Ghost Of Recon Past: Ground Branch Kickstarter

By Adam Smith on June 19th, 2012 at 5:00 pm.

Today’s FPS games rarely last long on my hard drive, stuffed as it is with maps, dice and musty tomes of history retold. It’s more than a decade since my deathmatch days , which makes me feel indescribably ancient. It’s only fitting that it takes a Kickstarter project to rekindle my interest, as Kickstarter so often seems like fertile ground for old roots to sprout new shoots. Ground Branch is a multiplayer tactical shooter with a team of both industry and military veterans working on it, including folks from the original Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon teams at Red Storm, and special ops chaps from [REDACTED]. Authenticity is the key word, with full body modelling from a first-person perspective, realistic reloading and gear, and no unlocks or kill streaks. It’s already looking good as you can see for yourself below.

There’s a longer video on the project website and watching that and then reading through the feature list just a little further down the page was like hearing and seeing my own thoughts beamed back at me, which is why I’m now wearing a tinfoil stovepipe hat and peering nervously out of the window.

I don’t know if I’ve written about this before but I love being able to look down and see a pair of legs going about their business as I drift around a virtual space. Even in the best of games I sometimes have to shrug off the sensation of being a floating camera, half expecting to see a tripod where legs should be, half disappointed that there’s absolutely nothing instead. Ground Branch wants to give me all the limbs a man should have and it also wants to let me lean, which is another of my favourite things to do. Leaning and looking at my own legs. Let me have that and I’m a happy man.

But there’s more! The way that a gun is held correctly, with bullets firing from the muzzle, with its length dictating when, where and how it can be aimed. That’s great too. It’s not just the tactics and the shooting that could impress if done right, it’s the commitment to creating avatars that actually exist in the spaces they tacticalise and shoot in. Randomisation of insertion should keep things fresh and tense as well, and there’s even talk of blocking entry points and routes on maps at random, forcing flexibility and fluidity of thinking.

It’s still a multiplayer shooter though and I’m pleased that not only does the actual movement and shooting sound like a palette cleanser, the approach to the platform and the commercial aspects of the genre seems as refreshing and healthy as the design itself. In the multiplayer sphere, of all the upsetting innovations that have emerged, it’s unlockable weapons and traits that bother me the most. I don’t want to spend hours or incremental monetary offerings to play with all the toys and I’m highly dubious of the implication that investment can be, by itself, a form of improvement.

Give me systems to learn and make the experience interesting and/or rewarding and I’ll happily pay up front, stick around and try to improve my understanding of and manipulation of those systems. It doesn’t hurt that there’s a promise never to split content in the future, either through DLC or unlocks, and full server and mod tools.

The Kickstarter hasn’t had the best kickstart, although it hasn’t stalled completely, reaching $53,000 of a $425,000 target with seventeen days to go. There’s an impressive amount of detail, experience within the team and compelling evidence that a lot of work has already been done. It could almost certainly wind up being my kind of thing and I’m very tempted by $30 for two copies, although in these austere times I’ll have to violently wring the $15 out of whoever I share the second copy with. And then I’ll shoot them. Tactically.

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118 Comments »

  1. Vinraith says:

    It’s a real shame this is a multiplayer-only game. I’d cheerfully kick in some money for a Rainbow 6/OGR style squad tactical combat game with strong single player and co-op, but this isn’t that.

    I’d wish them luck anyway, but it wouldn’t help. Even if by some miracle they make their goal, and make the game, the community (and thus the game) will be dead a few months after launch. Indie MP-only games are a fool’s errand.

    • Fumarole says:

      Co-op is planned as a future addition.

      http://groundbranch.com/questions-and-answers/

      Will Ground Branch be a Singleplayer or Multiplayer game?
      This is somewhat dependent on how the Kickstarter turns out. Ground Branch will eventually have Singleplayer, Multiplayer and a Co-op component to it. Although, we are currently only working on the Multiplayer component (SP campaign is designed), but if a specific secondary funding goal is met then we will be able to include Co-op and/or a full SP experience.

      If those secondary goals are not met then the plan is to release just the adversarial MP portion first as it is the most cost effective solution for a small independently funded team. There will then be a follow on release of a Singleplayer/Co-op campaign with revenue generated from sales of the first release. The MP release will include a preview of the Co-op experience though.

      • Vinraith says:

        I’m not funding an MP-only game based on a promise so vague and ephemeral as that. For one thing, if SP/co-op isn’t a design priority it’s liable to be shit even if they do throw it in.

        Since I expect nearly any MP-only indie release to implode on launch, I doubt very much there will be any revenue to reinvest in an SP/co-op mode anyway.

        • Premium User Badge jezcentral says:

          Wow, AI programmers must either be rarer than a lesser-spotted endangered species, or so expensive that I should retrain as one.

          Of course, balance, and the QA testing that involves, might also be expensive…..

          Either way, boo to MP-only games.

          • JerreyRough says:

            There’s an alarming amount of people that don’t go to university for programming. It seems like most either go to “game design” programs, start basement programming, or take short college courses. Proper A.I. design is complicated and isn’t easily covered in those areas (even college courses), plus network coding skills can be used in non-gaming business ventures. A.I. programming just isn’t as needed outside gaming, unlike networks.

          • Premium User Badge jezcentral says:

            Whilst I take your point about gaming AI not having much use outside of gaming, I wouldn’t describe the amount of non-university education as alarming. My degree was in English Literature, and I taught myself programming many years later, and it’s now what I do for a living.

            I’m a great believer in learning-by-doing, but I can see that getting started in gaming AI programming would be pretty unrewarding for a long time.

          • rockman29 says:

            MP includes adversarial and co-operative play.

            Unless this game has not bots, which I would doubt. Half the fun or more of playing Rainbow Six 3 online is the customizable cooperative missions.

          • easyco says:

            Single player is coming in the future! $15 saves a genre of tactical shooters and you’re going to pass because single player is coming later? Step up and stop coming up with excuses.

        • USER47 says:

          They would probably like SP/coop, unfortunately they need to license somethird party AI solution, and they need money to do that.

        • Fumarole says:

          I can get behind the idea of not pledging since the game isn’t yet what you want (I primarily want it for SP/co-op too). But since we have such a dearth of games to scratch this particular itch, I view it as an investment to support a developer attempting to make the kind of game I want, as you’ve mentioned you have done as well with strategy games.

          If, when all is said and done, the SP/co-op content doesn’t materialize or is plain bad, I’ll still have a game I can play with friends at a LAN, even if the server is empty of AI and internet players.

          • Vinraith says:

            And that last part, I suppose, is the difference. An MP-only game of this sort is utterly useless to me, and would never get a moment of play.

          • Flogger23m says:

            If they hit $700,000 there will be co-op and SP in release one.

            If it reaches less than $700,000 there will be basic co-op/offline. In this case, after the game sells and earns revenue the co-op/SP will be added into the game. From what I understand, proper, dedicated co-op missions with the advanced enemy/friendly AI will be released for free. Though this will probably be another 6-8 months after the PvP mode is released.

            Rest assured, they will make co-op/SP. Even if not in the initial release. If you ever want to see this game and play advanced SP/co-op modes you should pledge.

            Most KS projects just pitch artwork and ideas, in which case it will take 2-3 years to turn out a product. With Ground Branch it will take less than a year, and probably less than 2 years if they have to work on the SP/co-op after the initial release. This is still quicker than your typical KS project.

            I am in it for the SP first and proper co-op second, with PvP being a distant third. Though I realize that if this game does not even get its PvP mode funded that I will never see the SP/co-op campaign.

            I would reconsider your position, and if you still refuse to pledge then do help spread the word.

          • easyco says:

            You’re acting like it cost a lot of money to back this. They said $15 for an old school first person tactical shooter that revives a genre. This is the game we have all been waiting for since ghost recon and raven shield and you can’t support it?

