Monthly Archive for March, 2010

Weekly Update: A Green Update

WARNING: These road-construction tools are not intended to be used on virtual delivery trucks.

Oops.  Well, they made some nice screenshots.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

This is always a time of year when I feel a little green.  It might have something to do with the grass coming out, or maybe it’s because now I don’t have to bundle up under three layers of…

Waitaminnit…  Hold that thought.


These are some super-secret pictures taken from screenshots, as evidenced by the red “classified” labels.  Don’t tell ANYONE that I was allowed to leak them to you, or I might lose my job.  Shhh!

These not-screenshots come thanks to the forced labor and extortion of everybody on the Sandswept team.  They’ve been doing hard work so you can play this awesome game, and don’t you forget it!  Say “hi” or something to them on the forums.

The first image is a small section of a screenshot of a Bomb going off on the right side.  You’ll also notice a team-colored truck on the left.  The Bomb is a long-range road-building weapon that also serves well for destroying trucks and obstacles, like your opponent’s prized roads and structures.  It has a relatively small radius, so you need to be very careful when using it.

Careful, as in, “always point away from face.”  (Interpret that as you will.)

The Bomb is the crudest and most expensive way to annoy your opponent.  It’s also really fun to watch when everything goes “BOOM!”  I think 50% of our special effects budget has gone into these Bombs, and the other half went into the shiny water and the truck bubble.

The next screenshot is the truck bubble, or ATSD.  It’s quite appropriate because it’s actually more annoying (I’m sorry, that should be read “awe-inspiring”) than The Bomb.  The ATSD is a handy defensive bubble that temporarily protects all of your trucks from damage for a short amount of time.  Trucks are expensive, you’re going to want to take good care of them.  The ATSD is a great way to counter The Bomb.

It’s also very shiny.  It’s my favorite item in DETOUR, actually.  It looks even cooler in-game, it wobbles a bit.

These two items perfectly demonstrate a balance we’ve strived to achieve in DETOUR.  For every offense, there is a defense you can use to counter it.  If you want to launch an all-out offensive, we’ve got bombs and more!  If you don’t like getting hit by all-out offensives, you can take a break from road-building and set up some fine defenses to protect your hard-won territory.  Of course, both of those take up time you could be using to get trucks across the board, so you have to determine your strategy wisely.

Something Green

We’ve got plenty of other great stuff to show you guys in the upcoming weeks, like truck skins and gametypes and whatnot.  We’ve got an awesome art team and half of the hot awesome art stuff they’re working on is so top-secret I’ll get in trouble just for hinting it exists.

So, I hope you all enjoy whatever holiday is going on at the moment.  We’re hard at work on DETOUR and our other top-secret projects, which are looking awesome, by the way.

Keep posting on the forums, we love to hear from you!  Pardon our dust.

Weekly Update: Screenshot Gallery and Q&A!

Welcome to the frabjously fraujuless weekly update!

We have screenshots again!

Also, today we answer your burning and sore DETOUR questions to provide, cool, soothing relief.  Warning: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration.  Sandswept Studios is not intended to treat or cure any disease or condition.  We just make fun video games.

Shinier Stuff Ahead

Geoff has been working hard to get the website working nicely and running more smoothly than it has been.  He’s wearing a HAZMAT suit and up to his knees in the shambles that was the old website right now.  But, after doing some digging, he was able to recover some DETOUR screenshots for you!  Don’t let anyone ever tell you that Thomar doesn’t keep his promises to the community when he takes credit for other peoples’ work!

You can see our screenshots by clicking on this link. (Hey, is that some sort of box art on that page?)

We’re not really sure what this is, but you know when the design director is acting like a giddy schoolgirl, something cool is going on and you should heed his words. His… Giddy schoolgirl words.

Thomar’s FAQs Machine

…where “Frequently Asked” means “asked once or twice by random forum members in this forum thread that you should ask your DETOUR questions at.”

John Brown - How long can we expect an fierce multiplayer game to last?

A fierce multiplayer battle against another player or several players is the core of DETOUR.  However, we have a lot of different gametypes to choose from.  For example, the survival modes will last forever if you and your friends are really really good at the game.  The type of gameplay we’re focusing on and that we want you to get addicted to is the head-to-head truck scoring.  You try to get three trucks across the board, and prevent your opponent from doing the same.

Our playtests have shown that with default settings, the average head-to-head game is about 10 minutes.  It’s not long enough for you to get bored.  And it’s not so short that you can’t get down to some serious trash-talking.  Some games can go a lot longer, and some can end a lot sooner, depending on who you’re playing, how you play, and how much caffeine is in your system.  For any sort of matchmaking or ranked matches (i.e. non-player/custom games), a time limit would likely be enforced.

Entropius - So… when can we expect release? :D

We’ll be announcing a release date soon.  We can only say “soon” for so long until soon actually rolls around. DETOUR will be completed this year.

Chiswyck - What is the maximum amount of players in an intense multiplayer match?

