The D.R.G. Initiative @BelongLDN by Jamie Jackson

Watch the video and then come back to me…..

Back? how cool was that!? If you had your sound up you’ll have heard
Gareth (awesome beard) dropping some hints about the new stuff you’re
gonna be able to playtest soon as we gear up for our closed Alpha.
We ran our first community event in May and we’re really happy with how it
went. Here’s how it happened ……

About a month beforehand I got in touch with Woody and the team at
BelongLDN to see if we could hire their arcade to run a community and
industry friends event to show off the game in a purpose built gaming
space. I was impressed that the BelongLDN guys were aware of the game
from the Rezzed event at Tobacco Dock in March and we were able to
work out a date to go ahead. After a lengthy tech recce to sort out the
networking configuration we were all set, now we just needed everyone to
come along!

The space could only really accommodate 30-40 people maximum at a
time, and we wanted everyone that came to be able to have a proper
chance to play the game for several rounds to get a good feel for it and
start to try out team tactics, something that you just can’t do on the
crowded showfloor of a big consumer show like EGX. We also put our
broadcast mode up on the big TV and cleared some space around the PC
driving it so we could have a proper chance to showcase our broadcaster
controls, Twitch voting triggers and how the match statistics overlays work.
That stuff is pretty powerful and we’re looking forward to holding more
events like this to gauge your feedback as we work through the Alpha.

If everyone comes along, then what are we gonna give them!? With about
5 days to go the accepted invite list was looking really healthy but we didn’t
want people to go home empty handed so we quickly put our heads
together and drew up a list of extras we could make in time.


 Jamie & Dave stuffing envelopes whilst I was formatting custom USB drives out of shot. Gareth signed the big custom prints to the winners on the day.

Jamie & Dave stuffing envelopes whilst I was formatting custom USB
drives out of shot. Gareth signed the big custom prints to the winners on
the day.

A very big thanks to everyone who came along, the feedback is so
important at this (still) early stage of development and it all gets fed into our
design process. A further big thanks to all the team at BelongLDN both on
the day and in the lead up to it and in particular to Volkan Kacar who shot
and edited the video at the top of this post, awesome work!

We’re really looking forward to staging more of these events later this year
and if you’ve got any good ideas for other events we could try and run then
please get in touch via the ‘get in touch’ link on our website.

See you in New Tokyo,

Time flies, when you’re designing guns by Jamie Jackson

Holy moly! So this year just flew past!!! Well the first 6 months did anyway!


It has been a crazy, fly by the seat of our pants few months here at SSC HQ! We did a super last minute, show to the public (that’s you guys) of our game at Rezzed, which was a huge success for us and an incredibly fun few days playing the game, watching you guys play the game, kicking your asses and having ours kicked in return… (I’m looking at you Duke) and starting to really build our community. Off the back of which, we have begun to set up our community channels and threads, and plan our schedule for the next 6 months! We even hosted our first community invite only event too!! (more on that from Jon at the end of this week!) and on top of it all we have been hard at work in the lab pushing the game and adding more features than we thought we could in the time we’ve had! And we all managed to go get our summer fix of festival partying in!!!


You guys are going to see a increase in posts from us over the next few weeks, with a broad variety of topics too. On top of which some exciting announcements about the game and how you can get involved! But here’s a super quick brain fart of what I’ve been noodling on, enjoy!  (btw the way, It’s Jamie :)


These last few months we’ve been playing, “design weapons of face destruction!” Now that we have had several days worth of seeing our community play the game and also be able to look at all that lovely telemetry (basically data that tells us stuff and also nothing, sometimes), we can actually go back and evaluate many, many things, such as, Map layout, damage, health, accuracy, the sniper rifle is too powerful (In the imortal words of the legend that is Nate Diaz “I AIN’T SURPRISED MUTHA FUCKAS!”), Taloc is too slow and his grenade launcher is too hard to shoot! Etc, etc, bla, bla.  Point being, we have data to back up our own hypotheses, which is the next part of the design tweaking stage. I’m going to jump into a more detailed breakdown of how i design a weapon later on in the summer, but just to say, it's been fun.


One of the most fun parts recently has been coming up with tertiary weapons or fire modes for the weapons we already have in game, think underslung shotguns or grenade launchers, you know, that weapon you need when your ammo is out or you're in a super close range firefight and shit needs to die! I’ve been really trying to think of ammo types that are not just solid shots too, things like tazer rounds, smoke bombs, noise weapons, FLAMERS!!! the list goes long and weird!  


And here I am finding myself starting to ramble about a post we have planned for later this year… this was just supposed to be a quick wassup and to tee up the next post from Jon!!


So before I spoil stuff, I’ll stop.


Next up our very own Lord Napier will be dropping the knowledge bombs on our first community event that we held in London in May. keep your eyes peeled on Friday.





My Glasto squad. They are the best, even the midgets. We left nothing on the field. Literally.

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