Mat@MDickie.com
Wrecked
















Early Previews

Trawl through the archives
to find out even more
about the game...

 


When asked what his dream game would be, the author Terry Pratchett simply said: "leave me stranded on a desert island with a spear and let me see how long I can survive." I intend to give Mr. Pratchett his dream game! Wrecked is the ultimate free-roaming concept - challenging players to defeat the biggest boss of them all: mother nature...


Back To Basics

Like Popscene and Sure Shot 3D, Wrecked is yet another remake of a long forgotten concept from the archives. Way back in December 2000, I was intrigued by the idea of a life stranded on a desert island and set about bringing it to life as best I could. Unfortunately, that meant a woefully crude 2D game which (like many at the time) didn't do the concept justice. In fact, so ambitious was it that the game barely even got off the starting blocks! But now, 4 years a better game developer, there's very little that can't be done - and the finished product has washed up on the shores of MDickie.com like a veritable treasure chest...


Ocean View

Like a fine wine, the game's prospects have improved over time. The Wrecked of today is a fully 3D experience - almost unrecognizable from its 2D precursor! In fact, it's by far the most impressive looking release yet. The outdoor locations of Sure Shot 3D have evolved into a gigantic, beautifully rendered world - complete with equally refined scenery and characters. The landscape is adorned with all kinds of trees, bushes, and plantlife - all modelled and textured better than ever before. My newfound era of perfectionism continues apace in this game, as the island enjoys an unprecedented eye for detail. Fish swim realistically through a real flowing sea, while splashes of water accompany your every move as you wade in yourself! Meanwhile, animals of all varieties stalk the background - bringing to life a world that my graphically-starved players thought they'd never see...


All Terrain Vehicle

Of the game's many breakthroughs, the biggest is how effortlessly the characters negotiate the fully 3D terrain. It may be a staple of most mainstream games, but it's something that I've never had to do before - or would have been able to pull off even if I did! It forced me to completely rethink the way I program my games, and the result is a huge step forwards for my work. Not least because it dragged out a handful of accompanying breakthroughs to boot. The turn and advance control system (also making its debut) demanded the most sophisticated and precise camera work yet. That too was delivered with astonishing ease, as the camera smoothly follows the player without ever becoming an intrusive member of the cast...


Jumping To Conclusions

It was hard enough getting the characters to run around on a 3D landscape, so imagine the stress of making them jump and fall on it as well! It was yet another foreign concept to me that had to be mastered quickly. My prior games had always taken place on predictable landscapes, so any illusion of gravity was just that - an illusion. Here, though, the player could end up anywhere at any time - so I had to get to work on the real thing. The result is a highly sophisticated system that detects when a character is off the ground, and immediately plunges them into an increasingly volatile fall. Naturally, the feature also gave birth to a smooth jumping system - which allowed the player to ascend and descend with satisfying consequences...


Cave Men

Thankfully, you don't have to "jump" everywhere though. A coherent network of caves are on hand to shuttle you between each of the island's 5 locations. It may sound like a disjointed way to explore, but the game would have been downright unplayable if everything was piled onto one screen! Either that or this all-encompassing island would have to be completely devoid of detail. Fortunately, that isn't the case though - because the 5 segments we do have are each bursting with content. In fact, each one is completely unique - both structurally and visually (which is quite a feat considering the limitations of an island!). In addition to the sandy coast of your origin, there's a swampy West coast, a craggy North coast, a watery pier to the East, and even a green garden in the centre that holds everything together. Success demands that you nibble through each one, because there's only so long one area can sustain your existence - and those of your neighbours...  


Bring Me Sunshine

This beautiful and diverse world is made even more enchanting by the new "real-time" atmosphere system that presides over it. Sure Shot 3D veered in that direction with its progressively darker settings, but the transitions never took place before your eyes. Here, though, the skies do just that - progressing from day to night so smoothly that you barely even notice! The effect even takes a few detours in between, such as the grey skies of a cold morning and the dusty skies of a setting sun. As you can imagine, this realistic routine allows you to keep track of time - both as a character and a player. You'll need to, because even the process of sleeping is down to you in this game! You can invoke it whenever you're tired to naturally restore your energy. Doing so at the right time and place is just as important as it is in real life too. Getting around at night is as cumbersome as you'd expect, and it'll be a period that you'll want to sleep through...


