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Parabellum (Acony Games) [PC, PS3, Xbox 360 – Cancelled]

Parabellum is a cancelled Free to Play multiplayer First-Person Shooter developed from 2005 to 2010 by Acony Games and published by K2 Network, for the PC alongside, for a while, potential Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions. Set in 2018, the game was about two factions, terrorist organization named “The Syndicate” and the counterterrorist forces (The CTF), fighting on maps based on districts from New York City. The project was first showed at the Games Convention 2006, where Gamespot was able to see it in action:

For starters, the city that the Delta Force is attempting to save in Parabellum comprises 12 distinct maps arranged on a grid with industrial, commercial, and residential themes. At the start of each timed campaign game, the terrorist players will get to choose which map they want to plant the bomb in, and then it’s up to the Delta Force to find it. The time limit that you choose for the game should determine how many of the city’s maps are in play, though this won’t necessarily happen automatically. After a campaign gets underway, the Delta Force players will need to defeat the terrorists on the current map before getting to choose which adjacent map to fight them on next, as they continue their search for the bomb. If the terrorists win a map, the same one will be played again–eating away at the Delta Force’s time limit.

When the Delta Force team chooses a new map, they’ll find that each one can be played from four different starting points (or in four different directions, if you prefer), so although there will only ever be 12 maps that need to be searched, there are 48 different gameplay experiences available. If the terrorist players correctly guess which map the Delta Force will choose to move into after winning a game, they’ll have an opportunity to spawn early and set up an ambush for the good guys.

The first map that we got to see the Delta Force scouring was from the city’s industrial zone and incorporated a building site and what appeared to be a factory of some description. When bullets started flying around the rain-soaked level, we noticed that practically every object in the nicely detailed environment appeared to be destructible to some degree, including a water tower high above the ground that leaked out of bullet holes when it was shot.

The destructibility of the maps will have a noticeable impact on gameplay in Parabellum, not only because you’ll be able to destroy items that could provide cover, but also because one of the three different ammo types available to you is capable of shooting clean through up to 20 meters of wall. To show us how this might be useful, the Acony representative who was demoing the game fired off a few rounds at a wall that he suspected an enemy might be hiding behind. It might also have been possible to take out the enemy by shooting from around a corner, since Parabellum supports ricocheting bullets, but it seemed like most of the projectiles ended up splashing harmlessly into puddles when this feature was demonstrated.

After watching a couple of fast-paced battles on the industrial map, we had an opportunity to check out a very different one set inside a large subway station–complete with deadly moving trains. After exploring the map for a while and showing off its impressive level of detail, the Acony player found the nuclear bomb and disarmed it.

Parabellum currently supports up to 32 players simultaneously, but the maps have apparently all been designed with six-on-six battles in mind at this point. Based on the two maps that we saw, we’d say that slightly larger groups of players shouldn’t pose any problems, but a full roster of 32 would almost certainly make the game feel a bit overcrowded.

One of Parabellum’s features that we didn’t get to see in action is the weapon-selection screen, which we understand you’ll use to customize your arsenal before each round. In addition to ammo, range, and rate-of-fire considerations, you’ll need to bear in mind the weight of the weapons you choose, since heavier options will purportedly slow down your movement quite noticeably.

However, after this presentation, the title went silent for nearly two whole years, with the exception to a couple of screenshots published by Acony from time to time. Parabellum was eventually showed again in September 2008 to Gamesradar:

(…) Powered by the Unreal Engine 3, coats of physics, lighting, and animation tech color its two main modes: a non-linear campaign and team deathmatch. We’re trying out the former, a scenario that sees us (and our four counter-terrorist teammates), with just 10 minutes to stop a nuke in New York. But before we can cut wires dramatically, we have to complete our immediate objective: disarming/planting/rescuing stuff of lesser value. So far, still so Counter-Strike. A first map takes us just a few minutes.

Quickly, we’re progressing through different maps, attacking additional objectives. The aim is to keep campaigns, like the rounds, brief. At the moment, they’re somewhere between 10 and 40 minutes, with the map list differing depending on which campaign you select. It’s not long before we’re running the final map, disarming the big, bad nuke that wants to blow the Big Apple’s house down.

Just before its launch into closed beta, Acony signed a deal with K2 Network in March 2009, planning to host the game on their Gamersfirst portal:

GamersFirst, a service of K2 Network and one of today’s most popular free2play online game destinations, announces Parabellum, a brand new Free2Play massive multiplayer online First persons Shooter.

“Parabellum will set the standard of what to expect from Free2Play games,” said David Demers, Associate Producer of Parabellum. “Bringing quality Triple-A titles to the Free-to-Play market raises the bar for all and sets GamersFirst apart from the rest.”

