Announcing: All Walls Must Fall – A Tech-Noir Tactics Game

When we started inbetweengames after leaving YAGER and going indie, we decided that we wanted to make a game that we could stand behind as both a game and a piece of art. After about six months of pre-production, concepting and prototyping, we’re super excited to share with you what we’ve been working on.

awmf

All Walls Must Fall is a tech-noir spy thriller set in a Berlin of 2089 where the Cold War never ended. A game in the isometric action tactics genre, you command secret agents using time travel, social stealth and combat. Prevent nuclear annihilation. Bring down the Wall. Love, kill, and remix reality to explore the meaning of freedom in a parable reflecting upon current global issues in the mirror of a fantastic future past.

After the break there are some handy links and another of our self-interviews! Let us know what you think on Twitter and Facebook!

PRESSKIT: http://www.inbetweengames.com/press/sheet.php?p=All_Walls_Must_Fall
WEBSITE:  http://www.allwallsmustfall.com/
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/inbetweengames
FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/inbetweengames/ 

What is this?! You guys are doing another self interview?

David: People liked it last time so we’re doing it again! It’s also good practice for us to try to talk about the game and gather our thoughts a bit. Catharsis for us, hopefully entertainment for you, everybody wins!
Isaac:  Yeah we also wrote a press release but this is a much better format for getting across our thoughts in our own words.

I really liked the The Mammoth: A Cave Painting.

David: Thank you. But that’s not even a question.
Isaac: Yeah it was great! The inescapability of loss and all that. But now we’re moving on to something else.
David: And we are finally starting to talk about it too!

So what’s your new game then? All Walls Must Fall. What is that about?

David: All Walls Must Fall is a tech-noir spy thriller set in Berlin 2089 where the Cold War never ended. It’s also an isometric action tactics game, in which you command secret agents using time travel, social stealth and combat.
Isaac: It’s a love letter to Berlin, cyberpunk and sci-fi! I’ve always thought Berlin was an underused setting in video games. There’s been a few games set here, but I’ve never really felt they captured the city too well – or at least, the city that we live in today. You might think setting a game in the future also has that problem, but we actually want the place to feel somewhat plausibly contemporary despite the sci-fi angle.
David: It is also going back to classic games that came with the 90s PC wave like Syndicate, XCOM, Fallout, Planescape, and too many others to name them all here. For me personally that was the time when I decided that I really wanted to make video games. But by the time I arrived there games had moved on. The graphical arms race was and still is in full swing with all the consequences of what makes up AAA games today. So with us going indie we are jumping off that bandwagon, that is currently headed to VR and even more photorealism, and go back to the roots of where it all started for us.

What are your main inspirations for All Walls Must Fall?

Isaac: Well saying “XCOM meets Braid” is definitely the easiest way to pitch the gameplay concept. Though of course those aren’t the only inspirations, or the only games that have tactical combat or time-travel mechanics. Initially we came up with mechanics relating to how the music and the gameplay work together first, and after we had all that working we realised we’d basically made a mechanic out of time travel. Then we rolled with it.
David: Besides video games the city of Berlin itself is a huge inspiration for us. We make a point of seeking out things that we have access to here and research them thoroughly so we can recreate an impression of them in the game. Like the current club culture which really started with the wall coming down and historic sites and museums covering the time period of when the city was divided. Noir movies and especially tech-noir movies and sci-fi stories are also something that we look at a lot.

What does the name All Walls Must Fall mean?

Isaac: It’s a call to action! Of course it references a pretty famous wall that Berlin had a few years back that you might’ve heard about, but walls still seem to be being built across imaginary lines on maps today. The Berlin Wall in our game is one that’s stood for over a hundred years so people are taking it for granted, but nothing stands forever.
David: The name is also a reference to the game as a video game itself. All the environment in the game is destructible which is important to enable player agency within the simulation so players can come up with solutions we didn’t think of. But at the same time we also want to challenge players’ preconceptions about their own role in the game.

So how far along are you with the project?

David: We are a couple of months in so we have a gameplay prototype that includes procedural level generation, combat and some social mechanics. It basically is one mission of the game that plays a little different each time you play it and already has multiple outcomes. But it also very much still looks like an early prototype. Besides that we made one example dancefloor showing more how we imagine the game to look like in the end. This is the one we’re currently showing to give people a better impression of what we’re aiming for.
Isaac: We spent quite a bit of time last year working on some pretty out-there stuff regarding prototypes for what wound up being our core set of tactical time-manipulation mechanics. We broke down a few conceptual walls along the way and think we have found a way to wrap it all into a coherent package. Since then we’ve spent quite a bit of time nailing down the design for the whole thing and now we’re back into the most exciting part: working full-time on development!

