"Ho, Ho... Ho!" - Part Deux
Although we've kept in touch with our fans through our site and social networks, an entire year has passed since we last posted on Overwatch's profile. Today, we have some great news we'd like to share with our over 1,500 followers here on ModDB.
We've been so insanely pleased with Overwatch's popularity: so far, it's been downloaded over 90,000 times and is still played every week by fans from all over the world. These facts, combined with the amazing feedback we've received from our community, have kept us highly motivated to keep pushing forward with our plans.
We've hit a few bumps in the road in the last year but, bumpy road or not, we never even considered giving up. Instead, we made a few tough decisions, decisions that allow us to keep moving forward with our plans. The biggest one, explained below, is our switch to the Unreal Engine.
Why switch to the Unreal Engine?
Source is a fantastic engine and we definitely had a blast working with it and being a part of its community; however (and unfortunately), it wasn't designed to handle everything we were throwing at it (like the RTS aspects, numerous complex entity systems, etc..). It would have taken quite a bit of effort (and lots of code) to fix those issues, which would have been time taken away from developing the game itself. After a quick bit of prototyping in the UDK, it became obvious to us that UE3 is much better suited to handle our needs.
Our community has also come to expect a great deal from us (timely/frequent releases, for example), and many of you have also voiced your concerns that Overwatch's potential wasn't being fully explored (not enough maps and lack of custom assets built specifically for OW's type of gameplay, to name a few). Switching to UE3 gives us the opportunity to work on an Overwatch-like game as a commercial project which, even with a minimum amount of income, would allow us to dedicated more than just our free time to its development, producing more content at a faster pace (honestly, if we didn't have to eat and feed our families, we'd all be putting in every minute we have - and some of us already put in more than what is considered a sane amount).
The bottom line is, even though we've made a few big changes, we're working harder than ever to reach our goal of producing a fun and unique game that people can enjoy for years to come. That said, allow me to introduce:
Intruder Alert! (or IA! for short) is a cooperative asymmetric multiplayer Real-Time Strategy Shooter and the spiritual successor to Overwatch.
Like Overwatch, IA! pits a team of GPs (Ground Players, playing cooperatively in first-person or third-person view) against one or more OPs (Overhead Players, commanding AI-controlled units and manipulating the environment around them from a top-down perspective).
We've taken all the valuable lessons we've learned while developing Overwatch and are using them to build a bigger, better and more complete game of the same genre, this time powered by Epic's amazing UE3 (using the UDK).
We've also gotten rid of the restrictions we'd set on ourselves during Overwatch's development. This time around, we're aiming for a complete gaming experience: bigger and better features, with levels, models and textures built entirely from scratch around a fun theme and an awesome art style.
Our plan is still to RERO and to get our community intricately involved in IA!'s development process every step of the way. In our minds, your feedback and suggestions are invaluable to IA!'s success, as they were to Overwatch's.
There's plenty more to say about our plans for IA! and we've organized it all in an easy-to-read format and posted it on this Details page. You can also read the official announcement on its IndieDB page.
Is this the end for Overwatch as a Half-Life² mod?
Not quite. While getting that first build of IA! in our community's hands as soon as possible is our top priority, we still have at least one big release planned for Overwatch.
Targeted for early 2012, the update will contain all of the content found in the development build (which includes textured Breach, updated Crossroads and Canals, tons of other tweaks and bug fixes, and some awesome community-made levels) as well as a few new surprises like Breach II: the long-awaited second part of the Breach level (hint: STRIDERS!!), enough to keep you busy until you can play IA!.
Be sure to keep a close eye on our site as we'll soon be posting a complete list of changes that will be included in the upcoming release.
2011 Best Upcoming Indie of the Year Award!
In closing, I'd like to point out that thanks to you, IA! made it to IndieDB's Top 100 list this year, just like Overwatch did last year! If you love Overwatch as much as we do and like our plans for the future, please put a huge smile on our faces by helping Intruder Alert! make the Best Upcoming Indie list of 2011 (click the image below and scroll to the bottom of the page, then click on the Vote button to the left of the IA! image):
Happy Holidays and see you in 2012!