Login x
User Name:
Password:
Social Links Facebook Twitter YouTube Steam RSS News Feeds
Watch MODSonair

Members Online

»
0 Active | 57 Guests
Online:

LATEST FORUM THREADS

»
run artillery on maps
CoD+UO Map + Mod Releases
Call of DutyŽ: WWII
CoD WW2 General

Indie Dev of the Month

»
This Month's Winner
Serellan LLC
Last Month's Winner
2 Dawn Games
Serellan LLC
Serellan LLC
Feb 2013
After a short hiatus on this feature we are finally back and it’s my pleasure to announce that our indie developer of the month for February is Serellan LLC, with their current project Takedown. A realistic squad based tactical shooter.Last weekend we were lucky enough to sit down with Christian Allen, the creative director over at Serellan. Here’s a little background on the man himselfChristian is an experienced AAA game designer and creative director. Prior to founding Serellan LLC, Christian served as Lead Designer, Creative Director, and Design Director of several AAA game projects for Ubisoft, Red Storm Entertainment, Microsoft, Bungie, and Warner Bros. Games. Christian’s titles include the award-winning Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and Halo: Reach. Titles he has contributed to have shipped over 15 million units, and earned over 20 “Game of the Year” awards in various categories.TAKEDOWN is a thinking-person’s shooter. The player that takes things slow, aims carefully, and plans their moves right will overcome the player who runs in with guns blazing. Close-quarters battle brings the fight inside, as you would see SWAT teams or SOF units taking down small numbers of dangerous adversaries. Non-linear environments allow for multiple routes and tactics and add replay-ability.Here is our interview with Christian.Stay tuned for more details on takedown...
2 Dawn Games
2 Dawn Games
Oct 2012
This month, the winner of our Indie Developer of the Month title goes to 2 Dawn Games for their multiplayer only FPS vehicular title Ravaged.  I had a chance to get my hands on a preview copy and play with some of the developers, and quite frankly I was blown away.  The gameplay itself is frantic and the game types are challenging – and FUN!!  The maps and character classes are varied - and quite polished, which makes thesettings believable and … did I mention FUN?After an evening of playing with the developers, I found myself wondering about what it takes to put something like this all together, so I decided to ask Joe Halper (the Executive Producer of 2 Dawn Games) how Ravaged got to what we see today. Modsonline:So, tell us a little about 2 Dawn and Ravaged?  How did it all come about?Joe Halper:About 3 years ago we sat down and started brain storming ideas of what type of game we wanted to create.  We thought about the gaming style, the art direction and what we knew we were really good at. We have a strong heritage in making multiplayer FPS vehicle titles and have found much success starting way back with our Battlefield 1942 MOD called Desert Combat. It received more than 3 million downloads and had a HUGE fan base. That MOD was the launch to some of our gaming careers. Desert Combat also led us to be hired to research and develop gameplay for Battlefield 2 which was also an extremely successful multiplayer FPS with vehicles. Some of us went on to design and head development of Frontlines Fuel of War which was the first title for Kaos Studios. Even though we invested the greater percentage of effort into the single player campaign it was our multiplayer that stood out to everyone.  So we decided to create a game based on what we knew we were excellent at and the fans would enjoy. That is a PC multiplayer team-based vehicle and infantry FPS title. It’s been a lot of hard work and late nights “2 Dawn” but it is exciting to see it finally coming together and getting released! Modsonline:What game engine are you working with – and why?Joe Halper:We use Unreal Engine 3 and for us this was a no brainer. Some of us have been using UE3 since 2005 and it has the tools and support to allow our small team of indie developers to show off their amazing skills. We don’t believe we would be able to pull off this amount of detail with the small team we have with anything else and the support we get from the Epic Games development team and the community is outstanding.Modsonline:Are you using any other software/tools?Joe Halper:Absolutely. As a multiplayer game, we needed a robust online tool set that gave us the ability to support a big online game.  In addition to Steamworks, we're using GameBlocks middleware, which provides impressive features and lowered our costs significantly while also freeing our developers to focus on the game itself.  The GameBlocks team provides all of our official dedicated servers worldwide as well as online middleware such as WatchDog which provides network tools/alerts (NOC) and detailed info on player connectivity.  For the players, the most interesting GameBlocks tool we've licensed is their FairFight system, which is a revolutionary new anti-cheat solution that is truly ground breaking.Unfortunately, cheating has become a real problem in FPS gaming - even on the consoles.  Unreal Engine's popularity makes it a target for cheaters and hackers and because we've had very poor experience with other anti-cheat solutions on previous titles we were excited to integrate something that attacks cheating quite differently.  