Wing Rage is a multiplayer arcade shooter, using procedurally generated environments and intelligent AI swarms to create insane gameplay action. Featuring structured objectives, squad management and pilot progression, all inside a giant spherical world! We're on Greenlight too!
The game started as a final year university project, developed by three dedicated games technology students under industry conditions. The brief was to re-imagine the retro Sega Arcade game Wing-War for modern audiences. The project was successful, being chosen as The University of the West of England's Game of the Year 2013, which is why we felt it was a solid enough foundation to continue working on, and since hundreds of hours had already been put into making the core structure we felt encouraged to refine and polish it into something we would be proud to release. Since finishing university the original three creators have been joined by two other games development graduates, and have continued to work on it, adding many additional features and revamping the art style and all in-game assets used. As we are all dedicated to this project and wish to make a career out of making games we have recently set up and registered our own company – AprioriDigial LTD.
What is Apriori Digital?
Apriori Digital is a new Bristol-based games development studio, situated just minutes from the city centre. The team currently consists of five games development graduates with a wide variety of skills and experience allowing us to create everything in-house.
Don't forget you can find out more on Steam Greenlight, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and AprioriDigital.com
Wing-Rage is a reboot of the classic arcade shooter genre, allowing up to 16 human players and hundreds of AI to engage in intense tactical battles. Procedurally generated environments add a huge amount of variety to locations to create a dynamic campaign and sandbox arena. The game's design was influenced--alongside Wing War--by 2D and 3D arcade style flight games such as Starfox 64, Starwars Rogue Squadron, and bullet hell shooters including Ikaruga and Geometry Wars, that are action packed and easy to pick up and play. All of us are passionate about making games that we (and hopefully you too) will find enjoyable.
- Customizable Ships
- Leveling & Power-ups
- Spherical world
- Ever changing objectives
- Intelligent AI squads
- Local & Networked Multiplayer
- Campaign Mode
A typical match starts with the player selecting a ship and fitting it with primary and secondary weapons, alongside equipment that provides additional abilities or affects a specific attribute to cater for a wide variety of tactical play styles. Once in game, mission objectives and waypoints are displayed to the player, and by completing goals and getting kills experience is rewarded. In turn, that experience can be used to improve your ship in key areas such as offence or defense as well as particular attributes or abilities; a choice offered each time you level up. Missions can be anything from kill one or several specific targets, attack or defend a base, destroying specific buildings or sentries in enemy bases, as well as capture the flag and bomb escort type objectives. The game end when certain conditions are met, such as reaching the target score, running out of time or from losing all of your lives. Friendly AI will assist the player through forming squads and enemy AI will try to hinder your success as well as take on missions of their own, requiring dynamic strategies to overcome your foes.
The terrain consists of a sphere in which all the gameplay takes place, offering a closed yet still gigantic playing space. The surface of this sphere is manipulated to generate different terrain such as mountains and valleys, as well as having a sea level creating islands and defining the landmasses. Since the data for the terrain is procedurally generated, the game’s host may alter certain parameters before the creation of the world, which affect the cities, ocean, rural, and mountainous areas as well as the density of buildings and scenery. A number of different environment themes create distinct levels through the campaign and are freely selectable in multiplayer before matches start by the games host. To compliment all of this we have implemented a day/night cycle that brings the world to life, adding an extra dynamic to both the scenery and gameplay.
All of the AI in the game share many of the same systems as the player, having various attributes depending on their ship type for different movement and weapon capabilities and over time level up through gaining experience as the match progresses. Friendly AI in the vicinity will protect the player and make tactical decisions when facing opponents, attacking the best target using tracking and trajectory calculations. When in danger they will take evasive action and attempt to move out of harms way while trying to outmaneuver opponents. When not engaging the enemy, AI head to mission objectives and form into groups to gain the upper hand against the opposing force.
Shooting enemies and completing missions earns the player experience that allows them to improve their ship in a number of different ways mid-flight. Offensive improvements include new weapons, improvements to current equipment as well as power items such as mines, rockets and missiles. Defensive improvements include shields, armor and additional health generation abilities. Finally, ship capability upgrades improve base stats plus speed, handling, acceleration and special abilities. When the player levels up they are given a choice to upgrade in one of these key areas. Everyone begins each match at level one, with the exception of the campaign where each of the players ships stay leveled up.
