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Red Baron is back! The best dogfighting flight sim of all time returns from Damon Slye, the original creator of Red Baron.

Red Baron Campaign Update

Greetings Backers and Red Baron fans,

As some of you have noticed and mentioned, the Kickstarter for Red Baron hasn’t been quite as successful as we had hoped. We are a new to crowdfunding, and in turn the Red Baron campaign didn’t quite reach as many ears as we needed.

That being said, we are going to cancel the Kickstarter campaign… for now. We will still be moving forward with Red Baron with the plans to relaunch the campaign early next year.

In the next few months we will be honing our message and vision, along with improving Red Baron based on the feedback we received from all of you.

What we need you to do is help us grow awareness and community. If we want Red Baron to succeed then we need to get the word out. We will be doing our part, improving Red Baron, but we need your help as well. Please tell friends, invite others to one of our social platforms, share us, tweet us, whatever it is that you do, please do it!

We urge you to head over to Facebook or Twitter and give us a like or follow us so you can stay informed. Additionally we have a website with forums that we will maintain, a place for our community to grow, and a place where we the developers can hear directly from you guys. We are going to be posting developer blogs, design notes, and having frequent talks with you the community.

Finally, we want to thank all of you for your early support and incentivize all of you to get hooked into one of our social media platforms. At the end of November we will be marking down all of the people who have followed us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, or joined our forums. Everyone marked will be given alpha access to the game, as long as the tier you select during our next Kickstarter campaign contains a copy of the game.

Please help us spread the word about Red Baron over the next few months, and together we can build an amazing game. The Red Baron will fly again!

-Damon Slye and the Mad Otter team

Here are the links to our pages again:

Briefly, Red Baron is:

  • Dogfighting: Aerial combat at its best. Take to the skies in fighter aircraft like the Sopwith Camel and Fokker Triplane.
  • Single Player: Enlist for the full tour in campaign play with more than 30 missions played back to back from 1915 to 1918. Single player will be offline and DRM-free.
  • Persistent Multiplayer Game World: Jump in anytime for a challenging mission with or against your friends. 
  • Constant Progression: Advance your pilot to gain new and better aircraft, customize with new paint and decals, and earn upgrades.
  • Buy Once, Play Forever: We are not using a free-to-play model. Pay or pledge once, have Red Baron forever.
  • Systems: Windows XP, Windows 7, Window 8, Linux, SteamOS

We will transform your PC into a fighter aircraft from the era that defined dogfighting. Our team built Red Baron, Aces of the Pacific, Aces over Europe, A-10 Tank Killer and Ace of Aces. We set the standard for flight games with excitement, realism, great gameplay, authenticity, and immersion. We continue the tradition now with Red Baron.

We are not just building a simulation. We are not just building a game. We are building a time machine that will transform your PC into a fighter aircraft from World War I, allowing you to experience dogfighting at its best.

Red Baron will provide an immersive experience beyond just simulation and game.
Red Baron will provide an immersive experience beyond just simulation and game.

Red Baron will hit the sweet spot between simulation and game dead-on. We will emulate the controls of flight authentically but with a focus on fun and intuitive gameplay. Our design goal is to make it easy to play but hard to master.

You will be able to hop into your airplane and begin flying in minutes. The controls will be intuitive and easy to grasp. You won’t have to have a degree in advanced aerodynamics to understand how to fly and fight. Under the hood, the game will be running a complex and realistic simulation, but we will hide the complexities from new players and let them discover them over time at their own pace.

We want to deliver an immersive and exciting flying experience. It is about much more than documental realism: placing every gauge, dial, and knob in the right place. It is about confronting the player with the same challenges and psychological reality that WWI Aces faced.

Within moments of loading Red Baron, players of all skill levels can feel the thrill of air combat.
Within moments of loading Red Baron, players of all skill levels can feel the thrill of air combat.

In our years of game development, we’ve learned the only way to put the fun into the game is with a lot of playtesting. It’s a pleasant irony of game development that the only way to get the fun into the game is with a lot of hard work. We will do the playtesting with your help, but we promise we’ll do the hard part.

