Satellite Reign - All News
Thursday - April 23, 2015
Satellite Reign - Preview @ Continue-Play
I found another preview for 5 Live Studios Syndicate inspired game Satellite Reign on a site called Continue-Play. Just remember the game is only available on Early Access.
My main bugbear at the moment is the UI, which currently feels a bit unwieldy, with icons being far too small and text being difficult to make out without sticking your face close to the screen. After one prolonged session I found myself suffering from a rather unpleasant case of eye strain, and the problem only gets worse as you increase the resolution, suggesting that proper UI scaling is yet to be implemented. The UI has evolved a few times since the early Backers’ version of the game, and it’s clear that Diskett and his team are still trying to nail down the best interface.
Of course there are the usual bugs, placeholders and crashes. Satellite Reign is a lot more stable than it once was, but as with any game at this stage of the development process, you can expect plenty of technical issues. The launcher sometimes stops responding, and while gameplay is seamless once you’re in the city, the initial loading time could do with a bit of optimization. Put up with the normal foibles associated with playing a game that’s still in active development though, and there’s a lot of fun to be had simply trying out new approaches and navigating the city.
5 Lives clearly wanted to nail the basics of gameplay before optimizing the core tech underpinning everything, and with the team currently transitioning the game to Unity Engine 5, I have my fingers crossed that the final game will be polished, satisfying and suitably expansive.
Tuesday - April 14, 2015
Satellite Reign - Preview @ Grabit Magazine
Grabit Magazine has a new preview of the Early Access version of Satellite Reign.
Even at this early stage, dare I say that Satellite Reign is the spiritual successor to Syndicate Wars we’ve been patiently waiting for all those years. There’s still a fair bit of work to go into the game but 5 Lives is responding promptly and with open ears to the feedback from Steam Early Access users.
Sunday - March 29, 2015
Satellite Reign - Early Access Preview @ IGC
Invision Game Community published a new preview of the Steam Early Access build of Satellite Reign, and concluded the game has a very bright future.
Satellite Reign has a bright future ahead of it and I feel they can only improve on what they currently have, adding more regions, more quests and possibly some more customisation of characters. Being Early Access, and I mean very early, Satellite suffers from several optimisation problems and bugs that will make you unable to play due to laughter, one recurring bug is when characters fly into the air when they aim, getting the best angle possible I would think. Beyond the going above and beyond the call of duty bugs the overall game plays nicely, and glitches are only every other hour or so and don’t deter much from the overall experience.
Friday - March 20, 2015
Satellite Reign - Video Preview @ Saving Content
Saving Content posted a new three minute video preview of Satellite Reign.
Scott enters the cyberpunk world of Satellite Reign while on Steam Early Access, and is pleasantly surprised with what he finds.
Thursday - March 19, 2015
Satellite Reign - Backer Kit Survey News
Developer 5 Lives new update for Satellite Reign talks about a backer survey.
Thanks for being so patient! We’ve finally got our backer survey together to start organizing rewards. By now you should have received an email from Backerkit with a link to the survey. This will allow you to give us necessary shipping information, and you will also be able to select any previously paid-for add-ons, and even getting some extras!
Each backer will receive an email with their own unique invite link. It is important that when you receive the survey, you get it back to us as quickly as you can. Our ability to make an order depends on receiving this information. You do not need to make a login and password to fill out your survey, just fill it out and you’re all good to go! If you use your Facebook login for your Kickstarter account, the BackerKit invite will be sent to the email you used for your Facebook account.
If you have another email you prefer it to be sent to, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again for making Satellite Reign a reality!
Wednesday - March 11, 2015
Satellite Reign - New Video Preview
Sunday - March 08, 2015
Satellite Reign - Version 0.4 Released
It has been a month since an update for Satellite Reign was released, but developer 5 Lives has just updated the beta to version 0.4 this week. Here are the patch details.
New District Released! Update to Version 0.4
Introducing the Industrial District! This is primarily the turf of the Uzy Korporatsiya, or Uzy Korp, a Russian-based organisation. They control the city’s imports, exports, and are big on armour manufacturing, so you’ll want to keep your plasma weapons handy.
