My name is Peter Ryan aka TorQue[MoD]. I've been a game designer for 13 years working in both the mod and professional gaming scenes. I've recently ended a contract with a local game dev company and a programmer friend and I have started a new project built with UDK. We're currently looking for a concept artist to help flesh out the visuals of the game so if you're interested, please reply here or send me an e-mail - info [AT] torquemod.com
A bit more about myself:
I'm a jack of all trades artist (modeling, animation, 2D and sound) though I specialize in environment design. I've been project Lead on two projects; Morbid Inclination a multiplayer mod for Half-Life (10,000+ downloads) and Brutal (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK7WhNlWS3A), a Source Engine game project that was unfortunately over ambitious and put on indefinite hold.
I've spent the past 9 months working as Lead Environment Artist at Interdimensional Games Inc. and as I said above, I'm now working on my own project.
Some pics of my past work: (all recent work is currently under NDA)
About the Project:
The game is called Jet Force and will be a Sci-Fi First Person Shooter in the vein of Tribes or Section 8. The big twist - all players are equipped with a "constant flight" jetpack ala The Rocketeer or Dark Void in order to move around the battlefield. I plan to make JetForce an iterative release project meaning that the project will be released in several smaller packages with the first playable version released completely free to anyone who wants to download it in order to build up a fan base, and every other release will be commercial (like DLC) meaning that if you want the content, you buy it.
I'm not a big fan of the standard F2P model where you do constant micro-transactions for everything and people who pay have an unfair advantage.
The first release will simply be Death match and Team Death match. Subsequent releases will feature a more in-depth team based game mode as outlined below:
The core gameplay revolves around the acquisition of resource valves scattered throughout the battlefield which in turn allow your team to advance their technology through the creation of various buildings (Weapons Factory, Armour Factory, Science Lab, Defense Lab) which unlock new weapons and gear to fight with. Players also earn Credits for defeating enemy units in combat and completing objectives for their team which they can then use to purchase the unlocked weapons and technology. The game is won by disabling all enemy defense systems (positioned around the enemy base) and the complete destruction of the enemy base. Other possible victory conditions might include being the first team to reach a specific amount of resources, or to destroy a specific number of enemy units.
Resource Gathering and Base Building:
At several key locations in each map there will be resource "valves" that teams need to secure in order to create the required buildings for the next expansion of their base. Expansion buildings are automatically constructed at pre-determined locations within the base (There will NOT be a "commander" who places them manually) and each building will open up access to new weapons and technology to give your team an advantage on the battlefield. The order in which buildings unlock will either be hard coded, or determined by the level designer.
On top of team resources, players will be able to earn credits (money) through direct confrontation and battle with enemy forces and by completing objectives such as capturing resource valves or destroying enemy defense systems.
Credits can be used to purchase advanced defense systems for your team's base, as well as customization options for your solider including new Weapons, Armour and Equipment.
Placement of the resource valves will be scattered throughout the map in the same style as a typical RTS environment and the two teams will be forced to confront each other and fight for control of the resource valves.
One thing that might be interesting to do would be to make the "resource stations" have defense systems that attack enemies so that once you capture a resource point its guaranteed to be yours for at least a short while.
To capture a resource point, a player only needs to be in the vacinity of the valve for X number of seconds ala the Battlefield series. Once captured, a steady trickle of resources will be sent to your team's base though players will also have the option to boost the rate at which your team gathers resources by equiping a resource pack, and manually moving the resources between the Valve and their base in a similar vein to Capture the Flag. The resource tank would hold a large amout of resources (500 - 1,000) that if successfully deposited in your base would significantly boost your incoming resources.
Whether the resource tank would be available to all players from the start or would be an item that you can purchase from the Science Lab is yet to be decided. This system will allow some players to take on the role of "resource
gatherer" while others take on the role of guardian to protect the gatherers as well as assaulting enemy gatherers.