We will faithfully recreate history and transport The Great War onto your PC, much like a time machine. Red Baron will simulate the flight characteristics of the aircraft of the day, and our ace AI system will recreate the behaviors and personalities of famous historic aces. For example, Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron himself, said “I am a hunter. My brother Lothar is a butcher.” By this he meant he stalked his prey and avoided unnecessary risk, whereas his brother threw all caution to the wind. In our game, you will not see the Red Baron recklessly diving into battle unless he holds an advantage.

Our time machine approach will direct our art, gameplay, UI, and overall design.
Our time machine approach will direct our art, gameplay, UI, and overall design.

As your campaign in the game progresses, your pilot will experience historically authentic events. You will gain access to new and better fighter aircraft just as the aces of the day did. 

Red Baron will put you in the cockpit of a biplane fighter from the Great War. You will see your pilot working the controls: the stick, the throttle, and the guns.

Immersion is a core focus for Red Baron
Immersion is a core focus for Red Baron

You can expect immersive details that the real pilots faced, including: g-force effects such as blackouts, blind spots when facing the sun, shell casings, gun muzzle flashes, gun jams, oil splatters, explosions, smoke, exhaust, dirty windscreens, and the throaty roar of the engine coming to life.  

You will also be captivated by detailed environments, clouds, fog, mist, majestic sunsets, and breathtaking landscapes. 

Our vision for the single player campaign is to let you write your own story. Instead of a linear scripted story, the campaign will let you plot your own course through the war via randomly generated missions with engaging intermission activities. In between sky skirmishes, medals will be awarded, promotions gained, transfers requested, newspapers read, and (once you’ve made Captain) planes customized.

Single Player focuses on player choice, immersion, and unique intermission activities.
Single Player focuses on player choice, immersion, and unique intermission activities.

We will remain faithful to the original vision of Red Baron, but this time with modern graphics, enhanced gameplay, and an incredibly immersive world. 

We will develop a realistic AI, focusing on actual famous historic pilots. This means that when you finally face off against the Red Baron, he will use the same tactics as Manfred von Richthofen himself! Fly with or against real pilots such as Rene Fonck, Ernst Udet, William Bishop, and Edward Rickenbacker.

Your career may take you to the western front.
Your career may take you to the western front.

Red Baron will feature events generated both randomly and influenced from your personal decisions. For example, you may find that suddenly an enemy ace has dropped a personal note of challenge over your airfield (just as they did in WWI). Why? Because two missions ago you shot down one of his comrades, and now he is out for revenge! We believe this is an engaging aspect of the player experience. Challenges like this are more exciting, more intense, and more personal when that meeting is the result of past events—when that meeting is a part of a story.

And in case you missed it before, single player will be offline and DRM-free.

Jump in anytime, day or night, for a challenging mission with or against your friends. Matches will last 20 to 40 minutes. The maps are designed to maximize gameplay and strategy. The centerpiece is of course dogfighting, but some maps will require taking down the defenses of the other side by destroying its recon balloons or ground turrets and taking out the enemy base, all the while defending your own base.

Players will be able to choose the aircraft best for the map and the role they want to play. Want to quickly gain air supremacy? Jump into a highly maneuverable Sopwith Camel or Fokker Triplane. Want to prevent those enemy fighters from taking out your balloons? Fly a fast interceptor like a Fokker D.VII. Want to go straight for the enemy? Take a bomber. But you’d better ask your friends for some escort or the enemy’s fighters will be waiting for you.

Play in large scale battles, proving your worth in a variety of match types and settings.
Play in large scale battles, proving your worth in a variety of match types and settings.

Different maps will offer different gameplay experiences. Some will be historically authentic, while others will be designed to escalate the intensity of the gameplay (such as the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, or MOBA, style maps).

We will be aiming to support match sizes of 50 players, along with an advanced queuing system to allow you to get into a match quickly.

Red Baron will have a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, featured on the map “Alpine Alley”. It will have a familiar layout with two team bases and three neutral routes or lanes. The goal of the match is for one team to advance on and destroy the enemy’s base. In order to achieve this goal, each team member must employ a variety of tactics, strategy, teamwork, and dogfighting skill. 

