Local game developers design with passion

Local game developers design with passion

Evan Rechsteiner, Split Screen

Patrick Manhatton is the mastermind and lead designer behind his very own independent game, “Arcbruiser.” “Arcbruiser” is a third person shooter where you and your friends pilot giant mechanized war machines to take on an a massive onslaught of other robots.

“Initially I just wanted to make a satisfying shooter/hack-and-slash game,” said Manhatton. “I wanted to see what I could do with a game with one hit kills and an interface that facilitated a faster pace than what you get with traditional shooter controls. After the gameplay was satisfying I felt it needed some context so I started thinking about stories you could tell with those mechanics. It became a fast paced cooperative narrative game.”

The emphasis on multiplayer co-op in “Arcbruiser” makes it an ideal choice to be showcased on the “Split Screen” program. This game provides a chance for multiple players to band together on their tour of metallic annihilation.

“Co-op fit really well given the horde like nature of facing hundreds of enemies at once,” said Manhatton.

“Arcbruiser” is the first independent game made in Corvallis to be on “Split Screen.” If you aren’t able to play alongside three other friends there is still a viable way to play the game

“Right now we’re prototyping it with four pre-designed playable characters.” said Manhatton. “If there are less than four players the remaining characters are controlled by the AI.”

There’s also a narrative piece to this game to fit in with the four player team based gameplay providing intricate stories and realistic characters for players to experience together.

“Having fixed characters front and center that we know will always be there gives us a lot of freedom to develop their relationships with each other, their backgrounds, and the changes they go through during the course of the game,” said Manhatton “It’s a handcrafted approach that has some benefits over non-linearity, though I think both methods are valid.”

Brian Gilmore, level designer and writer for the game, divulged that the game features characters who all share a common goal of truth and justice but unwittingly cause a civil war.

“Our main goal is to make our levels be impactful,” said Gilmore. “Not just by having cool things happen in interesting settings, but also in terms of how they will affect our characters, and through those characters, our players.”

The main inspiration for the title “Arcbruiser” stems from a musketeer influence and personal preference on Patrick’s part.

“It’s a misreading of the word Arquebusier, which was someone who wielded an arquebus, a musket used during the renaissance,” said Manhatton.

Manhatton’s team is made up of individuals involved in the Corvallis and Eugene Game Developers groups as well as his next door neighbors who by sheer luck share his passion for game development.

“Two of them are my next door neighbors who happened to be game developers in what is one of the bigger coincidences of my life,” said Manhatton. “The major thing that brings us together is that we love making games and we’d like to do it full time.”

Gilmore’s spoiler free synopsis of the game sets up intrigue for a world being torn apart with diverse characters.

“As their world erupts into chaos, our heroes must band together to survive and hopefully protect the innocent people caught up in the revolution they’ve started,” said Gilmore.

Rechsteiner Excitement Scale: It broke because it was too high / 10

Want to see game play? Look for it week 7 when Patrick joins us on Split Screen’s regular TV show Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. on KBVR-TV (Comcast 26). Also look for Split Screen Radio on 88.7 FM Wednesdays 5-6 p.m. Finally, look for us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay current with all things Split Screen.

The opinions expressed in Rechsteiner’s column do not necessarily reflect those of The Daily barometer staff.

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