        • Xerian says:

          Vague promises and the chances that it’ll be shit is how it works with EVERY FUCKING KICKSTARTER. They can use all your money on popcorn if they’d like. *All* of Kickstarters rely on “vague” promises, and “all” indie MP games dont tank. Valve is indie, and I still see alot of activity on Half-life 2 deathmatch, TF2 and Left for dead one n’ two. So please, shove it up yer bum. Now, me? I hope they succeed in any case, as this kind of game is much needed nowadays, especially to push the envelope a bit forward, what with the constant “WOW COD IS DOING IT AGAIN! THEY INVENTED DEDICATED SERVERS! WOW! LAN MODE! SHEEEEET!”.
          This game is honestly needed for the genre, so I can only hope that they succeed in making the game excellent. Oh, and have you tried Hawken?, yeah, I’d say thats pretty indie, and pretty MP, and pretty fucking great.

    • nasenbluten says:

      Yeah, I agree. I would love some modernized Rainbow 6 or even Delta Force style single-player or coop games. MP-only doesn’t work for me.

      • Jon C says:

        Hello, I’m the Producer of the title (and the guy in the video above).

        We will have bot hunting co-op at launch. It will not be as robust as our full co-operative campaign, because to have both at launch, would require millions of dollars. The idea is to get the MP portion into the hands of tactical shooter fans early, and to release the co-op campaign after launch, with the support of supplemented retail sales. After that, we are going to license Kynapse (an awesome adaptive AI solution), and hire more level designers to crank out an awesome campaign for you.

        And no offense, but, who is making those sorts of games for you, anymore? I ask because I’d be interested in checking them out. But the last time I looked, my options were “ArmA” and, well, “ArmA”.

        The idea behind KS is to back ideas that you believe in. It’s crowd-sourcing democratization; it’s a platform for change. If this is the type of game you want, but you want to play it co-op, then please, consider backing us. Co-op is a huge part of our design, but instead of lying to you, we chose to be honest and explain the situation.

        I hope that you’ll change your mind and become a backer. If you don’t support the handful of games in this genre, it won’t exist at all, in a few years.

        Cheers.

        • fugo says:

          i wondered when someone would namecheck arma! this is a very good point – for those of us who’s mind and lives were destroyed when operation flashpoint appeared, a bit of competition in this type of game would be a welcome addition. especially as this is already looking many times slicker than arma. it was worth pointing that out – i’m going to pledge for this, my first kickstarter payment ever. may you compete with arma III so i end up with two brilliant solider sims!

      • easyco says:

        Single play is coming! They are just starting with multiplayer. If the game looks good to you how are you not ale to support it for $15. Come on man, step up and donate something to keep the genre of tactical shooters alive and you will get you single player missions otherwise this thing will die and you wont get a thing!

    • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

      I have played a lot of co-op Raven Shield. I don’t know whether I’d be so drawn to a MP-only game, sure.

      • Flogger23m says:

        There will be co-op in the shipped game. But with basic AI.

        If they hit $700,000 we will get advanced AI and SP/co-op on release. If not, we will have to wait a few more months. After the PvP game sells and revenue is earned Ground Branch will be updated with the full SP/co-op campaign. I think a developer even said the advanced co-op will be added in for free.

        So if this game hits $425,000 we will see co-op. It just depends on how much they get up front which will determine how long we have to wait. If you want to play this game co-op, you should pledge. If they don’t get the funding you will never see the co-op mode.

      • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

        Oh yeah, I punted my money up there. Just sayin’ that I’d probably play a lot of co-op and not a lot of pvp.

        • Jon C says:

          Hello, I’m the Producer (and the guy in the video above).

          Don’t sell yourself (or our design abilities) short. Our MP game modes are all focused around teamwork. We are not wasting resources on TDM, and it is not something we care about, at all. Our game modes pit two human teams against each other, in objective-based (and randomized) maps. One team assaults a compound, base or town, while the other defends against the assault.

          Objectives, insertion zones, extraction zones and the like will all have randomization elements to them. So, for example, you could spawn in a different part of the map during the second round, and that bridge you used to cross a certain area is no out, forcing you to rethink your strategies.

          I hope this explains things a bit better, and convinces you that not all MP designs have to be Call of Duty.

          Cheers, and please help us in spreading the word.

    • zoog85 says:

      Since I’ve been following this game they have always been very passionate about doing an SP campaign, which will be based in Sumatra, Indonesia, and of course full coop support. In fact, when Ground Branch started as an idea in 2007, as far as I know it had all focus on SP / Coop. But that was the time when they were still looking for a publishers/investors

      So they decided to make the game in smaller pieces and add more portions/elements once the revenue starts flowing. So now they start with the part that has lowest development costs, which is MP with basic coop support. From there they want to move to full featured coop, squad AI and full SP campaign with revenue from the MP portion of the game and any other way they find to fund the development. Because Ground Branch has always been designed as a full SP, COOP, MP game. But this is just the reality you have to work with. They would never get enough funding for full SP game at this moment via Kickstarter because the goal amount would be much much higher.

      So if you are interested in (tactical) shooter games, if you believe in developers who try to stand up and go against the mainstream then I think you might want to consider to pledge (even just $15), even if the launch will be MP only. Just to support change and have a very good possibility to end up with a fantastic SP game later down the line. Just my $0,02 :)

      • Jon C says:

        This.

        Hello, I’m the Producer of Ground Branch. This is basically our story. We chased after publishers for a number of years, and they just had zero interest in bringing this type of game to market. We even approached Ubisoft with the idea of developing a “classic” Ghost Recon or Rainbow Six, that they could sell alongside their “future warrior” rebranded action series, and they told us to get bent.

        Publishers loved the buzzwords of “military” and “shooter”; they then told us they’d buy the rights to our IP, and turn it into a COD competitor, or they’d want us to go down the F2P route (in charging for virtual ammunition / respawns). They told us that nobody wants realism in their games, and that it’s all about action. They told us that gamers didn’t have the patience to play tactical games. Our options were to sacrifice our principals and sell out, or to “play ball” and completely give up on our vision. We didn’t find either of those choices to be agreeable, and so, we gave publishers a hearty middle finger, and went out into the scary world of Indie Development.

        Two industrial-sized palettes of shitty Ramen Noodles later, and we were able to build our pre-alpha that you see being demonstrated through our dev videos.

        At the end of the day, we are fans of this genre, desperately trying to revive it without the assistance of anyone. We have no VC investors, we have no publisher. In some ways, that’s great, because we don’t have to compromise on the design. In other ways, like not being able to pay your rent or mortgage, it’s not very fun.

        Anyway, if you’re a fan of this genre, and the games we’re influenced by (Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six, Infiltration, America’s Army, SWAT), then please check us out and consider backing us. All that I can promise you is that we’re going to attempt to make write all of the wrongs, and deliver a quality product that we can play together, for years to come.

        Cheers. :)

    • Maritz says:

      I made a similar comment in the Kickstarter Katchup a couple of weeks ago. Jon C, one of the game’s producers was kind enough to reply thusly:

      Hello, I’m the Producer of Ground Branch, and I thought I’d take the time to address your concern:

      I know why that could potentially put a bad taste in your mouth, but we need all of the support we can get, so I’m going to try to win you back…

      Our focus for the initial launch of the title, is to provide tactical shooter fans with a unique multiplayer experience, that focuses on objective-based, team matches. I can’t put any stronger of an emphasis on that “team” portion. The game mode will not support your typical “lone wolf” play style. You will need to work with other like-minded players in accomplishing the objectives to mee the winning conditions of the maps.

      We are in no way focusing on Team Deathmatch, or any of the typical “shoot dudes to level up” game modes. We maintain a healthy distaste for those game modes. Not all “multiplayer” designs are alike.

      The closest working example of what we are attempting to model would be Infiltration’s “Enhanced Assault” (EAS); wherein a team of defenders protects a series of objectives in the map from the assaulting team. It features randomization for certain approach paths and objectives.