Alpine Alley: One of Red Baron's MOBA maps.
Alpine Alley: One of Red Baron's MOBA maps.

During the course of the match, each player will fly their airplane and contribute in a multitude of ways. Players may choose to dogfight, engaging enemy aircraft in epic battles of skill and merit, or they can complete map objectives, such as retrieving a spy from enemy territory or collecting research notes to advance the technology of their team. All the while, AI controlled tanks will continuously spawn and advance on the enemy base via one of three alleys. Players may engage enemy tanks, pushing the battle lines further into enemy territory or defending against enemy advancement. As players destroy enemy planes, tanks, towers, and complete map objectives, their actions will be rewarded with resources that are used to upgrade components, such as ammunition, engines, wings, defensive capabilities and more.

MOBA in Red Baron will have a mixture of ground and air focused combat and strategy.
MOBA in Red Baron will have a mixture of ground and air focused combat and strategy.

As the match progresses, tanks grow stronger, the risk and reward of objectives escalate, the bounty of taking down enemy aces inflates, and the capability and general power of each individual plane dramatically increases. All of this serves to create intense, action-oriented gameplay where the stakes become higher with every tick of the clock.

The hangar is a virtual representation of players and their Red Baron accounts. Every player has their own hangar from the moment they begin playing, and as they play it only gets better. The hangar is at the core of one of our design goals: every mission is worth it. Whether you win or lose: your pilot, your hangar, and your account will always benefit, and it will always be worth your time.

The Hangar
The Hangar

Your pilot’s advancement will be based on your skill and merit in both single player and multi-player missions. As you progress, you will be able to: 

  • Acquire new and better aircraft for your hangar 
  • Upgrade your aircraft with better equipment 
  • Customize your aircraft with different paint schemes and decals
  • Earn medals and achievements
  • Dogfighters: Nimble aircraft like the Fokker Triplane and Sopwith Camel, great for out-maneuvering and shooting down the enemy’s fighters.
  • Interceptors: Fast Fighters like the Fokker D.VII and S.E.5a, great for intercepting incoming aircraft and taking out the enemy’s observation balloons. 
  • Ground Attack Fighters: Sturdy aircraft like the Spad XIII, great for taking out the enemy’s machine gun towers, tanks, and airfield. 
Red Baron will have many different types of planes, all of which can be unlocked and populated into your hangar.
Red Baron will have many different types of planes, all of which can be unlocked and populated into your hangar.

At a minimum, we will include the following aircraft:

  • French: Nieuport 17, Nieuport 28, Spad 7, Spad 13
  • British: Sopwith Pup, Sopwith Camel, Sopwith Snipe, RAF S.E.5a 
  • German: Albatros D.II, Albatros D.III, Albatros D.Va, Pfalz D.III, Fokker Dr.1 Triplane, Fokker D.VII, Fokker D.VIII, and Fokker E.V

You will start in the year 1915. By participating in air battles, you will earn honor points and advance to later tiers: 1916, 1917, and 1918. With each new tier, new and better aircraft are unlocked for you to fly, just as they were to real pilots throughout the war. 

Red Baron Tech Tree
Red Baron Tech Tree

You will also have the opportunity to upgrade your aircraft with better engines, propellers, guns, and more.

We will include support for high-end controllers: rudder pedals, joysticks, 3-axis joysticks, XBox controllers, etc.

Our Flight Model is highly detailed. However, we will wrap it with some nice code that can operate the rudder for the pilot, and our simulated flight stick code will make flying with the mouse just as good as with a joystick. But if a highly detailed flight model is your thing, then take advantage of our realism panel, and adjust the game to your liking.

When we were developing our game Ace of Aces, we knew great support for the mouse was essential since many players don’t have a joystick. We had never seen another flight game with mouse controls that satisfied us, even including the ones we built while at Dynamix. After many months of iteration on our simulated flight stick code, we developed mouse controls that are just as good as a joystick. In fact, some of us here actually prefer the mouse now.

