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Epsilon Interview And Screenshots

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  • Epsilon Interview And Screenshots

    I wanted to put this under News Submissions, but I'm honestly not sure how newsworthy this would be for TGN. But I would like a discussion at the very least for anybody interested in tactical shooters.

    So it turns out Epsilon's countdown timer didn't really mean much, because the webmaster/developer didn't have time to put it all together. Reason being? Unreal Engine 4.8 was a major update, which meant quite a bit of reworking and moving content over. That said, the community was told we'll be given an update when the timer is actually counting down towards an actual website launch. Until then, it's a placeholder page to be ignored. They are willing to consider having a fan be an unpaid webmaster, in return of gaining early access to the game.

    With all that said, E3 happened and Niche Gamer brings us an interview giving us details on some of the features of Epsilon. And because of that, Serellan announced in the forums that they are no longer going dark and will start sharing more and more information on the game. Including a few hours ago even...

    Highlights on everything I read include:
    • Pre-planning phase with waypoints and security camera access to tag enemies on a map. Cameras aren't necessarily always going to show enemies, so in that case you'll know which areas are safe, but you won't know where the enemies are as a result of this.
    • Storyline told in cutscenes in the style of Max Payne graphic novels. This is where Craig Gilmore's art comes in (also a storyboard artist for AMC's The Walking Dead). Check the interview for a sample cutscene. Apparently they'll be animated too, but in what way I don't know. Despite working for "Interpol" (changed to Unipol as in United because Interpol is trademarked), the player will find out good guys and bad guys aren't so obvious.
    • Gadgets and weapons planned include non-lethal equipment (taser, smoke/gas/EM chaff grenades), SWAT 4's Opti-cam, device to let you see through walls (but enemies can use a jammer to counter it), 40mm sidearm (you can see it in the screenshot, which was intentionally teased as the dev confirmed in the forums), remote operated sniper rifle (from forums), Glock 18 (from forums), and whatever other weapons you can recognize from the screenshot.
    • Hand signals to silently communicate with your teammates, both in singleplayer and co-op (no ideas if co-op will be online, LAN-only, with/without splitscreen support).
    • PC at launch because their team is even smaller than before, so they want to go one at a time.
    Last edited by K-16; 10-04-2015, 10:35 PM.

  • #2
    I got good news and bad news. Bad news? The launch of the Epsilon website is postponed indefinitely because the only person who was assigned to do it is too busy being the producer of the game itself (the entire company is a team of five people). The good news? Because that person prioritized game development over making a website, we now have a new tactical shooter game to buy on Steam Early Access.

    I'm going to make a double post here. This one is the short version, and the next one is the full detailed version.

    Epsilon is a tactical shooter from Serellan. Long story short, this game has what Rainbow Six: Siege doesn't have, and doesn't have what Rainbow Siege has (yet). You want a singleplayer campaign with a complete planning phase including a map where you can set waypoints in? Check. You want to use security cameras to look for and tag enemies to mark them on your map? Check. You want weapons other than the usual staples (ever heard of modding a Glock with a Roni G2-9)? Check. You want a diverse set of characters who aren't even Americans? Check. You want a story that isn't focused on nuclear weapons? Check. You want to approach things using either lethal and non-lethal force? Check. You want hand signals to inform teammates? Check. You want colorful and rich graphics on Unreal Engine 4, instead of the color scheme used in other military shooters? Check. You want multiplayer? They're a team of five people, give them more time and they'll get around to it. Play Rainbow Six: Siege, Ground Brand, ArmA, or Insurgency in the meantime.

    Well then, if you got $8 USD why not give Epsilon a try? As more updates come in, the price will increase until they hit their planned $40 retail price, so I suggest buying in early like a stock price.

    Seriously, when I read that Rainbow Six: Siege won't have a singleplayer story campaign, I was excited because this is the opportunity Serellan needed for Epsilon. Feel free to keep your wallet closed, and watch how Serellan does things, ask them questions, and then decide if it's worth $8. I'd honestly rather you not buy the game until you know enough to be comfortable with how Epsilon is being developed. So wait, watch them, and ask questions because the devs Terry and Christian are always around to talk.

    Here's their logo by the way.

    Next is the detailed post. All pictures are rehosted to like the one above, because many are from Serellan's forums, and you need an account to see their attachments, so I downloaded each individual one and rehosted it so you can see it without registering. I didn't put the thumbnails here, because there's far too many pictures for you to see.
    Last edited by K-16; 10-04-2015, 11:18 PM.


    • #3
      Steam Store Page (Early Access) and pricing plans:

      Pre-Alpha Gameplay Teaser

      Epsilon Pre-Alpha Extended Gameplay Trailer

      Early interview on Epsilon at E3 2015. Shows entire cross-armed staff of Serellan (excluding contractors), and the early version of the in-game cinematics done by Craig Gilmore and written by Christian Allen.

      Doors are very difficult to develop for in a tactical shooter, especially for singleplayer AI (I wonder if Rainbow Six: Siege made doors the way they are for this very reason).

