Aries is a cancelled Free to Play futuristic sci-fi Massively Multiplayer Online First-Person Shooter developed from 2010 to 2012 at least, by First Eye Interactive, exclusively for the PC. The game was officially revealed during Spring 2012 on Kickstarter:
The game takes place during Earth’s destruction the human race began an expedition to a new habitable planet they could call home. However, they were detoured during their travels and crashed landed on an unknown planet soon named Aries. During their time on Aries, civil rivalry between ranks broke out and sides were chosen on who should lead. Earth survivors soon realize many of their own technologies were found on Aries and a bigger story for the destruction of Earth starts to surface. The objective now for survival is to find resources to help rebuild the survival ships and to get back on course to the second Earth in the mean time surviving the dangers that Aries presents to Earth’s survivors.
Aries is a massive multiplayer online game filled with the latest weapons and vehicles. Players will be able to dictate their own reputation through weapon choice, class abilities and profession. Play as several class abilities that are unique in there own ways from Special Forces, Sniper, Naturalist, Artillery, Engineer, Medic, Spy, and many more to master in the world of Aries; not only will there be hundreds of weapons you can choose from, there will also be vehicles, alien domestic creatures that can be driven or ridden. You will have to use your skills and wits with strategic tactics to do well. To avoid getting conquered in the player versus player in this game you should go through the top secret missions and raid missions.
Aries brings amazing scenery and destructive scenarios from town battles to remote locations hidden in the forest and jungles. Players will need to know what the advantages and disadvantages of weapons, vehicles and professions.
Team strategy and tactics is a major key to this game. Squad leaders will be able to call all the shots, call out enemy movements, and call in supplies, reinforcements, air support and artillery. You will need to use each team’s profession tactically when in battle
Gaining rank in Aries will bring you more rewards and influence with the side you choose. Gain General status and become your leaders go to unit. Rank can provide better missions for better rewards. Develop bases to be known in Aries and for refugees to seek out for safety. Establish your own special unit to be known in the world of Aries and build your own base to defend.
Aries will be operating on the Unreal 3 engine – a stable and proven medium for games with breathtaking visuals and visceral combat. Players will be able to experience both First and Third-Person Shooter gameplay, made possible by the Unreal 3 engine. This allows player to enjoy a combat experience similar to hit games like Mass Effect or Gears of War.
Aries’ game world is one of mysterious alien ruins, monstrous creatures, and inhospitable jungles. First Eye Interactive is committed to creating a game that is both accessible and incredibly immersive. Aries will achieve cinematic quality in both visual interaction and sound design. Players will be amazed by a lifelike and realistic world they can interact with in ways that have not been explored in other contemporary MMOs. Collision detection, visual degradation and destruction of both environments and items is all possible with Unreal Technology.
However, their first crowdfunding campaign didn’t work, the project only collecting 951 U.S.$ on a total sum of 275.000 U.S.$, Nonetheless, another Kickstarter campaign was launched by First Eye:
Does not look like we will reach our goal. However, I will repost ad at a lower amount to work on things in phases.
During this second crowdfunding campaign, some more information regarding the background had been shared:
Choose the side of Solace, Kyridian, and Ghost. These legendary leaders from the old world Earth have their own plans to help protect the survival of the human race.
Solace is a man of action. For him, power is directly correlated with brute strength and the iron fist. Solace forces tend to exhibit many of his traits. Combat forces can acquire heavier armor than their alter-faction counterparts, and all Solace’s troops have access to weaponry that can pack a serious punch.
Doctor Kyridian’s forces make up a more gruesome side of war. He has embraced the art of biological and surgical enhancement to make his forces more powerful. Though the extremes of his experiments have led many to suspect that his mind has crossed into madness, no one can argue his results. Kyridian troops are bioengineered super soldiers, enhanced and modified to fill their roles perfectly. Doctor Kyridian uses an amazing array of implants, prosthetics, bio-engines and chemicals to increase performance
Ghost’s troops are true to their nature, they are ghosts. Lethal and deadly assassins preferring to strike from the shadows and disappear just as quickly. They use their stealth as a tactical advantage over bombarding their enemy in open combat. Ghost’s forces tend to use highly coordinated strikes to disable and dismember their enemies.Ghost forces tend to shy away from heavy or clumsy armor and focus on training and equipment that aids them in fighting with smart tactics versus pure brawn.