Red Baron will support Oculus Rift
Red Baron will support Oculus Rift

Finally, we will be supporting the Oculus Rift. We are really excited by the prospect of the Oculus, and feel that this sort of technology is precisely what Red Baron needs. To be able to see the world in three-dimensional eyes, to be able to look over your shoulder to see if the enemy ace has your six... The Oculus Rift was made for Red Baron!

What will you be doing with the funds from Kickstarter?

Our small indie team is equipped with everything we need to make Red Baron great. Most of the money will stay in house with the exception of a few possible contractors. But in the end all of the money will be exclusively used to deliver a truly amazing and quality game experience.

We want to build an exciting, fun, and immersive experience. But we need your help to do it!
We want to build an exciting, fun, and immersive experience. But we need your help to do it!

 How are you going to make a quality game for only $250,000? 

Because we have a big head start! We have already invested $250,000 to build the prototype shown in the video and the screenshots above. It is relatively close to alpha testing; this is why our development cycle is shorter than many of the other Kickstarter games. We also have a frugal and responsible development team with strong leadership and tiny overhead costs (unlike a big publisher). All of this lets us put all the value straight into the game.

Red Baron will be top quality, both in gameplay and in beauty.
Red Baron will be top quality, both in gameplay and in beauty.

The big publishers have turned their backs on the PC and on Flight Games entirely. We believe the PC is the best gaming platform in the world, and that a great Flight Game will appeal to millions of gamers.  

This is a PC Game for PC Gamers. This is not a Facebook game. This is not a mobile game. Those platforms are simply too underpowered for us to achieve our vision for Red Baron.

Support the Indie Insurgence. Support us in our effort to bring a next-gen flight game to your PC. 

Mad Otter Games is Damon Slye’s latest gaming endeavor. He was a founder of Dynamix, which Sierra acquired in 1989. At Dynamix, he delivered classic games like Aces of the Pacific, Aces Over Europe, A-10 Tank Killer, Stellar 7, Arcticfox, MechWarrior, Project Firestart, Abrams Battletank, and of course, the original Red Baron.  

The team at Mad Otter Games includes talented, seasoned veterans who have proven again and again they know how to deliver games of the highest quality. The team includes Paul Bowman, who has been the lead engineer on over 20 titles in his career, and who also was the lead engineer on the original Red Baron.

We have built games for Activision, EA, Sony, Dynamix, Sierra, Accolade, and many other big publishers. Now we want to build a game for the players

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

We are setting out to create a game, a time machine, and an experience. All of these components must come together in perfect harmony, which makes the design and implementation of these components quite challenging. Software development and video games in particular are complex to build, bringing together disciplines of art, programming, and design.

However, Damon Slye and his teams have shown consistently that they are able to produce flight games of the highest caliber. Even with our limited self-funding we have been able to produce a working prototype with actual gameplay. Given our progress already, we are confident we can deliver an amazing experience worthy to carry on the legacy of Red Baron.

FAQ

  • To play Red Baron, you need only buy the initial game. There will never be a monthly charge for usage. Some items may be available as microtransactions, for example paint schemes and insignias, but we will never sell anything that can't be acquired through gameplay. Summary: Red Baron will not be free-to-play--you must buy the game to play; but you will not need to pay a monthly usage charge to continue to play.

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  • Red Baron will support Linux.

    We want to let you know why. Because it's Open. We like Open. As Indie Game Developers for 20 years, we have had to fight the gatekeepers for access to their walled gardens. We want to let the players decide what games they want. We welcome an open, competitive market because we believe we can deliver as much value in our game as anyone else. We'd rather put all our time and effort into making the best possible game.

    We haven't yet decided on whether or not to include OSX support.

    We will support SteamOS.

    Last updated:
  • Currently we don't have any plans to support these platforms, however if there is an overwhelming call then we may.

    Last updated:
  • We will have English and German support at launch. We hope to support other languages like French, Spanish, and Portuguese in the future.

    Last updated:
  • We are using Torque3D with a lot of custom modifications. We looked at some of the others, but at the end of the day we needed to be able to get down to the metal (full source code) to achieve the performance we need. Additionally, T3D has incredible network coding that allows for robust multiplayer matches.

