Don\’t judge a book by it\’s cover
Like Fuzzy Wuzzy Games, Nnooo is also among the number of indie developers having their games showcased by Nintendo at the Game Developers Conference this year. Naturally, this means new footage, screenshots, and details.
But first, for those who are unfamiliar with what Cubemen 2 is, its designed to be a fast paced, action packed, original 3D strategy game where the player conducts Cubemen units to defend and attack enemies in a range of game modes including Capture the Flag, Skirmish, Territory and more.
Cubemen 2 features a clean and voxelised style look that gamers have become used to with titles like Minecraft, that removes the clutter associated with usual tower defense and Real-time strategy games allowing players to focus on the gameplay and strategy.
Players command a variety of Cubemen unit types while playing each game. Each unit type is equipped with a unique weapon or ability, allowing it to shoot, burn and launch projectiles at the hostile Cubemen, as well as climbing and moving throughout their environment.
Lighting and effects
Cubemen 2 uses real-time shadows, dynamic lights, and ambient occlusion to create exciting environments for players to battle in. Particle effects are used throughout the game for various things like weapons and projectiles.
Each character in Cubemen 2 can climb, run and attack as needed. Flamethrowers will sweep their weapons to hit a large range, while Snipers will crouch and prepare to take the perfect shot.
Cubemen 2 is heavily driven by user created content, each of the levels that ship with the game were made in the same Editor that players can use to create their own levels. It\’s easy for even novice players to create simple maps and play them solo or with their friends in competitive 6 player games.
In Cubemen 2, players command a range of Cubemen on the level, competing with other hostile cubemen for objectives and kills. A variety of game modes like CTF, Skirmish and Territory push players to adapt their tactics in high-pressure scenarios, while single player game modes like Defense and Rescue lets the player pit their skills against the AI.
Players purchase units during the game using cubes, and then move these units around the level either attacking enemy units or defending their bases or flags or other objectives depending on the game mode.
Players earn extra cubes when they destroy enemy units, or on a timed bases depending on the game mode.
Players have the ability to upgrade their units to increase their fire rate, targeting range and damage capabilities. Upgrading a unit also heals them back to their starting health. Units can only be upgraded twice and players need to be careful as upgraded units earn other players more cubes when they are destroyed so players need to protect their higher level units carefully.
Players can customize the color of their Cubemen, as well as select from a range of free and purchasable unit skins that completely alter their unit\’s appearance. Cowboys, Knights, Soldiers and Ninjas are just some of the cool skins that are all at the player\’s disposal.
In addition to Unit Skins, the player can also change the look of the level they are playing on from a range of free and purchasable level themes. At the touch of a button, players can swap out themes and completely change the aesthetic of the level, with themes ranging from Arctic mountains to Aztec ruins.
Theme and Narrative
Cubemen 2 is not narrative/story driven, but focuses instead around short play sessions (10-30mins) of varying difficulty and setup, allowing players to customize what and how they want to play each session.
Licensing and IP
Cubemen 2 is Nnooo\’s second title using their self owned Cubemen IP and won\’t be their last. As their second Cubemen title, the team is able to capitalize on a very strong and dedicated player community to help them continue to grow and ensure that new platforms get great exposure at launch.
Each game that the player completes in Cubemen 2 is logged and recorded with both local and global online rankings categorised by game mode. Achievements are also included that reward players for killing units, playing levels and creating content.
Cubemen 2 also tracks comprehensive game stats for the player including unit tracking (bought, sold, upgraded, lost etc), enemy kills and games played, won, lost etc.
Modes of play
There are 5 unique game modes available in Cubemen 2, these are all playable on any level in the game.
Defense is a classic Tower Defence experience, with the player defending their base against waves of enemy mobs. Defense mode can be played in several sub game modes like:
- Classic – Normal TD rules
- Limited Units – The player can only have 8 units in the level at once
- Limited Cubes – The player starts with a set amount of cubes as doesn’t earn any more for enemy kills
- Just Rockets – The player can only spawn Ricky Rockets and the AI only spawn Crossbow mobs.
Rescue sees the player defending civilians as they move through the level from their base to the players base, while being hounded by an attacking Cubemen enemy force.
In Skirmish, players can compete against each other or AI in bi-directional TD gameplay style. Each players mobs attack other players bases, while each players units attack and defend bases and against enemy mobs. Skirmish can be played from 1v1 up to 6v6 in solo and teams based modes.
Territory lets players paint the level in their team color by moving their units around, competing for a percentage of the level and defending their territory from attackers.
Capture The Flag
Capture the Flag (CTF) takes a classic concept and puts a Cubemen spin on it as each player deploys Chuck\’s, a special unit that steal flags to collect and retrieve enemy flags, while deploying other units to both defend their own flags, escort their chucks while on the mission or go all out and attack other bases to thin out enemy troops.
