About this project
We're proud to announce the release of the Overload Playable Teaser! Download it now to try Overload and see why we think it will be the ultimate six-degree-of-freedom-shooter!
Get it on Steam:
Or via direct download:
This version is Windows only; our apologies to our Linux and Mac (and PS4 and XB1) backers. To play the direct download version, just unzip the file and double-click on "OverloadPlayableTeaser.exe".
We've put his demo together in a hurry, and though we've done as much as we can to make it perfect, it still has some rough edges. And of course we're still very early in development -- we're showing off a few sample levels and some cool weapons and robots, but there's lots and lots more to come.
Please, share this with everyone! We want as many people as possible to get hands-on experience with Overload. We are proud of this project and feel the teaser shows the potential of where Overload will go with the right support.
We're also hoping you'll help spread the word about Overload and the demo by posting screenshots, GIFs,and videos (to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, & everywhere else) and using the hashtag #playoverload and our Twitter handle @PlayOverload.
After you play the teaser, let us know what feedback you have. You can email us at email@example.com or join the discussion on Forums.
VR SUPPORT AND BUILD!
We just announced full VR support for Overload, plus there's a playable build for Oculus Rift! Check out Update #20 for more details.
WHAT PLAYERS ARE SAYING ABOUT OVERLOAD
The creators of Descent are proud to present the ultimate 6-degree-of-freedom shooter, OVERLOAD. Revival Productions is continuing where Parallax left off and creating an all-new single-player game that combines the best of classic 6-DOF gameplay with modern graphics and technology. Destroy robots, rescue hostages, blow up the reactor, and escape before the whole thing explodes.
Due to overwhelming demand, we are now committing (if the Kickstarter makes it) to creating a MULTIPLAYER EXPANSION for Overload. We always wanted to have multiplayer and believed we would eventually, but we did not feel comfortable making a public commitment to it. It's too easy for something like multiplayer to blow up the schedule and adversely affect the single player game. We want to hit our single player date with a great game.
So, here's our plan: We will deliver the single player game in March, 2017. If the Kickstarter campaign is successful, we will deliver multiplayer as an expansion sometime after that (likely 6-8 months). Everyone who backs the campaign at the DIGITAL EDITION reward level and above will receive a free copy of the multiplayer expansion. We are not sure on the scope, but it will include the competitive modes and key features that kept Descent going for over 20 years.
FREE COPY OF INFERNO 2 FOR BACKERS!
All backers at the DIGITAL EDITION reward level and above will receive a free copy of Inferno 2 from Radiangames on PC (Steam or direct download). Inferno 2 (gameplay trailer) is an atmospheric twin-stick adventure-shooter from Luke Schneider, Lead Designer on Overload.
Bonus Trivia: Inferno was also once the name of the game now known as Descent.
In 1993, we founded Parallax Software to build our dream game, Descent. It was the first 3D game that allowed you to move, turn, and fire in any direction. The mind-blowing--and sometimes nausea-inducing--gameplay was matched by the technology behind it, which pushed the limits of what was possible in rendering, AI, and multiplayer. It was a milestone game that sold millions of copies and spawned two sequels.
Because of our desire to be close to family, Parallax Software eventually split to form Outrage (Matt Toschlog) and Volition (Mike Kulas). Outrage and Volition remained sister companies and shared in each other’s knowledge and expertise. We’ve remained close friends, but have always wanted to find a way to work together on a project again. The one project that we both really wanted to work on, that we couldn’t not make, was an all-new six-degree-of-freedom shooter.
In 2014, after years of talking about it, we began working on Overload. The core objective with the game is to take elements of classic 6-DOF shooters and use modern technology to push Overload to a whole new level. We’re thrilled with the progress we’ve made so far, but there is still a lot left to do, and that’s where Kickstarter comes in. We need your help to ensure Overload will be the ultimate six-degree-of-freedom shooter.
