Dreambound is a match-based action MOBA that emphasizes responsive combat and layered player choice/strategy. Players take the role of a Dreamer in a time-locked struggle between two opposing factions set on asserting their form of control over the world.
Aspects below are subject to change/evolve over time.
- World-first. The Dreambound IP has been built from the ground-up with iconic, identifiable characters and an engaging, expansive world. All characters, game directions, and decisions revolve strictly around this lore as a central, core foundation rather than a tacked-on supplement.
- Hand-Drawn Aesthetic. The map features digitally painted scenescapes overlaid on 3D meshes for parallax/depth. This creates a unique and vibrant presentation distinct from other games present in the genre.
- Impactful Animation. 3D character animations utilize classical animation principles such as frame-by-frame keying, exaggerated perturbation/blending, and per-frame mesh swaps to create the illusion of traditional 2D animation (rather than simple bone interpolation/tweening)
- Pioneer Rendering. Interactable objects employ multiple non-photorealistic techniques for not only silhouette, but also crease/ridge/valley inking to distinguish them from the environment. This, coupled with stylized non-uniform stepped shading (overridden by local lighting), is done in order to offer a consistency between ingame, comic, and cutscene/pre-rendered setups.
- Ingame Editor. A complete scene, asset, configuration, and gameplay inspector and editor has been constructed that offers a full suite at the press of a key. The editor has been used exclusively to build and debug the game and its surrounding systems. All end-user creatives have full access to this editor for their own projects and local modifications/tweaks.
- Codeless Prototyping. The editor supports a workflow that allows existing components to be arranged, configured, and slotted at runtime to tweak gameplay and handling in realtime without the need for external editors, tools, programming knowledge, or recompilation.
- Agnostic Proxies. All internal systems for the editor/framework are built around abstracted interfaces that allow for full library migration without changing any application/game code. As long as the binding layers are used, shifting the project between entirely different backends/engines is wholly possible with minimal effort.
- Modular Expandability. Every part of the framework is built around assembly/namespace/path cohesion, minimal dependency, and low overhead. The project loads all references dynamically (and in a configurable manner) at startup rather than as statically embedded in the binary. This allows external assemblies and updates to occur without executable-level access.
- Action MOBA. Players have combat options and decisions matter. Because attacks have physicality, they can be blocked, knocked away, absorbed, and interacted with by other attacks/players in numerous ways. This brings a much more natural and tactical element to the battlefield.
- Diverse characters. Each character is built lore-first and mechanically regarded strictly to those aspects (rather than by role/kits foremost). This approach ensures that all playables have a standout presence with no redundancy/overlap in skill handling.
- Playstyle options. No character is tied to a specific role in terms of pre-game or ingame. No composition meta is required or indirectly forced. Though each character skill is simple in description and intent (no multi-tiered passives/conditionals), they interact in intuitive ways to allow virtually any character to play any role. Ingame customization (items/qualities) allows further defining of micro playstyle and macro capabilities.
- Objective Orientation. The primary game mode consists of neutral creatures spread throughout the island that provide both individual and team mechanical shifts to the flow of the game beyond simple statistics/buffs.
Example : Defeating the Wayfinder camp grants the player a spirit companion that follows them for a period of time. It can be set to guard an area or used in combat capacities directly. The Pangolem camp provides the Idols (towers) with a carapace that reduces the strength of strong attacks against it [mitigating interupt effects and impeding enemy pushes].
- Focused Accessibility. Multiple control schemes exist for console/gamepad users as well as keyboard/mouse ones. The game flow is engineered to favor individual encounter win/losses instead of snowball mechanics that increase difficulty with each failure. Losing a battle (or multiple) may mean you have lost control over a lane or objective, but it doesn't mean you've lost the game or now are at any kind of statistical disadvantage.
- Player statistics. All data pertaining to player actions within a game is post-processed and provided at game end. This includes skill usage patterns, accuracy, behavioral tendencies, positioning, and in-general performance in relation to the individual match as well as previous matches for the character and the enemy team.
- World statistics. All player statistics cumulatively collected and sorted provides an insight into to the top players for a particular character, build, role, or specialty. Tracking a leaderboard inspires competitors to better themselves and overcome the ranks above them. Besides general meta stats, world statistics also tracks niche accomplishments for players seeking a more specialized form of glory.
Example : Most escapes at low health, Most triple/quadruple/pentakills in game, Most accurate Vex player, etc
- Player agendas. Within the launcher, players are given unique requests that help them understand particular characters, the map, or nuances of gameplay. Completing these quests can reduce the cost or outright unlock different content as an alternative to requiring excessive collection of currency. This provides a more game-involved metric for playing beyond simply to grind.
- Match agendas. At the start of each game, each player/party will receive an overarching set of goals pertaining to their character or enemy characters. This per-match story-driven objective offers a significant bonus if accomplished and often can influence players to revolve their strategies around accomplishing (or inhibiting an enemy's progress towards) them.
- Relation forming. The network keeps track of which players fight as allies/enemies frequently and their respective win rates with/against. These are used to provide pre-game insights and incentives for randoms to create a rival/companion dichotomy and encourage friend/party invites.
- Ongoing Story. Out of game, an ongoing comic unveils details about the world and character situations. These scenarios have a direct correlation to ingame character interactions, available cosmetics, and events (both in and out of game).
- Community Influence. On social media outlets, the launcher, and forums, users will be able to communicate decisions for branching story situations and character choices that impact the direction of the story/comic and subsquently events for the game. This provides a sense of impact beyond just the individual match.
- Community Feedback. Every patch facet and mechanical aspect is reviewable by the players to gain insight in which features are considered lacking or promising in different versions. Knowing what the active playerbase find disagreeable helps us understand what not to emphasize in design -- and where additional options may be necessary to supplement different play habits.
- Community Engagement. As our core framework is built around creatives first, we are able to provide the tools for local user content (skins/models/effects/etc.) to be developed and used. Over time, we plan to present multiple contests and public challenges that result in user content being offered officially in the store (with accreditation and a portion of proceeds going to the author). This solution creates a game-direct content ecosystem.
- Per-piece character. Each released cosmetic is comprised of multiple parts. These can be purchased by the player separately. Although buying the complete set will result in a discount, the option for picking and choosing exact content helps us note player preferences and tendencies for the sake of creating content that can be curated to a wider reach.
- Per-act story. As the story and comic develops during the game, so too will visual/audial cosmetics and interactions. This helps the characters encompass a semblance of growth as their story-counterparts undergo changes. This content can also include aesthetic changes to player bases, portions of the map, and particular entities within the game.
- Lore incentives. Throughout Dreambound, inquisitive users may unlock related sets of story-centric content and perform actions ingame related to these. By performing these feats, additional unlockable content/information will become available. Integrating player knowledge and expectancy creates an additional layer of involvement for those deeply interested in the world.
- Giftable. Any purchased content may be given to another player at any time. This stimulates purchases for out of game events (example : birthdays/holidays) or ingame accomplishments (reaching a milestone/leaderboard position). Additionally, at the end of any match, a player may choose to gift or vote/tip a well-performing ally/enemy with ingame currency. Doing so can encourage positive behavior on the premise of potential rewards.