Announcing Reset Hard
About a month ago, I started prototyping and working through design stages on a game idea. I wasn't sure if it had any potential, and I wasn't sure how difficult it would be to build.
I have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of progress I've made since then. Technical problems have turned out to be fairly easy to solve, the design has started to come together in a satisfying way, and the game is showing real potential.
Today I'm pleased to announce that I'll be beginning official development on Reset Hard.
Tactical Time Travel
Most people think of time like it's a one-dimensional line. Your physical attributes and your consciousness exist at a specific point, and they travel forward through time at a constant rate.
This is only partially correct. In Reset Hard, people can become "severed" from the timeline, meaning that their consciousness moves to exist outside of the timeline itself.
A severed consciousness is only aware of a single point of time, but significant events can cause their focus to shift to another point. Think of it like seeing a flashing light out of the corner of your eye. When a severed person or object shifts focus to another point on the timeline, they effectively time travel. This allows them to remake previous choices and overwrite the timeline they were previously looking at just like coloring over a picture.
A focus shifting event can be anything from your own death to an inconsistency or glitch with something you thought was true in the past.
Reset Hard is a top-down, tactical, time traveling puzzle game featuring cooperative and competitive multiplayer.
Time travel obeys a set of internally consistent, testable rules. There are no hand-waving logic holes within any puzzle, and there's no guessing about what the effects of an action will be.
The game features:
- A discrete set of single-player puzzles, designed to introduce you to the mechanics of time travel.
- A discrete set of multiplayer puzzles, designed to introduce you to the mechanics of asynchronous time travel.
- A collection of competitive multiplayer games and modes, designed to let you pit your wits against friends and/or enemies.
I am also experimenting with:
- Competitive squad-based multiplayer modes
- Procedural level generation
Although of course the design is subject to change throughout development.
Working alongside (or against) other severed players opens up additional layers of strategy and depth.
When a severed entity travels through time, other entities stay put. This means that at any given moment, different players may be looking at and manipulating different parts of the same timeline.
In single player puzzles, you'll learn the specific mechanics of the game: how to remember information that you haven't been told yet, to synchronize with previous actions to manipulate random events, to push and pull other people through time, and to manipulate meta-time to leave paradoxes and glitches unresolved.
The goal of all of this is to get you comfortable thinking of the timeline as a manipulable dimension.
In multiplayer, you'll need to worry about other players who have the same powers that you do. You'll have to adapt to and solve puzzles quickly, learn even deeper strategies and mechanics, and get good at laying traps and out-thinking your opponents.
Platforms and Servers
Reset Hard is currently being developed using web technologies. The game will support Linux, Windows, and Mac OS on release and throughout development. I am looking into mobile support for Android (but probably not iOS).
Reset Hard will allow you to host your own servers, and will also support LAN play. Assuming mobile development goes well, I am also looking into on-the-fly mobile multiplayer using bluetooth.
I have no plans to build a ladder or official servers, but players will be welcome to set up their own community lobbies.
I plan to release Reset Hard as an Open Source game, likely under the AGPL license. Where possible, I want to develop and design Reset Hard using Open Source methodologies — I don't want to just release the code and be done with it.
I'll have more details about that upcoming, but for right now the development strategy can be summed up by the following plan:
- I’ll do private development on the game. The source code will be made available to Patreon backers, albeit not initially under an Open license.
- Once Reset Hard is playable in an alpha state, I’ll launch a crowdfunding campaign or seek other funding sources to continue development.
- Depending on the results, I’ll Open Source the game and move it into early access.
- I’ll continue developing the game as Open Source until I feel it’s finished, then announce a final release date.
Reset Hard will be Open Source, but it won't be free as in beer. I'll still charge for the game as normal, but players will be free to compile the game themselves or redistribute the source code as they see fit.
I'll have more to talk about as development progresses, and more to showcase as well. For now, expect to see a lot more focus on Reset Hard in development streams and more general showcasing as I ramp up development.
I have a pretty clear vision of what I want the final game to look like, so I'm excited both to get back into pure game design again, and to start experimenting with Open Source methodologies within game design.