Infectious: Cadenza Announce Retrovirus

Explosions inside my computer, yesterday.
The chaps at Cadenza Interactive – they of tower defence fancypants, Sol Survivor – have announced they are working on a “six-degrees of freedom” shooter (aka a Descent-alike) called Retrovirus. Apparently it’s all going a bit Tron, because you are sent “into the depths a computer on a search and destroy mission against an invasive virus”. You’ll have a customisable shootercraft, “focusing on strength, speed or cunning, with weapons and utilities to suit a variety of play styles,” and “two-layers of story”. I guess like the two layers of a cake, only narrativer. Sounds intriguing! The game is an early stage of development at the moment, however, so there’s no word on release just yet.


  1. jonobarel says:

    Reminds me of a game, yeeeaaaars ago, called “Virus” – same principle, except the levels were based (somehow) on the contents of your own computer, and the enemies were “infected” files from your directories.

    • Carter says:

      Can vaguely recall some ad campaign where an .exe disguised as the demo would show it deleting files off your computer, while you flailed around trying to kill it, the games logo would appear – pretty effective as I can still remember it although I never bought it

    • wererogue says:

      I have this game somewhere! It would have been ace if it actually played like descent instead of in weird jerks like there was somehow network lag on a single-player game.

      These guys should steal that trick. Just because. It was a neat touch.
      They would use any picture files to texture the rooms as well, as I recall – and there was something funky that happened with text files, but I forget what.

    • LionsPhil says:

      “Why are you playing a game where all the walls are textured with animated GIFs of cats?”

    • Catweasel says:

      Are you sure you aren’t thinking of Operation: Innerspace?

    • Harlander says:

      He’s not, but Operation Inner Space was amazing.

  2. JackDandy says:

    Hey, nice! So now we have both this and Miner Wars as Descent-likes.
    Can’t wait to see the final product. Will keep an eye on this one…

  3. Network Crayon says:

    Yep, this sounds Excellent!

  4. CyberBrent says:

    Hmm. The story makes me think of System Shock’s Cyberspace. Hmm hmm!

  5. gwathdring says:

    Six degrees? I can only think of three. Or in Archon 4, once of which is non-dimensional. Has gaming finally stepped things up to 4-D? Because that plus time travel still only gives a player 5 degrees of freedom. Perhaps rotation is being counted? Bi-axial rotation plus three dimensions of displacement gives us five degrees of freedom, and then we add in time travel for our sixth. I’d be down for flying a TARDIS.

    Or perhaps they have given us the ability to move in a non-real direction! Fantastic! Except … then the game would probably have something to do with Fractals in the title. Or would have the letter i thrown in there somewhere. Or, at the very least, would be titled “Shit Just Got Complicated.”

    Perhaps they’ve found some novel element of control that doesn’t relate directly to “dimensional” degrees-of-freedom but nevertheless is essential to maneuvering of the ship? That would actually, mildly confused amusement aside, be pretty awesome.

    Wait a moment. Are … no. Are left and right being counted as distinct degrees of freedom? Six degrees of freedom as in six buttons?

    • gwathdring says:

      P.S. If I knew how to code, my next project would be the a shooter that takes place in non-real and non-euclidean geometries. Anyone know a game that does this? I want to see if it’s as excitingly bizarre as it sounds.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      Isn’t it rotation around and movement along an axis, x3?

    • Gnoupi says:

      Yes, this exactly, it’s simply translation on all axis, and rotation on all axis, for the 6 degrees of freedom.

      link to

    • Vinraith says:

      Gwathdring is confusing degrees of freedom with dimensions, I think.

    • gwathdring says:

      Nope, I just can’t count. Because in three dimensions you have tri-axial rotation. -facepalm-

      Thank you, and my apologies. :) I honestly believe O-Chem has destroyed my ability to perform simple counting. I’ve miscounted hydrogens so many times it broke my confidence in the lessons long ago instilled by Sesame Street.

      Side note: I still want my non-euclidean game, though. Does anyone know of one?

      Further side-notice: Archon’s logic applied to a shooter would be an interesting experiment (likely unsuccessful, but interesting.)

    • Vinraith says:


      I still want my non-euclidean game, though. Does anyone know of one?

      I don’t, unfortunately, but I agree that that would be truly awesome.

      Archon’s logic applied to a shooter would be an interesting experiment

      I seem to be Mr. Obnoxious Correction today but I’m pretty sure you mean Achron, Archon being an old (and beloved) fantasy battle chess type thing. :) Anyway yes, that would be cool too. I faintly recall an Unreal mod that was trying to do something like that, but I can’t recall the name.

    • gwathdring says:

      Thank you again. I never played either, but I’m more familiar with the word Archon from various bits of fantasy media so that spelling stuck.

    • Ravenholme says:

      @ Vinraith

      Prometheus is what you’re thinking of, iirc.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I did a 6DOF thing in a portal engine (think: original, unfinished Prey; not released Prey/Valve’s Portal), so it had a 270 triangular corridor and overlapping spaces, for a university group project.

      I don’t have a Windows build, sadly. Some library pain involved, and it was little more than a tech demo because it was also multiplayer and not desperately good at it.

    • gwathdring says:

      I’ve played variants of Chess, Tic-Tac-Toe and Pool on both a simulated 2-torus and on a Klein surface. The joy of watching a Bishop slide across the screen from various angles five times before nailing your seemingly protected Knight … you can almost hear Yakety Sax playing. (the setup was modified to use fewer pieces and make more sense on the Klein surface) :)

      I never quite got my head around Klein chess … but I got pretty good at the little Klein Pool applet, and the 2-torus stuff wasn’t hard to grasp (lots of flash games are essentially on a 2-torus). Both were loads of fun, and they weren’t particularly exotic surfaces.

  6. YourMessageHere says:

    I’ve been fancying a new Descent-alike. If this is somehow proceedural and/or based on the user’s own PC (like that Virus thing), I’m most certainly up for this.

  7. Alphabet says:

    There’s no way that ship is related to Sidney Poitier.

  8. celozzip says:

    meh, should’ve set it inside the human body.

  9. Ravenholme says:

    I have a sneaking suspicion that the dual-layered story refers to the fight against the virus inside the computer, and what the virus is actually making the computer do in the real world.