The default multiplayer mode is two (2) to four (4) players (henceforth referred to as “players”), for very good reasons (i.e., just trust us on this one.)

One good reason is space.  The board is square.  There are four sides to a square board.  We know from long, personal experience that most gamers are inherently selfish.  Therefore, you probably don’t want to have to share your side of the board with an opponent.  It doesn’t leave much elbow room.

Another problem is how chaotic it can get.  With four players, a game of DETOUR is crazy.  Things get blown up.  Trucks are launched with nary a hope of making it across the board.  Beautiful architecture is marred.  People cry (I didn’t cry of course.)  If we let 6 or 8 players in a game, DETOUR would be sure to spark a civil war or two.

Vokes - Do you think there’s going to be a sequel to DETOUR?

Short answer: No, not really, no.

Long answer: Actually, [-sweep!-]

Maybe in another weekly update…

Vokes - How long do you think the main campaign is going to be for DETOUR? Are there going to be online co-op modes? Are there going to be certain difficulties?

DETOUR’s singleplayer is broken up into 27 Challenges.  One purpose of the challenges is to teach you how to play DETOUR.  The primary purpose of the challenges, however, is to captivate you, shock you with awe, and take you through the emotional rollercoaster that is the road construction slash truck delivery slash competitive corporate combat business.  You may cry.  I can’t remember if I did or not the first time I played through them.

The challenges are structured so that they get progressively more difficult as you play them.  This gentle learning curve (WARNING: CURVES AHEAD) lets you learn DETOUR at your own pace.  You hone your skills against computer opponents on simple maps, so eventually you’re ready to face other players online and make your own awesome maps in our map editor.

Vokes - Is there going to be a multiplayer feature where we can actually invite specific friends/people and set-up our own custom games?

Yes!  DETOUR is all about customizing the way you want to play!  We will be expanding on specifics later, but we can assure there will be a good deal of ‘tweaks’ you can make to ensure the game plays the way you want it to play. This allows for those who like to goof around with crazy rules to play all crazy-like.  On the flip-side, it also will allow players who think we didn’t make the rules ‘hardcore enough for hardcore players that are hardcore’ to get in their share of… hardcore.

Along with that, the map editor lets you create your own maps that you can play and share with your friends online (or locally, or across a LAN connection).  If that’s not enough, you can always start up a game against AI opponents any time you please, or throw in AI opponents for you and some friends to beat up on or team up with.  (Or in my case, get beat up by.)

So, thanks for all your questions!  Keep asking with those inquisitive minds of yours, and don’t forget to follow our twitter account. Oh yeah, and keep on posting! We love you. Really. <3

Pardon our dust!

Weekly Update: Bring A Shotgun

DETOUR is progressing, and Thomar has a zombie laptop.

No, seriously.  Its LAN cable port died and then rose from the dead under the full moon to feast on the brains of the living.  I’m posting from a wired connection right now.

Not Taking Any Detours

Welcome back!

Now that we’re a few weeks into the new site, I have come to realize just how very lucky we are to have this new site.  We made these changes because the old server died like the worthless hunk of junk it was, forcing us to make changes to the website and get the forums back up.  It’s like if my computer died, and suddenly came back from the dead as a super-cool zombie laptop with a go-anywhere wireless connection and a hunger for human flesh.

And we all know how cool a zombie laptop would be.  It’d be cooler than the new Sandswept site!  But only by a little.

And, as you’ve probably noticed, we’re continuing our improvements to the site.  Things here and there will change, and we still would like you all to point out any problems you see on the site.  Lamentably, we’ve had to drop the old news archive and we still don’t have any of the old DETOUR screenshots.

Blame it on the zombie server.  Oh, never mind.

Roaring Deadlines!

We’re hurtling haphazardly towards our heavily heuristic release date.  We’re really breaking our backs here to get DETOUR working, which is one reason why we don’t have any screenshots yet.

DETOUR, however, looks extremely nice.  I was just talking to Zander about it, it’s really come a long way since I joined Sandswept.  And yeah, there are still a few little bugs in DETOUR that really detract from the game (otherwise we wouldn’t have to be working on it.)  And so, we work on.

I really wish I could show you the game, it’s breaking my heart to not be able to.  Wipes tears from eyes.

Still, I know this Community can handle it.  You’re strong!  You know it’s worth the wait.  Just hang in there and we’ll let you see it as soon as it’s ready.

As soon as it’s ready, I promise!  Seriously, I’ll bet you my zombie laptop that you’ll see some DETOUR screenshots soon!

(Geoff, please give me something to bribe the fans with, they’re frothing at the mouth!)


If you haven’t got a forum account yet, I need to ask:  WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU!?  Just click on the Community tab and click the link at the top to register an account.  We’d love to get to know you!  And your friends.  And your family members.  And your dog, if he happens to have an email address.  We’re not discriminatory.

We’re also still taking suggestions for forum achievables.  Just post them in this thread.

Also, don’t forget to follow us on that new-fangled bird-watching site.

This is your chance to make your mark on the Sandswept Community!  Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next week.

Pardon our dust.

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