So as you are all hopefully aware, this week we launched on Steam Early Access. It was an exciting and somewhat eventful launch. Almost immediately after hitting the release button our store page refused to load on my computer, and then no Steam page would load. I then realized, after confirming with some other Steam users, that the Steam servers were offline for what turned out to be close to half an hour. What a great way to follow up on a launch, wouldn’t you agree?
Anyway, with that little hiccup aside, things have been going well since launch. We’ve been getting some valuable feedback from a number of sources, and we’re listening to all of you so if you have feedback then we’d love to hear it.
To those of you indulging in the current Steam sale, may Gabe have mercy on your wallets. And remember, Christmas is just around the corner. Perhaps there’s someone you know who’d like the gift of Collateral. ;)
That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading. -David
It’s finally happening. Collateral will be available on Steam Early Access next Tuesday, the 25th, Australian time (late on the 24th US time). This release has been a long time in the making, what with our Greenlight campaign succeeding about 7 months ago. We’ve been working to make this update worth the wait, and it’s a big addition to the currently available version.
The new update (also to be made available for current Desura customers at roughly the same time) includes a huge number of changes. Principally among them is the addition of the second district of New Bedlam, the Industrial Zone. Also included are an assortment of new weapons and upgrades, changes to paintjobs allowing the player to customize the look of their taxi even further, 3 new mission types, and a wide range of tweaks and bug fixes.
That’s all the news we have for you this week, but it’s big news! Thanks for reading. -David
Over the coming weeks we’re going to unveil some of the new upgrades that have been in production for the past few weeks. First up this week are the Milano Hoverpads.
Now I hope it’s not a controversial statement to say that many of us here at DDG are fans of Marvel’s cinematic universe, particularly their most recent efforts with Guardians of the Galaxy. Whilst there are quite a few pop culture references littered around the city of New Bedlam, this is something that has influenced a part of the cab directly.
I was smitten as soon as I saw the ship’s design, particularly the wings, and as they say “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. This is also the first set of hoverpads to be made after changing how hoverpads are attached to the cab programmatically. As has been previously explained, the hoverpads had to be symmetrical on two axes so that a single model could be flipped around to fit all four “wheel” arches. Now all four pads are attached as a single model, meaning that I don’t have to restrict my designs so much anymore. Thanks to this, the pads on both sides can have the wings swept back the way they should be.
That’s all from me for now. Be sure to come on back for more next week! -Mark
As the old adage says, only two things in life are certain: Death and Taxes. Well, Collateral’s certainly not dead but the other one is giving us some grief. And by that I mean American tax law is annoyingly complicated. I’m sure any foreign (and often local as well) tax law seems that way to most people. At the moment it’s annoying for us because as an Australian company we have to deal with US tax law as well as our own. We’ve hit a little delay caused by trying to get someone who understand US tax stuff to explain a few things to us. It turns out it’s not easy to find someone here who can explain the things we need to know, so we’re still looking.
That paragraph was intentionally somewhat vague. We don’t want to openly discuss our internal business, but we felt it was worth letting you all know roughly what we’re dealing with right now and why we’re not “Steaming” ahead. Hahaha… yeah that was terrible.
So while that’s happening, I can say that we’ve managed to crush quite a lot of the bugs that we were targeting. A couple more popped up and most of those have been crushed too. A few are still lingering, but that was always expected for now. It’s still early access, so there will be bugs and temporarily broken or missing features.
Art for future content is also progressing. I’ll just say that the faction headquarters for the next district are looking impressive, and Riley is doing a great job with the street layout and district style. The new upgrades are starting to look nice too. When Mark has done the next one we’ll show you how they’re doing.
Thank you to everyone who stopped by at PAX Aus last weekend. It was great seeing people have a go at Collateral and we’re glad that you had such nice things to say about it. We also love to hear suggestions and feedback that can give us fresh insight from new players. Those are the things that make the whole exhibition experience worthwhile.
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading! -David
As I said last week, we’ll be at PAX Aus tomorrow as well as Saturday morning so you get an update a day early this week. If you’re going to be at PAX then please stop by and have a go at Collateral. You can find us at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment stand in the main expo hall.
For those who won’t be able to try Collateral at PAX, you’ll be glad to know that our Steam early access version is almost ready. We’re at the final bug-reducing stage for this release, so we’re not updating any more art or features for it and just trying to remove as many bugs as we can. I say bug-reducing because there are one or two that I can think of that are going to take a lot more time to fix due to their nature, so those will likely be left as “known issues” until a later fix. Nothing game-breaking, but noticeable and potentially annoying when they happen.
In the meantime, since there isn’t going to be any more art needed for this update, our artists are excitedly moving on to new things. Mark has been working on a number of the new upgrades he designed recently as well as designing a few more as he goes. Riley has started work on designing the next area of the city. I won’t give away too much about it at this early stage, but much like the last addition to the city it will have a very distinct feel to it and feature the headquarters of another pair of factions.