First Eye also planned this time to launch the title first on mobile devices, then, eventually, on PC.
However, it was another fail, the title collected this time 437 U.S.$ on a total of 10.000 U.S.$. Despite this second attempt, developer announced that they planned a third campaign:
We thank you so much for your support. We are not stopping development at all. We will open up another Kickstarter page soon. However, we want to get a lot of our followers aware of our facebook page and twitter page. Check us out there to get up-to-date info every week. New art work and information about the game.
However, it didn’t materialize and the last glimpse about the game was on November 2012 on the project’s Facebook profile. Since then, main developer Derrick Smith turned into a fantasy author and has written twobooks.
Twilight War: After the Fall is a cancelled futuristic post-apocalyptic Massively Multiplayer Online First-Person Shooter developed by Smiling Gator Productions, then General Computers Inc, from 2003 to 2007 at least, exclusively for the PC. As we can read on the old defunct website, the game took place in 2296 after a cataclysmic catastrophe called “the fall” by the survivors have wiped out most civilizations from the planet. It was pretty similar to the Fallout series.
Twilight War: After the Fall is an Extreme Online Roleplaying Game (XORG): a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) with an integrated First Person Shooter (FPS) style combat system, where thousands of online players come together in an expansive and immersive three dimensional world. Twilight War takes place on a unique world where vast areas of the planet have been reformed following a catastrophe of cataclysmic proportions called The Fall by survivors.
Some areas of the World remain relatively untouched, but the ravaged areas are mixtures of wastelands, wilderness, mutant and alien biology. Nomad tribes, lawless brigands, and mutants roam the ruined Outlands, and in the darker places twisted animals and horrible creatures prowl. Bioengineered creatures and mutants resulting from radiation make the world dangerous to traverse. The remnants of Human civilization are scattered and divided both by vast stretches of wilderness, and by ideological rifts.
Another race lives alongside the remaining Humans, a dying alien race desperate to find a new home world. The Skel came with advanced technology, genetically manipulated warriors, and the will to conquer. These aliens lurk in the wilderness, adding to the danger.
Seek shelter and a more orderly existence in the pockets of civilization that remain, or explore kilometers of wild Outlands and ruined cities. Find, buy, or create a vehicle to suit your needs – but remember that fuel and spare parts are rare. Find and train, or purchase, a mount – more vulnerable than a vehicle but more affordable and nearly self-sustaining. Think you have the perfect high tech rifle? It is the bullets that are sometimes hard to obtain. Battle among the ruins against creatures and brigands. Scavenge Pre-Fall materials and sell them for a profit. Join an allegiance and fight against their enemies, or remain neutral and indifferent to everyone but yourself.
There are four types of character associations in the game – factions, alliances, allegiances and clans.
Factions refer to in-game groups of associated characters, such as the Silics or the Hell Riders. Factions are not player-controlled entities, though player activity can influence them. Every character has a faction rating with each of the factions, based on many factors such as race (Human or Mutant), how many of the faction members they have slain or wounded, and the results of faction-based missions that they choose and complete. How other characters react to you is based on your faction rating with them, as well as on your actions (if you shoot a friendly character, you take negative faction hits and the character may defend themselves or run away).
All characters start the game “neutral,” though faction ratings are adjusted based on whether or not the character is a Human or Mutant. Characters can eventually join an alliance, if they like. To declare allegiance to a faction, characters work toward the common goals of the faction. For example, to become a member of the Silic Republic, one would take Silic missions, hunt down and destroy Silic enemies, or exterminate local nuisance creatures. Once a character declares an allegiance to a faction, they can gain faction ranks, which in turn allow the character to use special faction items, take special faction-only missions, provides access to faction-only areas, own property on faction land, etc.
Characters can only join one faction at a time, though you can nullify your allegiance and join a new one after a period of time – but beware! Leaving a faction will to some degree hurt your faction rating with your former friends. Also, if your faction rating drops below a certain point, you may find yourself forcibly removed from your faction!
Clans are player-created and controlled entities like you find in any MMORPG. A clan can be formed by player characters wanting to make their own in-game community. The clan leader’s character determines what kind of other characters can join the clan. Members of enemy or warring factions will not be able to join, and if an existing clan member’s faction rating drops far enough, they could be automatically ejected from the clan. Though clans are player-created and controlled, they still have to abide by faction restrictions. If your faction ratings are neutral enough, you will probably be able to join any clan. If a clan becomes large and influential, they may have an impact on the in-game factions and story plot.
