Satellite Reign - All News
Saturday - February 08, 2014
Satellite Reign - Preview @ EDGE
Edge-Online takes a look at the spiritual successor to Syndicate in this new preview.
As with everything that 5 Lives is promising with Satellite Reign, these grizzly options are, as Diskett describes it, “like Syndicate Wars, but with more depth.” But maybe the more exciting thing about games like Satellite Reign is that developers are now free to build games that can include hot-button mechanics like kidnapping and suicide bombing without fear of making a publisher blanch. It’s early days for Satellite Reign, but perhaps the same fans who were disappointed by EA’s abandonment of Syndicate classic have more to be thankful for than they realise, as if Diskett and the rest of the 5 Lives team can live up to their vision the game’s grim future, Satellite Reign could be the full, adult evolution of Syndicate they wanted in the first place.
Friday - February 07, 2014
Satellite Reign - Dev Diary #5
5 Lives Studios has posted the next update of their development diary for Satellite Reign.
Dev Diary #05
Saturday - December 21, 2013
Satellite Reign - Post-Funding Update #42
Satellite Reign has a new post-funding update with the fourth developer diary.
Dev Diary #04
One last mission update before we have a little break for Christmas. In this update, we have a couple of big announcements…
Firstly, we hit our next stretch goal!! HOORAY!
That means we now have to fight off not only one big corporation, but three big corporations! On top of that, we now get to battle them in two new locations. AND we get Russell Zimmerman onboard to help with the writing for the game! It is a big stretch goal to hit and we are super excited about it. So, a big thank you goes out to all our backers who helped us get this far and especially those of you who have just joined us, or have upped their pledge to help get this stretch goal!
Secondly, the backer only forums are up. This is a special little place where only backers can go to give your input and vote on the direction of the game. Just head to the forums section of the site and sign in!
Thursday - November 07, 2013
Satellite Reign - Developer Diary Video
5 Lives Studios Mitch Clifford talks about how Satellite Reign can compete with huge animation teams on a small budget in this new video.
How to use a bunch of PlayStation cameras, several bits of wire, a flashlight and a dollop of ingenuity in place of mutli-million pound mo-cap facilities...
5 Lives Studios' Mitch Clifford explains how Kickstarter-funded Satellite Reign can compete with products with huge animation teams by using a smarter, leaner animation pipeline. It's a good watch people!
You can download the original video from here, or alternatively you can watch the video or grab embed codes from YouTube.
For further information about Satellite Reign, please contact Tim at Renegade PR.
A note about Renegade PR's involvement with Satellite Reign: we backed this Kickstarter because we loved Syndicate Wars, and we really want to see this fantastic project thrive. No Kickstarter funds have been spent employing us. We are helping get the message out in our own time and with our own resources.
Friday - October 18, 2013
Satellite Reign - Dev Diary #2
Satellite Reign has a new post-funding update with the second update of their development diary.
Pre-production is moving along nicely and we are creeping up on that next stretch goal! We’re nutting out the basic building blocks of the world at the moment, trying to create a solid foundation on top of which we can build the actual game. This is an incredibly important part of production, and is often cut short in many project schedules, which always causes issues further down the line. It’s great to finally have the chance to have a really solid pre-production period without having publishers breathing down our necks. We will show a bit of what we are doing in our next dev diary (it will be a much shorter wait this time), but for today, we’ve got something a little more on the technical/informative side for you all. Mitch has put together a run-down on his animation workflow for Satellite Reign. Check out the video, and if you’re still keen for a little bit more detail, there’s a write-up accompanying it too.
Hi everyone, Mitch here, the one responsible for all things animation at 5 Lives. Something we’ve seen raised a number of times around the internet is the fact that our game is fairly ambitious for a small team, which is a fair point. Essentially, what this means is we each have to be as efficient as possible in order to achieve our goals. The five of us are currently in pre-production, figuring out our individual pipelines, which basically means we’re working out how we each go about getting our ideas out of our heads and into the game, minimising headaches further down the line. Today, I’m going to give a rundown on how I’ll be approaching the animation aspect of Satellite Reign.
Animating an entire city population is no small task, especially when your entire animation team consists of one person. So, in order to get through the amount of work in front of me, I need a method to quickly create large volumes of animation. Animation is an incredibly time-consuming task, so animation-heavy games often have reasonably large animation teams. We’re on a very limited budget, so that isn’t really an option for us. This is what made me start looking at motion capture.