That’s all for now. Hopefully we’ll see some of you this weekend. Thanks for reading. -David
So this is kind of last minute, but we’ve been offered some free space to exhibit Collateral at PAX Aus thanks to AIE, the Academy of Interactive Entertainment where the members of our company studied game development. You’ll be able to come and try the latest version of Collateral at the AIE booth all day Friday and the first half of Saturday.
We’re still inching closer to Early Access on Steam. This week we’ve been composing a new trailer to celebrate the release, sorting out as many bugs as we can, and generally trying to make the next version of Collateral as polished as can be. There are still some issues that aren’t going to be fixed just yet so that we don’t have to hold back the release any longer figuring out how to fix them, but we’re aware that they exist and will continue trying to fix them for next time.
Since we’ll be at PAX on Friday, next week’s update will come out on Thursday instead. Till then, thanks for reading. -David
Mark‘s back to bring you the weekly update. This week I bring you a new gun and new potential upgrades.
After making a lot of progress on our build for Steam, our incredibly talented environment artist Riley took it upon himself to make another weapon just for kicks. We’ve got a gun that fires ions and one that rips a hole in the fabric of reality, but we didn’t have a basic shotgun. And we still don’t because why have a shotgun when you can have a plasma shotgun instead?
So what else have we got in the works besides guns? Well we’ve got more ways to customize the cab to your liking. Because I started these pretty late in the week, the concepts are incredibly rough.
Most notable are the hoverpads, as we’ve made some changes in the way they’re implemented that allow for more variety in style.
Previously, we simply had the one mesh duplicated to fill out each “wheel” arch. This constrained what could be design because each mesh had to be symmetrical on two axes so that it could be flipped without issue.
There are also other physical limitations when it comes to designing upgrades for the cab. For example, one booster I’ve drawn will probably be heavily reworked since it would be incinerating the weapon in the mine-layer slot.
That’s all for now. Thanks for dropping by everybody. Be sure to come on back next week for another Collateral update. – Mark
Today I’m going to talk to you about perks. That is to say, the joys and rewards of working for someone else. You see being a taxi driver is nice and all, but while the pay is good and your options at the local stores are numerous there are some things only available to those with the right connections.
As Zack begins to work for the various factions around the city he will be rewarded for his service. Sometimes this will be just an ordinary cash reward, but sometimes Zack will be given access to something exclusive. For example, the chance to be a moving billboard for his would-be employers.
Here you can see some examples of the Octopi and Cthulhu Corp paintjobs (yes, we’ve been making a lot of those lately) that will only be unlocked by doing missions for their respective factions. Exactly when they’ll be unlocked is still undecided, but these along with faction-exclusive weapons and upgrades will be rewards for making friends with the right organizations. Of course, it’s up to you to decide who the right organizations are…
You might also notice the new frames on the cab in those images. Collateral isn’t going to be all guns all the time. You’ll start with a smaller arsenal and have to earn your way up to using the big guns. New frames, and thus new weapon configuration options, will be unlocked throughout the game no matter which factions you side with.
That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading! -David
As promised, here are some screenshots of the things we mentioned last week.
The new damage effects make your taxi look more scraped and dinged up as you take hits, and you’ll leave sparks when you collide with things to give you a better feel of grinding metal.
With more paintjobs and our new paint and glow options, you can have even more variety for your cab’s appearance. The Colour sliders adjust the highlight colour of the taxi’s body and upgrades, while the glow sliders affect the colour of the luminescent panels and the under light.
I also mentioned the new missions last week. Here’s how they work.
In a Big Game Hunt mission, you’ll be tasked with hunting down a particular vehicle much like in an Assassination mission, however your target is a massive Juggernaut. The Juggernaut is also a lot more deadly than it used to be with increased health and newly installed drunk missiles.
The other mission type is the Volatile Package mission. This is a variation of the Smooth Ride mission type, however instead of transporting a passenger with an uneasy stomach you’ll be carrying a rather dangerous item that has violent consequences if you don’t take care in your delivery.
Oh, and for those wondering about our progress with Steam…
…we’re getting closer.
That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading. -David
We’re inching closer to having our Steam Early Access release ready for submission, which is pretty exciting for us. We’ve also got a bunch of new content and improvements for you this week.
We now have even more paint jobs available, plus the colour selector for both the main body colour and the glow colour is now working. The effect is a massive spectrum of taxi appearances for you, and that doesn’t even consider the assortment of weapons and upgrades available.
Want more gameplay? Well the new convoy missions are up and running, and a couple more mission types are just about ready too. We are very mysteriously referring to them as Big Game Hunter and Volatile Package. More about those next week.
Not feeling enough visceral feedback? Well now we have damage and impact effects to show you just how banged up your taxi is. We’ve even been updating other effects like the teleporter flash and Ion Cannon beams.
We’ll try to have a nice gallery of images to show off some of these things with next week’s update. In the meantime, thanks for reading! -David