Please watch in HD!
Spread the word! We have just two weeks left to make this a roaring success.
As you know, the basic result of our being funded is to expand our prototype into a full game.
You’ve already seen the results of our work in the videos and screenshots we’ve released so far. Right now we can generate islands, be hunted by robots, loot buildings, and engage in survival and stealth activities. Kickstarter money gives us time to expand and polish all those basic aspects of the game, and lets us put real time into the things that really matter in play, like how the “feel” of combat comes across, and how the thresholds of detection and activity make the stealth game play out. This are critical design problems that require serious focus. We can now get on with that.
We can also finish work on our cast of NPCs, developing both their general AI behaviours, and – most critically – the animations that bring them to life. Here’s the cast of horrors you’ve already unleashed.
These come in a number of tweedy flavours, but the net result is always that you are hunted across woodland and heath, with shotguns and worse. The hunter is the most common of the killer gentry, and they’re keen on murder and tea. They aren’t always friendly to each other, either. Different robot families have oil feuds that have been going on for years – expect to see them settling their differences while on the hunt.
The hunter’s best friend. The razor-jawed beasts chase the player down, pin them down, and let the hunter’s rifle do its work. Learn to deal with these four-legged nasties with haste.
A trap-wielding, near-invisible interloper. Crudely armed with a blunderbuss and bear-traps, the poachers lie in wait, and will kill whatever wanders into their traps, whether it be robot or human…
Middle-class mechanical, The Squire, isn’t interested in hunting. He’s not really interested in open hostility at all. You can walk up to a passive Squire without any danger. The huge beasts wander amiably around the villages, humming popular music hall tunes. That is until you try to loot a building. Then there might be trouble.
The Bog Creature
Briefly revealed at the end of our Kickstarter pitch video (admittedly in placeholder form) the bog creature is a mysterious tentacular contraption which lurks beneath the murky surface of the waters surrounding the archipelago. We ‘re going to love crafting that one. (Sorry.)
Oh, and, since a few of you asked about this, the game will, as standard, come in “Sir, You Are Being Hunted” and “Madam, You Are Being Hunted” modes. You will get to choose gender on game-start.
Stretch goals are additional features that we can promise if we hit higher levels of funding, now that the £40,000 goal has been reached. Here’s what we’re planning.
£45,000 – The Landowner UNLOCKED!
At this amount we’ll be expanding our NPC roster with “The Landowner.” This chap is an aberrant mechanical ultra-toff. He’s a leader among hunters, and the nightmare gaze of his glowing monocle means near-certain death, and at the very least lots of peril. With The Landowner in play, the player is truly in trouble – his tracking skills and his riflemanship are peerless. Fear him.
£50,000 – Hunting! UNLOCKED!
This stretch goal will allow us to include additional wildlife-slaying functionality. You will be able to hunt pheasants and rabbits and then cook them for sustenance. This will provide a complementary mode of survival for players aside from scavenging, as well as furnishing the world of Sir with more life. (And death.)
£55,000 – The Castle biome! UNLOCKED!
A completely new island type on which a ruined castle is procedurally generated across the entire island. This will provide the game with both a radically different terrain, and an atmospheric arena in which to be systematically hunted down and shot. (We’re really excited about this one – more proc-gen makes Tom happy.)
£60,000 – Hot Air Balloon Spotter Patrols
This will probably take a little bit of explaining. Basically, the robots will man a hot air balloon which will make passes over the islands. From there they’ll be able to direct hunters on the ground, and take pot-shots at you if and when they spot you. This adds some verticality to think about, especially as balloons are silent most of the time. Keep your eyes on the skies! These balloon patrols might be slow moving, but they will provide platforms for the hunters to spot you over a large area at any one time, and as such should provide serious jeopardy.
£70,000 – ???????????????? TO BE REVEALED
£80,000 – ???????????????? TO BE REVEALED
As for the multiplayer question, well, we are focused on delivering a single player game right now. We do have a plan for multiplayer, but it will take a lot more cash. Therefore we’ll place it very high on stretch-goal targets. That’s all we can say for now.
We’ve made the jump to Kickstarter funding right here. Please back us!
And watch this:
The past couple of weeks have seen us enter a new phase with the game. We’re following the sort-of-standard development cycle in that for us “alpha” means “playable, but not yet feature complete”, and that’s where we are now. That’s not to say that the game is entirely fleshed out, because it lacks a tonne of art assets to fill out multiple islands, and it needs lashings more work on fine tuning our combat and stealth systems.
However, we are now able to jump in and play, and that’s an enormously pleasing place to be. In the rest of this post I want to give you an overview of the project, and to talk to you a bit about our plans.
Meanwhile, Tom is back from his time in the wilderness of a house move, and now we’re motoring again. That means fixing the last of the major issues with terrain generation, putting the UI in, and pouring more time into the hunters themselves.
We’ve primarily been working towards the next video, and taking some screenshots as we go. We should have that for you soon. While Sir is not really a game about battle-action and explosions, we did rather like this one…
That shot shows the player unloading both barrels into a gentleman patrol as they engage a rival hunt (visible in the distance).
We’ve had some fantastic coverage for our trailer, which was viewed over one hundred and a ten thousand times last week. Everyone on the Big Robot core team – Dan, Tom, James, and myself – are thrilled with the response, and I am sure our contributing artist Christophe Canon is pleased to have his work gain so much attention. (He’s sunning himself on the beach right now, so I can’t ask him!)
However, the trailer raised lots of questions, and we decided to answer them here.
Footage from the alpha build. Head to the forum if you have any comments or questions.
Inevitable, eh? No robotic gentlemen would complete without a robot’s best friend, the ruthless and relentless hunting hound. This deadly beast is a fine tracker, and works hard to pin down hapless quarry as the tweedpunk peers close in for the kill… More below.
James has created a gallery showing off one of our alternate times of day: a pinky dusk. Ooh, lovely. Head below for more. Might make some good desktops, eh?
The next gallery will reveal our robotic hounds.