Please keep in mind this is not a demo, but a very early prototype, showing just a small part of elements and mechanics that we hope to implement in the final game. The animations, sounds, effects, environmental art, etc. are not representative of the final product. Please, treat this prototype as an outline or a rough sketch of the game we hope to deliver.
Year 2076. The world is being rebuilt after a war and from its rubble rises a new order - UTG - United Terran Government, unifying the whole globe and setting a new, common goal for the mankind. Thanks to the advancements in robotics, nanotechnology and bioengineering, the society reached a higher level of existence - over 94% of citizens of the Earth use enhanced prosthetics or is permanently connected to the global network thanks to telecommunication implants. The implants are a product of Providers - constantly competing with each other megacorporations that supply, install and update various implants in exchange for life-long subscription. In a world without borders they decide what's good or evil, and the one which is above competition is always right. Welcome to the future, where the worth of a human life is equivalent to an average monthly salary and where corporate espionage is the new form of warfare. Have you picked your Provider yet?
We would like to start off by saying a few words about Coma's stage in its life cycle.
The project is still in very early stages of development. There are a number of features and systems having necessary scripting implemented, but they are not accessible by the player in the current build. Some systems are not yet decided upon, and have multiple versions that we consider leaving as a final one (for example: we currently have 3 versions of targeting - traditional 8-way targeting tied to movement, a lock-on system that is independent of character's movement and direction, and a completely free, 360-degree gun rotation, à la twin stick shooter games). Some of the features are done, but are using placeholders - like most of current animations - while some are completely missing. There are no real enemies in the game yet. Designing them with their moveset, animating and scripting their AI will take a substantial amount of time.
With that said, we encourage you to download the prototype and judge for yourself.
Coma is a Metroidvania-style action game set in a grim cyberpunk future inspired by the classics of the genre. Play as a member of an elite squad on a payroll of one of the Megacorporations, explore industrialized districts to find hidden, optional areas; fight with competition's mercenaries using your arsenal of weapons and unique abilities. Customize your character using multitude of passive and active implants, acquire new combat abilities and upgrade those already owned.
- Discover a dark cyberpunk world, inspired by the biggest classics of the genre, presented with beautiful hand-drawn sprites and backgrounds.
- Multiple playstyles. Do you like fighting defensively or offensively? Do you prefer hand-to-hand combat or destroying opponents from afar is your cup of tea? Or perhaps instead of fighting it’s better to take control of enemy systems and machines to do your dirty work for you? Agents of corporate special forces are prepared to fight in all conditions with any means.
- Customize your character - utilize a wide range of specialized passive and active implants to tailor the playstyle to your needs. Enhanced strength, speed, special vision filters - bleeding edge tech is at your disposal and on the house. Utilizing every advantage over your competition is mandatory in your line of work. Just remember not to overindulge in your artificial self-improvement. There’s a fine line between a human and a machine, if that’s your concern.
- Variety of Abilities - acquire new abilities that will help you reach previously inaccessible areas to discover secrets and most importantly - grant you new combat moves. Remember, some of the abilities will be hidden, and getting them will be optional. It is only up to you how many of them will be in your arsenal.
- Co-op - each agent is an expert in their field of work, wreaking havoc among the competition. Imagine the synergy between them and level of destruction if there were two of them sent on a single mission. (Crowdfunding campaign stretch goal)
Exorno Tech is one of the largest and most influential Providers. Known as a supplier of high-end cerebral implants and a leader in cybernetics development, the corporation is hiding a secret. The majority of its budget isn’t assigned to R&D of new technologies, but instead to a vast network of spies and mercenaries, thanks to which Exorno is able to obtain research and prototypes from their competition and be first to bring them to market.
An hour ago, a man identifying himself as dr François Adrien Molière contacted one of Exorno’s executives. A scientist formerly working for the Abrams corp. claims he has information about new tech developed in absolute secrecy and he’s willing to negotiate the price of that information.