Set in a world in a not too distant future, the privatization of global military forces has created highly profitable opportunities for ex-soldiers, mercenaries and adventurers. Gamers must choose their alignments carefully to survive. You must join forces with one of the two foremost covert reconnaissance organizations in the world. The CTF; an organization avowed to keeping anarchy at bay, or the Syndicate; a legion of bloodthirsty rebels bent on destruction and chaos. Each of them are solicited by the C.I.N. a Global Mercenary Network that provides contract missions to each of these factions who vie against one another with the fate of the World as the ultimate prize.

Unfortunately, after going into closed beta, then into public beta during the course of 2009, the development of the game seems to have slowed down before being stopped in October 2010, when K2 Network announced that they were withdrawing from the game:

The Unreal Engine 3-based free-to-play first person shooter Parabellum is now without a US-based publisher. GamersFirst, who announced plans to publish the game back in 2009, have now posted up a note on the company’s message board that, “{developer) Acony and GamersFirst have mutually agreed to stop operating Parabellum on gamersfirst.com. Further information will be made available at a later date.”

The modern day-themed first person shooter also appears to be AWOL on the game’s own web site. The site currently seems to be in a design holding pattern. The game’s official message boards also don’t offer much in terms of development updates.

Parabellum was canceled soon after this announcement.

After Parabellum’s cancellation, Acony will go on Bullet Run, another Free to Play multiplayer First-Person Shooter, which used assets and design ideas initially made for Parabellum. The game was met with negative reception by the press and Acony was soon forced to shutdown their operations, alongside the servers of Bullet Run.

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Aries (First Eye Interactive) [PC – Cancelled]

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:

Faction Choice

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

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.

Kyridian

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

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 two books.

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The Amazing Eternals [PC – Cancelled]

The Amazing Eternals (formerly known as Keystone) is a cancelled Free-to-Play sci-fi team-based multiplayer online first-person shooter and cards game hybrid developed and published by Digital Extremes, from 2015 to 2017, exclusively for PC. It used collectible cards to determine the character’s additional abilities during a match and included deck-building for customized gameplay.

Players was traveling through a 1970s-themed “multiverse” represented by a virtual game board with decks of cards that confered special bonuses, powers, and weapons. The game moved into closed beta in September 2017 with a total of 6 playable characters named Eternals:

Winter – A ruthless Carythian bounty hunter, the most infamous in the galaxy. Rumored to have assassinated the King of the Cosmos, he rarely rejects a job.

As word spread of the arrival of alien heroes into his reality, whispers of a galactic prophecy began to circulate. Winter is now contracted to track down and stop the rebel scientist responsible.

Winter, Skirmisher specializes in intense frontline combat. With a well-timed Red Vora stim, he stabilizes his health and jump starts regeneration, keeping him in the fight.

Nautica – Shipwrecked at the age of five she survived on her own, clinging to the debris of her ship for weeks on end. Found and rescued by the World Turtle, Nautica grew up with the colorful residents who lived on her protector’s back.

Imbued with the powers of the ocean, and trained by powerful water elementals, Nautica has returned to save the planet and heal the world.

Nautica, Sea Star calls forth a giant, shimmering sea star to shower allies with healing water.

Ray – Mission Specialist Raymond Windstone: Astronaut. Mechanic. Nozzle enthusiast.

Four-time “Action Science” Magazine”s Man of the Year, Ray is a man out of time. Pulled from his reality by mysterious forces and facing danger on the fringes of known space his wit and mechanical skills keep him alive… and looking good doing it.

Ray, Combat Engineer supports ally positions with a Pulse Turret, putting additional pressure on enemy forces or just causing a clever distraction.

Niia – A resourceful huntress. Surviving in the harsh desert wastes, she’s become a master marksman and tracker out of necessity. Spending almost her entire life alone she drifts between settlements taking odd and often unsavoury jobs that suit her particular set of skills. She has never lost a quarry and has never missed a shot. Charging her bow increases effectiveness. She also uses a Ritual Spear, an ancient family heirloom.

Her unnatural talents may stem from her ability to attune her spirit to those of her ancestors, calling on them in times of need.

Niia, Elusive Trapper throws a slowing trap that makes enemies easier targets. Can help Niia evade pursuers. Her Haunt ability tracks and exposes targets.

Bristle – A creature of myth; a manifestation of pure primal terror.

Folktales tell of Bristle taking children in the dark of night when nothing stirs, their bones discovered years later, meters from where they had entered the forest.

He comes for you: a creature born of your fear of the forgotten places. A ravenous legend.

