DreadChase is a 6 degrees of freedom combat/stealth game set in space. You are protecting your warp-capable base from a massive hostile armada that is searching for you. If the hostile fleet gets close enough and detects your base then they will lay siege to it. To survive you must stay ahead of them, disrupting enemy outposts, stealing crucial supplies and trying to outrun their ships. Survive long enough and you may be able to identify vulnerabilities in the pursuing fleet! DreadChase is balanced by consequences instead of scarcity. Attacking hostile forces and structures in a direct assault can prove effective yet will provoke a dangerous response. Sneaking around with minimal thruster correction and disrupting subsystems can be equally effective though difficult to execute. DreadChase accommodates a wide range of playstyles in catering for both full covert and overt gameplay.
The demo consists of a single scenario where you have a small hostile base nearby that you can eliminate. The warp drive on your base is crippled yet the stealth field is intact, so the bad guys will not find you immediately. In the demo you are not able to repair warp drive failures, you are trapped. I wanted people to see what coming under siege is like when your base is discovered. With no way to escape to other destinations/dimensions your pursuers will find your base. The hostile base is on the small side and represents the level of threat you face early on in a campaign. The demo only has low tech military hostiles yet they are still dangerous in numbers.
While the hostiles do not know your position unless you are spotted by radar/scans/flares, they do coordinate searches and investigate disturbances. Mastering stealth mode (pseudo cloaking) via gliding and avoiding collisions will help you tremendously. Hit and run attacks, diversions and sneaking around will help your survivability. While you can go around guns blazing, smashing through doors and tearing up the place doing so has consequences, causing bases to marshal reinforcements and arranging search patterns near your last known location. Hacking is a very powerful capability that can turn the tide in your favour, with a wide range of different subsystems that can be targeted.
I consider playable demos to be important for many reasons, not least of which is showing that the developer is confident in the quality of the product. A demo can convey far more than a video ever could, as you can get a feel for the control scheme, performance, compatibility and elements of the gameplay. This is amplified for games with exotic premises and unique gameplay like this one.
I have held back most of the content for the upcoming full release. The demo is a representative slice of the gameplay, a balance struck between not wanting to overwhelm players while simultaneously wanting to surprise them.
See you at PAX Australia next month :D
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