news\ Jan 15, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Dustforce dev announces first-person shooter Spire


Hitbox Team is moving from a platform game about janitorial efforts to a first-person game about climbing a mysterious monolithic tower.

The developer of last year's indie title Dustforce has just announced its next project, Spire. The team revealed that one of its goals is to create a more organic sense of level flow rather than a series of randomized environments.

"Environments and the transitions between them tell a story," wrote game designer and artist Woodley Nye on the studio's website. "In Spire, we want to keep this in mind in order to create a procedural level generation that has flow and character. 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."

Spire won't include premade rooms or scripted events. "Everything from the placement of the books on a shelf to the shape of the walls and floors will be generated with intention," wrote Nye.

It's a fantasy game, but the developer doesn't want you to think goblins and elves. Rather, it wants to make discovering new enemies and items "a frightening [or] unfamiliar thing" — "one of mystery as well as reward," according to Nye.

"A huge part of the mastery will be figuring out novel combinations of the left-hand and right-hand items to overcome different challenges," he wrote. "Some items will be movement focused, some will change the environment, and some will be for protecting or healing yourself."

Hitbox aims to make Spire's gameplay snappy like Dustforce but also a design that requires skill. The online, ranked mode allows players to compete on leaderboards in "weekly spires." They can also take on "burdens" to up the challenge, allowing players to compete in different categories on the same tower.

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Stephanie Carmichael Twitter: @wita
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