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Circuits and Shields
Circuits and Shields is an upcoming free to play MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) style game on PC being developed by a self-funded small indie team with members all around the world using Unreal Engine 4 (UE4). Players form a team and choose from a list of exciting Champions, each with their own unique play styles and abilities, charging into battle enemy teams in an array of objective-based Arenas.
Setting[edit | edit source]
Circuits takes place in a beautiful, sci-fi fantasy world, primarily in the city of Koza, a city that oozes perfection with it's lush greenery and artisan craftsmanship. Members of multiple races or factions have been brought to this world for various reasons, whether it's under the guise of the salvation for their home planet or reaching higher consciousness. Despite the utopian appearance of the world, things are not what they seem. These factions must now battle and earn glory in the arena to appease the overseers of this world, who assure them that victory on this stage will result in all of their wishes becoming reality.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
In Circuits and Shields, the player controls a single champion chosen before the match begins, and joins a team of other players to combat an enemy team in an objective based arena. Each champion features an array of unique abilities and a distinct play style. Players can progress multiple ways through the match as they level up, either through items or the augment tree, resulting in a unique experience from match to match. The player must use a combination of strategy and quick-reflexes to outsmart and outperform their opponent to achieve victory.
Features[edit | edit source]
Much of Circuits and Shields has been designed with ease of transition in mind, whether you come from a MOBA background or are new to the genre. There are typically massive barriers of entry when beginning a new MOBA as champions, items, and meta strategy all must be learned before you can truly be successful. Circuits' design works to remove those barriers, combining easy-to-understand features with familiar existing concepts to create a deep experience without the learning curve.
Features List:[edit | edit source]
- Unique Augment Tree concept that allows multiple ways to play the same champion. Less is more in Circuits and Shields; learning one champion with three play styles is significantly easier than learning three separate champions.
- New Item system forgoes linear recipes in favor of modular tiered items. There's no longer a need to memorize complicated item paths; Circuits works with a small amount of base items, all with customizable tiers, allowing you to build the item you want rather than being forced to pick up stats you don't.
- Blessings are a new feature designed to encourage teamwork, with proper use giving your team the ability to drastically change the course of the game. Work together with your team to pay tribute to the Gods with favor you've earned and summon mammoth creatures or cause map altering events to give your team the upper hand. Enemy team frequently camping an area you need access to? Why not drop a Meteor on them?
- An extremely colorful cast of Champions, from a time traveling robot to a cat fisherman to a dual-axe wielding demigod to a lonely custodian. Circuits champions have concepts not seen in any other MOBA, including the ability to activate passive abilities, opening up a huge opportunity for unique kits. For example, Hamon, Circuits' resident demigod, operates on an "Equilibrium" resource meter, constantly battling back and forth between his Human side and his Corrupted side, each side with their own strengths and weaknesses. Proper balance and use of this meter results in an extremely unique and fun champion to play.
- An array of Arenas, each with wildly different objectives. Circuits goes beyond "how many arenas can we make all involving minions running to the other side with slightly different gameplay?". There are arenas that involve throwing a ball to your teammates and trying to reach an end zone. There are round-based arenas involving a base siege and defense, the Helm's Deep of MOBA maps. Arenas also feature periodic events, which, for example, transport all champions into an ever-shrinking room where each team must fight 5v5 until only one team is left standing.
- A deep, intriguing Story that isn't just "people are fighting!". Circuits lore will be developed through engaging champion backstories and periodic journal entries narrated by multiple members of each faction, providing insight into their motivations, as well as the politics and intrigue of this strange new world.
Development[edit | edit source]
Circuits and Shields development began in Q4 2015, under the lead of Chandler Thomlison, with the idea of creating a new MOBA style game to fill a specific market hole in an admittedly flooded genre. With a lack of funding and no large development team, a MOBA also was the logical choice due to its modularity, that is, each piece can be created separately from each other. Once the core idea of Circuits came together, UE4 was chosen as the game engine due to ease of use and an extremely talented user base of freelancers, something that paid off quickly with Srikant Dash being found as a lead programmer.
Despite the lack of funding, Circuits is aiming for AAA-quality, accomplishing that goal by only hiring the most talented freelancers. Costs have been reduced drastically due to careful planning and by creating a product the developers making it believe in. Prior to beginning the planned Kickstarter funding campaign, Circuits is aiming to build a workable prototype featuring several champions, a playable level, and Steam integration. As of Q2 2016, the prototype is almost complete, coming in at an estimated build cost of only around $10,000, including all web presence, programming, art, and sound - a small amount compared to the mammoth costs normally found in the game development industry.
Circuits currently only has two permanent development team members, but has been contributed to by over 20 freelancers around the world. A full list of contributors can be found on Circuits' primary website.