      If you never played that game, let me explain it like this: this is basically Ghost Recon, only, your adversaries are evenly-matched humans that are expecting your assault, and have time to setup more realistic defenses (ambushes, flanking maneuvers and so forth).

      Also, we have an amazing AI solution planned, that will allow “patrol” scripting and AI squads. However, it is outside of our projected budget, and will require additional funding (either through KS, or through the retail sale of our game). Believe me, we know what you guys want (we want it too), but game development is extremely expensive; especially so when your target audience is limited.

      I hope that renews some of your faith in us. We can’t win everyone over, but our community is extremely small, and we need fans of the genre to pull together so that we can have more than a single game to play.

      Cheers.

      I still can’t decide though…

      • easyco says:

        It’s $15 cheap to buy a tactical first person shooter. I’ll make up your mind for you…. Contribute!

    • Jon C says:

      Hey man, I’m the Producer of the game (and the guy in the video above).

      First of all: we’re going to allow you and a team of friends to “hunt” bots, at launch. They won’t be the smartest AI, but they will be on scripted patrols. Worst case: you are stuck fighting bots that are basically what you’d find in most games.

      We’re not heavily advertising this feature, because our grand design supports an AI solution that is extremely awesome (called Kynapse). That’s our “eye” being on the proverbial “prize”. We need that AI solution for AI squads, and for enemies that employ military tactics and formations. They adapt to things like shots being fired, and will take different overwatch positions and formations in response. It’s quite possibly one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

      We want it in our game. We can make that game. We just need the money.

      I hate to break it to you, but, you will never see that game (a Single-Player, AI-driven, Tactical Shooter experience, with all of those features) for less than $2 million.

      We want that game too. We’re making it, as best as we can, without funding, one step at a time. We’re a team of developers that would likely fit in your bedroom, working on this project as a secondary, non-paying job, when we come home from our day jobs. Some of us have kids, and all of us have staggering bills, just like every other working-class stiff. Getting the funding we need from KS allows us to continue work on it, full-time, and gives us money to bring on more team members to finish the game.

      The decision to launch the MP portion first – a portion, which I might add is nothing like TDM or “run-and-gun” game modes you’d find in other shooters, and is teamwork-heavy and objective-based – was simply a matter of costs. We can make a great MP game with this budget. This gives us time recoup from the sales of that product, it puts the game in the hands of eager players, and it gives everyone something to play while we pound out the campaign missions.

      I want to address this issue, to the best of my abilities. Some things I am not allowed to discuss, because, well, that’s how the professional “NDA” world works. That said, it seems to me like you may not fully appreciate one very important fact, when it comes to developing a modern video game:

      Games cost money to make. Lots and lots of money. Way more money than we’re asking for, and probably more money than you’d assume.

      The AI solution we plan to license is about as affordable as we can find (probably a year’s salary for most decent jobs), for what we need to be able to deliver an awesome solution; and it is an awesome solution — it provides us with adaptive AI that can react to situations, dynamically. Ironically enough, the behaviors are very human-like (they will even find map exploits if they can figure out a way to).

      But the most-expensive thing? Content. Specifically, original 3D assets for maps, and the maps themselves (fully polished and game-ready). Gamers take a lot to be impressed these days, and with this kind of game, you want detailed environments, especially CQB areas. That means, every building, every play space, every bit of 3D detail, has to be built from scratch, by a professional.

      We could go the ArmA route and use copy-and-paste assets that are extremely bland, but instead, we’re opting to develop original maps that all feel unique. We’d rather have 10 unique spaces, all triggering the sense within you that you are in a different region or location, than 50 copy-and-paste areas with the exact same buildings and so forth.

      Sorry. It’s going to take longer, and it’s going to cost more, but we’d rather not compromise on quality.

      Content aside, we’d still need to hire professionals with experience in AI programming, so that we could tweak everything to our liking, and make the game that we ultimately hope to make. The industry baseline rate for guys like that are about $120k/yr (some of them cost a lot more). We could probably find someone with less experience, that is still skilled enough, and who might be willing to “cut us some fucking slack”, as it were — but the point remains: it isn’t cheap.

      Games cost money. That’s all I can tell you. Well, that, and the fact that Publishers have no intention of ever revisiting this genre, or going back to this state of ethics (no DLC segmentation, no Free-To-Play gimmicks) ever again. We talked to all of them, and they weren’t interested without turning the game into a Free-To-Play, microtransaction nightmare. That’s why we’re here.

      You say you want this game? You want PC gaming restored back to the “glory years” of the late 1990′s and early 2000′s? Well, you’re going to have to fight for it, unfortunately. I wish that weren’t the case, but it’s the truth. For $15, we’re offering you what we can deliver in terms of the MP game, with the promise of tons of free content, post-launch.

      I hope I’ve explained things a bit for you, and that you’ll consider changing your position.

      • ghosted says:

        I’m really liking the open responses and honesty here. It’s frustrating as hell to pour everything into a project and then read whiny comments thrown out on a whim that declare your thinking to be ill-conceived.

        Our office regularly breaks out the classic Rainbows for some hardcore Terrorist Hunt and I’m loving the sound of your intended direction. Fingers crossed you can push the concept all the way.

    • easyco says:

      You can’t chip in $15 because single player is being added latter? This is the tactical game we all want and have been waiting for. The developer is putting out a multiplayer and coop mode first and coming back with missions after that. Why not invest $15 if the game looks good to you? The single player / coop missions have been promised already.

    • colincjn says:

      For 15 Bucks Ill Play a MP coop based game no problem and then have more added at a later date for the same price, and have mods for it aswell, and have my choice to host a server too.

      Jees you would have to be mad to pass this up.

      And I read the Developer is an EXE Red Storm designer that cliches it for me.

  2. SteamTrout says:

    The idea looks interesting. I am yet to see the game behind all this though. I mean showing video of a guy walking around and leaning around the corners get the idea of what they are doing across yet fails to show how it may play in the end. I mean if it’s as clunky as ARMA in CQC it’s a definite pass.

    • Njordsk says:

      I’m not investing in those project. I mean it looks great on the paper and all, but we’re still at least 2 years from seeing anything playable and in great shape.

      Not even sure to be interested in that kind of gameplay in 2 years.

      • Specrecce says:

        Alpha/Beta will start in January, game will be available in August 2013.

        • Njordsk says:

          2013 I guess. Well…let’s see how the future shapes then, but I’m skeptical about the change that can be made to this video in a year of time.

          • zoog85 says:

            Check the “how will the money be used section”. With the Kickstarter funds they finally can get a good team together, including but not limited to: “the 3 person team at Digital Confectioners. DC is headed by veteran programmer James Tan. James has many years of experience with Unreal Engine 3 on both the C++ engine side as well as extensive knowledge of getting the most out of Unrealscript. He has also been tapped by EPIC Games,Inc. to write official documentation on Unreal Engine 3, for their Unreal Developer Network. These are some of the most knowledgeable and gifted Unreal developers out there. We are confident in their skills and believe the game can be finished in an extremely reasonable amount of time with their help.”

            Will it be hard work? Yes. Let’s just give them the benefit of the doubt for $15 (or more). From the time that I’ve been on their forums I know that John (the founder of BFS) would never promise anything while knowing he could not deliver. Might there be delays? Sure, who knows, development is always unpredictable. But the august 2013 date is not just some random picked date just to get people on board, I can guarantee you that.

          • easyco says:

            You can’t support why? I’m confused. Do you like the idea of old school tactical first person shooters that focus on thought and CQB? Then this is your game. Step up now or in a year you won’t get anything.

        • Highstorm says:

          Wait, what? I didn’t see time travel promised anywhere!

    • Specrecce says:

      Arma is indeed clunky, especially in a building. Arma was never designed tot represent CQC but was designed for large scale operations. (which why makes it a great game IMHO)

      The Unreal III engine has a very good collision detection, perfectly tailored for CQC. PLease have a look at all the videos, and you ‘ll notice what I am trying to say.

