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BOID, an RTS with a fairly unique mechanic, is launching its multiplayer mode for free on Steam today. Developed by Mokus Games and published by tinyBuild, BOID is an RTS with a complete and utter lack of resource collection, a feature most would say is a must have in an RTS. Yet, by simplifying things, BOID produces incredibly tactical gameplay that relies less on quick actions and twitch responses, and more on careful, strategic use of the right units at the right time.

 

While the Single Player Campaign will be paid DLC, and the game will have a cosmetic cash shop, all multiplayer features will be available for the grand old price of $0.00:

We’ve decided to go for an unconventional release style with BOID. We are making the fully functional, no restrictions whatsoever multiplayer part of the game free. Anyone can play it and enjoy the full competitive experience, including
– Leaderboards, ranked & unranked matches
– A fully functional level editor
– Matches against bots of different difficulty
– Everything you’d expect from a multiplayer indie game
– Twitch Integration
We monetize the multiplayer by simply selling cosmetic skins that have no impact on gameplay. Everyone who bought BOID during Early Access gets the Single-Player DLC for free.

It’s a bold marketing choice that I can’t help but think will pay off. BOID’s addictive, and games are so quick that you can easily play 7 to 8 in an hour once you get the hang of things. This quick, inviting gameplay keeps you coming back, and undoubtedly many will be hungry to give the single player campaign a try. Trust me, you should:

 

BOID_cover

 

The Single Player Campaign is fantastically paced, and a superb way to slowly get comfortable with each different unit type. After the first couple of tutorial missions, things open up pretty quickly, and the game does a fantastic job of teaching you tactics and combinations without any instruction, simply by making you pay attention to where things are positioned and how the maps are laid out. As you progress, hero units are introduced, as are powers, which give you more things to worry about, and more weapons to turn against your opponent.

Missions are varied and occasionally have vastly different goals than simply “Get to this point” or “Destroy all enemy units”. A particular favorite of mine was a mission that put you in the dead center of a map, with enemy spawners in every corner. Your goal was to charge a robot with units. Units that you’d need to defend the robot. You may sense the predicament. There was more than one tense moment as I tried to decide if I should save a unit for defense, or throw it into the machine. More than once, I made the wrong call. When things finally clicked, and I had a solid balance of defensive unit and ‘fuel’ units heading into the machine, it was a fantastic feeling of accomplishment.

 

boid

 

We’ve prepared an overview of  the basic principles and units you’ll encounter in BOID to help you if you decide to give BOID multiplayer a try today. There are some nuances that we don’t touch on, which are mentioned in the Single Player Tutorial. So, don’t take this as an exhaustive guide, but a jump start  before diving into multiplayer:

 

There’s also some pretty cool Twitch integration in  BOID, a feature that tinyBuild seems to be making their own (see One Troll Army):

BOID comes with full twitch integration for streamers. The integration comes in the form of a voting system for the chat to decide what kind of modifiers to enable.

  • #freeze
  • #clear
  • #fast_forward
  • #slow_mo
  • #remove_fog
  • #gun_bonus
  • #crab_bonus
  • #venom_bonus
  • #bomb_bonus
  • #medic_bonus
  • #scout_bonus
  • #leech_bonus
  • #turret_bonus

Each one of these commands is self-explanatory. #crab_bonus for example will give the Crab unit a slight boost — for both teams. #remove_fog will remove the Fog Of War, suddenly exposing players to each other.

We’ll be streaming Multiplayer Matches of BOID tonight on the IndieHangover #Indiegame Variety Hour, so join us on our Twitch Channel at 5pm EST. Maybe try out a few of those Twitch Codes….

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