Guns of Icarus Online is looking to be one of the most innovative multiplayer games of the year, with airship combat in a vast persistent world, and where teamwork is the foundation of survival.
To help ensure teams work together, there are three classes each team requires. The Captain steers the vessel, the Engineer keeps it repaired, and the Gunner blasts enemies out of the skies.
Howard Tsao, CEO of Muse Games and creator of Guns of Icarus Online, said via e-mail that he wanted teams to have similar roles as group-based RPGs. “For example, when you do raids in WoW you’ll want to have a tank, DPS, and healer at the most basic level,” he said.
In FPS games “we don’t have the kind of team cohesion,” Tsao said, commenting alongside teammates Brian and Eric.
“What we do have in FPS games is the upfront action,” he said. “So we’re taking the team aspect of RPG raiding groups, stripping out the layer of RTS-like obfuscation, and putting it in a fast-paced twitch environment.”
“Any success of a player will be directly derived from the team working together, all on a second-to-second basis. It’s definitely going to be frantic, but you’ll want to high-five everyone on your airship once you get the job done,” he said.
The game is currently on Kickstarter where the team at Muse Games is raising funds for development. Things hit off pretty fast. They’ve already reached their funding goal, and still have 30 days to go.
Guns of Icarus Online will bring whole new dimensions to the already established game of otherworldly combat in zeppelin ships. Tsao said the teams is creating a look closer to that of the early days of film, and they’ve had more time to work on creating a more complete world.
“I think that in the first game, there wasn’t a lot of time spent on in-depth world creation. We really only had to worry about the ship, a handful of guns, and the main character, all of which had a rather basic steampunk/dieselpunk inspired design aesthetic,” he said.
Yet in the new game, he said, “we have made much more of an effort to craft an internally consistent world, complete with distinct regional cultures and a historical timeline that one can draw upon when designing the people and objects that exist in this fictional universe. I think this sort of research is probably the thing that sets the art of the new game apart from that of the first Guns of Icarus.”
Guns of Icarus Online takes place after the events in the first game, where the world has been inspired by the flight of the Icarus, and teams of adventurers have taken to the skies to open trade routes and restore what they once had. Several towns are already designed, all of which are starkly different from one-another, in terms of appearance, lore, and alignment.
There is a strong sense of atmosphere in the early renderings, that help the player get a sense of what each town is like, and what they can expect from each environment. Some are ruins of old cities much like ours today, others are Western towns in deserts. There are wastelands, and jungles, and places that have a sort of mystical lure about them—all of which will tie into the exploration aspects of the game.
Tsao said “Towns and cargo will play a huge role in the future Campaign portion of our game.” They’ll start working more on that once they roll out the PvP gameplay.
In the game’s world though, “Ultimately, everything comes down to factions. They’re like big guilds with a significant stake in the world economy,” he said. “They’ll have different goals and win conditions, so depending on what those are, you’ll act differently towards certain towns.”
The factions have strong differences in appearance, including with the airships and characters. Some resemble teams of air samurai, some look like pirates, others like desert raiders—yet all are tied together with some signature steampunk flair.
This will also tie directly to the towns. “Maybe one town is a part of an opposing faction, so you do your best to pirate their trade routes,” Tsao said. “Eventually, that town may go into decline making it easier for your faction to take over. Some factions will have directly opposing goals, some may be more aligned.”
“Players will have to decide how to play the politics game in order to best fulfill their faction interests,” he said.
[box_light]Images courtesy of Muse Games[/box_light]