    • Flogger23m says:

      They are not showing off gameplay as it will look rather bad due to incomplete animations and from what I understand some unfinished net code that causes some lag.

      It is a pre-alpha. But they do have the ground work done. Nevertheless they have more done than any of the other Kickstarter games I have seen.

    • Jon C says:

      Hey man, I’m the Producer on the title (the guy in the video).

      First of all, this is just our pre-alpha built. It’s extremely basic, and is by no means feature-complete . We just wanted to show off some of what we had to potential fans of the genre.

      CQB is a huge focus for us, and no, we are not going to be “as clunky as ArmA”. If that game didn’t have the issues that it has, we wouldn’t even bother making our own product, we’d just do contract work for that studio. We’re already modeling an accurate weapon posture (which saves you a ton of screen real estate), and we’re not relying on some clunky mouse menu for weapon / gear transitions. On top of that, we allow players to cancel out of an animation, at any time. How many times have you died in other shooters, because you were stuck in a reload cycle, and you screamed at the monitor “just stop and grab your pistol, for fucks sake!”? Well, now, you can. :)

      We’re making this game, because nobody else will.

      Tight controls and immersion are huge factors for us. All of the posturing and animations are true-to-life and motion captured from an Operator. We’re modeling spacial awareness features like weapon collision with the geometry, spinal limitations and body inertia. We want things to behave as realistically as they possibly can, on a 2D monitor. On top of that, gameplay-wise, we’re modeling accurate material penetration, so that projectiles will have a realistic flight path, penetrate certain objects, tumble and ricochet. That level of randomization is extremely interesting and fun to play with, if you’ve never played a game that even supported it to some extent (most people haven’t, unfortunately).

      Our end goal is to model the violence in deploying these weapons. We want it to sound and feel like a gun, rather than a mouse-click. We want players to feel immersed, and to learn to respect lethality; use their heads, rather than their cat-like, jump-and-shoot reflexes.

      I hope that explains some of what we’re going for.

    • easyco says:

      This is an alpha build. It is too early to judge clunky ness. This game focuses on CQB and comes from the original creators of ghost recon and rainbow six. You really think it will be as clunky as arma? Not a chance and $15 gets you the entire game… Deal!

    • easyco says:

      You can’t chip in $15 because single player is being added latter? This is the tactical game we all want and have been waiting for. The developer is putting out a multiplayer and coop mode first and coming back with missions after that. Why not invest $15 if the game looks good to you? The single player / coop missions have been promised already.

  3. Njordsk says:

    but .. but… HE JUST BROKE HIS NECK.

    We NEED the fluid movement of Raven Shield, it was one of the best feature ever, and I wonder why no game used that since then.

    Hold “fluid movement” key and move your mouse up/side and it will slightly peak or raise your head over an obstacle.

    • Specrecce says:

      PLease check the other videos, in which the character moves around. That’s is fluid movement. Check the way he changes from his main weapon to his sidearm.

    • Jon C says:

      Hey man, I’m the Producer on the title (the guy in the VO videos).

      We are modeling the spine, inertia, and are going to have an analog / dynamic posturing system, that will allow you to have precise control over your body posture, whenever you desire.

      Interested now? :)

      • Njordsk says:

        Thanks for dropping by. And yeah, this definitively looks interesting.

  4. Shortwave says:

    Well RPS, you win. I’m going to help fund this project as soon as I’m not a broke POS. (First time and hopefully I can in time..)
    This video is everything I think all Kickstarter videos should be. I mean, I’m sure theres others but
    I find many just come off as a plee for cash without anything to show, and it irks me. These guys are actually convincing me that they deserve some funding and I didn’t even hear the word “money” in the entire video. This is really impressive and extremely well thought out. I’m very impressed and it actually feels like something innovative. I highly approve and eagerly await to see what that guys come up with! Very awesome. : ) Best of luck Ground Branch.

    This was a kickstarter worthy of it’s own article..

    • Jon C says:

      Hello, I’m the Producer (and the guy in the video above). Thanks for the kind words — you are the type of person we are developing the game for. I’m glad that you appreciate the small details.

      Cheers, and please spread the word. :)

  5. Ironclad says:

    [REDACTED] eh? I’ve missed those guys. They had some killer games.

    • Greggh says:

      I think they were actually just killers, not developers of killer games.

  6. Fumarole says:

    Good on ya for posting about this Adam, this Kickstarter could use some more love from the community.

    • Jon C says:

      Thanks for your support, it means a lot to us.

      I’m the Producer on the title (dude in the VO), and we are eternally grateful for the coverage. Please continue to spread the word, guys! :)

  7. airtekh says:

    Ooo, do want.

    Funded.

    • Jon C says:

      Thank you! It makes a lot to us. I’m the Producer (dude in the VO videos), and I just wanted to take the time to thank you personally. I hope you enjoy the game when we’re done.

      Please help spread the word. :)

  8. skooma says:

    As a fan of Op Flash/Arma for 10 years. I’ve been waiting for something like this for a long time.

    It probably won’t go anywhere itself, but hopefully a bigger studio like BIS or even a modder takes its ideas to heart.

    • Jon C says:

      Mr. Pantzer, is that you? An old friend of mine used to use that name, which is why I ask.

      Anyway, hello, I’m the Producer on the title. This is the kind of game I’ve wanted for a long time as well, and I can assure: nobody else is doing things the way we do them. We went to other publishers (for years) with the pitch, we even brought up the idea of partnering with other studios; none of them were into the idea, and were convinced that the status quo was “good enough”.

      You’d be surprised by the large amount of fellow developers out there that won’t even try to do something new, because they’re convinced it’s “impossible”. It’s kind of disheartening, really. :(

      Either way, I hope you’ll read up on our design and perhaps have a change of heart and become a backer. It’s exactly that attitude that’s killing us right now, and if every person that said “Man, this is exactly what I want…but…” became a backer, we’d be funded in a matter of days.

      Cheers.

  9. Binman88 says:

    I really want to see this funded. It’s the kind of multiplayer game I’ve been waiting for since Raven Shield.

    • Jon C says:

      Exactly! Nobody is going to make these types of games again. We pitched Ubisoft the idea of working on parallel “classic” versions of those old games, to sell alongside their new “future warrior” action titles, and they basically told us to get bent.

      Thank you for your support, it means a lot to us on the team! Please continue to spread the word. :)

  10. Specrecce says:

    Thanks for writing this article, great read!

    As for the MP only part, Coop will be included, but needs further funding. This is not just a plan for in the far future, but very well in reach.

    John and his team have been working on this gem for years already, unlike other kickstarted projects, which showed no actual gameplay, and copied photos from the internet, photoshopped it and pasted.

    John and his team will deliver. I pledged $125 just because I can. Not everybody will do that, but maybe you can spare $15.
    I trust these guys. No empty promises, instead they show persistance and dedication.

    nunc aut nunquam!

    • Jon C says:

      Cheers, mate. Thanks for stepping up to the plate and nailing it out of the park. It means a lot to us.

      I’m the Producer (the dude in the VO above), and I can’t tell you enough how passionate we are to see this through. We’re obsessed with the details, and are determined to make the best tactical shooter combat experience anyone has ever created.

      Spread the word! :)

  11. Dakia says:

    I jumped on this in about two seconds flat.

    This appears to be everything that I have been wanting, but found lacking in the modern shooters that make you out to be superman.

    Even if it isn’t a true return to R6, it is a far cry closer than the yearly iterations.

    • Jon C says:

      Thank you, sir. I am the Producer of the game (the guy in the VO videos). The development team sends you a hearty, bellowing, cheer!

      Please continue to back up by spreading the word to your friends, gaming groups and communities! :)

  12. Premium User Badge Jackablade says:

    The Hardcore Tactical Shooter Kickstarter was guys from Red Storm doing a modern incarnation of Clancy’s Ghost Recon too wasn’t it?

