Warlords.IO is launching on Steam Early Access November 21st!
Why Early Access?
This is my first multiplayer game and it’s been a journey thus far to say the least. Multiplayer games are strenuous to make and become even more laborious with the addition of split-screen and cross-platform multiplayer. Early Access will allow us to gather feedback on the core gameplay mechanics of Warlords.IO, focusing on how the character classes balance out against each other, and see how the character class may need changed or tuned. We will also elicit community feedback on the direction and design of our cooperative survival mode. “Horde mode” style gamemode are a personal favorite of mine and something we believe to be foundational to a good multiplayer game, mainly because many people prefer to play with each other instead of against each other. The current Survival Mode is fairly simple with continuous waves of increasingly stronger and numerous enemies, and players having the ability to build fortifications and turrets to aid in their defense of a base/objective. There is a large number of variables we are looking to test with Early Access players, ranging from enemy type, map configurations, to an expanding list of “fortifications”. We will be highly interested in player feedback on the fortifications system and intend to largely expand the types and variety of fortifications players can utilize to work with their friends to climb the leaderboards!
We’re are hoping to build a highly competitive mode with “King of the Ring”, our team-based objective mode. We think this mode will offer a unique twist on the traditional king of the hill style modes as teams will have to balance between leveling their character outside of the ring and maintaining control of the ring to score points. We will looking for player feedback on numerous variables, such as ring size, player spawns, minion farm respawn timers, etc. We believe this mode has a lot of potential to be a highly competitive mode (maybe even an esport <3). We’ve also been tossing around the idea of building an in-game map making tool kit for player to create and play maps with their friends online and locally. This will likely be the most community driven feature and development process of Warlords.IO as we’re not sure what creators would be looking for in this type of feature, but we think it could be an invaluable feature for players and creators alike.
Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?
Our primary objectives during the Early Access are as follows: * Develop, Test, and Implement a dedicated server based multiplayer system * Launch/Release on to at least one game console (XBox, PS4, or Switch) * Showcase and release the Dedicated server system in a new large scale multiplayer mode * Expand the Survival Mode with a progression system to reward players who continue to play and push towards a high score in the leaderboards We’re currently available on the Android Play store and Steam, but the end goal is to be on every platform possible with complete cross-platform multiplayer. We hope to achieve these goals by the second half of 2019. Having dedicated server based multiplayer is something we would like to achieve within the first couple months of our Early Access period. We’d also like to launch 1 or more console (in early access) as well within a similar time frame, though we can be certain as to when we an launch on each console.
How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?
The official release of Warlords.IO will feature a dedicated server based multiplayer system for all public matches, and a peer-to-peer system for private matches. We’ll have tested and released our large-scale/big team versus mode. We’ll have expanded the Survival mode with a progression system that offers players variety in how they play and rewards them for continually coming back to play the mode. If the community wants the map making feature, it will be fully developed throughout the Early Access process and ready for the full-release.
What is the current state of the Early Access version?
All 4 of the base player classes are available with their respective ability and primary weapon options. We are looking to see how the abilities balance out against each other and will rely heavily on player feedback for this. The core versus modes and survival are playable online and locally over LAN and/or 4-player split-screen. The 4 versus modes include: Free-For-All, Team Deathmatch, King of the Ring, and “1v1 Me Bro”. The Survival mode is available, but is something we are highly interested in receiving player feedback on. We are looking to see how players react to having to defend 1 or more bases, versus being able to freely roam a map and hold a position as they please. Achievements and Leaderboards have been implemented and progress for those is visible within the games menus.
Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?
Our current price point is enough for us to continue funding the development of Warlords.IO and begin working on building and organizing the dedicated-server infrastructure for multiplayer matchmaking. We plan on the official release price being somewhere around double the Early Access launch price. We may increase the price during the Early access period if we add enough significant features that raise the value of the game closer to the official launch value of our game. If we do decide to raise the price during Early Access, we'll be sure to inform our community of the planned price increase before it happens with our fully explained justification(s). We will likely utilize user polls to explore and justify these decisions prior to making them.
How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?
Again, this is the first multiplayer game I’ve ever made, so constructive feedback is truly welcomed and appreciated. We will utilize forums for more granular discussion and specific feature direction. We enjoy play testing the game in-house, but that doesn’t mean the gameplay is perfect, and we highly value external opinions on where we can improve, balance, and tune the core gameplay experience. We do our best to make sure no bugs make it to the distributed versions of our game, but in the inevitable case a player does encounter one we hope they can share it with us in the forums as well so we can work on resolving it asap. We will utilize player polls to learn player priorities and get feedback on things akin to which features players want us to work on next or which mode they would like us to create a map for this month. We think polls will serve as good follow up and resolution to the exploratory and constructive discussions we hope to have in our forums.
Bug Reporting: http://nerdherdgames.com/forum/channel/bug-report
Weapon Balance Discussion: http://nerdherdgames.com/forum/channel/weapon-balance-discussion
Class Balance Discussion: http://nerdherdgames.com/forum/channel/class-balance-discussion
Feature Suggestions or Ideas: http://nerdherdgames.com/forum/channel/feature-request
Gameplay Feedback: http://nerdherdgames.com/forum/channel/general