So what’s going on in this scene?

Isaac: It’s a little snippet from our prototype, showing off our time manipulation. The player’s going into a room to look for a particular character. But turns out there’s some guys in there who didn’t want him crashing their party, whoops! But instead of fighting back somehow, you can just rewind time to before you went in the room. It’s like it never happened – but you, and your agent, know what’s in the room now. We’re hoping it gets across the core gameplay idea, that you’re playing a tactical game, that’s quite combat focussed, but with the ability to use time manipulation as a tool. Of course, you could stay in the room and fight your way through, but it might have some consequences: all those dudes in the big hall might get a bit freaked out. Or maybe they’re too juiced up to notice…

When are you going to show more gameplay?

Isaac: It is still early days, and in many ways parts of the game are still being prototyped. But the reason we want to announce now is so we can really get going with this whole open development thing. Until now, I’ve always worked for other people with their silly NDAs and so on so you have to keep what you’re doing for most of your working life a secret. But I love showing off! I’m really looking forward to talking about what I’m working on every week, probably more than is healthy.
David: Yeah, we’ll be working on getting those aspects we only have in rough prototype state presentable and then ask people for feedback as well. So expect more gameplay being shared on Twitter and Facebook pretty much every week from now on.

Cool. When can I see more of All Walls Must Fall?

Isaac: Straight away! We’re spending the rest of this week at the Berlin Games Week where we have a little booth at the A MAZE festival, but after that we’re back into full-time development and I will be showing what I’m working on as often as I can!
David: Yeah going forward we’ll be sharing updates on whatever we’re currently working on so you should get a pretty good impression of how things are going if you follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

01d_promoart_BruderKuss

What’s up with that painting of Obama and Putin kissing, what’s that got to do with anything?

Isaac: It’s inspired by a mural that was painted on the East Side of the Berlin Wall a few months before reunification, which shows Honecker and Brezhnev in a similar pose. It’s a hint regarding our alternate timeline history thing…
David: Which is also an attempt to take that iconic picture and update to something more current.

When is All Walls Must Fall coming out?

Isaac: We’re aiming for an Early Access release in the Fall of this year, and aim to have the game finished in 2017 for a final release.
David: Cross your fingers and press your thumbs! We’re still pretty early but yeah those are our current plans. Let’s hope it works out.

Are you going to make a Kickstarter at some point?

Isaac: It’s not currently planned: we’re hoping to secure funding from the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, and we should know if we got that within a couple of months. If that doesn’t work out, we shall see.
David: Yeah I think if we would do a Kickstarter at some point it would be important to us to give something to people as quickly as possible so they can actually play it and give us feedback.

What about Early Access?

David: We’re really looking forward to it! The prospect of giving out an essential unfinished game to people to play with sounds really scary but also exciting. We’ve been working in these closed off spaces of AAA development for such a long time that interacting and getting feedback from a bigger group of players really early in the game’s development is really appealing to us.
Isaac: Perhaps some people aren’t really into buying Early Access games, and that’s totally fine. When you’re selling a product to the public, it has to be a state where it’s something that people are actually excited about and want to play. You shouldn’t be selling just the promises you’re making. The real successes are games that were fun from day one of them being on sale. That’s our goal for our Early Access release. And I really think you need to be able to make those promises with confidence: you need to be sure that even if you can’t fund more development from those early sales, you already have in the bank what you need to deliver on them. We want to use Early Access as a way of getting feedback on the game while it’s in development, rather than a way of funding that development. For us, this is one of the reasons behind going indie: it’s something you don’t get when working behind a restrictive NDA. There’s also the community that you can build, getting people who are really passionate about the game involved early. I think if you do it right, everybody wins.

Enough of this nerdy talk. I saw that you went into Berghain for a research trip, which is one of the coolest clubs in the world right? How do get in there? I tried to get in there once and didn’t. Please take me to Berghain.

David: Again. That’s not even a question. Who is even writing these?
Isaac: Hmm well, that’s a hard one. I’m pretty conscious of the fact that setting our game in Berlin nightclubs might seem awfully hipster. But at the end of the day, what I’ve always loved about this city and its nightlife is how unpretentious it can be. Just be comfortable with yourself, your skin, and who you love, and you’ll be very welcome here I’m sure.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for upcoming updates!

2nd Press Roundup Announcing: All Walls Must Fall

THANK YOU!

