The Palio Project is a game intended to capture the full intensity and majesty of the Palio, a horse race in Siena. The player does not play as the jockey, but as the horse, as horses can win the Palio without a jockey. This ninety second race requires luck, skill, focus, and determination from the player and rewards the winner with great glory.
The Palio is a colorful
and lively race, rich with culture, and we aim to visually capture that.
No drab browns and grays here! The 15th century Campo di Siena, the course in which players will race, will be accurately recreated with every bit of vibrancy each contrada contributes to the atmosphere. With an almost storybook ambiance, the alluring visuals will lend to the thrill of racing bareback through ancient Italy.
We want this to be eye-catching - we want the game to look and feel like a white knuckle race to the finish. But all set in an environment that feels just as alive as the real thing and as beautiful as a moving painting.
The Palio is not only the world’s oldest annual horserace; it is also the world’s most dangerous horse race. The ten jockeys ride bareback at break-neck speeds in tight quarters on a horse they aren’t familiar with and against bitter rivals that will do anything to win. Today, tickets to the race sell out months in advance and are very expensive. For most people outside of Italy, seeing the Palio is a once in a lifetime achievement. What we offer is an opportunity that isn’t even available to citizens of Siena – a chance to race in the Palio in the Siena of the Italian Renaissance.
Surprisingly, there aren’t a lot of horseracing games out there, and most that have been made are actually gambling games where the player bets on horses or over the top breeding systems with minor racing events. What we are crafting is an experience. In that after you're done, regardless if you win or lose, you understand what the Palio actually is; A cultural event that has been going on for hundreds of years, compressed into a single moment. We’re giving the players a lot of freedom in how they want to run the race as well. You can be as sportsmanlike as you’d like or you can race dirty; you can try to push your rivals into the wall or knock them from their horse, but don’t expect them to play fair either.
Anything goes as you become the Contrada. The jockey destined to bring glory to their family or fall to another, all in the blink of an eye.
The jockey is a mechanic on its own. While the jockey is on the horse, they can whip their own or adjacent horse. He can also kick other jockeys to unbalance them, but during the kick he is vulnerable to being knocked off himself as his stability drastically decreases during the kick function. If a jockey becomes dislodged, the player loses all abilities associated with the jockey, however the horse gets a slight speed increase due to weight loss.
The reason we are seeking this money is to help contain the costs of our project. Licenses for products such as Unity are very costly, and we don't have the internal budget to cover these. We also will be sending a small group of our team members to the Palio to record the sounds and feel of being at the race. A portion of our money will be used to help cover those costs.
By choosing to back Palio, you're helping us pay for the necessary Unity support, marketing for the game, and helping us leverage the cost to Siena to gather resources.
Think of Road Rash with horses. This game is not just your typical, run of the mill horse race. The game is about a break neck sprint to the finish, complete with dirty tactics to employ against your rivals and ensure your victory and rule of Siena.
The Palio di Sienna isn't known to all, and with the media format of game, we can depict the actuality of the race better than any documentary. As a game, it not only stands to be an interactive piece of history, but also a fun, smart, and competitive racing game.
As students, we have few resources available to us. Through crowdfunding, we can ensure that the game we're all aspiring to make, is the game we deliver in the end.
We're a team of 22 students at the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, Arizona.
We're on a tight schedule to finish the game around the end of 2012, but before the Mayan appocalypse.
Right now, we plan to release on PC through Steam, but we've kept an open mind to other platforms, especially those with motion controls for a more immersive experience.
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