Connect with us

GAMES

Bringing a Deep Narrative to an Over-the-Top Arcade Game in Agent Intercept, Out Now

Published

on

Video For Bringing a Deep Narrative to an Over-the-Top Arcade Game in Agent Intercept, Out Now


Summary

  • Agent Intercept is an over-the-top arcade action game released today on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One
  • A solid vision and laser-focused storyline bring out the best of the arcade action
  • A fully voiced cast and original soundtrack heighten the spy-genre feel and keep you immersed in the gameplay

Agent Intercept bursts onto Xbox at supersonic speeds today, so we wanted to share how we approached the narrative design of a game focused on arcade action and high stakes mayhem. There is a very exciting story at the heart of Agent Intercept, with twists and turns that should put a grin on the face of any spy genre fan. But narrative design is more than writing the plot, so let’s take a more in depth look at how we brought the action to life through storytelling.

Vision — This One Goes to 11

Agent Intercept started as an action driving game inspired by Spy Hunter (one of the first video games I ever played!), but it needed to go beyond that to establish its identity. We worked to create some clear, exciting design pillars statements used to align the team on the game direction so everyone was on board with the vision. Phrases such as “everyone should feel like a superspy” and “use the best of every car chase ever” helped guide us to what was important in every moment of gameplay.

But a grand, over-the-top story also helped elevate the overall concept of the game beyond car chases and into near superhero territory. At the early stages, the story existed not just as a plot pitch, but also a springboard to inspire our team. I wasn’t just sharing a story idea, but a world of possibilities to help people think beyond the initial reference material: Imagine the type of game where you fight bosses larger than the screen, where you explode a rocket while riding it into space, where not only the car transforms but the world transforms around you! This helped us push the game past genre material, paying homage but also seeing where we could expand, subvert, or just go that much crazier than what we’d seen before.

helicopter

Story — Agency vs CLAW

I kept the core of the story clear and accessible, so the frenetic gameplay setpieces were forefront. The evil organization CLAW is back under a new villain with an army of goons and crazy tech, and only you as the Agency’s elite driver of the transforming spy car the Sceptre can stop them! Leaning on genre tropes and putting the player at the center of the action in every plot point, every stretch of level design, every setpiece, helped give laser focus to the experience. The story is full of twists and wild moments, yes, but primarily it is there to bring out the best gameplay.

Narrative Design — More than Writing

The flow of each level needed to not just tell a fun, self-contained story, but to guide the player along the gameplay journey. What bosses we had to face, what gadgets were available, what environment we were in, all factored into the decisions of the narrative. The narrative was the starting point for every level. From a flowchart of the action and story beats we then developed a full script and storyboards in collaboration with our cinematics, tech and level designers.

aircraft transformation

Each story needed to give a logical, clear, and compelling reason for the gameplay flow. For example, in one level the player races up a mountain to scout superweapons testing, then drives down an avalanche to escape another boss and take down the weapon. Hopefully that sounds cool on its own, but it was there to serve the needs of the gameplay: to show off our cool arctic mountain environment, to give a reason to transform into the new sled mode, to highlight the boss vehicles we had and their mechanics.

Audio – Bringing the Narrative to Life

Sound played an integral role in the player experience. Energetic original music tracks and bombastic sound effects heightened the feel of every moment and gave the story and play extra momentum.

We also knew we wanted voice acting, not just to give weight to the characters urging you forward and fighting alongside you in the levels, but to keep your eyes focused on the chaotic action. You could experience the plot twists and character emotions without being distracted from the tense gameplay.

screenshot

Our aim was to deliver a fun, knowingly over-the-top spy story worthy of James Bond, Fast & Furious, and Spy Hunter wrapped together. But we also hope we delivered a holistic experience, where the characters, plot, music, and design all work together to keep you focused on the intense action gameplay and heighten it to peak ridiculousness at every moment.

Did we deliver? Did you see the twists coming? Do you really explode a rocket while driving on it while it is blasting into space? Buy Agent Intercept on Xbox and see!

Xbox Live

Agent Intercept

PikPok

$19.99

The world needs you, Agent! Take control of the Sceptre, the Agency’s latest high-tech transforming vehicle, and face off against the criminal organisation CLAW in this explosive arcade driving game.

Dodge enemy fire, mines and lasers as you perform over-the-top stunts and use the Sceptre’s high-tech gadgetry to blow up your enemies. Feel like a superspy as you transform the Sceptre from car to plane and more, immersed in exotic locations and an original high-energy soundtrack! With a new threat around every corner, it’ll take all you’ve got to defeat CLAW.

An Agent’s work is never done. Agent Intercept offers extended playability beyond its rich campaign. Tackle side missions, unlock experiments and prove your worth as a superspy on our global leaderboards!