Wednesday - September 11, 2013
Satellite Reign - Dev Diary #1
Satellite Reign has a new post-funding update with the promised Dev Diary.
It has been a while since our last update, but we are all finally in our new office! Yay! We have been having conversations with lawyers and accountants over the last few weeks, as well as looking for an office for us to move into and having a little bit of a break after the Kickstarter campaign. But, we were all rested up and ready for Satellite Reign to consume us, and then all of our bodies decided it was time to revolt, and most of the team fell ill. We have managed to get the majority of us back in the office now but it resembles more of a quarantine zone with all the coughing and spluttering going on. Regardless, we push on!
What is next?
We still have a healthy “to do” list to get through before we are all working full steam on the game, but we already have the project set up in Perforce, and are starting to get the basics in so we can started on our stress tests. Over the next few weeks, we will be doing stress tests to determine the size we can make the city in terms of memory and what can actually be rendered. We will also be looking at how many characters we can get on screen, how many polys they can be, how many bones and how many materials we can use. We will also be doing up a first pass production schedule so we can make sure we are all on track.
Will I ever hear from you again?
More updates are coming! We are all moving from “set-up studio” mode and into “make awesome game” mode over the next few weeks. We won’t be able to post as many updates as we did during the Kickstarter campaign, however we will be keeping you all up to date with our Dev Diaries and we will be on the backer forums chatting to you all.
Friday - August 09, 2013
Satellite Reign - Preview @ VG 24/7
VG 24/7 has a new preview for the funded kickstater Satellite Reign.
If you check out the Satellite Reign site you’ll see that a monumental amount of effort and skill has gone into crafting a loving continuation of the Syndicate ethos. If you’re someone who felt burned by the current-gen Starbreeze reboot and its dubstep soundtrack, then this is surely your reward for putting up with EA’s attempt to modernise a template that should have been left alone.
In closing, then, I asked Diskett for his thoughts on the Syndicate reboot and if he’s heard any feedback from his former colleagues at Bullfrog. “Lots have got back in contact with me as a result of the Kickstarter,” he concluded, “and are all really excited by it, wanting to help out too. Quite a few have backed the Kickstarter too.
“Just to be clear we don’t own any Syndicate IP and aren’t using any characters story or content from the Syndicate series. EA owns the IP and we didn’t consider even trying to talk to them , I imagine it would go something like this:
EA: “That will be $10 million” .
5 Lives: “We have $10 “.
EA *Hangs up*.
“So as is the fashion, we are crafting a spiritual successor – a homage if you will to the Syndicate Wars game I made 15 years ago.”
Wednesday - July 31, 2013
Satellite Reign - The Road Ahead
5 Lives Studios has a new post-funding update talking about the road ahead for Satellite Reign.
We're funded and then some! At the time of writing the combined Kickstarter and PayPal total was £474,755.50, just over £25,000 short of the fourth stretch goal, which I'm sure we will reach in the coming months via PayPal.
A huge thank you to everyone who pledged so generously and put time and effort into spreading the word and providing feedback on the forum's email and comments. We read it all, sometimes twice!
As with every Kickstarter a percentage of pledge payments will fail to process correctly. If you're one of the people affected by this, please contact Kickstarter directly to update your details. In Kickstarter's own words:
If, for whatever reason, some of your backers’ cards are declined, we send them an email every 48 hours with a link to fix the issue. Backers have 7 days to fix their pledges, whether that means fixing a few numbers on the card they entered or trying a new card altogether. You can track the status of your pledges in your Backer Report. Declined pledges will show up as “errored” and any pledge that doesn't get fixed within 7 days will become “dropped.” It’s normal for projects to have a few errored pledges.
So if you're one of the affected please take the time to fix your details. Every cent will matter towards our stretch goals and currently the "errored" pledges could take a sizeable chunk out of our final tally. (For example, we have 45 "errored" pledges on the resistor tier alone).
We plan to continue the PayPal backing option on our site indefinitely, so for those who've only just discovered us or those wanting to share the link with friends, here's the link
Monday - July 29, 2013
Satellite Reign - Kickstarter Funded
Satellite Reign has been funded with two stretch goals achieved thanks to the last minute rush of pledges. I also have two new videos to go along with this post.
