Heavy Metal Machines Gamescom 2017 Interview
The apocalypse is over and only Heavy Metal Machines remains. Welcome to a world of vehicular madness, mayhem and relentless destruction where you will put survival of the fittest to the test. You must decimate your enemies just to get by. Grab the bomb, plant it at the enemy base, and try not to get pulverized in the process. This shall be your mission should you choose to accept it. Deliver the bomb and don’t let anyone or anything get in your way.
The game is made by Hopion.
We had the pleasure of talking to Cezar Manara, community manager at Hopion, who told us a lot about the game.
Hopion is based in Brazil, Floriapolis and has been running since 2001. The team has about seventy people and everyone is working at an office with little outsourcing being done for pretty much anything else other than some of the sounds that put in the game. “Everything is in-house development,” explained Cezar.
This is the third game that the company is making, but the first one that is one hundred person the studio’s concept and work. Before Heavy Metal Machines, Hopion was asked to work on various other project, or was commissioned to do specific games for a third party. Since 2013 though, Heavy Metal Machines has been the only project the studio has.
The development started back in 2016 and the game looked very much like a stationary MOBA title back then. “The cars and all that just did not allow it to feel or look good, so we went through a huge revamp to get to the point we are at now,” said Cezar. The characters of course carried over, but everything else is just entirely changed.
“It will take us about two more months of fixing various technical issues here and there but after that want to fully release.” The game is currently in Early Access but Cezar explained that the studio wants more feedback and player input, so that they can make the game better.
“Our first big community was actually in Russia with thousands of logins coming from that country when we launched the game. We know a lot about how to sell games in Brazil to the Brazillian public, but we knew nothing about Russian target groups,” explained Cezar. We were told that they immediately did their best to do localization for any future Russian players and then started tending to the European community as well where the game also did quite well. “It was quite surprising to be honest.”
The game even has a discord channel where the developers get in touch with their players through feedback sessions, tournaments and all other sorts of things. The focus of the studio is fully on Heavy Metal Machines at the moment and despite the plans for the full launch at the end of the year or the start of 2018, Hopion wants to continue taking feedback and requests for various things in the game. “We are trying to catch up and we are trying to be a living, breathing game,” said Cezar.
Cezar explained that Heroes of the Storm is a huge influence for the team. “We want to add new characters and multiple maps. We want you to have fun though, regardless of winning or losing.” Good map design indeed helps with that, since it makes the game more fun and interesting overall.
“A MOBA game is never done,” said Cezar, saying that the studio believes their game has eSports potential. There was even a tournament quite recently for Heavy Metal Machines where Hopion partnered with ESL for the purpose of running the online tournament. WIth a prize pool of 20.500$, things can get quite serious, for pretty much anyway game. “We love to help people who are setting up custom tournaments and we believe it is good to do so because that way you are empowering the community of your game.”