Multi-Player Experiment 1 (MPX.1)
What Is MPX.1?
MPX.1 (Multi-Player Experiment 1) is Shrapnel’s first playable prototype. In this early stage, eight players enter the Sacrifice Zone to compete for Sigma, with the mission to extract it or die trying. What’s more: developing MPX.1 has served to help our team to test, iterate, and build for Shrapnel’s future. We wanted MPX.1 to be an emotional and epic experience that expresses a tone and mood — just like the full game.
It is a crucial moment for the development of Shrapnel, but it doesn’t represent the full player experience we’ve designed. The key differences between MPX.1 and the final game, include the lack of blockchain and NFTs, persistent inventory, play styles and loadouts, character customization, Holos Wrist Device (as a HUD showing key info), zone entry ceremony, Sigma abilities, team play, and more. But the game is making great progress. Our team has worked hard to ensure MPX.1 has a capable core design. Even better: it’s already fun. Get development updates on the Shrapnel Discord and YouTube.
Shrapnel’s Creative Director, Clint Bundrick, and Executive Producer, Dave Johnson, discuss Mutli-Player Experiment 1 (MPX.1). They talk about why Studio Shrapnel created this very early prototype, what the team is learning from it, and how sharing MPX.1 brings our community into the game development process.
Core Gameplay Mechanics
MPX.1 has a range of Player movements, including walking, sprinting, crouching, prone position, crawling, jumping, mantling, vaulting, sliding, leaning, ladder climbing, and shoulder door-bashing. Players can scavenge for ammo, Sigma, and health packs to better their chances of survival. A persistent health model features locational damage (head, chest, arms, and legs) and a debuff system based on damage to body areas (e.g., arm damage modifies recoil, leg damage affects movement).
As an active experiment, all of the MPX.1 gameplay elements are at differing levels of completeness. We’re making strong progress and have already gained valuable insights into map design, cover systems, gun aim, recoil and reload, multiple extraction moments, and Sigma Storms. These essential elements will be fine-tuned by our design team to create the ultimate competitive FPS experience.
Sigma Storms and Extraction
In MPX.1, players compete for Sigma, a valuable resource left behind by dangerous Sigma Storms that roll into the map at unpredictable times. These storms are lethal meteor showers, and players must think quickly to avoid them by either seeking cover or by Extraction.
For demonstration purposes, MPX.1 has several Sigma Storms per session and three Extraction moments. The location of Extraction zones and timing of Storms are variable, activated based on session state and player actions, creating a unique gameplay experience each time. The sirens blare, and the sky ignites with huge smoking contrails from numerous incoming Sigma meteors. Red smoke flares demarcate the map locations where Extraction dropships are inbound. By design, the intensity increases with each Storm and each Extraction.
Other Key Elements of MPX1
Other key elements of MPX1 include an assault rifle as the primary weapon and a pistol as the secondary weapon. The map is full fidelity, measuring around 370m x 470m, and features five hero buildings and eye-catching landmarks, such as a massive hologram statue and a darkened Calloway control room. Sound also plays a crucial role, with various actions generating unique noises that can alert other players, such as security gates and elevators. The Extraction sirens add to the drama and foreshadow the imminent spectacle and danger of the Sigma Storm.
Our team created a full ballistics model to accurately simulate projectile physics in the game. We designed the assault rifle and pistol with full attachment systems, allowing players to customize their weapons. The goal was to create different levels of lethality and engagement distances. The design team fine-tuned the weapons based on player feedback, adjusting factors such as damage and distance fall off. Early in-house testing and an exclusive preview last month showed that players who favored the pistol were deadly with it, and the team plans to craft and tune additional weapons based on emerging play styles.
Thank You, Next
The debut of MPX.1 was previewed exclusively to a curated group at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) from March 20–24, 2023.
Get to know Shrapnel with this sizzle reel created for GDC2023!
The public reveal of MPX.1 will happen at Consensus from April 26–29, 2023, which is the world’s largest, longest-running, and most influential gathering that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain, and Web3.
As we continue to develop the game, we may release additional prototypes or in-development versions to our community for feedback until the full game is released. The shelf-life of this build is yet to be determined, but the foundational tech, designed systems, and aesthetic development of MPX.1 will benefit Shrapnel and you — the future of the game — for years to come.