    • zoog85 says:

      Nope. Serellan didn’t work on the original Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon titles. He worked on titles like Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter and Halo. Serellan’s Takedown (the official working title for the “Hardcore Tactical Shooter”) are aiming for CQB only gameplay. So think about Rainbow Six and SWAT 4 type of game.

      John Sondecker from Ground Branch worked on Rainbow Six, Rogue Spear, original Ghost Recon etc. etc. Ground Branch will be a mixture of original Ghost Recon and the CQB from Rainbow Six. So outdoor maps combined with good CQB possibilities and multiple approaches and probably anything in between.

      • Flogger23m says:

        To be fair, he worked on an expansion for GR1 before he was pushed into console development where he worked on GR 2/3 before going to GRAW. Though Takedown will be a CQC only experience as I understand. Think SWAT 4.

        Ground Branch will be mixing indoors and out doors. This gives more mission types as well as usefulness for more weapon types (explosives, sniper rifles, belt fed MGs, rockets, grenades ect.).

        • zoog85 says:

          Oh, I thought he only modded oGR. My bad.

          • WhiteKnight77 says:

            Serellan made mods for Rainbow Six and Rogue Spear. He was hired by RSE after GR was released along with the mission packs for GR.

  13. Flogger23m says:

    I also have to comment on the writer here. He did a good job and actually sounds like he read the Kickstarter page. Most game articles tend to gloss over the details and get everything wrong or miss the point. And he actually sounds like a gamer.

    Nice article!

    • Jon C says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Thanks, Adam!

      Not Adam Smith from CT, right? Man, I feel like I probably know half of the people on the internet, sometimes…

  14. wodin says:

    This has been around awhile and I hope they meet the funding as I have faith in these more so than the hardcore Tactical Shooter team (what happaned to that anyway, did they get the funding they said they had lined up?)

    • Jon C says:

      Hello, I’m the Producer on Ground Branch (and the guy in the video above).

      We will only be able to pull it off with proper backing. If everyone “hoped”, we’d still be where we are today.

      Please, consider backing our project if you agree with our design and our principals. Help us restore PC gaming to its glory years; a time before free-to-play microtransactions and community-dividing DLC was king; back in the era of supporting a product for multiple years, and embracing mod communities.

      Publishers are never going back to that. If you want these games back, you’re going to have to fight for it.

      I hope that we can convince you! Cheers. :)

  15. Premium User Badge Wisq says:

    Wow! Five days ago, I posted to RPS lamenting the handling of pistols in most games. And today, I get a game that actually does them right.

    I feel like I should post my other wishlist games here and see if kickstarters show up for them, too. So, here goes:

    * I want a sequel to SWAT 4 (bonus: using the engine from Ground Branch)

    * I want a game that properly simulates captaining (bonus: temporarily crewing at various stations) a capital ship in space, with a proper sense of scale, with newtonian/relativistic gravity-curved course plotting on a space-map, and with crew that do their jobs so you can focus on strategy — basically, a submarine simulator in space

    * I want a modern combat flight sim (bonus: plus ground combat sim) that has a dynamic campaign a la Falcon 4.0

    There … fingers crossed! ;)

    • Flogger23m says:

      Wisq,

      Ground Branch is for you. Pledge!

      For flight sims look into the DCS series. They are working on a new plane which I think is an F-16. 3rd party addon makers are also making things like F-15s and F/A-18Es and much more. Though DCS does not have a dynamic campaign yet if I am not mistaken.

      DCS also has Combined Arms coming out, which lets you operate as a JTAC and command individual units in an RTS like experience.

      • Premium User Badge Wisq says:

        The dynamic campaign thing is the one thing that has held me back from playing any flight sim other than Falcon and its mod-derivatives.

        I’m aware of the DCS titles, and I’ve done my share of drooling over the graphics and fidelity, but so much effort goes in to learning a new airframe and new avionics, and I fear I’ll never be satisfied spending all that learning on a few canned missions rather than a full campaign a la F4.

        TBH, what I’d like to see even more than a new game with a dynamic campaign, is for someone to release a (free-to-use, preferably open source) dynamic campaign engine that any future flight sim guys can incorporate into their own sims. Solve the problem once, forever, for everyone, etc.

        But yes, I should pledge. I’ve been avoiding kickstarter for so long because I’m worried it’ll suck all my money away — I already spend way too much on games that I never end up actually playing, and spending on speculative games feels even more dangerous. This may be the exception, especially coming from the R6 devs.

        • Jon C says:

          Hey man, I’m the Producer on Ground Branch (and the dude doing the VO in these videos).

          We would love it if you could find the money to back us. You have no idea how many people support us morally, but then, don’t follow through. And every bit counts. If every one of those people, provided they had the means, contributed to the goal, we’d be funded in no time.

          This game isn’t going to happen without community funding. We chased after the tails of publishers for over two years, and not a single one of them understood the point of developing anything but free-to-play microtransaction games, or Call of Duty knock-offs. It’s all about buzzwords and bullshit, with publishers, unfortunately.

          I hope that you’ll consider backing us, and continue to spread the word to your communities (including the flight sim community). Cheers. :)

        • Flogger23m says:

          DCS does have a powerful mission editor and it can also randomly generate decent missions (which you can then open in the editor and tweak as you like). I do think you will see an F-16 sometime in the future. But, learning a new plane is part of the fun. :) Getting back to Ground Branch…

          If you really like and appreciate realistic games and can appreciate the small details, Ground Branch is well worth the investment. $15 gets you the game. Even a lot of modern games are not worth $15, IMO.

          And with mod support (one of the things that made Falcon 4 great), no community splitting DLC and micro-transaction nonsense in our single player games (Bioware/EA, that is you) I think these developers are worth backing.

          If you do not pledge, do let your gaming friends know about the project.

    • TychoCelchuuu says:

      Your space sim dreams may also come true.

      • Premium User Badge Wisq says:

        That does look excellent, yes! But ouch, only a quarter of their Kickstarter goal. :(

        Hopefully they can still push forward with it and release, or maybe re-Kickstart later with more to show.

    • Premium User Badge Jackablade says:

      I wasn’t quite sure what he was getting at with the pistol thing. The animation didn’t immediately strike me as being any different to any other FPS game.

      • Premium User Badge Wisq says:

        I was reading the article on my iPad, and the YouTube video didn’t come up (oddly), so I went to their site and watched the extended video instead. They explained the pistol vs. rifle thing more in-depth there.

        Basically, they’re simulating the fact that rifles are a pain to use in cramped situations like indoors. There’s a tendency to have to lower your rifle if you get too close to a wall or corner, which puts you out of position to shoot properly and is distracting. Pistols are the answer in those situations, since you have a lot more flexibility in how you hold them.

      • zoog85 says:

        They explained it very well somewhere, but I can’t find it any more. Here is some other quote though, not from dev, but gives you a general idea: “The sidearm transition is unique as I have never seen a game get it right as seen in Ground Branch. In games like BF switching weapons is near instant with no transition animations (you simply lower/raise the weapon from your stomach). Here, it is all animated. Pushing animation standards ahead of what the big studios at DICE ect. can bring you while adding more immersion and realism. Due to the longer weapon switch times, you will have to be more conscious of when you switch weapons and whatnot. “

  16. TrueBlueGamer says:

    Man this is what I’m constantly blabbering about, CoD esque gameplay, the guy said everything in a very concise way on the first 2 minutes of the video, gun always to the left, most often than not very close to the screen like your character is trying to eat it for some reason, always using cross hairs which are rather useless in todays games since you can pretty much spray and pray and still hit the target even if the cross hair is as stretched as it can be, magical ammo pool, sometimes a weird character movement, where you are strangely faster even when carrying all that military equipment, stuff like that, very well explained on the first few minutes of video.