Chairman Gerhard Keller along with the board of directors decided to look into the matter. The chief of Exorno’s “Security Division”, gen. Stanley Vincent received an order to mobilize the special response unit. The objective is simple - contact dr Molière, verify the authenticity of the information and escort him to the extraction zone. On the surface it’s a routine operation, however the general can’t shake the feeling it will be much more complicated than it seems...
In 2076 corporations rule the world. The most powerful among them are Providers - manufacturers and suppliers of prosthetic and telecommunication implants. Thanks to their influence in the still young UTG (United Terran Government), they forced a number of policies that effectively coerce average citizens to use their products. Personal data, credit and medical history and most importantly Global Information Network access - all available through the use of a single implant. The installation surgeries are expensive, additionally the implants need to be regularly replaced or upgraded to newer standards, and there are special drugs that need to be taken to avoid rejection. Not to mention a multitude of hidden additional maintenance and operational fees. Because of this the Providers ensure comprehensive implant servicing in exchange for lifetime subscription, effectively enslaving their customers.
In this world the fight for the customer is effectively fight for power and any competition is a sworn enemy. To remain on top you need to get your hands dirty. Espionage, kidnappings, blackmail, staged accidents - anything goes in the corporate war for the biggest influence, there is no place for half measures. All of this is in the job description of corporate mercenaries - top tier dirty work experts.
The game world will be divided into zones, each distinct in its look and atmosphere, all accessible from a hub zone. In the hub zone the player will be able to gather intel about an upcoming task, replenish resources, or pick up some non-essential sidequests. Fulfilling those will grant special implants, access to previously closed areas or the most valuable of all - information, that may lead to some sweet loot.
As the player progresses in the story and interacts with the world, the zones will change over time to reflect the progress, with new paths opened or old ones no longer accessible, so revisiting previously seen areas won't be a simple backtracking.
We plan to populate the world with rich and complex characters, fueled by their own goals and desires. Alongside main characters that are the central point of the story, there will be a handful of supporting cast - characters who help the player, like supervisors that give orders, comms operators monitoring your progress, offering a helpful advice, etc.
As we mentioned above, the player will be able to meet some quest givers in the hub zone. Those quests will range from fairly standard in the world of Coma corporate espionage to assassinations.
Fulfilling quests may reward you with some loot - access to otherwise not obtainable implants or upgrades, etc., some quests will have a minor impact on the upcoming missions - you may get a password to a terminal that unlocks a helpful shortcut or disables some of the security. On the other hand, progressing in the story may render current quests not finishable (for example, one of the sidequests may require gathering some data off a mainframe in a certain location but you destroyed the mainframe or the power source, and now you can't complete the quest). That said, Coma is not designed as a full-blown action RPG, with multiple branching paths in the main story and sidequests. Quests will be totally optional and non-essential part of the game, that give you more insight into some events or characters, and a tool for deeper world building.
Story told in Coma is a vision of the future encompassing technological, political and economic aspects of society and the world in general. For this reason it’s important for us to present it in such a way not to overwhelm the player.
The plot is presented in a form of a dialogue between multiple characters. Because every playable character is different, the dialogue will vary depending on their personality and relations with NPCs.
Additional information, that will flesh out the world or help the player understand the events occurring in the world around can be obtained by finding scattered datapads or hacking various terminals. Some of them may contain valuable hints or codes to locked paths or containers.
Finally, the environment will tell a story of its own. Fresh blood trails, a body lying nearby, a lost toy, an opened vent - every little detail can be a part of a tragic history that occurred in the past or a hint leading to unexpected encounters.
While playing you will visit detailed areas, meticulously designed to deliver just the right amount of challenge from the non-linear exploration. Each area can be revisited at any point of the game, allowing you to discover numerous secrets and shortcuts, which can be reached as you gain new abilities and upgrades.
Said abilities can be used both in combat and for level traversal. For example you can use the vertical dash to reach ledges high above the reach of your jump, or use the slide dash to slide under a narrow passage.
