Version 1 of Scorched 3D primarily as a terrain generator
Scorched 3D is a turn-based artillery game modeled after the classic DOS game Scorched Earth, "The Mother Of All Games". Unlike Scorched Earth, however, it is available free in its entirety. Also, Scorched 3D adds, amongst other new features, a 3D island environment and LAN and internet play. Scorched 3D is an open source game for both Microsoft Windows and Unix-like (Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, Solaris, etc.) operating systems.
The first build was created in April 2001 by lead developer Gavin Camp. The idea for the creation of Scorched 3D was revealed in an interview with Gavin on The O'Reilly Network:
Scorched Earth was an institution for me and my friends at university. On many nights we used to play the game while drinking although it is pretty good even without the drink. Recently on a boring flight I played it with friends for eight hours straight; we hardly noticed the time passing. I thought that Scorched in 3D would allow many more game concepts, and [it] also combined my love of 3D graphics with the classic game.
Scorched 3D originally started as a 3D landscape generator. It was eventually converted into a game, early on, and development continues to this very day with the project being hosted by SourceForge.net. The current stable version is v43 which streamlines and improves the playing experience. Version 43 also has quickened the gameplay.
The core mode aims strongly to stay true to the original gameplay formula of Scorched Earth. In contrast, the apocalypse mod which recent versions of Scorched 3D come with adds a lot of original gameplay elements.
Screenshot from Scorched 3D
Gameplay aspects carried over from Scorched Earth
Gameplay is quite simple, yet requires skill to master. Players are placed randomly on a 3D map, and take turns aiming at an opponent's "tank", by adjusting angle, rotation and power and firing a weapon of choice until able to hit or kill the target. The core objective of the game is to kill all one's opponents' tanks in this fashion. Another element of gameplay includes an economy system, where cash is generally earned by kills and hits. The player can then use this cash to buy special weapons, defenses or fuel. Each weapon and defense, and each fuel type, has different attributes.
The weapons include nukes, which have a large blast radius. Rollers will roll down inclines until they hit a target. Lasers can fire through mountains and hit targets directly. Funky Bombs land much like regular missiles but then launch bomblets toward nearby enemies. MIRVs spread in the air, sending small bombs down on your enemy. Napalm can be used to incinerate targets.
Defenses are as important as the weapons. Batteries allow a player to repair damage. Shields protect a player from taking damage from most weapons. Magnetic shields and Force Shields repel or reflect an enemy's shots. Parachutes prevent damage from falling (when dirt is blasted out from under a tank). Auto Defense will allow a player to power up shields and activate parachutes before the start of a round.
Fuel allows a player to move his tank, either to avoid shots from an enemy who has zeroed in on his present location, or to gain a more advantageous firing position.
Scoring and Stats
There is a system that the game has that allows players to gain stats/medals that are displayed in the scorched3d.co.uk forums. These stats appear only if the players are registered users at the forums and have willingly given their Player ID through their User Control Panel. These scores are based on skill, the higher the number, the less skilled, or less active a player is. Usually, numbers should fluctuate, even for expert players.
Medals are gained through winning tournaments and defeating as many opponents as possible without getting killed.
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