Human Element

Since resigning from his position at Infinity Ward, Robert Bowling (also known as FourZeroTwo) has been busy working on numerous titles not only for next generation consoles, but for smaller devices like Android, iOS, and the OUYA.

Robert Bowling resigned from being the Creative Strategist of Call of Duty, as a lead of Infinity Ward, and an employee of Activision sometime in March last year – for reasons unknown – and we haven’t heard lot from him since until fairly recently when he’s announced not one, but three projects he’s working on or has some involvement in. Since leaving infinity ward Bowling has created his own studio Robotoki and they’ve already announced a new zombie survival game for next generation consoles called Human Element.

Human ElementHuman Element is your typical zombie apocalypse survival game. It’s set 35 years after a zombie apocalypse and survivors must choose their roles to rebuild society. The main synopsis of the game is that though the threat of zombies has gone, there’s now the threat of other survivors, lone wolves or pack scavengers you must now protect yourself from them.

The idea behind the game sounds pretty good. It’s all well and good trying to survive in a zombie apocalypse, those games have been done. What about after it’s all ended and society begins to rebuild?

Human Element is slated for release on next gen consoles, PC, and hand held devices like iOS and Android – I believe that our smartphones and tablets will be heavily integrated in this game (more on that later).

Before all of that though Robotoki plan to release prequel episodes on the OUYA. Its been said that each episode will be different genre in an attempt to ‘beta test’ the games final appearance depending on what genre’s and different mechanics people are drawn to the most.

“Say episode one could be focused on the fortification aspect of survival; finding your location, finding supplies, building fortifications to secure it, building alarm systems within it so you know when it’s breached… nailing what makes that fun and exciting and thrilling in a survival scenario. And then once we do that in episode one, episode two could be completely different.”

“Episode two could be focused on going out in this world, dealing with that human element much more. Dealing with other survivors, dealing with the moral choices you need to make when you come across scenarios, knowing that you could always fall back to that safe haven you built in the first episode.”

Bowling explained during an interview with Eurogamer.

The game’s main focus is cross compatibility. Human Element has a persistent world, where what you do will matter to everyone else, and vice-versa. Bowling has also taken into account different mechanics of gameplay that people are into, whether that’s in front of the TV or on mobile,  you’ll all be able to play in some way. This way everyone can get involved and hopefully be a part of the Human Element community.

So that’s the big one out of the way. Lets move on to something a little less apocalyptic.

The Adventures of DashRobotoki have just started a Kickstarter for a new 2D puzzler called The Adventures of Dash. The game focuses on a narcoleptic nine-year-old called Dash, and whenever he falls asleep the adventure begins. When he sleeps the environment that he’s in remains the same, but the dynamics of the game change drastically. What makes this game awesome is that every time he enters the sleep state, the mechanics and artwork change, but not just colour, or a different style to the environment, no.. it’ll feel like an entirely new game.

The Adventures of Dash the dream worlds are designed entirely by a different artist. In the Kickstarter Bowling explained the reasoning behind this idea

What always frustrated me working on Call of Duty or even our own Human Element, was that hiring any of these artists I loved meant one thing, forcing them into an art style to fit with the game universe we were working on. It resulted in stripping away everything I loved about them in the first place, their personality, and personal style was lost in the universe of the game. Why should we adapt an artist to the game, when the game can adapt to the artist?

The game is primarily a 2D platformer focusing on solving puzzles and the occasional bit of combat. The Kickstarter has a rather ambitious $400,000 target but that’s because along with The Adventures of Dash, they’re hoping to fund a feature film surrounding the creation of Robotoki studios.

For more info check out the Kickstarter.

Breach & ClearFinally we go to a studio named Gun Media where Bowling has helped out with a new tactical mobile shooter Breach & Clear. This game focuses primarily on planning specialist operations before putting them into action within the game.

The game plans to utilize a “mechanic that is built from the ground up for mobile or touch control and enhance it with the depth and progression you’d expect from a AAA console release.” According to Bowling.

Breach & Clear will be available on iOS and Android sometime in Spring this year.

That’s all of the Bowling news for now, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated on any developments with Human Element, The Adventures of Dash, and Breach & Clear as and when they happen right here on n3rdabl3!

[Source: EuroGamer, KickStarter, IGN, Robotoki]

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