New corporations now patrol the streets and compounds of the city. The previously mentioned Uzy Korp are located throughout the Industrial District, as well as in the compounds operated by their subsidiaries in Downtown, such as Ronin Industries.
The Eternals make their first appearance as well. A corporation born from a religious movement, they own and operate the City Surveillance Authority, and can be found patrolling their respective compounds.
New User Interface
While it’s still very much a work in progress, you’re going to see some big improvements in the UI, both visually and functionally. The in-game HUD is being revamped, and the menus have been overhauled as well. There’s still more to go, but it’s already looking great!
With the introduction of a new district, and wanting to have a full city without any loading screens, we’ve now got a system to stream the world into memory dynamically. Again, it’s still a work in progress, but it has come with some nice benefits, including reduced GPU memory usage.
New Civilian System
You’ll likely notice more people wandering around the city now. This is thanks to a completely new approach to populating the city. Previously, there were lots of people in memory, but they were often outside of the actual gameplay area. Now, there are people to be found all over!
New Tactical Opportunities
You’ll now have new tools at your disposal to break your way into the various compounds throughout the city. The Hardwire ability allows for more of a brute-force approach to getting through security.
Ventilation systems can also now be exploited by your agents as a new way to sneak around. But, make sure you’ve evacuated any noxious fumes they might be funnelling.
Updates to OpenGL mode
Various bugs in OpenGL mode have been fixed, which should hopefully make things easier on our Mac and Linux users. As always, let us know if you come across anything that looks a bit funny.
Thursday - February 05, 2015
Satellite Reign - Patch 0.2.11 Released
5 Lives Studios released patch 0.2.11 for Satellite Reign on Steam this week.
We've got lots of new fixes and changes for Satellite Reign. The update is now live for Windows. Mac OS and Linux builds are now available.
Please note: There have been changes to the way missions progress is recorded, so some saves may list certain missions as being incomplete. This will not affect your previously-awarded weapons, gear or agent progression. You will be able to repeat the missions and attain extra loot though!
Sunday - February 01, 2015
Satellite Reign - How Did They Make That
Rock, Paper, Shotgun published another one of their weirdly named articles this week with some of the staff at 5 Lives Studios, and talk about how they developed Satellite Reign.
In this irregular column, Marsh Davies stumbles across an impressive effect or neat bit of trickery and asks, “How did they do that?” his eyes brimming with tears of admiration and wonder. Then one of the developers tells him, hopefully using terms that don’t cause the soft mass of his brain to boil out of his ears.
Thursday - January 29, 2015
Satellite Reign - Patch 0.2.10 Released
5 Lives Studios released patch 0.2.10 for Satellite Reign on Steam last week. I usually try top keep up with the news, but sometimes fall behind. Here are the changes.
We've got a new update for Satellite Reign available.
This update does include some significant changes to the Save/Load system. We’ve tried to make sure it is still backwards compatible with old saves, and it seems to be working in our testing. When an old save is detected, it will be slightly modified to work with the new system, which will update the timestamp on the file. If you have troubles with old saves, please send us your save file so we can identify the cause.
Also, we are aware of the heavy slowdown when loading. It will last for a few seconds while various things in the world are generated, and then return to normal.
Saturday - January 24, 2015
Satellite Reign - First Impressions @ Space Sector
Keith Turner of Space Sector is the next person this month that I found that shares his opinion of Satellite Reign based on the games early Beta on Steam Early Access.
My first impressions of Satellite Reign are that it has left me wanting for more, but willing to wait. It’s got a great concept and setting for cyberpunk fans, and the beginnings of an interesting weapon/augmentation/skill system. When the game works, it works well. It’s at its absolute best when I am watching for patrols, hacking open doors, shooting out cameras, and positioning agents to flank enemies I’ve alerted to my position.
It’s also a pre-alpha with bugs everywhere, framerate issues, samey feeling missions, very small hard to read text, and unresponsive controls. While the game feels broad in its reach at this point, it feels shallow in its implementation. The framework of a lot of the features are in, and it looks great, but it is going to take time to fill everything in. As it stands now, there’s only a few hours of content in the game. I’m very interested to see how this one turns out once they’ve had a chance to finish implementing all they’ve got planned.
