19 Apr Metal Mutation : Meet GuanGuan
Can you please introduce yourself and tell us about the game you are working on at T0 Studio?
Hello, I’m GuanGuan from T0 Studios. Our first game Metal Mutation is a top-down isometric action rogue-like hack-and-slash with a strong emphasis on hardcore and pretty difficult combat!
Can you tell us more about the setting and world-building of Metal Mutation?
Set in a world that references the film Blade Runner and the novel Roadside Picnic, Metal Mutation takes place in a post-cyberpunk era where technology is advanced but social systems are collapsing. Large companies have a monopoly on all levels of society and babies are raised uniformly from birth until adulthood and screened for hierarchy: the best join the major companies, the unsuccessful are forced to be fitted with prosthetic body parts and become “cyborgs” – the ones doing the heavy, low-paying work. The already fragmented and turbulent world is on the verge of collapse due to the metal mutation incidents caused by “nanoparticles”. The high-tech, low-life world of the future is both imaginative and at times a reflection of our present time. Metal Mutation is not like a film that tells a complete story, but more like a window through which you see both the future and yourself.
What was your main focus envisioning the gameplay of Metal Mutation? Which games in the genre were you inspired by?
At the beginning of the project, we were determined to make a hardcore action game, with a focus on action and skill sets, not being ‘musou-like’ or ‘warriors-like’, but with a sense of achievement after a high challenge and pushing for replayability.
Our gameplay structure has references to Hades and Curse of the Dead Gods, The Zed Cash and skills gained in the main game will all be wiped out after death and everything will start from scratch, but the Weapon Badges used to buy new weapons and the talent points gained from experience will be retained to permanently improve the main character’s abilities. We also added a multiplayer co-op level for up-to-4-player online at the end of each chapter.
Combat-wise the game is designed to be hard, and most of the actions have a double-edged design, so the timing of skill releases is tuned in that sense. In terms of visual elements, we have tried our best to avoid neon light pollution while striving to improve the quality of the graphics, so as not to bring additional visual fatigue for the players.
We also added a multiplayer co-op level for up-to-4-player online at the end of each chapter.
Can you tell us about the main character, his abilities, game standout feature and progression system?
The player controls the male protagonist who is at the bottom of the cyberpunk world: Cyborg. He was secretly arrested for joining a rebel organization and later had his memory wiped to become an experiment for consciousness transplantation by a large company. His left arm was fitted with a nanotech prosthesis and an AI Valkyrie system that gives him great fighting abilities. Both the male protagonist and the Valkyrie have interchangeable weapons, with a total of nine weapons currently available in the game. During battle, the weapons can acquire mutation effects from various elements and there are up to 20 skill variations for every weapon, making each battle fresh and challenging enough. There is also a system of permanent attribute boosts which upgrades talent attributes, the online co-op special level allowing players to gain specific equipment, the opportunity to take on challenges on high difficulty rewarded by monster parts for unique appearance, etc.
Can you tell us more about the 'Shelter' in Metal Mutation? How does it work? (Multiplayer)
When we used to play some of the single player rogue-like games, we always felt some regret, firstly we couldn’t play with friends, secondly, when creating a build, we might not be familiar enough with the play style, have fun before immediately risking it all in the next level. That is the main reason for Metal Mutation online co-op special level, “the Shelter”. In The Shelter, you can team up with other people to face a unique challenge, which success or failure would not affect the progress of the main game. The monsters get stronger and stronger over time, and the rewards better and better, so it’s up to you to decide whether to take the easy way out or go for the hard way.
As a small team of eight people, it was a challenge to complete the main story and the online co-op gameplay in a year and a half. The good thing is that our team had the benefit of working together for many years and could communicate quickly and effectively, avoiding ineffective meetings and lengthy development processes. We also put a lot of emphasis on developing various tools at the beginning of the project, so that the programmers and game designers could work in parallel.
Any last comments?
We hope that you will give us your feedback, whether it is good or bad, we will listen carefully and continue to optimize our game. Finally, thank you in advance for all gamers playing our game!