Zero G Arena is an online multiplayer, 3rd person arena shooter, with zero gravity. Players have magnetic shoes that can be turned on or off to switch between running on magnetic surfaces and floating. Players also have a grapple beam, which can be used for swinging or pulling towards objects or surfaces, as well as a wall jump, which can be used to kick off from surfaces while floating.
Vid Source – Zero G Arena
The mechanics can be used in combination for a practically unlimited range of manoeuvres. The zero gravity mechanic is supported by ragdoll physics, so that the in-game avatars react convincingly to forces and the environment.
The aforementioned magnetic surfaces can be at different angles to each other, allowing for interesting situations such as where your wall is another player’s floor.
Please note the game is in Early Access, and it really is pretty early in development. Also, right now, I cannot guarantee I’ll decide to finish the game but it will not become paid before I have decided. See the Early Access section above for more information. For now, it’s free, so you don’t stand to lose a lot by trying it out, just don’t expect anything like a finished game.
I’m not expecting or aiming for large numbers of players in the early stages of Early Access, so for now, you’ll probably have to organise games in advance, either with friends or in the community hub. If you’re not willing to do that, you might want to wait until the full release before playing the game.
Why Early Access?
“I want to make Zero G Arena the best game it can possibly be. I think the widespread player feedback from early access is the best way to achieve this. The core mechanics are more or less done, but almost everything else is open at this point, which means the game can be shaped largely from player feedback and suggestions. Another advantage is that, with help from players, I’ll be able to find and fix bugs that might have otherwise slipped through the net.
Very important: Initially, however, I just want to determine if the game is going to be worth continuing. Unless the basic core gameplay is widely liked at this point, then it’s my estimation that no amount of cramming on features will produce a good game. So if the core gameplay is not widely liked, I will probably discontinue development on the game. That’s why the game is free now: because I cannot 100% guarantee I’ll decide to finish it. If I do decide to continue with it, I’ll definitely keep working on it till it’s done though. For what it’s worth, I think it’s likely I’ll be continuing work on the game, since the response from those few who have played it so far has been very positive. Nonetheless, to be as sure as possible, I’d like to wait till a more significant number of people have tried the game before concluding whether or not it has potential.”
Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?
“When the game is considered finished will be in response to what features players feel are essential or important, so right now that’s impossible to say.”
How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?
“This will be mainly in response to player feedback. I can’t promise anything just yet, but some of the major additions I’m currently considering are:
- Potentially could try and get an artist on board to improve the visuals. Whether this is worth it will depend on whether players think the game would benefit significantly. Please note: If this were to happen, it could cause an increase to the minimum system requirements. If this were to happen after the game becomes paid, and your PC can no longer run the game acceptably after the update, I’ll be happy to to refund you.
- I think AI for offline mode is a very important feature that I’d like to add eventually.
- Assuming the game goes ahead with development (see “why early access”), it will definitely need a lot more content in general. By this I primarily mean game modes, maps and weapons. These in particular I look forward to designing in response to player feedback and suggestions.”
What is the current state of the Early Access version?
“This is a super early version of the game, and a very long way from feature complete, but it’s fully playable and the core mechanics are in place.
- Online multiplayer using Listen (player hosted) servers.
- Very basic matchmaking: Servers are listed by the host’s steam name. Unfortunately, player count and ping are not currently available in this list.
- 2 game mode (free-for-all and team deathmatch).
- 3 maps
- 5 weapons
- Up to 8 players per game
- Editable controls
- Some pretty basic character customisation
- A simple in-game chat systemThere are undoubtedly going to be bugs I’m not aware of yet. From preliminary testing though, I’ve been able to fix almost all of the known bugs.
Here are all the remaining issues. These are either low priority or require more testing to fix, due to being difficult to reproduce.
- You cannot join or host a session more than once without restarting the game completely.
- Sometimes people are disconnected from the server on map change.
- Very occasionally, the camera being forced into a wall will cause character to aim behind them.
- Some users report screen going black and were forced to restart game after minimizing window and then re-opening. Have not been able to reproduce this one locally yet.
- One user encountered the game freezing pretty regularly and seemingly at random. Have not been able to reproduce this since. There is a know software conflict between UE4 and the AMD drivers for the R9 200/300 series graphics cards, which has been know to cause freezing. So I currently suspect this is the cause. If you encounter this problem, please let me know what your graphics card is, and also try turning shadows to minimum and see if that fixes it.
- On my macbook, at least, the game invariably seems to crash as soon as you quit to desktop. This is perhaps the most innocuous crash of all time.
Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?
“Assuming I go ahead with development (see “why early access”), the plan is to make the game paid when it’s a little more complete, and I can guarantee (so far as reasonably possible) that I’ll be finishing it. The price would then gradually increase with respect to what I think the value of the game in it’s current state is. I’m not sure what the final price will be on launch yet, because the scope of the game is not yet determined.
In the meantime, if you pick the game up while it’s free, you’ll get to keep it forever.”
How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?
“As much as possible. Like I said before, the game is at a point where the core mechanics are finished, but everything else can be designed to fit based on player feedback. I’ll be listening and responding to all feedback to the best of my ability. I can’t promise to implement everyone’s suggestions, of course, but I’ll endeavour to explain my reasoning when not (unless the number of suggestions is unmanageable).The order that new features are implemented will be determined largely on what players think should be highest priority. I’ll also be highly appreciative of any bug reports.”