Lumbering. Hungering. Pitiless. Starving for the nourishment of your blood, and bone.

Bristle, Bark Wall springs forth a dense woodland barrier that blocks pathways and sightlines, allowing allies a safe place to take cover.

Dread – Grotesque and vile, Dread is both a monstrosity of creation and a marvel of science. After a series of forbidden experiments to resurrect the dead a husband and wife team, to their great misfortune, discovered the secret of eternal life.

A horrible accident crippled Anabel, killed her husband and leveled their lab. Years later, obsessed and mad with grief Anabel, harnessing the blackest of machinery and unholy electricity, honored their work by reanimating her husband; but what came back was something else. Something… not him.

Dread, Havoc Bag throws a volatile contraption that explodes with electric fury, dealing damage and disabling enemy devices for a short time.

But unfortunately, the game was quickly put on-hold on October 27th, 2017, less than two months after lauching into beta, as we can read on MCV:

“After many discussions internally on the state of The Amazing Eternals, we have decided to hit the pause button on development at this time,” a Digital Extremes statement confirmed. “This decision didn’t come lightly. We worked hard to make a game that we are proud to say was shaping up to have great potential.

“However, we took an honest look at the current gaming landscape and how the game was performing in Closed Beta. Unfortunately, the game wasn’t attracting players fast enough to support a viable matchmaking player base with the current game design direction, which is the lifeblood of this type of game. So, with heavy hearts, we’re taking a step back to reevaluate the design and may revisit our intrepid heroes in the future.”

The game was announced last spring and only received its official name in August. It was to be a free-to-play multiplayer “hero shooter”. Early footage had a whiff of Overwatch about it, but it certainly boasted its own style, leaning into a 1960/70s aesthetic.

Some months later, on July 9th, 2018, Meridith Braun shared to PCGamesN more information on why they decided to pull the plug on the project:

“A lot of things were converging at the same time then and what we realised was that it was the right game at the wrong time. The competitive landscape at that time was pretty hefty. We just saw LawBreakers not do so great, and it was a fantastic game, so that was sad. That happened right when we were starting our closed beta for Amazing Eternals.”

LawBreakers got plenty of negative publicity around its release, but it was directed more at the game’s low player count than its actual quality. The game reviewed well enough, and the few players it had seemed to enjoy sticking with it, though it wasn’t enough to compete against the likes of Overwatch and the rising tide of battle royale. At the time, director Cliff Bleszinski pointed to Warframe as an example of a game able to escape low player counts.

At around the same time, Digital Extremes announced the Plains of Eidolon expansion. Braun says “that really blew up and doubled the numbers on Warframe, and suddenly that became the resource hog that we hadn’t realised.”

“We weren’t seeing the traction we had hoped for in the closed beta, and weighing that against the success of Plains of Eidolon it just made good business sense to pour those resources back into Warframe.” Thus, The Amazing Eternals was cancelled. “It was a hard decisions but it was the right decision at that time.”

But the developers aren’t giving up entirely on launching a new game.

“I think we’ll try again, but I don’t know when.”

Today, Digital Extremes is still around and kicking, thanks to the huge success of Warframe, whose last expansion was released on September 7th, 2022. On July 2022, they announced a brand new game called Soulframe, alongside a game developed by Airship Syndicate that they will publish.

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Spoils of War (East Coast Games) [PC – Cancelled]

Spoils of War is a cancelled sci-fi futuristic multiplayer First-Person Shooter/Real Time Strategy hybrid game developed by East Coast Games around 2004-2005, then in 2014, exclusively for PC. The game offered the possibility to play two different genres, either by playing real-time strategy as the Battlefield Commander, or First/Third-Person Shooter with any other classes.

As we can read on the now-defunct website of the game, it took place in the future in a war against humans and an alien species named Ematrants on an unknown planet:

The Humans

“The year is 2090, the golden age of human space exploration. Betrayed by the ever expanding deterioration of our own world, we were in desperate need of another planet capable of sustaining us. Eighty years ago, after many, many years of fruitless missions and fading hopes, the Saturn 5 wormhole was discovered. To our amazement, this portal could transmit our vessels one million light years away to a previously un-chartered galaxy… finally, a galaxy with the ability to sustain the human race.

