What Is NOMAD? A Unique Permadeath Shooter (With Chickens And Smart AI) Available On Steam This Week

What Is NOMAD? A Unique Permadeath Shooter (With Chickens And Smart AI) Available On Steam This Week
Credit: Nomadic via YouTube

NOMAD is a retro 2D arcade-style shooter with procedural animations and dozens of chickens. In this perma-death shooter, you tackle waves of smart AI who will use cover and the environment against you. There are a range of different weapons to try out, perks to play with, and ways to customise your character.

Your goal? Catch as many chickens as you can before you die. Sound easy? It won’t be.

NOMAD has been in development since 2016 and is releasing on Steam this week. A lot of effort has been put into developing the AI to behave in a way that is more intelligent than your average bots in a bug-splatting bullet hell game.

I talked to the developer of NOMAD (@physdick) briefly about some of the key elements of the game and what to expect when it releases later this week. As above, it was really the AI performance that was the main focus and time-sink during development.

“Many games opt for the typical “suicide sprite” – enemies that try to overwhelm you by the sheer volume and have no desire to see it through to the end of the level! The enemies in NOMAD will seek cover, suppress and attempt to flank. I spent a lot of time trying to develop this AI – I find it can sometimes be fun to sit back on the earlier levels and just watch the AI do their thing.”

Here’s an example of some of the AI behaviour as they try to outsmart the player by using cover. This behaviour is balanced for both teams, your own and the bad guys.

Alongside the smart AI, the game features a range of different weapons and perks which are designed to make each permadeath run unique. The idea is to try out different combinations to find one which suits your playstyle.

“You have 2 perk “slots”. These can range from just rate-of-fire increase to a full mortar strike – the idea is to play around to find a combination that suits your play-style and weapon choice.”

These perks and weapon combos will give the player a sort of rogue-like feel. Each loadout for each run will be completely different, but each run-through will be up to the player completely. And as @physdick let me know, there are up to six different weapons with unique stats.

“As you go on, you will unlock more weapons – there are 6 weapon types with 6 stats each. Combining these with perks opens up lots of gameplay possibilities. You can also pick up enemy weapons with randomised stats while playing.”

Lastly, there will also be customisation options to unlock while you play. Hats and full costumes allow you to change up your look and make your experience unique. The game is fully scored by Rupert Cole and Ben Nunn and ready to release later this week on Steam. You can Wishlist the game here.