GRIP - An intense futuristic combat racer (Canceled)
GRIP - An intense futuristic combat racer (Canceled)
Inspired by the classic Rollcage games, with a lethal mix of heavy weapons and ferocious speed, GRIP is a new breed of combat racer.
Inspired by the classic Rollcage games, with a lethal mix of heavy weapons and ferocious speed, GRIP is a new breed of combat racer. Read more
About this project
Features Trailer HD Download: http://cagedelement.com/grip/video/KickstarterVideo_Features720p.mp4
Trailer 2 HD Download: http://www.cagedelement.com/grip/video/GripTrailer2.mp4
Trailer 1 HD Download: http://www.cagedelement.com/grip/video/GripTrailer1HD.mp4
Inspired by the Rollcage games of 1999 and 2000, GRIP is a new IP for a new generation. A return to the hardcore combat racer, bristling with heavy weapons and packing ferocious speed, the game is an intense, sensory feast. Harnessing the awesome potential of Epic's Unreal Engine 4, GRIP will take you back to your nostalgic past, while simultaneously propelling you into a kick-ass future.
Having completed the initial prototype (seen in the trailers), we're on Kickstarter to ask for your help in funding the game's full development. With two of the original Rollcage team already on board, we have the pedigree to make this happen – we just need a little help with the finances, as making video games ain’t as cheap as it used to be.
We'll be ever grateful for your contribution to this Kickstarter and we've got many rewards to thank you with, but we'd also love for the community to be a part of development along the way, whether it be voting on final game modes, choosing potential weapons, giving feedback on vehicles or simply chatting about the project. We want your input. We want your feedback. We want your passion.
Because we're making this game for you - the undying fans of combat racers who have been patiently waiting for the next one they can play with their friends until all hours of the night.
We want most modes to come with various options to increase replay value, such as weather changes and time of day, as well as modifiers that let you enable or disable certain pick-ups and change how they work. Want an explosive match where racers are equipped only with unlimited mines? You can do that. How about disabling pick-ups altogether to make it just about the driving skill? Sure, why not.
There will also be variations on game modes, like knock-out (eliminate last place driver each lap) as well as points for inflicting the most damage.
Our aim is to supply the player with the ability to cater their experience to how they want to play. This customization will extend to other options menus as well, including graphics, where you'll be able to tweak to your heart's content on PC.
We want the fans to help decide what features get put into the game. That’s why we’ve got the “Backer’s Choice!” stretch goals. Once a stretch goal is hit, the backers will post in the comments what stretch goal they most want to see happen. We’ll then pick the stretch goal with the most votes and cross it off the list. This gives you - the gamers - the power to make the game you want to play.
An illicit sport that spread like napalm
GRIP has its origins in the illegal street racing scene that spawned in the early 21st century. At that time the races were reasonably harmless. A danger to the public, certainly, with inexperienced drivers managing to destroy their rides in ill-judged corners. But most of the time, it was only the drivers themselves that wound-up dead. It was characterized as an underground movement, largely ignored by law enforcement, with only a handful of arrests ever being made. The world had other worries.
Then things started to change. The scene became dominated by major players with big egos. Full of bravura, their cars evolved and became all about the speed, and with that the danger began to grow. Elements of the public started to become interested in the drama and a whole new subculture gravitated towards the action. This was racing alright, and everyone in it was out to win, whatever the cost. Accidents happened often, and that too became part of the allure. This sport was really taking off, despite the intensifying efforts of authorities to bury it.
In the end, the races became so testosterone-fueled and running so close to the edge that even pirate TV started to cover them. The channel known simply as GRIP became synonymous with the whole scene, which exploded with massive public interest running counter to government crackdowns on the problem. Funded by gambling income and black-market TV subscriptions, the hacker crew running the TV link became very wealthy indeed.
The drivers in these races quickly realized what they were missing, and they were more than just a little displeased, they were harbouring some righteous anger. Some TV network taking over their scene - taking all the rewards yet sharing none of the risks, what the hell was that about? The fury erupted, and the big dogs made their grab for power. Fierce fighting broke out between the two groups, but the network was no match for the drivers and gave way to superior force. Faced with no choice but to accept the offer they were given, a balance of power was struck, and everyone moved forward. The network retained a cut, but the drivers were now collecting an income for their risk, a real income that allowed them to pimp their speed machines even further.
But money corrupts, and in GRIP it corrupted absolutely. The cut from the races was split between all the drivers, those that ended first received the most, and those that didn’t end at all, well, received nothing. It wasn’t long before this fact was viciously exploited. The cars, originally built purely for racing, slowly evolved to become armed, and armoured. Fewer people finishing a race meant more money for those that did. It wasn’t just about racing any more, it was about destroying your rivals along the way.
