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May 27, 2015 7:08 AM ET

Archived: Hide & Hold Out – H2o: A massively multiplayer survival game mostly based on PvP and social interactions

iCrowdNewswire - May 27, 2015

Hide & Hold Out – H2o

A massively multiplayer survival game mostly based on PvP and social interactions.
Alexis Jouanneaux

Hide & Hold Out – H2o is a multiplayer survival game mostly based on PvP and social interactions, the action takes place in a post-cataclysm “waterworld” environment.

The following are condensed extracts of our current game design document or “GDD“, please keep in mind that this document evolves with time and thateverything may possibly change in the future. According to the fact that the upcoming tests could have an impact on what we presently think balanced or not for example.

The game will be available on Pc, Mac and Linux.

The servers are designed for up to 80 players and will likely be on Linux, unless something unexpected happens during the next months.

The minimum configuration required to run H2o isn’t defined yet, this will be determined during the closed alpha phase.
Nevertheless, the option menu is already up and running so the graphical settings can be edited. With the lowest graphics, the game should work fine on most current Pc.

The size of the playable area is about 8 km by 8 km (~ 3.1 square miles).

As you can see in the screenshot above, there are three types of zones, if you don’t consider the underwater space.

Clear zones:
Large areas generally free of obstacles. To maneuver a ship in those places is quite easy but there is no cover. You may often find an oil platform in the center.

Canyon zones:
Narrow areas which look like mazes. This is the best place to build your home. Hidden by the cliffs, a fortress is much easier to defend.
( You know, bottleneck principle! )

Flooded cities:
Places where the resources are the most abundant. Cities are very dangerousplaces, even though you can easily hide in a building. Many players will collect resources there.

Notice that you can’t go in a city with a ship, because if you do, the other players will just have to jump aboard from the roofs and kill the entire crew.

You can find many beasts by browsing the flooded lands.

Fishes, birds, marine molluscs… Most of them are harmless and can providenourishment.
But some others can be very dangerous!

Getting too close to a shark or a jellyfish can be a death sentence for a player who isn’t prepared.

That said,
there is currently no threatening animals above of the surface, at least… unless we add an alligator to the bestiary, right?

To stay alive, you will first have to find food, gather resources, get a vehicle to travel fast and establish a basecamp to protect yourself from other players.

(More details here)

Even if they are not all necessarily hostile, remember that the others are always the most important threat to your life expectancy!

Once you have built a secure basecamp, your situation has reached a basic level of safety which allows you to go further.

The second step will be to extend your base with a small shipyard, get fuel and make friends (obtional but recommended).

Without a shipyard, you can only craft one unique vehicle which is not very fast and not so resistant :

The small shipyard gives you access to all Tier I vehicles (size of a jetski).

This is also a place to parkyour vehicles in order to protect them from others, when you are offline or simply when you don’t use them.

To craft a vehicle, you have to gather the required resources in your inventory and then start the production at the shipyard office.
Once this is done, you have to use a collecting tool on the vehicle under production that appeared in the shipyard, up to complete the crafting.

Obviously, this task is relatively fast with the tier I, but it can take a while with the tier II and III vehicles. You can do this with friends to save time.

But here comes a new problem, most of these vehicles require fuel to run.

Fuel is power.
The more you will upgrade your technologic tier the more you will need it.

To use some vehicles but also to feed gensets in your base or to reload aflamethrower turret… Some advanced crafts require fuel too (like rockets, for example).

So, how to get it?

There are three oil platforms in the flooded land.
But only one of these platforms will be active at a time, and sometimes not even one…

You will quickly realize that there is a real “Fuel War” because everyone needs it and everyone knows that depriving someone of it will weaken him.

This system aims to balance the access to this resource, to avoid that a powerful team controls all the supply.
A small group of players can try to ambush when a new platform turns active and the last one runs dry, etc.

Notice that a player can’t carry away more than a small amount of fuel in his inventory. If he wants to take more, he will have to go back and forth from the platform to a special vehicle to transport the fuel. This type of vehicle is often very weak, by the way.

There are many possibilities!
We give you the means to act, but the strategy is yours!

Even if it’s not an obligation, Making friends is very important in H2o.
The clan system is here to help you with that.

