In 2003 I was hopelessly addicted to a game called Paint Ball 3 EXTREME by indie dev ZoopTEK. This was an online paintball sandbox game with a small niche community. I found the game by simply using Yahoo! and searching “Online Multiplayer Paint Ball Game” and fell in love within 20 minutes of downloading it.
The game featured a pretty great server lobby with a chat room to make friends, Map Making, totally sandboxed gameplay and the ability to make your own custom paintball gun. Being called Paint Ball 3 EXTREME, it lived up to its name. You earned credits by killing players, and used those credits to buy items from the store. These credits and your inventory followed you to whatever server you decided to play on. In the store you’d find different camouflage that was sprited to look like the ground tiles. Different camouflage was useful for different terrain. You would also fun several pre-made guns, military grade flash bangs (it’s EXTREME, remember?), smoke grenades, aesthetics, paint BULLETS :O, body armor medkits and (wait for it)…. A freaking motorcycle that made you the fastest paintballer on the intertubes.
There were several game modes, but most players kept it to deathmatch. What made the online game so special was how much of a sandbox it was. Players could spend a lot of their time at the store modifying their gun or deciding which body armor upgrade to buy next while the game went on and on. Once you finished up, you’d test out your new guns on the other players who were off in their own little world. Players would be found hiding in the grass with camouflage on, or trying to draw smiley faces with a spray can or sometimes standing in a building chatting with eachother.
What’s cooler? The world was pretty destructable as well. Snowblocks could be shoveled away, walls could be knocked down and windows busted out. Sadly the servers were shut down in 2004 as the creator began working on Paint Ball 4, which was never finished. ZoopTEK still has some great titles and you should check them out.
I am attempting to satisfy my nostalgia with another project called Splatternauts. I have made quite a lot of progress so far and will be revealing it through this blog as I hit benchmarks.
So far I’ve finished:
- Server Lobby with Chatroom (SNON)
- Map Maker with ability to share maps through server
- Online Multiplayer (Most of the networking is done)
- Store system, ability to buy new weapons
- 3 Games Modes, CTF, DM and TDM
It still has a ways to go before it’s done, but the project will be a waste of time if it doesn’t have players. So I hope you follow this project and get involved. I will need help with beta testing very soon. I will be posting information on how to join beta in the next post about Splatternauts.
As a show of support, please comment in this blog letting me know what you think and what game makes you most nostalgic? 🙂