It seems like years have passed since I played an early version of Catapult For Hire but the fond memories haven't faded. While it is an artillery game, this one stands out from the rest by containing a huge single player adventure with a varied series of tasks to complete. You'll use the catapult to destroy buildings, which break apart beautifully, you'll fight giant monsters, search for treasure and, occasionally, go fishing. It's important to realise that all of these things are achieved using different ammo types. Rather than grabbing a fishing rod, you will shoot at the water to catch fish, working out the correct angle and power, and items can be collected using remote drones, which land, scoop up and are then steered back to the stash. There's a full breakdown of the mechanics in the video below.
If the finished game plays as well as I expect it to, based on experiences with the alpha, Catapult for Hire should pleasantly surprise a lot of people.
As if the inclusion of a grand adventure wasn't enough, Catapult For Hire also plays with a narrative theme, that of a freelancer in a crashed economy, and will contain yet more surprises. Tyrone Henrie has this to say about the game's themes:
Life ain’t easy for this freelance catapultist. The medieval economy has collapsed. There’s no money in being a knight anymore as all of the Lords are broke too. In the case of Sir Knottingsforth all he wants to do is find a way to live doing what he loves.
Sound familiar? It surely does to me. As personal works often do they take on the qualities of their creator. I didn’t set out to create a biographical work but I’ve realized that’s what it is. The game has turned out to be a metaphor for my life.
He goes on to write about growing older, taking on responsibility and losing the whimsy of childhood:
Everything that I’ve shown has reflected these “childhood years”. The game has an intentionally cartoon and over-saturated look. As time goes on you find yourself in situations where the stakes are much higher and are sometimes are lose / lose. Starting in a bright and whimsical world gives me a wider palette of emotional hue to paint with so when times get rough you can feel it. Now, I realize it's a fine line between telling a story and being overbearing with theme so that’s all I’ll say about it.
I sense great things in Catapult For Hire's future and am looking forward to preview code.