Lonely Mountains: Downhill bikes on down to Kickstarter

Lonely Mountains

As a child, I always loved the idea of downhill cycling; the rush of the wind, feeling every bump in the ground beneath you, the thrill of weaving between dangers. The reality was never quite as kind. Turns out that in order to ride down a hill, you have to climb up it first. Then there’s the faceplants, the blood and the mud.

Young Dominic learned to stick to flat, clear roads.

As flawed as the reality was, I still hold a place in my heart for that platonic ideal, never quite realised, so I find myself drawn towards Lonely Mountains: Downhill, a game (now seeking funding through Kickstarter) aiming to capture at least some of the spirit of clinging to a two-wheeled metal frame while hurtling down a mountain at dangerous speeds.

We previously covered Lonely Mountains back in May, but brilliantly named studio Megagon Industries feel that after two years of development they’ve finally got the kinks worked out and have managed to assemble a compelling yet accessible game engine. Now all they need to do is build a game around it, and that takes time and money, hence the crowdfunding.

The full game they have envisioned feels ambitious. Megagon have several semi-open-world mountains planned for the final product, each offering multiple distinct timed routes as well as camps and secrets to discover if you feel like riding a little off the beaten path. Rather than focus purely on the time-attack aspects as in Redlynx’s Trials series, there’s at least a little celebration here of that downhill biking ideal.

The game looks lovely. Simple textures and chunky polygons combined with pleasant lighting results in a world that’s nice to look at, while still being very easy to parse at a glance. Something that you’ll probably want to do, given the whole downhill cycling thing.

At the time of writing, there’s 23 days to go on their Kickstarter, and they’re a little over halfway to their €35,000 target. A €15 pledge will be treated as a preorder, although there are the usual slew of options for high-rollers and those low on funds.

18 Comments

  1. Lobotomist says:

    Great idea, but the art style is wrong.

    Dont get me wrong, i do like the art. But such a game should have realistic graphic.

    I think there was an attempt on such game with realistic graphic, and the feeling was great. Real adrenaline rush. Speed combined with complicated realistic terrain really managed to bring that out.

    • Kunstbanause says:

      Actually your comment is incorrect. The art style is the perfect fit for the project. It’s simplicity allows the 2 man team to make the game as fun as it can be and not care about graphics or realism.

    • Malcolm says:

      I disagree – the simplified art style makes it easier to read the terrain. A realistic art style with a realistic amount of foliage would be impossible except from a first person view point.

    • syndrome says:

      Great opinion, but the reasons are wrong.
      Don’t get me wrong, I do like the format. But such a comment should have a tangible argument.

      I think there are already so many similar arguments stating how exactly graphics is paramount to everything in this world, while on the contrary, photorealistic imagery rarely adds anything (except the development time), and more frequently than not, distracts both parties from the core game experience.

      Excruciatingly enough, people who praise the high-fidelity computer graphics the most, rarely appreciate what nature has to offer them already, it’s something akin to fetishism, which makes the whole thing somewhat ironical.

      That being said, if you need that much of a real “adrenaline rush” and “speed combined with complicated realistic terrain” have you thought about doing it in RL?

      I, for one, think that this game looks awesome and plays awesome, and wholeheartedly congratulate the developer for implementing the low-poly style so well — it fits the game so well, and makes it so much readable and stylish, I’m thoroughly disappointed in the fact that the first comment comes from someone who doesn’t share this view.

      • Gothnak says:

        Halp… I feel like i am unable to read in English anymore after this whole conversation…

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          nitwit says:

          Ackshyually, your logic is flawed. It’s a fallacy to deduce the construction of English as a direct corollary to your own bias. It’s this archetype of brackish lexical legislation that encourages false evaluations of the required minimum IQ to enjoy Rick And Morty.

    • Cederic says:

      That opening screenshot is awesome! I love the art style, it’s made me want to play the game.

    • Lobotomist says:

      I am sorry. Seems that you guys didnt understand my point.

      I do love low-poly game art. Heck I am one that fell in love and always defended games like “Necropolis” (link to store.steampowered.com) because of this fantastic art style.

      But in this SPECIFIC example, I think that minimalistic graphics approach reduces gameplay, by simplifying it too much.

