FPS

Urban Dominion (Global Gaming Innovations) [PC – Cancelled]

Urban Dominion (formerly Dominion) is a canceled Massively Multiplayer Online First-Person Shooter developed from 2002 to 2004 by Global Gaming Innovations (G2I), exclusively for PC. Announced in February 2003, Urban Dominion offered the possibility to play for three different teams in the United States of America from the 80’s:

Overview

It’s 1983 and the world has fallen into the turmoil of political unrest with the emergence of organized crime. The wealthy crime lord mob bosses now seek world Dominion and protection of their turf against the inner-city gang upstarts looking to take on their empire and move up in the world. Outnumbered and stretched beyond their capabilities, law enforcement agencies unite under a global need for peace and prosperity. In Urban Dominion, the three teams are equally matched and the persistent world domination is all that is sought. Choose from a team and take on the world.

It’s 7:00am on a Monday morning when you roll out of bed. It’s a war zone out there and you’re just a lonely Los Angeles police detective trying to survive. There are reports of increased mob activity and a possibility of an organized crime lord coming to your town. Yesterday, you arrested yet another upstart 17 year old crazy kid sporting gang colors. These gangs are out of control. You’re at your wits end and so is your government. NCC now reports that your teaming up with police departments globally to take on these crime syndicates. It’s time to bring peace to the world.

Scrapping by in high school finally had its toll on you, it’s time for a change. You decided to join a gang three years ago, and since then things have been growing into a capable organization. You can’t depend on the police for protection, so you survive by protecting yourself. Now it’s time to show the world what you can do.

Growing up in a mansion, just outside of New York, you’ve known nothing but crime. After owning the world for years, now it’s time to move in on the government. You’re ready to take on anything. It’s time to make an empire.

Urban Dominion Technology

Based off the Quake II engine, the Urban Dominion universe explodes with technology never before released to the public. Global Gaming Innovations has created the ability to have a MMOG FPS and Dominion is the proof. By being the exclusive first to present the art of MMOG development with Parallel Distributed Management System technology, G2I expects to bring to the Open Source Industry the best that any industry can offer in a MMOG FPS game.

Features

  • 1st Person perspective, with option to switch to 3rd person
  • Powerful 3D game engine loosely based off Quake 2 engine.
  • 3 Team-based Massive Multi-player Action
  • Support for Linux and Windows systems
  • Open Source Rendering Engine (released under GPL)
  • Quake 3 maps and model support for Mod makers
  • Server with 100% uptime
  • PDMS compatible technology
  • Global, per map, and Entire player history ranking.
  • Compatible Tie-ends for Parallel Distributed Management System backbone DLL (PDMS DLL is closed source and binary only available with purchase of full game).
  • Monthly subscription fee for MMOG play.
  • Persistent real world with capabilities far exceeding anything in the MMOG market.

Leveling in Urban Dominion

The way leveling is handled in Urban Dominion is as follows: Each player will have two separate histories in the game. One history will be the number of kills/deaths each player got per session, and the second will the number of kills/deaths each player gets per lifetime. Individuals will advance in player skill levels by acquiring skill points as they gain kills. The amount of skill points that the player gains will be affected by the level of their opponent that was killed and the method in which the individual kills the opponent. In other words, a player will get more skill points for killing a higher level opponent and/or killing with a melee weapon over a gun. Players will also acquire money as they get kills and this will work similarly to the way the skill point system works. This means that the amount of money acquired from kills will be affected by the skill level of the opponent killed and the manner in which they were killed.

When a player becomes proficient enough at the game to reach a certain skill level, things such as new maps, models, weapons, and mods become available for use. These mods and maps are where the official support comes into play. The game will be continuously developed both professionally and as an open source project. Thus, more aspects of the game will become available to the player as he/she plays and levels up.

The new game entities (weapons and models) will NOT be available for use in the older mod versions such that one can not get a sniper rifle from a higher level map and use it in a lower level map. This is to make the game fair for everyone and lets newer players get the same chance as the older ones. Urban Dominion is meant to be fast paced and very intensive, where everyone is equal in their chances to kill one another.

