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PAX Prime 2013: Rekoil hands-on

PAX Prime 2013

For developer Plastic Piranha the road to creating Rekoil is paved by a mod story. We played several rounds with the company’s CEO Jason Brice, whose business sense comes from a background in working with films, while his eye for mechanics comes from the experiencing the best that the shooter genre has to offer and creating content within other highly refined games.

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“The push was to make the most balanced shooter”It started with one of his Hollywood work buddies modding their office into Modern Warfare 2. It provided them a familiar place to congregate in the virtual world and to experience the extreme refinement of the game within a setting they could all relate to on an interpersonal level. This eventually lead to a big interest in designing maps and all that the mod community had to offer.

Jason would go on to convert the Battlefield mapmaker into the (at the time) unsupported Battlefield 2142 and then spread the tools over the internet. Dice were impressed enough that they picked up the maps and have released five of them, the only user content officially released by the studio. They then offered him a job. Not wanting to leave home for Sweden, Jason declined, only for them to encourage him to start his own studio.

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And so Plastic Piranha was born and here we find the precedent for top-tier map design and a real focus on creating a positive player experience. The first thing he told us entering the game was that the push was to make the most balanced shooter. It’s a learned and highly responsive formula that evokes elements of all the best multiplayer games. The weapons are satisfying, with a weight and kick as the name suggests, while the shooting feels elegant and the maps streamlined for the multiplayer experience.

Jason would also like to foster a modding community among his audience. Every month he plans to run themed competitions and prominently feature the best of the user-made content. He gave ‘playgrounds’ for an example they might run with. The team’s as passionate about pushing for eSports integration. Twitch is in. And the mechanics allow for highly competitive play.

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What’s clear about Rekoil is that it’s a game born out of a love for genre. Plastic Piranha’s fully intent on entering this arena and having learned from the best, they’re looking to create something that connects with our shared fondness for the same ideas. They’re already most of the way there and it feels likely that they’ll achieve their goals with the upcoming release.

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in July 2007. Get in touch on Twitter @Calvin_Kemph.

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