As we build different systems in the game, we will often create a mock-up visualisation of the system before we start programming and creating final art to see if the idea will work, and what things we may have overlooked. Those of you who have backed the project now have access to the backer only forums and will get to see lots more of these videos as we go through production. Today, we are showing off our first UI mock-up video to the public so everyone can get a taste of what the backers will be seeing over the next year.
Bruno Rime, an old colleague of ours from Krome Studios, has allowed us to present his post effect screen space raytraced reflections system for Unity, SSRR for short. This is actually quite a big deal :) and is the culmination of several years of R&D.
It looks awesome on our desktops in 1080p, unfortunately you will have to make do with just an amazing 720p YouTube video, using in game assets and filmed live from the Unity editor.
SSRR is a post effect reflection system that integrates into a customized variation of Unity's deferred rendering pipeline. By modifying Unity's lighting algorithm to approximate physically based models, the SSRR system is able to better reproduce complex light environments and detailed surfaces. The system is comparable to the technology path taken by both the Crytek and Umbra engines.
Saturday - July 27, 2013
Satellite Reign - Interview @ Worlds Factory
Worlds Factory interviews Mike Diskett about their recently funded kickstarter Satellite Reign.
Did you realize why there has been no Syndicate-like game in the past 15 years or so? Honestly, I didn’t play the original games (shame on me, I was a kid though), but even the basic concept of Satellite Reign sounds a lot more exciting to me than the average base-building RTS.
That’s part of the reason we came up with Satellite Reign to begin with, there really hasn’t been anything like this in 15 years. Even trying to explain it to younger gamers who never played it isn’t an easy exercise as there aren’t many recent reference points.
I love the sandbox, emergent gameplay approach to Satellite Reign. I’m wondering the extent to which the systems can be exploited by the clever player: for instance, you said that “power grids actually power the city”. Is it possible to take down a specific power grid in order to disable power in a specific sector of the city and facilitate infiltration by night?
That’s exactly the type of scenarios we want the player to uncover of their own volition. But the thing which excites us the most is seeing players come up with ways of playing the game we would never have thought of, unique solutions to problem which can only come from a true sandbox game.
The funding goal is for the single player campaign, but you acknowledged on Kickstarter that multiplayer opportunities are exciting. If you eventually add four players co-op, would each player control just one character? Also, what are your current ideas for a potential versus mode? Some user on your forums proposed Player-vs-Player Corps wars, that sounds like it could potentially awesome but I’m not sure it would be fitting to your kind of gameplay.
Each player would control one agent (or multiple agents if there was less than 4 players) as they played through the single player campaign. We’d love to do a versus mode but it would take a lot more time and subsequently more money to balance properly, we could throw in a versus mode fairly quickly if we already had the backend setup for co-op, but it’d be fairly bare bones and basic. We think there’s a lot of potential in a real fleshed out faction vs faction version of multiplayer, so we’d prefer to wait and do it properly. It’d likely be a further stretch goal past co-op if we were lucky enough to get that far, or in a sequel once the first game is successful.
Friday - July 26, 2013
Satellite Reign - Interview @ Softpedia
Softpedia set us new of an interview they conducted with Mike Diskett, and the development team working on Satellite Reign.
Q: When did the idea that a Syndicate Wars spiritual sequel would be interesting for a modern audience first emerge?
Mike had been sitting on the idea for quite some time and had mentioned it to us quite a number of time, we were all very keen but at that stage happily employed.
The employment situation changed and we took it as a sign from the gaming gods to take a shot at going indie.
Also when EA made the fps Syndicate it became clear there was demand for a return to the original style RTS.
Q: Why choose Kickstarter and not go for a large publisher?
The quick answer is we wanted to be completely independent.
However it is also not a matter of simply emailing a publisher and getting funded, it could take months of negotiation/pitching with us having to build contacts/relationships as well as having to get work during that time...and in the end it may still not pan out for us.
Kickstarter is our phone line to God, we can pitch straight to the people who will be playing the game.
Q: Were you influenced by the success of other Kickstarter spiritual successors, like Project Eternity?