Instead of looking at a client's PC for modified game files, FairFight analyzes the game in real time and provides the development team simple tools to set-up rules that instantly and automatically kick or ban players that are cheating, even providing multiple levels of "discipline" by giving the player a warning and escalating actions taken from there.  We've never seen an anti-cheat solution that gave us real-time info on what was happening and the tools to address itFor development of art assets we use a variety of tools. 3DS Max, Maya, Photoshop, Flash, Zbrush, etc. There are many other applications that each of our artists use based on their own personal preference. Programmers use Visual Studio, Visual Assist and a collection of other utilities and programs that help with performance, database queries, etc. We use Perforce which versions and manages digital files. For audio we use Reaper, Sonar and a ton of other audio tools and plugins. Microsoft Office products are used by some but we have been heavily using Google docs which are great for sharing and editing documents live with multiple team members at the same time. For communications our main app is TeamSpeak (NY2.LeetTS.com:10008). There is always someone live on there and it is like our virtual office. Any of the players can come on there as well and poke any of us if they need help or have questions. We also have a “Need Help Channel!” that we monitor. If someone hops on it one of us immediately jumps in to provide assistance. We also use Google Drive, DropBox, personal FTP’s, Skype, AIM and MSN Live for other file sharing and communication needs.  Last but not least is our IdeaScale page (http://ravaged.ideascale.com/) which we do consider to be an excellent tool for keeping in touch with our players. They can post bugs and ideas and we track this religiously. There were a few ideas that were on there that actually made it into the game.Modsonline:How large is your studio at present?  How many on your team?Joe Halper:We are a virtual studio with between 12 to 16 developers and we also have additional contractors. We are scattered all over the planet with developers in New York, North Carolina, Texas, Indiana, the UK, Russia, Denmark, etc. Modsonline:Tell us about your move to Kickstarter – how did it feel to double your goal?  Were you at all surprised by the support?Joe Halper:Our Kickstarter campaign was pretty amazing and we were very excited to see the amount of support received. It just reassured us in knowing that this was the type of game the public really wanted and with our background they know we can deliver it to them.Modsonline:How long has this game been in development?  How did it start?  Was it a “hey, I’ve got this fantastic idea – let’s do it?” or more “hey, I want to do something – let’s come up with something?”Joe Halper:The game is about 3 years in the making and we built it for longevity so there will be continued support and features after we release. In the beginning we knew what we were good at and that was multiplayer FPS titles with emphasis on vehicles and team gameplay. For us there was no question on what we knew the people wanted and what we were capable of delivering.Modsonline:What is the basic premise or theme of the game?Joe Halper:Ravaged is set in a post-apocalyptic earth ripped apart by natural disasters, it chronicles the struggle between the “Resistance” and the “Scavengers” as they fight for vanishing resources, disputed territory, and their very survival.Modsonline:Tell us about the setting for the game – some of the maps or areas that we’ll play in.Joe Halper:Ravaged is designed with a heavy focus on vehicular combat taking place on vast maps that will have you strategically duking it out on land and in air with over 40 vehicles and weapons. Placed within a competitive team-based environment created specifically for the PC, Ravaged is set in a post-apocalyptic world that was ripped apart by cataclysmic climate change.In Ravaged you experience disparate multiplayer maps, some large enough for 32-player combat such as our Bridge and Canyon maps, which encourage large-scale vehicular tactics. For close-quarters combat, various maps, like Ice Breaker and Oil Rig, are small enough to force eight players into extraordinary firefights.Modsonline:What about the characters / classes?Joe Halper:The Scavengers are an overpowering band of murderous savages bent on taking every last inch of land and every resource for themselves. They will stop at nothing. Their success seems certain unless someone can rise up against them.The Resistance are the world’s last hope against the Scavengers and humanity’s only chance to restore civilization. Days before the Apocalypse, a small band of freedom fighters was able to seek shelter deep below the Earth, storing just enough weapons and food to survive the catastrophe and emerge to rebuild the world. But outside this refuge the criminals and less fortunate of the world were left to the elements.Each side has 5 classes of characters to choose from. Each character class holds a primary, secondary and melee weapon and you can choose various options within the loadout screen. The characters from each side are not a symmetrical match. For instance, the Assassin on the Scavenger side possesses a crossbow while the Resistance’s Sniper possesses a hunting rifle.  