During exploration you will come across various upgrades. Upgrades are pieces of equipment granting the characters new abilities (or expanding those already obtained) used for level traversing and in combat. Some of the upgrades are character-specific, some of them are optional and acquiring them will help you find secret pathways and areas or help you with disposing of your opponents.
EMP - Disrupt or disable enemies’ optical cammo, find hidden paths obscured by holographic projections.
Combat Hacking Module - take control over enemy drones and defense systems and turn them against your opponents.
Vision Enhancement - enemies using optical camouflage or hidden in the dark won’t surprise you anymore.
One of main advantages of being a cyborg is the ability of installing various implants.
Implants are completely optional character enhancements that can add or modify already owned abilities, allowing to create many, sometimes vastly different variants of the same character, tailored to your playstyle.
Do you find yourself taking too much damage because you like to go all in? Consider installing a medical implant which will slowly regenerate your life. Do you have a problem with hitting certain enemy? Smart lock-on will take care of it for you. Experiment with different implant combinations to make the character truly unique.
The combat is one of critical elements in Coma. We want to design a combat system that’s highly dynamic, where every skirmish feels fast and snappy, the character obeys every input, while maintaining the illusion of weight and impact to the most devastating attacks.
We want to put a heavy emphasis on mobility and versatility in combat. The player will be able to react to enemy attacks using various methods of basic and advanced controls. Apart from the fundamental movement, such as running, jumping, crouching, the player will have access to advanced movement techniques such as dashing, dodging or blocking. They can be used in combination with the directional controls, vastly modifying the performed move. Those advanced techniques will be granted by upgrades found during the exploration, and can be further enhanced to add various effects.
The primary means of combat in Coma are firearms. However, we want to make sure the combat is not boring and tedious. To achieve that, different enemies will be vulnerable to different types of ammunition. Some enemies will have multiple defensive ‘layers’, such as heavy armor or energy barriers, which you will have to peel away. While fighting heavy-armored foes you will have to use armor-piercing ammo to strip them of their armor first, and then finish them off with the standard projectiles.
Furthermore, we want to encourage the player to use close-quarters-combat. While fighting against enemies utilizing multiple defences described above, after destroying one of the layers, the enemy will enter a dazed state, which you can utilize to your advantage by performing a melee move that will permanently disable each type of defense. Otherwise there is a chance the enemy will recover that particular defensive measure.
Further incentive will be in form of recovering a part of lost health or energy after performing those powerful attacks.
We plan for each character to have a weapon unique to them, ensuring you can pick your favorite fighting style based on fire rate, range, knockback, etc.
Ranged and melee combat are fun, but being a cyborg brings much more to the table. Thanks to various combat implants you will be able to do much more. Hack an enemy exoskeleton to wreak havoc, use thermo-optical camouflage, hack enemy cyber implants to confuse them or hinder their abilities. Use everything in your disposal to defeat forces of your competition.
One of main resources you will need to manage, besides your health, will be energy.
Each additional passive implant will decrease the amount of available energy. Whereas every active implant will use up the energy at a constant rate when activated.
Additionally, your abilities will also use up your energy, so maintaining a balance between a number of installed and activated implants will be crucial to your success.
There will also be different ways to regain your lost energy. It will automatically recover over time, performing a melee finishing move on your opponents will replenish a substantial portion of it.
There are many opponents that will stand in your way. Automated defense systems, cybernetically enhanced mercenaries or heavily armored combat vehicles. Your competition doesn’t like unwanted guests and will try to dispose of you by any means necessary.
Remember, your enemies are also equipped with the latest military-grade tech and will utilize every advantage against you. Their arsenal consists of:
- optical/thermal camouflage
- combat exosuits
- hacking implants
- frag, stun, EMP grenades
and many more, requiring a different approach to every skirmish.
While exploring the world of Coma you will face powerful boss enemies. They will range from AI-operated systems, through fierce mercenary commanders, to military vehicles, such as battle tanks.
