Re-inventing The Wheel?
This business… It’s hard. Very hard. Sometimes you get it right, sometimes you get it wrong. Sometimes, you get it so wrong you manage to single handedly destroy the entire company. That’s why in this day and age, game developers hardly ever take “risks”. Its pretty much par for the course really, and makes total sense. Think about it right now… “Galactic Space Ninja’s With Bananas For Hands” isn’t as proven as “Call of Duty 73: Big Red Knob”. It doesn’t take a genius to guess which one might produce a profit for the publisher there.
And boom goes the dynamite. That lovely word.
Money indeed makes the world go round, so much so that these days, people are scared to do anything different for fear of it being a flop and not making anything back. I recently played Rayman Origins, and my God, was it a breath of fresh air. Amazing high definition 2D side scrolling bliss… But it was released into a sea of shooters and big name games. How well did it do…? Not good. Not good at all… Never mind that it’s now one of my all time favourite games (And may I add, everybody I talk to about it agrees). Nope. No guns/tits/explosions/gore = No sell. I wouldn’t say it “flopped”, but it only managed to shift 50,000 copies in its first month.
Compare that to Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, which sold 6.5 MILLION copies… in 24 hours.
So then, if you were going to copy a game, and you had serious greenback behind it, which would you want to emulate the success of, and which would make the publisher moist most? A niche game loved by a few people, or a mega hit juggernaut?
It doesn’t take a lot of imagination which would be picked…
But OverDose doesn’t have any big name publisher. It doesn’t have any worries about losing money. We CAN take risks, but that doesn’t mean we should.
Don’t Re-Invent The Wheel – Smooth It Over
Name me your favourite game of all time. Anybody. Now tell me a flaw with it. I can. You can. Anybody can. We live in an age where nothing is perfect (Apart from my girlfriends backside), and everything can be improved. Be it features, bugs, damage scales, speeds… There’s always SOMETHING. The key isn’t trying to re-invent everything in a new game, its trying to do proven, successful things right, and then improving on past efforts. Sometimes that goes amazingly well, and you come out with amazing new takes on ideas. Sometimes sadly it goes totally wrong and you end up with game killing problems. Whether you like it or not, big name games like Call of Duty, Battlefield 3 etc, they all do a lot of things RIGHT. Not everything no, but a lot of it.
But as I said, we answer to nobody but ourselves. That means we can take risks. One such risk is the movement system in OverDose. By expanding the movement, we are taking a huge risk, but we are building it on a foundation that already exists and is proven. Will it succeed? We think so, yeah. Being able to climb, slide and hang around a map isn’t just damn fun, its also really free and natural. It opens up trick jumping and all sorts of skill based things that just take the movement to a totally new level. When you add in things like player assisted movement, such as players helping you up to a higher ledge, or even other players being able to drag you to safety when incapacitated, it makes it even more exciting.
Same Old, Same Old…?
Its true that if I was to ask anybody what OverDose is, the first thing people would say is “Well, it’s a first person shooter…”. We can’t deny that. It is! But that doesn’t mean it’s the same as everything else that’s out there. I touched previously on the movement system, but we have a lot of other ideas that make OverDose fresh, such as a massive emphasis on team play and cooperation, something that sadly you just don’t see that much of these days, oddly. Our unlock system is based on individual play styles, and NOT XP. That means that you won’t unlock a Silencer for your pistol because you stabbed so many people and simply got the XP for it. Everything is a challenge, and challenges are rewarded like for like. An example of this is that stealthy players will unlock attachments that base around that fact, because it suits their play style. It just makes more sense than “oh, you reached Sergeant, here’s a new gun”.
Oh and all weapons by the way, are unlocked by default. Of course certain weapons and items are exclusive to certain classes; Why would a Medic run around with a Sniper Rifle for instance?
But one thing we haven’t given any attention to at all so far is our damage system. Players use clipped models rather than hit boxes, which allows us a much more realistic and accurate collision model. This means you can if you wish, shoot between players legs, or if you wanted to get frisky with the included SDK, code leg, arm etc damage much easier. OverDose, by default, contains two shootable regions; The body, and the head. That’s all we need. We don’t need to over complicate things by having players drag their legs if shot in the foot… That stuff is fantastic for single player, but in multiplayer it just slows things down. So in OverDose, a head shot is much more damaging than a body shot, and if used with the right weapon at the right time, will even remove the chance of the enemy getting revived with his head exploding into a shower of gore.