Blood From A Stone

Of course, there's nothing more satisfying than a well earned rest - so you'll find yourself working hard during your waking hours. There's certainly plenty of work to do! Survival demands that you break down each resource to unlock the materials within - whether they be vines, wood, stone, or varieties of food. Doing so is as simple as "attacking" them as if they were a character - except they don't fall quite so easily! Certainly not the huge rocks from which you have to extract stone. For a sensible player, this unveils a distinct learning curve. You are well advised to destroy a bush to make a whip, use the whip to make lighter work of a tree, and then use the resulting wood to build weapons strong enough to take on a rock. A mindless player, on the other hand, is perfectly free to toil before a rock with his bare hands! His punishment will be a pair of bloody paws and a body in dire need of refreshment...  


Carry On Camping

However you come by them, uncovering materials is only half of the job. You'll also want to carry them away to a more convenient location before you make use of them. This is where the game proudly demonstrates its separate arm controls (inspired by Tekken). Items of any kind can be picked up and dropped by either arm - empowering you with the choice to carry as much (or as little) as you want. The catch being that each load takes its toll on your mobility. A man strutting around with bare hands is ready for action, whilst a guy straining with both arms full is infinitely more vulnerable - both to enemies and exhaustion! Managing your body in this respect, then, is key to success. The system also extends to fighting. You can choose to deliver blows with either arm, which obviously has different effects depending on the range of that hand and what it possesses...


The Property Ladder

As in real life, a man's material ambitions fall into one of 2 distinct categories - those for survival and those for affluence. Once your life reaches a certain level of comfort, you'll feel like flaunting your resources on some exotic weaponry! There's an increasingly sophisticated range of products to make. By working on each material separately you can unlock the basic weapons of a whip, a stick, and a rock. However, by combining the various materials you can emerge with infinitely superior tools - such as a hammer, which can in turn be used to make spears and axes! No matter how sophisticated your project is, the process of building remains blissfully simple. You simply "attack" the materials on the ground as if they were an enemy, and after a few well-aimed blows they transform into the relevant product...


Twisted Fire Starter

Although it's tempting to build up an arsenal of fine weapons, it's important to get your priorities straight. The wood and vines that you pour into products could also be used to maintain a camp fire. As ancient man discovered, you can ignite a fire by working a stick against a log of wood. This fire will then take on a life of its own, as it burns through the given resource before spreading to other flammable materials. It's not just a "novelty" feature either. Toasting a few logs is actually a sound investment, because the warmth of a fire makes sleep twice as productive. Not to mention the benefits that flames have as a weapon! In addition to burning anyone careless enough to step near, a fire can also be used to ignite your handheld weapons. Their enflamed tips will then unleash a devastating damage bonus on anything they strike...


Particle Accelerator

The flames mentioned above are a fine example of this game's breakthrough in particle effects. The clumsy texturing system of games gone by has finally been replaced by the real thing, as individual flames spark from the source - complete with a trail of smoke! A similar effect is also used elsewhere in the game, as dust spurts accompany the impact of a strike or an item hitting the ground. Most noticeably, it also conjures up a few spurts of water as you wade into the sea or take a sip to your mouth. Any toll these effects take on the game's performance must surely be worth the fantastic polish that they bring...


Animal Rights

Materials are the least of your concerns compared to food. As surely as your body gets tired over time, it also gets hungry and thirsty - and, if left unattended, those ailments can be fatal. Your hunger can be satisfied by fruit and vegetation, but you may find it all too tempting to slay an animal for meat! Any creature (including humans) can be broken down into flesh and bones as if it were a resource. Don't expect them to give up the meat without a fight though! The predators, like leopards and wolves, are as attracted to your flesh as you are to theirs. They'll happily lash out at their aggressors, and may even hunt you first! Meanwhile, even the docile animals are wise to your intensions and will flee from any volatile human. All of a sudden, a humble pile of fruit is looking like an easy meal...


The Tourist Trap

Slaying animals, then, is a game in itself - and there are many ways of playing! You'll find that it's frustratingly difficult to kill anything with your bare hands, so a good hunter needs a whole range of devastating weapons. Not necessarily for a head-to-head bloodbath though. You can throw weapons instead of swiping with them, and that's a sound hunting technique in its own right. Especially when dealing with timid animals that flee if you get close. A few well-aimed spears can sink an enemy before they even know where you are! You're then free to step in and start hacking. An even more devious scheme is to use traps. By combing wood and vines, you can create a device that snaps at the heels of anything foolish enough to come close. Of course, very few creatures will do that of their own accord - so a little bait is recommended. A nice AI touch is that each creature has its own desires. The carnivores are attracted to meat and bones, whist the herbivores are attracted to fruit and vegetation. By placing the right bait in the right place, you can become the king of the jungle...


