INSIGHT

Competitive Arena FPS





– Contributors will be the first to receive playable builds of the game when available

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Features

Current & Upcoming Features

Original Concept

A unique take on the classic arena FPS genre. Gameplay is based around the custom movement system.

Movement System

A unique movement system has been developed which allows complex / fluid movement techniques while remaining simple and intuitive to use.

Full Customization

All visual elements of the game can be customized. Colors, materials, HUDs and graphic settings can be customized, allowing you to see the game how you want to see it.

Varied Weapons

Each weapon has a unique purpose (no redundancy). All weapons revolve around and interact with the core gameplay concept.

Simplicity

“Minutes to learn, lifetime to master” gameplay. No player classes, confusing pick-ups, or Pay-to-Win features.

Scalable

Built using Unreal Engine 4. Highly scalable for a constant framerate during competitive play.

Multiple Gamemodes

The gameplay concept has been designed for a variety of gamemodes (1v1, 2v2, 5v5, CTF) and includes speed-run / chase competition modes and more.

Matchmaking & Anticheat

In-game skill based matchmaking with a built-in rank / ladder system.  Anticheat integration with unique anticheat features not found in modern FPS games.

Spectating & Replay Editing

Spectator friendly gameplay and visuals. Demo / replay editing functionality with built-in camera control for advanced movie capture.

Unique Gameplay Concept Explained

The concept is based around sound. Any time a player emits a sound (this includes running, landing from a jump, shooting weapons, taking damage) they become briefly visible to all players throughout the level.

This means that players must utilize the movement mechanics of the game if they wish to remain silent and do not want to give away their position.

Silent movement methods include; crouch sliding, wall sliding / wall jumping, and walking. “Loud” movement methods such as running and bunnyhopping will allow the player to move faster and gain speed, at the cost of giving away their position to other players.

Players can choose the appropriate movement techniques for the situation. For example, if their position is already known or they are rushing to reach an item then they may choose to use “loud” movement techniques. Silent techniques can be used to move around the map fluidly without revealing your location. A combination of techniques could be used to confuse enemies about your location or to adapt to the situation and map layout.

The video shows the basics of the game concept (using an old build of the game before a revamp in visuals).

Pre-Kickstarter / Greenlight Development Progress

Development Team

Currently, all aspects of the project have been developed by myself. This includes:

  • C++ Programming
  • Blueprint Scripting
  • Character Modeling / Animation
  • Visual Design
  • Post Process Shader Development
  • Material / Texture Creation
  • Level / Model Creation
  • Sound Design
  • Music Production
  • Video / Trailer Creation

By day I am a web designer, and so I do not have a specialised skill in any particular area of the project. I will soon be looking for other team members to help out on aspects which require a more in-depth knowledge, such as netcode related development (ensuring that gameplay is smooth and accurate during network play) and some meta/non-game aspects such as the matchmaking system. Because I am developing this by myself without a budget, I will most likely wait until a successful Kickstarter / fund raising campaign before bringing other people into the development so that they can be paid for their time and contributions. I believe that I can create a playable, Kickstarter ready prototype by myself, and with successful funding and outside help be able to develop it into a commercial-ready game.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I expect a playable version of the game?

An early version of the game should be ready in time to give it away to Kickstarter contributors. I plan to launch a Kickstarter & Greenlight campaign this year in the coming months. This will most likely include a simplified version of the game which will allow users to test the movement system (and possibly compete in speed-run challenges) and get a sense of the weapons / gameplay. The multiplayer elements of the game may not be fully working or feature-rich at this stage.

Why "Insight"?

The gameplay is focused around extra knowledge (or ‘insight’) about your surroundings. Because all sounds are visualized, you have more awareness about your enemies positions and movements whenever they reveal themselves by making noise.

How does this differ from other arena games? (Quake, Reflex, etc)

While many elements of INSIGHT will overlap with existing arena shooters, the core concept of the game is unlike any other.

