Crash Force comes out of Early Access on July 15th, 2017. Ascanio Entertainment were kind enough to answer some questions we had for them about its current state and what direction they're headed in now.
I had the pleasure of writing a preview article on Crash Force before the game's release. Since that time, several new hovercraft have been released, the game has seen further graphical and UI updates, and a target range has been added.
Crash Force is available on Steam for $9.99.
1. What was the goal while creating Crash Force, from your perspective? What kind of game did you set out to make?
When we set out to create Crash Force our goal was quite different. Primarily, we wanted to create a vehicular combat type of game,where cars would have weapons and shoot down other cars. As the game progressed so did the ideas of how to make it better. We changed cars to something more challenging to drive/pilot and potentially more fun to play with: hovercrafts. It was then that someone dropped a new idea on the table. What if our hovercrafts did not just have weapons but also an ability system? So,we added four abilities to each hovercraft, then we added skill trees and we kept adding things, and bit by bit Crash Force became what it is today.
2. What sort of games is Crash Force inspired by?
Crash Force was inspired by a very large variety of games, including old retro games as well as modern implementations. During the first days of the development and conceptualization of Crash Force, we were all discussing what a great game Hover (Windows 95) used to be. As we sort of brainstormed from there we ended up discussing Twisted Metal and Carmageddon for their brutal approach and general appeal. Furthermore, we felt like we needed to take into consideration a few modern games such as Call of Duty and Overwatch for the way they utilize the arena genre and their unique fast paced style. Additionally, games such as League of Legends, DOTA, Quake, Unreal Tournament and Wipeout have always been at the back of our heads during development. Because of the nature of Crash Force, we did our best to incorporate the best elements of those games in order to create a game with a unique combination of genres.
3. If there were a particular game somebody else played that you would recommend this game to, which game (or games) might that be?
There is a certain appeal of driving a vehicle and shooting other vehicles at the same time. For that kind of fast paced shooter, people who liked Twisted Metal and/or Carmageddon are bound to like Crash Force. There is also the appeal of determining team compositions, ability combos, positioning and shooting down enemies for those that like to play in a more strategical way with or without friends. People who like to play Overwatch will most likely have tons of fun with Crash Force.
4. Are there any planned changes to weapons, abilities, or movement planned in the future? Or would you say the game is fairly “balanced” as is?
Balancing a live game is always an ongoing process. There are always going to be tweaks and modifications to be made, but right now we, and more importantly, the community feels good about the power levels of the hovercrafts.
5. How do you intend to balance multiplayer matchmaking, especially given the vertical progression system?
There are already different algorithms in place taking into account different variables including the player’s level. Since leveling up is not a grinding process, we do expect most of the players to reach max level (90) pretty fast (one to two months depending on how much players play and how good they are in game). Skill trees do make a difference especially in the first 30 levels. It will be significantly harder for a level 2 to beat a level 32; than it would be for a level 32 to beat a level 72. That is the reason the first 30 levels are very easy to get. In the end though, we believe that a player would like to play the game and gain some experience even with a player that has a higher level, rather than wait for 10 minutes in queue to find the perfect level match for them. Moving forward, after level 90 the other stats of the player (i.e. wins, losses, points scored per match and a lot others) gain significantly more weight on matchmaking, creating a rank system. That rank system is how players will matchmake after level 90.
6. Are there any known glitches or bugs currently in the game that are being worked on?
Our Early Access/Beta Phase was very insightful and we want to thank all of the players in our community for their feedback. Without them we would not be able to find all the bugs in the game and balance everything out. All the known bugs of the game are solved and the balancing is at a level where our community feels good by playing any hovercraft that we have.
7. What additional content, if any, might players expect in the future? Will there be more maps, hovercrafts, game modes, or other content post release?
We plan to release 3 new hovercrafts (the Cacatua family), a new game mode (Control the Points) and a new map, 3 months after the release of the game. We also have another 3 hovercrafts (the Mercenaries), another game mode (Bullet Charge) and another map planned for release 3 months after that. Then, we will continue to release new hovercrafts, game modes and maps for as long as the community finds interest in our game.
8. Is competitive play in the works? If so, what will that be like?
The matchmake process, the rank system, the servers and the selection phase of competitive play are ready. The only significant difference with quick play, apart the fact that player play for rank is that every character is unique per team. You cannot have two players in the same team have the same hovercraft. The main reason why competitive play is not active right now is because we want to give our players the opportunity to play the game enough to have a good understanding of pros and cons of each hovercraft, create a big stable player base for the game, and then start the competitive seasons.
9. Are there any microtransactions in your game?
There are a large variety of items that players can purchase in Crash Force, all of them cosmetics, except XP boosts and Reset Tokens. Almost all items can be either purchased or they can be dropped in “Lootboxes” that are being awarded to players whenever they level up and whenever they score their first win of the day. There is a small portion of items that cannot be purchased because they will be awarded to the early access/beta phase participants of Crash Force.
10. What are the cosmetics like? How far does hovercraft customization go? Are there any changes or additions planned for hovercraft customization?
Right now, we can choose between 100 different calling cards and insignias (what players see when they get killed), 100 different decals (a player indicator below our hovercraft) and at least two different skins per hovercraft. We also have the choice to fully customize the colours of our hovercraft with more than 250 different paints and colours, resulting in more than 10 billion different paint configurations per hovercraft. We also are planning to release different types of bumpers for each hovercraft.
11. Who among the developers is the best player?
Well, it greatly depends on the hovercraft they control and if it fits their preferred style of play. Demetris, for example, is an excellent “Aquila Minuta” player, George is amazing with a “Cicuma Nebulosa”, and the other George is remarkable with a “Clava Diphylla”. This also shows that each player can find the hovercraft that fits their own personal style of combat and expand on that.