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Galahad 3093 is the new mech shooter from developer Simutronics Corp. Simutronics founder David Whatley describes the game as a spiritual successor to CyberStrike, which was one of the first ever online shooters back in 1993. And Simutronics’ roots go back even further to multiuser dungeon (MUD) games like 1988’s GemStoneIV. Now, the studio is working on one of its biggest projects ever, and some things have changed in the more than 30 years since Whatley started the business in his parents’ house. I talked to him about that for the How Games Make Money podcast, which you can listen to right here:
“Back when I was first starting the team, the first game was just me coding and doing everything,” said Whatley. “Now this project, for instance, has a team of around 30 people working on it.”
Of course, modern games are more complicated and require larger teams, right? But Simutronics also has a large team working on the text-based GemStone, which it is still developing to this day.
That team is also growing — and spreading out — due to the pandemic. Simutronics is based in St. Louis, and the lack of a deep talent pool in that region made remote work something of a welcome change.
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“Once we made that full transition to ‘it doesn’t matter where you work,’ we’ve been able to hire people from wherever they are and not really care,” said Whatley. “It’s working so well that I can’t see any reason not to keep doing it.”
Galahad 3093 aims to bring shooter action to more skill levels
Galahad 3093 is in the active development and testing phase, but Simutronics has settled on some philosophical goals for its design. One of the team’s key aims is to build something that is both fast paced and approachable for a wide audience.
Whatley, who could not immediately recall if he is 52 or 53, noted that it’s difficult for him to keep up with some of the skill intensive shooters on the market. He often cannot stay alive long enough to get his bearings, and that’s something he wants to address in Galahad with design elements like a longer time-to-kill.
“What we want to do is make it so you can absorb a lot of damage before you go down, and that gives you time to react,” said Whatley. “You know, in games where you just die from a headshot, for the guy killing you that’s a hell of a lot of fun. For you? Not so much.”
Now, Whatley and his team have to find that fun for everybody. It ran a test on Steam on Saturday, February 6, and it’s planning more for the future. And the expectation is that this long runway will enable the game to pick up momentum for a successful, eventual launch.
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