Convoy: a FTL, Car Wars, and Mad Max Love Child

Convoy: a FTL, Car Wars, and Mad Max Love Child

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Convoy is like FTL, Car Wars, and Mad Max had a glorious roguelike love child.

Every now and then you find a game that's so in your wheelhouse, pun intended, that you can't help but share it. Convoy is self-described as a tactical roguelike-like inspired by Mad Max and FTL. Though I personally see a lot of Car Wars DNA in there as well, but not too many people remember semi-obscure Steve Jackson games published in the 80s. So I can see why that might not make the byline. There's just something oddly and undeniably fun about attaching weapons to cars, see more action oriented games like Interstate '76 or Twisted Metal. Initially, Convoy looks very promising in its ability to channel its inspirations and the strives it's making to set itself apart.

Similar to FTL and most roguelikes honestly, Convoy has a simple set-up. Your spaceship has landed on a lawless post-apocalyptic planet, Omek Prime, in need of repairs. The parts you need can't be found in town, so you'll need to set out and find them. Semi-randomized turmoil ensues.

From your MCV, Main Convoy Vehicle, you'll be traversing the map in search of the necessary parts to fix your ship. I especially appreciate the subtle and not-so-subtle references from Compression Coil, Flux Capacitor, Hyperdrive Stabilizers and Self-sealing Stem bolts. See if you can match them all.

As you travel along the hex map, you'll encounter various radio signals and events, and you'll be given the option of how to handle them. If you find someone broken down do you use your parts to help fix their stuff or do you dispatch them and take what little they have for yourself? These items might be parts to upgrade your convoy of vehicles or simply some fuel to keep you moving. In addition to the random encounters, you'll also be tangling with the three various factions that are all vying for control of Omek Prime.

Eventually though, you're going to get into a fight, and this is where Convoy looks to be innovating something all its own. Obviously since all the vehicles are weaponized cars and trucks, combat takes part as chases down stretches of the road map. Not only do you need to manage your convoys positions and who they are shooting at, you'll also need to respond to hazards on the map itself. The combat looks like a clever mix of trying to time and position your weapons and skills for maximum effectiveness, while also dodging out the way of mines and rockets. You can, however, pause the action and issue orders as needed, but of course, if a unit dies it's gone for good and you might be headed back to the start menu.

While the game has already been accepted on Steam, the developers hope to leverage their Kickstarter campaign into completing a wish list of features including: more environmental hazards in the maps, ramming, and more units, events, weapons and content. The Kickstarter has another 25 days towards its €10,000 goal with an expected release February of next year.

Disclaimer: I'm not currently backing Convoy, but that might change in the near future. Just saying.

Source: Convoy Kickstarter

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Firefly, Back to the Future, Star Wars (Knights of the Old Republic specifically) and Star Trek Online.

Did I win?

Just saw that it features permadeath. Why is this popular? I don't understand why people consider it a positive when game features are added that make the game more frustrating to play. Sometimes I feel like permadeath and limited save-points are added to games because the designers can't think of another way of making the game challenging.

ckraft:
Just saw that it features permadeath. Why is this popular? I don't understand why people consider it a positive when game features are added that make the game more frustrating to play. Sometimes I feel like permadeath and limited save-points are added to games because the designers can't think of another way of making the game challenging.

Sometimes it's to keep players from doing the save-fail-reload routine over and over. How can a game be challenging if failure doesn't have any consequences?

I wouldn't call permadeath popular; not many games have it (ancient arcade titles aside), and any game that "doesn't" feature permadeath can easily be played that way (but rarely is), and games that supposedly feature permadeath are generally quite easily save-scummed anyway, if you really want to.

The (lack of) feature itself is irrelevant. To me, save-scumming damages the authenticity of the experience, so I can really appreciate a game designed around the notion of permadeath (and permanent other consequences). Many games are designed with the expectation that you're going to reload - possibly quite a lot. A game where you're not expected to reload each challenge until you complete, and instead you try to stumble through come hell and high water, or try again entirely, is a different sort of design in many ways. The experience is often more interesting, varied, and replayable (and short - if you're investing more than several hours into a play, permadeath becomes much more of a nuisance).

It gives you sense of loss, if you can just reload the game, there is nothing to lose, but if you lose everything when you die, you will try harder, things feel more intense when you are in danger.

Slycne:
Though I personally see a lot of Car Wars DNA in there as well, but not too many people remember semi-obscure Steve Jackson games published in the 80s.

More to the point, Car Wars was itself inspired (to put it mildly) by Mad Max in the first place, so it would be rather redundant to mention it rather than just point out what inspired them both.

ckraft:
Just saw that it features permadeath. Why is this popular? I don't understand why people consider it a positive when game features are added that make the game more frustrating to play. Sometimes I feel like permadeath and limited save-points are added to games because the designers can't think of another way of making the game challenging.

It depends on the genre. When it comes to roguelikes, permadeath is pretty much the whole point - you start off with a low level character, and play relatively short sessions in which you're expected to die trying significantly more than actually winning, at which point you start over again with a new character. It's not like Skyrim where the point is to build up one character over a prolonged period into an unstoppable killing machine, the point of the challenge is get as far as you can with a weak and vulnerable character. Have you actually played FTL? Are you seriously saying that having to start again when your spaceship is destroyed is actually a problem for the game?

Slycne:

While the game has already been accepted on Steam, the developers hope to leverage their Kickstarter campaign into completing a wish list of features including: more environmental hazards in the maps, ramming, and more units, events, weapons and content. The Kickstarter has another 25 days towards its €10,000 goal with an expected release February of next year.

