Upsilon Circuit Interview With Robot Loves Kitty

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by Buttons on April 1, 2015
INTERVIEWS

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Upsilon Circuit Interview With

Robot Loves Kitty

This article and interview was conducted and written by Trevor Anderson and George Cavalaris.

 

Eight contestants battle for their lives, as the crowd roars. The spectators could throw supporting items, but some will spawn more enemies into the arena. The announcer joyfully yells out that it doesn’t look good for the fighters, as the world watches the epic battle for one of the Dream Tech Crystals. Cornered, the eight of them back into a hallway, slashing and shooting everything they have at the onslaught. Suddenly, one of them hits a trap- there’s no time to mourn. There’s no respawning, no pause button; this is Upsilon Circuit.

Developed by Robot Loves Kitty, their newest game promises to be something unique; a fully interactive video game where the selected few battle in an ever expanding storyline, while the intervening audience waits for their chance to prove themselves. The idea offers the spectacle of Twitch, with the surprises of a randomly selected game show audience.

We had a chance to sit down with the crew to get some answers in our exclusive interview with its creators.

Q.

When you created Legend of Dungeon, you played around with perma-deaths. How did that help lead you to the creation of Upsilon Circuit?
How Legend of Dungeon inspired us was mostly through having so much fun watching people livestream it. rlkAt the same time Calvin was thinking a lot about how to make characters in a multiplayer game behave more like we do in real life, and really care about their life in a game, because they only get one. The idea for Upsilon Circuit sort of took off from there. Many of our readers may not know this, but RobotLovesKitty is a married couple of designers and game enthusiasts. What were your roles throughout the design process, and what are some of the biggest hurdles and fondest memories of making a game together? For Upsilon Circuit our roles are a bit different than with our previous games, since we’re working with a few friends this time we don’t have to do everything ourselves. There isn’t much of a “you do this, I’ll do that” system, we mostly just have really fun exciting conversations about what we want to see happen, and go back and forth with how impossible those ideas are. Calvin does Programming for the game, and Alix has a heavier design influence. Our team in total for Upsilon Circuit is 7 people, we have code names for them all: Brackets does programming, Keyframe is our animator, Cobra does the art, Octave does the music, and Sundown is writing story.

Q.

You’ve said you’re hoping to create a game that’ll be just as interesting to watch, as it is to play; how do you plan on keeping spectators interested enough in coming back day after day to watch?
Upsilon Circuit is 99% about the audience. They are watching a gameshow that also has a story slowly rlkunfolding (it’s an Action RPG too, remember!), and of course they could potentially get a chance at getting called down to play. We have a lot of interactions planned for the Audience game client, we want people watching to be engaged as spectators like never before. You don’t get to watch Survivor and send them twinkies, wasps, or bandaids, but 10 Million people watch the show. We’re curious to see what a game/tv hybrid will do! Not much is known about the setting of the game, so what can you tell us about the overall story and/or themes in the game? Will it have a running narrative, or will it be more objective-based with no storyline? The story itself will only unfold once, so we can’t say much, but Manhattan Dissappeared in the 80’s, and then, sometime later Upsilon Circuit is a thing. *wiggles fingers mysteriously*

UC1

Q.

What types of classes will we be seeing in Upsilion Circuit?
Contestants will all start the game with generally the same abilities and stats, and the audience will use therlkEXP the contestant earns to select that player’s skill tree, giving them special abilities and bonuses. There will be sword and gun combat, as well as some other branches on the skill tree.

 

Q.

You’ve mentioned in interviews the desire to have a live announcer who’ll host the gameplay and provide colour commentary to the game. Could you explain this character, and how he fits into the world?
Ronny Raygon is the host for the Gameshow, he’s a remnant of the 80’s in a weird way, and he’ll be there to rlkintroduce new players, alert people of special events, and generally guide the contestants towards their goal of collecting Dreamtech fragments. He’s just a Gameshow host!

 

Q.

Because the game will be watched and interacted with by an online community and returning combatants, this may be the first game with scheduled programing; how do you think gamers will adjust to making time in their daily life to sit down and watch the carnage?
We aren’t really sure how it will actually go, but we’re putting a lot of thought into the game so that it will be rlkmore than worth people’s time. There are plenty of games that already do this to some extent, in one way or another. MOBAs, WoW raids, team games, etc. make it so you have to set aside specific times to play. We’re serious when we say that Upsilon Circuit is part gameshow. We’re taking many cues from television for the game and we really are making a mutant, it’s not entirely a videogame, and it’s not TV either.

UC3

Q.

Your last game was very modestly priced, and was considered an exceptional value for the quality content; what is the expectation for your pay model? Will users pay once, or subscribe to the game?
For Legend of Dungeon what we wanted more than anything was for people to play and enjoy rlkthe game, and the same goes for Upsilon Circuit. The best model we can think of to afford to run the game is making UC free to play, and have player customization and some audience purchases use a second currency that can be earned through audience participation, as well as purchased. nothing too heavy handed, just a way to have extra fun and support the show. Also, Contestants don’t get any access to the shop!

Q.

As spectators watch the game, they’re able to build a character who may enter the game in the future. How much customization is there to the models in terms of unique appearance and fighting style?
We’re hoping to have enough variation that each contestant can look distinct. We only have a single artist sorlk I think a good portion of that will happen later on. Everyone starts on an even playing field combat wise, so fighting style is decided as you play.

 

Q.

If Upsilon Circuit becomes this huge sensation could you see the game expanding to tournaments?
The world and it’s story will only be played through once ever,(we’re aiming for the ending to take about a rlkyear or so) but there might be a way to do some type of competitive gameplay stuff separately. Honestly it’s not something we’ve sat down and talked about.

Q.

What can the lucky few who get chosen to play expect in terms of controls and gameplay?
Since it will be their one and only shot we are designing the combat to be very easy to pick up, but rlkchallenging to master. Swords, guns, combos, dashing, blocking, and lots of action! We’re going to be suggesting that Contestants use a gamepad and microphone for the best experience.

 

Q.

What do you imagine the minimum system requirement will be in order to play the game smoothly online?
With the game in such an early stage it’s hard to tell what the contestant client will require, but the Audiencerlk should be able to watch and play from almost any machine and most tablets etc. too.

 

Q.

Is there anything you would like to add in that we have not covered?
Nope! that’s about it! We’ll hopefully have something to play around with in the next month or two, to stay in rlkthe loop you can sign up to the newsletter or follow us on twitter. Upsiloncircuit.com

@RobotLovesKitty

Thanks for the questions!

 

You read it here folks; Upsilion Circuit hopefully will be playable around next month or so. We would like to thank the team for answering some of our questions here at Mouse n’ Joypad. For more information on Upsilion Circuit feel free to check out their website at Upsilioncircuit.com or sign-up for their newsletter and twitter.

This article and interview was conducted and written by Trevor Anderson and George Cavalaris.

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