From a former ArenaNet dev, and the director of Guild Wars 2, comes something rather different…
PlanTechtor – out today via Steam – comes from two of the minds behind Guild Wars 2. But far from being an MMO, this is a strategic, cartoon-aesthetic wave shooter, designed from the ground up for VR. What led creators Lester Bloom and Isaiah Cartwright to make such a shift?
“There was a specific game I needed to play,” says Lester. At the time he a a programmer at ArenaNet, working on Guild Wars 2. He’d been getting into VR gaming, but found the type of game he was looking for – something that fused meaningful strategy with intense action mechanics – was curiously absent from the market.
“I couldn’t find it,” says Lester, “so I had to make it.”
That game became PlanTechtor, a brand new VR action-strategy that launches on Steam today, for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality. The result of two years of hard work, the game invites players to digest a brief, make a plan, then carry out that plan via fast-paced, intense first-person action.
PlanTechtor thrusts players face-to-face with an invading army of alien and robot invaders, tasking them to design a plan to outwit and overcome the waves of assaulting enemies. Starting with a tactical pre-game phase, you’ll analyse hints about the incoming forces and devising a plan accordingly. Then, you’ll move into an action-packed wave shooter, where fast reflexes, quick decision-making, and expert skill will be required to overcome each stage.
Wrapping up the action is a striking aesthetic that combines colourful cartoon visuals with a raucous heavy metal soundtrack.
“PlanTechtor has been my passion project for more than two years,” says Lester today. ” I can’t wait to share my dream with everyone.”
Of course, Lester hasn’t been alone in fulfilling this dream. Early in the project, eager to gain feedback from fellow game dev professionals, Lester sought the opinion of his long-time friend Isaiah Cartwright – the design director of Guild Wars 2. Immediately, he was hooked. He asked Lester: can I get involved?
“I was surprised how much depth there was to the game,” recalls Isaiah – who worked as a designer on three of the original Guild Wars games before leading the charge on its critically acclaimed sequel. “A lot of VR games are very pretty tech demos, but this was different, something with much more depth of play. I couldn’t wait to get involved.”
So, in his spare time while continuing to work at ArenaNet, Isaiah began working with Lester, taking on design duties for the game. It was a step away from the pair’s previous work in the MMO sphere, but something they felt passionately about, and spent time tweaking and refining as they went.
Having received great feedback from players at a range of events, Lester and Isaiah felt the time was right to unveil their project to the world. PlanTechtor launches on Steam today. RRP is $14.99 but those who purchase the game within a week of launch will receive a 10% discount!