I've been quite on the E:SL front lately, an update on how things are going.
Escape: Sierra Leone is an exploration and survival game created with the Cryengine 3. The game is focused around complete freedom and on interacting with a vibrant and alive world. It takes place on an island chain based loosely off the real life Banana Island chain, off the coast of Sierra Leone. With approximately 21 square kilometers of terrain to explore, fight, survive and escape from. You start with no weapons, no supplies, no idea of where to go, getting those is up to you. The gameplay and style are going to be based loosely off of the mod Escape: Paradise for Crysis 1, you can check that out HERE, if you wish.
Set during the 1997 civil war, the main antagonists are the Revolutionary United Front, a notorious group rebelling against the government. You play on an island chain based loosely off of the real life "Banana Islands". The RUF have occupied these islands and are busy clearing the previous inhabitants out, recruiting who they can, and killing, maiming, or torturing those they can't.
You play as a civilian trying to escape the island. Throughout the game, you are forced to make a series of choices that will eventually lead to you making your escape. Everything from how to approach your attempted escape, to how you interact with other people can have an affect on how everything plays out in the finale. The game is totally open and you are never given "quests" or "objectives" beyond simply escaping. You may have encounters during the game in which you are asked to help someone, but these are completely open, you can fulfill their request, or simply ignore them, or even kill them, if you wish.
There are going to be at least three methods of escape, and a minimum of 12 different endings, influenced by choices you make throughout the game. Both of those numbers are likely to rise as development progresses. The gameplay will be from a first-person perspective, there will be a basic inventory system and you can collect weapons, food, first aid, and other items as you play. Combat will be pretty realistic and very brutal. I'm hoping to have a wounding system with appropriate animations and sound effects for both NPCs and the PC.
-Scavenge the entire island for supplies you need to survive, from a banana to an AK-47. No invisible walls or extra loading screens.
-Engage in vicious and realistic combat... or don't, if you're a sneaky type.
-Using a simple and intuitive 4 slot inventory system, make the hard call which items to keep on you based on your play style.
-Death comes in more forms than bullets, avoid disease, dehydration, starvation, car crashes, wildlife, and of course falls.
-24 hour day/night cycle with a weather system that includes rain of varying strengths, wind, lightning and thunder.
-Discover and protect safehouses, they are your only chance to save your game and serve as a good spot to stockpile supplies.
-Find, fix up and fuel different kinds of vehicles, from a diesel powered mini tugboat to a gas powered beater of a car, walking won't get you anywhere fast!
-Interact with the environment, from turning a lamp on or off, to cooking food on a campfire you built, there are many ways you are involved in the dynamic world around you.
-Get lost (literally) in the thick jungle, or stroll around the more open savannah.
-Explore an unforgiving, although deceptively pretty island. This isn't like Far Cry, you will die... a lot.
-A semi-random spawning system keeps enemy and pickup placement fresh on multiple play-throughs, while keeping loot logical given it's location.
-No hand-holding or magical maps or arrows to push you to success, it's all you!
-Very limited HUD and a focus on immersion and realism.
More information will be posted as development progresses. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions, whatever, please shoot them my way, as long as you're constructive. Thank you for your time, and for reading through this,
1: "Is this game dead?" No, far from it. Delayed, sure, but I'm a big believer in "it's done when it's done".
2: "What are your plans regarding the project?" I need to lose a job or two and really buckle down. I'm currently saving the funds to do just that, and focus a good 30 hours a week on this game.
3: "Can we have an ETA?" I don't do well with deadlines, but I'm really hopeful for an early access release this summer (Early Q3).
4: "Why early access?" Any game needs funding, that's a reality. As of the date I posted this, I've sunk over $6000 into the project, and those are just the logged expenses. A relatively tiny budget next to almost any other game, but a drain on a single person trying to also support themselves. Also, I need a large volume of feedback and bug testing. I can't really understand how other people will play the game without well, other people playing the game. Since I designed it, I don't exactly play like the average Joe.
5: "But early access sucks!" I understand why some people don't like early access. Some people say because games never get finished in early access, although I find that a debatable point, since Minecraft STILL isn't "finished", but I think the hundreds of hours of play I got made it worth $20. Some people want a finished, polished game. I can respect that, and if that's the case, feel free to wait for the 1.0 release! Or buy early and play when it's done.
6: "Have you considered using UDK?" Yes, now more than ever. It's a nightmare task to switch over, but CryEngine is only getting LESS stable and reliable to work with as updates progress. It's become a real one step forward, two step back deal. They recently made a change that makes creating large levels impossible, which means I'm stuck redoing my entire level on a smaller scale. I recently made the mistake of using the new Unreal Engine 4, and I smell a potential summer romance blooming. It's so powerful and flexible, I could rave about it for hours, but I'll spare you.
Any other questions can be posted in the comments, and I'll edit them into this post with the answers. Thank you everyone for your patience,
After several months of work, I've gotten to the state where I can release a playable build. It's still an early alpha, and has a few issues that need...
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