It works pretty much like the “guilds” in some very famous MMORPG.
When you want to form a clan with your friends, you simply invite them to join you. You give a name to your clan, you manage the rights of each members, etc.

The position of your clan’s members will be revealed on your map, and you will be able to unlock the doors of your home for the other members.

Notice that the friendly-fire remains active in all cases! This system doesn’t prevent treason or manipulation, voluntarily.

Once you have vehicles, fuel and allies (except if you choose to be alone):
accessing the tier II and tier III technologies will be much easier.

But the more you increase your capacities the more you become an attractive target for the other players.

The next step will be to prepare your defences!

Basically, getting small arms is the first way to protect yourself.

There are many weapons at your disposal in H2o: from the harpoon to the rocket launcher, passing by the nail gun. (More details about weapons here)

But your arsenal doesn’t stop there!

Some vehicles (especially the big ones) have turret supports.

You can also build turret supports in your base to fortify your position.

When you have just installed a turret support, the support is free, that is to say without the armed part.
It belongs to you to choose the weapon you will mount on it.

You have to know there are three types of turrets: Tier I (machine gun), Tier II(small caliber canon) and Tier III (heavy canon).
Each tier has its own turret support.

As you can see above, the tier III turrets require electricity to work fine.
Besides that, the turret supports can be equipped with something else than a weapon! A searchlight, for example, can be plugged on a tier I support. This needs electricity to work, like the tier III turrets.

This system is quite difficult to explain with words.
So, here is an example of a simple electrical network:

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As you can see,
each electrical element is built on a platform and adapts to its shape.
An element creates a link with each adjacent one and together they constitute the electrical network which starts from the control panel.

In this example, the system is stable.
It means that the power produced by the engine-generators is greater than therequired power in the network.

The control panel displays the ratio between these values:

In contrast, if one of the engine-generators runs out of fuel, the generation will not be sufficient to power correctly all the network.
If it happens, the control panel will turn off and this will shut down the entiresystem.

The electrical elements often have a small light which indicates their current operating status.
-> Off : not connected to a network including a control panel.
-> Blinking Red : connected to an unstable network, not enough power to turn on the system.
-> Red : connected to a stable network, but its control panel is turned off.
-> Green : connected to a running network, the element is powered.

You have seen the cultivation device earlier, but there are many others you can install inside your floating constructions:
Such as elevators, air compressors (used to refill diving tanks), armored doorstier III, turrets tier III, searchlights, loudspeakers, advanced cookers, and so much more.

As detailed previously, shipyards are required to build vehicles.

The small shipyard is used for the tier I but you will need a big shipyard for the vehicles of tier II and tier III.
To give you an idea, in a big shipyard you can park 3~4 tier II vehicles or 1 tier III.

Be aware that the doors of the shipyards can be destroyed, it belongs to you to fortifyyour naval facility to protect your ships.

You may have noticed that vehicles aren’t all handled in the same way.

Almost all the vehicles of tier I and II can be handled by only one person, but the tier III vehicles (or “ships“) include at least two control posts:
The helm, used to maneuver the ship, and the engines, used to manage the ship’s throttle.
You could also consider the turrets like posts requiring players.

Here are some examples of vehicles, sorted by tier:

The jetski is the traveler’s best friend. Fast and manageable, it will allow you to cover long distances quickly while avoiding trouble. Its hull is quite fragile, but its small size and its speed make it very difficult to hit with a large-caliber weapon.
Other Models: Fuel carrier, Springboard, Kamikaze, etc.

The hovercraft is the naval equivalent of the humvee. Perfect for outings in hostile territory such as cities. The hovercraft is capable of travelling on water, land, mud, ice and other surfaces.
Other Models: Troop transport, Intervention-Armored, etc.

The Chitin is the best tool for an itinerant trader. Not armed, slow and noisy… But extremely resistant. With its unfolded armored shield, this boat can take the most powerful hit without flinching, at least for a limited time. The player using a Chitin can exchange goods with someone else outside, without leaving his seat and without exposing himself.

The Liberty ship is the freight transporter par excellence. It is one of the few ships with a cargo hold, but not much firepower. It is often used for the resupplying at sea of war ships which are running out of fuel or ammo. Unlike most of the ships, this one is equipped with a respawn beacon. A clan which owns a Liberty ship can use it as a mobile outpost when its members venture far from their headquarter.

