What We’d Like to See in Tanki X
With its ever growing popularity, Tanki X has finally made it to Steam. The game has been in continual evolution since being released as an online beta last October 2015. It has been running online since then, is still in beta, but has come quite a long way since being introduced as an upgrade to the venerable Tanki Online MMO Tank shooter game.
As time goes by, Tanki X has continually proven itself to be a more than worthy successor to Tanki Online though the latter is still very much alive and kicking with a solid online gaming community continually backing it up.
To continually improve on Tanki X, the developers have been implementing game features found in Tanki Online which where developed and added through time that no doubt contributed to the success of the game. Going a step further, additional game features with new concepts are being implemented on Tanki X like awesome and unique tank skins, tactical features like invisibility and new combat weapons that effectively adds the Wow effect to the over-all game play. The Spider Mine comes to mind that not only sits where dumped but actually gets up and chases an enemy tank upon locking-on it as a target. Cool!!!
There are a few things though that can still be added to Tanki X and it’s really a good thing that the developers are paying attention to feedback from the player community as evident by placing the game on Steam. This would give Tanki X the leverage to expand its player base as well as access to the Steam Workshop which would provide modding and level-design capabilities as well as artistic contributions like model and skins development. This are things however that can hopefully be expected in the near future as the game is still very much in beta and still requires a certain game and market stability in order to go full out on such a massive expansion process.
In line with this, here are a few things that might contribute to the game’s continual growth on a global online scale.
One of the things that would be of course worth mentioning would be the maps. If there is one thing that contributes to the lifespan of an online MMO shooter game, it would be the release of new maps every now and then adding diversity to the sense of adventure for every new environment the players get to play on.
Most of the time, the best maps that excellently feature both strategic and tactical design as well as an eye catching awesome environment will come from the player and modding community itself. Of course the developers are continually making awesome default maps, but sometimes a view from the outside as well as a player’s viewpoint can be conducive to developing ideas that can be implemented on new maps. So with that, we can probably safely say, “We need more maps, community developed and contributed maps”.
The beauty of Steam is that it has a workshop where gaming community contributors can upload and distribute their work (free or otherwise) be it a new map, a new tank or weapon model, a new texture or skin. Of course it would be up to the developers if they will allow custom made models but textures and skins are usual contributions for other online games. Maps are of course a definite but in order to contribute maps, one has to make them first. This is where things start to get a little bit complicated.
Making maps involves a tedious and lengthy procedure as the map maker aka level-designer not only has to design but create the map on a 3D application (in the case of Tanki and Tanki X). This app is called a map editor and is usually custom made by the game’s developers as it links to the game and the game engine used as well. Map contributors create and distribute maps as a work of love as it is no joke to make one. If someone claims that it’s very easy for him to make maps, he’s probably a big fat liar.
Tanki X uses the Unity game engine. Let’s just say that Unity is far cheaper and much more open source to use in the long run. However, AlternativaPlatform still hasn’t released an official Map Editor that links both Tanki X and Unity to enable the creation of maps.
Tanki Online uses the Alternativa Map Editor which unfortunately cannot be used with Tanki X as it is based on the Alternativa Air Platform used by the web based Tanki Online. The developers released a Level (map) Editor for Tanki Online, the community likewise needs one for Tanki X. Just to add though, Unity has an editor but it lacks a lot of features that would facilitate an effective and efficient way of creating Tanki X maps.
For Tanki X, the developers use an app called Substance Designer 5 to create textures and develop the various tank skins for the game.
Another thing that can be added to would be the game modes . Though Tanki X has a set of game modes that have been tried and tested as far as MMO shooter games go, it probably would’t hurt to add more like mission type objectives that would involve both the opposing teams.
Finally, though Tanki X is an online game, its potential to be used in eSports is tremendous. It has all the factors commonly present in popular multi-player FPS eSports titles like CSGO and Special Force to name a few. However, for the game to be able to be played competitive at an eSports venue, it is preferable if the game is played via LAN. Just like in a computer shop setting, a LAN version of Tanki X will no doubt be required.
These are just but a few of the things that Tanki X and its current online gaming community will need in order to facilitate the continual growth of the game. A lot more will probably crop up in time, but for now, let’s cross our fingers as we wait and may the best tank win!