We have spent a lot of time balancing these weapons so that no one character class overwhelms all of the others. One of the cool things in game is that you can pick up the primary weapons of fallen allies or enemies.Modsonline:And now on Steam with a release scheduled for October 17 – does it start to feel now that it is all coming to fruition?Joe Halper:We have our heads buried in game development but it is very exciting to see this finally coming close to release. We are amazed at the support we have been receiving from both the fans and the press and can’t wait to open the gates and fill up the servers. This is going to be a blast!Modsonline:Are there any plans to open the level editing to the community (ie – modding support) for custom maps and the like?Joe Halper:Allowing mod support is on our backlog list of community “like to haves”. It is currently our number one voted request on our ideascale page so I guess you could call it a LOVE to have. Beings that we come from a modding background we would love to have it as well but our focus currently is the release and support of the game. Creating mod support takes a substantial effort and we currently don’t have the manpower to cater it at this time. Down the road though it is possible.Modsonline:What were/are some of the challenges faced by being an indie developer?Joe Halper:One of the hardest things as an indie developer is to get a team interested in the idea you have and sticking with you through the thick and thin. Most of us have day jobs and this was what I would like to call a blood, sweat and “smiles” project that we continue to do after we get home from work. The name “2 Dawn” actually came about because a good portion of us literally work until dawn with development. And as a developer you have to do many things out of your own pockets. Game development can be extremely expensive especially if you create the type of title we are doing so there have been a lot of sacrifices made. In the end though we are lucky to have developers with so much passion and commitment. We all have not only a passion for making games but an equal passion for playing the hell out of them. :)Modsonline:Thanks Joe, and all the best luck to our Indie Developer of the Month 2 Dawn Games and their title Ravaged.  You can grab Ravaged on Steam here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/96308/?snr=1_7_suggest__13
Grinding Gear Games
Grinding Gear Games
Aug 2012
So we are finally back on track with our indie developer of the month feature and we are proud to announce that this month’s winner is Path of Exile by Grinding Gear Games. Path of Exile is online multiplayer action RPG. That follows in the footsteps of classics like Diablo and the Legend of Mir series. Player can team up to explore the world and fight waves and waves of beasties. We had a chance to play the beta recently and trust us when we say it's awesome.This week we were able to put a few questions to Brian Weissman, Producer and Game Designer at Grinding Gear Games.MODSonline:So tell us about Grinding gear games and Path of exile? - How did you form, where did you start?Brian Weissman:Well, the company was founded by four friends way back in 2006.  We initially set out to just make an awesome RPG, the kind of thing that we all wanted to play. We had few resources initially, so we planned to just make a game with rough graphics, and compensate for that with story and game play. However, as time passed, our financial means improved, and with that we began to increase the ambitions of Path of Exile. To be honest, I'm constantly stunned by how incredibly well Path of Exile has turned out so far. The game really looks beautiful, far more beautiful than I ever imagined, and it plays really well too. When we set out 5 years ago we never would have imagined that we'd have a studio of 18 people, with daily patches, and a community of hundreds of  thousands, begging to get into our closed Beta. Through that all, I feel that we haven't had to compromise any of our ambitions or design visions for Path of Exile.  It is dark and gritty and scary. It is hardcore and fast paced and fun. It truly is the action RPG that we all have always wanted to play, and it’s great to see that the community agrees.MODSonline:What game engine are you working with?Brian Weissman:Path of Exile is built entirely on an in-house engine. The engine was written by Jonathan Rogers, our lead programmer, and many improvements are added to it monthly. We’re quite proud to produce our game without having to license a third-party engine.MODSonline:What other software/tools are you using?Brian Weissman:We’re using C++, DirectX and OpenAL. No other middleware is used, we wrote the rest ourselves. Our artists use Autodesk Maya.MODSonline:How large is your studio at the moment? How many team members?Brian Weissman:Our studio in Titirangi, New Zealand now occupies two office spaces, with a total full time team of 18 people. That includes three founding partners, as well as a host of programmers, artists and designers.MODSonline:Tell us about the decision to move to kickstarter? How does it work? what are some of the requirements?Brian Weissman:Actually, our entire “kickstarting” period has been entirely self-contained. We gave the general public its first taste of Path of Exile back in early April, and the response was overwhelming and incredible. People really enjoyed the game over the long Easter weekend, and when it was winding down on Sunday, we were deluged by people asking for extended Beta access. Many many people said they’d happily donate to the project for Beta access, so the idea for our community support period was born.   