Archive for Updates

Back To Business

Hey everyone!

This week we’re taking another, closer look at the upcoming addition to the New Bedlam skyline; the Central Business District.

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The bare streets of the CBD, as seen in an earlier update, have been getting some more detail lately. Lamp posts, bridges over the iconic canals, shop fronts, and billboards are helping bring life to the newest corner of New Bedlam.

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There are plenty of details and unique features, big and small, around the CBD. As mentioned previously there are several faction headquarters, noteworthy landmarks, and little secrets hidden here and there. I’d love to talk about the biggest and most interesting features in the district, but we’re saving those for their own reveals.

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In other news, this Sunday Collateral will be at iFest in Melbourne, located at ACMI in Federation Square. Come and say hi to Rob and give the game a try!

Thanks for reading! -David

Feel The Power!

Hey everyone!

Do you like horsepower? Do you like machines with lots of complex, moving parts? Do you like an engine that has a lot of grunt? Then this is the engine for you! Introducing the Giant Turbo (as always, a working title).

Giant Turbo Engine
As an enhanced single version of the lower-tier turbo engine, this larger version is an example of how you can step up the same kind of performance with newer upgrades. Some engines will focus on acceleration, while others will be more about increasing your max speed. As you progress and unlock new and better upgrades there will still be upgrades more focused on some traits over others.

Engine - Turbo
The Giant Turbo will share the same strengths of the more basic turbo engine but with higher stats, letting you continue to improve your performance in the direction you prefer. The same applies to other upgrade types, whether you want a shield with higher capacity in exchange for a slower recharge, or a booster that’s not quite as strong but has more staying power, there are upgrades for everyone’s taste.

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

Can You Dig It?

Hey everyone!

We’ve talked about him before, but now he’s finally here! Feast your eyes upon the one and only shotgun wielding hobo in an office chair on top of a flying taxi; Deadtooth Doug!

Doug
Doug is here to help as he sits above your Taxi. Simply give him the signal and he’ll start taking care of enemies left, right, and centre. He’ll also start shooting non-enemies, and probably even friendlies. Doug could do with a little lesson in identifying friend from foe, but after that he’ll be ready.

Doug is part of a new, bigger class of weapons that can occupy the entire roof space of your taxi. As such, you won’t be able to have Doug equipped at the same time as, say, an Ion Cannon. So there are new tradeoffs to be considered when setting up your layout.

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

Consider Your Options

Hey everyone!

This week let’s take a look at the concept images from Mark for the additions we’re planning to add to the in-game menu. At present we’re looking to add pages for the map and faction status, as well as a page for mirroring the main menu audio options.

Pause Menu Map Work in Progress
The current fullscreen map is somewhat hard to read, so a number of people have suggested that we have a menu to access the map in order to make it easier to orient yourself. Since we’re doing that, we thought why not use the excuse to clean up the map a little as well. The addition of an opaque background and clearer icons should help with navigation. There will also probably be zoom buttons and a legend to explain the icons.

Faction Standing Work in Progress
Faction reputation is a key mechanic for story progression. This menu screen will allow you to keep track of who likes you and who doesn’t. The coloured bars will increase and decrease based on who the player helps or hurts. So before you go destroying everything in sight, consider that someone probably cares. Somehow, someone is always watching.

That’s all for now. As always, thanks for reading! -David

I Believe I Can Boost!

Hey everyone!

Time to tell you about another piece of loot you can acquire to customize your cab. This week features yet another working titled upgrade, the Omni-Booster.

Are you tired of feeling slow and inadequate? Do you feel the need for speed? Does your vehicle have rear vision that you never really use? Then you need the Omni-Booster! Its patented multi-thruster design gives you more speed when you need it and lasts longer than the average boost module.

Omni-Booster Upgrade
The multi-thruster design may seem familiar, and that’s because they were designed in the same style as a previously highlighted, and similarly named, upgrade; the Omni-Pads. Both upgrades will be given new permanent names before being included in an update.

While the non-faction upgrades aren’t designed with the intention of creating themed sets, some upgrades and weapons do tend to have a similar aesthetic, especially when being designed at the same time.

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

Getting Down To Business

Hey everyone!

New Bedlam is a city of dark streets and neon lights. It’s also a city of smokestacks and factories. Each part of the city is a diverse and unique kind of crazy, and with that in mind we have a preview of the next district of the city, the Central Business District (or CBD).

CBD1
Our level designer, Riley, has been hard at work on the CBD for a while now and we all think it’s looking great. The CBD has a much cleaner aesthetic than the earlier districts, which is thanks to the kind of citizens who occupy this part of the city.

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Each city district is home to one or more faction headquarters as well as numerous landmark structures, like the Medusa Medical building here. The CBD even has features like canals up high between buildings. How? Science! Or magic. It’s probably one or the other.

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This area isn’t complete yet, and much of the smaller detail hasn’t been added, but these screenshots convey the general appearance we’re aiming for in this part of New Bedlam. The basic layout of the district is close to being complete, but it will still take some time before it’s ready for proper testing.

That’s all for now. Sorry for the delay this week, and thanks for reading. -David

A Woman’s Touch

Hey everyone!

Last week we talked about the Carnies’ Union, one of the factions the player will encounter near the beginning of Collateral’s story. With Valentine’s Day being tomorrow, what better time to talk about their rival faction, the Strippers’ Society?

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The leader of the Strippers is a woman known only as the Kommandant. Not much is known about her, except that she controls the Redlight District and all of its completely legal and above board activities from the Strippers’ Society HQ, Holy Moly.

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The Carnies and Strippers have a lot of history, particularly between Bingo and the Kommandant. Tensions have been high in the Redlight District since the Carnies set up their new tent for the Carnival of Freaks.

After meeting these factions, the player will have a choice to make. Do they side with the Carnies’ Union and help Bingo fight against the Kommandant’s best assets, or side with the Strippers’ Society to take on Bingo’s psychotic carny troupe? The choice is up to you.

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

Spinning All Over The Place

Hey everyone!

We’re back with yet another new piece of gear you can slap on your trusty taxi. This week we’re featuring the Omni-Pads (working title)!

Omni-Pads Upgrade
The Omni-Pads are another example of asymmetrical hoverpads. With the Milano hoverpads I was able to experiment with having a model that would’ve looked strange if it were flipped around, but here I was able to have completely different models for the front and back wheel arches.

The micro thrusters on the rear pads are there to push the back end of the taxi around quickly in a turn, while the thrusters on the front pads help keep the vehicle stable when straightening back up. The end result is a quick, controlled spin to help you to better navigate those tight corners.

That’s all we have for this week. Thanks for reading. -Mark

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

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