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A real-time, class-based strategy game, set in an open world cyberpunk city, from the creator of Syndicate Wars.
A real-time, class-based strategy game, set in an open world cyberpunk city, from the creator of Syndicate Wars.
15,029 backers pledged £461,333 to help bring this project to life.

Game Design Chat Video #1

Posted by 5 Lives Studios (Creator)

Hello Agents,

We've got our first video update for you, a design chat between four members of the 5 Lives team. Sorry for the delay on this one, we've had some technical issues.

In this video, Dean, Mitch, Chris and Mike discuss some of the questions we've seen raised, such as "Good vs Evil," character classes, and more on the city simulation.

Also, don't forget to vote for us on Steam Greenlight if you haven't already, which you can find here:

We'll be doing more videos covering the other aspects of the game we've had questions about in coming updates.

Also, we're at 40%, and only 4 days into our campaign! I know we've been saying this every update, but you guys are seriously awesome. We're amazed every day by the response we're getting, but there's still plenty of people out there who need to be "persuaded" to our cause. Keep up the good work!

-The 5 Lives Team.


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    1. Missing avatar

      aircawn on

      Pretty sure I'm seeing Little Creatures in this video. Excellent taste.

    2. Gillsing on

      Listening to these guys, I'm beginning to think that this game is going to be too stressful for me. One of the reasons I usually ran around with all four guys in Syndicate Wars was that individually they could not stand up to the opposition, so splitting them into smaller groups and letting them fend for themselves while I was controlling one or two of them would only have gotten them killed. (Or been a waste of their time if they didn't do anything.)

      I can only imagine that the same would apply to a group of four different classes. Maybe the 'soldier' could shoot a bunch of inferior enemies, but 'assassin' and 'hacker' and 'support' sounds like stuff that needs some thinking behind the actions, and I'm not an RTS player. I'd need more than "a few seconds" to determine what to do and then actually do it, so I wouldn't be able to play all three 'thinkers' at the same time. And having them do things on their own sound like every NPC mage ever, who rarely manage to use the right spells for a given situation.

      Then again, I suppose that without enemies being scripted to suddenly appear at certain triggers, it might actually be possible to plan appropriately. Though even when I knew what to expect in Syndicate Wars, there were still plenty of situations where timing and precision were more than I could usually handle. Sometimes it boiled down to pure luck.

      Oh well. Maybe it'll just be a matter of getting enough meat shields, with only expert players being able to pull off finesse moves? That sounds appropriate.

    3. Missing avatar

      Whyle Mauriello on

      The concept art looks fantastic. I can't wait to see what they finally decide for actual rendered gameplay.

    4. Missing avatar

      Davor Copic on

      I love the feel and themes (especially the concept art) discussed so far, but could you please elaborate on the operative class system? From the video, it sounds like it’s a mechanic designed to force team diversification. I would much rather have a mechanic in place to encourage this type of game play instead of enforcing it. A possible suggestion for doing so is changing AI behavior based on team composition, ie a team of ‘tanks’ with miniguns increases AI alert level and hostile soldier presence. Other AI tactics against homogenous teams might include artillery/missile strikes against sniper teams or K9 units against infiltrators. Thanks for your effort so far and I cannot wait to see more.

    5. Missing avatar

      Stephen Teng on

      I had actually read the interview previously. It does suggest they are looking to use BT based system but it would be nice to hear further details.

      Personally I feel utility based AI shows lots of promise with regards to creating deep simulations but then again each system has its own strengths and weaknesses. I also wouldn't classify stuff which is scripted as AI so I'm very glad they are placing an emphasis on emergent gameplay.

    6. Nathan Sanchez on

      The ideas sound incredible, but can something that complex be achieved with base goal?

