Everyone, greetings once again.
After some time of productive silence, I feel that I can finally communicate what’s been going on in the past few months, and how after all this persistent fighting things ended up turning drastically in our favor.
The last several months have been very slow, full of confusion, stress, miscomunication and lots of exhaustion. The whole design and programming side will have to be redone from scratch, this time in a much cleaner and efficient way, but considering that most of the art side of the project has been made, I’m not worried about how everything is going to turn out.
Time wise, obviously after the last changes it’s going to take a bit longer, so there won’t be any beta or demo anytime soon, but no worries, after a few new changes it seems like we might be able to have some much better and faster result on the long run.
It’s refreshing to take some time from work to finally write down another blog post. Things have been going very well lately, the developing speed has been progressively increasing, and the details of the new animations, physics engine, AI and visual effects have also been drastically improving with our latest builds. Danilo has been working full time on the map editor, Claudio has been focusing on the whole police AI mechanics, Jendrik has been implementing all of my graphics plus visual effects into the code, and Simon has been taking care of all the many legal sides of this project.
At this pace, it’s realistic to imagine that we should have some very good results fairly soon.
Part of the reason that it’s taking us some time to move forward is because we’re working really hard on the Level Editor, one of the most important and ambitious objectives of this project. As a matter of fact, we’re working on creating our own levels with the same exact editor, so that you guys can also create your own campaigns in same way that we did. The levels will consist in a series of generic backgrounds, playable grounds, and foregrounds to choose from as a base template, plus a very large amount of items, structures, roads, plants, lights, etc, that you can add by simply dragging them into the scene.
We’re aiming to make all this as simple to use as possible, so that if you wanted you could help the people that are fighting for an important cause you know about by creating a map and sharing it either with your area or with the entire world.
Of course most of the times a riot is introduced by some impactful event or action, and that’s why we’re planning to have a cut-scene editor included with the level editor as well, where you will be able to choose between any of the hundreds animations or actions available, and millions of different skins and clothes combinations for any character that you want to place in the scene before or after the riot begins.
We ourselves are also going to create all the cut-scenes with the same editor for all of the four main campaigns, each one with a very well studied, accurate and realistic storyline that we already wrote with people who lived most of those situations in person or have been personally involved with them.
After all this time, seeing all these things come together sure is satisfying, but the battle is not over yet. We still need to finish quite some stuff before our official release is visible. Soon enough we’re going to update you on the current AI, the game mechanics and objectives, vehicles and a very realistic and accurate sound design. Stay tuned everyone, great things are happening.
Riot on guys
Having researched multiple riots in the world and having studied the phenomenon, we often stumble upon personalities which are hard to ignore; most of the times, those somehow special characters, lay in the rioters’ side of the battle and you will see quite a few of them in the game, for example Loukanikos. Although sometimes those special characters lay amongst the police and RIOT wants to tell both sides of the story.
Development is going great lately, we managed to put together a lot of material for a test build to show at GDC, and even if the build is very rough, the results have been quite positive so far.
So, let’s do a quick recap on how things are going so far.
We focused most of our attention into making a realistic artificial intelligence. Both policemen and rioters have the same psychological skeleton, meaning that anyone can potentially end up doing anything depending on the surrounding circumstances. Of course, rebels are much more “free” to do whatever they want, while policemen are more strainded to their rules and orders. This doesn’t mean though that a policeman can’t decide out of the bloom to pick up a rock and throw it to someone because he’s angry at him or her for some reason.
Artificial Intelligence is definitely coming out very nicely, and it’s definitely going to be one the most developed and unpredictable sides in RIOT.
Game mechanics are also coming out pretty well, even if we still need to implement a lot of material to make it work how it should. While rioters can be dragged around and can be instigated to be more peaceful or violent, policemen need to follow specific commands given by the player to execute their actions, depending on the unit type. Keep in mind that both sides can be controlled on the same screen at the same time in versus mode, giving the players the chance of fighting (or peacefully solving the situation for the professional players) in the same room, on the same device.
In one or two months from now, once we polish the playable level, we’re going to finally start testing the prototype until RIOT will be fully playable, realistic, accurate, fun and challenging. Considering the gameplay variation and the AI complexity, I’m very curious to see what’s going to come out, and what kind of tactics/solutions we can all come up with in each different level/situation.
Variety and random events are also something that I personally decided to focus on a lot. As for the animations, most of them are completed, at least for the main characters. There are about 1500 frames of different animated actions for each character, plus several hundreds of different clothes, gear, hats, masks, etc. Dozen of semi-randomly generated civilian vehicles have also been completed, and now I’m finally focusing on completing all the customizable vehicles for the police as well, for at least all the main campaigns. Basically it’s impossible to play the same map and have a similar outcome every time, both on a visual and gameplay aspect.
The reason why it took us so long to have some visual results, is because we decided to create a nice, user friendly map editor, so that users can create and hopefully upload their maps by their own. This requires a lot of preparation, but at the same time it will give us the chance of creating many more maps in a much shorter period of time.
Customizable random elements can also be added to the scene, any object can be placed either in a single spot or in a whole custom painted area, in a way to play either a very specific scenario, or possibly something with an incredible amount of random variety (from rocks to vehicles to spawning points or exploding trucks and tanks).
The actual backgrounds are what I’m focusing right now. Not too many have been completed yet, even if most of them have been carefully planned out and ready to be created in a way that every element can be used in the map editor. I’m going to need some concentration and spit quite some blood to make all this come to life, so bare with us as we do our best to make it happen.
light fx used to replicate realistic 3D lighting in the scenes
Cut scenes also require some time, also because we want to implement the possibility of having a cutscene editor in-game as well. Yes, this means that if things work out how they should, you would be able to create your own personal cut-scenes as well as your own personal backgrounds. Cut-scenes with randomly generated characters? Very much possible.
