Alpha 7 Back Online Peter
(13 replies, 1514 views) (2004-Aug-18)
Back to News
We're baaaaack =) After a long hiatus, Alpha 7 is back in development! Right now we are working on the game's missions with a limited release (details to come) in September.
Space action amped - Alpha 7 features intense space action. As a fighter pilot in the Terran Space Force you are part of humanity's last hope against the hordes of Species 159 bugs.
Besides action, Alpha 7 has you fighting amongst allies in pitched battles as friends call in for help, the enemy keeps coming, and objectives change.
For example, in one mission you are part of a taskforce assigned to launch a counterattack against Boundary Line Omega, the last line of defence between the 159 and the supercarrier TSF Independence. If the Independence and its battle group falls, the 159 will be free to pour out into the rest of the galaxy from the Hyperion Nebula. Nothing will stand between them and Earth.
The Boundary Line was breached in the last mission, and now it is the TSF's task to retake it. You will be fighting amongst heavily armoured TSF Gunships and larger capitol ships (the Gunboats, which are packed to the brim with deadly turrets). Hundreds of bugs stand between you and your objective. They will swarm and crash into your small squadron again and again as you attempt to retake Omega (Screenshot 1)
Another mission will see you defending a disabled TSF cruiser, the Ordonnes. As an example of the complexity of later missions, you would have to defend the Ordonnes from attack for a few minutes while troop transports get into position to evac the crew. Once the crew is in, you would have to fight a rearguard action to save the transports from the pursuing 159.
Screenshot 3 features the TSF Independence itself, a massive capitol ship that spans several screens in length.
Excellent! I was afraid this game had been abandoned.
You have forgotten the "http://" before the website address. This makes the link referer to "vbgamer.com/www.talosstudios.com" instead of the correct address.
But otherwise it's very good to see Alpha back in development. It's looking very promissing, and the graphic is simply astunising!
Good luck :)
Thanks for the heads up about the address, although the site hasnt been updated yet =)
Making missions can be hard though, especially the balance point, I have a tendency to make them on the tough side (anyone watch futurama? "With me, every mission is a suicide mission" - Zap Brannigan).
Right now its a choice between fewer enemies or more destructive weapons... what do you guys think? :D
Definitely more destructive weapons! Sounds a lot more fun.
Heheh, you got it =)
Different missions will have different weapons as you progress through the game and more advanced tech is discovered (or stolen, depending on the case ;) )
But the standard TSF armament for your Highwing fighter in the first couple of missions is:
-Vulcan Ripper: A rapid-fire cannon designed for close encounters. Low damage, but it fires really fast and it has unlimited ammo
-Alliance Lasers: Standard long-range laser system. Long range, high damage, but slower rate of fire. Excellent for fighting at a distance
-Hellfire MK4 Missle System: A devastating missile salvo. Fires 4 heat-seeking missiles with each salvo at a rapid rate. These missiles can pretty much crunch through any bugs that get in the way =)
Its a lot of fun making the actual missions and weapons and content for the game. Up until now all the content we've made has been prototype stuff to test the engine, test the editors, etc. Its great to finally be implementing all of the ideas we've had on paper for years.
I'm also amazed the engine and editors are holding up so well =) We might be releasing the source when we're done this game, although I havent completely decided yet. I've always kinda wanted to ever since I began development on the game almost 2 years ago.
Peter, this is just great. I'm so glad you're finishing this.
Just added armour repair packs taht will be scattered throughout some missions, making them now less ... impossible. It detracts a bit from the realism of the game, since we've always been aiming to make it more of a military action game rather than just an arcade shoot-em up, but hey, you have health-packs in pretty much all FPS games, even ones that are more realistic like Splinter Cell, so I guess its a necessary evil.
If you are very concerned about keeping the realism in the game you could use repair stations instead of health-packs. Seeing as the player is controlling a space-ship, "health" most be the ship's condition.
But the game dosn't seem to be striding for realism (flying space bugs etc. [:p]) so that's probably too much work for too little an effect.
Well, have you ever played Starcraft or seen the movie Aliens? Obviously aliens that feed off of dark matter and breed in space arent realistic, then again neither are plasma weapons or giant space carriers ;) Obviously this is a fantasy (well, science-fiction) world, but what we are striving to do is to make it believable and make the player feel like they are in a military outfit fighting against impossible outfits on the edge of the known galaxy.
We were always going to have armour-repair pods, except the way it was going to be handled is the player had a certain amount of "supply drops" that they could call in, which would make a supply ship zoom in and drop them off nearby, now the repair pods are just scattered throughout a level.
The way the repair pods work is using some pretty cool nano-robotics. Once activated they release thousands of nano-bots that repair damaged metals, plastics, composites, power conduits etc. That is it would be cool if they actually existed, but they do in the world of Alpha 7 =)
This game sounds AMAZING and I am reallly looking forward to playing it! Have you ever thought of perhaps getting it published once it is complete - you might be surprised at the market that remains for 2D adventure action games!
We've thought about publishing quite a bit, but we'll have to see how it goes. Our biggest problem is with music and sound effects, we have art and programming covered, but neither Andrew nor myself know anything about composing or recording sfx, so we would have to pay royalties for music tracks etc. But it could be worth a shot =)
Even if we end up selling it , we would probably release it to the vb game community here for free
If you know anything about music in general, all you really need is a synth. You can get the best one on the planet for free, [url="http://www.buzzmachines.com/"]Buzz[/url]. There are tons of tutorials on that website and tons of machines to download. Check it out, you may be surprised at what you can do with this. But don't expect to get all your music done in a day or so, writing music takes time, and lots of it. [:)]
Hi all, hi Peter,
I downloaded A7 a while ago, it's really amazing & I'm glad it's back on the programming tracks ! U should try to sell it, even as shareware using a pay-by-net pack in a first phase, then by contacting societies and showing them ur shareware records. I'm also trying to program a VB space sim game, but more hard-science-oriented. And that's what I'll do if I ever reach the stage u're at !
And of course releasing the source for everyone to learn is a great idea, I think there's no real risk of being pirated as the prog's complexity would require more work in reverse engineering that would be needed to make an original game. But seing tidbits and examples available to adapt and adopt could greatly help the birth of many other VB games, which a goal of this site ^-^, isnt't it ?
Benoît 'Mutos' ROBIN