Source link

GAMES

Transport Fever 2: Console Edition is Bringing the Full Transport Tycoon Experience to Xbox

Published

on

Transport Fever 2: Console Edition is Bringing the Full Transport Tycoon Experience to Xbox

Today, we proudly share a sneak peek into the development of Transport Fever 2: Console Edition, and how we managed to bring the full transport tycoon experience to Xbox.

Transport Fever is a very popular and highly rated transportation tycoon franchise on PC. Its latest entry, Transport Fever 2, delivers a level of size and detail never before seen in the genre. The goal of the game is to build a successful transportation company by constructing railroads, streets, water and air lines. Starting in the 19th century, the player connects towns and industries to transport both passengers and cargo. In addition to a customizable free game mode, there is also a fully-fledged campaign mode with challenging missions set in real-world transportation history.

After the huge success of Transport Fever 2 on PC, it was only logical to bring the experience to consoles as well. Not only that, but no efforts were spared to give the console community the full experience that made the game great on PC. In order to achieve this, the engineers at Urban Games had to pull some rabbits out of their engineers’ hats.


Always providing the freshest layer of paint


One of the most cherished features of Transport Fever 2 are its highly detailed vehicles. The game comes with more than 200 lovingly hand-modeled trains, ships, and airplanes, each sporting multiple 4k textures and normal maps.

One of the many stars: The in-game model of the Class A 3/5 locomotive going full steam ahead.

On PC, it is easily affordable to have all the models and textures in memory whenever needed, as a typical rig has 16 GB of RAM and a GPU with a dedicated extra memory. Consoles, however, are built differently. They have a unified architecture with an overall smaller amount but ultra-fast memory. The key to make it work on consoles is texture streaming, which allows to clear textures of models that are not in view anymore. Moreover, this technology is used in Transport Fever 2 to constantly load textures at the highest affordable resolution to present the stars of the show, like the classic Class A 3/5 steam locomotive, in their best coat of paint at all times.


Keeping the ground like a console pro


A trademark of Transport Fever 2 are its huge maps. During development of the game, it was always paramount to provide a real sense of scale. The engine should allow for maps where a high-speed train, such as the famous Japanese Shinkansen, can really make use of its superior speed. So, a lot of effort was put into designing a highly effective terrain rendering pipeline that can handle maps of more than 120 sq miles of size with a detail resolution of almost 1 yard. Central to this is a dynamic terrain tessellation algorithm on the CPU that, while costing a bit of extra memory, makes sure the engine can render these maps on a wide variety of PCs.

The river flows: A comparison between software tessellation (white) and hardware tessellation on Xbox Series X|S (blue) of a canyon in the dry climate biome.

Now, enter the world of consoles with their incredibly well-designed GPUs and graphic APIs. Here, the hardware can be leveraged very well for terrain rendering by making use of the GPU tessellation feature. This feature generates the render mesh for the terrain fully on the graphics card, saving valuable processing time for the complex economy and city growth simulations. While generating more triangles, the hardware approach still costs less memory overall due to its efficiency. So vast maps can be viewed from a bird’s view high up in the sky and seamlessly zoomed in down to individual rocks on a riverbank.


Inspiring the inner architect


Finally, let’s talk about constructions, a central and defining part of the Transport Fever 2 experience. Constructions are large assemblies that consist of dozens of assets, street segments, ground decals and terrain modifications. Think of structures like airports, train stations, docks, highway crossings, and many more. Anything that is needed to build a vast transportation empire.

For a smooth construction experience, it is key that the player really feels that he has precise control over the building placement. On PC, constructions are typically built using the mouse. As the average PC user is very well adjusted to this method of input, it is sufficiently performant to calculate the entire construction each frame and place it under the cursor. However, on consoles, the best way of building constructions is to have them always kept in the center of the screen and move the camera along the map for placement. And moving the camera needs to be as smooth as silk.

Reminiscent of the famous glass roofs of the Liège-Guillemins train station: A preview (on the left) and the final construction (on the right) of the modern-age train station in Transport Fever 2.

So, for the console release of Transport Fever 2, the construction preview pipeline was overhauled. All dynamic calculations are now performed in the background while a static preview of the structure and its underlying ground plan are shown. Not only are constructions now completely stable in terms of FPS, but they also give feedback to the player on what environment features the construction would tear down when built.


Let’s get tycooning on console


We are very excited to bring the Transport Fever franchise to consoles for the first time ever with the release of Transport Fever 2: Console Edition on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One in February 2023, and we hope you will enjoy it as much as we did developing it.



Source link

Continue Reading

DON'T MISS ANY IMPORTANT NEWS!
Subscribe To our Newsletter
We promise not to spam you. Unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

Trending

en_USEnglish