics to beat your enemies in battle is key. The view can be first person or third person depending on the preferences of the player but cameras are not just an abstract concept, they are actual components that can be damaged and destroyed. A third person camera is a micro drone that follows the player and, if it is destroyed, the view will fall back to first person if such a camera exists. In team tournaments like clan vs. clan it is necessary to find your role in the team and have a drone build that is beneficial for it.
Drone operators are the gladiators, the superstars of the era, they travel the galaxy and fight in tournaments for fame and sponsor rewards. They live a thrilling life and are admired across the galaxy. Some drone operators form alliances or clans. Some of them are more like lone wolves. While they have many friends, they often have their special foes. Vendettas among clans are no rarity either. Drone tournaments have become the number one form of entertainment in the galaxy and are often even a way to settle political or corporate interest disputes. It has happened that whole solar systems have changed ownership by the outcome of a tournament. Corporations strive for a strong stance in the galaxy and therefore often sponsor drone operators to represent them.
What is special about the team
Five Studios Interactive (short FSI), an agile team of 5 people, not only brings top-level technical knowledge and art skills to the table, but they also share a great deal of overlapping skill sets. These allow to anticipate what other team members need and expect, which makes the team work very efficient. After years of focusing on middleware solutions for a leading AAA game engine, FSI decided to concentrate all efforts into creating a brand new game experience. FSI understands the strengths and weaknesses of small teams and embraces them. For this project the team has found inspiration in the following classic games: Unreal Tournament, Quake 3 Arena, Descent (1994), X-Wing and Tie Fighter from LucasArts, MechWarrior.
While inspiration is drawn from many different genres, D.R.O.N.E. is not just a mishmash – a lot of thoughts and fresh ideas went into the concept.
The progression of development
Work on D.R.O.N.E. began in the spring of 2015 and the project grew fast, despite the fact the team worked only part time on it. As envisioned, keeping all aspects of the game at the highest level, FSI extended one of the most popular AAA game engines to their needs and created many new advanced technologies.
Game mechanics and systems are at different stages of development. Here is an overview:
- Drone damage system
- Drone audio system
- Drone component system (excerpt: generator, battery, heating/cooling, stealth, stabilization, shield and armor devices)
- Basic multiplayer interactions
- Space exploration
- Grass rendering
- Intelligent drone editor
- Basic GUI and 3D HUD
- Radar systems
- Basic multiplayer interactions
- Several weapon types (machine guns, shotguns, plasma guns and rocket launchers)
- In-game recording and replay system (used for recording the trailers)
- Intelligent and extensive arena editor
- Terrain rendering and editing
- Dynamic weather management
- Responsive environments (vegetation, rocks, dynamic objects, pierceable surfaces)
- Volumetric decals
- Super detailed trees
- Accurate drone physics (realistic, yet very dynamic and controllable)
- In-game lighting calculation system
After creating enough awareness about the project (buzzwords: Steam Greenlight/Direct, Youtubers, Magazines), the team aims to start a crowdfunding campaign on a major platform. Crowdfunding will not only allow the team to work full-time and realize the core game concept, but also to introduce stretch goals. Since the game concept is very flexible in its nature, it can be adapted around the ideas of its supporters. To extend the scope of the game further, FSI intends to have a second continuous crowdfunding phase on the project website. Another goal of the crowdfunding campaign is to extend the team by hiring people who can focus on specific tasks, leaving the team lead focused on developing the core of the game, ultimately moving the release date sooner.
Target Platform: PC (other potential platforms will be evaluated after crowdfunding)
Targeted crowdfunding campaign start date: TBA
Targeted, first playable (pre-alpha) build release date: TBA
Targeted, alpha phase and further development dates: TBA
Magazines (excerpt): pcgamesn.com, nofrag.com, nerdmuch.com, gamepod.hu, shooter-szene.de, skillarmy.fr
Youtubers (alphabetically ordered excerpt): GamePlayOnly, Lathland, MathChief, MKIceAndFire, PixelPlanet, SpaceKryptonite, The Awesome Soul, Vicio ONE MORE TIME!!!