The success of the recent batch of titles such as Star Citizen, Project Eternity, Massive Chalice etc where a big nod to us that Kickstarter was a viable platform for game dev. funding.
There were many lessons to learn from how they approached it as well.
We are 5 passionate game developers with a tonne of experience behind us but the reality is we aren’t a big name company, so we knew we needed to wow people to win them over, we weren’t going to get $3 million on a smile that many of the proven developers could.
We were also very keen to be as transparent as possible and engage the backers as often as possible. Having their feedback is immensely critical to our success.
Thank you Ranger for sending me your interview link.
Thursday - July 25, 2013
Satellite Reign - Mission Accomplished!
5 Lives Studios announces that Satellite Reign has been funded. Pledges slowed down and it wasn't looking good for a while. So a big thank you all those that backed the game on the watch.
Great success! We've reached our initial funding goal! A huge thanks from the entire team to everyone who has backed thus far. We're still a few days out and we've got some meaty stretch goals to aim towards so we'll be continuing with our update schedule. We still have to introduce you to the Assassin Agent and we have a few surprise updates up our sleeves, so stay tuned!
PayPal Coming Soon...
You've all gone way too fast for us! We were in the midst of getting the PayPal pledging ready to launch BEFORE we reached our goal but you've beaten us to the punch. We're still working on it and will have it up and running very soon!
Tuesday - July 23, 2013
Satellite Reign - In Engine Gameplay Visualisation
5 Lives Studios has released a new video for Satellite Reign to show how the game should look when finished.
We’ve had a quite a few requests to see gameplay footage, the dilemma for us being that it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation. To accurately portray the kind of immerse, simulated and emergent world we want to create, we need to actually create it for reals! And that’s what this Kickstarter campaign is for, to create the game. We’d love to be able to demonstrate a mission played numerous different ways to sell the idea to you but that would require several months and a lot of money to produce. If we could do that we’d have the game half done and we wouldn't really need Kickstarter to get us off the ground. We need a right, royal Kickstarting!
So with that in mind, while we prepare for our final week's onslaught of updates (no spoilers, we want them to be a surprise!), we thought you might like to see the extended cuts and a few unused gameplay shots we created for the initial pitch video and how we imagine the game will play and look. All of this was done in the engine we’re using for Satellite Reign, Unity.
Sunday - July 21, 2013
Satellite Reign - Propaganda Blitz
Satellite Reign is in need of help. The kickstarter has eight days left and still needs help to get funded. 5 Lives Studios is asking for everyone to help spread the news
Usually the weekends are relatively quiet and since were are knuckling down preparing the coming FINAL weeks onslaught of updates for the Kickstarter we thought it might be time to have our agents do a bit of reconnaissance work for us. After all, what’s the point of running a big evil corporation if you can't order around your agents?!
Propaganda BlitzYour mission is to spread the word of Satellite Reign. Enlist new recruits and “persuade” them to part with their hard earned cash! But being gracious overlords we wouldn't send you out blindly to recruit the masses. If every agent jumps on their Facebook or twitter accounts and helps get the Kickstarter in front of just a handful of new people, we could potentially have thousands more agents in our ranks, allowing us to hit our initial goal and start making good grounds towards our stretch goals! Below are messages for you to send out on your Facebook and Twitter accounts if you don’t want to write messages of your own.Facebook:“Hello everyone, I have recently supported this awesome game called Satellite Reign on Kickstarter. It is a spiritual successor to Syndicate Wars that is now in the final stretch to meet its funding goal. Have a look at the link below and if you like what you see please consider pledging. Thanks! http://support.satellitereign.com”Twitter:I supported Satellite Reign, the spiritual successor to Syndicate. Support their Kickstarter before its too late! http://support.satellitereign.com”
- Mike, Dean and Mitch talk to Fund This Game about the beginnings of all things Satellite Reign- Mike gets down and dirty with I Game Responsibly- Our Russian friends over at Game Star interrogate Mike on Satellite Reign. Available in both English and Russian
Thursday - July 11, 2013
Satellite Reign - News Roundup
Satellite Reign has a few interviews and other assorted newsbits this week. So without wasting anymore time read on.
First we have a new Dev Chat video.
Next we have a few interviews.
PCGH: Could you summarize in a few sentences for all the Syndicate fans why Satellite Reign will be a noteworthy game and why this game should be realized?