R.A.: What is the game’s basic underlying concept or premise, and what are the core gameplay elements we can expect?
K.M.: Twilight War takes place in Earth’s future, with a virtual environment encompassing over 1,000 square kilometers of total terrain on release, with plenty of expansion space. In the late 21st century, a recently united Earth is devastated by a war with an alien race called the Skel, a war that, over the course of several years, utterly destroys civilization and most of Earth’s inhabitants. Two centuries after this Doomsday War, remnants of humanity, a new breed of biogenetically and radioactively altered mutants, and the descendants of the Skel fight to survive in a hostile world. Skirmishes are fought over scavenging rights in the skeletal remains of once great cities, and over the limited resources and remaining technology that litter the landscape. Exploration and scavenging will be a large part of the game. There will be far fewer resources compared to most games, so in many ways the game will be a quest for resources.
R.A.: How much of a backstory and story element are you planning, and to what extent will the latter be ongoing?
K.M.: The setting takes place in 2296, 200 years after the Doomsday War and The Fall destroyed human civilization. A number of survivor factions have emerged to stake their claims on the remaining resources and hidden technology left behind. Player characters can join many of these factions, and fight for their supremacy, or choose to remain aloof and forge their own destiny in the wastelands.
R.A.: Aside from post-apocalyptic settings being relatively uncommon, how do you intend for Twilight War to differ from other upcoming online worlds?
K.M.: First, the combat system will be a true merging of RPG and FPS – you will point and shoot, and move more like you do in a shooter game, but the effectiveness of your attacks will be partially based on your character’s skill with the weapon. We are also going for realism and depth – there will be complete systems for encumbrance, item decay, economics, item modification and exploration.
R.A.: Will the gameworld be varied in terms of having different types of terrain and architecture? And what means of travel will be available to cover long distances?
M.S.: The world will be large and diverse, with areas of alien forests, volcanoes, seas, wastelands, old battlegrounds and ruined cities. Travel and exploration will come in many forms. Players will be able to train and own mounts, and find and modify vehicles, each with advantages and disadvantages. Driving an armored buggy may be superior to riding a destrier, until you run out of gas or blow a tire in the middle of the wastelands! Most long distance travel is expected to involve mounts and vehicles, since there will be encumbrance restrictions placed on carrying items. But there are also skills that allow the adventurous types to live off the land and explore areas inaccessible to vehicles and most mounts.
R.A.: Just how combat-oriented will the gameplay be, and what are your primary goals what will obviously be a pretty major element?
K.M.: The game is highly combat-oriented. The future is all about survival. This also plays into the FPS-style combat system, which will make combat very intense. There are many reasons to fight other than outright survival. You may choose a faction and fight for its ideals. You may fight over scavenging rights, fuel, ammunition or that fine-looking, partially rusted 2291 model year sedan that still has a working fuel cell engine. You may fight over drugs, or you may fight to destroy a nest of energy vipers to make the nearby village a safer place. You may also take bounties out on Outlaw player characters.
R.A.: What kinds of computer-controlled enemies will players encounter? Will they face a large assortment, and what are some interesting examples?
K.M.: Outlander vagrants, biker gangs, wasteland wanderers, bandits, brigands, slavers, drug runners, cannibals and faction soldiers will be some of the main challenges you will meet. There are also many creatures, most of which are either alien in origin or the descendants of 21st century genetic engineering, which was all the rage before The Fall. One such creature is the Colossus, which is about the size of a house. Another is the Smilodon, one of several prehistoric animals recreated originally to entertain the masses but who now more often prey on the masses!
R.A.: At this point in development, what can you tell us about weapons, armor, items in general, how they” be acquired and how important they’ll be?
K.M.: Weapons and armor are very important. There will be everything from scale mail to advanced composite power armor, from crossbows to plasma weapons, as some of the survivor cultures have more tech capability than others. Most equipment will be usable halfway up the skill progression tree. Most of the advanced equipment will be rare, and it will need expensive maintenance. Equipment can be acquired many ways – through spoils of combat, scavenging in ruins, rewards for completed missions, trading with other characters – player characters and NPCs – and as a reward for faction service.
M.S.: Also, all items will degrade with use. Keeping the game world from filling up with tens of thousands of items is one of our goals, and maintaining equipment to keep it from falling apart fits with the genre. This will also help to maintain a realistic in-game economy, so there will never be a glut of something and most everything will have some value.
