The Escapist Show: Episode 43: Hazardous Software's Achron

Episode 43: Hazardous Software's Achron

This week we get a tour of Hazardous Software and see their original Meta-Time Strategy game, Achron.

This week's musical guests:

Ian Dorsch - "Escapist Show Theme"
Dax - "Lamborghini" and "Harley"

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Were the glasses a Time-Splitters reference?

Love games like this where your normal thought process is thrown out the window.

The guinea pig should totally be the most powerful unit in the game.

I didnt really get it, but it should be fun.

The guy is either too modest, or that's a heck of an editing job that was done. He's been working on the mechanics and logic for this thing for a few years now, both in terms of his games and thinking about larger game design concepts. The guy is in the region of scary smart in his fields, and if you start to read some of his papers and thesis work, it's good stuff if you're into that sort of thing. (I'm more into his game design stuff than his pure comp-sci stuff, myself).

But guys.. why not post a link to their site at least?
For those that want to know more about this thing (which may draw me back into the RTS genre again) you can go here: http://achrongame.com/

And for a real mind-screw.. think about what this mechanic could do to team based FPS games.

I don't get it. If you go back in time, to destroy an enemies base, to get rid of soldiers in the present, after you destroy the base couldn't your enemy go back and stop you and then save his soldiers after they're gone and screw up your plans.

Unknown Error:
I don't get it. If you go back in time, to destroy an enemies base, to get rid of soldiers in the present, after you destroy the base couldn't your enemy go back and stop you and then save his soldiers after they're gone and screw up your plans.

Yup. Of course, it takes him more energy to jump back even further to save them. Meanwhile, you could be back closer to the present knocking out his time teleporter with units that weren't involved in the first fight, thus breaking his timeline of jumping back.

I get a headache every time someone tries to explain, how time travelling works and what are its effects. Maybe Im just stupid, but at least even I can appreciate the effort these guys are making. And I like their office. It feels so...cozy.

Wow i've thought about adding time travel into games before but its really really confusing and difficult to just understand how it'd work.

I applaud these guys and can't wait to play the game.

I love that their 'office' is really just someone's house. The tour reminds me of when I take friends around my place - it's a two-room apartment, with open-plan lounge/dining and a walled off kitchen. Whilst standing in the same spot, pointing around the room:

"This is the entry hall, and this is the lounge, TV room, library, games room, dining room, kitchen, weapons room.." Walk to the bedroom "And this is the master bedroom, cloak room, reading room.." bathroom is usually just that, but the spare room is "the storage room, study, spare room, cat's room."

Yeah I get extremely confused by time travel, but that hasn't stopped me from being very interested in this game. I heard about it months ago and went around their site. I recommend reading their FAQ about how they aim to make it possibly easier to understand how the game works.

At any rate, time travel in an RTS is something pretty new and if done right will open doors for even more strategy in a game.

The only problem is, does the project seem to ambitious for these guys? They're obviously a small group and on a smaller budget. Time travel looks to be awesome, but if the units/factions/meat of the gameplay themselves aren't great, it might hurt gameplay a lot.

This game makes my brain hurt.

And Chris Hazard is the best name ever.

I love it. This demo and the theory just blew my mind. I'm actually scared of playing it and creating a time paradox now... must get PC up to snuff for release!

Man, it's the revolution. Adding a 4th dimension. crazy. I gotta go take a nap now from brain overload thinking of the possibilities

CantFaketheFunk:
And Chris Hazard is the best name ever.

Yeah, just like Matt Hazard. I wonder if they are related.

Incredible Bullshitting Man:

CantFaketheFunk:
And Chris Hazard is the best name ever.

Yeah, just like Matt Hazard. I wonder if they are related.

I have long believed that Chris Hazard and Epic's Grayson Edge need to get together and fight crime as Hazard and Edge.

CantFaketheFunk:

Incredible Bullshitting Man:

CantFaketheFunk:
And Chris Hazard is the best name ever.