It's been accepted on Steam? I can't find it anywhere in there as of yet.

Demagogue:

Slycne:

While the game has already been accepted on Steam, the developers hope to leverage their Kickstarter campaign into completing a wish list of features including: more environmental hazards in the maps, ramming, and more units, events, weapons and content. The Kickstarter has another 25 days towards its €10,000 goal with an expected release February of next year.

It's been accepted on Steam? I can't find it anywhere in there as of yet.

Hi guys, the publisher here!
the reason why you cannot see it on Steam yet, is because Steam doesn't allow store pages to appear when the game has a Kickstarter campaign running :)

This game is looking interesting.

Pyrian:
I wouldn't call permadeath popular; not many games have it (ancient arcade titles aside), and any game that "doesn't" feature permadeath can easily be played that way (but rarely is), and games that supposedly feature permadeath are generally quite easily save-scummed anyway, if you really want to.

I think this is where game design really has to play a factor. You need to be able to lose a certain amount and it still be fun where you'll continue playing despite the losses. I've had a few games where at the end, I had to accept the losses for the victory (Total War comes to mind, when I've lost a General but did well enough in the battle to warrant his loss and not replaying a crazy battle). I also think, and this would be very hard to do in a roguelike with random generation, if the story plays a part of the losses you would want to see how the story plays out in different ways. That's another thing that adds to the replay value of those kind of games.

Permadeath, where the game just ends and you lose your save game, is just kind of a jerk move I think. Especially in a long play. How do you stimulate that sense of risk without it though? I think FTL did it in a good way where you can save and come back, but there's always that big time investment and the risk of losing all of that. At least a game like Binding of Isaac is constantly rewarding you with new items and rewards. Any game without a save is kind of like those old Nintendo games that you had to leave on overnight in order to not lose your progress (before save/password systems).

Kahani:

Slycne:
Though I personally see a lot of Car Wars DNA in there as well, but not too many people remember semi-obscure Steve Jackson games published in the 80s.

More to the point, Car Wars was itself inspired (to put it mildly) by Mad Max in the first place, so it would be rather redundant to mention it rather than just point out what inspired them both.

Well we all know the truth. They were all aping the eternal 1975 classic Death Race 2000.

Shan Chan:

Demagogue:

Slycne:

While the game has already been accepted on Steam, the developers hope to leverage their Kickstarter campaign into completing a wish list of features including: more environmental hazards in the maps, ramming, and more units, events, weapons and content. The Kickstarter has another 25 days towards its €10,000 goal with an expected release February of next year.

It's been accepted on Steam? I can't find it anywhere in there as of yet.

Hi guys, the publisher here!
the reason why you cannot see it on Steam yet, is because Steam doesn't allow store pages to appear when the game has a Kickstarter campaign running :)

Hiya! Thanks for the info, and welcome to the forums. Good luck on the kickstarter!

Kahani:

It depends on the genre. When it comes to roguelikes, permadeath is pretty much the whole point - you start off with a low level character, and play relatively short sessions in which you're expected to die trying significantly more than actually winning, at which point you start over again with a new character. It's not like Skyrim where the point is to build up one character over a prolonged period into an unstoppable killing machine, the point of the challenge is get as far as you can with a weak and vulnerable character. Have you actually played FTL? Are you seriously saying that having to start again when your spaceship is destroyed is actually a problem for the game?

I was an early backer of FTL and played it when I received my copy but stopped fairly quickly when I realized it was permadeath.

I just am not a fan of the concept and of games that limit when you can save and how many saves you can have. I often like making a save and then trying a situation differently to see what happens. If it turns out to be a bad idea I go back. Sometimes I just like to go back and re-live prior events. I realize RPGs are a different kind of game but for those that I play I often have hundreds of save files that I put aside on my hard drive and noted with something about why they are special.

I just wish permadeath was optional because this game is something I would back without hesitation if it I could turn that off.

When I started gaming back in the 80s everything was permadeath because as soon as you turned off the power it was gone. I just feel it's better to give players the options and and let them decide how they want to experience the game.

ckraft:
I was an early backer of FTL and played it when I received my copy but stopped fairly quickly when I realized it was permadeath.

I just am not a fan of the concept and of games that limit when you can save and how many saves you can have. I often like making a save and then trying a situation differently to see what happens. If it turns out to be a bad idea I go back. Sometimes I just like to go back and re-live prior events. I realize RPGs are a different kind of game but for those that I play I often have hundreds of save files that I put aside on my hard drive and noted with something about why they are special.

I just wish permadeath was optional because this game is something I would back without hesitation if it I could turn that off.

When I started gaming back in the 80s everything was permadeath because as soon as you turned off the power it was gone. I just feel it's better to give players the options and and let them decide how they want to experience the game.

Sorry, but I just don't see how this makes any sense at all. Do you also complain that you have to start a new game from the beginning every time you finish a game of chess? Calling it "permadeath" isn't even a sensible description at all; as with chess, you have simply finished the game. Either you won, or you didn't. If you want to play again, you have to start a new game, because starting in the middle of a game really doesn't make a lot of sense. Again, this is not Skyrim where you slowly build up a single character over many hours, it's a short game that you play in a session of a few minutes and either win or lose. It's perfectly understandable to not enjoy that sort of short game, but it simply makes no sense complain that it isn't an entirely different kind of game. The end of a chess game is not optional, and if you tried to make it so you would no longer be playing chess. Similarly, taking a roguelike intended to be played from beginning to end in 15 minutes finishing with either a clear win or loss and making it into an hours long RPG with character progression and saving would not be letting players decide how they want to play the game, it would simply be making an entirely different game.

 

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