Blast Works: Build, Trade, Destroy Online Update
Majesco's upcoming do-it-yourself scrolling shooter will feature some impressive online sharing features. Find out more here.
We've already reported at length on Blast Works: Build, Trade, Destroy, a promising shooter for the Wii that will ship with only a handful of graphically spartan premade levels. Why are we excited for it, then? The focus of the game isn't its included missions, but rather the extremely varied missions you'll be able to create using what looks like a pretty powerful set of in-game editing tools. Using simple geometry, you can put together a bunch of Cubist monstrosities or get a little more creative and build animals, pirate ships, flying skyscrapers, or whatever else you might imagine.
The customization doesn't stop there. Once you've built an object--say, a flying flower pot with purple tentacles--you can define its flight behaviors or even the way its bullets will spread out as it fires. You can also build entire level backgrounds in this editor and even play with the way the level scrolls to achieve different effects. (Majesco reps said a Star Wars-style trench run level wouldn't be out of the question with the available tools.)
However creative you think you are, it wouldn't be very fulfilling if you could only play with your own designs in Blast Works ad nauseam. Luckily, the developers have gone way overboard with their online sharing and community features, an early version of which we got to see in a recent demo. You'll be able to upload any object you've created, along with its associated behaviors, to blastworksdepot.com. That doesn't just go for single objects--you can upload a level background or even an entire prepackaged mission to your account on the site.
Blast Works' Web interface will offer all the Web 2.0 sorts of features you've come to expect from such sites as YouTube: friends lists, per-item ratings, per-user ratings, messaging, and so on. Our favorite feature is a Web-based download queue, which lets you flag items you want to download entirely from the site (if you're at work, for instance). Once you come home and flip on your Wii, Blast Works will download all of the content you requested automatically. Luckily, for the two of you who own Wiis but do not own computers, you'll be able to access all of this content from within the game itself as well.
Majesco says it will offer extra incentives for would-be designers to come up with ever more innovative creations. For one, the site will offer its own brand of achievements that will only be awarded to the most prolific and popular creators. Plus, there are the simple bragging rights that go along with seeing your pixel-perfect re-creation of Defender at the top of the most-popular list.
Blast Works is due out on the Wii in May.
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