First off we want to thank YOU for taking the time to look at this and paying attention to All Walls Must Fall. We’ve been blown away by the positive reception of our announcement both on the internet and at the A MAZE festival. We would especially like to thank Michael Liebe from Booster Space and Carlos Liévano from Amazon for enabling us to show the game at the conference as well as the entire team behind the organization of the festival and the wider Games Week Berlin. Last but not least we would like to thank Ina Göring from the Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg for supporting us in developing our game concept for the application with the Medienboard which in turn also benefited the clarity of our messaging greatly for the announcement, as well as Helge Jürgens for taking the time to check out our little booth at A MAZE and listening to our pitch.

In the following we want to give an overview over the press reception All Walls Must Fall was able to gather.

English Motherfather! Do you speak it?

First off Matt Purslow from PCGamesN broke the news first which made us smile because he also published the first article of us announcing inbetweengames as well as our first published interview. Then Adam Smith was rocking our world by publishing an article on All Walls Must Fall on Rock Paper Shotgun and apparently really liking the concept. Yay! 🙂 We were also really happy that Mike Cosimano from Destructoid still remembered our announcement from last year, caught on the movie references behind the game and strangely enough discussed our love for dumplings. Joshua Vanderwall from the Escapist remained cautious but fair, possibly preempting the entertainingly lively discussion on their forums. Yes we DO read the comments. Speaking of Forums NeoGaf was organized as ever while RPGCodex was taking a slightly more anarchistic approach which tempted our own Isaac to join in good fun.
GameInformer on the other hand is the biggest gaming print magazine of the world so getting covered by Jeff Cork for them was ‘no biggie’. Ok. Maybe it was. OnlySP also mentioned more to come from them on All Walls Must Fall as well and oh boy are we looking forward to that. Getting covered by Killscreen is always an honour but in our opinion it was Jess Condit from Engadget stealing the show with her in depth look at the background of the game.

Besides all that things were moving very quickly with additional coverage coming in from Gameranx, CGM, Tech Times, GamePressure, The Game Fanatics, Trusted Reviews, Flickering Myth, Twitch Times, Game Watcher, Game Grin and Gaming Nexus, finally tempting MonsterVine to lead with a headline of All Walls Must Fall Set to Topple the Tactics Genre. Jeez guys. No pressure!

One thing that really surprised us though was receiving coverage from outlets focussing on electronic dance music and club culture like Electronic Beats, Pulse Radio and Deep House Amsterdam. Berlin is undoubtedly calling out to them. We also received a mention from 80 Level.

you_are_leaving_the_american_sector

Parlez vous francais?

Tsuigi was apparently what started the whole thread of electronic music publications paying attention to All Walls Must Fall in the first place, while Gamer Impact was speaking to traditional, francophone gamers. Game Side Story on the other hand featured an interview both in English et en français.

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

Time to take a look at how we were doing on our home turf. Let’s start by giving you a break from reading all this stuff with 4Player’s Video Coverage of the AMAZE featuring All Walls Must Fall around 3:40. If you also need to rest your eyes Trackback on Radio Fritz is for you although you might want to skip to around 11:59 of the podcast for best effect. Last in this series of non-literary content is Hooked FM talking about the game in some detail and obviously having paid attention to it for some time already. Mad Props for that.

Getting back to written articles we got German coverage from GameStar, 4PlayersPC Games, PCGames HardwareIGN, GamesPilotGames AktuellXP-lorer, PIQD and BetaWatch. But our favorite German headline Tillate.

Welcome to Czech-Point Charlie

I’m regretting that joke already but seeing coverage from Tiscali was indeed very cool.

A ty govorish’ po russki?

From what artificial intelligence is able to convey to us our friends from Russia were overall a little bit more critical of the whole affair while still acknowledging that it was intriguing to them. Way to play hard to get my friends, but we know that it’s all just part of your rough charm. Overall we received Russian coverage from Overclockers, VGBlocks, Kaldata, market.dn.ua, Kanobu, ya-gamer and igromania. Which overall is a considerable amount of articles. I guess that really means we will have to have Russian localization at some point so stay with us Russia! We love you!

Asia!

Whenever we get coverage from the other end of the world it is indeed quite flattering even if we don’t know whether they curse or praise us sometimes and the coverage we received from GameSpark, Docome, pcucgame and GamerSky is no exception.

That’s all folks!

That’s all the announcement coverage we are aware of so far! If you find anything more please let us know and we’ll add it! Thank you for your attention and see you around!

BUT DON’T FORGET TO SIGN-UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER FIRST!!! THAT’S RIGHT!!! WE HAVE A NEWSLETTER!!!

Press Release Announcing: All Walls Must Fall

Berlin, November 11, 2089 – A blinding flash of light eradicates the divided city.
For a moment, there is peace. Then time rewinds.

