Sanctum 2 - Development Update #1

Posted: 2012-12-07
Posted by: Anton Westbergh

Hello everyone!

For you who don't know me, I am Anton Westbergh, CEO of Coffee Stain Studios and this post is the first part of a series of updates that we'll be posting on the Sanctum 2 development. We admit, it's been rather quiet from Coffee Stain Studios for some months now, and it's mainly because the team has been focusing all energy on the production of Sanctum 2.  From now on that is going to change, and you will be able to follow these development updates once a week here on the blog.
To kick this off, I am going to give you a little background into what has happened during the last year.. 
Our team nowadays consists of roughly ~15 people. During the development of Sanctum we were between 9-12 or so. We've been growing, slowly but steadily. The team isn't huge, and we've continuously been maintaining Sanctum, which has taken a lot of resources. Doing free updates, patches and DLC has required a lot of our attention. That said, Sanctum 2 has now been in production since late 2011, and it's starting to shape up nicely. The game is now in a very playable state and even though it's still a lot of things to do, we're seeing the end of the tunnel. 
During the end of 2011 and start of 2012, the team mostly focused on rough prototyping. We did a lot of testing of various new features and ideas that we have had in mind for a long time and it ended up with some good results. We also ended up with some not so good results, but I am not going to go into them here :)
Starting the prototype phase, we had some ideas about making the game more dynamic, more action-oriented and keeping the game time down compared to the hour long endless games that you saw in Sanctum. We also wanted to make sure we implemented a strong progression system because that's something we think would severely improve the experience for the gamer. 
Sanctum had some issues
Talking of progression, one of the biggest issues we saw with Sanctum was the lacking progression, and extremely long games. It wasn't uncommon to see survival games that lasted for 5+ hours in Sanctum, something that really doesn't make much sense. Not many people can afford to spend that kind of time in a single game session without saving or possibility to quit and resume. In Sanctum 2 we wanted to make sure to keep the maximum time down, instead focusing on more intense action and higher difficulty ramp up.
In Sanctum we basically had no progression at all, except for unlocking new maps. The player was put into a game with a full arsenal from first round, something that was partly a result of home blindness but mainly lacking development time. There was also no real story whatsoever.
Sanctum 2 will feature a storyline, even though it will be a light one, we feel that it will make the game more rich and add that depth that a lot of people desire! The story will be presented between levels throughout the game and also through secrets and hints in the level design.
Sanctum 2 will also feature a rank system allowing the player to unlock more content as game progresses. In this way we will present a more smooth learning curve and also hopefully give a larger incentive to actually keep playing the game. It should be rewarding to play a game, and giving the player new stuff to play around with with regular intervals is a nice way of assuring a nice level of rewards. By adding a nice progression system we also hope that Sanctum 2 can appeal towards a wider audience.
(The first official screenshot of Sanctum 2 - Showing one of the awesome environments
you will experience in the game)
During the design of the progression system we wanted to make sure this didn't go to far, so don't expect something that you'd see in a F2P-game. Sanctum 2 will feature a solid rank system though, and during the game progress you will unlock towers, weapons, and perks, and possibly more things.. Perks is something we're going to talk more about in the coming development updates, so make sure to stay tuned.  Enough talk about progression.
This was all for the first dev update for Sanctum 2. Next week we're going to talk more about Perks.
Until then, have a nice weekend, and if you have some spare time, why not play a 5 hour survival marathon game of Sanctum! 


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