Kickstarter Focus: MAK
MAK (pronounced ‘make’) arguably contains the best relative gravity of any game ever designed—and just as well, since the game is based around it. The game gives you a character that can jump from rock to rock through space, along several different building blocks (literally—they are cube-shaped) to help you travel or defend your territory. Although there are a few elements (such as the cubes) that make the game similar to Minecraft, the actual gameplay vastly differs, and the games find themselves in different genres entirely. MAK is a platformer game at its core and it gives you all the tools to build your own ways through the setting.
Your mission in the game is unclear, but the trailer does manage to convey that building and setting up traps and machines will be crucial for exploring the wide universe presented to you. As the developers say, setting things in motion is the main goal of the game: you are given rockets, foundation blocks, electricity, and an endless amount of bungee-wire-tether to make everything connect. In one of the sample videos, a developer walks through techniques for making timed clock setups, traps, floating rafts, and various other sandbox mechanics that will prove useful once the game hits the market. The most interesting blocks in the video preview were the balloon blocks and explosion blocks, which can be activated by an electronic charge, along with the electronic receptor blocks, which can carry a charge through and supply other blocks with electricity. These blocks allow for complex mechanisms, although whether or not that complexity can be compared to Minecraft’s redstone mechanic is still up for debate.
The most interesting and unique part about this game is the gravity mechanic—gravity is constantly relative to the player, so if you’re playing co-op, you will often see other players hanging upside down close to you or even traversing another asteroid at a strange angle. The areas don’t seem to be randomly generated—instead, each locale is lovingly crafted by the developers to give each area a unique feel. This allows them to craft certain elements and textures with much more detail, as well as make each area or level unique in its own right. The developers have emphasized that they want to give each level its own atmosphere while still conveying the vastness of space.
The game is quite beautiful, from its gritty character design to its simple but poignant environment textures. Even though the blocks and settings vary widely in color, everything still manages to match together. Its lighting is probably the worst part of the game—although there are multiple light sources to play with, everything in the video preview looked like it was lit by the same bright white light (excluding a patch of lava, which only really lit up the ground around it). Other than that, the character and block models are surprisingly detailed and show that the characters put a lot of thought into them. Whether or not the game makes it to its lofty goal of $230,000, it will be interesting to see what kind of new blocks or mechanics get released throughout the Kickstarter campaign. If you are interested in contributing to the MAK campaign, be sure to give its page a look!