Genre: Arcade Third Person Shooter RPG

Features: Split-Screen Co-Op, Upgrades

  • Project started on: October 4th, 2016
  • Project completed on: May 22, 2017
  • Approximate time spent on project: 225 hours

My goal with The Proton Orders was to make a game I have wanted to play since a while back now; Something like Earth Defense Force mixed with Borderlands, a third person shooter where you defeat tons of enemies, collect loot, upgrade your character to unlock skills and abilities to rinse and repeat over and over. I wanted to make a product that could be commercially viable, something that became an issue later on.

I started by generating levels semi-procedurally. The result is neat, but the levels are too similar. I modeled and animated enemies and player characters - and I'm kinda proud of the results - and started to work on mechanics and levels. I then hit a wall; I wanted to have online multiplayer. I felt that having single player and local co-op wasn't enough for a commercial product. I spent a long time trying to implement this feature, but ultimately couldn't. That threw a big wrench in my plans, I didn't want to make a game that I would try to sell anymore.

What followed next was a couple of months of very little work, mostly done using the crudest of shortcuts. I had a list of features I wanted to implement, and I think they're all in there. You have multiple frame types, weapons with various stats, enemies that come from four factions, each with their own quirks, you can upgrade your frame by collecting atoms, but all of this is completely unbalanced. Enemies might be too tough, or too weak, skills might be useless or ultimately necessary. I don't know. I went through the whole thing, added each mechanic, tested it in a vacuum, and moved on. 

This is a somewhat complete game, it's finished, but it's clearly not polished. That's a challenge I'll give myself for the next one. My goal of making a third person RPG in 3D by myself was met and even if this has a lot of issues, I'm happy with every individual piece that makes up the end result.


About the game

The Proton Orders is composed of 49 maps. Each map has an objective from this list:

  • Defeat all enemies: All enemies in the map must be killed, sometimes they are all initially present, sometimes they come in waves
  • Collect atoms: Players must defeat enemies to collect the atoms they drop. The required number increases per player present.
  • Escort convoy: A convoy moves on a fixed track when there are players near it, if enemies get too close to the convoy, it moves backwards.
  • Capture points: There are points on the map that must be captured, players capture them by staying close enough while preventing enemies from doing the same.

Enemies are from four factions:

  • Primordial enemies often split up, either the enemies themselves split (when hit for instance) or the projectiles they shoot are more numerous.
  • Synthetic enemies have bonuses when they are nearby other synthetics.
  • From Decay enemies inflict status ailments that have various effects and lengths, most of them can get applied multiple times as well.
  • Metalloid enemies have adaptive defenses, which can mean that they take less damage if hit repeatedly by the same player or weapon type, or that they take less damage when moving, or things like that.

Enemies come in ten ranks:

  • Alpha enemies dash into players
  • Gamma enemies shoot projectiles
  • Epsilon enemies fly around and divebombs the players
  • Digamma enemies spread projectiles 
  • Theta enemies have shields and emit waves on the ground
  • Lambda enemies fly around and heal other enemies
  • Mu enemies are armored except on specific weak points and they shoot shrapnel-filled orbs
  • Omicron enemies fly around and summon alpha and gamma enemies
  • Sigma enemies are snipers with extremely long range attacks
  • Omega enemies are made of three parts, each with their own weapons, and each part can be destroyed.

There are five types of frames:

  • Basic frames are the starting models, have average stats, get reduced upgrade costs and an ability that revives them once.
  • Ionizer frames have better offensive stats but lower defensive stats, they get a special bullet nova attack and a buff that makes them shoot and reload faster at the cost of their shields not recharging.
  • Electro frames have better defensive stats but lower offensive stats, they can transfer health to their shields and get a buff that makes them invulnerable at the cost of accuracy and reload speed.
  • Atomicist frames have lower stats, they can reduce the cooldown of their allies and improve their attack and defense.
  • Relativist frames have lower stats, they can teleport around and have an aura that nullifies the special abilities of enemies

There are six types of weapons:

  • Singular: A pistol-like weapon that has no special traits. It gets a special shot that uses up all remaining ammo and a buff that increases damage based on atoms collected.
  • Duplicator: A machine gun-like weapon with good fire rate but average accuracy. It gets a special spread shot and a buff that gives a chance for spent bullets to be recovered.
  • Pinpoint: A laser-like weapon that doesn't use ammo but deals really low damage. It gets a powerful beam attack and a buff that greatly increases its damage at the cost of shields.
  • Payload: A rocket launcher-like weapon that shoots slow moving projectiles that explode and deal splash damage. It gets a grenade launcher attack and a buff that greatly increases fire rate at the cost of accuracy.
  • Disseminator: A shotgun-like weapon that shoots a bunch of powerful pellets at low range. It gets a special shot that stuns enemies and a buff that heals the frame's shields whenever it kills an enemy.
  • Macroscope: A sniper-like weapon that can shoot powerful shots slowly and can zoom. It gets a special damage-over-time attack and a buff that makes all shots ricochet on other enemies.
AuthorJérémie Tessier