Berlin, April 18, 2016 inbetweengames, a new indie studio from some of the people behind Spec Ops: The Line, Dead Island 2, and the team of The Mammoth: A Cave Painting, are terrified to announce their first commercial game.

All Walls Must Fall is a tech-noir spy thriller set in Berlin 2089 where the Cold War never ended. A game in the isometric action tactics genre, you command secret agents using time travel, social stealth and combat. Prevent nuclear annihilation. Bring down the Wall. Love, kill, and remix reality to explore the meaning of freedom in a parable reflecting upon current global issues in the mirror of a fantastic future past.

About All Walls Must Fall

All Walls Must Fall on Steam Early Access in Fall 2016.

Berlin, November 2089For 150 years of Cold War both sides have used temporal technology to counter each other’s every move. But this deadly love is finally coming to an end as a rogue nuclear strike has both sides sending agents back in time to find out who did it and how to prevent it before everything turns to ash forever.

Over the course of a journey that jumps and loops through a single night in the city, players will unravel the conspiracy keeping East and West locked in struggle and oppression. As lines between factions become blurred, choices become difficult. Which side to play? Who to side with? When both time and free will are an illusion – who can you really trust? Will your actions tear down the Wall, bring stability, or perpetuate a cycle of war and terror? In the end all walls must fall.

The Breakdown

  • Isometric action tactics game for download on PC and Mac
  • Procedurally generated levels and campaign that plays different every time
  • Developed by a team of former AAA professionals using Unreal Engine 4
  • Tech-Noir Berlin as a divided city, in which the Cold War never ended
  • A parable that reflects on free will, moral ambiguity and the meaning of freedom
  • Mixed 2D/3D art style of a propaganda poster brought to life
  • Mind-bending time manipulation abilities
  • Pausable real-time tactics with actions on the beat of the music
  • Synaesthetic nightclub environments and audio
  • A simulation sandbox featuring crowd simulation and destructible environment
  • A focus on player agency and expression fostering different play styles including combat, hacking and social stealth using specialized secret agent characters
  • An inclusive representation of the people of Berlin featuring their diverse cultural, sexual and gender identities

Presskit

http://www.inbetweengames.com/press/sheet.php?p=all_walls_must_fall

Self Interview

http://www.inbetweengames.com/blog/2016/04/17/announcing-all-walls-must-fall-a-tech-noir-tactics-game/

Website

http://www.allwallsmustfall.com/

Twitter

https://twitter.com/inbetweengames

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/inbetweengames/

Contact

info@inbetweengames.com

About inbetweengames

inbetweengames is an indie development team in Berlin founded by three former YAGER veterans, who previously worked on Spec Ops: The Line and Dead Island 2. After years of working in the AAA mines and seeing their work cancelled on the altar of money they figured it was time to try something different. After making The Mammoth: A Cave Painting in 3 days for Ludum Dare 33 the team took the leap of faith and formed their own indie team to make the kind of games they would not get the chance to make otherwise.

All feet in the air – Where inbetweengames is and what is coming up..

We wanted to take a little bit of time to talk with you guys about where we are currently and how things are going. It’s also one of those announcement of an announcement kind of things.

The last couple of months we have been really busy getting the organizational side of our team in order, getting our company incorporated and applying for some grant funding for the development of the game so we can stay as indie as we aspire to be.

Pretty boring stuff overall – but it has to be done. It has also helped us to be forced to formulate our thoughts about the game in a coherent manner that would be subject to a fair amount of scrutiny. Because unless you can explain something simply you don’t really understand it yet. On top of that we also had to figure out our business plan. But now with a few exception of some last remaining details we’re all set up and ready to go.

However we don’t know yet whether any of the funding that we applied for will actually go through. The biggest issue here being that if we don’t get the personal founders grant we have applied for we might not have anything to pay our rents with at the end of the month and would be forced to fall back on social security and possibly abandon our project. It’s all looking good so far and will most likely go through but it’s still a great amount of uncertainty to be under – which is part of the motivation to write this post: to get it of our chest.

It’s a special moment for us. We officially made the jump to indie development. Now all of our feet are in the air. We don’t know yet whether we will hit the ground running.. or land with our face in the dirt. So we would like to thank you for watching us so far and your interest in how things might turn out.

Whatever will happen we have to assume the best and finally get back to working on our game. Therefore we want to show you guys as soon as possible what we’ve been working on and are planning to pitch it to you around the upcoming Berlin Games Week mid April – which had been our plan since we started out last fall.

So stay tuned to see what we’ve been brooding over – it’s time to show its face very soon.