Saturday - January 17, 2015
Satellite Reign - Preview @ Capsule Computers
Overall, this is an unpolished gem which I quite enjoyed playing through despite its many bugs and glitches. I look forward to seeing all the new features being implemented as the game develops. I will especially be looking forward to seeing more of the city unlocked and will definitely be keeping an eye on the game as it develops.
Friday - January 16, 2015
Satellite Reign - Early Review @ PC GamesN
I found another Early Access review this week from PC GamesN who posted their thought on the game, and came to the conclusion you should wait to play the game.
As if we didn't know that already as the game is still in the Alph stage.
It’s Syndicate. Not the actual Syndicate, mind, but the one that exists in the memories of those who played it over 20 years ago. And that’s a real treat. But if you’ve waited this long for it, you can probably wait just a wee while longer
Tuesday - January 13, 2015
Satellite Reign - Interview @ Capsule Computers
Mateja Simovic of Capsule Computers had the chance to interview Chris Conte & Dean Ferguson of 5 Live Games, ask a few questions about Satellite Reign.
What has the experience been like with developing the game through a crowdfunding model in comparison to a publisher-funded model?
It has been overwhelmingly positive to be honest, we have a direct line to the end user which is priceless in our industry. It has also been very humbling to have so many people share our belief in what we are doing. Probably the biggest difference is just the freedom to take risks and explore things we would never have done if a publisher had veto power.
The end goal Satellite Reign is to take control of the city for your own nefarious purposes (or so my fixer tells me). To that end, how would the game-play transition from you ‘stickin’ it to the man’ in the early game to ‘being the man’ in the end game?
Your goal isn’t to take control of the city bit by bit, but rather to work your way through the city, building up your team to strike at the heart of the oppressive company, which has a stranglehold on the city. You start with a small team and limited resources, but through stealing, bribing and violent means, you can take your team from lowly cloned agents, into the heavily augmented, fully equipped, battle hardened killing machines you will need to make the final push into the Dracogenics headquarters and gain control of their satellite network.
Monday - January 12, 2015
Satellite Reign - Minor Update Released
5 Lives Studios released a minor update for Satellite Reign to add the Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package. Here are the details from the Steam post.
Some people have noticed a small update came through for Satellite Reign today. While we didn't upload a new build just yet, we did update the Steam requirements to include the Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package.
While the game will still load and run without this package, doing so will result in severe performance issues. Now that it's included, it should install the next time you run the game if it wasn't already present on your PC. This may help performance for some players.
Thanks everyone, we'll have a new update for you shortly! Chris and Mike have been working tirelessly on bug fixes and new features!
Sunday - January 11, 2015
Satellite Reign - Early Impression @ IncGamers
To expect Satellite Reign to have the same impact on me as those first moments with Syndicate back in the 90s would be absurdly unrealistic. This is a different time, under entirely different circumstances, and the game is, as advertised, in rather early stages of development.
If that sounds like enough to be going on with, and you’re prepared to wait a fair while, Satellite Reign should only improve and expand over time. The game plays heavily to gloomy, dystopian future imagery, but the outcome forecast by this pre-Alpha build looks brighter than the rain-soaked streets would suggest. Just be aware that buying in to any Early Access title in these initial stages always carries an implicit risk.
Saturday - January 03, 2015
Satellite Reign - Preview @ Entertainment Buddha
Wednesday - December 31, 2014
Satellite Reign - Patch 0.2.9.1 Released
5 Lives Studios released a new patch for Satellite Reign on Steam. I haven't had a chance to play the Early Access build, but I have read a few postie previews.
A new update is out just in time for the holidays!
- Cars now explode in an appropriate fashion. Use this to clear out traffic jams until the traffic system is less broken!
- Further fixes to save and load (saves from previous version should still work).
- Minimap is now resizable.
- Added ability to rebind keys. Press the ; (semicolon) key to bring up key-binding menu.
- Updates to environment dressing.
