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Arms Of Telos' Dev Diaries Are Fascinating

Arms of Telos [official site] (formerly just Telos) is a fast 5v5 arena FPS with the ambitious aim of “rethinking the competitive first person shooter.” While the core revolves around a classic Capture the Flag mode, it’s trying to innovate on everything else, from movement to weapons, and the bright and colourful environment are also a welcome change compared to the “mature” greys of the genre’s staples.

It’s still in the pre-alpha stage of development, but it has already managed to gather a small and dedicated community. There are dev diares aplenty, and I love them because it’s the closest I’ll ever get to playing anything like it.

Arms of Telos is the passion project of Justin Pierce, a.k.a Overpowered Games, which explains why it’s been in development for such a long time, as he keeps developing mobile games to pay the bills. We first wrote about the game back in January 2014, and Graham was quite excited.

As for me, at the cost of sounding like a stereotypical granny, I have no idea how human beings can even play this kind of thing. It’s too fast, too furious, I can barely see what he’s aiming at. It’d be nice to be able to play this kind of thing, but I just feel lost.

Luckily, Justin’s calm and reassuring voice is here to hold my hand and guide me through his latest video, showing some alpha gameplay.

It’s all about movement and momentum: some sections of the arena have zero gravity, so you’ll have to make smart use of the grappling hook if you want to turn quickly there. And given that projectiles have travel times, juking enemy fire or predicting their movement will also be key. This is exactly the kind of game where I can sneak up on someone from behind, start shooting them, and end up getting killed by them instead. If you’re still feeling confused, this video goes over the basics of the game, and reminds you that you are in fact a Tachikoma.

The dev blog is a treasure trove of videos, gifs, and discussions on the game’s evolution, mechanics, marketing and so on. My favourite is definitely the one about “projectile inheritance“, i.e. whether bullets should inherit the momentum of the shooter. Since development is very open, you can even join the community and ask to become a part of the playtesting team that offers feedback to help shape the game.

Arms of Telos is being developed for Windows, Mac and Linux, but there is no word on a release date quite yet.

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