Unfortunately, troubles occured on January 3rd, 2006 with the closure of Smiling Gator:
Unfortunately, the end of 2005 is also the end of SGP’s development effort for Twilight War. Our committed funds have run dry and we were not successful in the hunt for additional investment. Thanks again to our fantastic forums community for all the support and contributions! We hope you find another project and give them the devotion and incisive comments we’ve enjoyed reading for the past 17 months.
Only a month later, a new developer was found to help completing Twilight War, the Chinese studio General Computers:
We are very pleased to announce that Smiling Gator has concluded an agreement to license the Twilight War concept and sub-license Valve’s Source engine to a new partner company, General Computers, to fund and continue development on our behalf.
General Computers is an independent information technology vendor with offices in Long Island, NY and Beijing, China. Founded in March 2001 to build customized IT products, it is rapidly growing and expanding into new areas. The agreement with Smiling Gator marks the company’s entry into the gaming world.
Following this announcement, Gamecloud got in touch with General Computers president Junhua Chang in order to know a bit more:
GC – How did the deal to continue work on Twilight War come about?
J.C. – After we have made the decision to enter the area of game development in early 2005, we have investigated several ways to start our new business. One of the first thoughts came to our minds was to develop a MMORPG using Valve’s Source Engine. Since Valve’s huge success with Half Life 2, a new MMORPG employing Valve’s technology would be a natural choice for Half Life 2 fans if they want to meet lots of people and play large-scale online games. We wanted to be the first company in the world to make this happen. However, after some closer investigation, we were very frustrated that somebody else (Smiling Gator Productions) already had the same idea (Twilight War: After The Fall). However, things totally changed when the year 2006 came, and SGP announced the discontinuation of Twilight War. We made the decision the same week to partner with SGP and continue the original idea.
GC – Does General Computers have plans to change the game play of Twilight War or does it intend to continue to stay the game’s course?
J.C. – Smiling Gator Productions has contributed many original ideas and content to the project, and we certainly want to continue to stay on the game’s original course. However, because of the dynamic nature of MMORPG, there will be some modifications and we will implement some new features when it’s necessary.
GC – When does General Computers plan to announce more about their plans for Twilight War?
J.C. – We are currently investigating the existing content and source code, so it will be about 1 or 2 months before we can get up to speed and contribute any original work. We plan to push a playable version monthly for internal testing purposes once we start to add more content, so there will be monthly updates and new screenshots starting from as early as April 2006.
But the game still went silent for a whole year, and it seems from this point on, that a closed beta was launched around 2007. However, Twilight War quietly vanished and was never mentionned again thereafter. We can speculate that something went wrong during the development, and General Computers had to take the decision to cancel the title. The very short gameplay sequence available below was from 2008, the beta could have been playable at least until that year.
In 2007 Sony announced that they will add a new MMO to its collection on MMOs released to that time (Everquest). On 10th August 2007 Sony announced that they will be developing new MMO in partnership with Virgin Comics. Game will be based on Ramayan 3392 A.D. comics released under Virgin Comics. It is a futuristic reinterpretation of indian mythology. Sony signed a multiyear cooperation with the team behind the comics.
Virgin Comics cofounder and CEO Sharad Devarajan explained that the game’s cultural roots will help bring a fresh perspective to the genre.”
Ramayan 3392 A.D. is based on the ancient Sanskrit epic Ramayana. The story follows a battle between humans and demons in a post-apocalyptic world. The comic was written by Shamik Dasgupta with illustrations by Abhishek Singh, and was based on a story by author Deepak Chopra and Elizabeth (1998) director Shekhar Kapur.
Ramayan 3392 A.D. was aimed for 2010 release. Until today, the game hasn’t been released and on most sites can be found its status on release date only as TBD.
Hinter Wars: The Aterian Invasion is a cancelled online RPG that was in development around 2005 / 2006 by Activate Interactive, planned to be published by Nokia for N-Gage and PC. As in other MMORPG players would choose between different characters, each one with their own skills and appearances, then log online to explore the game world, fight enemies and chat with their friends.
