Saturday, January 23, 2016

STREETJUSTICE

BECAUSE WE REALLY SHOULD


Dear readers and friends!

I am very proud to finally go public with the current project sIPXgames is working on: StreetJustice.
Over the course of the last year I was lucky to get to know some other indies from Austria who not only share a similar passion and understanding for games but who also wanted to work together on a mutual and for the first time commercial project. Coming from various backgrounds, we quickly formed a harmonic team and complemented each other's skills.

Although we might be considered as startup and the "best is yet to come", to put in the obligatory game quote, I think I speak for all if I say we are taking the production of this game absolutely seriously and we even aim to have a demo press-release ready by the end of this summer. At the moment we are 5+ people and we have covered all the key positions necessary to work according to our project plan and to our personal standards of quality, of course.

Besides production, design, 3D stuff and writing I will of course take care about trying to give you the most information, education and entertainment possible. Although I am not yet sure what that means... I am certain there will be all kinds of different contributions in form of blog posts, devlogs and/or vlogs, maybe even some live streaming or other fancy stuff.

In this post I will however stick to the (old-fashioned) pen&paper-approach and try to outline most the aspects of the game. I know already now that it will surely go beyond the scope but I would rather get done with the preliminaries so that we can get into detailing individual topics with posts along the road.


DRIVING IS WAR!


Before talking about the game in detail I why don't we take a look at the motivation behind the idea first?
I am a driver and I am not particularly proud of it. I am maybe proud to be a responsible driver, but if it was up to me *insert evil laughing cat* I would surely prohibit more than 50% of the cars currently driving around in Austria and rather improve the public transportation. Unfortunately though I am living in a time and a place where, despite the fact that it is getting better, public transportation is still either non-existing at all (especially outside of major cities) or if; unreliable, slow and way too expensive. - The latter of course getting worse every single year.

Most of the other developers on the team are drivers as well, and we think that there are some serious problems when it comes to driving in Austria: There are masses of irritatingly old sport bicycle drivers in spandex pants, annoying horse transporters, an almost infinite amount of tractors and trucks for example. There are drunken drivers, too young drivers and too old drivers... and somewhere between the occasional horse riding along the road and an annoyingly loud scooter of a rebelling teenager, few absent-minded even come up with the ideas for an illegal street races with their completely unnecessary cars. Individual cases, you think? - We don't.
We think driving a car is currently one of the most dangerous things to do. There are supposed to be rules; like that you have to stop your car for two seconds at stop sign no matter what, that you cannot overtake a car in a zone where it is clearly forbidden, that you should not drive too close to the car in front of you, and so on... Unfortunately, despite those being very reasonable rules, to us it seems nobody cares to follow them anymore and we also agree on that the situation is getting worse. It's not only that people are not following the rules anymore but also that they seem to be lacking any form of respect for other traffic participants or a general appreciation of life for that matter!

Yes, driving is war! And while the sounds of it can be heard everywhere outside, there seems to be less and less police on patrol and taking care that people behave. Well, while we kind of understand why we are almost back in the Wild West, we still don't have to like it and decided to take the law into our own hands and give you a police man with the rights and the means to clean up the mess. There will be no negotiations, no bribing, no escape,... if you break the rules you will be blown to pieces no matter if you are a regular person, a gang member or a trespassing deer.

Hopefully with that said it becomes clear that, although we will do our best to make fun of our small and proud home country, we don't want to push agendas here. We don't want to send subliminal messages and convince people of some greater and reasonable purpose or secretly point fingers. We are making a game! Yes, the game is based on real places and real impressions but there is simply too much material to be left alone and not made fun of. Naturally StreetJustice is going to be subject to interpretation but let's keep in mind that it remains entirely fictional and that it will be a game that is supposed to be funny and entertaining!


THE GAME


So, how will the game be? Above all other things StreetJustice will be a driving game. Despite us working with an abstract layer of the most realistic physics I have ever seen on an artificial car, the game will definitely feel more "arcady" and not like a realistic simulator. We want awesome handling, action, explosions, fast-pace driving and shooting on the one side but also adventures, exploration and tactical gameplay on the other. For us "patrolling the streets" means to take care, to learn and obey the rules yourself and to blend in. But if you spot a crime... BOOM! - Justice!
While every crime that you witness leads to more or less the same outcome (you blowing the culprit to pieces and cashing in) one of the most funny aspects of this game surely is what crimes we are coming up with... here are a few examples:

  • Driving racing bicycles on main roads
  • Birds sitting on the roads or flying too low
  • Horse riders overtaking cars,
  • Having the music turned on too loud within villages


GRAPHICS AND LOOK


As you can see in this first-ever (early) screeshot of the game, graphic-wise we are going with a fusion of cel-shading and low-poly 3D inspired by comic books with a perspective trying to convey the feeling of an old-school top-down game. Initially I really was not that much of a low-poly fan but I have to say that I am pretty happy by the results we are getting and how our art style is coming together.

In the end we strive to have a rather vast representation of Lower Austria for you to explore and have fun with.


We don't want to confine you to the streets, on the contrary: We want to encourage you to use farm tracks and scout the land to find more quests, crimes, resources or just magical places. We want you to feel as if you are really driving in Lower Austria: There will be rapeseed, pumpkin and wheat fields, wind wheels, purple cows and all that good stuff we see all the time.


GAMEPLAY AND STORY


As indicated before in StreetJustice you don't just drive around and shoot bad guys. Although we want the game to feel as energetic as an arcade shoot 'em up from time to time, we can't stress enough that you are supposed to be the "good" guy. You will play the role of Paul Frabitz, one of the last remaining police officers and head of Street Justice Department 3. That means you not only have to patrol the streets but you also have to manage and expand your home base and influence. You will need to hire and assign workers, deputies and scientists, research new tech and weapons, gather money and resources, build new parts to your base, discover and revitalize old abandoned police posts, and much more. Only with your equipment being constantly improved will you be able to complete the story campaign structured in simplified quests similar in style to any given open-world game. - Actually really classic and colorful rpgs might be an even better comparison.


OTHER FEATURES


Since we will be having lots of fantastic vehicles and playable characters, we are also working on a multiplayer mode for the game that supposed to be the cherry on top. Currently it will work only offline and locally but it is already supporting up to four players simultaneously. Maybe in the future, depending on how things go, we also consider making the multiplayer modes online. I honestly can't tell you too much about the multiplayer since that is just secondary process and not entirely thought through. For now we only have one mode and that is an arena/deathmatch type similar to games of the Super Mario Kart or Twisted Metal series that was originally developed to test out our weapon and driving physics.


WHERE TO GO NEXT?


As mentioned before, the majority of the news and information about StreetJustice is going to be channeled through here. But we also already have a small website solely for the game. The whole website is subject to change and there will be massive upgrades beginning Q2 this year. Besides that we also already have all the social channels ready for you to give us your thoughts to the game. We are really looking forward to seeing you at:

www.streetjustice.at
@StreetJusticeAT
+StreeJustice Game
facebook

Play more! Respect more!