Meet The Parents

You'll be lucky if your only wars are against defenceless animals, because your fellow humans are a more formidable adversary. Unlike animals, they're equipped to steal whatever they're attracted to! In even the most peaceful game, a river of blood will be shed over who owns what. Tempers flare and morals go out of the window when that stomach starts to rumble. You may even find yourself turning evil as you mug your wealthy neighbour for a quick fix! Doing so has very real consequences though. The natives, as a tribe, are sensitive to your actions. By default they will show you a certain degree of mercy, but any crimes on your part will result in hostility wherever you go. For an easy life, you may find yourself respecting their culture and bowing to their demands...


Blast From The Past

Not all of the island's inhabitants are alien savages though. In fact, one should be very familiar! It turns out that Wrecked is actually an indirect sequel to Sure Shot 3D, as the soldier left behind at the end of that game appears to have made a new life for himself on this island. He's not a happy man, though, as his military background makes him a villain in the eyes of the religious natives. In fact, his previous heroics have given way to an angry determination to survive and thrive. Just be glad that his gun has run out of bullets by the time you meet him! 


The Road To Perdition

The above narrative is one half of a spiritual theme that runs throughout the game. My infamous promo system even finds a role in this game, as several characters exchange words with you at certain intervals! The most pivotal is a wise old mystic that meditates on the North coast. He's aware of all of your crimes and advises you accordingly; often imploring you to repent and make amends with the natives. Doing so involves completing any of 16 different spiritual "quests" - ranging from contributing goods to making personal sacrifices. If your good deeds outweigh your crimes then you may attain forgiveness from the tribe, which obviously makes your life easier. Even if you're already good, you can use the missions to attain the status of a deity! In fact, doing so is the most prestigious way of completing the game...


Escape To Victory

Back in the real world, your main aim is to build a boat that can transport you back to civilization. As surely as you can construct weapons, you can add segments to a boat that eventually becomes seafaring! It's no short-term project though. Building a boat involves repeatedly combining wood and vines, with a hammer, until all 9 segments are intact. It may not sound like much, but it's quite a task when you've got more important things to be doing! On average, it takes a solid week of game time to produce a boat - and that's assuming that you're on top of life. This is actually a good thing though, because it breathes some much-needed life into the game's durability and gives the whole experience some focus. Once it's complete, you can then climb in and sail off into the sunset. Upon doing so, your experience is summarized by the mystic - who hints as to whether your escape attempt was successful or not...


Six Feet Under

You'll be lucky if you get that far though! One of the most intense things about the game is that it's actually quite easy to die. One bad day in months of comfortable living could prove to be your downfall - as is so often the case in real life. However, you'll be pleased to know that even death is an entertaining process in this game! Instead of being declared downright dead every time you run out of health, your character actually "risks" dying. He writhes around on the floor threatening to die, while you pray that he snaps out of it. If he's fortunate enough to do so, then he regains a little health and you can happily put it down as a "near death experience". Otherwise, the camera drifts skyward as you lose your grip on life (and the game) and everything fades to white...


King Of The Hill

Speaking of death, if that's all you care about you may be drawn to the game's "Deathmatch" mode. It's technically the "exhibition" mode of adventure games, as you dispense with the daily grind and participate in a battle to the death! Although it's very much a last-minute addition, the Deathmatch boasts one of the game's most impressive breakthroughs. There's a glorious split-screen multiplayer option, which allows you to do battle with a fellow human! It's something I never thought we'd see in my games, but one afternoon of experimentation resulted in a perfect system. To my surprise, it barely makes a dent on the game's performance either! You can have just as many characters in there as you would normally, and it still works out nicely. All in all, a great diversion from the main adventure - which breathes even more life into what was already the biggest game yet...


Presentation

The above breakthrough in presentation is just one of the many advances that these latest games have been making. I'm pleased to say that this game upholds the new standards introduced by Popscene and Sure Shot 3D. The menu options are the most graphical yet - featuring a suitably savage font scrawled over various planks of wood. The logo, too, is arguably the most appropriate yet. Personally, I'm most enchanted with the game's theme song. For a guy that knows nothing about music, it's a miracle that I keep producing these coherent tunes! But here we have the best one yet, which is actually tolerable during the game for once. The simplistic native beats belie a surprisingly sophisticated composition, which loops nicely and sits comfortably in the background. All in all, a fitting conclusion to one of my most professional releases to date...

>>> MORE >>>

Copyright MDickie 2000 - 2010