Hey all, how are you enjoying the Summer Holidays? Or if you’re not British, hows August doing for ya? Theres been a bit of chat recently in a few different areas regarding OverDose, and I wanted to clear a few things up if that’s ok. Nothing bad, just “talk”, “rumours” and “speculation”. Rather than not answer these directly, I thought I would simply just round up the biggest offenders and get those sorted :p So, shall we begin?
OverDose Failed To Meet Its IndieGoGo Campaign – Why
Simple one. We didn’t show any gameplay. Why? Because we don’t want to, that’s why. Try walking in on your girlfriend half way into her “getting ready to go out make-up routine”. If you’re not greeted by the sight of a show coming towards your face, then luck you! The simple reason we haven’t shown any “gameplay” as such is that it’s just not ready to be shown. Simple as that. I mean, come on guys, those of you that follow the project know that when I get something cool to show off, I show it off. Do you REALLY think we would keep gameplay under wraps without a good reason? ;) Now, when it comes to funding, that’s obviously going to be a big issue. See, in this world you have a few types of people; Those that get it, and those that don’t. Sadly, those that don’t see OverDose as a “game” and nothing else. Its lumped into this little category and no other distinction is made. So, when a 2d, simplistic hack and slash is shown on a bigger site that’s had more worldwide coverage when it comes to funding indie games, and it reaches its funding goal, its compared to us. To some its black and white; Game A met its target, Game B didn’t, henceforth Game A is better than Game B.
But things are not always that simple.
Coding a 2d game engine is much more simple than a 3d one. Drawing a basic outlined sprite is much more simple that making an OverDose character. But alas, people don’t quite “see” this separation. They just see “game media” vs “game media”, and don’t quite understand the length of time either takes to make. Now don’t get me wrong, there is ZERO wrong with simplistic designed games. I’ve been a huge fan of them for years, and 90% of my top 10 games of forever are 2d platformers or 2d sprite based games. The best game I played in the last year was Rayman Origins, for example.
But sadly, people don’t quite see the difference between making one type of game, vs the other. So, you get people that moan a bit about the time it takes, or how much media we put out. You know what? That makes us sad.
So, what I’m going to do, is list off for you a few OverDose stats. These are current stats btw, as of now. When reading these stats, I want you to remember some basic things:
A) There is one full time coder on this project.
2) There is one full time artist on this project.
D) We have had several helpers, all of which have done impressive work, but in total we have had 2 weapon modellers and three character modellers.
In total, we have had about 9 people work on this thing. Nine. Count them on your hands. Notice you still have that one finger left?
Keep that in mind a second…
Now then, lets take a look at some OverDose stats, shall we?
Code Files: 529 files
Maps (Including SDK): 32
Models (Remember each model has a minimum of three textures made for it): 1650
Plus other stuff like sounds, materials etc…
Total File Count: 13,905
Total OverDose Install Size “so far”: 9.5gb
Ok… So. My point…
For the size of our team, who remember do this unpaid, we have created more media that most large game companies do. Our coder has written an engine that overtakes Doom 3 by quite a large margin. We have our own dedicated SDK and tool set for people to use, as well as a well written developer wiki explaining how everything works. Our art is designed to the highest standard we can, with all our original source media being at least a few million polygons. We even have a public game design doc… I could go on.
The point I’m trying to make is that this stuff… Takes time. It takes an AAA devs years to do this, and they can have hundreds of staff. Us however? I think we are doing pretty damn good, seeing as development has only REALLY just started.
So, in reality… Just how bad ARE we doing? Maybe if you compare us to other impressive indie titles, like Ravaged, you may be thinking…? But don’t be fooled. The team is made up of AAA devs with experience on AAA titles, as well as it being built upon an already complete, working and damn proven engine made by the best: UDK.
So, rather than spread talk about how “little” we are doing, how “slow” we are going or simply how “shit” we are, kindly think twice in future. We are doing the best we can, in the spare time we have, while still maintaining a life. Not only that, but we have the work load of 30+ people EACH.
Its not easy ;)
And now, onto another baffling question:
OverDose has NOTHING unique! Whats the point!
I always thought we answered this one as best we could, given the fact we have had interviews, radio pod casts, even a full game design doc… But alas, theres some of you out there that don’t quite see what we are trying to do. So, allow me to explain, in simple, concise bullet points:
• OverDose is a team play focussed, objective based multiplayer game.