Yeah, just like Matt Hazard. I wonder if they are related.

I have long believed that Chris Hazard and Epic's Grayson Edge need to get together and fight crime as Hazard and Edge.

With names like that, they should be fighting crime right now. If you look like a cook, you should be a cook.
I can already see the headlines: Dukes of Hazard live on the edge....Right, forget about that.

I think Ill go back to sleep.

Wow that game name is pronounced like the city I grew up in.

As amazing as this mechanic sounds, I'm all ready pants at RTS I don't need another dimension to contend with.

Bobbyskizza:
As amazing as this mechanic sounds, I'm all ready pants at RTS I don't need another dimension to contend with.

Watching a video doesn't do justice to the game - I was lucky enough to watch a demo, and it actually looks like people with less RTS skill can still contend pretty well with the 100 clicks / second Korean Starcraft people.

Here's an example: person 1 amasses a fleet over 5 minutes, and sends them to wipe out the much smaller base of person 2. Person 2 jumps back in time and destroys the building that made the fleet. 5 minutes later, in the present, the fleet disappears and person 1 is much worse off than just a moment ago.

The game seems to cater to both the obsessive micromanaging types, and the calculating chess-strategy types. From what I remember, the two guys in the video were each a different type of player, and would beat each other relatively equally. It's an exciting prospect for RTS, because it means you don't have to be ADD-fast to be really good at the game - something that I think has been lacking in the genre (the "strategy" part).

This looks truly beautiful.

My computer, unfortunately, probably won't be able to handle it, though.

Wow this game is very intriguing, but I'm worried it my become the ultimate game of 1up'edness, with people going farther and farther back in order to kill the other player.

CantFaketheFunk:
This game makes my brain hurt.

And Chris Hazard is the best name ever.

Me too, but I can see myself attempting to play this in the future (see what I did there?)

Anyway, their time mechanic will probably be the next most-copied concept since bullet time (at least it has the potential to) if they pull it off well.

I cannot wait to see this game and play it for myself.

MrLumber:
Wow this game is very intriguing, but I'm worried it my become the ultimate game of 1up'edness, with people going farther and farther back in order to kill the other player.

The game mechanics will prevent that. The farther back in time you go, the more "energy" your actions in the past will cost. Basically, as stated in the interview, you can either jump back a small amount and perform a bunch of actions, or jump back a large amount but only be able to perform a few actions.

As such, I doubt there's going to be a way for people to keep going back in time constantly, especially when you're going to run out of energy really fast if you try doing that.

It's an interesting concept, but I doubt it'll be blowing people away.

its sounds really seems good but its not that a big change compare to games like c&c you can allways play as usual and when you going to die you can going back at time by doing load and that game just make it easyer to do it but its doing much more then that by sending your forces to the past thats makes it really original and intresting game - i hope it wont have to be with really high "demands" for the computer

So...it's possible to play this game multi-player? I'm having a hard time understanding how that'd be possible.

Any new RTS is a welcome development in my book. Would be cool if they could skin this with Terminator units, but maybe in a mod or a subsequent release.

The idea of jumping through time to destroy your friend's army just as it is attacking you sounds fun (I wish I could do that in Starcraft), but this game doesn't look very graphically slick. The units look kinda like ugly blocks... Maybe it's just because it's the alpha build (as noted in the video), but it won't engage a lot of gamers if it looks like something from the 90's.

HappyDD:
The idea of jumping through time to destroy your friend's army just as it is attacking you sounds fun (I wish I could do that in Starcraft), but this game doesn't look very graphically slick. The units look kinda like ugly blocks... Maybe it's just because it's the alpha build (as noted in the video), but it won't engage a lot of gamers if it looks like something from the 90's.

It's reinventing the entire genre. Imagine if you could play chess, but only you jump back in time to change move's last events. I don't give a fuck what it looks like, I'll play it.

Time-travelling RTS game, FUCKING AMAZING

 

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