The government really couldn’t tolerate such an obscene display of violence and weaponry in their backyard. The regular police were hopelessly outclassed, so they sent in the military. But as they became increasingly involved, this just added to the whole drama of the scene. Though still very much underground, it was becoming rampantly popular. It was everyone’s favourite new addiction, their guilty pleasure. For the drivers though, the military intervention was just killing it. The racing was already intense enough, but fighting on two fronts was all but impossible. Something had to be done, this was a way of life now, and it wasn’t going to just stop. So the whole thing started to move, not just into the far reaches of the desert where it would be less conspicuous, but eventually off-world to try and find places where they could race to the max without wasting munition on government forces that they would much rather save to fight against each other. It was all about the winning.
Now, in the age of streamlined interstellar travel, GRIP has come of age with its fiery cocktail of cars and carnage spreading throughout the known star systems - the organizers now crashing exotic planets and bulldozing environments to create improvised race tracks to battle upon. That is, until the region's authorities show up and try to ruin the party with a hail of gunfire and rockets. Not only are racers dealing with each other's explosive tendencies, they now contend with a fierce war between those that want the anarchy to continue, and those that would extinguish what could become the biggest televised spectacle in the galaxy.
Welcome to GRIP.
Just as in Rollcage, the cars in GRIP are extraordinary. With larger wheels that extend not just below the frame but also above it, with GRIP's cars there is no right way up and they can flip sides whenever they need to and just keep on thrusting forwards. But that’s not all. These cars also develop a tremendous amount of down-force, so much down-force in fact that driving on walls and even ceilings becomes possible. And in GRIP, this isn’t just possible, at times it’s essential. It’s all about survival, and getting to the end of the race, whatever it takes.
All of the vehicles in GRIP are heavily armed, and most of them heavily armoured. There’s a variety to choose from, ranging from sleek and light thoroughbreds built purely for speed, all the way over to ironclad behemoths that can not only deal out the punishment, but also take it. Whatever your thing is, there’s a ride in GRIP with your name all over it.
You will start with a very capable car as you enter the GRIP arena, anything less would be suicide. Slowly but surely however, you will be able to upgrade your car with money earned from scoring a decent race position as well as salvage recovered along the track while racing. The more you win, the more you earn, the faster and more devastating your car becomes. Not only that, but you’ll be able to visually customize your beast with a selection of paint-jobs, rims, wheels and body armour kits. Make your mark on the track as you exit the pit lane ready to put on a show for the carnage-hungry race fans.
It’s not enough to just cross the finish line first in GRIP, more important is how you got there, and how much destruction you wrought upon your rivals along the way. Weapons and power-ups are now an integral part of the races that you will be taking part in. Here is a selection of what will potentially be on offer:
We are aware that we chose a brown desert planet as our showcase track for the prototype. We love colour as much as anyone else, so don't worry, we've got some pretty exotic environments in store that will expand the palette.
- Liddo 5: A sphere encompassed by lush alien jungle that is very much alive. The GRIP league drop their materials and crew through the thick canopy of trees to lay as much track as they can before the planet starts to take over again. The world was once peppered with research facilities, but most have subdued to the plant life's lust for reclaiming its territory.
- Orbital Prime: Essentially a floating metropolis, this planet is one big city, devoid of landscape, vegetation or wild life. What it lacks in natural colour, it makes up for with its Red Sun district and flashy advertisements. Orbital Prime is mostly a seedy, corrupt place full of outcasts and criminals, and would make the perfect place to drop a race if it weren't for the affluent oligarchs running the show with the local militia rewarded well to assert their will.
- Norvos: Once a highly utilized military installation that strategically borders an opposing planet, this cold, barren landscape became just too hostile for habitation. Knives of ice jut out from the planet's hardened crust, and brutal ice storms mercilessly ravage the surface without end. Authorities rarely attempt to shut down the races here, and for good reason.
- Jahtra: What we would call the very epitome of blistering desert, this arid but resource rich location quickly showed itself to be ideal for GRIP's show-downs. With its massive surface size, access to an abundance of fuel and the ability to drop track sections in and out with ease, Jahtra quickly became a prime racing location.
We've been lucky, and are very honoured to have such an impressive roster of musicians involved with this game. Not only that, but they love what they see of GRIP and are making their passion clear for wanting to create some truly wicked tunes for the game. Having Technical Itch and Dom & Roland on board is especially cool because they were on the soundtrack for Rollcage Stage II.
