Emu War! Dev Blog 1

Hi, Im Alex, the lead developer (only developer) at Hermit Mode currently working on Emu War!.

As the game gets closer to finalisation we figured it would be a good idea to start trying to connect with the community more so than weekly updates allowed, hence the “blog” post.

So here I am to explain the motivations behind the studio and game to you all.

We started developing Emu War! earlier this year with the intention of delivering a smaller scale (relative to our other projects), affordable but value driven “wave based” shooter set in the currently under utilised Australian setting.

Being in the midst of developing numerous other titles, we were in a unique position to utilise some of the systems and assets already existing to explore the lore of “The Emu War” of the 1930s.

Not to be mistaken as dilution or simplification, Emu War! is a distinct title with unique gameplay not seen in these other titles under our development.

I am the sole programmer in Hermit Mode – the studio consisting of me and one other individual working within a “financing” basis. I am also doing what is left of the animation, modelling, design, music production, promotional illustrative material, and basically everything creative within the project (after having commissioned some art, animation and models a few years ago from freelancers) hence the relatively slow development period.

I quit my job earlier this year to work on this full time, a “luxury” afforded by my partner in crime “Naz” who acts as a financier and general support structure in helping these games (starting with Emu War!) to get off the ground.

We’re motivated by trying to make a living out of offering full featured games for cheap, as I am someone who grew up in the gaming scene of the 90s, a ‘golden era’ of creativity and value.

I am not someone that can “keep things simple”. So what started off as a simple “wave shooter” has now evolved into a more involved third person / first person shooter, with multiple modes (including the ability to play as emus) spanning over multiple maps, including multiple power ups with their own unique gameplay.

Growing up, I always hated how a game would make you work for an upgrade, only for you to realise that it was a re-skin of something you had already experienced. It’s a cheap device used to prolong the length of a game, and I have attempted to steer clear of that with Emu War! and its upgrades / power-ups. Each weapon, upgrade and power-up to be unlocked represents a different gameplay mechanic – whether it be turning into a ball with the ability to crush your enemies, or riding a giant bullet as a controlled missile into the battlefield, or taking control of a tornado to wreck everything in your path. The design philosophy guiding most of my development has been “whats the logical desire in this situation”. Something like when an emu grows larger, the logical desire being “I want to ride it”. So I have enabled that, and will be developing that further to include a mini game so as to include more gameplay (so you’re not left as a passive observer).

There is something to be said of the studio name as well – “Hermit Mode” being an indication of my own practices. I have largely stopped doing anything outside of learning to program / model / animate and have been in “hermit mode” for a good few years, trying to get this studio and these games off the ground.

It is my sincere hope that this resonates with the gaming community, and that Emu War! eventually offers a fun time and value for money when it releases later this year.

If you have any questions or want to contact me directly, I am available on Twitter (@AlexHermitMode) , or via email on alex@hermitmode.com.au


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