MC2 – The Story – Characters

I’ve always wanted to make a game that had different characters. However, I had to keep in mind I had to keep things simple in the art department, because simple = cheap, both in terms of money and time. So I decided to build various different types of sphere “cages”, if you will. Here’s how these look in game at this time:

At this point I was faced with a dilemma: do I make the characters significantly different from one another, as they would be in a fighting game, for example, or do I make them very similar to one another to the point of them basically being equivalent to skins (at least in the eyes of most of the user base), like the cars in Rocket League, for example.

Going with the latter would be a no brainer, budget-wise, however, I didn’t think that the spheres had enough character, if you’ll pardon me the pun, to stand out as purely cosmetic. Going with the former, like for instance giving each sphere a special move, would significantly increase the scope of my work, as well as risk making it so that some may be significantly better than others, as is often the case with fighting games. So I decided to settle for a hybrid: no special qualities, but substantial variation in the spheres’ attributes. I decided to remain closer to the Rocket League model as well, by leaving these differences obscure to the player.

I’ll try to explain what I mean by “attribute”, without giving the secret numbers away! 🙂

All of the spheres have the following attributes (for now):

Max Health (which is also the mass)
Max Angular Velocity (the maximum speed at which a sphere can spin)
Torque Force (in simple terms, how quickly a sphere accelerates)
Air Force (in simple terms, how quickly a sphere accelerates in the air)
Jump Height (minimum height the sphere jumps when input is sent)
Jump Extension Strength (how much higher when the input is held)
Jump Extension Duration (how long will the held input apply additional force)
Slow Down Speed (how fast the sphere will come to a stand still)
Impact Force (how hard the sphere hits)

There are more attributes that I’m not willing to disclose, at least not for now, but suffice it to say, the spheres are different, very different. Mere tweaking of these properties, even by small amounts gives a completely different feel to the spheres.

Here’s a simple example: say hello to Orbital (left) and Full Metal (right):

Ignoring the colours, as those only indicate who is controlling the sphere, how would you say these two spheres differ? Which one do you think is lighter? Which one is faster? Which one flies well? Which one prefers to stay on the ground? These are the kinds of questions I would like the MC2 players to ask themselves. And, I’m not going to lie, I hope for them to form their own legends and speculations about all this. I hope the game will be successful enough that a small amount of dedicated players will run all sorts of empirical test to figure out the objective answer to these questions. One can dream, right?

And this is how I designed the “characters” in MC2. Hope you found this interesting.

Thanks for reading!

– Mike

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