The search for the right people has been stressful but exciting, and we're really happy with how it's turned out. This is going to be one hell of a great original soundtrack
GRIP is set to release on PC via the Steam platform, and PS4 via the PlayStationNetwork. The game has already been green-lit on Steam in a flatteringly short space of time, and an agreement has been made with Sony to pave the way for GRIP to appear on their console too. So with the initial formalities out of the way, there is little stopping the game getting to market.
Should we receive enough funding via KickStarter, the development of GRIP will continue directly from our prototype phase and straight into full-thrust development. From our very carefully considered schedules we anticipate that the game will be complete some time before the end of 2016.
Following our main, general release on PC and PS4, we will then take a view on whether to release on other platforms. If the user figures are good, and we have the funds to do it, then we will do just that. If so, we anticipate that this will take in the order of 2 to 3 months to port, with delivery sometime during Q2 2017.
We regard GRIP as a community-led project, one where we will be producing the best work we can, but with input and feedback from you, our backers. We have clear ideas about what we think the game should be, the story, the themes and the styling of it all. The complex, yet relatively effortless vehicle handling, fused with the brutality and violence of the weaponry. We have the key elements in place, but we encourage you to give your help in forming them. For that, we will of course be using an early access program.
All backers are urged to use the design forum on our web site (forum.cagedelement.com) to help shape the game’s direction, and make the furious combat racer we’ve all been waiting for, for so long. In addition, there are two programs to let you get access early to iterations in order to actually plug your controller in and get racing.
The pre-beta early access backing tier is for people that want hands-on as soon as practically possible. It will, at first, allow you to play two tracks from the game with two different vehicles, along with two different weapon types. This will give you a real feel for the game without spoiling the full experience for you. You get a taste of what GRIP is, and to offer early feedback, while looking forward to what the full game has to offer when we’ve finished forging it from iron and steel. Oh yes. You think we use mere code for this game?
Beta access will be granted a few months before general release - allowing those in the beta access backing tier to dive into total GRIP immersion in an essentially complete game. We expect this will require considerable external testing to iron out any multiplayer bugs that may have escaped our attention, and we absolutely want to get that firmly nailed before release. Make no mistake though, we won’t present our beta to you until we know you can play with all the game's features without impediment. This will be full, primal contact.
So that we could concentrate more fully on the creative process of making a great game for you, we decided to leverage the power of Unreal Engine 4 in bringing GRIP to life. With its huge, well-established user base, the use of Unreal Engine has significantly reduced the technical risks involved in producing a game like this.
Powering games like the new Unreal Tournament, Fable Legends, Eve Valkyrie and Street Fighter V, it allows us to bring you the very best in rendering quality available today. GRIP will not just play well, it will also look great.
The very progressive physics and handling of the vehicles found in GRIP demand a strong physics system on which to develop them. PhysX, beating at the heart of Unreal Engine, is that system. Independent of which GPU you might have, PhysX delivers a swift and robust solution to our demanding vehicle needs via the CPU. At speeds of 600+ kph, and with monstrous down-force allowing you to drive on roads, walls and ceilings, you have to know that the engine can hold things together for you.
Multiplayer too is a key feature of GRIP and something we well know we have to get right. And that too, is something that Unreal Engine provides substantial support for. Whereas in most multiplayer games the majority of the development time is spent getting the technology right, in GRIP, the majority of our time will be spent getting the gameplay right.
GRIP is a newly-born IP produced by a newly-born team. Until recently, just two people working together at furious pace to produce the GRIP prototype. Now, a small studio called Caged Element. The team is starting to grow, and likewise its combined industry experience.
We collectively have worked on dozens of titles starting back in the mid-nineties. Two of our number in particular, worked on the original Rollcage titles published by Psygnosis. Having key roles in bringing those games to life and making them what they were, we understand our market very well and exactly what people are hoping to see in GRIP.
We’re a small studio, concentrating solely on creating the best game experience we can for you, the player. We have no interest in luxurious offices or expensive cars - after you’ve driven the cars in GRIP, cars in the real world leave you wanting whatever they might be. Our primary, and only goal, is to deliver our best work in the production of this game.
Thus far, GRIP has been developed collaboratively, and without any financial investment at all. All of our involvement, to immerse ourselves in this idea and see where we could take it. We’ve worked for many months to bring the prototype to life, to prove the concept and then gauge the response to that. It’s been overwhelming and our instincts were right, GRIP has a hungry audience. There is a lot of love out there for Rollcage and for our new vision founded upon it. We’re talking to talented people the world over who are excited to become involved with GRIP to help us develop it further. There is no shortage of people eager to help bring this game to your screens.