    Last updated:
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    SCOUT (LIMITED): Alpha Access unlocked! ============================= You will receive: The Red Baron game; digital download wallpapers, THREE limited edition insignia, TWO limited edition skins, and ALPHA ACCESS!

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    PILOT (LIMITED): Superb Value ============================= You will receive: The Red Baron game; digital download wallpapers, FOUR limited edition insignia, FOUR limited edition skins, alpha access, a digital art book and a key for classic Red Baron Pack (which includes Red Baron Classic, Mission Builder, and Red Baron 3D).

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    PILOT: Superb Value ============================= You will receive: The Red Baron game; digital download wallpapers, FOUR limited edition insignia's, FOUR limited edition skins, alpha access, a digital art book and a key for classic Red Baron (which includes Red Baron Classic, Mission Builder, and Red Baron 3D).

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    VETERAN PILOT: Cosmetic Dream ============================= You will receive: The Red Baron game; digital download wallpapers and art book, FIVE limited edition insignia's, FIVE limited edition skins, alpha access, classic Red Baron pack, and EVERY STANDARD PLANE SKIN at launch.

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    EXPERT PILOT: Physical Rewards Unlocked! ============================= You will receive: The Red Baron game; digital download wallpapers and art book, SIX limited edition insignia's, SIX limited edition skins, alpha access, classic Red Baron pack, every standard plane skin, and a Red Baron poster of your choice.

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    FLIGHT LEADER: Double Dose + Signed Goods! ============================= You will receive: TWO COPIES of the Red Baron game; digital download wallpapers and art book,EIGHT limited edition insignia's, EIGHT limited edition skins, alpha access, classic Red Baron pack, every standard plane skin, and a Red Baron poster of your choice SIGNED by Damon Slye and the Red Baron team.

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    SQUADRON LEADER: Recognition unlocked + 4x the goods! ============================= You will receive: FOUR COPIES of the Red Baron game; digital download wallpapers and art book, TEN limited edition insignia's, TEN limited edition skins, alpha access, classic Red Baron pack, every standard plane skin, a signed Red Baron poster of your choice, and YOUR NAME in the credits as a supporter.

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    CAPTAIN: Go Down in History ============================= You will receive: four copies of the Red Baron game; digital download wallpapers and art book, ALL limited edition insignia's and plane skins, alpha access, classic Red Baron pack, every standard plane skin, a signed Red Baron poster of your choice, your name in the credits as a CONTRIBUTOR, and your name or user name used as flavor text somewhere in game.

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    ACE: Time to Design ============================= You will receive: FIVE COPIES of the Red Baron game; digital download wallpapers and art book, ALL limited edition insignia's and skins, alpha access, classic Red Baron pack, every standard plane skin, a signed Red Baron poster of your choice, your name in the credits as a contributor, your name used as flavor text somewhere in game, and you can help us DESIGN AN INSIGNIA.

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    DOUBLE ACE: Meet the Devs, leave your legacy ============================= You will receive: TEN COPIES of the Red Baron game; digital download wallpapers and art book, ALL limited edition insignia's and skins, alpha access, classic Red Baron pack, every standard plane skin, a signed Red Baron poster of your choice, your name in the credits as a contributor, your name used as flavor text, a PHONE CALL with the entire dev team , and you get to help us DESIGN A SKIN!

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    TRIPLE ACE: Face Time! ============================= You will receive: ten copies of the Red Baron game; digital download wallpapers and art book, ALL limited edition insignia's and skins, alpha access, classic Red Baron pack, every standard plane skin, a signed Red Baron poster of your choice, your name in the credits as a contributor, and a day and DINNER WITH THE TEAM where you will help DESIGN a SKIN and an INSIGNIA, and a MAP LANDMARK

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    ACE OF ACES: The full package ============================= You will receive: Ten copies of the Red Baron game; digital download wallpapers and art book, ALL limited edition insignia's and skins for ALL TEN of your game copies, alpha access, classic Red Baron pack, every standard plane skin for ALL TEN of your game copies, a signed Red Baron poster of your choice, your name in the credits as a PATRON, and a day and DINNER WITH THE TEAM where you will help DESIGN a SKIN, an UPGRADE, an INSIGNIA, and a MAP LANDMARK.

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