The team at Payload Studios is hard at work developing Terra Tech for Mac and PC users, and has just recently launched their Kickstarter campaign in order to help fund and quicken the development process. Along with this, they’ve provided a pre-alpha demo of the game for interested gamers.
Terra Tech is a physics-driven, vehicle-building, combat and planetary exploration game. The demo currently includes the normal mode, and two different build modes that test a player’s creativity and the limits of their vehicle.
The building mechanics are simple but also allow for customization in the aesthetic look and the functionality. It uses a block-based building system, where each side represents a grid or area that can attach to another block. Each player vehicle has a cockpit that needs to remain attached for the vehicle to stay together, and cannot be destroyed or the game ends.
The game starts with single cube blocks with six attachable areas and gradually offers longer blocks with eight areas, to even larger construction vehicle-sized blocks. There are also several attachments that add to the capabilities of vehicles besides weapons. These include wheels, wings, hover engines, jet thrusters, and radar.
The normal game mode provides what is likely only a part of the experience that gamers can look forward to. At the start of the game, players run through a quick tutorial that leaves them with a small, two-block vehicle, with four small wheels and a machine gun on the top. They then enter a fight with a similar vehicle almost immediately, allowing players to start getting used to the controls for movement and combat. When a block that makes up a vehicle takes enough damage, it falls off, and when the cockpit is destroyed, the entire vehicle falls apart.
Players can quickly use these different blocks and attachable features to enhance and upgrade their own vehicle. This must be done quickly, as there are enemies consistently spawning nearby. Players will need to take into the account the balance of the vehicle, since the game physics are realistic. The game cannot be paused in order to spend time building, meaning that players need to think of their ideas ahead of time or on the spot.
The other two modes in the demo are vehicle building modes. One is called Rocket, and provides players with the means to create vehicles that can fly for a short period of time with the aid of rockets and thrusters. Players are then challenged to see how far they can make their vehicle travel while it’s off of the ground. The other build mode is called Checkpoint Race, and offers two different maps, each with a different set of blocks to use. One offers a land-based challenge that tracks how long the player takes getting from the first checkpoint to the last with their newly built vehicle. The second map is the same, except that the vehicle constructed will be an aircraft and the different checkpoints must be reached without touching the ground at all. It should be noted that flight is an interesting beast altogether within this game.
Terra Tech offers an interesting feature in which players can tweet their vehicle creations, which can then be loaded and used by other players. As there is an option to see tweets from all users, it’s not necessary to be friends with people who have the game.
Terra Tech will offer some multiplayer options, though it was not currently within the Mac demo. Payload Studios promises to provide resource gathering and AI drone creation as part of the normal gameplay. To learn more about this fascinating game, please visit Terra Tech’s Kickstarter page. Gamers can also follow Payload Studios on Twitter @TerraTechGame.