My name is Kedhrin Gonzalez, Lead Designer and Co-Founder of IllFonic, LLC. I know a lot of you in this community have a lot of questions as to what is going on with the recent announcement.
Before we get started, I'd like to forward you guys the official press release -> http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/107/1073381p1.html
Here is some press recently put up from Shogun Gamer -> http://www.shogungamer.com/news/preview ... ect-nexuiz
You can view higher resolution screen-shots we released last night on gamespot -> http://www.gamespot.com/ps3/action/nexu ... ow;thumb;3
So after we put the site up at Midnight MST (-8:00), I got on the #nexuiz IRC chat room to see what some of the concerns you guys in the community had. I'll try my best to address as many questions as I can.
Firstly, I'd like to mention who I am. I've been involved within the independent community since 1997. I started off with Quake and moved my way through mod communities, eventually getting involved with independent full games - then getting into professional game development. I fully understand and can relate to the concerns you guys have about this project and how this effects the game you love and have worked on for so long. Some of you may have heard of my personal project 'Quake 10 Year' I was working on in 2006. With that said I want to support you guys as much as I can. Let me be very clear that it is not our intention to snuff the GPL Free Nexuiz out in any way.
IllFonic was started 2 years ago by myself, Charles Brungardt (President) and Raphael Saadiq. When we first started our studio, we focused on making a game called 'Ghetto Golf'. This game is still in production, using Unreal Engine 3 as its backbone. Our team includes many Quake based developers - including Paul 'Echon' Jackson as our Lead Programmer (Author EGL Quake 2 engine and admin of Quakedev.net), Forest 'LordHavoc' Hale (Author DarkPlaces and huge contributor to GPL Nexuiz), Chris Holden as our Lead Artist, who started his professional career working on the Quake 2 Extremities mission pack. After playing Nexuiz, seeing it grow, I saw this project as being a great milestone for us to open our publishing arm to independent projects. Nexuiz has achieved a lot of great things, which you guys should be very proud of. This is the next chapter in the achievements you guys have accomplished.
Let's be very clear on some specific bullet points.
- We've worked out the deals with Alien Trap and Dark Places for our version of Nexuiz. All parties are very supportive and eager to get behind bringing this to the console. I'm not the person to talk to about Legal stuff but we are definitely working together.
- Think of this Nexuiz as a 100% separate entity from the Nexuiz you guys know and love. The game play in our version of Nexuiz is very similar. However, in order to properly port it over to consoles we've tweaked a few things here and there - we want to make sure this is a different project (yet still similar) out of respect for your version of Nexuiz. There are no plans at this time to make content we make, including source code, open to the public. Please keep in mind we are spending a lot of money on this project, my team and I have been slaving away on this for the past 2 months - working 12+ hours 7 days a week in order to get it to where it is. We are very passionate about this project as well.
- I know this will come as a shock to some of you. I apologize for us having to keep this in the dark from you guys for so long. Some of you felt offended by this project being kept in the dark. Let me personally say this was not our intent. If anything, we want you guys to feel great about the things we are doing. We had to keep things in the dark until we locked in the rights from Dark Places and Alien Trap.
Here are some perks for you guys with what this project will bring.
- We are using a Licensed version of Dark Places. With that, a lot of the tweaks LordHavoc is doing will be brought to you guys in the engine. These include a lot of performance boosts, features, etc. Although right now the focus is getting this project running and looking great on consoles, there are a lot of things he will be able to trickle down into the GPL version of Nexuiz. Please note: not everything will be brought over but some will.
- We will be talking about the community and game you've developed over the years to Press and within our marketing material. It is even mentioned on the new web-site, which will be growing over time. We have this web-site as Nexuiz.com because we are launching a commercial product. Please keep in mind there will be a lot of new players, press and more coming to this web-site for information about our version of Nexuiz. The GPL Nexuiz is still linked on this web-site. This is necessary for the commercial marketing of the project. Our projections show you guys will actually get more players in the GPL version of Nexuiz through all of this than not. I know it feels like you guys are in danger of losing your community, but I trust you will see you are not. In time, I believe firmly you will see the benefits from this.
