Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Game News Consortium: The Tower released on Steam Early Access

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. Make America Great Again Infinitrongender: ⚧ Trade Master Patron

    Infinitron
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    Tags: Consortium: The Tower; Interdimensional Games

    Back in January 2016, we reported about a game called Consortium: The Tower that was seeking funding on Kickstarter. It's an RPGish/immersive sim sci-fi shooter where you play an agent tasked with resolving a hostage situation in a futuristic tower, and sequel to 2014's underrated Consortium. It made a decent impression, but that wasn't enough for it to reach its considerable funding goal of 450k Canadian dollars, and the campaign failed. But in April the developers tried again on Fig, and this time they succeeded, thanks to $250k of investment money. Since then the game has been in development, and following a private backer alpha two months ago, it's now been released to the public on Steam Early Access. Here's the release trailer and an excerpt from the Early Access FAQ:


    Why Early Access?

    “Early access gives you the chance to support the development of Consortium: The Tower. You will get access to roughly the first third of the game, representing enough content for 6-7 hours of gameplay, and will receive the full game upon release. What you see so far has been built over the course of the last year, and with a core team of only five highly dedicated people, each wearing a multitude of hats.

    The Tower supports a wide variety of play styles. It is extremely non-linear and largely driven by gamer exploration and gameplay choices. This means there is a very large variety of custom paths through all of the content, and an unprecedented amount of replayability. You will encounter bugs and unfinished bits, and with your help over the course of our time on Early Access all bugs will be squashed, performance will be improved and new content will be made available.

    In addition - the remainder of the game's narrative is highly scalable, so too are some of the simulation features. We have a core story we want to tell, and a host of characters to tell it with, but many of the details can and will be tweaked based on player feedback and support. This process has already been tested via our Fig backer community, and we’re very excited to open things up to a wider audience less familiar with our gameworld.”

    Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

    “8-15 months, depending on many factors, upon which the entire story will be released and the game will be brought out of Early Access.”

    Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

    “Yes.

    The current price will be raised over the course of the project as additional content and features are brought online.”

    How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

    “We are extremely keen to involve the community and plan to prioritize any new content and features based directly on player feedback.

    With each update, estimated to be once every two weeks, we will openly give credit for any features, fixes or changes that result from community feedback to us.”
    Right now Consortium: The Tower costs $25. Immersive sims have not done so well recently, so I wonder how the game will fare. Anybody care to give it a try?
     
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  2. `Helliongender: ⚧ Learned

    `Hellion
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    I reviewed and absolutely loved the first Consortium game, hugely underrated title. Will probably end up reviewing this one as well, but I'll probably wait until it's safely out of the Early Access stage.
     
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  3. Paul_czgender: ⚧ Savant

    Paul_cz
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    Never enough immersive sims. I hope it succeeds, but I will only play it once it is finished.
     
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  4. Twiglardgender: ⚧ Learned

    Twiglard
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    That hyped me on the original Consortium.
     
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  5. Carriongender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Carrion
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    The first game was pretty fun and had some genuinely good ideas, like the real-time dialogue system, but it was also really short and basically felt like a demo of a bigger game. The combat was also really bad, but there was very little of it, while the new game seems to be a lot more action-oriented. I'm not sure if they can pull it off (the combat still looks pretty bad), but I like their design philosophy and will definitely be keeping an eye on this.
     
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  6. Junmarkogender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Junmarko
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    Bought it last night, it's decent, very much a blend of elements from SS2/DX etc. Dialogue system is done well, original for once - and the world design is stellar. The fact that they were inspired by Spector's core design doctrines just makes me certain they'll nail this, they are sincerely passionate. I hope it does well.

    But, some minor gripes:

    Combat, unfortunately, plays out like a deranged Deus Ex: Invisible War. AI display an inconsistent level of tactics and the weapon feedback is so chaotic, that you feel very unsatisfied coming out of a firefight.
    NPC AI needs some serious tweaking in regards to sight/sound detection as well, trying to play stealthily is quite the joke as of now. All NPCs are basically eagle-eyed and have the combined hearing of a bat swarm. Not sure how anyone can play-test stealth it if it's not ready at a base level...
    The UI and inventory look good, but the energy system, thing, is unintuitive and very vague on how/what everything does. They are laughably verbose with inventory item descriptions, yet somehow still tell me nothing useful about the specific weapon/tool etc.
    The platforming controls and jetpack system are clunky as hell, really need to tweak that.

    It's also just unfortunate they went with Unreal Engine 4 - the one engine that, out of the box, doesn't like to scale FOV properly on modern monitors, without an .ini fix, ugh. I wish developers would just ditch Unreal 4 already - the overall performance is just as unpredictable as XCOM 2 was (and still is). Terrible engine.
     
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  7. Twiglardgender: ⚧ Learned

    Twiglard
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    It was pretty short. But for once, it's a proper story with an end and an epilogue. Given the overall amount of resources that must've been paid for, by an indie studio, I can forgive it. We've had SP shooters of barely any length and actual content.

    In the middle of the game I started digging on the info terminals and
    Show Spoiler
    found out about black vans kidnapping people to make for the "21" brains, earlier, junkies being kidnapped for their own brains, K-1 killing humans with the motor chip for kicks, then the 1221 dude appears to have more indepth knowledge of the forking-universes thing.

    Not sure if all the events took place in the game's timeline, some look contradictory and 1221 didn't make things easier. Did the alien-Guardians show themselves as per 1221 or does the cult (?) merely claim to have a "proof"? Did the dudes from the Mexican facility kidnap cult members or did the cult ask them to "donate" themselves? Or both?

    What's the deal with Zeus and King's reaction? Some foreshadowing?
    I'm a sucker for epilogues really. Modern movies pretty much abandoned the convention. Can we have a monocled discussion on epilogues sometime?

    The universe-building looks solid and logical, based on what we can assume using today's knowledge, and without bad-sci-fi nonsense.

    I'm worried though about the "tower" game. From the premise, it's a tower full of hostile forces. How can there be useful dialogue interaction then? Jury's still out but for now I'm not selling my vast quantity of Potatoe to buy the Euros required.

    Color me ignorant, but -- given you can convert between diagonal, horizontal and vertical FOV using easy formulae, what is the issue?
     
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  8. Junmarkogender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Junmarko
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    The issue: we shouldn't have to.

    It's the fucking options menu dude, I just want to set my display settings, and be done. And of course, when a game has been built from the ground up with support for only vert-/hor+, and not both, enabling it can cause massive problems.
     
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