As he demoed the studio's first-person shooter Rekoil, Jason Brice, developer Plastic Piranha's president and CEO revealed its inspiration: The studio wants to return to the roots of what makes an FPS good, namely the shooting.
As he demoed the first-person shooter Rekoil, Jason Brice, developer Plastic Piranha's president and CEO, revealed its inspiration: The studio wants to return to the roots of what makes an FPS good, namely the shooting.
"One of my favorite games was Call of Duty 2, when there was the ability to go in and change from the very beginning — no ranking, no bullshit," he said. "You know, you don't run around the map and get shot — right as you're about to shoot someone else — by a helicopter. You don't get bit by a dog. It's you, and your weapon, against everybody else."
As such, Rekoil has a tight focus — even the HUD shows no more than a small health meter, the rounds in your chamber, and your clip count, unadorned at the lower left of the screen. In other words, you and your weapon.
Rekoil is class-based, and everybody has a pistol, a knife, and their class's weapon of choice running the gamut from machine guns to sniper rifles to accommodate different shooter play styles.
"We went through and made a list of weapons that would fit a certain class — weapons from previous games, weapons that we'd like to see in this game — and kind of made a balance of the two," Brice said.
"During the age of shooters that have all these bells and whistles, we're going back to the really, really, simple, straightforward setup."
"One of the things that makes us original is that we're literally going back in the age of shooters. During the age of shooters that have all these bells and whistles, we're going back to the really, really, simple, straightforward setup."
The 3v3 gameplay demoed at PAX was from an alpha build specifically for the show on a map that the team recently completed. Brice said that the map, Refinery, was one of the last they'd designed. The plan was to build 10 to ship with the game, but the map team had gotten so excited that they created about 15.
The map began with fenced-in radio tower, but that seemed too familiar to Brice, so the team worked to evolve the map to include a mix of open areas, verticality, and corridors. Brice hopes that the tools will inspire others like it inspired the team, many of whom have played competitively.
"We're going to have mod tools available on day one," he said. "[You] will be able to fully edit and make your own mods, make your own custom maps. We strongly encourage that. I would imagine we're going to see our own version of a pro mod at some point."
Rekoil is a hardcore shooter built by a small team of between 18 and 23 people at various times. Its shots are tuned so that three bullets kill. There are no regenerating energy shields. And it's depending on that to generate enough demand to get the game published through Steam's Project Greenlight.
That's the appeal that Jason Brice and Plastic Piranha are counting on.
"It's simple, and it's straightforward, and it's good, clean shooting."