Note that we’re not actually using the kickstarter.com website - that’s only available to American companies. We’re running ours from pathofexile.com.What we’re allowing people to do is gain access to our Closed Beta with a minimum pre-purchase of $10.  This purchase not only gets you a Beta key, but it also gives you a 100 credits in our microtransaction shop, which is already live with some perks for sale. These credits can eventually be spent on a huge host of aesthetic things, including cosmetic upgrades, special leagues, special pets, new skins, new spell effects and so on.   If a person decides to support us with more than $10, we give them more microtransaction credit, as well as a ton of other great perks, including T-shirts, DVD copies of the game, signed posters, a copy of the soundtrack, and exclusive, and limited edition in-game pets. Our top supporters, at the “Diamond” level, even get a unique forum avatar, as well as the chance to design their own in-game unique item!MODSonline:Were you surprised by the support you gained from kickstarter?Brian Weissman:Not just surprised, but completely flattered and blown away. Sure, we expected some initial support, but there is a big difference between people exclaiming “Take my money please!” and actually sending it to us. We received an avalanche of support in the first few days and to date, it now exceeds $880,000.  This has allowed us to really broaden the entire scope of our development period, and put a ton of things into the game we didn’t intend to have in the initial Open Beta release.MODSonline:So the game is completely free to play, will there be paid elements?Brian Weissman:Yep, completely free to download, completely free to play. The paid elements in Path of Exile are something we’re calling “Ethical Microtransactions”. These micro-transactions are purely cosmetic, or are designed to either enhance the play experience, or make it a bit quicker. We will be selling a huge variety of things, from special skins on armor and monsters, to extra spell/particle effects.  We already allow characters to purchase extra stash tabs, something that’s really appreciated by all the treasure hoarders who enjoy POE. We will also allow people to purchase “leagues”, which are self-contained, temporary realms with special rules.  We have many different types of leagues planned, from Cutthroat PVP leagues, to crazy leagues with extra speed, extra gore, tiny amounts of light radius, “King of the Hill” or “Battle Royale”-style rules, and so on.   One thing our micro-transaction shop will NOT be selling is anything considered “power”.  By this we mean we’ll be selling nothing that would give a player any type of advantage over another player in game.  So we won’t be selling armor, weapons, jewelry, skills, orbs, maps, flasks, or something like EXP potions.  Whatever you attain in Path of Exile, you will attain through your own hard work in game.MODSonline:How long would you say the game has been in development? Also did it start with someone bringing “The” idea to the table or was it more like “we want to do something, let's come up with idea”?Brian Weissman:POE has been in development for almost six years now.  All of the company's founders are lifelong RPG fans, with a play experience spanning more than 20 years.  There was a big creative gap in the action RPG genre in the mid 2000s, so we began to ask ourselves "could we do an RPG game ourselves?”  We gradually realized that the answer was yes, we had the financial capital to get started, and so we began working on the game.   Our initial plan was to focus mainly on story and playability, with less of an emphasis on graphics.  We planned to incorporate game elements from some of our favorite RPGs to help with design. As time went by, and our team grew, so did our ambitions.  Path of Exile now has graphics and artistic design to more than match its ambitious, complex game elements.  We're very happy with its current state.MODSonline:What type of environments are we going to see in the game?Brian Weissman:Just about everything you can imagine!  Across all three of the game’s current acts, you’ll see stormy beaches, wind-blown bluffs, burning hot dunes, dripping, claustrophobic caverns and tunnels, ancient prisons, swamps, a ship graveyard, a verdant, sun-dappled jungle, a web-choked labyrinth, a nightmarish dark forest, a strange, terrifying pyramid fortress, a ruined city, and many more. We’re really pleased with the variety of POE’s game environments, and our players definitely love them.MODSonline:What are some of the challenges of putting together an MMO?Brian Weissman:Keep in mind that Path of Exile isn’t actually an MMO.  Sure, you do cooperate with other players, and you do meet up in a central town location.  But all the questing/partying is done in individual instances generated for you and your party.  There is no large, open world you wander around in with everyone else, which is sort of what defines a traditional MMO.Path of Exile is definitely an “action RPG”, and it has been a tremendous challenge to create.  