• Freejam Chris

Competitive Play In Techblox - Dev Blog #12

Updated: Apr 14, 2021

For today's dev blog we wanted to talk a little bit about competitive play.

Making Building Matter for Competitive Play We’ve been thinking about the competitive side of Techblox. We feel supporting competitive play as we did with Robocraft will be an important part of Techblox. When you say “we will support competitive play” a lot of decisions get made for you: Level Playing Field

Everyone needs to be on a level-playing-field with respect to the functional parts and materials available to build with - if you lose, it should be because you need to practice building and driving more to improve your skills, not because you haven’t got as powerful parts as the other player. Cosmetic Monetisation

To keep the level playing field you need to monetise cosmetics and quality-of-life… Not power or progression. It’s rare for F2P competitive games to monetise ‘progression’ or ‘power’. Fortnite, CS:GO, etc. monetise ‘cosmetics’. Fortnite has progression with a Season Pass, but only to acquire cosmetics.

Curated UGC Cosmetics

If Techblox is to make enough money to support itself it needs to sell cosmetics, and a good amount of them too, so we need to make them very desirable. This means we can’t let players upload their own cosmetics otherwise why would you buy any? But we do want the community to be able to contribute UGC cosmetics. The best solution for this is the ‘Curated Workshop’ approach in CS:GO and TF2. Players upload cosmetics, the community then votes on the ones they’d like the developer to include in the game, the developer curates them and adds them, and sells them in game, and the creator gets a % share of the revenue, so everyone wins.

Building Matters

The unique thing about Techblox that should separate it from other online competitive multiplayer games is ‘how well you can build\engineer things and how well you understand the deep building mechanics is how you win’. It’s less about ‘twitch skill’ and ‘thinking on the fly’ and more about ‘designing the best machine’.

Keeping it Fresh

To ensure that building matters we need to have many game modes, and keep them changing. Changing the rules\constraints\maps semi-frequently to reward those that are best at adapting, iterating and engineering and reduce ‘metabotitis’ (it’s a real disease in Robocraft you know).

We saw some discussions in general about game mode selections due to rotation. And we just wanted to talk about that. We’re thinking that we’ll have several live game modes that will stay the same for a period of time, be it a week, a month or a season. These would then change. The aim is that you would still have a choice from these game modes.

Techblox is not Robocraft, so while vehicle battles will be a thing, we’re not sure how this will play out. We want a varied amount of selectable game modes in Techblox

A playable Pre-Pre-Pre-Pre-Pre-Alpha is now available! Make sure to visit our home page at http://www.techblox.com/ to sign up to play it!

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