      The whole fun of mountain biking is the fact terrain is so crazily complicated. ( link to youtube.com )

      • Saarlaender39 says:

        I’d say, the art style is ok.

        Were this a car-racing game, or a flight-simulator, I’d agree with you – the more realistic looking, the better.

        I could imagine to have lots of fun with this, despite the low-poly-style…if it was done in first person perspective.

        And that’s exactly, what will keep me from buying this game – the lack of said FPP…watching the video (and assuming, it shows real in-game footage), I couldn’t help but to think “the steering in this game must be a nightmare”.

        Just my two cents.

      • April March says:

        For what it’s worth, I understood the point you were making in the first post, and kind of agree, but you presented it quite poorly.

        That’s OK! This is a comment section, and I’ve often finished posting a comment only to think “wait why did I vomit that up here”. Just wanted to say that the people attacking what they perceived to be your position have a point themselves. (Some of them are a bit too… angry, though, I agree.)

        I also think graphics aspiring to realism (as opposed to WOW 1337 GRAPHS MAKIN’ MA GRAPHIC CARDZ MELT) would be a better fit for the game, as it would bring it closer to the actual activity. That’s why skating games usually have realistic graphics, after all. But I think the devs really got their choice of graphics working for their game.

  2. Jonnyuk77 says:

    This looks a lot like an Amiga game called Hunter, though this game has fancier graphics.

    Hunter was the beans, therefore it follows that this could well also be the beans.

    Fingers crossed.

  3. tbs says:

    No game has made me want to throw the controller or break fragile ornaments in my home more than Trials.

    I played it a lot but GODDAMN did it take years off my life. I love the idea of Trials though, so I kept going back for more. I hope this is a little more forgiving.

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      If you’ve not given it a look recently, the PC version of Trials Fusion became something genuinely great in time. I know a lot of people overlooked that one as it seemed threadbare and DLC-laden at the time, but the complete edition is the biggest game in the series by far.

      They also made level-sharing cross-platform a while back, meaning the PC version now has access to hundreds of thousands of tracks, where previously it only had a few thousand.

      • tbs says:

        That’s a good recommendation, I’ll check it out. The last Trials I played was on the Xbox 360, so it’s been awhile.

        Dominic if I kill my cat in a fit of frustration her blood is on your hands.

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        geoffreyk says:

        I love Trials, and am probably going to go back this Kickstarter on the basis that it seems like it might scratch a similar itch. But… Trials HD and Trials Evolution both “feel” much better to me than Trials Fusion. Something just seems wonky/floaty/clippy about the Fusion physics engine, whereas the HD/Evolution physics are just… tight. I don’t even want to know how many hours I’ve spent in HD and Evolution, whereas I’ve spent a grand-total of maybe… 10 hours in Fusion. The flexibility of its level designer and the things people have been able to do with it is great, but I feel the core game has suffered as a result.

        • tbs says:

          So I bought it last night on Dominic’s recommendation. Having only played Trials and Trials 2 I found it fine. I blew through the first 20 or so training missions without trying for any of the additional Challenges.

          I can’t really compare it to Evolution or HD but I thought it was fine. Certainly less rage inducing than previous games I had played. I have a crapload of other missions to get through so, so maybe it’ll get worse.

          I miss the elaborate levels in Trials 1 & 2 where you had multiple paths. It always made me feel like trying a different path to get the Gold medal. Maybe I haven’t hit these levels yet in Fusion.

  4. steves says:

    “Turns out that in order to ride down a hill, you have to climb up it first”

    Let me tell you about ski resorts…in the summer. Some of the bigger ones have cable cars you can fit bikes in – Morzine on French/Swiss border is my fave.

    If that’s too pricey, there’s also a ton of places in Wales that will drive you + bike up to the top for a reasonable fee, and the easier trails are fairly blood/faceplant free.

    Live the dream!

  5. jezixo says:

    This might be a dumb question but – is this game actually played from a top down perspective, or a more standard behind-the-back third person? I can’t imagine how you’d control the bike from the angles shown in the trailer, but I also can’t imagine why you’d make a “cinematic” trailer without even a few shots of what the game actually looks like when you’re playing it.

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