Every summer, gamers go through a debilitating drought. The well of releases worth playing slows to a trickle and many are left to do nothing more than drool over the titles planned for release next holiday season. It's during this time that many gamers come to ModDB to satiate their gaming appetites. They search high and low for something that will pique their interest.

While the MOTY Awards provide a wealth of choices among mods and indie games, they usually overlook gaming gems within our community released in the first half of the year. To combat this oversight, ModDB has launched the Summer of Mods & Indies event! Featuring exclusive content from all the major releases of the last 6 months, gamers are bound to find something to quench their thirst.

The Summer of Mods & Indies provides much needed exposure to mods and indie games in order to help them connect with their potential audiences. If you'd like to participate in this year's event, your too late... entries closed on July 15th. Instead sit back, thank the presenting sponsor US Air Force, and prepare to be bombarded with exclusive content from the best mods and indies from the first 6 months of the year.

 

Report article RSS Feed Archasis II - Turning Point

Learn all about Archasis II's shift to a single player/cooperative experience.

Posted by stenchy on Jul 20th, 2009
Article


A New Direction for Archasis II

With the Phase 3 deadline of the Make Something Unreal Contest passed, the Archasis II development team eagerly set aside production and picked up thinking caps instead. New design ideas had been tugging at our brains well before the deadline, but the likelihood of implementing them before the end of Phase 3 was unrealistic and improbable. Now that the first public release has been completed, the mod has turned towards a new direction we hope will be more enjoyable for all!
The most substantial of these new ideas is an entire gameplay shift from Multiplayer-driven human vs. human combat to a single player/cooperative campaign against AI. This is a big step, but the benefits have outweighed the amount of work going into making the shift happen. As a team, these are our reasons for the change:

  • Story-telling: Our main goal with Archasis II is to provide players with a unique, interesting and fun experience that lasts. A key component to this is a storyline that players can become immersed in. With PvP games, it’s a challenge to develop a detailed story since every match is fairly similar but in a different setting. Unlike the original Archasis (UT2004 mod), which only had a couple levels and a short paragraph for each relating to the story, Archasis II will have a thought-out, detailed narrative that ties together each objective and gives purpose to every action.
  • Playability: Multiplayer games require two things that single-player games do not: an internet connection and lots of players. Lag and bandwidth issues can be a nuisance, and the number of UT3 players is quite small compared to other games. We hope to reach a larger community of players by allowing someone to fully experience the mod without relying on other players or the internet.
  • Competition Deadline: The MSUC phases are relatively short when it comes to a development timeline. This switch to a single-player campaign reduces the need to deal with coding issues like network replication and the server browser, something that can be very time consuming and frustrating. Also, now we can focus on polishing up the weapons and skills of the player faction (Argent Shield) while the enemies require less attention since they don’t use skills and their weapons only exist in third person.
  • More Variety in Gameplay: We don’t want players to become bored quickly. The single-player campaign allows for unique gameplay events like boss fights or battles with massive numbers of enemies that wouldn’t happen in a PvP game. Each mission can be significantly different, with a variety of scripted sequences, enemy types, objectives, and story-related twists.
  • Noobs, Punks, and Other PvP Phenomena: This last reason touches on the banes of multiplayer fun that unfortunately plague many player-versus-player servers. I’m not saying that new players are a problem, but in competitive matches more experienced players can get aggravated over a lack of skill of their teammates. At least with a single-player campaign, the AI’s feelings don’t get hurt when you yell at them.

This new campaign has opened the floodgates for other ideas, many of which have already been implemented to date and we can proudly share them with the community. To assist in story-telling, the “objective menu” has been turned into a journal that gradually fills in as objectives are completed. Also, the skill tree menu has been expanded, and a restructuring of the skill system now allows for limitless possibilities and quantities. The active skill bar has been expanded from two to three, and new inventory pickups have been added such as stamina & health potions as well as ammunition barrels for replenishing supplies throughout missions.

Spell casting is now possible, which will be utilized by the Wizard class. Spells are handled as a single “weapon,” but that weapon is customizable via skills. The Wizard spell casting weapon starts with a primary and secondary fire, and any learned spell adds to its functionality through the active skill bar. The end result is a weapon that has five different attacks, three of which are customizable and can swap in and out any combination of spells.

Mission-wise, we are expanding upon the missions that already exist rather than tackling new ones at the moment. However, there are some ideas on the table for new missions that we will address in the near future. One such mission is the Tower of Marius, a sky-scraping structure of arcane power that houses countless floors of intense action. The player will work their way from the top of the tower to its base, experiencing an array of scripted events, boss fights, and a barrage of enemies.

Although our focus has primarily been on gameplay-related aspects, progress continues on the artistic front. A new Knight model is in the works, and concepts for the Hunter and Wizard are coming along.

Archasis II WIPsArchasis II WIPsArchasis II WIPsArchasis II WIPs[click an image for a direct link to the gallery]

Written by Jamie Galimberti
Edited by Ryan Anderson

Post comment Comments
Elementalist
Elementalist Jul 21 2009, 2:48am says:

Well, shifting it towards single player and co-op definitely gets ME a heck of a lot more interested in it. Great to hear, and good luck. :)

+4 votes     reply to comment
Mualama
Mualama Jul 21 2009, 3:51am replied:

ditto, awesome work guys :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
itchylot
itchylot Jul 21 2009, 3:46am says:

You had me at co-op.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Kamikazi[Uk]
Kamikazi[Uk] Jul 21 2009, 8:02am says:

Reminds me off oblivion. Great work.

+1 vote     reply to comment
AlCool
AlCool Jul 21 2009, 9:31am says:

It reminds me quite a bit of Dark Messiah, which is a compliment ;D

The only thing I'd like to see is more of a smoothness in the animations. A few seem stiff and jagged in both first and third person. Other then, got some awesome stuff going on :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
BcForCe
BcForCe Jul 24 2009, 5:09pm says:

lookis great i really wanna try this XD

+1 vote     reply to comment
Zedrion
Zedrion Jul 26 2009, 2:56am says:

this mod has great potential. i cant wait to see more content for this.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Post a Comment
click to sign in

You are not logged in, your comment will be anonymous unless you join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) which we encourage all contributors to do.

2000 characters limit; HTML formatting and smileys are not supported - text only

Established
Jun 29, 2009
Privacy
Public
Subscription
Open to all members
Homepage
Moddb.com
Contact
Send Message
Email
Members Only
Membership
Join this group
Group Watch
Track this event
Feature
Browse
Features
Report Abuse
Report article
Related Mods
Archasis II (Unreal Tournament 3)
Archasis II Unreal Tournament 3 - Single Player First Person Shooter
Related Games
Unreal Tournament 3
Unreal Tournament 3 Single & Multiplayer First Person Shooter
Related Groups
Summer of Mods & Indies
Summer of Mods & Indies Official event with 135 members
Team Archasis
Team Archasis Developer & Publisher