Indie Discovery: TerraTech
Today is a good day. Today, I finally built a working plane in TerraTech. Granted, it didn’t fly for long, but it did take off. Taking off is the hardest part. Landing is easy. TOO easy.
TerraTech is . . . well, currently it’s actually difficult to say what it is. According to the developers website, it aims to be a game about planetary exploration, resource consumption and domination. Right now, it feels more like robot-wars … and that’s not a bad thing.
Taking on the role of a prospector for the Survey and Prospecting Program (SAP), it’s up to you to check out a recently discovered exo-planet and harvest whatever resources you can find. Starting off as a humble SAP on a shoestring budget, you’ll have to seek out and refine the planet’s natural assets to build up your base and strengthen your fleet, all while defending your turf from all sides. New vehicle parts and weapons can be scavenged from other prospectors or built from the minerals and resources you find, and by researching new technologies or buying new blueprints you can further boost your fleet’s capabilities. – TerraTech Website
TerraTech, the debut title from UK Indie Developer Payload Studios, aims to be something different to the usual Minecraft-inspired open world resource gathering games. There is the promise of an almost RTS-like 3rd Person base-building game where crazy, player-built machines rumble or fly across the landscape, consuming resources and destroying each other.
The demo available at the time of writing is a prototype meant to show exactly what potential the player-designed vehicle component has. SPOILER: there’s a lot of potential.
You are given a single cockpit, and a set of wheels and a machine gun, and from there you must destroy randomly generated hostile vehicles and scavenge new parts from their wreckage. It’s very easy to understand; chassis pieces are all cubes and cuboids of various sizes, and accessories range from wheels to laser guns, mining bores and massive booster-rockets.
The main demo spawns pairs of hostile vehicles continually, all of which are randomly generated from the game’s list of vehicle parts. As you destroy more of these vehicles you’ll scavenge more parts for your own creation, which in turn prompts larger, tougher enemies to spwan. The progression is quite nice, and the freedom to design your vehicle how you want is incredibly rewarding, even at this early stage.
One of my early vehicles was basically just a wall of forward-facing lasers, with a rotating cannon on top for finishing off enemy cockpits that my un-targeted lasers couldn’t hit. Very little has yet to survive it’s full frontal assault.
And you know what the most interesting part about this whole thing is so far? The ability to take a screenshot of your current vehicle and share it with your friends.
What, that didn’t sound that interesting? Well what if I said that each screenshot also contains data which will allow you friends to load that vehicle into their own game and take it for a ride. A simple, elegant way of sharing blueprints with friends.
TerraTech is a highly promising game; if the base-building mechanics are well implemented and hostile challenges expanded upon, TerraTech could be an outstanding, creative action game. As it stands, the demo available now is a must play if only to get a taste for the vehicle designing process.
TerraTech has a demo available for free download right now. It’s playable on Windows & Mac, with Linux and Multiplayer support coming later on in the game’s development.
The developers are also seeking Kickstarter funding for TerraTech. We’ll add a link to the Kickstarter page here once it goes live.