DropTeam is a multiplayer capable, real-time, tactical simulation of armored ground combat in the far future. You'll battle for control of objectives on a broad variety of planets ranging from verdant Earth-like worlds to desolate, radioactive wastelands.
You will use Dropship's to land fighting vehicles and other deployable assets like sensors, mines and automated turrets on planetary surfaces. You will take direct control of various types of armored fighting vehicles while also coordinating your team, including AI, other human players, artillery support and more. Vast, exotic landscapes rendered in real-time with detailed, accurate physics and ballistics systems and true line-of-sight provide realistic combat.
There are no "hit points", limited view distances, unrealistically short weapon ranges, or other gross simplifications that are typical of many other sci-fi games. DropTeam can be played online on a public server with up to 16 players, or it can be played privately with as few as 2 players, as well as single-player vs. AI opponents. AI opponents can also be mixed in with human players in order to make the teams any size you like.
The game takes place on the barely settled fringes of the explored galaxy, in a region of space called "The Rim." In The Rim, intact settlements on planets are few and far between, but beyond the influence of the civilized forces of The Mu Arae Entente. The Entente was mankind's central governing body spanning hundreds of star systems. The Rim was settled by and flourished under free-minded separatists from the Entente. However, Mu Arae fleets and marines eventually attempted to "reintegrate" the worlds of The Rim by force, leading to hundreds of years of conflict which left all of the worlds of The Rim largely destroyed and abandoned.
The Entente has since become embroiled in its own civil war, leaving the scattered remnants of the once great cities and colonies of The Rim to their own devices in the remote emptiness of rim space. Civilization crumbles slowly in these isolated places as technology and higher knowledge gradually erode. The surviving settlements have been left vulnerable to incursions from predators who hunt The Rim for loot: a new brand of Viking who pillages from the rubble for survival, who has honed the military tactics of planetary assault to a fine art.
Some in The Rim look into the distant heart of the galaxy for their salvation. They look toward the stars of The Entente from whence their ancestors came, where civil war still rages with weapons of incredible technology, so advanced that the colonist-descendants of The Rim would perceive it as magic. Some of them wait for the return of Integration fleets, bringing the law, order, and the technology of past generations. But for most of them such things are the stuff of ancient legend. They only long to survive the next raid by plundering Vikings from the stars.
DropTeam models large playing areas ranging from 100 to 900 square kilometers: areas large enough to realistically simulate mobile armored combat. Terrain is deformable, so explosions and engineering vehicles actually change the landscape dynamically during the game. The physics engine accurately models different types of terrain, so a nimble vehicle on asphalt roads might become slippery and hard to control when driving on frozen ice. Since combat takes place on a broad variety of planets, you will have to adapt your tactics as you play; the maneuvers that worked well in an Earth-like environment might not work as well on a planetoid with no atmosphere. Different atmospheric densities and planet gravities also have a drastic effect on the performance of your weapon systems. Solid AP projectiles are devastatingly effective at long range when there is no atmosphere to slow their flight, but in very dense atmospheres you might find yourself using HEAT munitions instead.
DropTeam simulates combat realistically. The detailed armor penetration model takes all important factors into account: armor angle and thickness, projectile penetration angle, velocity, and performance characteristics based on projectile type and size (HEAT vs. AP vs. exotic ammunition, caliber, etc.) Projectiles that penetrate their targets have detailed, specific effects on the target, including modeling of armor fragmentation, fire due to kinetic friction, and direct damage of internal components within the target. For example, individual crew members such as the driver or gunner, or systems such as a vehicle's ballistics computer, ammunition magazine, or engine might be damaged when a projectile penetrates the vehicle. The loss of these systems directly impacts the target's performance. A vehicle without a ballistics computer will have to manually elevate its shots for range, a dead driver will prevent the vehicle from being driven, etc. Under the right circumstances, a penetration might even cause the target to catastrophically explode, scattering pieces across the landscape.
HE and ICM artillery support munitions are also modeled accurately, causing specific damage effects on targets that are hit by their fragmentation and munitions. Units on the terrain such as the SP Mortar unit can perform indirect fire, ranging to their targets with the help of team mates who can act as forward observers, or automated orbital artillery support can be called in, including HE and smoke fire missions.
You can stay immersed in combat by taking your vehicle into the thick of the action, driving and gunning in real-time against the opposing team. Or you can play an indirect supporting role by dropping engineering vehicles to dig revetments for your team and lay obstacles for the enemy and by dropping support vehicles that provide benefits to your team mates. Or you can play the role of your team's Commander, spending more of your time on the Tactical Display, coordinating the actions of your team mates, issuing direct commands to the AI players on your team, and deploying sensors, sensor jammer's, mines, and turrets to bolster your team's position. Or you can play with your own mixture of these different styles.
The DropTeam engine is quite flexible. All scenario and unit data is stored in simple XML files so it's trivial for the technically-minded player to modify existing game elements or add entirely new ones with a simple text editor. Terrain data is read from industry-standard topographic and geological file formats, so players can use software such as Terragen, Bryce, MojoWorld, or even simple paint programs to add their own custom landscapes to fight on.
DropTeam is unique in that it strikes a balance between realistic, tactical combat simulation and pure, accessible fun for the novice. It will be enjoyed both by hardened grognards as well as by more casual "twitch" gamers who are more interested in "run and gun" game play. Its layered complexity allows for a wide range of play styles and tactics, so a vibrant user community is expected. DropTeam will also offer a steady stream of new content to players over time, thanks to its highly extensible architecture. Finally, DropTeam is a truly cross-platform game! Both its server and its client run on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS-X. This will no doubt lead to a broad, diverse and vibrant fan community.
The objective of the game is to score points for your team. Each scenario runs for a fixed length of real time (typically between 30 and 60 minutes.) When time runs out, the team with the most points wins. Points are scored by attaining objectives such as capturing the enemy team's flag or defending/attacking specific objectives on the terrain. Other gameplay modes are currently in development including a "Ogre" mode where one side controls a single super-heavy unit and the other tries to use all assets available to stop it.
From planets with lush forests to those with vast desert scapes or frigid arctic wastelands, battles in DropTeam will be waged across a variety of planets and environments. Battles take place on maps that are typically between 50 and 400 square kilometers in size (maps as large as 1000 square kilometers are supported). This achieves a good balance between having enough space to exercise creative tactics, while not making the battlefield so large that players have difficulty finding some action.
GAME OVERVIEW PHILOSOPHY 'The Layered Onion'
DropTeam is simple to play. Using a few keyboard keys and the mouse or a joystick, the player drives vehicles over the terrain and fires weapons at other vehicles in a "point and shoot" manner. The game is instantly accessible to the novice player. This simplicity of control belies the fact that DropTeam is actually a game of depth and tactics. In order to win, players must utilize tactics and teamwork, use the terrain to their advantage, formulate and execute plans for defense and offense, use shared team resources such as fire missions, smoke missions, and autonomous turrets, and take advantage of the unique traits and abilities of each of the game's vehicles.
DropTeam depicts futuristic armored combat in a believable way that doesn't insult the intelligence of mature gamers and the obvious conventions. We eschew such misguided, entrenched mechanisms as "hit points", "healing", and unexplainably short weapon ranges that are found in many games today. Instead, weapons have specific effects on their targets. For example, a projectile that penetrates a vehicle's armor might disable its engine, kill individual crew members, damage the ballistics computer, etc. Most weapons have effective ranges in excess of 4 kilometers.
DropTeam is first and foremost fun to play, but fun does not have to be won at the expense of a reasonable level of realism. A believable simulation of combat actually adds to the fun rather than detracting from it.