3D Motion & Real-Time

Warcube

Warcube

Desktop - Steam (Mac & PC)
Press Page

Store Description
Become the WARCUBE. Crush your enemies, siege castles, and bring glory to your six-sided self! These cubes were made for battle, not building. It’s viciously intense, subtly tactical, and geometrically satisfying. 

Development
Warcube was initially launched in January of 2017 into Early Access on Steam. I was one of the last batch of games to make it through the Steam Greenlight process earlier during the summer of 2016 and followed that rush to PAX West later that year. At PAX, I was fortunate enough to demo the game for a couple thousand people AND rock a demo on the main Twitch stage with Rami Ismail in front of thousands. In reality, I was chasing the clock, my wife and I were expecting a child (our first) in February of 2017 and I was working double overtime to make sure we were prepared. It was tough, but the initial launch went VERY well! So well, that I was able to take the first year and half off of my tiny human’s life to work on developing the game. The game is still in Early Access, with 'Very Positive’ reviews on Steam as well as a busy forum, I also have an incredible core community on Discord who help in more ways than I can describe. So to that end, I definitely recommend Early Access or ANY sort of development that looks to include players in the process. When you’re making a product you have to think of the end players 100% of the time, no matter the context.


Design Thoughts

Key Design Pillars

  • Slomo should be useful, but not make things easy

  • You play as a hero first, leader second

  • Strategy, but no micromanaging

  • Layered complexity

  • Developer infused Early Access

Design Gameplay and Mechanics

Combat is primarily based around the left and right mouse buttons. Players can equip melee or ranged weapons to either or both.

Melee
Warcube’s melee combat is different than most hack’n slash games because it doesn’t let you stay in one place. Each attack propels the player forward, essentially moving them around the battle zone. This ties in nicely with the combo system, where after a successful melee attack is made, there’s a small window to initiate another attack, doing so rewards the player with a few seconds of slow motion, allowing them to time another attack at an adjacent target.

Ranged
Enabling a ranged weapon slows down time for everything but the player. Each ranged weapon has a timed accuracy focus with a peak accuracy window, past that point, the the window widens and the shot becomes less accurate.

In Context

 Combined these allow for a cinematic, tactical, and comfortably paced combat system. Throw a well-timed jump in there and you might as well be Legolas.

Combined these allow for a cinematic, tactical, and comfortably paced combat system. Throw a well-timed jump in there and you might as well be Legolas.

Unit Orders
When commanding units, I wanted it to be pretty gestural, that meant as little extra input as possible. Currently, there are two ways to interact with your units:

Orders Mode
This is a real-time orders mode that does not change the players camera, and is best used for low-cost strategic moves. Press a modifier key (left control) changes the player cursor to the default commander cursor. When doing so, all player input is ignore, instead, the mouse controls become classic RTS inputs for selecting (LMB) and ordering (RMB) units on the battlefield. Contextual cursor icons make clear what can be attacked or interacted with.

Tactical Mode

Unit Experience





Initial Prototyping

The initial prototype for Warcube looked very different than its current form, but definitely held much of the spirit. It was initially an isometric, 2D, party driven game of battlechess for mobile. But after some soul-searching, a long weekend and chasing rabbit trails with Rob Kopp, it became a slowmotion infused, arena of death.

Further Improvements

UI
Unit management
Map interactions