• OverDose also contains a “horde” based mode, effectively online coop.
• OverDose has an expanded movement system that’s like a buddy focussed Mirrors Edge. Players can: Go Prone, Move in Prone, Duck, Crawl, Slide, Walk, Run, Sprint, Jump, Long Jump (Leap), Dive and Swim.
• By yourself, players can mantle onto low objects, jump and pull yourself up onto higher objects, sprint and leap in one movement over shorter objects, hang off objects and hang/move off objects.
• With another player, players can reach even higher ledges by being helped up into higher places, either by pulling them up or giving them a boost.
• When you are down and awaiting a medic, you can crawl slowly, but can’t enter combat. If another team member is close by, then can drag you to safety much more quicker, and allow you to pull out your pistol to defend yourselves. Dragging a player to safety will allow a medic to revive them.
• Weapons not only have individual attachments, each with a pro-con, but also can jam in combat if not reloaded correctly.
Remember, this is just the movement system...
Its at this point I’m going to stop… Because a huge part of me is thinking “Its not about reinventing the wheel”. And that’s true, its not. Its about polish, about making the damn game “fun”. On paper, many games sound the same, but its not until you play them that you see just how much a single lack of polish can make. If there’s one thing we here at Team Blur Games are committed to, its polish, believe me.
So trust me when I say that not only are we adding our own, new ideas to the table, but we are also polishing already set in stone ones, and tweaking others.
Why Make OverDose on id Tech 2?!?
Ok, this one gets tossed around a hell of a lot… So I’m going to answer it once and for all. When we started out, Team Blur Games was working on a little known source port called “Quake II Evolved”. It added a hell of a lot of new features to Quake 2, including per pixel lighting and stencil shadows. That would be the same that was seen in Doom 3. We already had the same tech that Doom 3 was using (to a certain degree) while Doom 3 was still selling strong. This was before the Quake 3 source was even talked about.
A few years on, and we started to look into ways to move onto an expansion pack of sorts, titled: Quake II Evolved: OverDose. This was to be a single player game built on the Q2E engine. However, work on this soon stopped when it became more and more apparent that this wasn’t going to work… We were restricted in so many ways with the original engine. Ask anybody who worked in the Q2 scene what the network protocol was like… It drove us nuts. It was far, far more closed off than the Quake 1 engine even, which meant that if you made certain changes to the source, you would need a new network protocol, and thus it would no longer work with anything already made… It was a nightmare.
So, we moved our work into a new engine, an engine where we could build everything from the ground up, polish and tweak to our hearts desire. It still had a base in the id Tech 2 engine, but its now so different it wouldn’t be fair to say that at all. Its far more advanced than Doom 3, even. But by rights, we have to say that its id Tech 2. Switching to another engine now, such as the Doom 3 engine for example, would actually be a huge downgrade.
Lets not forget that its not the base engine that matters. The most successful multiplayer franchise of all time, Call Of Duty, is built on Quake THREE tech. That’s a small leap above what we started on. But that doesn’t mean it’s the same engine. Engine change, improve and evolve all the time. If you were to get your hands on id Softwares Rage engine source, you would find throw backs to Quake ONE engine code. If you look in the UDK files, you can see a lot of Unreal 1 stuff… This is normal.
But of course, to the untrained “maroon”, they will see “id tech 2”, think “Quake 2” and then assume we have the same limitations.
We can’t say more than that on the matter. Its up to you if you can’t be intelligent enough to see we are not anchored by anything ;)
If you have any other questions, worries or suggestions, please feel free to mail me them and I promise I’ll answer them for you, either public or private.
Donating To The OverDose Project
As always, OverDose is currently under heavy development from talented artists, coders and composers, all for the lowly, hourly wage of “peanuts”. i.e. bugger all. That means any funds we raise will go towards hiring out more talent and funding people for help, which we see as only fair. Its amazing we have gotten so far with so little funding at all, because pushing these visuals, creating this media with some really awesome people, all for free… Its fantastic. But I sure as hell wish we could repay these guys before the game ships, just to keep motivation up more than anything. Any donations, no matter how small, will go a long way. Thank you.
Lead Designer for Team Blur Games [TBG]