There are unique items throughout the game, and these items can only be weilded by one person at a time. It can be anything from a special weapon to a strong shard of armor. There is no item that will give invincibility, therefore it is always possible to kill anyone or to be killed. The unique items are dropped in the world when a player dies.

Teamplay in Urban Dominion

There will be three basic teams in Urban Dominion: law enforcement, mafia crime organizations, and inner-city gangs. Upon joining and chosing a model, the player will be moved into the category that the chosen model belongs to and be able to talk with other individuals that belong to the same category.

Players will also be able to form their own gangs, crime families, or vigilante groups. After forming a group with other players, individuals will be able to “clan chat” with only those in their gang, crime family, or law enforcement group. Forming your own personal gang will also have its benefits and drawbacks. Groups will share money in that individuals may gain a small percentage of money that other teammates acquire from kills. Groups will also share skill points in the same way, except that the individuals may lose skill points with each death of a teammate. This will encourage teamwork for those that create their own gangs, families, or vigilante groups.

Mods and Urban Dominion

This game is meant to be modified. As such, we have added as many capabilities to the engine as we’ve had time for just this fact. The engine supports MD2 (Quake 2) models, MD3 (Quake 3) models, and DPM (Dark Places Model) models, as well as .tga, .jpg, and .bmp textures. Basically, if it works in Quake 3, then chances are good that it will work in Urban Dominion. We also have plans for supporting MDS and MDL models (RTCW and Half Life respectively).

Quake 3 .bsp files are supported for map making, but the overbright feel in the lighting of Quake 3 is not duplicated. In Urban Dominion, the lighting has been modified for updated lighting techniques.

Vehicles

There will be vehicle support in the game upon release, but there will more than likely not be any vehicles already in the game at that time. However, anything from flying to sailing to driving vehicles are easily added, and a tutorial on this will follow release quickly.

Any modification that we accept and use as an officially supported and recognized modification will be used in the game. This will also be reciprocated by credits toward the monthly charges of using the MMOG aspect of the game (Parallel Distributed Management System account).

Maximum amount of players

We’re going to announce the maximum amount of players that are supported after the beta test has completed. We’re initially opening to 200 players, but this number will increase dramatically.

The following month, HomeLAN discussed with G2I’s co-founder Daron Shrode about the project:

HomeLAN – How did Global Gaming Innovations come to be formed?

Daron Shrode – (…) We thought about creating a game of our own my senior year… we had a unique technology idea that we were going to put in the game to make it cooler. That idea ended up being the Parallel Distributed Management System (PDMS) and we eventually decided to become a technology company to focus on the PDMS and market it as an inexpensive alternative to combat the problems that currently plague massive multiplayer online games. We obtained investor funding and the company officially opened its doors in June of 2002. We’re really looking forward to releasing this game, as it will be the first to implement our PDMS technology.

HomeLAN – What kind of playable characters will be available in the game?

Daron Shrode – At release, we intend to have five individual models for each team. The characters are direct representations of what the story dictates their needs to be.

HomeLAN – What sort of locations and settings will the game have?

Daron Shrode – The settings are based off the real world; every effort to enhance the gameplay and develop the story is being made. In other words, the cities and places will stem from how the story plays out. Initially we start with San Francisco, Miami, Tokyo and Kiev.

HomeLAN – How would you characterised the combat gameplay in Urban Dominion?

Daron Shrode – Well, it is an FPS so a lot of “run and gun” is at the core. There are going to be various options of gameplay to keep players interested. These include story development, Capture The Flag, Free For All, and mission-based play. The intention is to provide a mechanism for the player community to create its own story and produce it online.

HomeLAN – Why did you decide to use the Quake II engine as the basis for the game?

Daron Shrode – The Q2 engine is a GPL licensed engine, and thus the engine for Urban Dominion will be released under the GPL as well. Quake2 gives us more abilities than other engines. Its open sourced community is also quite large and sophisticated, therefore tapping into it is easier, and using the Q2 engine in Urban Dominion gives them some technical background from which to develop their modifications easily.

HomeLAN – What modifications are you making to the Quake II engine for its use in Urban Dominion?

