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development (part 3 of 6)

[May 2003] Another major graphical shift occurred sometime around May, resulting in our decision to stage everything in a Retro gameworld. After trying several different styles, we finally settled on the rich blue colours you see here. The sky renderer was written and actually survived the next 18 months of development without being altered - very unusual. The Laser Troopers were still fighting in block units without any real care for their own lives, and control over these cumbersome units was slow and unresponsive. Nagging fears began to enter our minds that we didn't actually have anything playable on our hands. The game was finally demonstrated to Mark and Tom (who handle the Biz side of Introversion), a year after starting work.

[June 2003] Introversion Software now entered a period that can only be described as creative panic. It had slowly dawned on us that our wargame was actually nothing more than a good looking rolling demo, with mostly pointless and boring interaction. The pretty landscape had little effect on the battle outcome, so we began looking for ways to change the core of the game by introducing structure to the map. Andy expanded the landscape generator so it was capable of creating individual islands, which could then be attached together to form continents. We then wrote the first versions of the Radar Dishes and the Laser Fence, in an attempt to break up the battlefield a little.

[August 2003] The design of FutureWar was now changing on a daily basis, with Chris and Andy both frantically trying to find uses for their overblown landscape generator and sprite engine. It took us a long time, but we finally accepted that LaserTrooper versus LaserTrooper combat sucked. It was great fun to watch, but ultimately unsatisfying to control. So Chris began work on a new type of monster...a red Virus which would pour out of spawn points and "infect" the landscape.

Continue to part 4 of 6


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