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Lead a convoy made out of badass cars driven by unusual characters. Travel across a dangerous and endless desert filled with resource seeking opponents.

In this experience inspired by movies like Mad Max and roguelikes, you can expand and improve your convoy, find new cars and swap out their weapons and tools, upgrade, repair and refuel them, feed drivers, and give out orders to help everyone survive.

How far can you ride?

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  • Unlock and collect badass cars: Find cars to restore in every run, and store them in your garage to use later. The desert is filled with hidden surprises!
  • Make runs with different convoys: Change your Convoy to fit your play style! Choose between Soldiers with Nitro, Heavy Soldiers with special weapons, start with additional food or gas, special systems like Shields, Radars, Decoys, and more!
  • Survive the desert: You will need to destroy enemy settlements in order to get the resources you need to repair and refuel your cars, and to keep your followers fed and hydrated.
  • Give orders to your Convoy: Stay together, or split up! Changing orders on the fly can give you an advantage against your enemies.
  • Classic Roguelike Features: Permadeath, Upgrades, procedurally generated areas. Every playthrough is different.

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Hi! I’m Hernán Smicht, game designer of Desert Pirates and solo-dev of “El Tango de la Muerte”.

I’m here to tell you about the road we take with the game camera within Desert Pirates, the game we are building. It wasn’t easy to get!

First off all, in this game you lead a convoy, meaning that you are in front of all of your cars, that can be from 3 to god knows how many (we imagine like 12? We'll see). The idea is that the player is able to see his convoy while wandering this endless desert, following player steps.

On the other hand, the player needs to destroy enemy settlements, and having a clear view of enemy bases is a must, so the player can plan his attack carefully and not just ram into his own death.

Our first approach was an aerial camera similar to an RTS, centered on the leader; in the early prototypes looks like this:

    Reproductor multimedia VLC 2

PrtScr capture

As you can see, the camera center the player car in the center of the screen, it felt nice to the game. So.... What’s the PROBLEM?

In our research within the genre something came up, almost all car games have their camera behind the car. First Red Flag.

Also, their camera is usually very close to the player's car, like in a third person shooter. Second Red Flag.

Is it that players like it more? Is it because it puts the player more “inside the game”? Probably?

But, why is this a PROBLEM? Well, it’s a car game, we know we can build it the way we want, but we need to approach our game to the players that play car games, so in player's eyes it should not look too different to others games they are used to play. An audience problem? Maybe.

So, genre issues.

  1. Camera position
  2. Camera Zoom


First, we attack the camera position, we lock the camera behind the player’s car and lower it down a bit. It felt BETTER.

The only fix we needed to do was to put an easing when the car turns, it felt just horrible without it.

As a negative side, the players see a little less of his convoy, but they are there, sticking out their hoods and completely visible when turning.

Second, we approach the camera to the car as close as we could. This was not good. First of all the convoy becomes invisible, and second, attacking enemy bases becomes almost an impossible task.

On another hand, the art of the game is not prepared to be seen in close up; we started to make a game in which everything is very small, so we built the art pieces with low poly count.

But it had a positive side, it was more fun to fight with other cars. They aren't on screen all the time so it rushes the player to shoot fast and be more aware of enemies.

Hard choice. But to keep the vision of the game, we zoomed out again and decided to add a mouse wheel zoom to get closer to the leading cars if the player wishes (which we haven't implemented yet!).

This is how the game camera looks now:

9 editando 2 Time 0 01 2427

9 editando 2 Time 0 01 5729

As you can see, the leader is not completely centered, is a little bit lower on screen, so the player can see ahead, the rest of the convoy is visible and you can still get a clear view of the enemy bases.

I hope this rambling is useful to someone (?), thanks for reading!

If you have any questions or suggestions, don't hesitate to write something!

Take a look of the game here: Store.steampowered.com

And press the wishlist button now you are there :o

“Desert Pirates” rides into STEAM!!

“Desert Pirates” rides into STEAM!!


“Desert Pirates”, a car combat game in which you lead a convoy through an endless and dangerous desert is riding to Steam

Enemy settlements mechanics for car games

Enemy settlements mechanics for car games


Elements we constructed for destroying and defending enemy bases by shooting from a car.

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Desert Pirates
Developer & Publisher
Hernán Smicht
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Release date
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Car Combat
Single Player

Latest tweets from @desertpiratex

Mechanics for enemy settlements in car games, are they interesting? have ideas to share?Cheers!… T.co

Nov 27 2020

RT @_stroopwaffle: Getting ready for my first ever live thing in ~20 minutes 😱 Send me good vibes please 🙏🏻

Nov 20 2020

First batch of cars ready to ride the desert! Bit.ly #indiedev #indiegame #gamedev #madmaxT.co

Nov 17 2020

Dynamic chat system for convoy drivers, the player 'll never feel alone and help to empathize with his followers.… T.co

Nov 14 2020

Hey! I wrote about the Road with the Game camera dealing with Gente vs Gameplay. Here: #indiedev #indiegameT.co

Nov 12 2020

RT @linuxgamecons: #DesertPirates a post apocalyptic #driving #shooter game coming 2021 to #Linux and Windows PC in the vein of Mad Ma… T.co

Nov 12 2020

RT @BunnyGamingPage: Mad Max inspired desert shooter "Desert Pirates" driving its way to PC via Steam soon @DesertPirateX More at: T.co

Nov 11 2020

In Desert Pirates you can manage your drivers to fit better with your cars, all of their stats will change car stat… T.co

Nov 10 2020

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