Lost Outpost ( Outpost:Haven 2 )

2013-09-17 10:19:57 by Squize

Well it's only taken a year, but Lost Outpost is all but done. We're just in that nasty limbo of trying to sell it now, the fun part ( Is there an emoticon for "That's not really fun, it's the worst" 'cause that would have been perfect right there ).

Firstly, why isn't it just called Outpost 2 like it was all during development ? We've had to be a bit grown up and set up a proper company ( Garage Collective ) and it turns out the Outpost game name is already trade marked. Ok, I know that in the Flash world where you can have "Mario fucks Sponge Bob whilst Sonic watches [ Disapprovingly ]" and no one cares, but if we want to grow the franchise more than we have then using a trademarked name won't fly.
We weren't happy having to change it, we still call it O2 when chatting amongst ourselves, but that's the way it is.

So, why has it taken a year to make a Flash game ? Couple of reasons really. I had to do client work during that time, including working a month on site in the US ( Which I'm really not bitching about, I loved it ). As soon as I was getting that additional income Lux ( The artist ) and I agreed to turn the game into a big vanity project, we were going to give it all the love it needed to make it as good as possible. Which takes forever.

The other reason is, the game is huge. We've got 10 levels in the story mode ( What was it in Haven, 8 ? ) which may not sound like a lot more, but we went a lot more filmic in this one. Every level has at least one unique set piece. Again that may not sound too big a deal, but there's a reason most Flash games don't bother with them.
The reason they're a massive pain in the arse to do is they're usually one shot code. As a coder is drummed into you to write re-usable code ( That's why OOP is a thing ), with a set piece that's all thrown out of the window, it's a case of making a cool effect just for the one run through.
A good example in Lost Outpost is the rock slide on level 7. I wanted a sequence like in "The Mummy" / "Raiders of the lost Ark", a frantic run with shit chasing you and things smashing and falling apart around you. That meant having to have specific case physics objects, a new baddie type, and three days to fine tune the sequence.

Along with that we've re-written huge chunks of the original engine. The particle engine was totally re-coded and runs a lot lot quicker which means we've been able to drop mist into areas, the baddie AI was done from scratch too, it can handle 40 or so baddies in Swarm mode. Speaking of which the wingman AI from Outpost:Swarm was pulled into the game and re-done. He actually earns his own money for kills now and will go to a terminal to upgrade his weapon.

So yep, this is why it's taken a year :)

The game will def come here, NG is the spiritual home of the Outpost games, we just can't tell you when yet ( I did mention the whole trying to sell it / being in limbo hell didn't I ? ).

We've also recently put the game on Greenlite. We're aiming to package up the entire thing, Outpost:Haven, Swarm and Lost Outpost into a "Directors Cut".
If you have a Steam account we'd be really grateful if you could check it out here: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=177695239
( I hate asking like this, but, it's got to be done ).

Anyway I was going to finish this huge wall of text with embedding a video, but it doesn't seem to be liking the code, so it's just going to be a direct link I'm afraid.


Thanks for reading, and hopefully Lost Outpost will be on here as soon as possible. I know this post is half advert, which I'm not really a fan of, but if you have any questions about the game, code or design wise, then please ask.



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2013-09-17 12:00:11

Since I'm looking for news about you, advertizing about your work is nothing, really !

Squize responds:

Thanks mate, it just doesn't sit well with me pimping things too heavily.


2013-09-17 13:47:29

Reading your dev-blog. I'm always waiting articles about Outpost dev progress. Very motivating.

Squize responds:

Cheers man, that's so good to hear. We're so close at last, we just want it out there and being played. It's dragging like Christmas Eve when you're young.


2013-09-17 19:47:22

congrats man i hope you get a great deal worth of your time!

Squize responds:

Thanks :) In all honesty it's not looking great right now, but things change. We're really fucking proud of the game, and that's the main thing, selling it is just the noise we have to go through to get it out there.


2013-11-06 23:35:35

Logged in just to comment... I'm sooooo excited. Outpost has always been one of my flash games and I've been following your (fairly minimal, to be honest) updates with fascination. Looking forward to seeing the final release! I'm just surprised there aren't more people talking about it.

Squize responds:

That's great to hear, thanks mate.
Yeah I don't post often here, our gamingyourway blog plus the FB page for it are a lot more active.

It's actually due to be sold by Sat, all going well. I've just got some of the info-cards to write, the translation to finish off and a handful of bugs and we're finally ( Finally ) gold.
I'm going to really tempt fate and say it should be out by the end of next week, but we've been working on it for so long that I can't really picture that :)

Thanks for taking the time to post, it really does mean a lot, cheers.


2013-11-20 00:10:44

Outpost is a pretty boss game, and I hope you guys take your time with it. I'd see rather a better product than a sooner one.

Not sure how you'll beat Haven, but I'll have a blast watching you try.

Squize responds:

Thanks mate.
It's actually with the sponsor right now, we're waiting for feedback about the branding we added, so it should be live any day now.

It's funny, I played Swarm the other day for the first time in ages, and it feels really clunky compared to Outpost2, and I remember Haven feeling dated when we were making Swarm.
O2 is odd, on the surface it looks a lot like Haven ( Not surprising I guess ) but it's just slicker and much bigger in scope, we wanted a lot more set pieces to try and make it more filmic. It's more of the same, just better ( Ha, I'll never be a salesman ).