From the obvious things like animation, 3D modeling, art assets, sounds, game engine, overall aesthetic, etc. to the more subtle things like game balance and core design, the game is the result of hundreds of thousands of hours of hard work. We’ve also made every effort to be available to our fans and to the game community in general, so it’s always a challenge listening to all the opinions, and sorting out the good ideas from the bad ones. Path of Exile is Grinding Gear Games’ first release, so we’ve learned countless things along the way.MODSonline:Tell us about some the characters/classes in the game.Brian Weissman:Path of Exile characters are designed and themed around three primary attributes, the standards of Strength, Dexterity and Intelligence.  We’ve designed a class around each of these attributes, as well as three additional “hybrid” classes that prefer two of them.  The classes in the game are:The Marauder, a pure strength brute of a man.The Ranger, a hardy, athletic female specializing in pure dexterity.The Witch, a waifish female, master of arcane elements, specializing in pure Intelligence.The Duelist, a master swordsman, arrogant, haughty, specializing in dexterity and strength.The Templar, a zealous, holy man, who combines the attributes of strength and intelligence.The Shadow, a man so dark he was exiled from an assassin's guild, specializing in dexterity and intelligence.Each of these classes begins in a different point in our enormous passive skill tree, which helps to guide their development. However, just because a class starts in a certain spot on the tree doesn’t mean it can’t eventually get access to passives preferred by another class. You can move anywhere on the passive tree, it just takes time to reach distant nodes.MODSonline:Is there a particular theme to the game?Brian Weissman:Definitely. The mood of Path of Exile is conveyed quite well in the very first opening scene. The player begins face down in the sand, on a frigid beach, in the middle of a driving thunderstorm. With just a feeble weapon and the company of a wounded crewman for support, the player has to venture forth into a desolate, hostile environment, with little hope or even knowledge of why they’re there and where they’re headed. We want the player’s journey through POE to be bleak and scary, but also tremendously fun and rewarding. We’ve tailored the game’s environments and music to this end.  Many of POE’s areas are dark and super creepy, with things scuttling off in the distance, out of sight and menacing. We’ve made the game very adult-themed, so there is lots of realistic gore, viscera, and yes, even nudity. Nothing is gratuitous however, you won’t see giant, over the top explosions of blood or whatever unless you decide to pay extra for it :)MODSonline:Do you have a release date yet?Brian Weissman:At this point, we’re shooting for “open beta” later this year. While this isn’t the official, full release of the game, it will mark the last time we’ll be mass-wiping everyone’s characters. Once you make a character in the open beta, it will exist on the servers permanently, unless you delete it. Once we’re in open beta, we’ll continue to polish and add to the game for an undetermined period, before finally declaring that the game is “released”.  I cannot put an estimate on that specific date.MODSonline:How are you planning to distribute the game?Brian Weissman:Well, because Path of Exile is completely free to download and play, we’ll be distributing it via digital download. We’ll also give people an opportunity to purchase a physical copy of the game, for a small fee. Once we’re in open beta and beyond, we’ll be pushing much harder on marketing and distribution, which should massively increase our already substantial player base. As of this writing, we have about 480000 signed up members on our website, and we’ve had more than 57770 people donate for Beta access.MODSonline:What were/are some of the challenges of being an indie developer?Brian Weissman:Haha, this is a question that could merit pages of response, so instead I’ll just list the first few that come to mind.  I think the biggest challenge of all is just gaining traction.  Stepping into a competitive arena like the ARPG genre means that you’re going to be compared to some of the most beloved titles in history.  You’re also going to be competing with companies who can spend more money on publicity than you can on your entire development budget. It’s likely that more money was spent on the cinematics in D3 than we’ll spend during the entire initial development cycle of Path of Exile.So we’ve faced an uphill battle getting the word out about POE, but I believe we’ve now passed the tipping point. The game has been rapidly spreading virally, with many new donors per day.  We’ve had positive write ups on dozens of big sites, and we’ve had the game covered by some of YouTube’s biggest gaming channels.   Other than publicity, our second biggest challenge has been simply creating a game to match our initial vision.  It’s one thing to sit by a blackboard and write down ideas, and it’s another thing entirely to sculpt those ideas into playable, fun content. In the last six years, we’ve discarded 10 ideas for every one we’ve managed to implement, and modified our vision and scope for Path of Exile countless times.  We have a list of future changes and additions that is hundreds of items long, so we’ll be polishing the game for years to come.  Our challenge is the player’s reward!Thank you very much for all the great questions; it’s been a pleasure answering them.Stay tuned for more on Path of Exile.