The gunboat Erebos is a support ship perfectly adapted for the convoy escort duty. It is faster and cheaper to produce than most of the other ships and its fuel consumption is rather low. The Erebos is equipped with only one tier II turret support, which makes it vulnerable at close combat.

The Vanguard is designed for combat. High fire power and armored hull, this ship is the best choice for a battle. Its weakness though are its bad autonomy and its large scale. As powerful as it can be, its slow speed also makes the Vanguard easy to surround when alone.

and many others…

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The classic mode is the main game, it is similar to most of the current multiplayer survival games like Rust or Dayz, to mention only the best-known.

The battle mode, meanwhile, is a way to guide the players in some great fights.

When you have fortresses, ships and big guns… maybe you will want to see them all in action
To make a real assault fleet with many people, to take the helm of a ship on the way to battle, to build an impregnable citadel and put it to the test, etc.

This mode also brings a competition aspect that we think is interesting in a survival game.

The players will still have to eat, gather ressources, craft, build, get fuel, all as the classic mode but they will have a common objective, and a way to win.
That’s the point.

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We really want to integrate a way to travel through the flooded land without using a boat.
The sewers are a kind of underworld network. The entries will be strategically placed in the flooded land, under water most of the time. The entries locations in the land will not change, but the network itself will be randomly generated by the server. It will be your job to map out the network in order to know which exit is linked to which entry in the flooded land.
We want this place filled with darkness… oppressive… to let the players deal with the fear… and the cadaveric beast haunting the tunnels.

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We are pretty sure that aircrafts can be a fun and exciting feature in H2o, and an oceanic environment seems to be perfect for that.
We know that piloting a flying vehicle can be quite hard and that crashing a plane on its first flight after spending much time to build it can be frustrating. But, with aircrafts that can land on water the crash risk is minimised: you can land anywhere, takeoff anywhere, even if you run out of fuel during a flight, you will just glide down to touch the surface of the sea.

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We plan to integrate a kind of hardcore mode in H2o, and winter appears to be the best choice.
The season system will work according to the server time. When winter comes, food becomes more difficult to find, the water surface begins to freeze, trapping the boats in the ice… and when the blizzard will rise, reckless ones are going to freeze to death outside.
You will have access to a whole new collection of vehicles and equipments to try to survive the weather. Not to mention the addition of heaters and fridges to the electrical system, the diseases and injuries management, and so much more.

[ fullscreen ]

More means is synonym of a better game, a faster development and a stronger team.

We started to develop H2o over a year ago, after leaving our studies or our jobs in order to work full time on the game.

We have managed to reach an advanced stage of development on our own without over-spending money but, now, we need your help to finalise all the work and release the game as it should be.

Our primary goal of 8500 $ (~ 7500 €) may appear to be rather low for such an ambitious project like H2o, but we don’t want to ask for more than we really need to complete the work.
Having said that ,with more financial support we might be able to expand the development team and thus increase our efficiency, and bring the game so much further.

the meaning “alpha” , with regards to video games, is quite different than five or ten years ago. And often, people thought of a game in its alpha phase as one needing no further development.

The early access is, now, more a kind of game-with-much-content-to-be-added-for-years than a game embryo used to test its gameplay mechanisms.

But this is completely normal, and we can’t do anything to change that.
Adaptation is better and H2o is designed in that way: adding content, fish by fish, vehicle by vehicle, construction by construction.

The problem is, alpha or not, the core of a game has to run well at least and be fun, obviously.

That’s why we think that a closed alpha is a necessary step to ensure a pleasant experience to everyone when H2o will be publicly available, even with only the basic content.
Once that a stable enough version is reached, we will be ready to add content, update after update, without jumping the gun, listening to the community.

Here it is, the one true problem is time. The time it takes to do the things correctly without frustrate anyone. But for that too, we can’t really do something, we can tell you just that we are doing our best to bring this project to life and that we would be happy if a day could last 48 hours instead of 24, by the way.

Considering the eventual problem of patience, here is a schematic representation of the development progression:

(During the closed alpha, this section may be replaced by a more adapted system like Trello.)

Thank you for reading all this, we hope you enjoy the project!

Regardless of that you participate actively or not to this crowdfunding campaign,remember that the second best way to help us is still sharing!

Hoping to meet you in-game soon! 😉

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