To celebrate, we’ve got a second Video walkthrough available now on YouTube, which showcases Hilldale, the final zone in the game (and yes, it’s named in honour of Back to the Future Part 2), and has some of the most complicated kills in the game! Watch as Rohan and Leigh fail to pull of kill after kill without raising hell, and demonstrate exactly how not to avoid getting shot in the back of the head with a silenced shotgun!
To celebrate, we commissioned a local Sydney artist named Max Gregory to do up a piece inspired by Metrocide, and he’s done up this abstract geometric piece which you can download as a wallpaper! (Drop us a line if you’d like to contact him)
(You’re paying less than half the final asking price if you jump in on Early Access)
Why Early Access?
From the very beginning, we decided we wanted Metrocide to be hard. Every time we’ve finished the game, we’ve made it harder and tried again. Cops, security cameras, gang members and vigilantes mix with permadeath to make sure that no matter how armed to the teeth you might be, one wrong move and you’re back at square one (although you will keep all the unlocks).
We’re happy with the game from a technical perspective, but before we get to version 1.0 we had to ask ourselves whether we were content with putting the game out there when we had yet to answer the million dollar question: how hard is too hard?
So the short time we intend to be in Early Access will be centred around balancing the game (the last third or so in particular), to make sure that it’s as punishing as we intend it to be, but also that it’s punishing in the right way.
How long will this game be in Early Access?
Only very briefly. We’re aiming for six weeks in Early Access and a late November / early December release date.
How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?
The Early Access version will contain the ‘normal’ game mode and the ‘score attack’ game mode for each of the three zones.
While the final version will have a more balanced difficulty, it will also ship with additional game modes for each level which, yes, make it harder again.
These will include ‘One Chance’ mode (wherein any death sends you right back to the beginning of Zone 1 – normally it’d be a restart in whatever zone you were playing in), ‘Blaster Only’ mode where you need to try and complete the game sporting the world’s worst pistol and no powerups of any kind are available, and Dead Man Walking mode, which is akin to the Survival mode from the original Driver game – everyone is trying to kill you and you’ve got to get as many kills before your inevitable death as humanly possible.
What is the current state of the Early Access version?
The Early Access version has all the bells and whistles of the final version without those bonus game modes. All the weapons, tools and mission variants are present – you’re getting the core gameplay experience.
Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?
Yes. Our planned price for the final version is USD$12.99. For Early Access, we’ll be asking USD$5.99.
It’s a new IP from a (relatively) unknown studio – so anyone taking a chance on us should be rewarded.
How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?
We’re after a combination of anecdotal feedback on the difficulty and on seeing just how far people get. One thing we’ve learned from our various playtesting sessions at public events has been that some people pick the game up very quickly and very naturally. Others struggle with this sort of game to the extent that finishing it may be next to impossible for them.
The idea is to embellish upon the current difficulty level (which we’re aiming at being the ‘normal’ difficulty setting in the game), and branching it both upwards and downwards to make easy and hard modes (the latter of which you must unlock by completing the game on normal.
We’ll be in the forums very actively eagerly awaiting feedback and watching the numbers come in. We want to make sure there’s a difficulty setting which is right for you, no matter what kind of player you are!
With just two (2) days to go until Metrocide is available on Early Access under Steam, Humble and other digital stores, videos are starting to pour out all over YouTube.
So if you’re keen to see people who aren’t the creators of the game having a stab at slaughtering their way through Metro City for a change, check out the below links, or check out the recent preview over on Stevivor.com!
Ziggy D has a first playthrough of Metrocide as well as other Aussie indies Super Mega Mega and Black Annex (which we also wholeheartedly recommend you check out) from the recent EB Expo here in Sydney: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9jjZrwnuq4
Meanwhile, Tone Deaf (aka Ryan) works his way through the city in a Let’s Play wherein he discovers the merits of a big shotgun and a dark alleyway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PIjwGmPw7Q
T.J. Trench will be rampaging through the streets of Metro City one week from today. Become the contract killer and tread over corpse after corpse (pictured) to buy your way out of hell and into freedom.
Metrocide Early Access will be less than half the price of the full version, which is due out later this year. It will feature the normal story mode and Score Attack mode for all three of the zones in Metro City. We will be adding the additional game modes (which are variants on the usual play style and are designed as extras for those good enough to actually complete the core game) in a drip-feed manner between now and launch.
Why Early Access?
The game is hard. Very hard, in fact, and we’re keen to ensure that the hardest difficulty setting is every bit as punishing as we intend it to be, but that easy mode, while still a real challenge, isn’t so difficult as to make the game impossible for noobs.
All the tools, toys and guns we want for the final game, all the levels and all the mission variants will be in there.
You’ll be able to get it on Early Access via Steam (of course), but we’ve also signed with indie label Surprise Attack to help bring Metrocide to as many other digital stores as we can manage. So you can also find us available for Early Access on Humble Store, Amazon, GamersGate, GreenmanGaming, but that’s just the beginning!
Stay tuned and check your six…
This is a developer blog by Rohan originally posted on Gamasutra, titled “METROCIDE, or, How I Rolled My Own Cyberpunk Dystopia“.