- Improved agent responsiveness to sprinting and entering/leaving cover.
- Added more tooltips to various UI elements.
- A special present from Lead Designer Chris at the bottom of the options menu.
Happy holidays to all of our players, and also happy birthday to Yasmin, our QA and customer service rep!
Friday - December 19, 2014
Satellite Reign - Impression @ RPS
Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Alec Meer posted his thoughts on the Early Access version of Satellite Reign that was released this month, and his opinion is very positive.
There are ripples of possibility from every attempted incursion, and right now I’m enjoying watching them spread. The game is in a rickety state right now, no doubt about that, but nothing like enough to destroy what’s working so very well here.
The big question is how this will all play out on a wider, and longer-lasting stage. Car stuff is super-buggy at present, augmentations and weapon upgrades aren’t in there yet, so there’s no way to tell how bigger stuff will affect the delicate balance of combat, and right now missions (selected in an order of your choice from a rudimentary and placeholder menu) don’t entail anything more than getting inside somewhere. The fun is how you get inside, of course, but I suspect it’s going to need a better pay-off if it’s to be done regularly.
There’s a long way to go for sure, and don’t anticipate spending more than a few hours with the current build, but it’s that rare and precious Early Access thing – a game that gets its fundamentals right, right out of the gate, and I’m actively keen to watch it grow, rather than being frustrated by everything that isn’t there.
Most of all, this: Satellite Reign is on course to be the Syndicate we need, not simply the Syndicate we wanted. Please don’t let anything go wrong.
Thursday - December 11, 2014
Satellite Reign - Coming to Steam Today
For those of us who weren't early backers, Satellite Reign is coming to Steam Early Access today.
Wednesday - December 03, 2014
Satellite Reign - A Closer Look
On her own blog Aubrielle explores the information available of the cyberpunk strategy RPG Satellite Reign, which is coming to Early Access on the 11th of December.
For example, you won’t be able to have 2 Soldiers and 2 Hackers to make up the team, this doesn’t mean you can’t bias the entire team towards a specific play style you prefer, it just means each agent will have unique skills and ways of achieving goals in your chosen style.”
Hmm…sounds pretty stiff and linear. I am wondering how we’ll pull off any real flexibility with a pre-chosen team. It seems like they’d want to give the players as much openness as possible, let them screw up if they wanted to take four soldiers or four hackers, let them run into impossible cyber-obstacles or let them get killed a few times, make them learn hard lessons. But I guess we’ll see how this translates in terms of gameplay. Maybe it will end up working out. The devs still insist we’ll have plenty of choice in how or even if we want to go into a fight.
Saturday - November 15, 2014
Satellite Reign - Early Access Trailer
5 Lives Studios has posted a new Early Access Trailer for Satellite Reign.
Satellite Reign is a real-time action-strategy game set in a dystopian cyberpunk world. It is launching on Steam Early Access in December 2014.
Tuesday - November 11, 2014
Satellite Reign - Development Diary #11
5 Lives Studios has posted the eleventh Development Diary for Satellite Reign.
The whole team is back in the office after heading down to Melbourne for PAX Aus 2014. What a weekend! While it was exhausting, we met so many awesome people, and it was great to finally meet a heap of our backers, face to face, and just chat about Satellite Reign.
A whole lot of people came by our booth to give the game a whirl, and not only was it nice to hear people’s thoughts, but it was incredibly helpful to see how different people played. Having fresh-eyes on the game has helped the designers make better-informed decisions moving forward.
Speaking of moving forward, we’re currently doing some optimisations to get the next build of the game out, bringing our beta-level backers into the fold. That’s everyone on the ASSASSIN £29/$45 tier and higher. We’re hoping to get it into people’s hands next week. Stay tuned!
To all of our high-level backers at the Director tier and higher (£640/$1000 and higher), Dean sent an email out to you all last week regarding getting your likeness into the game. If you didn’t see the email, please check your spam folder. If it still isn’t there, let us know ASAP. There is a deadline for this in order to fit into our schedule.
Watch this space, we’ll have more info regarding the beta-backer access very soon, as well as some more information on our Steam Early Access release in December, which will be available to all backers!