Plastic Piranha
Plastic Piranha
Apr 2012
To some people the name Ricochet conjured up images of an Acorn Electron, hourglasses and "SPRAT", (Yes you may google that before continuing) to others it was a mod for the original Half life. So it seems we have another game of the same name, but if you're thinking that Plastic Piranha’s Rikochet has anything to do with those you'd be wrong...dead wrong...a lot wrong...in the face. It's not just the spelling that is different here, it's so much better than that...Last week we got the chance to chat with the gang behind Rikochet, the aforementioned Plastic Piranha. Jason “TrailerTrsh” Brice, Chris Murphy and John Sonedecker were gracious enough to spare some of their time to tell us a bit about Rikochet.MODSonline:So tell us about Plastic Piranha? - How did you form, where did you start?Jason Brice:I started way back modifying maps for Dice, working with Battlefield 2142. It all kind of started when the first map I released to the public over the internet (OPERATION SHINGLE, YELLOW KNIFE, MOLOKAI, STRIKE AT KARKAND and OPERATION BLUE PEARL). The very next day I got an email from them asking if they could make it a ranked map and I was like “Sure if you like that one I’ve got plenty more where those came from” and that basically started a relationship with the team over there at Dice. When we got finished and released them in the 1.5 patch, I saw the response from them and the community and I thought to myself that if they liked them then why not try to start something up on my own. That's sort of where the idea started from. It's been a bumpy road to get to this point, we've had a few people that were part of the original founders group that are no longer working with us.After about a year an a half, around 6 months of learning the UDK and a year with the full engine, we are just about ready to start showing off some of the stuff we've been working on. It's been a much bigger task than I ever envisioned and it's been tough but we are finally starting to get there and I’m really looking forward to getting it out there.Actually we started awhile back before that. The first thing we ever released as Plastic Piranha was a little card game that didn't really see the light of day. It worked great and it was very cool, but it was it was sort of average. What it did tell us is that yes we could put our minds together and create something. Was it something that we wanted to put out and make it our first title?, no, we had bigger ideas than that and we wanted create something much grander than that. I like to try to climb the mountain from day one. Here we were doing little card games but we decided that well...we like doing shooters, all of our experience and history behind the whole thing was in shooter games.We messed around with the torque engine a little and saw that it's good for a lot of things but wasn't suited best for what we wanted to do. It was at point that we got turned onto the UDK and it seemed like it was the best engine for what we had planned.MODSonline:It started out really good for you guys then? - You started with the UDK and then blossomed into something with EpicJason Brice:Yeah it did. They extended us the option to get into the full source code of the Unreal engine 3, which was huge for us. Mike Gamble is one of the gentlemen over at Epic who's been interested in helping us out. He's basically set up our support contract and the whole nine yards and we're internally grateful for that. We're pretty excited about working with them and are looking forward to getting onto the unreal Engine 4. Well...As soon as well can get our hands on it. That will probably be for the next project but yeah, we love what they are doing.It's a good middle ground for us. Some of us come from working with the original battlefield engine and the frostbite set-up and others come from working with radiant for the call of duty side of things, like ZeRoY and Matts (Sorry if I spelt that incorrectly) and then we have John Sonedecker, who was with Ghost Recon and Redstorm when they first started. He was one of the original map makers behind most of those great maps. He has been working with unreal for a long long time, so he's been a huge asset to us.We are also working with Hourences, The creative Director/Project Lead behind the ball. He's brought a huge wealth of information to us. Then there is PreDrag (Again sorry for misspellings), he's one of our environment artists, he was also working on unreal along with some of the dungeon defenders stuff.We've got a pretty nice, broad and unique team here, that's able to cover quite a range of game engines, but this one (Unreal) suits our talents best. Really when you are dealing with an engine you're dealing with the tools and the outcome are exactly the same, you just need to relearn the language and what you need to do in the engine to make those same things happen. I've found it to be a really great engine. After about 6 months or so we've gotten really comfortable and now we are hitting the 12 months mark we are really starting to dig deep into it. It's defiantly very cool.MODSonline:You mentioned some of the editors that are you working with, what other tools are you using?Jason Brice: I'm sure John can help me with this but we are using the Unreal 3 Engine along with all of the Autodesk suites. 