Game types will include, but are not limited to:
- Free for All
- Team Deathmatch
- Local Network
- Online Network
The following objectives may be interchangeable throughout phases of game-play:
- King of the Hill (both teams battle for control of an area)
- Capture the Flag (Bring ‘flag’ back to own base)
- Assault (Massive battle)
- Capture (Claim unoccupied city’s or take over enemy bases)
- Bomb the Base (Escort/carry bomb into enemy base)
- Defend City (Hold off the invading ships)
- Attack City (Destroy target structures within enemy base)
Since there is often a lot of action on screen we wanted to create an interface that was intuitive and non-intrusive to keep the players attention where it is most needed. The aiming recticle in front of the ship displays both the health and energy bars on either side, and can also display a pointer that directs the player to the current objective. In multiplayer an additional red pointer will reveal the location of the closest enemy human player. The currently selected equipment/weapons are also displayed as icons on either side of the crosshair. The scoreboard for the game is discreet and simply shows kills/deaths/players’ score, team scores, lives remaining and game time. All elements of the HUD can be switched on/off, to only show specific information.
The targeting system will highlight any enemy ships and when within range will display health and ship level. When they are directly in front of the player, targets can be locked on to if homing capabilities for the current weapon are available. If the game is being displayed on a high-resolution monitor all the AI ships will display names above them.
The visual style was originally cel-shaded to meet a brief however we have completely revamped this by creating all new assets, detailed textures and specular light mapping. With the intense action happening on screen we had to make the assets stand out so that the player could easily distinguish events happening in the game environment. Combining neon glow with futuristic technology allowed us to create a beautiful yet simple environment with a limited colour palette.
Every aspect of the game has been designed with multiplayer in mind, and the intention is to provide as many ways of play as possible. Currently the game can be played locally for up to four players in split screen—making it a great party game—along with networked multiplayer, and the campaign and survival modes can also be played locally with a friend. In the original university build it was possible to set eight players against one another over Xbox Live. For the public PC build we are aiming for between twelve and sixteen players in a match, with sixteen being the target. While we cannot promise the same player count for versions of the game on other platforms, we will aim for feature parity wherever possible.
Right now the majority of the core game is complete, and we're in the process of polishing all the modes and features that we think will make this game accessible while still providing a challenge for all skill levels and many, many hours of entertainment. Throughout this project we have overcome many challenges however we've reached one that we simply cannot overcome without your help. Currently we are all working full-time on this without any outside funding, and we really want to be able to dedicate ourselves completely to finish it and without us having to get second jobs, which would ultimately slow down the project, meaning we would either have to strip out some of the features we have planned or halt development outright. We'd do not want to do this.
So far we have worked on this project solidly for the best part of nine months without any funding by creating all the content in-house and using free software, and we are trying to make a career out of doing what we love. It can be difficult for start-up companies to get their foot in the door since games take a long time to create and (sometimes) only make money after they have been completed. Since we are not a fan of the typical publisher-funding model, we firmly believe that Kickstarter will not only allow us to retain creative control but also us to be closer to our fans and listen to your feedback so that we can make the game YOU want to play.
After investing so much time and care we would love to see Wing Rage released and the original vision realized to its full potential, including all the features we would like in the finished product. If you choose to donate to the project you're furthering the development of Wing Rage of course, but we don't think of this as an individual contribution, more a community one. Donating £10 will get you a copy of the game, but any donation tier above this nets you multiple copies for you and your friends. It doesn't make a lot of sense to ask you to donate a lot of money to a game with multiplayer without providing people to play with.
For the past few months we've been working solidly on the game to bring it to this stage, and we think with just a little more time we can create a finished and well polished title. We can’t make this game without you, please pledge whatever you can to help us make this game a reality or help us spread the word of this campaign by liking us on Facebook and Steam GreenLight. We greatly appreciate anything you can do and we thank you in advance.
If we are successful with our Kickstarter we are going to be able to make an amazing game. However, the more we raise the better the game will get. Every penny we earn in this campaign will be put into the project and nothing else until we release to the public and beyond. Naturally, we would love to take this project much further and with any additional funding we will work on releasing the game onto Xbox360 Live Arcade and the PS Vita. Since it is not a simple case of just porting the game and most of the code would need to be changed our stretch goals accurately reflect the time and work it would take us to complete this to a high standard. If we should receive significant additional funding we will share details about additional goals for expanding this game even further.
As well as regular updates on our Facebook (Each week) and Twitter (as often as we have announcements to make), we'll also have regular updates viewable to everyone across all of our social and project pages. Find out more on Steam Greenlight, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and AprioriDigital.com
If you read any of this Kickstarter we thank-you for your time, and if you read the whole thing and donated.. well maybe we just love you (like a sibling). Don't hesitate to get touch with us if you have any thoughts, questions, feedback or anything, really! We would love to hear from you.
Risks and challenges
As this project is still in development there is still a chance that things may get delayed, however at this time we feel that the project should be completed in October - depending on Steam Greenlight (and XBLA/PS vita - if funding is reached). Our release schedule depends on when we feel that each version is polished enough and ready for release.
Boss Mode Tier
Wow. Thank you! All Beta Tier rewards + another two copies + design a ship (named as its most famous pilot too) + invitation for you and a guest to attend the launch party (LAN party) + meet the team.
(Does not include travel expenses from outside of the UK and is subject to change)