Space Punks is a brand new, top-down looter shooter from the developers of Shadow Warrior, Flying Wild Hog. We sat down with Bartek Schweiger, Design Lead, to talk about gameplay, loot, characters, post-launch plans and more.
There are plenty of top-down games out there as well as looter shooters, so what makes Space Punks different from these?
I think it's all In our pillars. One, it will be very much action-focused, the second thing is cooperation. We already have a system of combining players' skills, so if you're playing with your mates, basically you are able to combine your characters skills to create new interesting effects.
The third thing is the story and the world. We want to put an emphasis on building our game with our community. In early access, we will cooperate with the community very closely to create a living and breathing world. Other than that, very many explosions! We're good at that!
What type of content can we expect during the early access? Will there be plenty of stuff to do from the get-go?
We will have a lot of things for the players. We have an approach that will give you a taste of everything in the game. For example, we will have a stem of the crafting system, a stem of the endgame content, half of our planets in the open beta, full weaponry, all four characters - I think there will be plenty of content for long hours to play.
We're also trying to make the game highly replayable. You'll want to tackle some endgame content missions to get better at it and so on.
What about content updates during the early access and beta later on?
First, we plan to have big updates every month for the early access period. Each month you'll get the extensions of the perk system and the crafting system and new planets. The rollout of the characters will be a bit slower and we can't talk about that just yet.
But there will be new game modes, we plan to release two additional endgame game modes in the closed beta, we'll see if we will be able to do it but fingers crossed. After that, the plan is to have a three-month schedule [for content drops] but we'll see.
What about endgame content, what kind of variety can we expect when it comes to endgame missions?
We have a set of missions that are mean to be played only in co-op. They are designed in a way where each player has their own role to fulfil, like raids and strikes in Destiny. That will be there from the start.
The second game mode is a bit of an experiment. We wanted to experiment a little bit with indirect PvP where you [and the opponent] will be able to do certain tasks and see who will do it better. It will show up somewhere down the line.
The third mode is something akin to Diablo Rift. You try to go as deep as you can into the level with new waves of enemies and new levels being more and more challenging.
Any plans for a more traditional PvP experience?
We were discussing that but not yet, let's say. We are highly deliberating upon it but when it comes to direct PvP, not yet.
With both gunplay and abilities at play in Space Punks, would you say one is more important than the other?
I would say both are equally important. A mix of each character with each weapon will give you a different playstyle and we really, really focused on that - for each character to have a unique set of skills that make them play differently and move differently and this expends to things like dash [movement in general].
On the other hand, we want to make each of our weapons unique since [Space Punks] is action-focused. So each of our ranged weapons will have unique projectile mechanics and each has a different heavy attack and to add on that, you have the modifiers. You can make your skills more powerful, for example, you have a turret that can start walking and shooting [when modified].
Also, we have a weapon called Railgun that can shoot through the enemies but then you have a perk that modifies it to allow [bullets] to bounce off the walls and hit additional enemies.
It was our base design principle to avoid SMG 1, SMG 2 [weapons that look only look different but play the same].
We've seen the crafting system in the deep dive, is it safe to say that this will be the game's true endgame?
Yes, crafting be like the backbone of your meta progression.
Monetisation? What's the plan?
We try to benchmark to the best guys in the business. Games like Path of Exile, Warframe or Destiny. During early access, the only way we will monetise our game are the Founders Packs that have two tiers and each tier has certain cosmetics. The better tier has special legacy skins that you can show of to your friends and be like 'Hey I was here at the beginning'.
Other than that, we plan a battle pass in the future mostly with cosmetic items.
Space Punks will be in Early Access on PC from July 14, with an Open Beta planned for winter 2021 and a console release in 2022.
We want to thank Bartek Schweiger for his time and Heaven Media for setting up this interview.