The ground is coming up. We gotta run.
inbetweengames

promoArt_Wall
#allwallsmustfall

 

Play OSHIYA! PUSH! now!

やった YATTA! We did it!
PLAY OSHIYA! PUSH! NOW

So after our entry last Jam, The Mammoth: A Cave Painting (17th overall, 6th mood), we decided this time around to go for the fun and humour categories. The Mammoth was a little bit on the sad side and we opted out of the humour category completely then. This time around we focused on the gameplay and tried to make it a light-hearted celebration of a certain aesthetic. Let us know what you think by rating OSHIYA! PUSH!

We re-used the crowd AI framework that was used to power the hunters in The Mammoth for the passengers in this game, and also pulled in a rhythm framework that we’ve created for another project. Everything else we did from scratch in the 3 days of the jam using Unreal Engine 4, with a team of 4 full-time developers plus our friend Almut Schwacke, who provided the audio. Check out this timelapse of development from Isaac Ashdown, showing c++ coding and Blueprint and UMG scripting:

We’re starting to get into open development – the NDAs of AAA are a hard habit to break, but we’re trying – The Mammoth already available as an open source project if anyone’s interested in the codebase. Feel free to pass on any development questions you have to @eyesiah or @inbetweengames!

 

First inbetweengames Press Roundup

Hey everybody,

so it’s been two weeks now since we announced that we’re going indie and we were very happy with the positive reactions that we received from you all! 🙂

So this comes a little late but here comes our press roundup of original English press coverage we received so far:

last but not least our former boss Timo from YAGER also talked about the whole Dead Island 2 cancellation kerfuffle:

Phew. Thanks a lot everybody, hopefully we’ll have more articles on our upcoming game to share soon!

Until then you can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook – where we’ll also be sharing some sneak peeks of our current prototyping efforts in the weeks to come. If all goes well we’ll have something of an early game to show ending of this/beginning of next year. Unless we turn all Lord of the Flies on each other. Either way there’ll be pictures so go ahead and follow us! 🙂

Cheers,
David

Announcing inbetweengames

We’re proud to announce that we are going indie! Wooohoo!

inbetweengames are three former AAA developers who worked together at YAGER in Berlin on Dead Island 2. When that game got cancelled, we started thinking about what we wanted to do next. Turns out we wanted to keep making video games! So now we’re happy to announce that we’ll keep doing that as an indie team!

To celebrate, we’ve released our Ludum Dare 33 game, The Mammoth: A Cave Painting, on iOS and Android! You can play it here!

Follow us on on Twitter and Facebook to see what we’re up to.  If you’re into these kind of things you can also check out our Presskit.

Here’s who we are and also a little interview:
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So who’s the Monster in The Mammoth anyway?

Hey,

David here from inbetweengames. After giving everybody a bit of time to maybe check out our game ‘The Mammoth: A Cave Painting‘ and reading the awesome comments on the page, I wanted to talk with you guys a bit about the interpretation of the theme that we decided for. This is going to be somewhat of a spoilerfest so if you want to check out our game with fresh eyes best do it now before reading this. We’ll be waiting here.

PLAY THE MAMMOTH: A CAVE PAINTING WHILE YOU STILL CAN!

Mammoths

Everybody good? Are you ready for a hippie, arty rant? Cool, let’s go. 🙂
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Developer Timelapse – The Mammoth: A Cave Painting

coverImage

Want to watch 3 days of coding in 10 minutes? Here’s a timelapse video of inbetweengames’ Isaac Ashdown writing the gameplay and UI code for The Mammoth in Unreal Engine 4:

All of the team currently work at YAGER in their day jobs, where we’ve been using UE4 for several years on a AAA project that was recently cancelled. We thought it would be interesting to see what we could pull off in the engine in just 3 days, which for us is a pretty big change of pace compared to our normal way of working. We’re really happy with how it turned out!

We created the entire game, including the concept, in the 3 days of the jam. Beforehand we did some prep for some of the systems we knew we’d need for the game we wanted to create: a custom 2D flipbook material that allows us to animate sprites similar to Paper2D while giving us the full functionality of Unreal’s material editor; controls for a top-down or “isometric”-style game; and finally a basic framework for flocking/crowd AI. This last system was pretty heavily hacked up to create the AI for the hunters and mammoth babies.

We’ve been relaxing a little since the jam ended, but now we’re ready to start playing and rating some games! We aim to rate every video game that leaves us a comment on our page, so play and rate The Mammoth: A Cave Painting now: http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-33/?action=preview&uid=56968

Follow us on twitter: @inbetweengames