Hello, my name is Matt and I am delighted to announce my FPS Severed Steel project. Severed Steel is a single player shooter with a fully destructible voxel environment, plenty of bullet time, and a unique one-armed protagonist.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of Severed Steel is its protagonist, Steel. Steel loses his arm in an accident just before the start of the match. EdenSys, the gigantic company responsible for his injury, decides to abandon him rather than help him. The campaign is about Steel freeing the others crushed under EdenSys’ boot while seeking revenge for his abandonment.
The concept of the missing arm came to me thinking a lot about game mechanics. I wanted to reverse the concept of reloading in shooters, and I liked the concept of players constantly throwing, dropping, and picking up new weapons. I envisioned the idea of a one-armed character. Someone who would find creative ways to keep themselves well-stocked with ammo in the middle of battle: rather than worrying about reloading, they would use their agility to steal weapons from enemies. Having a one-armed character that can’t reload opened up a lot of unique gameplay. But the decision to have a protagonist with an arm meant I was dealing with a subject outside of my own experience. And if the game were to play such a protagonist, it must be playable by people who can understand Steel’s experience.
Before I got into character design, I researched what it’s like to be a player with one arm. Thanks to this, I discovered a lot of things. For example: Did you know that there is a vibrant YouTube community of highly skilled console FPS gamers playing with one arm? Learning my lessons from this, I made sure to include a custom button binding option to be dictated by the player. Once I was convinced that I could achieve the character of Steel in an inclusive way, I got into the design.
I knew I wanted Steel to be very agile. In fact, the first thing I programmed after filming was his ability to dive. From there I added the running, sliding, and flipping wall. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to encourage players to use these abilities. How could I get players to take advantage of the stunt system and not play like a more traditional military shooter?
The solution to this was in the precision of the enemy. While Steel is doing a stunt, all incoming enemy fire fails. Not only does this encourage players to take advantage of the movement system, but it also looks great when enemy fire just grazes the player’s screen as they fly through the air. Ball time is a natural pair with the stunt system, and the player is given a generous amount to play with.
From the start, I also knew that I wanted a fully destructible voxel environment. I was able to harness the power of Unreal Engine and the Voxel plug-in to create very elegant and completely destructible environments with lightning-fast performance.
After I got the destruction system going, I realized that guns alone were not enough to show what the system could really do. I needed something more. This need helped inspire the idea of Steel’s arm cannon.
During the campaign, Steel obtains an arm cannon mounted on his residual limb. The arm cannon allows the player to harness the fully destructible voxel environment to open up shortcuts and tear through the ground beneath enemies.
Thanks for taking the time to read about cut steel! We are entering the final phase of development and look forward to sharing more information in the coming months.