Thrunt

Thrunt! is a super-tricky against the clock racing game with Thrust-like controls. If you like swearing creatively under your breath while smashing a little spaceship into walls then this is the game for you.

It’s currently available for Windows PC as an early access release from itch.io. Development of a 2.5D version is ongoing so watch out for blog entries coming soon, and buy now while it’s cheap.

The Story

In orbit around the asteroid named Thrunt. Geophysical analysis discovers a massive underground complex just below the surface. Thermal data suggests that someone, or something, is living within, but imaging has failed to find any way to access the structure. Whoever’s inside, they’re almost certainly hostile. We’d better kill them off somehow.

What we need is a vaguely named and highly secretive research program. Therefore the Deep Insertion Landing Device is invented, a craft designed to operate in enclosed low-gravity environments. Crucially, it’s capable of one clever trick: short range one-way teleportation through solid rock from its orbital base station.

Your task is to put the D.I.L.D. prototype through its paces in a series of increasingly challenging test environments. To save weight, this “Zero” craft is unarmed and unarmoured, but is fast and nimble enough to avoid trouble, in the hands of the right pilot. You’ll teleport in, complete the test, and then…

Well, I expect we’ll get you out somehow.

FAQ

What’s Your Definition Of “Early Access?”

You pay for the game as it exists right now. The price is, I think, a reasonable reflection of what you’re getting. You will also then get every future version for free. Thrunt is very much still in development and new information will be coming to this blog soon.

I don’t over-price the game based on some guess about what it might become or at what price it might eventually retail. I’m not a huge believer in “early access” as a means of funding future development. If I was staffing a studio full-time and needed cashflow to survive I might feel differently, but right now, I think you should get the game you pay for. If you get a better game later, for free, then you’re even happier. You’re not buying a promise, because promises can be broken.

Having said that, all the initial proceeds from sales will go back into improving the game through investment in software tools and services. I have a day job that feeds the kids, but Thrunt! is just between me and you.

What’s the roadmap for Thrunt?

I plan three versions. The first version available for you to play is labelled “P” is for Prototype, but don’t be put off, it’s still a fully playable game. This version contains gameplay and feature experiments, level design tests and suchlike. You will always be able to play and enjoy this version, even if it looks a bit of a mess. This is the version you get right now.

The next branch, which I’m working on currently, will be the “G” version, which is intended to be sparkly enough to get the game through Steam Greenlight. It will probably contain only a handful of levels, based on the best of those in the “P” branch, but it will have production-quality graphics and audio. As a supporter you’ll be able to play this version exclusively for free. I’m intending to launch the Greenlight campaign in early 2017.

Following that will be the “R” branch, R for Release. This will be a case of taking the breadth of the “P” branch with the quality of the “G” branch, with the likely addition of many more levels, features and services (to be determined) like online leaderboards, downloadable player ghosts, etc. Updates on this branch will probably be much less frequent than on the “P” branch, and the scope is yet to be determined. I don’t have a timescale for this version yet, but it’ll be released when it’s ready, all being well via Steam.

This is not a short-term project for me. That day-job I mentioned, and those kids, mean progress will be slow at times. But rest assured I am working on it as fast as I can.

What about them graphics and sounds though, eh? Wow!

The version of Thrunt available right now concentrates on gameplay only. I believe that without the prospect of a fun gameplay experience there’s no point investing effort/time/money into art and audio. I’ve tried to at least make Thrunt not be completely ugly for the current “P” version, but none of the content will survive into the planned “G” version.

Who or what, or indeed why, are Mugs Games?

Mugs Games is a one-man-games-studio-slash-vanity-project from Barry Skellern. (i.e. me.) and Thrunt! is the first proper game for you to buy cheaply, play badly and judge unfairly. I’ve been hovering around game development as a hobby for a few years, but had neglected to actually make anything worth playing, until now. My modest goal for Mugs Games is to create games that you enjoy playing and that I enjoy making, and to grow the business to the point where it at least pays its own expenses.

I’ll also post occasional reviews of games that I think are interesting or deserve more attention than they get, and probably the odd bit of waffle when I have one of those “opinions” that seem so popular these days.