    That’s why I like games like Red Orchestra 2, yeah they aren’t perfect, mostly due to a lot of bugs and what not, but they try new things, that ammo system where not nearly used magazines come back after all your full magazines are wasted, it was on Red Orchestra 2, forcing you to play in a different/tactical way than every other run of the mill shooter.

    • Flogger23m says:

      The issue with RO2 is they decided to mainstream the game. Only months after release did the fix up the mechanics. Though they split the community up 3 ways with the different game modes. The game is dying faster because of this. Which is a shame.

      Which is why I like Ground Branch. They know their target audience and are making the game for that audience. No compromises, no mainstreaming of the game to appeal to the masses.

      • TrueBlueGamer says:

        It is a shame, but then again they (Tripwire) only tried to counterbalance the big learning curve some players were having, unfortunately that back fired by leaving the core crowd a bit left out, still it’s too soon to grant defeat, some of the big name mods are almost complete and if Tripwire continues to support the game like it did with Killing Floor then they will succeed for sure, I have high hopes for them. =)

        • Flogger23m says:

          Personally I think RO2 is close to done. RO1 8-9 months after release had more players than RO2 does now. And that had almost zero marketing and it was their first title. By any measure RO2 should have far more players.

          Which is why I am supporting Ground Branch. They are staying firm to their ideals. Too many games have been streamlined for the masses in many game genres.

          • TrueBlueGamer says:

            But you have to consider one thing though, the time when the first RO came out, on 2006 there wasn’t a demand for “military shooters” like there is today, and many gamers would try something like that and still find it enjoyable, now days it’s another story, there is a reason why the market is saturated with CoD clones, because they sell, because the majority of gamers are too spoiled to play something that has a learning curve, they want to play something where they can rank some kills fast without even realizing.

            So to me that’s an unfair statement even when the game at launch wasn’t mainstreamed but still was loosing a community, blaming the bugs is nonsensical since I know for a fact that many “RO vets” complained to no end that the game wasn’t fun because “it wasn’t like the original”, even though it was for the most part, the exact same thing.

          • Flogger23m says:

            Fair point, though they split the community. The other thing is BF3 actually turned out to be more realistic (though still hardly realistic) than many thought. With BF3, CoD MW3 and other games RO2 directly threw itself into the competition with those games.

            I honestly think they would have been better off if they kept one game mode and focused on the hardcore community. RO1, for being a first title from an obscure company with no marketing managed to maintain decent long term sales totaling over 400,000 through its life. And the community lasted very long.

            Two years after release, I doubt RO2 will have more than 200 people playing daily.

          • TrueBlueGamer says:

            I might be taking this the wrong way but to me it’s like you purposely want RO2 to fail, which is very sad given the minority of realist shooters out there, hell I can probably count them all with the fingers of one hand, don’t take me the wrong way though, I definitely want this game to succeed if anything it will give even more options to realist fps fans like you and me, and I think that’s what matters most at the end of th day. =)

  17. Shooop says:

    I’ll wait for an actual demonstration of a real game before considering donating to anything that right now only appears to be an realistic animation demo.

    There’s so much talk of high concepts but no talk of any actual game. I doubt they even have a good idea what they want to accomplish from watching this video.

    EDIT:

    I seem to have come off as a bit too jaded here. What I’m saying is I need to see something about the AI and human element before I can say yes or no. The wound system is especially brilliant. But is the game it’s packaged into fun? Make me a believer BlackFoot. I want to be one but I’ve been let down too many times before.

    • Flogger23m says:

      There is plenty of talk about the game. No kill streaks, no unlocks, no artificial balancing (balance through realism), randomized maps and objective locations, full customization (that affects gameplay) and loadout editing of your characters, fully functional weapon hardpoints, realistic movement, transition, and equipping speeds, and they are looking to animate everything as much as possible, from kicking doors open to switching to sidearms.

      Of course the game does not look complete. There is a reason they are trying to get funds: to finish the game. You can’t expect them to show you a complete, polished game. If they were to show more unpolished areas of the game everyone would complain that it “looks poor”. They have a very clear idea of what the game will be. If you read their Kickstarter page you should get a good idea of what they plan to do.

      There is more information about how the game will play and more content showing off features than the vast majority of other game kickstarter projects:

      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/670743543/ground-branch

      I suggest reading it through and you should get a very good grasp of what they plan to do. Some other important things to mention:

      - Mod support.

      - Free updates post release with new content (possibly including advanced AI + co-op if they don’t hit $700K initially).

      Remember to spread the word as well.

      • Shooop says:

        Yours and others’ responses have put this project from an afterthought to “Write this down and keep watching it”.

        I’ve become so damn jaded from all the letdowns of FPS games over the past 3-4 years it’s hard to get any kind of enthusiasm from me anymore for them. Watching some of the other videos and reading the info on their Kickstarter page has cut right through that fog and got my attention. An actual wound system instead of Alive/Dead binary thing? YES. The mod support is just extra gravy at this point.

        The only thing that has me still sitting on the fence is my concern over how the AI or human element works when added to the game. In the videos we see pop-up targets, but I really don’t think that’s the only thing players are going to be shooting at right? The most important thing in a FPS is how the actual shooting plays out – and since we’re going at it with AI or human players I’ve got to know how that works before I can start throwing money at something.

        Rest assured, if this turns out half as good as it looks on HTML text, I’ll be screaming “Shut up and take my money” at my monitor while trying to shove a Jackson through it.

        • Flogger23m says:

          Glad to see you kept an open mind on the project. I too feel a bit uneasy about buying any FPS game (especially after what happened to RO2).

          Sadly, at under $700,000, the AI, from what I understand, will be bot like. Still able to give up a decent fight and can provide some fun in co-op though they will lack more advanced functions. When I say “advanced”, I am thinking of groups retreating, one unit providing cover fire while others flank and move forward, to dynamic patrol paths. Still, I am sure bot like AI can give a decent amount of fun in co-op as you will still need high coordination to survive.

          After release (or if they hit $700,000) the enemy AI should be more advanced than your typical shooter game due to the tactical nature of the game and the detail the developers want to put into them. Friendly AI will be able to take commands, like in SWAT or Raven Shield. I know that is not exactly the best thing to hear (what will eventually happen, what they hope for) though if anyone can pull it off I think these guys can.

          They seem to have an obsession with detail and getting everything done right with high quality.

          If you can afford to, make a pledge. I for one am looking forward to the SP campaign the most but I realize if they don’t get the funds I’ll never see it. And to be honest, I feel the $15 is worth the risk over many of the shooters sold today…

          Lots of ground work done, lots of firm decisions, lots left to still do. In the end, there is still going to be risk for you and I.

          But if you are still unconvinced to pledge, do at least spread the work. Publicly and a fan helps.

    • zoog85 says:

      Did you also read the whole Kickstarter project page with the game description and watched their other videos? :-)

      EDIT: ninja’d by flogger

    • WhiteKnight77 says:

      I can’t say anything and you will have to trust me on this, but it is worthwhile to invest in GB with a pledge. What is seen in the video is only the tip of the iceberg and as someone who has been following this game for a while, I can tell you that fans of Tac-Sims like Gr and the Daddy of them all, Rainbow Six, will like what is promised.

      Like many here, I love Coop. I am not a fan of TvT and PvP type deathmatch game modes, but I do enjoy those that are against human opponents with an objective like Siege or Assassination. You have to work as a team to complete a goal cooperatively. That is why I have pledged my support for GB at a rather large sum (if I had enough to do “The Notch” I would have in a heart beat), but it was enough to show the team I am serious about wanting this game to be completed, even if I only got TvT game modes to begin with.

    • Jon C says:

      Hey man, I’m the Producer (the voice in the VO you see).

      We understand your position. However, I would ask you this: how long are you willing to wait, then? Are you willing to keep waiting for Ubisoft to revisit the genre? It’s not going to happen. Do you think Codemasters is going to nail it with the next OFP game? Well, they closed that studio. How about Uncle Sam? New AA would be cool. Alas, it will never happen.