Chris: Satellite Reign will take the core essence from the Syndicate series and expand and explore it. It will give you a simulated cyberpunk, dystopian city to discover and a squad of deadly agents to do it with.
MikeD: For me it's the city simulation side and the emergent gameplay, really making the city and its inhabitants react to what you are doing, and making the enemies intelligent rather than just following scripted commands is what makes this game unique.
JHS: Can we start by getting you to briefly introduce us to the world of Satellite Reign and what some of the main pillars of gameplay are here?
Brent Waller: Satellite Reign is a real time tactical strategy game in the vein of the Syndicate series from the 1990s. Our main pillars are our simulated and open-world city, our classed based action and corporate espionage.
And finally the developers are hosting a live Reddit today only.
We're all here, ready to answer your questions. Come ask us stuff!
Our username is 5LivesStudios.
Saturday - July 06, 2013
Satellite Reign - Kickstarter Update
Satellite Reign has reached half of it's funding with 23 left. They have also announced a Limited Edition Boxed Copy of the game.
This limited-edition physical boxed copy will be available in the new £55 / $85 USD tier and inside your box, you'll get a high-quality fold-out disc case containing the game disc, colour booklet, and the game soundtrack on an audio CD.
We'll also have a limited early-bird tier for the boxed copy at £52 / $80 USD, so get in fast to grab your limited-edition boxed version even cheaper!
All backers who have already pledged beyond this new tier will have the option to swap their extra digital copy for the physical boxed version at no additional charge. We'll send around a survey at the conclusion of the campaign where you'll be able to specify your preference.
In other news, Chris and his beard will appear in a video interview tomorrow on The Krautfunding Show, where he'll be discussing even more details about the world and design of Satellite Reign. We'll provide a direct link to the show when it's live so you don't miss it.
Wednesday - July 03, 2013
Satellite Reign - Interview @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has an interview with Satellite Reign's Progect Lead Mike Diskett. I also have a dev chat video with the developers.
RPS: Last year when the Kickstarter stuff was starting to really heat up, I said to Gillen that we should go and find Mike Diskett and tell him to do a Syndicate-like Kickstarter. With so many American classics getting spiritual successors, it seems like a time to bring back some of those visions from the Amiga days that really made us who we are. But it turns out we didn’t have to go on that peculiar quest, because you were already on that same path?
Diskett: When Kickstarter really started being successful, I suppose about eighteen months ago, I began thinking about whether there would be any interest in a game that followed Syndicate and Syndicate Wars, and I wasn’t totally sure that there would be enough interest out there. Especially given that the original Syndicate games didn’t sell well. Despite that, I suppose, everyone I meet has played them. At least in the games industry. They’re well-known games, even if they were not commercially great. I’ve moved around between a lot of different companies, across England, Scotland, Australia; Rockstar, THQ, Pandemic – most places I went I expected people to ask about working on GTA at Rockstar North, but actually they asked about Syndicate Wars. It was that project that interested people, not GTA!
RPS: But isn’t that people of a certain age? Gillen and myself are getting on a bit now, and that’s why we are old men playing at running the world constantly banging on Amiga stuff, and isn’t that true of a maturing game development community?
Diskett: It’s odd because the people I work with are often quite young, and I’ve met fans of Syndicate who were barely born when the original game came out. These are people who have played the game and won’t even know what an Amiga was. They’ve played it on the PC when they were young, maybe they didn’t have a good PC, but had one that could play some old Bullfrog classics, something like that. The point is: there are all these 20-somethings that remember it, because of being able to play older games on the PC. So I knew there was some audience there. But there was another thing that really brought home what a fanbase there was for this sort of game, which was… well, I really like Starcraft II. I used to play constantly and I used to watch the Day9 ‘casts. He does all these videos, and he did a “lifetime in Stacraft” video, which I watched, and one of the things he said was about how he used to play Syndicate Wars with his brother. So there was this moment where I thought: One of my heroes played and loved this old game I worked on! So that was a revelation.
Here is the video.
Dean, Mitch, Chris and Mike chat about Good vs Evil, Character classes and City simulations
Information aboutSatellite Reign
Play-time: 20-40 hours
Voice-acting: Partially voiced
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· Expected at 2014-12-30
· Publisher: Unknown