- Intense single-player action in 6-degrees-of-freedom
- 15 level campaign filled with explosive combat and exploration
- Story by the writer of Freespace 2
- Breath-taking graphics and spectacular sound, with a soundtrack by Dan Wentz & Allister Brimble
- More than a dozen sinister robot types and 3 massive bosses
- 12 upgradeable weapons
- 5 difficulty levels let you tune the game to match your abilities
- Fully customizable joystick, gamepad, mouse and keyboard controls
- Releasing on PC/Mac/Linux, PS4, and Xbox One
Many 3D action games have four to five degrees of freedom in their motion controls. Space combat games allow 3 axes of rotation, but usually only 1 axis of movement, while first person shooters generally allow 2 axes of rotation and 2.5--if you count jump as half an axis--axes of movement. A six-degree-of-freedom shooter gives you controls for all 3 axes of rotation and all 3 axes of movement. While this creates complexity for moving and controlling the player’s character, the reward is an experience unlike any other. Combat and movement are more dynamic, as you are able to interact in 3 full dimensions.
Though 6-DOF shooters surged in popularity in the 90's, the genre has laid dormant for over a decade. Overload’s early development has focused on merging modern technology with natural and intuitive 6-DOF controls, all while still providing intense robot-annihilating action. Overload has a fantastic feel to the game already, and we can’t wait for everyone to experience the sensational six-degree-of-freedom combat.
The primary objective in classic 6-DOF shooters was simple: Find the reactor, destroy it, and escape. Carrying out your objective is where the true essence of the game lay, and that’s what we’re focusing on with Overload. Each level will be full of gameplay reasons to move and look and shoot all around you, with secrets to discover, traps to trigger, powerups to find, and cryo-frozen hostages to rescue. Along the way you’ll encounter plenty of robots to battle or flee from. There will be keys to collect, shortcuts to take, and reactors to eliminate. You’ll race to the exit as the timer counts down and be thrilled when you make it out just in time.
Though Overload's primary focus is on gameplay, it will also have a rich backstory and universe ripe for expansion. The details of the story will be revealed later, and we're happy to announce that it's being penned by the writer of FreeSpace 2.
When we were figuring out how to build a full-3D world for a full 3D shooter in 1993, we decided on deformed cubes and portal-based rendering as an efficient method of creating an indoor environment. That decision was based primarily on the rendering and AI needs, along with making levels relatively easy to edit and create. But it also had a positive side effect of the levels being easier to fly through, and the level designers were able to build levels that we never imagined would be possible within those cube-based constraints.
With Overload, we’re returning to our roots and using a deformed-cube structure again, but now we’ve added a 3D geometry decal system that allows us to add more detail in a very efficient manner. On top of that, we’ve created a deformation tool that takes a basic cubic structure and turns it into a beautifully constructed cave. We still have the benefits of the deformed cubes, but now they been enhanced to look amazing.
Not only that, but we’ll be able to share our custom level editing tools with the community and you won’t need to use Maya or 3DS Max to build amazing levels on your own*.
*You can still use Maya/Max to build geometry decals if you want.
Destroying a robot is extremely satisfying in Overload. It needs to be, because you’ll be destroying tons of them. We’ve spent a lot of time refining the feel of the combat, the way robots move and fire, and the many ways robots take damage and explode, but we’re not done yet.
We’ve established the basic AI archetypes for robots, and every robot type will have customized AI that gives them a unique personality and combat behavior. Part of that personality comes from the sounds they make as well. When you hear the alert scream for a robot, it not only lets you know that danger is coming, but it can fill you with fear as you cringe in anticipation of getting hit. Already the sound of unexpected grinding blades makes us immediately dodge up or down if at all possible.
The other major element of combat is the weapons. Though we’ve only done initial passes on 4 weapons, they each feel great to use and have roles that they’re ideal for. We have big plans to expand the weapons system with multiple upgrade types per weapon that you’ll unlock over the course of the game.
Overload has a classic inspiration, but that doesn’t mean it’ll look pixelated or have an 8-bit soundtrack. It uses the latest graphics technology to immerse you in the world. With physically-based rendering, dynamic shadows, and realtime global illumination, your eyes will be as engaged as your heart. Even when you can’t see a robot hiding around the corner, its shadow could give it away. And when you turn the tables and blow the robot to pieces, you're rewarded with some beautifully rendered particle effects.
