Critically acclaimed platformer Dustforce's developer Hitbox Team has outlined its upcoming FPS, Spire.
It sounds like a roguelike where your character is tasked with ascending a "monolithic tower of unknown origin." The titular spire's interior is procedurally generated, so you'll never encounter the same layouts twice. Hitbox noted that it will be a more curated experience than traditional randomly generated levels as it will intentionally control the pace and flow of the story.
"We want to keep this in mind in order to create a procedural level generation that has flow and character," said Hitbox's Woodley Nye on the company blog. "If the generator has created a dangerous, frantic sequence with lots of combat, it might think to then generate a scene with lower intensity to better control the emotional arc of the experience... Everything from the placement of the books on a shelf to the shape of the walls and floors will be generated with intention."
The studio went on to explain that you'll have a high degree of mobility ala Dustforce. "One of our goals since the beginning has been to create an FPS movement system that feels snappy like Dustforce, incorporating wall-jumps, wall sliding, and other advanced techniques. The level generation will result in scenes that demand mastery of all sorts of skills, not just running and aiming."
While the offline game will be procedurally generated, there will be consistent "Weekly Spires" where players can compete for leaderboard dominance against others in the exact same stage.
"We want the offline mode of the game to serve as the non-competitive mode, or as practice for the ranked challenge, while the ranked mode will be a hotly contested battle for the top-scoring slots," Nye explained. Players will also be able to add "burdens" - i.e. extra difficult conditions - to their playthrough for a greater challenge. The leaderboards will be separted based on what burdens are selected, so you can compare your stats to others operating under the same conditions.
Beyond the competitive element, Hitbox really wants to maintain a sense of discovery and mystery to Spire. While there haven't been many images released of the game, the studio noted that it's trying to stay away from any traditional fantasy fare.
"Although Spire is a fantasy game, we don't want people to think of goblins and elves," Nye explained. "One thing we've talked about a lot as a team is the opportunity to come up with non-standard creatures and items. When players encounter a new enemy, it should feel like a frightening and unfamiliar thing. Likewise, by making the items strange and unexpected, the experience of finding a new treasure is heightened - it becomes one of mystery as well as reward."
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