Cubemen 2 features an original soundtrack that allows players to select which track is associated with each game mode and even switch them during a game.
Cubemen 2 also supports independent volume controls for SFX and MUSIC both in game and in the game settings screen that allow player to tweak their volumes to best suit their ideal play experience.
Almost everything in Cubemen 2 is a physics object, including units, projectiles and even the environment allowing for some awesome gaming experiences where projectiles can bounce off walls or the ground and still hit enemies, or units push each other off the level.
Even the flame thrower particles are physics aware and fire can bounce off units and walls causing damage to other units that gets hit by the spray.
Projectiles like mortar shells can collide with each other in mid air, causing a shower of physics based shrapnel to fall onto the unsuspecting units below.
The physics interactions makes the game really enjoyable to watch and play and adds an extra level of unpredictability to the strategy and planning side of the game that is really rewarding.
The player can freely move their camera around the level, adjusting height, angle and position easily. They can also cycle through their units, focusing on each, to move around the level quickly.
We have developed an intuitive control system for use on GamePad only platforms that allows the player to easily navigate the level and cycle through units to deploy and move them with both speed and fluidity.
Every multiplayer game mode in Cubemen 2 is fully playable offline against the AI, which is a formidable foe against even the most hardcore players.
The AI understands how to find tactical positions in any level as well as how to retreat, attack and position it\’s units to gain the upper hand based on the specific game mode.
AI players understand how to spend their cubes wisely, how to deploy certain unit type like Snipers to the best sniping position on any given map, and even how to send their units through teleporters to move them around quickly.
AI can upgrade and heal their units and know how to escort other units in game modes like CTF.
Players can even play mixed mode games with both Humans and AI either in Solo or Teams based scenarios allowing players to pad out 6 player games or try their hand at humans v AI in teams games.
Levels in Cubemen 2 can contain teleporters and Healing Stations, both of which play important tactical roles.
Teleporters allow level creators to connect two separated level areas, which lets units take shortcuts around the level and surprise the enemy.
Healing Stations will heal Cubemen that stand inside, making them strategically very valuable to defend to ensure your units can get to them when needed.
During each game, random bonus packages will fall from the sky and players need to be the first to send a unit to each drop location to collect the packages. AI are aware of packages and will also attempt to get a unit there first to collect a package.
Packages include bonuses like mega damage, that inflicts damage on all enemy units on the level, Money stash that awards the player with a stash of cubes, Upgrade that upgrades all of the players units to their next respective level, and more.
Players can click/tap on their units (or cycle through them with their controller) to give them move orders, upgrade or sell them or even change who they are targeting.
Players can also select enemy units or other team members units to see that units vitals like health or upgrade level.
Tutorial and training
Cubemen 2 contains both beginner and advanced interactive tutorials that introduce players to the core concepts of the game mechanics like buying and selling units, combat and more advanced topics like teleporting, pickups and healing stations.
There are no specific accessibility capabilities in Cubemen 2.
Cubemen 2 ships with a selection of levels that are able to played in any game mode, as well as several defense Campaigns that take players on a linear series of custom levels designed to challenge them with varying “per level” rules.
User made levels are only a button press away, as the player can browse online levels and either play them immediately or add them to their favorites to play later.
All user generated levels can also be played in any game mode, both online and offline ensuring there is no segregation of levels by mode.
Players are shown a selection of User levels in the online level gallery categorized by the newest, the most popular and a random selection. Players can also search for specific levels by level name or author name.
Replay appeal and Longevity
With 5 game modes, 6 player competitive multiplayer, team games and a level editor with a potential limitless supply of user-made levels, Cubemen 2 has a very high replayability factor.
Players are also given online ranks based on their game scores allowing them to compete globally for the top rank in any game mode and level.
As games are designed to be short, there is no mid game save ability.
Full feature parity Cross-platform functionality
Cubemen 2 currently supports feature parity cross-platform functionality on all shipping platforms which currently include Steam (Windows, OSX & Linux), iOS (iPad and iPhone) and OSX via the Mac App Store.
Cubemen 2 also supports cross-platform multiplayer games, allowing players from anywhere in the world on any platform that Cubemen 2 is available on to play against each other.
Multiplayer games can take place on both community created and offcial levels, with any variety of skins and themes. Each game can be extensively customized with options like teams, random tower placement, waves of enemies and AI difficulty all available to tweak the multiplayer experience.
All network games are client/server based where a player initiates a game and becomes the hosts and other players join these games via our in game lobby system.
Nnoo is using Photon by Exit Games as our networking layer/server solution, via their cloud service that allows us for unlimited players with no server maintenance/support requirements.
Cubemen 2 already available for Steam (Windows, MAC, and Linux) and iOS and is currently in development for Nintendo\’s Wii U console.