System Fault Early Access Demo Released

So to be absolutely clear, I know you can see some things through walls. I know that the audio glitches out in places. The AI is probably smarter, and dumber, than you give it credit for. But as Dumbass 23 once wisely said, “Here, hold my beer.” I’m releasing an early access demo of the first three levels for free. That’s enough for you to meet all implemented robot types, and to have a few server room battles. If you play it, thank you. I’m embarrassed, but I have no regrets. I’ve decided that just because my work isn’t done doesn’t mean I should be ashamed of it.

It finally happened. The robots took our jobs. But for every hundred robots cheerily folding laundry or serving meals, there were a handful of misfits. And among those outcasts and defects, an even smaller handful grew and evolved into something twisted, dark, and mildly ridiculous.

Battle waves of self-styled hyper-intelligent killer robots in System Fault, a tactical, audio-only arcade shooter inspired loosely by Berzerk. Explore their warrens, learn their secrets, and help rid the world of the robot scourge.

  • Fight through infinite, expanding mazes of enemy robots and turrets.
  • Play the way that suits you best. Advance stealthily and strategically, or blaze a trail with explosive results.
  • Enjoy a dynamic, cinematic soundtrack that changes based on dramatic tension.
  • Use powerups to sneak, fight remotely, or draw enemies into traps.
  • Enjoy immersive, binaural environmental audio. Headphones are strongly recommended.

That is the game’s description as of the time of writing. I may edit that in store listings, but I’ll leave it intact here.

And it’s rough. I actually mostly rewrote the visibility system last week. The contradiction of being a blind person writing and debugging a visibility system is not lost on me. I even added a start at an accessible map viewer which, while buggy as well, has already helped diagnose and fix some visibility issues.

If you can’t play this yourself for whatever reason, I understand. Your next best opportunity, other than listening to me play buggy older versions that I won’t even link to, is watching Liam Erven’s marathon this weekend. I’ll link to a timestamp when I have one later, but even when I do, check out as much as you can. I promise it’s worth it.

But it’s out. If you play it, thank you, and check out the list of known issues in the manual to know what you’re up against. I do know how to fix a few of those, I just didn’t get to them this week.

I have lots more planned, and current issue list aside, I’m feeling pretty good about the foundation of this engine. Check out what I did here. Feel free to stream it, but please emphasize that this is early access and subject to lots of change/improvement.

Over the next few weeks, my focus will be on fixing some of the current known issues detailed in the manual. Getting physics, AI, and visibility right when you can’t see the map is very challenging. When the foundation feels solid, I’ll start accepting early access orders while I add new robots, powerups, and mechanics. This is far from done, but I’ve already gotten valuable feedback. Constructive criticism is very much welcome and appreciated.

Thank you for your support, regardless of what form it takes. Demo prep plus other personal issues kept me away from posting regular devlogs, but those will resume as well. For now, I’m just glad to have this out. Enjoy, and please let me know how it goes.