    7. Vortex - Syndicate?Satellite Reign 3.93 on


      This a good interview:

      Seems they don want simple scripted AI but rather one a reactive one

      read this
      Diskett: We’ve got all the standard stuff – a vehicle system, a traffic system, a police force. But, okay: one of the classic sort of things is /behaviours/ being implemented, not scripting. I’ve been doing a lot of AI in the past few years, and I was an AI specialist at THQ. Consequently I am into implementing behaviours as you would expect, rather than scripting them. You think about how a person would react, and make the game character act like that. You make them react to what they perceive, and you make their perception work correctly, with vision cones and true line of sight. That means they act without having 100% information about something. One of my pet hates is AI like in Borderlands, which is where if you shoot them from half a kilometer away they instantly start shooting back. I prefer AI that says: What do they know about it? What’s the reaction time for them? How long do they take to look around before they decide whether to shoot or run for cover? Does it need more gunfire before they make a decision? So that’s the approach for individual AI entities in the game. But you’re asking about another aspect, which is the wider simulation of the city itself, and I want to simulate that down to the powergrid. That’s one of the things I’m really interested in for hacker class is to have power nodes all through the city that are correctly modelled, so that you can trace where power lines are, and see them with EMP perception. So if you place explosives here, you can shut down a gun emplacement there.

    8. Silver on

      Nice update! :)

      I liked the style in which the conversation rolled around - it's good to have more than just one or two devs doing these update videos.

    9. Missing avatar

      Stephen Teng on

      A couple of questions, the more straightforward one first. Will the environments be destructible and if they are to what degree?

      How deep/subtle are you planning to make the AI and interactions with it? Borrowing an example from the chat, if you started a firefight and one guard had gone off and called reinforcements and you then hacked him, could you get him to try and call off the reinforcements?

      Finally on the topic of AI do you have any particular system in mind at this point, whether it be a FSM, Behaviour Trees, Planner, Utility AI etc?

    10. Sebastian Ruecker on

      I really appreciate what you are putting together. The open world and the stealth aspect sound great. Just remember what made the originals so cool: You had 4 Terminators at your controll and could let that wreak havoc over a whole city block. Don't forget this core mechanic over the fancy new stuff! :)

    11. ThomasN on

      Interesting video. I hope you continue doing these.

    12. René M Jensen on

      Sounds awesome. Its so sad that more games dont give you this kind of freedom. Not only because of replayability, But because it gives you the option to play like you want that so unique, and a reason why Deus Ex Human Revolution was one of my favorite FPS games.

      Most genres could have these options, sadly it doesnt seem to be a high priority of big companies, they prefer 4-6 hour on rails games. which is just pathethic.

      Awesome update btw :)

    13. Jalister on

      +1 on the option to have a 4 member team of soldiers lay down mass destruction to everything in their path. It doesn't need to be the only option, but the option should be there, at least on some missions.

    14. Stavros Tsiakalos on

      I hope the "classes" does not turn this into a cyberunk version of the new(ish) XCOM by Firaxis. I was seriously let down by that game.

    15. Richard on

      I just re-posted that on the main page, as that's where the conversation seems to be taking place, perhaps best reply there instead of here....

    16. Richard on

      I know you want to prevent the 4 guys take on the world by force only scenario, and i agree, but I hope we are not denied the 4 way mass shoot-fests by having the character classes weaker in fire fights.

      3 guys and a soldier sounds a bit limiting. so i'd suggest that of 4 skill classes, none of them are 'solider' and they all have the same 'soldier' fire fight capability. this way the fire fights are still awesome, and the 4 skills in addition.

      this isn't to say I want to be able to win out with fire fights, i'm just saying that I loved the original game, and a large part of it was the crazy gun blazing that used to crop up. this element should not be watered down. forced all the time into sending a single guy to shoot people would suck a bit.

      if this remains in the game, then all the other ideas just add to 'teh awes0me'

      Does this make sense? does anyone agree here?

    17. Crosmando on

      Very nice, nice to get some of that stuff cleared up. Really excited about this now

    18. Xaviz on

      oh shit son, here we go!