A playable beta was available for free on their official website, and people could help the team testing their server for online multiplayer. Players could then play on their PC while at home, then continue their adventure outside using the same profile on N-Gage. Some more details on Hinter Wars’ settings and gameplay were also shared at the time:
“HinterWars: The Aterian Invasion’ was derived from an original storyline that revolves around a group of space-faring races that face the possibility of being invaded by the Aterians. The game features four broad character types – the Humans, Firans, Brucians and Taikuus – whose costumes, appearances and armour can be customized according to each player’s specifications. The game also allows interaction between players such as broadcast and private chat, trading of items and teaming up for conquests. Successes are rewarded by new downloads, rare items, additional power and experience, virtual cash rewards – and ultimately, fame within the HinterWars gaming community.”
Possibly because of the N-Gage failure on the market, Nokia and Activate canned the project and Hinter Wars was never completed.
Star Net Frontier is a cancelled Massive Multiplayer Online Sci-Fi RPG / Shooter that was in development by Dart Studio around 2002 – 2004, planned to be released on PC. Players would have been able to take different roles (trade captain, soldier, rogue, politic, etc.) while exploring a series of alien planets (with up to 100 square miles of open terrains), travel and trade around the galaxy, battle on planets and in space. As we have already seen many times in other cancelled games with similar premises (huge galaxy full of explorable planets, freedom to choose how to play the game, online multiplayer with thousands of players) Star Net Frontier’s ambitions were too high for a small team.
The game was planned to feature:
Highly flexible and modular design of the online world supported by dynamic game-play
Large-scale episodic storyline to extend and update game environments and locales as well as launch a major episode on a regular basis. Each episode will be based on such events as civil wars and invasions, large-scale battles, discovery of new planets, natural disasters, etc.
Simulation of sophisticated economy and politics; players will be able to engage in cutthroat trade, support or oppose political parties, establish governments, and even declare wars.
Player-to-player and player-to-NPC interaction of the thousands online players in the single persistent Universe.
Experience of multiple environments using First and Third Person View:
Large open terrain environment – roam on foot or vehicle from 10th up to 100th square miles of continuous open terrains including deserts, forests and jungle, hills and mountains, etc.
Open terrain environment will support real-time weather and environmental factors (rain and snow, alteration of day and night, etc.)
Open outer space environment – huge network of star systems, connected together. Using a spacecraft players will roam from one star system to another, orbit planets, explore asteroid belts, dock to space stations, land on the planets.
Large indoor environment – play inside of such structures as factories, mines, board huge space stations and battleships.
“Water and underwater” as well as “in the air” environments.
Unique profession of reporter will allow players to record/replay events in the game. It will allow players to report and share in-game events and experience with other players in the game as well as with a bigger community out of the game, on the web.
“Game takes place in the far future, millennia after the human race first steps on the moon of the home planet and in space. Humanity spread widely among the stars and settled hundreds of thousands of star systems. Vast computer networks spread across all those stars. And in this network AI woke up and gained consciousness. Controlling millions of mechanisms and bio-machines (cyborgs), it tried to free itself from the slavery as well as conquer and dominate humanity. Hundreds of years of wars followed that moment.
During the wars separated human worlds were united in the vast and mighty Empire and finally AI was forced beyond the borders of the Empire. But it wasn’t terminated, the threat still remains and war continues. AI mechanized legions are still attacking unprotected worlds at the borders and it sends spies deep into the Empire, looking for weaknesses. On the fringes of the human Empire, among the stars and on the surface of alien planets, the future of the sentient being will be decided.”
SNF world will be populated by humans, AI machines, and cyborgs – hybrid combinations of humans and machines.
As a citizen of one of the planet-states or as a member of a free mercenary outfit, players will have a chance to try and learn many professions in the army, merchant fleets, trade guilds, and many more.
SNF game takes place on several planets, moons and space around these planets. Each SNF planet is a 3D emulation of one or several regions of the planet’s surface. Each region may cover up to hundred square miles of different kinds of terrain. Players may navigate on foot or using different vehicles to small towns, trade-posts, watchtowers, military bases and forts, ruins of underground labyrinths and mazes of abandoned scientific laboratories or industrial installations. In space the game takes place between planets, space stations, moon bases littered with fields of debris of destroyed spaceships, blown-up space stations, and ruined battle platforms and satellites left from previous wars. Planets and moons have asteroid fields and other space junk in their orbits as well. Players may travel in space using starships.
In the end Star Net Frontiers quietly vanished and today no one remembers about this lost game. We speculate the team did not find a publisher of funds to continue working on their ambitious MMO, so the project had to be canned.
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