WHEN IS IT COMING OUT?
This is definitely hard to predict, even if we’re pretty sure that it’s probably going to come out during the second half of this year. Considering that the game went through a s**t ton of issues last year, and development never officially started seriously till November 2013, I can say that me and my team have been delivering a lot of great results so far. We’re predicting to have some great stuff in a few months from now. Now that we almost have a proper working scene, we need to boost out a lot of backgrounds, fix up the gameplay, test it out with many beta testers for a while (possibly people who experienced riots both from a policeman or a protester point of view), polish the game, and optimize performance for mobile and tablets.
How long all this is going to take, we can’t officially predict. But as we mentioned earlier, we don’t want to deliver anything until the project is completely finished. Also we do want to release it and play it ourselves soon, so that is keeping us working like insane psychopaths, possibly more than we ever did in our lives before.
So quick recap. Lots of things have been made, lots of things need to be done. Considering actual development started picking up well at full throttle in November, we’ve been moving like a high speed train since then. Predictions? Aiming for the second half of 2014. That is our main goal of course, but no promises.
So stay tuned guys! Great stuff is happening.
This morning I woke up, and the first mail I saw was this:
“Do you ever do updates of development status? Or add new screenshots?
Or, open a forum for people talk about your game?
OR DO YOU JUST LEAVE UP THE MOTHER FUCKING BUY MY GAME FOR $10 RIP OFF
BULL SHIT WHILE YOU COLLECT THE PEOPLES MONEY? FAKE GAME ASS MOTHER
- John Q.
“”It is taking way to long to update the blog not even thinking of
investing in this game….. I check every day every FUCKING DAY and no
update or anything thanks for nothing….”
I’m sure many of you already know this, but for those who don’t, let me assure you that making a game takes definitely quite some time. Also, if you don’t want to spend money to help us out with the project or if you don’t want to wait for us any longer, please don’t. Or at least try to stay calm, because the game will be finished and it’s going to come out, no matter what happens.
On the other hand, it’s true, most of you don’t really know much of what’s been going on, what happened, how everything started and where is everything going. That is why I’m going to write my next post personally and describe the whole story behind RIOT so far.
RIOT Game Background
In 2012, after experiencing a few riots back home in Italy for the first time, and after realizing how much the television was fighting to hide or manipulate some of the bloodiest and most powerful events I’ve ever thought existed, I automatically drew a few images of what I lived, using the style of one of the coolest games I’ve ever played at the time: Superbrothers Sword&Sworcery:EP. This was where everything started, and even though at the time I had no idea of what would’ve happened next, I kept saying to myself: “Dang I really want to bring these guys to life somehow”.
Turin 2012, later used as Tahrir revolution in the 2013 trailer
Chianocco Clearing concept 2012, NoTAV revolution
I officially moved from LA to Turin a few months after knowing that there was a lot more going on in Italy than I thought. I met up with a friend of mine (Lorenzo Mori) and an artist that I met through some new friends in a riot (Luca Delloste), and in mid July 2012 we moved together in my parents’ house for a few weeks to work on RIOT for the first time.
The amount of work we accomplished was amazing, and the results were beautiful. That was the first time I realized how awesome this game could turn out.
First RIOT team. On the left Luca (additional artist), in the middle myself (Leonard Menchiari, creator), on the right Lorenzo (Programmer), July 2012
The team was powerful, but it lasted only two weeks. Lorenzo had to study in England, and Luca left to explore Europe with absolutely nothing in his pocket. I didn’t want to give up, so I had to find a solution and keep working on the game myself.
At this point I decided to learn programming by my own through the endless possibilities that the web has to offer, and by February 2013 I was able to put together a very simple and cheap prototype that I made with my own hands. I couldn’t go on without money and without a place to stay though (mostly because I needed the internet and the power for my laptop), so I had to find another solution soon.
Early prototype 2012
That was the moment I decided to start the Indiegogo campaign so I could work on RIOT for about an year or so without having to worry about food or finding a different place to sleep every single night. Once the indiegogo campaign started, I was able to make around twice the amount of the $15k I initially asked for. This definitely gave me a big push to move forward, and make this game a whole lot better than what I initially pictured.
Very first concepts and experimentations of 2012
The money was spent for licences, to hire different people, and to pay rent and food. Unfortunately, because of many issues, the team had to be changed several times this year, causing the project to drastically slow down in different occasions. But even though the game design was delayed for several months, we had to go through many different programmers, and there were some dysfunctionalities with the public relations department, the team is solid now, and the speed on the project is constantly increasing. We’ve been receiving a lot of help lately, so hopefully you guys will be able to see some in-game footage progress and how things are moving forward fairly soon. We’re also finally starting to picture a release date, but we don’t want to anticipate anything because I don’t want to make any promises yet.
Many things happened, many obstacles were passed, but the team is moving forward and for those who are still wondering, upset, scared, or tired of waiting, I can assure you that this project will be made, and from what I can see, I can already say that it’s gonna turn out pretty sick.
Rioters style comparison from 2012 to 2013
Police style comparison from 2012 to 2013
Just a few last things, before I get back to work.
There is a forum for those who were asking. It’s not official, but you can find it on the Steam website. That is what we’re using right now to read comments and suggestions: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/discussions/129385144
As soon as we get an official forum page, we’ll make you guys know of course.
About the demo, we decided to work on it some more rather than sending out something cheap and hasty, so hopefully we’ll have some more updates about it soon.
Also, until we fix the Public Relations department, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll do most of our updates there from now on.
Again, thanks a lot for the support! You guys are great and with a little more time and patience you’ll finally see how sick this project is going to turn out.