Catching Up With CrimeCraft
I only took a couple meetings at GDC this year, but one appointment I managed to keep was a brief sit down to take another look at CrimeCraft -- a massively multiplayer shooter being developed by Vogster. The last time I met with Casey Dickinson and Matt McEreney from team Vogster they stopped by my house here in Minneapolis to give me a first look at the game. By a great and convenient coincidence they were showing the game on the same laptop that I use for gaming a hefty Dell XPS M1710. I noted then as I do now that while top of the line back in 2006, the laptop isn't exactly what you'd consider a powerhouse any more. The game looked good in December and it looked even better last month at GDC on the same PC.
A little refresher if you didn't read The Five: CrimeCraft is clan-centric, 3rd person shooter. Players pick up quests, jump into fights to earn XP, satisfy mission objectives and collect loot. The maps are built for fast multiplayer. These aren't dungeon crawls, but deathmatches or objective based fights against other players or AI bots. The game will work on the subscription model, with additional fees by way of microtransactions for outfits, XP bonuses etc. I got some hands-on time with the game -- played capture the node online. The setting was a broken down factory converted into a grow house for drug dealers. I mentioned that one area looked alot like that coke factory from Robocop, but now that I think about it the better reference point is the secret weed farm in Pineapple Express.
Play was fast and fun. I spent very little time getting a hang of the third person controls. Popping around corners to shotgun enemies, chucking molatovs at my opponents as they camp/guard their node. My team ran a little defense too, clearing one warehouse of shooters then hunkering down (in a crouch) amid the narcotics.
Outside of combat I spent a little time wandering around the game's shared space -- a semi-futuristic city street. This will be the main social area, where players pick up quests, do their banking and shoot the shit while waiting for a match. The clan hideouts, the more private getaways, weren't yet ready for prime time.
Much work has gone into the look of the game. The character I was playing, a mix between Tank Girl and a trashy Eastern European model, had some new character animations (one emulated cigarette smoking, another a flip of the bird) and a more polished look about her. The game's environments, nearly always in the dystopian/urban/industrial vein, were handsome.