- AlienTrap is not empty handed in our deal. As much as I'd love to recommend things, it is not my place to suggest what you guys do with your version of GPL Nexuiz or AlienTrap. Concerns such as those should be directed at AlienTrap and not IllFonic.
Ok, let's get into what exactly this project is...
The Name: We decided to keep the name 'Nexuiz' for this release because the audience coming to the console version of Nexuiz will mostly be new to the game. There is a great divide amongst the new FPS Console crowd born out of the explosion of recent mega-hit FPS games on consoles. I can't mention here other mods and independent games turned into commercial games, but I'm sure some of you guys could name quiet a few. In my MOD days, it was always a dream to get your work picked up by a studio and turned into a commercial game. I know it's not like that for all of you. Some of you pride yourself on your work and proving that an independent scene can still exist. Our version of Nexuiz is targeting console players only right now. I cannot go into specifics about my speculations, but a lot of great things are possible for you guys out of this.
Console: Some press reported we are targetting the Wii. This is not true. There is no way this game could be played on a Wii without drastically changing the game.... We have no plans for a Wii release at this time. With thumbstick play, what makes Nexuiz great can be lost. (I cannot discuss what consoles right now) Nexuiz is very fast paced, and if you play GPL Nexuiz right now on PC with thumb sticks - you will be dominated most of the time. There are no plans for Console Players and PC Players to be playing against each other at this time. No Mouse and Keyboard support will be available on the Console. . We want to capture that twitch game play still. Nexuiz is one of the fastest Arena FPS games out there. We want to make sure that vision is transferred over to Console game play. But, with that some things need to be adjusted. With console games, some players expect certain things and we have to adapt to those needs. While Nexuiz is a PC arena game These changes will be announced soon.
Artistic Revamp: The art in the new version of Nexuiz is done by a small team.We are 3 programmers, 1 Artist, 1 Animator and 1 Designer right now (Full-time In house) and have a motion capture animation system. Our characters/weapons are modeled by Art Bully Productions (http://www.artbullyproductions.com). Keep in mind our team is extremely small. What you're seeing is the work from this team, and the hired backing of Art Bully Productions and a few freelancers in 2 months. I am very proud of our team and what we've pulled off here for the alpha test. And yes, this is running on a console. We made the content a more Victorian elegant Sci-Fi style. More information and content will be revealed over the course of development.
This is clearly a post directed at you guys specifically. I cannot reveal too much about the game right now other than what has been released. I wanted to let you guys know that we do listen to you. We are not some big corporate mega company coming in who can't understand where you are coming from.
This announcement was intended for our build up to GDC this month. At GDC, we have a booth on the floor, here we will be showing press the game and doing a full announcement of the project. Lee Vermeulen and Forest Hale will both be with us during our Press, party and more at GDC. We are very excited to reveal this project to the public and get their hands on the alpha test we have to offer.
In the screenshots, you are seeing 2 character models of the 2 Factions in Nexuiz. The level they are playing on is 'Strength' with a new face lift and slight design modifications. The weapons you can see in the screen shots are the Machine Gun, Hagar, Nex, HLAC and Shotgun. There are a lot more things in production, but this is where we are so far.
I am sorry I cannot go into legal matters about our situation. I hope you guys enjoy the version of Nexuiz we are creating. We will be announcing more information soon, as well as putting our official IllFonic site back up soon.
I'd like to invite you guys to follow us on Twitter and Facebook (look up IllFonic). Also, you can add me personally on myspace via http://www.myspace.com/kedhrin where i post updates as they come from press, events, etc.
I will try to check back on this forum periodically. I am still very busy but wanted to take the time to introduce myself, IllFonic and what we're doing. I expect there to be a tidal wave of questions asked when I post this. So please don't be offended if I'm not able to get to them all and not in a timely manner. We're still crunching for GDC, we want to make sure this looks as great as it can and we bring as many players to Nexuiz as we can.