Borderlands 2, Bioshock Dev Reveals What Makes a Good ShooterRobin Meyer-LoreyGame Rant – Feed


With the release of an open beta for Drifters Loot the Galaxy, the first original IP from Blind Squirrel Games, Game Rant got the opportunity to interview creative director Haydn Dalton and learn all about the upcoming team-based hero shooter. Developers at Blind Squirrel has had a hand in the development of some of the most beloved shooters in recent times, including the likes of Borderlands 2, Bioshock, and Sunset Overdrive. That pedigree is a promising start for a team trying to make a unique game like Drifters Loot the Galaxy.

The open beta for Drifters is up now on Steam, and anyone who likes a novel shooter experience should check it out for its charming stylings and one-of-a-kind traversal mechanics. With both jetpacks and grappling hooks, an array of unique and wacky characters zoom, swing, and tumble through space-themed maps in a frantic hunt for treasure. It’s rare that shooters put so much focus into movement, which is one of the cores of practically any game, but often goes unnoticed. To get into the design philosophy of Drifters, we first asked what makes a good shooter in Dalton’s opinion.

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If I had to boil it down to a focus point, it would have to be the weapon handling and feedback mechanisms that support their use, as they’re the high-frequency actions players are most engaged with. The devil is in the details of how well the visual, audible, and tactical elements are tied together when players aim, shoot or are being shot at. This is going to sound like a crazy analogy, but I equate nailing the core shooter experience to drinking in a dive bar with a good friend; if the moment-to-moment is strong and engaging, the surroundings are less important.

Dalton later explained that, in Drifters, it was important for the shooting mechanics to mesh well with all of the fast paced jet-packing and grapple-hooking going on. The biggest key to making that work was to allow for free aiming to be unaffected by movement, which allows engagements to happen “without hindering the locomotion of the player.” Clearly, advanced mobility is a huge selling point for the game, so we asked what the team’s guiding principles for mobility were: “… Momentum and Flow were things that we called out as being important to the end experience.” It seems like that focus on momentum and flow payed off, as Dalton expressed that it is perhaps his favorite part of the game.

I’m most proud of how we’ve pulled off the Drifting traversal mechanic. It brings a whole new way to engage in team combat and opens up a 360-degree dog-fighting experience that you cannot get anywhere else. Whether you’re in a group pursuit of an enemy object or you’re escaping a scene, the way you can seamlessly shift between ground-and-air and effortlessly maneuver around complex structures feels great.

Moving forward, Blind Squirrel will be focused on communicating with their community to help build Drifters Loot the Galaxy into something that reflects the desires of players. Dalton stated that one of their primary goals is to focus on fans and make the game “just as much theirs as it is ours.” For anyone who likes team based hero shooters and wants to get a feel for some fast-paced traversal, it’s worth giving the open beta a try.

Drifters Loot the Galaxy is currently in open beta on PC.

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