As the sole programmer behind Polytron's widely-acclaimed Fez, Canadian game developer Renaud Bédard had his work cut out for him in creating a perspective-shifting 3D world using his home-grown Trixel engine. But for his next project, he's teaming up with Montreal-based audiovisual artist Aliceffekt and Henk Boom of Phosfiend Systems to create a very different (but also familiar) game experience.
Waiting For Horus is a work-in-progress from the group, and it immediately evokes the raw, cathartic glee of fast-paced mutiplayer arena games like Unreal Tournament and Quake 3. It's a genre we haven't really seen much of lately, with most modern shooters like Call of Duty relying on realistic theme park-style set pieces and Ramboesque, action movie storytelling. But designer Aliceffekt has given Waiting For Horus a rough but charming style all its own, featuring stark, heavily-stylized environments and a cast of robotic tanks that seem vaguely similar to the ones in Ghost in the Shell. He and Henk Boom are also currently working on FRACT, another unique and slick-looking game that's equal parts Myst and analogue synthesizer.
"The speed of 'Quake' inside the world of 'Jet Set Radio Future'"
Oddly enough, the project started as a way to the pass time while waiting for Adhesive Games' highly-anticipated mech combat game, Hawken. "I was really excited to play Hawken and wanted a toy to keep busy since it's release," says Aliceffekt, aka Devine Lu Linvega, who is joining his teammates this weekend at the TOJam game hackathon in Toronto. "But I guess we eventually forgot about Hawken and sought more fast paced multiplayer games like Gunz to inspire us. Our plans for it are still sharpening, for now, we just want a sick game that we can play with our friends on weekends."
Describing the game as having "the speed of Quake inside the world of Jet Set Radio Future," the group recently released new gameplay footage from their most recent closed beta session, and it's looking like we're in for some intense and stylish hair-trigger deathmatches some time in the near future. The game is currently being developed for both Mac and Windows, and If you're looking to jump in on the next playtest, keep your eyes peeled on the game's Facebook page.