This brief snippet of GarageGames' Fallen Empires: Legions really looks like Tribes to me, but of course I just have a passing interest in the game. I'm not obsessed like lots of fans are. Tim Aste, the game's project manager, told us that they definitely were taking the best of Tribes and trying to turn it into their own game:
"The approach we took when deciding what we would focus on when making this game was to attempt to find the core element that we all enjoyed about Tribes... after a bunch of discussion in which we attempted to break down 'what made Tribes so much fun'... we hit upon the core element of 'Freedom of Movement.
Freedom of movement is what it is all about. Instead of trying to recapture the same game play, we wanted something that captured the same feel."
The video shows some of the experiments that the team has been doing to try and fine tune the player's experience. Aste said the game will allow players to move on the ground and in the air and that both need to feel intuitive for it to work.
"We think we have succeeded. When you move around in Legions, it provides you with a feeling of power.. you can go anywhere, and you can do it rather quickly.. once you 'get' how to move, you can eye a point on the map that is far off in the distance, and you can just 'get there'.. quickly. You need to learn how to do it, but learning how to do it is pretty intuitive. It is really empowering, as you quickly learn what you need to do to move fast, and then you start the long road of mastering it.. the uphill climb to mastering the movement model does not seem to peak, and we are still getting better at it."
They also looked at how to tweak the difficulty of taking down a small, moving target like the other players, something that was "way too hard" initially. Their answer was to add contrails which did several things:
It increased the size of the visual 'area' a target took up on screen, so you can see the opposition better.
It indicated, in an intuitive fashion, the speed at which an opponent is moving.. allowing for a player to make predictive assessments of what is going to happen next and quickly sort out threats
It made it easier to lead and get a bead on opponents.
Of course, Aste adds, it also just looks neat.
"It is gratifying just to see all these little trails all over the place.. "
The video is really just about polishing up the core mechanic of movement and tracking, not a glimpse at the final product, but Aste promises that they're not really planning on burying the core mechanic under a ton of unnecessary dressing.
"We are taking that core and really pushing it to what we feel is the utmost expression of the play.
"When our studio manager gave us the project, he pretty much gave us the directive to not worry about bulking it up, but to explore deeply the core.. what makes this type of game.. high speed with large terrains.. fun.. and we took this loose directive to an almost insane level. We deeply explored the core mechanic of moving and shooting, and we think we came up with something that is very cool."
Instant Action's site should have more details on the upcoming game in the near future and they'll be showing stuff off at their GDC booth next month.