      Weapon renders of the Roni G2-9, Saiga 12 bullpup, GL 06, and the Glock 18, along with more Unreal Engine 4 blueprints (notice how they are including uncommon weaponry; converting a Glock into a carbine with the Roni G2-9 sounds kind of cool to me).

      How about a planning map? Anybody even interested in a complete planning phase anymore? I mean, maps and waypointing are stupid right? They don't belong in tactical shooters! Did I mention this stupid feature also allows you to choose a remote sniper location, as well as use security cameras to tag any enemies within view and they will show up on the map? That's stupid right? Nobody wants that in a tactical shooter!

      So Rainbow Six doesn't have a singleplayer campaign. Epsilon doesn't have multiplayer at launch. I think we have a win-win situation here. Here the story is told by comic-style cinematics produced by Craig Gilmore and editted by Serellan artist Deane McGahan. Interesting part is that there are no American characters here. Also note the character pics here are showing green clothes (as well as the pic from the NicheGamer interview), but after completing their designs, Deane changed it to blue. So blue clothes now. Cool? Cool.

      Singleplayer teammate AI is never going to be perfect. The only thing that can be done in this current generation is to make AI useful enough to create an illusion that they are capable of taking care of themselves (reaperbot, Elizabeth from BioShock Infinite, Alyx from HL2's episodic series, etc.). Serellan's solution to this is to give you as much control of your teammates as possible. That and make them not stupid when approaching doors (which again, doors are actually one of the fundamental problems to solve in tactical shooter games and devs HATE making doors).

      Equipment selection during planning phase is pretty barebones right now. Doesn't look pretty, but shouldn't have to be in such an early development phase for Epsilon. Point is, we'll be able to customize loadouts for each character, which was something Takedown: Red Sabre lacked.

      PAX is apparently when Serellan started to become noisier and really announce Epsilon to the public, as well as partner up with Razer to... I have no idea what. They showed off their game at PAX at the Razer booth, as well as designed their game to work with Razer's Chroma features. Um... K. I honestly don't have much to comment on that other than Serellan has a bunch of Razer keyboard and mice, and they were distributed to anybody who was working that day (those who weren't in missed out from what I read on Twitter). Basically Serellan did a media blitz with a press release, screenshots, and showing the entire staff of Serellan (again, excluding contractors) with names and roles in the company. There's also a podcast interview with Aerith Radio. On a side note, I should mention the screenshot showing the red HUD (enemy walking towards the person/camera) looks identical to the Gundam Unicorn HUD. The HUD art design was contracted out, so Serellan will be investigating as to why it seems plagiarized and has already switched out the design (see the Steam Community link).

      Planned gameplay modes include Story, Elimination (Terrorist Hunt), and Defense (secure the package and defend it for as long as you can). Currently the game has the Unipol HQ map, with Terrarum Data map around the corner (more on that later).

      Here's a bit more detail on the new map Terrarum Data, as well as a new feature where you can drop glowsticks to mark rooms that have been cleared as a reminder. Glowsticks also get tracked on the planning map (thank you SWAT 3 for the clever feature and for allowing gamers to make tactical rave parties).

      Here's the storyline of Epsilon (or at least one of the missions). I'll let the link do the talking (also on the Steam store page), because it's um... Risky for a video game to follow such a storyline. What I will say is that it will have nothing to do with stopping nukes, because we got enough of those already. As for who you're controlling, you are Team Epsilon working for Unipol (Serellan originally wanted Interpol, but it turns out it's a trademark so to avoid legal issues, they made up their own international organization a la World Police). And since you are technically a police force, you can choose non-lethal force to arrest the enemies rather than flat-out murder them. Christian Allen did hint in interviews that he prefers stories to have a twist so it's possible you aren't necessarily the good guy, or rather you might not be working for good guys. Don't know yet, still too early in development right now.

      Christian is also looking into donating part of the proceeds from sales of Epsilon to a good veteran charity. I mean, Christian himself served in the USMC and had his kidneys (or was it liver?) damaged from biological weapons, so he kind of knows what it's like to be a vet.

      Furthermore, how will people trust Serellan after Takedown: Red Sabre? How about giving all Kickstarter backers a copy of the game for free? Sure, let's do that. They're playing it right now and they're saying it's already better than Takedown is. Even development is going better with Unreal Engine 4. Apparently a team of five people put in more features into Epsilon in six months than they did in a year with a bigger team during Takedown's development using Unreal 3 (Christian's words, not mine). Unfortunately, Serellan has no control over Takedown customers who bought the game instead of backing it. So if you aren't a Kickstarter backer, you can't get the game for free or at a discount. Full explanation on that in the Steam Community link.

      Two Reddit AmAs here. One from IAmA and one from the Epsilon Reddit. The Epsilon Reddit AmA is meant for long-term use, as Christian will be checking once in a while, so feel free to ask there whenever (it'll be faster if you ask him through Twitter or the Serellan forums though). Actually come to think of it, I've seen him reply to every possible channel there is. Twitter, Steam forums, Serellan forums, Reddit, Facebook, E-mail, YouTube... Geez.

      Epsilon's Steam Group