Daron Shrode – The addition of our PDMS technology is the most significant modification. This technology is what gives Urban Dominion the capability to support a massive number of players. We’ve added Quake III map and model support, volumetric lighting, and volumetric fog.

 

However, shortly before entering its Beta phase, security hole was found, forcing the team to push back the date:

After a prolonged test in the secure transactions between the DLL that controls the API of the PDMS and the game Urban Dominion a security hole has been found. This bug could conceivably open the system to code not designed by Global Gaming Innovations and allow that code to be introduced into the processor and run with privileges in all iterations of the game. This means that if the system is distributed, the security could conceivably compromise every system where the software is installed. We find this hole to be most disturbing and because we will not introduce a product with a known security error, we are opting to delay the beta test until we feel the product is as secure as we know it can be.

Due to the fact that correcting this error entails rewriting large portions of the system, we are forced to delay the test. So with heavy hearts we must ask for patience and only offer our assurances that the product that will be shipped, and the beta will be to the best of our abilities, secure, stable, and mature. As we are working on this, we shall introduce further advancements into the game itself. This gives us the time to implement more for the game portion.

The title totally disappeared after this announcement, only to come back nearly an entire year later, with its beta test almost ready:

Announcing beta testing of Global Gaming Innovations’ Urban Dominion. Selected beta testers will receive an email notification with instructions soon. If you were not selected for the first phase, please be patient you may get selected for a future phase of our testing. If you have not yet signed up for the beta test, http://www.global-gaming.com/dominion/beta.php to apply.

Sadly, it was never materialized and Urban Dominion, alongside Global Gaming Innovations, vanished soon after. According to his LinkedIn profile, Daron Shrode left the company in December 2003 and has worked since for various company outside from the video game industry as an analyst and software developer.

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Desert Diner (Tarsier Studios) [PC – Tech Demo, Cancelled]

Desert Diner is a canceled First-Person Shooter tech demo developed by Tarsier Studios in 2006, exclusively for PC. As we can read on Gamespy, the demo took place in an abandoned diner located in the Mexican desert where you could interact with the environments, thanks to the PhysX processor of AGEIA:

An action-packed sampler level designed to show off the hardware-accelerated PhysX engine, Desert Diner is a First Person Shooter located in a deserted Mexican truck-stop. This one-level tech-demo includes a massive number of unique rigid bodies, advanced cloth simulation and jointed systems that enables the spectacular destruction of the Mexican truck-stop town.

By looking the few screenshots currently available, it looks like the demo was somewhat similar to the game CellFactor : Revolution, another project whose main feature was the interaction with the environment, again, provided by the AGEIA processor PhysX. The weapon and the HUD visible on the pictures are in any case the same as in this title.

Unfortunately, that demo totally disappeared after its announcement, back in December 2006. Therefore, we do not know why this was never materialized. CellFactor : Revolution, to which Desert Diner could have been considered as a mod, was released on May 8, 2007 and was met with mixed reviews from the press. Tarsier Studios is still around to this day, and well known for their Little Nightmares games.

If you know someone who worked on Desert Diner and could help us preserve more screenshots, footage or details, please let us know!

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Sniper (1C Company) [PC – Cancelled]

Sniper is a cancelled World War II First-Person Shooter developed by 1C Company in 2005, exclusively for the PC.

Very few information are currently available for this title. According to Gamepressure, the game took place in 1942 during the infamous battle of Stalingrad, as we play Russian sniper Vasiliy Zaitsev.

Sniper, which is apparently a codename for the project, was briefly mentionned by its developer at E3 2005 where a trailer was apparently shown. The game totally disappeared after that and was never mentionned again. Only a few screenshots and a potential cover art are to this day available to remember its existence. We can speculate that something didn’t work as planned and 1C Company had to pull the plug for this pretty obscure title.

Oddly enough, 1C Company (now Fulqrum Games) is still around today, but was always more a publisher than a developer. The studio has, for instance, its own video games retail chain, similar to GameStop, located in 22 cities inside Russia, named 1-C Interest.

If you know someone who worked on Sniper and could help us preserve more screenshots, footage or details, please let us know!

