Archive for Updates

Quickfire Round

Hey everyone!

I said that this week we were going to have a development related update, but I thought that instead it would be more useful to briefly address a few questions that get brought up time and time again. An FAQ, I suppose. These are questions that we get asked a lot and typically answer directly, but haven’t always made a very public response to. So, here we go…

Q. Has anyone ever told you that your game reminds them of the Fifth Element?

A. Yes. Almost everyone says that. Part of the visual inspiration for the game was taken from the aesthetics of the movie, however we drew more inspiration from films like Blade Runner. Collateral’s setting and mechanics are actually inspired by a game from 1994 called Quarantine.

Q. Can you move up and down?
(And on a related note)
Why can I only go a short distance up and down?

A. Yes, you can move up and down. The city of New Bedlam has an energy field we call “The Hovergrid” which powers its vehicles. Vehicles that leave the Hovergrid are forced to return to it in order to remain in flight, meaning that there is an upper and lower limit within which you can drive. Some vehicles are able to remain outside the field, such as The Fuzz (New Bedlam’s police force), but not every vehicle. During development its likely that NPC vehicles will erroneously be able to go above and below this field under certain conditions but that should be fixed as other AI improvements are made.

Q. Is there, or will there be, a campaign?

A. Yes, we are working on the campaign. We don’t want to say too much about it just yet, but it will involve doing missions for the various factions around the city. We’ve talked a bit about the factions before, however we’re working on the lore and history of the city and its inhabitants so we’ll save the updated faction discussion until that’s done. The main plot will still be to escape the city, as we’ve always said, but how you’ll go about that and why is a story we’ll leave for another time.

Q. Can I change the controls?

A. Yes, controls are rebindable. This is limited for the moment, meaning that not all buttons can be bound. This is in part because of how key bindings are being captured, so once we fix that it should be possible to fully rebind controls.

So with that done, how about a little visual reward in the form of a preview of one of our favourite upcoming weapons: Deadtooth Doug.

Deadtooth Doug WIP

Doug is a work in progress, but he will sit in his swivel chair strapped to the top of the taxi and spin around to fire at nearby hostile targets. Yes, you can have a guy sitting in an office chair spinning around on top of your taxi with his shotgun. Can you see why we’re looking forward to having this? We’ll talk more about Doug when he’s closer to completion.

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading. -David

And So Begins Our 2015

Hey everyone!

We’re back again for another year. We hope you had a good holiday break and had plenty of quality gaming time. We’re back in the office getting stuck into Collateral once again.

We had a brief meeting today to discuss what we’re all doing in the short term and even discussed the early game story that our writing team have been working on. I can’t share any of it with you just yet, but I will say that we’re enjoying what they’ve come up with so far. Can’t wait to start seeing it play out when we get it in-game.

There’s not much development stuff to report this week since we’ve just been getting back into the swing of things and picking up where we left off. By next week we’ll have had more time to do something noteworthy to fill you in on.

Till then, thanks for reading. -David

Shocking Developments

Hey everyone!

This week I’m here to feature another upcoming upgrade, the Tesla Engine. It’s a working title, but we’re planning to revisit and rename a lot of weapons and upgrades to give them more character.

Tesla Engine Upgrade
This engine is for all those that like clean, efficient, and experimentally-unstable energy alternatives. It’s 100% clean, heck it could even wipe clean 5 city blocks if it had enough power running through it. How? Why? Science!

We have some more classic inspired engines, but I felt like making something a little more experimental. You know, with parts that glow and stuff. People love things that glow. And sparks, it’ll probably have sparks.

It’s getting close to that time of year again, so we’ll be back next week with special holiday treat. -Mark

A Little Excessive

Hey everyone!

When creating new ideas for boosters, Mark had a few concepts in mind and made some rough sketches. Apparently though, none of them was quite over-the-top enough for him. So the first thing he made instead turned into what we are now affectionately calling The Overkill.

Overkill Booster Upgrade
This booster has power, and lots of it. In fact it has all of the power and it will give you that power almost all at once. It’s a massive cannon of pure, concentrated speed that will help launch you forward when you need it most.

There is the unfortunate downside of no longer having any rear vision, however it would be a reasonably safe assumption that anything behind you is either blind and swerving into buildings from staring into the light (note: not an actual thing that happens) or way back in the distance eating your vapour trails.

The Overkill is an example of the type of “sprint” boosters that are best suited to making quick dashes, as opposed to the “marathon” type that are more about maintaining a modest boost for longer.

We don’t want to leave the player with a single top-of-the-line upgrade to aim for, but instead cater to different play styles with diverse performance options when customizing each part of your taxi. Naturally this means we’ll need to do a lot of balancing, but that was always going to be the case as we add and test new parts and weapons.

That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading. -David

More Accessible

Hey everyone!

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

Getting Steamy

Hey everyone!

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


Hey everyone!

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.

Milano Hoverpad Upgrade
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

The Only Certain Things

Hey everyone!

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

Goings On And What’s Next

Hey everyone!

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

We’ll Be At PAX Again

Hey everyone!

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

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