For funding, Kickstarter, with no interest payments or investor percentages to be returned, is certainly the best way to deliver maximum reward for minimum investment to you, the gaming public. It’s also an excellent way of involving those that want to collaborate with us. We're a collective of passionate and creative people that want to work with you to reach the very apex of what combat racing can be. Kickstarter gives us, and you, that platform. We’re all gamers here, let’s see what we can do.
Risks and challenges
There are many complexities associated with GRIP's development that need to be managed. We know this, because we’ve been through the development process many times before.
The team here has a wealth of experience in producing high-profile titles. We know the common pitfalls of projects like this; the technology risks, the staffing issues, the funding calculation errors and scheduling mistakes that people so often make. We’ve seen it all and we learned very early. There is some risk, of course, but we know how to mitigate it and how to manage the little that is left.
We also know how to make a great racing game. Having written half a dozen of them before now there is little left to give us any surprises. Many of the algorithms you need to write a game of this sort such as vehicle setup, racing AI, weapon management etc. have become second nature to us.
We’ve already developed a substantial prototype to prove that Unreal Engine can handle a game of this kind. It’s scored well in all areas, including the specialized vehicle physics setup that GRIP demands. The only major feature we’ve not yet explored in this prototype is multiplayer, though Unreal Engine provides a lot of support in this area.
The key to getting multiplayer working well in any game is to give it abundant testing over a long period of time. We intend to do just that by adding it right at the beginning of the main thrust of development, and test with a quorum of around 100 players regularly throughout the game’s development span. Towards the end we will expand the test program to several thousand players in order to work through any remaining issues well before the game’s official release.
Our main focus however, isn’t the technology, with our past experience and using Unreal Engine 4, we pretty much have that licked. No, our main focus is making the game you want, we want, and delivering it to you on time, and on budget. To that end, we’ve produced a very well-considered and detailed schedule founded on an equally detailed game design specification. We have high confidence that our development figures are correct, with ample time for slippage, and that consequently we are asking for an accurate funding level here to cover the costs of development.
So with the business stuff out of the way, our only remaining challenge is to create an adrenalin-fuelled game that you just can’t put down. The challenge we’re savouring the most, the one we can’t wait to attack. We think that we've made it clear with what we've already shown of GRIP that our time has come - and soon will yours.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We are asking the community to help us fund this completely. We don’t have any external sources of funding to help top us up, which is why the goal may seem larger than expected based on other Kickstarter games.
20% is going towards code, 40% towards art assets, 10% towards music and sfx and 30% towards costs (publisher royalty, KS costs, reward tier costs, production costs etc.)
We've meticulously scheduled and costed every element we need to develop and deliver the game we're promising. Chris, Rob and myself are taking minimal wage, however we can't expect to bring in talented people without paying them the going rate if we want to maintain the quality we're going for. There are also licenses to buy, a studio to pay for, sfx and music. There are the Kickstarter costs, plus the Steam and PSN costs associated with delivering the digital version of the game out to you guys. As well as duplicating, packaging and printing costs for delivering the physical versions.
We're asking for £320,000(UK) which includes all those overheads not just the development costs. To put that in perspective, Rollcage cost in the region of £750,000(UK) to just develop the game, and that was 15 years ago on much simpler platforms. I believe Psygnosis then spent twice that on manufacturing and marketing. (Double the figures above to get an indication of that in $CAD)
The time is ripe to do this now because UE4 gives us so much to begin with. For the first time in fifteen years we have the opportunity to get this game out to the community at a cost within reach of that community. We believe there is enough interest amongst the community to justify us making this, but it's not big enough to interest the big Publishers. Which is why we've made the decision to take this route. And since we're all in this together, we want to hear your voice on the forums: positive, negative, ideas, everything.
We’re not planning DRM-free digital versions at the present time. However the physical PC version will be DRM free.
We costed how much each port would be and took the decision that it would push the goal way way beyond what was feasable to expect to raise through Kickstarter. We also felt it wouldn’t be fair to add that as a stretch goal either - we take our promises seriously and it would be unfair to ask XBOX owners to pledge for something they might not get.
However, once the game is finished and released we will be taking a view as to whether there’s enough demand to spend the money to port the game. If it works out that it breaks even then we’ll do it. We’re happy to port it for our fans at cost price.
We’d love to be able to offer a demo, it would really help people decide whether to back us or not. And more importantly, who doesn’t want to get their hands on this?
But we can’t stress enough how early in development we are: The track you see in the footage is not complete, we have only three weapons, and there are a number of bugs that need to be cleared up. A demo at this stage of development would be far more frustrating than fun. It’s good enough for Chris to capture footage with, but not for a demo.
Unfortunately Kickstarter doesn’t support Paypal. However, if we reach our funding goal then we’ll open up Paypal outside of Kickstarter and include that in the calculations for the stretch goals.
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