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Vatan (Fy Software) [PC – Cancelled]

Vatan is a cancelled futuristic First-Person Shooter/Role-Playing Game developed by Portuguese studio Fy Software from 2003 to 2005, exclusively for PC. Inspired by titles such as System Shock and Deus Ex, the game was set in the 23rd century after humanity colonized numerous parts of the galaxy. The player took the role of a Republic legionnaire brought to fight a rebel faction seeking independence.

Revealed in October 2004, we learned more about its features and background in December of the same year thanks to an interview led by Warcry:

“A couple hundred years from now, in this part of the galaxy…” Okay, so it’s not Star Wars. But it does have a Republic, and rebels, and a massive galactic conflict between the forces of tyranny and the champions of freedom. And personally, I’ve always been down with blowing up stuff in space.

In the dark future of 2234,” Bruno Cesteiro, of FY Software, intones in his most Lorne Greene-esque voice, “the known universe is split into two factions. On one side, there’s the Republic, a powerful economic group that wants to subjugate all the known colonies. On the other side, there’s a small group of people that we call the Rebels, that fight for freedom from the claws of the Republic.”

While it may not be the most creative backdrop for a game we’ve ever seen, it does offer an intriguing premise that promises both a strong FPS and RPG experience. Certainly not an easy task, as Cesteiro confirms. “We want to get both game types in the game,” he said, “but that’s a very hard thing to do. I’ll have to say that primarily the game is an FPS. However, the player does evolve, and does have the ability to evolve in a direction, either as a strong fighter, a computer expert, etc.” While creating a game that operates on a level comparable to System Shock or Deus Ex is bound to be difficult in myriad ways.

Technologically, Vatan will be middle of the pack. “We’re not trying to compete with million-dollar budget titles,” Cesteiro says. “Doom 3 technology using stencil shadows, per-pixel lighting, etc., won’t be in Vatan. That kind of technology doesn’t work in outdoor environments.” And while it may not be the cutting edge graphically, Vatan isn’t pulling any punches with its physics engine. “We are putting a great effort into physics. Physics in Vatan are real physics,” he went on, “with real friction and mass, and not fakes like many games do.”

The game experience is the real focus of Vatan, and it makes some pretty big promises. “The player has the ability to choose which direction his character will go,” Cesteiro says as he describes the gameplay to us. “His choices will affect the gameplay and how he completes his missions. If you are a good fighter, you can go into a room full of soldiers, kill all of them and get access to a certain location. If you are a computer expert, maybe it’s wise to avoid those folks, hack into a terminal, and open a door from there.”

FY Software is hoping to have Vatan ready to release in the first quarter of 2005, but nothing–including the publisher–is carved in stone at this point.

During the following months, communication around Vatan was essentially based on the publication of screenshots. In September 2005, Bruno Cesteiro was interviewed by Planet 3D Games:

P3G: As the project is unknown to many of our readers, could you please present your work in brief words?

B.C.: (…)The game is divided into several missions, and each mission has it’s own type, the player can be in a mission in where he doesn’t need to take a single shot, or he can be in a mission with lots of action.

P3G: Thanks for this introduction. As we know the game takes place in a futuristic 23rd century environment. Can you give us further information about the game world?

B.C.: The game world, as you know is in a distant future. Many worlds are being colonized by either the Union or by the Rebel faction.

Usually worlds that have Rebel presence are poor and under developed, structures and other facilities are constructed with raw materials that are at hand, so, there’s a mix of really old-tech with high-tech in the constructions.

Usually worlds that have a Union presence look more advanced, but it depends on the proximity of central planets.

P3G: Will the game world be level based or world based where the player has the possibility to explore a big world without have to follow a certain path?

B.C.: The game world is level based, however everything that is picked up, skills gained, etc, are transported from level to level.

P3G: What locations await the player? Can you give our readers some examples?

B.C.: We try to create a rich mix of different environments so that the player doesn’t get bored and always wanders through the same types of landscapes. Currently the game includes various tropical locations, desert regions, swamps and two different city types.

P3G: Let’s talk about the protagonist: The player will assume the role of a legionnaire who serves in a special infantry unit. How important has story design been in your development process so far, and can you tell us a bit more about the core plot? What will be the player’s primary goal and how did you come up with this idea?

