Almost every internet café from this end to the next is riddled with people of all ages playing the latest online game. DoTA 2, League of Legends, and Counter Strike all household names on every gamer’s desktop, all that’s left for Filipinos to do is to choose what adventure they would like to tackle that day. According to Newzoo, there will be 29.9 million more gamers in the Philippines for 2017, however, despite its huge population, there wasn’t a local option for Filipino gamers to choose from—enter Project Xandata, the Philippine’s first up-and-coming online game. With a sight for the regional eSports scene, no doubt it has the readiness to challenge the greats in the field.
Equipped to win
Project Xandata is an online competitive first-person shooter that introduces players to a world where sci-fi meets Philippine mythology. The game is developed by The Studio of Secret 6, which has over a decade of experience producing games and assets for their international clients. Players take control of Xandats, soldiers who wear various types of Xandat Armor which possess unique skills and ultimate abilities that cater to many playstyles. The armor is further customizable with a G-Mat, which further enhances the character’s skills with elemental properties. The game caps it off with 10 unique weapon archetypes with different stats and perks.
A tale of ‘XD’
Project Xandata began as a personal project by Gene Gacho, the game’s Original Concept and Lead Developer. He started toiling around with the idea of a first-person shooter game until he managed to create prototypes that his coworkers got to try out. Eventually, the concept began to gain traction, so he pitched it to his boss. Thus, the codename ‘Project XD’ was born.
The great inspirations
Project XD’s main inspiration is Destiny, a 2014 online first-person shooter developed by Bungie, developers of the Halo franchise. The game’s stylized sci-fi aesthetic, however, hails its inspiration mainly from Mega Man Zero, from the iconic video game franchise made by Capcom. Counter Strike: Global Offensive, a similar multiplayer game, with its strong eSports community and deep weapon customization market inspired the game’s focus on skill-based gameplay and weapon customization. This also led to the development of the game’s official tagline, “Get Weaponized.” Through the tagalog translation of ‘sword’ (sandata), Project Xandata became the game’s final name.
The road to the beta
Project Xandata was officially revealed in the Philippines’ third Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit last year to the excitement of the audiences who attended. They also held their first public alpha demonstration, where players and the press got to try out the game for the first time. Recently, they had their second public alpha in the 2017 Pinoy Gaming Festival, where they showed off new changes to the game along with a bigger exposure to the eSports community.
With the rise of eSports in the country, as evidenced by professional team TNC’s 40 million peso, DoTA 2 tourney win at the World Electronic Sports Games 2016, Project Xandata’s role is more important than ever before. While the journey to completion is still far ahead, the game feels promising for Filipino gamers. With a weapon to truly call our own, the only way our local video game scene can go is up.