3Ds Max, Maya, scale-form, mudbox, zbrush. There's some motion capture stuff in there as well.John Sonedecker:We're using motion builder for that. We're pretty much have anything Autodesk available to us. The good thing that they've done recently is made it really simple to transfer assets from one to the other. It allows the guys to use pretty much anything they want. It comes down to what your comfortable with. I've been a Max user since day one, I used the old 3d studio before that, so I’m pretty comfortable in that environment and nobody has been able to get me switch yet, so that's what I stick with.Jason Brice: They're also some third party stuff we are using. There's speed tree, we've got a licence for that, to use they're models. We are also using Simply gone to do our Level of detail. Now we are getting into an evaluation period with enlighten and geomerics, which is basically the lighting engine behind Battlefield 3. So that's pretty much what we are using...oh and photoshop and all that type of good stuff.MODSonline:Wow that's a lot of software, that can't be good for the bank balance?John Sonedecker:Yeah nothings cheap in this industry.Jason Brice: Yeah that's one of the things you find trying to make a game like this, as a small start-up, when you start building things from the ground up, you find out pretty quickly just how much things cost. You think you can do it for a few dimes and you get into it and you realise that it's going to take a substantial investment to get it done.That can be hard thing, especially when you are trying to remain independent and still have control over what you're doing. I guess there are different ways of getting that funding but the way we look at it is that our team was born out of the community that turned into a driving business. That's something that's been unexpected, it keeps us on our toes and we learn something new everyday.MODSonline:How long would you say the game has been in development? Also did it start with someone bringing “The” idea to the table or was it more like “we want to do something, let's come up with idea”?Jason Brice: It came out of the fact that we knew we wanted to do a shooter and basically that was set from day one. So I guess the idea was born before there was even a name to the idea. Honestly we have really been in the execution phase for only around a year. We probably spent more time thinking we were in development but really we were just getting to know the engine and learning all we could about it.I think there was point we got access to the full Unreal engine 3, we scrapped quite a lot of stuff and said “look we have the proper tools now” to get everything done right, along with help from epic. Lets do this right and get a team together and start working on it.Those first few months were deciding that we wanted to do an fps. I think there's a really early Youtube video of like a work in progress of one of the subway maps, and it just looks horrid. It looks nothing like what we've got now, but for me it's kind of neat to leave it up there because it's a reminder of what we striving for. We want to people to see the progression of our work. In fact I think that was from back when we were still using the basic UDK.Now we've got a really nice and intricate weapons system. We've got 40+ weapons in the build, 5 different classes, each class has a minimum of 5 weapons. Some have 6, some have 7. Each class have separate pistols, there's a standard array of grenades that you'd expect to find in any shooter. They're also Molotov cocktails. We've also started looking an RPG as well a nice knifing system in there that's more like BF3's but it actually has a couple of different attack methods that you can use.So yeah it's come quite a from running around in those early levels, it's definitely moved forward a lot since then.MODSonline:What type of environments are we going to see in the game? Is it all set in once place or will it be spread across the globe? Is there a particular theme?Jason Brice: We've got a few pictures up on our facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/RikochetTheGame) that you can take a look at. You can see 3 of our levels at the moment.I guess the game does have a industrial feel to it. One of the maps we showed at GDC was called streets and it's basically just a big city streets map. It's a lot of fun, you can get on top of a lot of the buildings