In early April, a collection of us at Flat Earth Games, fresh off a family-friendly crafting/city-building game, decided to kill a lot of people. Virtually, of course. I suppose partly it was a reflex reaction from a year or more of making a game where it was literally impossible to die. But it was also prompted by the question of “what kind of Cyberpunk game would we want to play?”
See, it was a game jam. A ten day one – the 2014 Cyberpunk game jam. And to us, used to 48-72 hour jams, 10 days felt like a life-time. So why not really go to town? We could surely do an action game in that time. What if we did a full-on cyberpunk action game where you played as a contract killer? We were thinking a real-time, action version of the kind of game we imagined we were playing with the 1994 Genesis “Shadowrun” game.
Of course, that’s insane – but slightly less so if you cut down your scope a great deal. So it’d be totally top-down, pixel-art, and permadeath. The art could be turned out by all of us, I could build the city out of tiles so a map editor would be easy to create, and by focusing on a death-at-every-turn permadeath style, we’d limit the need for save formats AND give a nice, bleak feel to the gameplay.
It came down to the wire, but we’ve decided that although we’re technically and artistically happy with the game for mid-October, that extreme difficulty just might need a touch more hammering down. So we’re going with Early Access for our mid-October launch.
This means that while we need a few extra weeks (we’re aiming for late November) to make it one hundred percent final, we’re still happy to unleash it to the public on time.
It’ll also happen to be almost 50% off the final launch price, so get in while it’s freshly-baked to help us make sure it’s not TOOOOOOOOOOoooooo hard and save some sweet De Niros.
Also, WE HAVE A NEW VIDEO! Check out the video walkthrough of the core gameplay mechanics with cretors Rohan and Leigh Harris explaining the myriad ways to die in the unforgiving trenches (geddit?) of Metrocide.
Metrocide will be in attendance of course, playable in its all-but-finished state and on the cusp of release. Its somewhat distant cousin TownCraft (I say that because of the entirely unrelated styles and games that they each are) will be there as well, so we’ll have somewhere to direct the curious eyeballs of young kids which is more than a ‘nope, not today’ response. Here’s hoping that’ll stave off too many fits of angst from those who aren’t ready for the chaos and mayhem, but who knows.
Regardless, the show is on from 3rd-5th October at the Sydney Showgrounds, Sydney Olympic Park.
Our two founders, Rohan and Leigh Harris, will be on the booth, as will Danii ‘Facelips’ Johnstone, who’s been a voice actor for both games and is composing all the music for Metrocide.
We look forward to seeing you there if you’re planning on going, and if you’ve yet to grab tickets, they’re available here. (Or if it’s Metrocide you’re wanting to go for, it’ll be out a fortnight or so later, so it’s not far off).
Happy hunting, everyone! Keep those EMP bombs handy!
So here’s a thing which grew out of a ‘wouldn’t it be cool if…’ moment: Flat Earth has put together a panel at PAX Australia wherein we and a bunch of other devs will take to the stage to design a game and release whatever we come up with for anyone to build upon, develop or tear-to-pieces and scrutinise. You know, depending on what mood you’re in.
Be sure to look for the ‘How to Design a Videogame From Scratch LIVE’ panel. Get there early to see it all unfold at 7.30pm on Saturday 1st November in the Dropbear Theatre.
Also, how cool is it that there’s a freaking Dropbear Theatre?!?
Our panelists include:
John Nesky (feel engineer for thatgamecompany)
Ashley Zeldin (Adorkable Games)
Ron Gilbert (Seriously? If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you)
Morgan Lean (Director of Majestic Nights, CEO of Epiphany Games)
…and of course, Rohan and Leigh from little ol’ Flat Earth Games.
Hope to see you there! Let’s make a mess!
Flat Earth has been busy toiling away on Metrocide for quite a while now, and we’re none-too-chuffed (look it up) to announce that the game will be available in mid-October for PC and Mac via Steam and various other DRM-free digital stores!
Come say hi at booth #2708!
Additionally, Metro City has had quite a makeover in the last few months, with all new lighting effects and, by popular demand, a metric s@#t-tonne of neon lights! Here’s a sneak peek:
We’re already hard at work testing every single feature of TownCraft on iOS 8. So far it’s all looking like it works a treat, but when it drops, if anyone does find any issues, give us a shout and we’ll jump on it.
Also, it should run fine on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and we’ll be getting our hands on both at launch to get an update ready so that it supports the new resolutions natively.
And again, if anyone picks up a new iPhone and finds any issues, get in touch and we’ll get them fixed!
Now, I know we said that AVCon in Adelaide was going to be the only chance you’d get to play Metrocide pre-release, but… well… either we lied or we came up with another opportunity. Let’s just say it was the latter.
The Nerd Cave, a humble little den near Sydney’s Central Station, will be hosting Flat Earth’s lead programmer and lead designer this Saturday from 2pm-7pm as they put Metrocide through its paces one last time before release.
Come join us, beat our high scores, die repeatedly, swear at the computer and rest easy in the comfort of knowing that your every curse word will be heard by the creators of the game themselves.