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Members of Team Rudimentality Talk Strobe Game Development

May 07, 2013

by JacksSmirkingRevenge


Sometimes we stumble across a user creation that elicits a double-take, a squint, and a what-is-that? moment. Such was the case when we first laid our eyes on Strobe, a game in early development from Team Rudimentality. Working here, I’d like to think I’ve seen my fair share of different looking titles. But this easily took the cake. Check out the screenshots below, but do yourself a favor and play the game to see it in motion. Strobe has “innovation” written all over it.

The first thing you’ll immediately notice about Strobe is the eye-popping visuals, which are sure to be even more attention-grabbing with dynamic lighting–something the team has already tinkered with (more on this later). The overall look of game reminded me of Tron. The majority of the game is coated in blacks and dark shades of gray, which is in direct contrast to the glowing dramatic yellow and blue lines that cover the maps and parts of players.

The second thing you’ll notice is how fast this game is, in every respect. It’s a third-person shooter that seamlessly transitions to a first person shooter with the click of a mouse button. It’s a neat trick, and actually helps immeasurably when trying to hit targets from a distance. And don’t blink. Seriously, this is one of the faster-paced games on ROBLOX–you can zip around the map using your standard controls, and go into a full sprint using the shift key. Your health, stamina and energy are tracked by three meters on the bottom right corner of the screen. You can run out of stamina by sprinting too much, and run out of energy by shooting too much. Each of the three recharge, but at different speeds. These meters really add an interesting core element to the gameplay in Strobe.

The first time I experienced both an intuitive camera system and a similar sense of speed, I was playing a game called Underscore, which I featured on the blog a couple of months ago. The game was created by power-user Nytraulics, and it was also a spin off of a game called Bracket, which was being developed by another Team Rudimentality member named Redditor. Redditor went on to design Strobe, with some new partners from Team Rudimentality: WhoBloxedWho and 3DShooter. Small world, eh?

“All of us have been ROBLOX users for a long time, and now I think it’s like we’ve seen everything there is to see,” said 3DShooter. “So we decided it was time to focus on making things that are different”

I got the chance to chat with the three of them via Google Hangout about the creation of Strobe, and the direction they’re steering it in the future.

ROBLOX: What would you say was the biggest challenge developing Strobe? How did you settle on such a unique look?

Redditor: Working around ROBLOX humanoids, specifically the head and torso. Also, handling physics for humanoids. We had to figure out a way to keep all the physics local while keeping them stable for players. These were all new problems, the rest were easily solved, as we’d formulated solutions to them in other projects.

WhoBloxedWho: I wanted the base of the game to feature a minimalistic, low-detail kind of look. Once we had that, we thought it’d be cool to add some really vibrant, dynamic colors that pop off the screen. The characters and selection boxes feature very high lighting, and the look turned out really unique.

ROBLOX: Imagine the possibilities with dynamic lighting.

Redditor: We already have. As soon as the gametest was available, whobloxedwho and 3Dshooter jumped on it. In about an hour they already had lighting working with the bullets and on all the different checkpoints throughout the map. Bullets and check points will be the main focal points of light.

WhoBloxedWho: I also had to spend a lot of time tweaking fog and ambient light. Depending on which team you’re on (blue or yellow), the ambient light will shift toward that color. [Laughs] That was kind of a happy accident, mind you.

ROBLOX: You’ve got a heck of a starting point with Strobe. What’s next?

Redditor: Extra game modes. None of us are huge fans of “Team Deathmatch.” We want to focus Strobe on being objective-based. In that regard, we’re developing a Capture the Flag mode, King of the Hill, and a Heist mode, which is essentially CTF with only one flag. This mode is exciting because players will have to adopt some interesting strategies. When you capture this flag, you basically become a duck. You move incredibly slowly, so your team mates have to surround and protect you. If you get taken out, it’s up to one of your team members to grab the flag and keep it moving.

3DShooter: We’re also sorting through maps we’ve received from the community. When we see a good one, we have to modify it to fit our game’s visual aesthetic. We’re also tinkering with the idea of small defense tools, like turrets. It’s all down the pipeline, but development is a little slow. This is a side project for all of us.

Redditor: I’ve also messed with the idea of “buildable guns” that have attachments that change or alter the way they’re fired. I have something there, but I don’t know if it’s right for Strobe.

ROBLOX: We just have to ask based on your track record: are you going to finish Strobe? You guys are famously known for starting really cool titles then abandoning them for something new.

Redditor is using the camera system and quick gameplay style from Bracket, an earlier effort

Redditor: [Laughs] We get bored really easily! Yes, yes, we’re planning on finishing Strobe, mainly because we haven’t finished anything on ROBLOX. But yeah, in the past, time restrictions would pop up. One member gets caught up in something else, another loses some free time. It’s difficult for a group of developers to stay focused. We’re proud of what we got so far, and we’re glad we got to implement the camera system from Bracket into something a little more innovative.

ROBLOX: Guys, thanks so much for hanging out. Good luck with Strobe.

All: Thank you.