A Q&A with Adam Hensel, the designer creating the new medieval shooter Overpower.
Overpower is a medieval 3rd person shooter created by Adam Hensel (Game Designer/ 3D Artist) and John Rustle (Programmer). The duo describes the game as a “skill based MMO style PvP experience that allows players to progress their class without the need to grind for months,”. Like an MMO game it offers class based progression, allowing players to unlock new abilities, weapons, armor, and eventually more classes. The game started and still remains an unfunded passion project by two guys passionate about RPG games and PvP combat. With an upcoming Kickstarter on Jan 19th, they’re looking to change that. We caught up with Adam Hansel to get his take on how Overpower plans to redefine the PvP experience.
MWU: Can you tell us a bit about yourself Adam and the origins of Overpower?
My name is Adam Hensel and I am the Co – founder of Hydrant Games and the lead developer, designer, and 3D artist behind Overpower. Over the past 2 years my partner and I have developed Overpower without funding. The support and contributions of close friends and total strangers have played a huge part in getting us to release!
I’m originally from Alaska and spent countless hours playing video games to escape the cold! Learning game development there was difficult though and I eventually moved down to California. After attending classes at Gnomon, a Vfx school in Hollywood, I landed my first gig as a Character Artist at a gaming startup.
In 2014, a friend asked for my help creating fantasy characters for a Unity project he had roughed together. I saw an opportunity to merge genres, take the best parts of an MMO game, combine it with MOBA-inspired fast-paced combat and repurpose it into an easy-to-play shooter game! That was the birth of Overpower.
MWU: Was there a main source of inspiration behind Overpower? How has that evolved since you started, if at all?
The primary inspiration behind Overpower has always been Counter – Strike. Although Overpower is medieval themed with both melee and ranged weapons, at it’s core it remains a shooter.
We used the pacing and movement style of Counter – Strike as a basis for Overpower so new players would be immediately familiar with the game and have more fun right off the bat! Other inspirations have been vanilla World of Warcraft, especially the battlegrounds and arena scenes combined with MOBA combat mechanics from games like League of Legends and DOTA.
MWU: Which gameplay mechanic are you proud of and think stands out the most compared to other games in this genre?
Although it may seem underwhelming, I’m most proud of our split body animation system. This is what separates us from many competitors. The split body system allows players to have complete and total control over their characters, making gameplay feel like a shooter game. This system gives you the freedom to attack at any given time whether you’re jumping, dashing, or flying around the screen. In MOBA combat having complete control over your character’s position is what separates good players from best players, and the same is true in Overpower.
MWU: Class based MMO style combat without the grind sounds wonderful! What does the progression system look like for the game?
Our goal is for Overpower to feel like a small PvP shaped slice of a much greater MMO game. To do this we plan on implementing as many MMO style progression systems as we can. Starting with our initial 4 classes, Warrior, Mage, Ranger, and Assassin, each with a variety of unique abilities, weapons, and armorsets for players to earn. Additionally, we plan on eventually rolling out new classes and races.
We have exciting plans to continue this trend in the future by offering a ranked ladder system, daily and PvP based quests, guilds and guild battles, and even a robust crafting and enchanting system!
MWU: How does blending MOBA combat and RPG elements change the PvP experience?
Blending together Moba combat and RPG elements creates a unique opportunity for players to expand and customize their playstyles. In a MOBA the player is locked into the core set of abilities for a given hero, but when you allow that hero to change weapons / armor / abilities you're giving the player choices.
These choices are designed specifically with each class in mind to give them robust playstyle options. For example, by combining the right gems and weapons in Overpower, you can have a Warrior defensive build, an offensive burst damage build, or a high risk - high reward cooldown resetting build!
MWU: When is Overpower going to be released?
We’re launching a simultaneous Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight campaign on January 19th, 2016. Our goal is to raise enough funds to polish the core gameplay experience as we move into closed beta on Steam. From there we plan on expanding content and rolling out new systems as we grow the player base!