Each Boss fight will be meticulously designed to offer the right amount of challenge and put your skills to the test. Some of the bosses will have multiple stages, where they will use more and more deadly attacks or become faster, shortening your reaction window.
You will be able to defeat them in couple of ways, such as:
- direct combat - well timed evasive maneuvers and quick thinking will allow you to face the boss face to face
- utilizing environmental elements - lure the boss to a hazardous zone dealing massive damage, destroy sources of light making yourself harder to hit, hack and take control of defense systems forcing the boss to split their focus, and more
- exploit their weaknesses - e.g. destroy targeting systems on an enemy machine to make their attacks less effective
What would a world set in a cyberpunk reality be without some good 'ol hacking?
Cyber warfare, while being one of the crucial parts of Coma's combat and exploration, it will be totally optional.
Characters equipped with a combat hacking implant will be able to take control over enemy drones, defense systems and disrupt other cybernetically enhanced adversaries, or even make them fight on their side for a short period of time.
Higher tiers of the hacking implant will allow the player to hack multiple enemies at the same time, or even perform a powerful burst hack, that will affect everything in a radius around the character.
While fighting bosses, it may be beneficial to disrupt their targeting systems, disable the most devastating weapons or hack part of the level itself to open a new path in order to exploit their weak points more effectively.
Hacking While Exploring
Hacking will be a great source to obtain new intel about forces you're fighting with, get access to previously closed paths, or get some top-secret information. That information may be valuable both to your employers or to some 3rd party that's also interested in your work.
In contrast to combat hacking that lets the player instantly take over enemy systems in exchange for energy, we want the "exploration hacking" to be more involved. However, we would like to avoid making a simple minigame that leaves you with just the taste. We would like to create a cyberspace where the character gets "transported" and is represented by their avatar, where they have to face various obstacles and challenges. Failing those challenges or getting detected will trigger defensive countermeasures. In this cyberspace the character will still be controlled like normal, but will have a different skillset and equipment. You can think of it as something similar to Shadowrun's cyber combat, where a character is represented by a powerful avatar, facing manifestations of different firewalls, defensive subroutines and tracking programs.
In its core, Coma uses Unity engine. We chose it for this project due to several reasons. First and foremost, our team had previous experience in working with it, which is a great advantage, since we know the engine’s strengths and shortcomings.
Unity offers great support for 2D and 3D objects out of the box, allowing us to mix and match various elements on the scene to achieve the look we want.
Due to its versatility, Unity can be easily expanded or modified to support new features, building on its core.
We want all the areas in Coma to be represented by beautiful, hand-crafted artwork along with real-time, atmospheric in-engine lighting that will show the duality of this dark, industrialized world, ironically lit with ubiquitous billboards advertising the latest and greatest products. Zones such as high-class districts, being gilded cages for their residents; dirty, overcrowded slums, teeming with illegal implants trade; corporate megastructures, hiding many dark secrets, for which the competition would pay a hefty price.
There’s no place for procedural world generation, no constant deja vu while visiting new locations. Every area in Coma will be handcrafted and unique while maintaining the artistic cohesion and our vision of the future.
To bring Coma’s characters to life we are using Spine. It allows us to achieve great animation fidelity thanks to its advanced skeletal animation and mesh deformation systems. Combined, these two techniques let us show off every small detail, such as movement of character’s outfit, gear, hair or facial expressions.
Thanks to the synergy between Spine and Unity, we have control of every aspect of the animations, so they can be transitioned smoothly from one to another without the erratic appearance, but where it’s necessary they can be quick and snappy to eliminate the feeling of unresponsive controls.
Using Spine’s Inverse Kinematics and Weights systems we can create complex behaviours with relatively low effort and in a timely manner. For example we can assure the character is pointing the weapon directly at an enemy, regardless of the position - whether the character is standing, jumping or kneeling. No need for hundreds of redundant animations.
That said, we need to hire animators, who can take the advantage of all those neat features, and who can create detailed, yet dynamic movements, for every playable character, enemy and boss.