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How Rusted Moss devs teamed as much as create physics-based grappling hook motion – PlayStation.Weblog


Rusted Moss is an action-exploration recreation developed by solo people (not a part of any improvement studios) that revolves round its uncommon technique of traversal: an absurdly bouncy grappling hook. We received’t lie: the physics-based grappling will carry you each nice ache and nice pleasure. However the triumph when you grasp it — you’ll virtually fly by way of the sport whereas blasting enemies along with your arsenal of weapons when Rusted Moss involves PS5 on June 20.

On this melancholic world, people put together for an invasion by capricious fairies from one other realm. You play as Fern, a changeling decided to place an finish to the struggle. As you uncover the story behind the world, you’ll finally select a facet: fae or human? 

With the PS5 launch, we’re additionally including in seven to eight hours of extra content material — roughly as a lot content material as the bottom recreation itself. This consists of new zones (starting from average to very troublesome), a boss rush, and a further playable character.

A singular grappling hook

Throughout a show-and-tell with indie builders, Emlise (the primary dev) confirmed a grappling hook that labored like a bungee rope or rubber band. She carried out unimaginable, loopy maneuvers that made conventional platformer talents like double jumps and dashes appear so restricted. I had by no means seen something like that — grappling hooks in most video games both simply pull you to the anchor level or swing the participant in static arcs. 

It seemed so polished that I used to be positive she would develop it right into a full recreation. However she had no plans to. She noticed it as a programming train to study verlet integration (a numerical equation used to calculate trajectories). 

“Gamers would discover it too troublesome. It takes a while to get used to,” says Emlise.

Every of us then carried out our responsibility as associates and peer-pressured her into persevering with improvement. My sister and I additionally joined her, forming our 3-person improvement group. It was unusual as a result of we had no intention of constructing a recreation collectively earlier than that second. 

Rusted Moss was made to carry this mechanic to life,  not for the sake of constructing a recreation or to go full-time on indie dev (my sister and I work day jobs exterior the sport business).

I believe its origin gave a purity to Rusted Moss’ basis as a result of there was little doubt as to what sort of recreation it may develop into. Every little thing would revolve round only one core mechanic — the grappling hook.

Please break our game

Synergy with the grappling hook became the focus of Rusted Moss’ game design. The abilities you gain all enhance the physics-based traversal — whether it’s a charge jump that lets you fall further, or the kickback from your guns.

This maximizes the opportunity for player expression and creativity. Progression is not based on a simple lock-and-key solution, which is a design pattern often found in other action exploration games.

With these synergistic abilities, we’ve seen the same platforming challenge solved in five different ways. If a player is creative, determined, and skilled enough, they can “break” our game and show us moves we didn’t even consider during Rusted Moss’ development. 

We took this philosophy to the extreme during our quality assurance testing period. One tester found a bug that gave them an unintentional movement ability. Rather than fix it, we added a visual effect when that ability is active. We love seeing our players discover this “secret ability” in-game.

Unusual children

The main character, Fern, has a sharp and acidic personality. Women are often pressured to be nice and think about what “nice” means to the people interacting with them. Based on our experiences as an all-female dev team, Fern is a power fantasy that opposes that narrative, sometimes to an extreme. She says what she thinks, which is often quite nasty and honestly… hilarious!

This aligns with her identity as a changeling — a fairy that has replaced a stolen baby. In folk tales, children who acted strangely were identified as changelings and treated cruelly. Nowadays we might think of them as neurodivergent or unusual in some other way. We wanted to explore themes around children turning out to be something the parents did not want or expect.

Prepare to learn all the tricks at Fern’s disposal and maybe discover some new ones when Rusted Moss launches on PS5 June 20.

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