B.C.: The whole plot was worked out before we actually started developing the game. All the levels have been built around this story, so it has to be said that it has played a very important role in our development work so far. The player’s task is relatively easy to describe at the beginning of the game: complete the mission that your superiors have given you. But that will change as the game progresses.

P3G: What kinds of tasks will there be to solve?

B.C.: There are basically two different types of missions: First, we have the FPS missions, where there will be a lot of action and the game will play like a shooter. The second mission type are the so-called RPG missions, in which the player is given the task of exploring an undiscovered area or solving various problems.

P3G: Can you tell us something about the actual gameplay? What things will the player be able to do in the world?

B.C.: There is a wide spectrum of challenges for the player: e.g. it will happen that he will be assigned to a whole platoon, so he is not always alone. He will be able to decide whether he prefers a frontal attack on the enemy troops, or prefers to proceed slowly and undetected. The latter option in particular offers some nice gimmicks: For example, it will be possible to throw picked up stones into a room to distract individual enemy forces in order to distract them and slowly sneak around them.

You will also be able to use vehicles or hack into computers to open bridges, for example. Many objects found throughout the game can be taken away. What is special about our object system is that each object is assigned its own physical properties. For example, it is possible to pick up a cartridge magazine, take it with you, drop it again, e.g. throw it into the water or if it is on the ground, kick it.

P3G: Apart from the inventory, what specific RPG elements will be included in the finished game and will they affect the gameplay?

B.C.: There will be several elements that may change as development progresses. As of this writing, the skills are: Hacking, Charisma, Strength, Agility, Sneak, Vehicles, and Weapons. Each of these skills has an impact on how the player can solve a mission.

For example, he may find a vehicle in a mission but his vehicle skill is not yet high enough to use it. As a result, he cannot use it and must complete the mission on foot. If he finds a weapon extension and the player mounts it on one of his weapons, it is also possible that his weapon skill is still relatively low and the extension is not bringing the maximum possible benefit.

P3G: What types of weapons will the player be able to use?

B.C.: There are different weapon systems that the player can use. Each weapon can also be improved with various upgrades such as a telescope, an improved aiming chip or a grenade launcher. Of course, the same applies here as in the previous example: In order to be able to assemble such objects, a certain skill is required. Speaking of items, it should be mentioned that there are also a large number of other types: e.g. repair kits to repair the weapons, binoculars or various explosives.

Unfortunately, the project vanished after this, as it was clear that its developer didn’t manage to secure a publisher. Vatan was quietly cancelled and Fy Software shutted down not so long after its cancellation.

Bruno Cesteiro, alongside his brother Ricardo, founded in 2009 Camel 101 and are still active in the video game industry to this day. In 2010, while promoting their next game, Gemini Wars, Destructoid spoke to them about their journey. Vatan was briefly mentionned:

The three core team members started out years ago by working on an FPS game, which later evolved into a creating an engine called the ‘Vatan game engine’ from scratch. Together they managed to get the Vatan engine to win a games competition in Portugal back in 2006, and it inspired them to become more serious about game development.

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The Stalin Subway 3 (B-Cool Interactive) [PC – Cancelled]

The Stalin Subway 3 (codenamed Metro-3) is a cancelled First-Person Shooter developed around 2009 by B-Cool Interactive and published by Buka Entertainment, exclusively for the PC. It was going to be the third installment of The Stalin Subway‘s franchise. The setting of the games takes place in the 50s, in Moscow, where the player take the role of a member of the KGB who must investigate various plots within the Soviet communist party.

The existence of this game was, just like Los Angeles Guerilla 2040, revealed by former developer Eugene Duranin on his old blog. Only some concept arts, 3D models and glimpse of gameplay are preserved below to remember its existence. We can speculate that it would have been similar to the previous games, but it looks like, by seeing the concept arts, that it was going to take a more futuristic approach in its art design.

The title was cancelled with the closure of B-Cool Interactive in September 2009, alongside Los Angeles Guerilla 2040 and the sequel of Scorpion : Disfigured.

If you know someone who worked on The Stalin Subway 3 and could help us preserve more screenshots, footage or details, please let us know!

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