Our Guns Are Ablazin’

One of the biggest problem areas of Wrack was certainly the weapons. Not only were there not that many of them (count ’em, five!), but for the most part, they were fairly run-of-the-mill weapons that weren’t very interesting. On top of that, they weren’t that satisfying to use, had animation issues… well, you get the idea.

This is something we set out to improve dramatically in Exoverse. The gunplay is a pretty substantial portion of the gameplay, so it’s really important that we get that right. How are we going to do that, exactly? I’m glad you asked!

#1). Lots o’ Diverse Weapons!

Just having a lot of weapons isn’t enough. You also need them to have a purpose – to be different and fulfill a role. In Exoverse, this is accomplished partly by what slot the weapon goes into, and also by whether or not it’s a light/heavy/special weapon. If only we had a nice little chart to break it all down…

Ah, there we go!

For instance, all of the game’s pistols go in the first weapon slot and do really well against single targets at short range. Not only do the pistols (generally) only hit one target at a time, but they actually do more damage the closer you stand. The heavy version of the pistol, the revolver, fires more slowly and adds a percentage of the target’s max. HP to its damage (making it ideal for killing big guys). The special pistol, the Blazar, doesn’t have a magazine and sets things on fire. More on this later!

Rifles, on the other hand, are better at long range. They actually do more damage the farther you are away (it’s video game logic, folks!), and deal bonus damage for headshots! If you need to stay safe and are fighting enemies that can be headshot, rifles are the way to go.

#2). Added Depth

We really want using each weapon to be engaging in Exoverse. We really want you to think about how to maximize your damage output, because as it turns out, that’s kind of important in a tower defense game!

For instance, every weapon takes range into account. We already mentioned the pistols and rifles, but even the bazooka’s rockets accelerate once you fire it, and do more impact damage the faster the rocket is traveling. This alone puts a great deal of emphasis on where to stand when it comes to using each weapon.

But the Blazar is where this really shines. It’s a heat-based weapon that heats up as you start firing it. Once it’s above 50% heat, it’ll start lighting enemies in the area of its impact on fire! However, if its heat reaches 100% the weapon will become overheated and unable to be fired for a while. Getting the most out of this weapon requires keeping it hot enough to ignite enemies, but cool enough so that this doesn’t happen.

Too hot to handle!

#3). Power Shots

In Exoverse, every time you damage an enemy, you build a bit of meter towards a power shot. Once the bar is filled up, you can unleash one at any time – sort of like a super move in a fighting game, or the chain finisher system in Wrack… only… good?

Stays filled until you use it! Amazing!

Much like with the regular attacks, if they just did a set amount of damage, they wouldn’t be all that interesting. As a result, the power shots all have some special properties (in addition to doing some pretty good damage). For instance, the shotgun’s power shot, called Buckshot Overload (yes, these have names!), is an area attack that deals additional damage per enemy hit. So, you don’t want to use this against a single enemy. Wait for them to all get clumped up, and… fire!

Remember how I said you could unleash a power shot at any time? Well, the Blazar can do this even while overheated! … and as it turns out, it’s even better when you do! Using your power shot while it’s overheated will not only increase the damage a bunch, but also ignite enemies around the impact area – similarly to when its heat is above 50%. Should you overheat the weapon on purpose to active this effect? The choice is yours!

In addition to all of this, there are a bunch of new effects to make the satisfying to use, including gibs, blood, actual flinch animations, etc. which we hope to show off whenever we get around to making one of those trailer thingies. I hear those are good things to make.

In the mean time, back to tweaking. Does 350% headshot damage sound good on the rifle’s power shot? Let’s find out…

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