It's our first time... by Jamie Jackson


Welcome to our first game dev blog. 

Even though this is our first post, time is not a linear path on our blog, so you may well see some time travel, but who doesn’t like a bit of time travel?

And while this is a written post, you can expect to actually see us…with your eyes, as we do some vlog stuff in the future too!

We are all currently packing our bags, polishing the build and chasing down bugs in the rush to be ready for GDC and our first big, look behind the curtains on what we have been up to!

You may have caught our press release (here) where we announced our working title, The D.R.G Initiative.  

The D.R.G Initiative is set in a distant future Earth, shits got weird... We have a HUGE story to go with it…but we’re saving that for later. This show and tell is more about our development story and how we got here so quickly. 

If you saw our G.I.Biz interview you’ll know that we are making games outside of the old developer model and creating our own creative led model. We bring in teams of specialist to work on parts of the game just for the time we need them. With this Demo we are already showing that this method works and works incredibly well.

All the core game design, art concepts, faction designs, weapon design, level design, animation and mo-cap creative, art style, production and overall game vision has been done by us at SlingShot Cartel.   Then, to bring the game to life, we’ve partnered with a host of amazing talent.

First and foremost is our lead development team, Third Kind Games .  This small team of super experienced individuals has an incredible array of AAA games under their belts. They fit our vision perfectly as their team breakdown is engineer heavy, with just a single design, artist and producer.  This works smoothly with SSC bringing the full game creative compliment and fitting with a team we know and work well with. 

Next up is Virtuos, Based all around the world, but predominately in China. Virtuos have built all of our characters, weapons and near and far level assets.  We wanted to find a team who could take the designs created by Gareth and Jamie and be able to understand the vision and take it forwards into 3D game assets. These guys work fast and efficiently and we are stoked with the early progress we have made. 

For Mo-cap we worked with a team close to our hearts, Audiomotion in Oxford. For more than 10 years Audiomotion have delivered great mo-cap for our previous games and we have a great relationship with them. The shoot was smooth and perfectly run. We know what we get here and we always get quality. 

To take that Mocap and produce the animation for thegame we’ve teamed up with the awesome guys at Super Spline studios, a new animation start up in our home town, Leamington spa. The guys handily share a building with TKG and are literally just up the stairs. They have been a joy to work with and integrated themselves as part of the team, offering advice and methodology for the pipeline.

For our Audio, we worked with Stronghold Audio and our good friend and amazing talent, Mike Mclafferty. Once again, Mike came in and has become part of the team for the demo phase, building the sound design in WWise and working with Nathan (TKG design) to integrate the files in to Lumberyard. Jamie and Mike spent many a late night in his studio working on the sound design for each weapon and as we design new ones, we are already thinking of how they sound and how Mike can make it work. 

And last, but by no means least, our good friend Kate at Kowono has been helping us with our brand and graphic design. Kate’s eye for detail and slick design are second to none and we love working with her. She dropped in for a few days and created our game logo and factions fonts and icons. 

We should also say on top of all of this, we could not have got here without the help and support on Amazon Lumberyard and the team there. A huge part of this journey and just the fact an experienced start up can get so far so quickly is testament to how good a tool Lumberyard is. Our future vlogs will get into some of our experiences and how we used this awesome engine. We have had excellent support from the Lumberyard team and we look forward to continuing that partnership as we get our heads back down to it after GDC is over.

That's it for now, we are a day away from jumping on a plane and heading to SF, where we will get the game set up and wait for the doors to open. Be sure to check in here for more dev blog updates from GDC, but more importantly, check us on Twitch as we live stream all of our games…it’ll be more interactive than you might think ;)



The Cartel