Round up: concept development & prototyping

Concept

2015 was a massive year for Cone Wars. We went through rapid prototyping, concept testing at GDC and in some ways, went back to the drawing board to make a much better game.

Initial prototype and GDC

The first Cone Wars playable prototype was actually much more than a prototype as we wanted to dive-in and show the vision of what Cone Wars could be. After two months, we were so happy with the outcome that we took the game to GDC 2015 and showed it at a dedicated booth on the UKIE stand. Feedback from press and platform holders was awesome. But even though response was positive, it was important for us to hit as many players as possible for feedback. There were two key learnings we took away from GDC:

1. While co-operation and team play felt strong, it would have been an even better experience if the number of players in the game was higher.

2. Online multiplayer seemed a logical step and based on feedback, pulling the camera out from behind the truck into a third person perspective, felt like the perfect companion.

Prototype 2 and 3

After returning from GDC, we got stuck into development. Prototype 2 proved that our networking technology of choice was constantly changing, we couldn’t get the stable base platform we needed to focus on game code and it also lacked Steam networking support for our launch timeframe (all things we discovered as more documentation became available). Large open landscapes were tough to make feel alive and our low player count meant it often felt lonely being in the game world.

Unity had just released its new networking technology during the development of this second prototype so we experimented with game matchmaking — it felt incredible to play each other from different locations across London. The future of Cone Wars had to be online.

Prototype 3 began with superior knowledge of networking, we chose stable libraries and reduced the size of the game world and simplified the controls. It was beginning to feel like Cone Wars was heading back in the right direction.

What’s next

In the coming months we’re dialling up online multiplayer, vehicle physics and of course bringing you the creamiest of weapons.

Stay tuned for Summer 2016 when we launch Cone Wars to Steam!