Wednesday - October 15, 2014
Satellite Reign - Hands-On @ RPS
Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Jim Rossignol posted his thoughts on the Alpha version of Satellite Reign that was released to certain backers of the game.
All this leads me to that anxiety: there’s so much that could go wrong. There are serious limitations that the tech faces with the amount of stuff the game is throwing into this huge city, including the all-important crowds on the street. Then there’s the overall flow and balance of the game. It’s a precarious piece of design that will demand serious balancing care to be the game it needs to be. I’m not saying it’s likely to go wrong… just that it looks and feels fantastic so early, that it must now NOT GO WRONG. Do you understand?
Ultimately, of course, this is just an early build. I can’t call it a Kickstarter success story just yet, but just maybe… Yeah. AI behaviour is way off being what you’d want to play a full game with, and lots of the systems – like persuasion of citizens – remain to be implemented. It is the first iteration of what will doubtless still be a long and murky road. That it shines so brightly now, however, is a reason to be genuinely excited.
Wednesday - October 01, 2014
Satellite Reign - Pre-Alpha Gameplay Demo
5 Lives released a new Pre-Alpha gameplay video for Satellite Reign. Thank you tomasp3n for sending me the link, and the rest of you enjoy the ten minute video.
We’ve got a special treat for you today. As we mentioned in our last update, alpha-level backers will be getting a build of Satellite Reign very soon. But, we can’t let them keep ALL of the excitement to themselves! Chris and his beard have worked together to bring you a narrated gameplay demo of the beginning of the pre-alpha build about to be released.
All of the usual pre-alpha disclaimers apply: nothing in the video is final, performance optimisations are ongoing, and so on. Interested? Take a look!
We’ve still got plenty of work to go until Satellite Reign is complete. There are more simulation systems to make, more characters to build, more environments to design and fill with art, more animations to make, and lots of balancing to do, but we’re pleased to say that thus far, things are on-track.
Monday - September 29, 2014
Satellite Reign - Development Diary #10
5 Lives Studios has posted the tenth Development Diary for Satellite Reign. The update has news on the games Schedule, User Interface, and much more.
Dev Diary #10
We’ve been slogging away at Satellite Reign for over a year now, and we’re happy to announce that backers who pledged for Alpha access will be getting their hands on the game early next month!
Strictly speaking, Satellite Reign isn’t actually in alpha yet, so what you’ll be getting your hands on is a pre-alpha version two months ahead of the game hitting Steam early access. It will have a handy dandy in game button for submitting bugs, so you will all be able to help QA the game, there’s also some integrated analytics (disableable) to help us balance gameplay, and smooth out difficulty bumps.
So, what can you expect to see in this first-access build? You’ll be able to explore the first of the four main districts of the game, with all four agent classes. You’ll be able to sneak or fight your way into any of the compounds, and get a feel for the direction we’re heading. Again, this will be pre-alpha, so it’ll be buggy, and lacking some optimisation work, but there’s more than enough to keep the alpha access backers happy.
Here’s a brief overview of what our (very busy) timeline is like for the rest of the year. PAX Aus is just over a month away, and we’re getting things sorted to show Satellite Reign to anyone who walks past the 5 Lives booth! We’re planning to have two PCs set up, which will be running an updated build of what our alpha-level backers have been playing. We’ll be releasing this build to our alpha and beta-level backers shortly after we return from PAX. Then, we’ll be stuck into getting our Steam Early Access build ready for a December release. Steam Early Access will be available to everyone who backed us for a copy of the game.
Website and Forums
As some of you may have noticed, our website and forum was a bit broken when the last update went out. Between WordPress bugs and our web-developer being away, it took longer than anticipated to fix, but it’s all up and running again now. Please let us know if you continue to have issues.
Pre-Orders on the Humble Store
Satellite Reign is now available for pre-order on the Humble Store! From now until launch, it will be 10% off the final retail price, and will include access to the public release on Steam Early Access.
Thursday - September 04, 2014
Satellite Reign - Development Diary #9
5 Lives Studios has posted the next Development Diary for Satellite Reign. I know it's from a month ago, but I missed the update. So sorry about the late post.
