Today is the first in a long road ahead. We're now on IndieDB and looking for new talent to help us out with our new game, Project Residual [WIP Title].
That being said, well, what is Project Residual (or at least, what will it be)?
Project Residual will be, upon release, an isometric shooter whose gameplay philosophy takes much inspiration from atmospheric fps titles such as those of the STALKER and Metro 2033 franchises. No, it won't be an irradiated wasteland and neither will it take place in a country where vodka is drunk as frequently as water. Neither will there be someone shouting in a Slavic tongue as post-Soviet soldiers come crashing in to establish law and order. The direction gameplay will be following will be that of vraisemblance--that is, something that tries to be authentic or at least faithful to the experience.
The combat system we strive for is one where the difficult does not primarily come from how many shots an enemy can take, but how few shots the player character can stomach before keeling over and dying. As for player progression, Residual will take a note from STALKER and Metro and avoid any leveling or skill-tree systems--anything that tries to abstract or emulate improvements to the player's skill on top of the skills (such as hand-eye coordination) the player already employs to overcome the game's challenges. Skill and mastery should be player-felt, not achievement or point-grinding centered. Progression will be primarily present in the form of better equipment. Better equipment can be created or looted, often from enemies whose difficulty will be based around not from how many shots they can take, but how quickly they can put down a player in a direct, toe-to-toe confrontation. After all, enemies and "bosses" who specialize in a lead and brass eating competition only test a player's patience and occasionally their reaction-time and luck, not their creativity or foresight. Perhaps this will mean learning the patterns and behavior of whoever is the obstacle toward the current goal, or depending on who is the obstacle, influencing their obstruction by other means such a dialogue with key characters.
Player's will have to manage their agency economy: health, stamina, and the resources that give them the ability to execute their decisions with an improved chance of success. Likewise, light RPG elements will also be included such as dialogue trees and branching quest lines with alternative endings and consequences upon later experiences and interactions. Just like there will be no abstracted skill or leveling system, neither will there by any system resembling classes. What we will strive for, if we ever seek to substitute this contemporary staple rather than omit it all-together, is a system where (again) player skill will be emphasized.
This is merely one pillar of play that will define Project Residual from other titles in a niche genre. However, just because we have a select genre doesn't mean we're aiming for a small audience. While the game on paper sounds niche, we'll be casting our net wide!
As for what Project Residual's story will be, keep an eye out for future updates.