Oh, did I not mention the gore? Wait until you see the head shots…
But then right there, that’s what I was talking about. One of the big issues people have with Call Of Duty is the hitboxes not being accurate enough. In OverDose? No problem, fixed. Is it a huge change? No. Is it a welcome addition? You bet your arse.
Improving On Ideas? Or Just Changing For The Sake Of It?
Sometimes it’s nice to be “different”. Other times, it’s just a waste of time. If you change a game or formula too much, you can worry players. That puts potential fans off, because they can’t relate to it. But then, directly copying another game puts people off too. Why would I want to play the exact same game I bought last year in a different series, that’s already proven? (I’m looking at you, FarCry 3 multiplayer). So sometimes, you shouldn’t change things just because you should… Sometimes, things just “work”.
And that’s where we are at right now with OverDose. Finding a lovely balance between “just works” and “is fun”. Making new additions that have never been seen before is great and all, and trust me… We have a few surprises up our sleeves there ;) But more important to us is nailing down proven, working things. Otherwise, you end up with a cluster f**k of a title that might look nice, but nobody wants to play. Brink suffered badly in this, which is a shame because the game has one of the most amazing and original artistic styles I’ve seen. But sadly in the gameplay, they changed too much, and it all felt too forced, too cluttered.
I know a lot of what we release to you guys is focused on the media side of things, and there’s a very specific reason for that. I can’t show you gameplay in a screenshot. Hell, I can’t even show it you in a video. You can make any game look amazing in a video, equally so it can look terrible, but its only when you get it in your hands that you can appreciate the love and attention that went into something. That day will come, just… Not yet. Rest assured, there’s a LOT going on behind the scenes, with new player models, new weapons, new levels, new game code, new music, new artwork and new… Well, everything. I have enough content to tease you on my HDD for the next year, even… But as my Dad always said, you can peak to soon, son…
Stick Around! You May Like Whats Coming Up
So stick around guys… You may like what we have in store for you in the next few weeks… There’s a few big bomb shells we are going to be dropping, things that are so far out of left field you won’t even see them coming. Not convinced…? You should be…
The OverDose Soundtrack Is Now Avilable!
Luciano has been working extra hard to bring you some amazing new sounds, most of which we haven't made public. Luciano, a self-taught musician from Surrey, England, has worked on numerous game sound tracks as well as in other media such as TV and Film, and has worked closely with us to bring you some truely epic media.
So now, for your delectation, we present the full OverDose soundtrack! SImply hit the pic below to be taken to the OverDose BandCamp page where you can purchase the soundtrack! Those of you who Contribute to the IndieGoGo Tier will get this soundtrack as a bonus thank you, free of charge!
So Team Blur Games Are Now Taking Donations? What For?
Team Blur Games is, as always, totally 100% behind bringing you the best that we can. But of course, that also means that we are bound to put a lot of unpaid man hours into making something like this. The bigger issue isn't that we don't get paid... We actually love this stuff and would do it for free regardless. No, the bigger issue is that we never get any help. The problem there is because we can't afford to really pay anybody for their services, which really isn't fair. becuse some of the art people have done for us is just amazing.
So, we set ourselves up on IndieGoGo & RocketHub! Sites dedicated to help fundraising for small indie teams such as ours. Listed below is more information as to what Overdose is, and just where exactly any lolly you may donate goes...
And for once, its not on new shoes for Nicolas.
What is OverDose? Why is it different?
OverDose is the project of a few old school FPS gamers. We’ve grown tired of the same old antics in games these days… You know the feeling. You get a new Call Of Duty, and shock horror it plays the same as the last. Nobody takes “risks” these days. That’s why as old school gamers, we wanted to try and change that formula.
One of the greatest team based online shooters of all time was Return To Castle Wolfenstein. A game that took the internet by storm and killed many peoples dial up modems, it focused on amazingly honed objective based combat, but rather than working alone to score the most points, you worked as part of a team. Going solo in this game would just end up ruining it for yourself. This class based action was amazing in its day, and is still a benchmark for team play in online shooters. But nobody ever expanded on it. We aim to change that.
