SWAP/MEAT Announcement & General Update

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By Jamie Stormbreaker
June 13, 2024

tl;dr: About a year ago, we started working on our second game. It’s called SWAP/MEAT, and it’s an outlandish, co-op, roguelite third-person shooter. Here’s the trailer. Please wishlist the game on Steam and sign up for our first public playtest!

One More Game’s studio name is a double entendre of sorts. It’s meant to evoke the kind of games we try to make: the kind that get us to say, “okay, just one more game!” after the 10th match in a row. But it also describes our appetite as developers to keep building new experiences (some of us have been making games for over 30 years). When our first game wasn’t striking the chord we’d hoped for, we found ourselves at a crossroads.

Our first title was Spellcraft, an action strategy game that played like an auto-battler where you controlled all of the action in real-time. About a year ago, we ran our third (and most public) large-scale alpha test for the game — the latest of several attempts to formulate the right combination of moment-to-moment gameplay, metagame progression, and polish to make Spellcraft appealing to strategy gamers, and replayable enough to justify its intended free-to-play business model.

It didn’t land like we’d hoped: it was hard to communicate the appeal of such novel gameplay that didn’t fit neatly into an existing genre, and many of the players who did love it didn’t stick around long enough to justify a free-to-play, live service approach.

It’s not an uncommon story these days. When over 60% of the time gamers spend is on games over five years old (mostly mature, well-supported live service titles), and 14,000 new games flooding Steam in a year, the crop of studios funded before and during the COVID boom found themselves entering a noisy and challenging market.

We had to choose a path forward. We could try again to refine the concept into something marketable and sustainable. Instead, we decided to put Spellcraft into cryogenic storage, reflect on the myriad lessons learned during its development, and try again with One More Game.

This time, we had a few new ground rules, including:

  1. Don’t **** with the core interaction model. In other words, don’t try to invent a whole new type of video game — build something familiar enough that any gamer could understand how it plays just by looking at it.
  2. Make a game for players who play more than one game. League of Legends players probably aren’t going to switch to something new after thousands of hours. What genres and styles of gameplay don’t yet have an unstoppable live service incumbent, and have lots of widely played titles?
  3. Show it early. While we tested Spellcraft with players outside of the company early on, we didn’t really show the game to the world until our third alpha. As a result, we delayed learning whether the gameplay was compelling at a glance, and we missed opportunities to grow our community over time. With SWAP/MEAT, we’re committed to developing way out in the open and bringing players along for the ride.

After some adventuring through our collective Steam libraries, we landed on a concept that fit the bill. Introducing SWAP/MEAT:

Swapmeat gameplay reveal trailer

SWAP/MEAT is a roguelite third-person shooter where you raid the galaxy’s weirdest worlds and angriest aliens for their meat. Swap meat with the enemies you defeat to steal their abilities and augment your hero on the fly, and fight alongside your friends to bring home the bacon.

As a 3D shooter with roguelite progression, SWAP/MEAT is joining a well-defined genre that still feels fresh, where players tend to play lots of releases (and aren’t just hard stuck on their “forever game”). It’s got an outlandish, playful tone and aesthetic. It’s got a unique mechanic (meat swapping!) that we believe not only adds fun and strategic depth, but also lines up well with the “death is inevitable” aspect of roguelikes and roguelites.

The game’s just barely entering alpha, so we’re definitely showing it early! We’re planning to hold our first small, public playtest in the next few weeks (sign up here!), and starting today we’ll be sharing every step of our development journey on our Discord and social media. Our Steam page is live, and you can wishlist it (pretty please).

We’re thrilled to be making One More Game, and we can’t wait for you to sink your teeth into SWAP/MEAT, and tell us if it gets you to say “just one more game!”, too.

-- Jamie "reset" Stormbreaker

This chat widget is pretty, isn't it? It doesn't do anything, but does makes things look more official, yeah? We'll invite you to the soon!