On top of the fantastic visuals, we’re pulling out all the stops to make Overload sound amazing. We're excited to announce that we've enlisted the talents of Dan Wentz and Allister Brimble. Dan worked on sound and music for Descent 2, FreeSpace, and Red Faction, and has maintained an active presence in the Descent community for the past 20 years. Allister worked on the CD soundtrack for Descent along with many other hit titles over the years including Dungeon Master II, the Team 17 range of Amiga games, Rollercoaster Tycoon & Driver.
Overload is being developed for PC/Mac/Linux, Playstation 4, and Xbox One. Though it will look best on high-end PCs and consoles, it will still run great on a broad range of hardware. The game is being built to play well with a gamepad, joystick and keyboard, or mouse and keyboard, so regardless of the platform of controller you choose, you'll still be getting a fantastic experience.
We expect the console versions to launch simultaneously with the PC/Mac/Linux version, but they may be a month or two later.
MOD TOOLS & EDITOR DOCS: We'll add support for custom robots and weapons (data and 3D models) in addition to releasing full Level Editor documentation.
Revival Productions' team has helped create other milestone gaming franchises, including FreeSpace, Red Faction, and Saints Row. All the team members are seasoned veterans who've worked together on multiple projects and shipped dozens of products between them.
In addition to the primary team members above, and the two sound designer-musicians, many former Parallax alums will be contributing their expertise to ensure that Overload becomes the ultimate six-degree-of-freedom shooter.
Because we can't change the reward descriptions, and we added 3 new reward tiers, we want to clarify these issues even though the reward listing does not show them.
- KEYCHAIN: All tiers at $75 and above get the Overload keychain.
- SNEAK PEEK FORUM: All tiers at $200 and above get access to the Sneak Peek Forum.
- LEVEL DESIGN ALPHA: All tiers at $900 and above can choose to get the Level Design Alpha.
We're also happy to offer the following digital add-on rewards to any tier at $25 or more:
EXTRA DIGITAL COPY: Add $20 per extra copy to your pledge. You will be able to specify the platform for each of your extra copies at a later date. PC/Mac/Linux copies include both a Steam key and a DRM-free download (via GOG or another service to be determined).
These extra physical rewards are available to all tiers at $120 and above:
EXTRA BOXED COPY: Add $30 per extra copy to your pledge. No additional shipping applies.
EXTRA T-SHIRT: Add $35 per extra T-shirt to your pledge. No additional shipping applies.
We're very passionate about Overload, and have self-funded the prototype, but now we need your support to finish what we started. The Kickstarter campaign funds will enable us to finish Overload and make it into the game we've always wanted to make.
We also want to get the community involved in the game, and Kickstarter is a great way to engage those who are as passionate about the game as we are. At Parallax Software, we were heavily involved with and influenced by the community, and we want to get to know and interact with the players again. Your passion and feedback on Overload will help make it the best it can be.
Descent to Overload on Imgur
Risks and challenges
Developing videos games is an uncertain and risky endeavor. For starters, development schedules are notoriously hard to forecast. Perhaps the primary reason for this is that the key attribute desired of the finished product – fun – is so subjective and hard to pin down that games often require extensive revision as original ideas prove ineffective and new solutions must be found. And since games often strive to innovate (in terms of gameplay, visuals, audio, and so on) it’s often the case that there are not established workflows for creating content, leading to further risk.
For the following reasons, we believe we can manage the risk and deliver a solid game mostly on schedule and with the funds provided by a successful Kickstarter campaign.
1. We are working in a genre that we understand – one that, in fact, we created. We have a deep understanding of what Overload will be, what it should look like, and what will make it fun.
2. We have a team with incredible experience. Our project leaders, Mike Kulas and Matt Toschlog, have each been developing games for 30 years or more, and other key members of the team also have deep professional backgrounds. We have a long history of making games together.
3. We’re already pretty far along in the development of Overload, as you can see from the game footage included in our video. The look and feel of the game is already established, and most major systems and tools are already implemented.
4. The additional funding we seek now will largely be used for relatively lower-risk development such as game balancing and creating the content (enemies, weapons, and levels) needed for the full game.
The only significant risk is that the game will not launch by the intended date. We intend to make Overload the best game in its genre, and that could mean a slight delay to ensure its quality meets our standards.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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