The game isn’t simply Quake with modern graphics or extra features / weapons / classes. The game has been designed from scratch around a unique concept of sound visualization. The additional features implemented after the core movement / gameplay system are not as important because these will be added in a modular way. For example there will be three core weapons to the game which cover a variety of uses, and a number of extra weapons which may or may not be used in competitive play (partly down to the decision of the level designer, but also the community and gameplay settings chosen by leagues).

For now the focus has been on developing what makes this game unique, while keeping things as simple as possible. A variety of features and weapons not yet fully implemented are in the works and they are all reliant on the unique gameplay of INSIGHT – not simply additional weapons or features thrown in as gimmicks.

Will it be free-to-play?

At this stage it is difficult to say how the game will be released. Ideally following successful fundraising there will be enough of a budget to produce the game to a commercial extent and the game may be free-to-play. It may also be released for a small price to deter people from avoiding cheating bans by creating unlimited throw-away accounts.

The game may be monetized in various non-gameplay impacting ways. There will be no “pay to win” style features, however, there may be a marketplace where people can share skins / models / HUDs / configs for others to purchase, which may be partly based on “points” earned by playing the game as well as real life money.

For example, a professional player might upload a pack featuring his HUD, the custom models/skins/colors he uses, and his graphic / mouse / input settings. Allowing a user with sufficient ‘points’ to buy this and immediately begin playing the game with the setup of a professional player.

Why Unreal Engine 4?

Unreal Engine 4 has been chosen for its scalability and ease of development, as well as the long list of supported features which will be made use of.

Scalability: The engine allows the user to decrease the graphical quality of the game so that it can run on most systems. It is scalable to the point of being able to run on mobile devices, meaning any one with a half decent PC should be able to play with a constant framerate.

Ease of development: As I am (currently) developing the project by myself, it is useful to use an engine that features tools suitable for anyone to learn in a short amount of time. I have found the workflow of Unreal Engine 4 to be the simplest to work with as well as quickest to make and test incremental changes.

Useful features: Along with the graphical quality of the engine, there are many features that are required and used in the game. Including wireframe rendering, depth-test disabled rendering, and post process shaders.

What is the post-process shader and why is it used?

The post process shader was initially developed purely as a way to distinguish the game visually, however, it has since been developed into something which helps visibility and gameplay.

The shader I created adds a ‘glow’ around edges and highlights them. This adds to the neon / wireframe style, but also makes it easier to see the layout of the map. The “edges” are defined by changes to the normal, or surface angle. Meaning that polygon edges are highlighted creating a subtle wireframe effect on map elements.

The game looks too (bright, dark, detailed, simple, etc), can this be changed?

All visual elements of the game can be fully customised with the exception of making objects transparent or models extend outside of their bounding box area (both restrictions are to prevent ‘cheating’ visually).

The default visual style of the game is being developed to appeal to a wide audience of players and hopefully helps the game to standout from other modern FPSs. It is highly likely that the majority of players (especially those playing competitively) will customise the game to look as simple and plain as possible, in the same way that people configure Quake to have low texture detail (picmip), full bright models, and simplified HUDs. This style would not be visually appealing to players less familiar with the arena genre and so it is not the default mode, although the default mode has been created with visibility and simplicity in mind.

I do not play arena games, will I be at a disadvantage?

Yes – but not as much as with many other Quake style arena games.

The movement system has been designed from scratch and incorporates new movement techniques not previously used in modern games. A lot of the skill will come down to figuring out how to utilize the movement system to navigate the levels, rather than consistent practice doing certain jump tricks.

Regular arena players will have the advantage in learning the game but everyone will be on a similar level in terms of learning the map layouts and how to use the advanced movement techniques (such as wallsliding/walljump/crouchslide combinations).

Simplicity has been a goal of the project from the start. Anyone should be able to learn the game in a matter of minutes. There will be no complex pickups or multiple ammo types or classes to learn. The core gameplay is simple but leads to a wide range of varied gameplay.

How can I contribute?

Signing up for the newsletter / beta will keep you in the loop about events such as a Kickstarter or Greenlight campaign. Donations are not currently being taken at this stage until the project is further into development.

Likewise, I think it would be best to continue developing the project by myself until there is proven interest in the game (via successful crowdfunding) – that way no one wastes their time contributing to the project until they know it will have some success.

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