      There’s only so much “waiting” one can do. We could “wait” to launch our KS until we eventually have a finished game to impress you, but what’s the point in that, then?

      Games cost money. I feel like we’ve shown more than enough to excite any prospective fans of the genre. We’ve shown that, at the very least, we have a tangible product that is in the very early stages of development, and that we’re dedicated to “doing it right”, for once.

      I don’t have the money to do this for everyone (or else we’d be funded), but I grow tired of this “I’ll wait” attitude, and want to do something to show that I’m confident in our abilities. How about this: back our project, for $15-$60 (whatever you are comfortable in spending), if this is indeed the type of game you desire. If it’s not what you hoped it would be when it comes out, I’ll pay you back, personally. Give me your email address, and I will refund you with my own money.

      Either way, I hope you’ll consider backing us. We’re making this game for the fans (including ourselves), not to get rich. If we were chasing dollar signs, we’d just go and make some generic, shit game for the big publishers.

      Cheers.

      • Shooop says:

        I’m not trying to down the project, I’m just skeptical of FPS games in general lately. I need a bit more to go on than just “Hey we’re different! Check us out instead of those other guys!”

        Watching the videos on the actual Kickstarter page gives me a few more details, but I’m still wondering how does it play when you replace the pop-up targets with NPCs or human players? That’s ultimately what’s going to make or break your game.

        You’re definitely taking the right direction with mod friendliness and the wounding system especially looks interesting. In theory, your system is more advanced than ARMA’s! I just need to know what I can expect from a less controlled situation like one a player would actually experience before I can say, “Yes! This is what I want.”

        The only thing that’s holding me back is the question of “How does the game work when you put in the human and/or AI element?” Because ultimately, that’s what determines how the game itself works. If I see that working half as good as the things you’ve written about the project so far I will be screaming “Take my money!” while trying to shove bills through my monitor.

        • zoog85 says:

          “How does the game work when you put in the human and/or AI element?” We will just need to find out. At least the developers want this type of game and want it to work, so they will do their best. If this Kickstarter fails we probably never see the game any way. Skeptical people can choose the $15 tier, not a huge investment (depending on your financial situation) and you might get the game you’ve been waiting for for the past decade. Sometimes we need to take a chance and see how it works out. Every pledge matters.

  18. Premium User Badge Chaz says:

    Something like the Infiltration mod, http://infiltration.sentrystudios.net/, for the original UT engine would be just the ticket. Possibly the best CQB FPS game I’ve ever played.

    It was pretty hardcore but that was what was so great about it. No cross hair, had to use your iron sights, and the weapons had a bit of “float” before they actually moved the screen even in iron sights, so you couldn’t use the center point of the screen to still shoot acurately from the hip. Large assortment of weapons that had real tangible differences to the spread and rate of fire etc, that were customisable with silencers and scopes but only to the limits of what was available in the real world. You loaded out before joining a game and could save multiple loadouts, and your loadout weight affected your speed and stamina. Sprinting was reserved for getting in and out of cover, not circle straffing.

    It was a fantastic mod and it’s a damn shame it never carried on to other engines. I’ve never played a shooter since that’s come close to being as good as Infiltration felt to play. It was a proper tacticle FPS. So something like that please Ground Branch peoples.

    • zoog85 says:

      INF Beppo, one of the main coders of Infiltration, actually worked on Ground Branch. And I believe he will be working on it again if the KS succeeds :)

      • Premium User Badge Chaz says:

        Yeah just had a look at the page and put down some money. They do say INF is a good comparison for the type of thing they’re trying to do, which would be right up my street.

        I’d love this to get funded, I really would, however I just don’t see it reaching the money goal in time. $350,000 is a heck of a lot of cash to generate in 17 days. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed though.

        • WhiteKnight77 says:

          Beppo, of INF fame is back helping out with GB now. If you like what he did with INF, you will like what he is doing for GB.

          • Premium User Badge Chaz says:

            I’ve just been watching some of the old INF video’s on Youtube, some of the features it boasted would put most modern, so called “tactical” shooters to shame. Pretty impresive stuff for a UT mod that’s now about 15 years old. Whilst the graphics are obviously showing their age, it still looks the muts nuts in terms of what it delivers as a shooter.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=iv&annotation_id=annotation_444234&v=o52V6JsjrJc&src_vid=JDpMGgUTPCM

            Well worth watching for all those unaquainted with the INF mod for UT and I presume that it should give you some idea of the sort flavour this Ground Branch is going for.

            If I was a millionaire I’d give those guys all the money right now. However I’m not, so they’ll have to make do with $30.

    • Dervish says:

      Infiltration still has the most realistic weapon handling I’ve seen in any FPS. Weapon collision, free aim that doesn’t instantly snap to the center of your screen, bullet trajectory based on sight alignment, weapon bob, and probably other details I’m forgetting. There was even a mutator that allowed you to support your weapon on parts of the environment, Red Orchestra-style. The gunfire sounds are great too (check out 5:00 in the video posted above).

      There’s a great writeup here about Infiltration’s best features: http://dslyecxi.com/botg_infiltration.html

      There’s always room for improvement, though, and I’m really hoping Ground Branch surpasses it in every way. So I gave them money.

      • Jon C says:

        Hello, I’m the Producer on GB. Thanks for your support, man.

        INF was indeed, far, far, far ahead of its time. Such a fantastic, hidden gem (and probably, one of my all-time favorite games). I especially loved EAS, which is the basis for our MP game modes. Some of those maps were simply fantastic, and offered such an uncompromising level of immersion and realism.

        It’s amazing what a little material penetration and ballistics modeling will do for a game, right? :)

        Any of those developers are welcome to come work on GB with us (and some of them already have). I have nothing but respect for that game, and it brings tears to my eyes, every time someone else mentions it.

        Believe me when I tell you (and I realize that this probably only matters to, like, six people on the internet): Ground Branch will be just as customizable and fun to play as INF was; we are taking everything that made that game so great, and applying it to our design (hence, we’ve done away with the concept of having “classes” and weapon restrictions). Imagine if you took the Peanut Butter of INF and combined it with the Jelly of the old Clancy games that RSE developed. That is a very simple explanation, but true, nonetheless. :)

    • Jon C says:

      Hey, I’m the Producer of Ground Branch (and the dude doing the VO in the videos).

      INF was a huge influence on our design. I can’t emphasize that enough, really; there were so many amazing features in that product that, for some insane reason, never came to market (other than what RO2 and ArmA II “borrowed”). Unfortunately, not a ton of people remember it. But yes, Beppo was the first person I recruited, and his influence will be felt in the game’s design. He’s a really smart guy (one of the best programmers I’ve ever known), that unfortunately, never really got the credit he deserved (especially with the “Make Something Unreal” debacle).

      When we’re funded, we’ll be able to pay him to work on the game full-time, which will get the game in our collective hands a lot sooner.

      $30 is more than $15, which is more than $0 because “you’ll wait to see how things turn out”. Thanks for backing us, and continue to spread the word! Cheers! :)

      • DrunkenScoper says:

        I pledged $30. I’m so glad this project is still around.

        I first heard about Ground Branch through the Infiltration community a few years back, when I development of INF slowed down and I wanted to see what else some of the folks from Sentry Studios were involved in. I played Infiltration back when it was just a mutator that added the M16 and the M9 to the game, and the M9 was the only weapon with iron sights. I still have the Infiltration T-shirt I got when I bought the physical copy of 2.9 they were offering for a little while. The grenade launchers in Infiltration are still the best I’ve ever seen, and I’m still sad I never got to play with the G11!

