The Evolution of Shoot Many Robots
Prototype: January 2009
We’ve come a long way from a stick man in a blue room. At Demiurge Studios, we were developing Shoot Many Robots in its early stages while simultaneously creating our own engine, Seoul. Making those early prototypes helped us simultaneously develop the engine, but also establish the core features of Shoot Many Robots.
City Streets: September 2009
Once the foundation of the engine had been set, the next big challenge was to figure out what types of levels were the most fun. Do we make vertical levels and focus on aerial combat, wall jumping, and climbing? Is it more fun to blitz through a level, or to have moments of concentrated combat in an area before progressing? Do we want physics-based puzzles? These are questions we explored (and continued to refine throughout the entire course of development) when creating these early levels. The first level that really captured the feeling we wanted was called City Streets. Moving away from abstract level structures and adding depth to the scenes gave the world some much-needed perspective - and it was fun.
Farm Town: June 2010
Now that we had found the fun, it was time to figure out what world Shoot Many Robots was set in. The first environment we created was in the farmlands, to support the fiction for the robots, which were dirty, diesel-powered killing machines that resembled farm equipment. The world was familiar, yet stylized enough to give it a distinctive feel and unique style. You can also see that at this point, most of the core gameplay elements have been implemented.
Near-Final Game: September 2011
Fast forward to 2011 and we have tons of missions using five different environments, a new game mode (Survival), hundreds and hundreds of guns and gear, 4-player co-op, and tons of polish. It’s also amazing what post-processing effects will do to your art. You can see the art pieces didn’t change much from 2010 to 2011, but adding lighting, subtle comic-style outlining, and color correction transformed our levels into beautiful scenes.
It’s been a long journey creating our first original game, but it’s been a blast. Seeing the game every day, we don’t notice the small incremental progress, but looking back at these early builds reminds us how far we’ve come.