Dev Diary #09
We’re currently working towards getting together our first playable build for our alpha backers. Lots and lots and lots (and lots) of bugs need to be squished, but things are steadily moving forward.
As some of you may have noticed, pledging has now officially closed, marking 12 months since our Kickstarter was officially funded. In place of pledging, we’ll soon have Satellite Reign available to pre-order.
We’ll post an update when pre-orders are available, but we can announce that the Humble Store will be handling deployment of the game for backers of Satellite Reign. Through the Humble Store, you will be able to download a DRM-free copy of the game directly or redeem a Steam key.
It seems our ugly mugs have been plastered over screens worldwide lately. First up, local Australian TV program Good Game aired a story on 5 Lives Studios and Satellite Reign. The majority of the footage was filmed late last year, but there are a few snippets of newer footage within the story below.
Wednesday - July 02, 2014
Satellite Reign - Development Diary #8
5 Lives Studios has finally posted the next Development Diary for Satellite Reign. It's a meaty update so I can't share the entire update so here is a brief part of it.
Dev Diary #08
We know there have been rumblings on the forums of our lack of communication, so we’d like to start by apologising for that. We’ve been so heads-down, stuck into development, and managing our new members of the team, that we’ve neglected out duties in keeping you all informed. We’ll be making an effort to keep on top of that in future.
This week marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of our Kickstarter campaign! Work on the actual game didn’t start until late August, but we felt it was an important milestone to acknowledge. With that in mind, we’ve decided to close pledging for the game in one month, exactly one year after our Kickstarter project was successfully concluded. So on July 29th we’ll be closing pledging and moving to a pre-order system. So now is your last chance to up your pledges and receive rewards. Once we’ve closed pledging, we’ll start organising the surveys to send out to backers.
So what are our plans for getting the game to you, you ask? We’re aiming for a Steam Early Access release by the end of the year, which will be preceded by the Alpha and Beta releases. Both Alpha and Beta releases will be available DRM free for backers who pledged at their respective tiers. We’ll keep you all informed when we have more exact dates for those releases.
We’re aiming to get the Alpha and Beta releases to you in an earlier state than what you might expect from a normal Alpha or Beta release. We want to get the game in your hands as early as possible so we can start getting feedback to help development. This will allow us time to react and tweak the game based on your feedback. We don’t expect it to be perfect straight out the gate, so your help will be invaluable to us in balancing and improving the game.
So what HAVE we been doing you ask? For starters, we’ve had our technical artist extraordinaire Bruno Rime working on all manner of post-effects, shaders and weapon effects. Here’s a peak at some of the effects below as well as a selection of our weapon models by Chris Vera.
Saturday - May 17, 2014
Satellite Reign - Development Diary #7
The seventh Development Diary for Satellite Reign has been posted by 5 Lives Studios. I t contains various information on the games combat , and other systems
Dev Diary #07 – Code Update
MikeD here, thought its time to give you an update on how the code is coming along. I will leave it to the art teams to provide flashy videos, this is going to be a text heavy blog, but you might find some interesting info in here, even if you’re not technically minded..
Chris and myself have quite a few major systems up and running. Here is a summary of a few of them.
Saturday - March 15, 2014
Satellite Reign - Developer Diary #6
5 Lives Studios has posted the development diary for Satellite Reign. The update gives us a look at some gameplay footage for the first time.
We are really excited to give you a first glimpse of Satellite Reign today in glorious 1080p. But first the disclaimers, its very much a pre alpha build being demoed, nothing here is really final, the UI, audio, weapons and effects are 100% placeholder, in fact it’s so early we weren’t going to show any combat or civilians, but..
The video was actually meant to demonstrate the agents coats reacting to wind from the cars zooming by, but before we knew it we were showing crowds of civilians, CCTV cameras, cover usage, x ray camera mode and even a couple of enemies..
The video was recorded at 1920×1080 @ 60 fps on a 2nd Generation i5 PC with a Radeon 5970 using Fraps.
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
· To be announced
· Publisher: Unknown