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April 12, 2015

Gamespot talks to BonusXP about Servo

BonusXP’s upcoming strategy game “Servo” has been in the news over at Gamespot with Kevin VanOrd talking to BonusXP’s Bruce Shelley and Dave Pottinger at last months GDC. The interesting interview gives us some insights on what BonusXP are heading towards with the game. Some interesting tidbits include the play time, with Servo matches taking around 10 minutes a game compared to a longer more drawn out RTS matches such as found in say, Age of Empires. We have seen a smaller game time target with Ensemble’s Halo Wars which typically had matches around 20 minutes. It’s interesting to see that BonusXP are looking at quite a short average game-time with Servo. Dave Pottinger commented:

“We like that interplay [between the RTS and RPG elements], and that’s what the whole cycle is. It’s not ‘just go play for ten minutes, and then I’m done.’ It’s ‘play a game for ten minutes, I’ll go tweak my guys, play another game.’ That whole half an hour where you play three or four games and you’re thinking about tweaking all your guys. That’s what a game session is in Servo.”

There is going to be a quite a big focus on customization of the Servo units. Between matches players will be able to spend time upgrading / customizing their Servo’s ready for the next match. The article confirms that there will be over 500 customized pieces when the game launches on Steam Early Access, that sounds like a considerable amount of pieces and shows how important this mechanic is. The level of customization on offer should allow people to personalize their units just how they like them.

 “That’s exactly the feeling we want you to have, is that this servo team is your boys,” says Pottinger. Adds Shelley, “I think that’s a real strong thing. Personalizing your gaming experience is a big deal.”

Also discussed in the article is the games art style with Servo taking a more cartoonish look compared to the Age games of old. From the colour palette we have seen already the game does appear to take cues from Ensemble’s “the sun is always shining” motto with bright colours on the units and environment. When talking about the art style and the overall game-play design design Dave Pottinger commented in comparison to Age:

“Bonus is around because we wanted to go make something new,” responds Pottinger. “New and highly polished. The Age games had a lot of ways to play. We wanted something that. We love Age, and there’s a lot of Age in this. It’s definitely boiled down, and it’s going to be cast around this idea of a shorter experience. Age 3 with the home city was our first attempt at progression with an RTS. Maybe it didn’t go so well, but we’ve been working at it for a long time, and it’s definitely a better rendition of that.”

Be sure to read the full article on Gamespot, it is definitely a good look into what is happening with Servo and design direction BonusXP are taking. You can find the article on the link below: 


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