The action of Tropic Storm unfolds on the islands of a once-peaceful Archipelago which is now in the crushing grip of the powerful and cruel Cartel. The leaders of this criminal organization terrorize the islanders, stealing their resources and destroying anything that moves on the islands. Players are tasked with liberating the archipelago from these invaders.
While pondering the concept for the game world, we looked at many different options. We wanted to find something interesting for us and our players.
The player's island is the main location in Tropic Storm. Here the player creates a well-defended military base to hold back the Cartel, free the islanders from slavery and restore peace to the Archipelago.
The technical aspect
To keep the islands varied, we had to put together 400 islands by hand.
To do so, we developed a map editor, which helped us to quickly create and edit maps, and to place and set up base objects.
Our artists had created a true tropical paradise for our players but it was still only a collection of pictures. The programmers had a very tricky task ahead of them. Using Flash-technology, they had to bring to life a bright and three dimensional world which players would want to keep coming back to.
Rocks and other objects in the water are part submerged and part above-water. The multi-layered build allowed us to create the impression of depth and transparent water.
Using shaders we were able to show the depth of the ocean and the dappling sunlight on its surface. The shader mixes spots of light and water texture, which darkens as it approaches the bottom of the screen and gets lighter further up the screen in the shallows.
When developing the base defences, we referred to the appearance of real-life weapon emplacements.
Every defensive emplacement was given its own line of upgrades: the higher the level of the structure, the more awesome it would look. This way we hoped to give players a sense of progress while developing their base.
The HQ is the main building in the game and the cornerstone of the base.
The Arsenal is the second most important structure after the HQ, it's where players improve the capabilities of their squads and other abilities.