        I’m a huge fan of the original Rainbow Six games. Rogue Spear was the first tactical shooter I ever beat in one go, because I couldn’t step away until I’d finished the bugger. I especially liked the mission where I had to infiltrate a heavily patrolled house, plant bugs, and then escape without being detected. There’s a mission like that in Raven Shield and the original Rainbow Six as well, but the one in Rogue Spear stands out as a particularly memorable and intense gaming experience. I never got to play any of them in multiplayer, unfortunately, as my internet connection back then wasn’t even 56k dial-up. Upgrading from 14.4 to 28.8k was a big deal for me, but I still couldn’t connect to a server without getting kicked for causing lag. Such was life in the time before I had broadband.

        I have very fond memories of Ghost Recon and its two expansions as well. I’m currently working my way through Desert Siege again, and the Arma II multiplayer community I play with is talking about getting together to do a Ghost Recon event. It and SWAT 4 are favorites with a lot of people there, so there’s definitely interest in Ground Branch among the folks there.

        Ghost Recon is a 3rd person cover-based shooter now, the newer Rainbow Six games don’t have the planning stage or the lethality that was such an important part of the franchise, and Arma II, while great for long range combined arms fighting, isn’t nearly as much fun in CQB. Unless Arma III vastly improves the CQB experience over its predecessors, Ground Branch is pretty much all we have to look forward to as far as really a high fidelity CQB experience goes.

        • Shooop says:

          All I’m sitting on the fence over now is the addition of AI/human players in place of pop-up targets. The wound system they describe alone is the stuff of dreams.

          • Flogger23m says:

            I would think if they are dedicated to making the wounding system sophisticated, we can expect sophisticated, yet fluid combat. The controls look fluid and easy to utilize in close quarters combat which alone gives some idea of how the game will play with humans fighting humans.

          • Jon C says:

            I’m not trying to be a dick, but you have to realize that we’re at pre-alpha. That means that a lot of the game is still extremely buggy or just plain ‘ole “not working”. It’s not like we’re purposefully or strategically restricting stuff.

            Here’s the skinny (something no other company would ever say, publicly): We had some issues with our replication (which we may or may not have fixed by the time the campaign is over, so, kind of moot), in regards to certain things not showing up correctly (“small things” like “player animations”), over networked games, so we couldn’t show much on video.

            I probably don’t need to spell it out for you, but, it probably wouldn’t have been the smartest move on our part to put that out there, even if we covered it with “PRE-ALPHA!” pop-ups; someone always finds a way to shit on something.

            “So, this is a networked game. As you can see, there’s this bug where player animations don’t want to work right now, but hey, that’s not so bad, right?”

            Nope. No thank you. You couldn’t convince me to make that decision for anyone. :)

            Anyway, my point is, we’re pretty transparent and (I’d like to think) pretty honest guys. What little we’ve shown you has impressed you, you believe that we seem to have good heads on our shoulders, and that was our goal. That’s it. We’re not trying to win any beauty contests, and we’re not trying to compete, visually, with the big boys (yet).

            Because, honestly, if we severely fucked up something so basic as a reload cycle, or a weapon transition, to the point where most developers do, I’d say: “you’re right — keep your money and run”. But you know what? We haven’t done that. We don’t just talk shit about “Tier 1″ like it’s a marketing term — we actually show you what that means, and what happens when you use the knowledge those guys possess for more than marketing material, and actually work with them.

            Most importantly, we’re not tied to a publisher, and only have our good names and personal lives to ruin and tarnish. So while a company that’s famous for making Rally Car games can blow smoke up your ass (twice) about how “realistic” their military games will be, and then throw your money in a vault, and drop the game into a meat-grinder the second it’s released (with none of the features you’d hoped for), we must be playing a pretty fucking “long con” in working on this, without pay, hoping to crush your dreams and make out like bandits. It’s not in our interests to let you down.

            I mean, I get what it’s like “being burnt” by developers. We get that. That’s why we’re making this game. The companies we worked for had no concept of “realism” and wouldn’t even entertain the notion of abandoning their generic designs for anything. And so, every time a new “tactical shooter” comes out (about once every three years), I buy it on principal, and stop playing it within a week. I’m currently without a game, and it’s killing me. We’ve had discussions amongst the team where we agree: “You know, even if our company isn’t sustainable, and we all have to go get industry jobs again, with our tails between our legs — at least we’ll have this awesome game to play.”

            Want to know a secret that big companies employ? It’s called: “dodging the question” and PR. When Dragon Rising came out, the community asked if we’d be able to lean (nope!), and asked about very basic questions that fans of these games would want answers to. They dodged the question every time; but even then, the game was so obviously suffering in so many ways (animations were not accurate, grenades were not modeled correctly). I feel like, if you look at any of my public responses, along with our documents, you’ll see that we basically address nearly everything that anyone would ever ask, ever, in the history of video games. Designs can and will change (especially if something just can’t work for some reason), but we’re committed to this vision, and we’ve taken the time to individually address – more or less – every single person that has ever come to us.

            Gamers don’t need to know, and have no right to know, everything that goes on at a game studio. They do, however, deserve answers to very basic gameplay questions, and I feel like we’ve been dealing that out in spades.

            Basically, there are easier ways to cheat people, or to phone it in, than by dedicating every single dollars in your savings and every bit of your spare time to working on your own indie game. So, I wouldn’t worry about that one, mate. This isn’t some pyramid scheme, we’re just fans of a dead genre, who got tired of being cogs in the machine, and wanted to come together and create our dream game, on our own.

            I hope you’ll consider backing us, and I hope you understand a bit more about us, as a Studio. Cheers. :)

  19. Totally heterosexual says:

    Might back this. Im always up for men in tight combat suits spurting lead death from their representatives of male sexual reproductive organs.

    Oh yeeeeeeees~

    Also I love stuff like swat 4 so this looks great.

  20. Leodido says:

    I backed this a week ago I think and was really surprised by the slow going of the funding. I thought more people would be interested in this type of game seeing as there is none that is close to it currently on the market.

    Anyway I hope you guys succeed because I feel you are one of the few trying to really push the FPS genre beyond CoD or BF remakes.

  21. Jimbolina says:

    Holy shit.

    Do want.

    Now.

    -pays

  22. jsonedecker says:

    We have released a new update video today:

    Ground Branch Sound Design

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/670743543/ground-branch/posts/251162

    If you like what you see and are able, please back the Kickstarter. Your support is greatly appreciated!

  23. colincjn says:

    Today the sound side has been revealed in a new video, take a look its great.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/670743543/ground-branch/posts/251162

  24. Flogger23m says:

    This game will be DRM free if you pledge. On top of that, you will also get the option to get Ground Branch off Steam as both copies are included. Absolutely DRM free, with the option of using a Steam version for the single price of $15.

    Sounds like the best combination out there, IMO.

  25. zoog85 says:

    Update on KS:

    “We have heard the message loud and clear and are happy to announce that we are going to offer ALL of our Kickstarter backers the Singleplayer/Co-Op portion (with advanced AI) of GROUND BRANCH for FREE. Every copy of the game gets this; So for example, if you get a FIRETEAM EDITION then all 4 copies will be eligible for the additional release.

    This will be available some time after the initial release that will include full multiplayer (objective-based TvT, PvP) and core single player/co-operation gameplay (e.g. terrorist hunt against bots) from the start.

    Let the world know so that we can all enjoy GROUND BRANCH!”

  26. Flogger23m says:

    Ground Branch will now offer the full co-op and SP modes to all those that pledge $15 or more:

    We have heard the message loud and clear and are happy to announce that we are going to offer ALL of our Kickstarter backers the Singleplayer/Co-Op portion (with advanced AI) of GROUND BRANCH for FREE. Every copy of the game gets this; So for example, if you get a FIRETEAM EDITION then all 4 copies will be eligible for the additional release.

    This will be available some time after the initial release that will include full multiplayer (objective-based TvT, PvP) and core single player/co-operation gameplay (e.g. terrorist hunt against bots) from the start.

    Let the world know so that we can all enjoy GROUND BRANCH!