But then, we can’t just copy an older games formula with a new lick of paint, can we? So, off to the drawing board we went, and came up with new ideas and implementations. The most expansive of which is that OverDose features a movement system far more free than most games. Players can walk, run, sprint, crawl, go prone, swim, climb, mantle, leap, hang and slide, as well as do team specific manoeuvres with other willing friends that allow them to get to even more places. We really tried to think of the biggest flaws of modern first person shooters, and we hope that with regards to movement, we really nailed it right in the sweet spot between boring WASD movement and something far too complicated to be fun.
So hopefully, we have gameplay covered. Throw that in with a sexy graphics engine created from the ground up that displays real time per pixel lit environments where the entire world is shadow mapped, and you have yourself a tasty morsel of gore, blood, bullets and carnage.
Of course, that doesn't mean to say that OverDose will be an instant hit. Why should you pick playing or supporting OverDose over other released FREE titles, like RtCW:ET, True Combat, Urban Terror, and a whole host of high quality mods made for games? Well for one, OverDose isn't a mod. We didn't build a game idea on top of an engine, we built an engine for a game idea. That means everything, right down to the networking code, was written just for us, by us, to do what we want it to do. That makes a huge difference alone, because you're no longer battling a set in stone system to hack your way around things, because you control the system. Thats why OverDose took a long time to get to this stage, because we built our rendering engine, sound engine . input and networking all to do a specific task. But then, don't those other free games that are not simply mods, do the same? Of course! But those games don't offer the same freedom of movement as we do. Think of OverDose as a mix between RtCW, COD and Mirrors Edge, and you will have a great idea on our end game ;)
Fancy finding out more? OverDose is on various sites around the internet. Heres a few sites you can check out to find out more information on the project:
The Past, Present And Future
OverDose is currently being playtested in alpha/beta form, with heavy work underway on the actual game itself. Simply put that means that the rendering engine behind OverDose (that does all the fancy whiz bang boom boom pow stuff) is totally complete and we are well into game code. One of the biggest hurdles and when creating a new title is getting the engine up to par with what you need it to achieve, and as we used id tech 2 as a base, that was no easy feat. Right now we are hard at work on more content, as well as the game scripting code.
As I said, the game is in closed alpha/beta right now and being tested by ourselves in house, and will pretty soon be sent out to more of the public so that we can gather a wider range of thoughts and feedback.
OverDose currently has a planned release date of December, 2012 on Steam. Oddly enough, that’s the month the worlds supposed to end anyway… Hopefully, we hope the two won’t be connected!
How Will Your Contributions Help? What We Offer In Return
We offer many perks for your contributions. Listed below are our current perks that you get for helping us at [TBG]:
• $1+ - Every little helps, and will secure you a place on our credits screen for all the world to see!
• $15+ - Donating $15 will secure you a copy of the game on release.
• $45+ - Donating $45 or more will net you access to the OverDose Alpha/Beta (when available) as well as access to the soundtrack complete with updates if/when they become available! Soundtrack written and recorded by Luciano Giacomozzi & M. Baran Yasar.
• $150+ - The big one... Not only do you get all of the above, but you will also have the chance to see yourself in the game as a player selectable head... and then watch as some no good dirty mutant blows it clean off. Good times...
But how exactly what exactly will the money we are raising help? First and foremost it allows us to expand OverDose into a larger title by adding additional artists, coders and other skilled members to come onboard and help us out. That means more content for you, the gamer. Secondly, it means that any additional money we receive will go towards the engine licence cost. What if we receive more than we asked for? Well in that case, it we would buy beer… Which would be paid out of our own pocket of course, because we would be over the moon to be able to hire even more help! Simply put, we have big plans for OverDose, and the more we receive, the better title we can release.
NOTE: All perk awards are stackable, meaning if you donate for example $65 you will get all of the $45 awards, all the $15 awards, all of the $1 awards and a huge big thank you!
So, fancy helping an indie team reach their goal? I knew you would come around!
So thats it! Thank you for your support! Hopefully, with your help, we can get OverDose to where it deserves to be, and then we can frag each other the old fashioned way!
Lead Designer for Team Blur Games [TBG]