and it has a lot of good angles for sniping as well as a lot of tight areas for close up fighting.There's also the industry map, which ZeRoY had designed. That's much tighter, a more in your face type of map. With some pretty neat open type areas where you can really get your ass kicked if your not careful. So you know it's got a very grimy and dingy feel to it.And the other map we showed at GDC is named Oil wells. A snow filled map. It very much has a classic 2142 feel to it, without it being in the future. It really has the cool snowy feel to it.Some of the other maps we are working on currently are a warehouse map, that inspired by one of our favourite CoD maps. We working on a harbour map, that's inspired by a classic BF2 map, that Zeroy is currently working on. There's a overpass map that John and I are currently working on, that we're trying to get finished. It's actually going to be set in a bay type area with bridges going in and out, it almost has a San Francisco feel to it.In terms of it being in this particular location or that particular location, we've tried to make it a little more generic. So that it didn't get pidgin holed as a US setting game or a European setting game. It does give us a little more freedom but it it also hinders us a little bit too. It's a pretty nice balance to what we are doing at the moment. There are a couple maps, like the harbour map, and one named compound that are essentially an Afghan type environment. Even though we're not really a military type game. We're just kinda jumping around and doing what feels right and creating things that are going to be fun to play.MODSonline:How spread out is your team?. You mention keeping specific parts of the world out of players mind. So your team must be pretty spread out as well?Jason Brice: Yeah we've got people spread out all over the place. I mean Chris is in Berlin. We've got Zeroy who's in Dublin, John in Columbus, Matts is in Detroit. Kari, who's our community manager, is out in Las Vegas and I’m Hollywood. James, who's one of our programmers, is in new Zealand. We've got Hourences, from the ball, he's in Sweden. We've got a few guys in Serbia. So our team is really spread across the planet. Oh and our sound department is in Dallas Texas.We use Skype as our main form of communication, we've got a group chat the we all communicate in. If you fall asleep and get up you see all that going on. It's actually been fairly effective, it's been challenging running a world wide team and Skype has really been great for that.MODSonline:Could you tell us about some of those challenges, it's difficult enough when everyone is in the same room, what's it like working across countries?Jason Brice: Haha, I’d rather get Chris's and John's take on it. I'd be curios to see how they feel about it. I know what it feel like for, but there the ones that get effected by it the most.John Sonedecker:The biggest thing for me is moving all the data around. The builds start to get pretty big as you start putting more into them and sometimes it takes awhile. You've got to sit there for 20 minutes while something uploads. It's not as easy as “Hey come over an look at this”. You've got to upload it, the other persons got to get it, look at it and then you converse about it. That's kind of the biggest thing I run into.Chris Murphy:For the most part it's not to much of a hindrance, but for an example when we are trying to get announcements made or publish some media, we have to think a couple hours ahead, so that we have the OK and the final versions of everything before we release anything.John Sonedecker:The weirdest thing is that James is almost a whole day ahead. So when you're coming into work on Friday, he's getting ready to go out Friday night, so it does get kinda weird sometimes.Jason Brice: Haha, yeah I really enjoy it, I think it opens up the team a little more and allows for different opinions and different ways of looking at things. Which is unique to doing it virtually. There are advantages to doing it in house. Play testing is much easier when everyone is in the same room. Hopefully some of those big studios will take that into account and hopefully we can show a lot of the industry what can be done with just a few people. A lot of people would be surprised on some of the stuff we've been able to create while working in this way.Check back soon for Part two of our interview with Plastic Piranha.

Latest Syndicated News

»
Codutility.com up and runn...
Nice, and there still using the logo and template for the screenshots, which...
Codutility.com up and runn...
dundy writes...Quote:Call of Duty modding and mapping is barly alive only a ...
Codutility.com up and runn...
Mystic writes...Quote:It seems to me the like the site is completely dead? ...
Codutility.com up and runn...
It seems to me the like the site is completely dead?

Partners & Friends

»