In order to gather resources into their tank, the gatherer has to jack themselves into the Valve for X seconds preventing them from moving (they can still aim/shoot forward)leaving them vulnerable to attack and thus needing protection from their team mates. The resource tanks themselves will have a specific health value and can be destroyed if they take enough damage from enemy fire. All of these elements combine to create an incredibly intense team driven game mode.
Each team has their own base that acts as a secure spawning location and home to the upgrade buildings. The base will be a flying carrier of sorts similar in concept to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Heli-carrier seen in The Avengers. This will help to promote the idea of flight and ground combat with the resource valve's mostly being located on the ground forcing players to frequently move between the two areas.
The first release of JetForce will simply feature two variations on the standard JetForce Soldier. In the first retail release, our goal is to properly introduce a story to the game which will also introduce a race of "Angelic" winged humans. More details on the second race will be released in the future.
Every player will be equipped with a jetpack that allows them to shift between traditional ground based combat and flight at will simply by double tapping the jump button. This will allow players to use a multitude of tactics, switching between both ground and flight modes during combat. Imagine running on the ground, jumping into flight and racing through the sky and then suddenly switching back to "ground mode" while still in the air causing you to freefall for a bit then kicking back into "flight mode" as a cool way to dodge enemies. You could also come in low to the ground while flying and then hit ground mode to simply fall to the ground and keep running. Jetpacks will also go into a hover mode if the player stops accelerating while in flight mode and pressing the crouch key will cause you to descend for a safe landing.
There will be several Jetpacks available, some that allow for greater speed while others can carry more weight to allow for heavy armour, larger weapons (Heat Seeking Missiles) and Resource Tanks.
At this moment in time, I'm not sure whether flight should be permanently available (unlimited fuel) or if we should require players to land on the ground occasionally in order to re-charge the flight capabilities. This decision will require playtesting, though if we choose to go with limited fuel and re-charge, then we could say the Jetpacks are powered by Kinetic Energy Generators attached to the soldier's boots requiring them to run around for short periods between flights.
Combat in JetForce will be the same as any First Person Shooter in that all weapons in the game will be hand-held whether in flight or on the ground. There will be options for weapons that are specifically geared towards flight combat such as Auto-Lock Machine Guns or Heat-Seeking Missiles though these will all be hand held and not part of the Jetpacks themselves. For the most part howerver, the flight mechanic is in place to allow for much more 3-Dimensionality and Verticality in the environments and to increase the speed at which players are able to travel through the world. The vast majority of combat will be geared towards being on the ground as we don't want the game to feel too much like a Flight Combat game.
It is my goal with this project to create a fun and unique game that is for the most part a "standard" team based first person shooter with some enjoyable tweaks to keep things fresh; In the same way that Section 8's cannon ball spawning system was a very small tweak to a standard formula that vastly enhanced the gameplay. Basically put, I don't want to re-invent the wheel, I just want to give it the coolest rims you've ever seen.
As a canadian designer, I have the ability to apply for government funding of the project through the Canadian Media Fund (http://www.cmf-fmc.ca/). I have already gone through the application process once and although we did not get approved, they gave me some very good pointers for future projects and were very excited to have me re-apply in the future.
Once JetForce reaches its first public release, my plan is to launch a small Kickstarter/Indiegogo campaign for somewhere in the range of $10-15K and then apply for the next soonest phase of CMF funding.
With that said, it is very possible that no funding of any kind will come through for the project and as such, I plan to develop this game in the same vein as a videogame modification - through the much appreciated and unpaid volunteer work of anyone who is interested in helping out.
My long term goal however is to be able to secure funding of some kind either through the commercial release of the game or other venues and to be able to turn Apeirogon Entertainment (http://apeirogon-games.com/) into a proper game development studio with paid employees. At which point anyone who contributes to the project will be offered paid work.
So that's the whole kaboodle. Apologies for the incredibly lengthy post but I'm trying to be as transparent as possible here. If you're interested in helping out, please reply or send me an e-mail - info [AT] torquemod.com. Right now we're only looking for a concept artist, but we will be looking for other artists in the near future.