Unmanned probes verified the existence of multiple planets, each with fresh oxygen-rich air, amazing minerals and bio-substances, ample food and water, palatable temperature and acceptable atmospheric conditions for habitation. The probes identified something else however, the existence of an intelligent humanoid species. Soon after, manned vessels were sent with orders to proceed with caution, ensuring that the message was evident – we had come in peace. Eventually our non-threatening, alliance oriented approach began to make a difference as our emissaries reported greater and more open interaction with the Ematrants. They even helped us establish colonies, research stations and trade routes. Given the growing cooperation between them and the colonies, and the worsening conditions on Earth, many of our best and brightest military strategists, linguists, scientists, engineers and medical professionals eagerly volunteered to help ensure, and establish a viable foothold on behalf of the future of the human race. Each successive test yielded positive results and our colonies were seemingly more and more effective establishing trust and mutually beneficial trade – with a host species we believed we were coming to understand.

But understand… how could we – for only a true savage could. As a mysterious illness befell their loved ones, they quickly blamed humans for their predicament. With no warning, our colonies began to report merciless, deadly attacks. Thus, compelled to defend our colonies – we immediately dispatched the necessary compliment of forces, vehicles and weaponry. There was no way we were going to let them simply slaughter our people, and turning back was not a viable option. Our only option was war.

The war raged for close to a decade, becoming increasing brutal as time went on. But somehow, they managed to seal the wormhole – cutting the colonial forces off from necessary supply lines and reinforcements. Our brightest military specialists, scientists and engineers couldn’t manage to reopen the portal. All communication with the colonies was lost – as well, any opportunity for us to assist countless people dependent on our support.

After almost seventy years of painstaking effort, and equally frustrating deafening radio silence from the colonies, a way to successfully penetrate the portal was finally identified. This time, unmanned probes found our gravest fears realized. Indications from the probe were that all traces of our colonies, of the thousands of our people, military and civilian – were simply gone. Although time had effectively camouflaged most of the obvious signs, evidence was found suggesting their blood-thirsty savagery… the extent of the utter massacre that must have engulfed our trapped colonies. Once the wormhole was closed, our colonies never had a chance.

Now that we have a rediscovered means of penetrating the portal, and seen indications of the carnage that occurred, long standing theories of the possibilities of peaceful co-existence – are no longer perspectives deserving the light of day. We have begun amassing a massive force of the most experience troops, most intelligent military minds – and all the technology and military might we have at our disposal. We will return – with revenge for those brutally murdered the fuel for the burning rage we have within.

We offered them good will and commerce – and betrayal and uncivilized butchery was their response. Good will and commerce are now off the table. Now all we have to offer them is death. Ematrants, prepare to meet your maker. We are coming…”

The Ematrants

“Initially they were welcomed to our planets, allowed to interact freely and come and go as desired. Colonies were allowed to be established, inter-species trade was condoned… they were permitted to flourish in our world. But the ability to flourish peacefully was obviously never their intent. No, they wanted more… much more. Their goal instead was the extinction of our species, and the eventual sole proliferation of theirs, on a set of planets newly claimed. Once they found our guards to be sufficiently down, they revealed their true purpose – introducing a mysterious plague of massive and deadly proportions. It took us some time to realize the plaque’s origin and their deviant mechanism of transport and infestation – their very own self-infected carrier bodies.

Perplexed at first, we watched helplessly as, without warning, inexplicable illness and excruciatingly painful, inhumane death befell our loved ones – everyone with a history of even the slightest interaction, direct or indirect, with them. There was no effective treatment… no chance of recovery – only what we came to realize was the intentional attempt at species cleansing. We could idly watch no more. And so with no other viable alternative, forced to defend our land… our loved ones… our selves – we retaliated. The resulting war consumed many seasons and countless Ematrant forces, as they continued to send more (and better equipped) troops, technology and vehicles through the wormhole.

It wasn’t until the year of Narkanus the Great, that a focus on the ancient science of space and time facilitated the creation of a device that could stem the spread of the deadly plague. With the plague finally behind us, we recommitted our efforts to turning the tide of the war. In time we were able to permanently seal the portal – their only means of supply and replenishment.

With the wormhole sealed, we exacted the military might necessary to effectively eliminate the threat – ensuring, at least to some degree, justice for our innocent, murdered loved ones was served. With a combination precision and brute force we successfully wiped out all traces of the carrier mechanisms from our galaxy – never to trust again.

Rid of the threat, but wiser for the ordeal, we endeavored to put the disastrous plague… the necessary response… that unfortunate segment of our history behind us. We needed to move on… to forget about the dark days. But forgetting is no longer an option. It began when the prophets started having visions of the plague’s return. Fear began to spread much like the plague itself. Just as we had begun to reclaim some semblance of the peaceful, spiritual lives we once knew, somehow they managed to reopen the portal. The humans are again here among us.

And so, if it is war they want, then war is what they shall have – this time of a magnitude they can’t even begin to imagine with their diminutive, underdeveloped brains. We are ready to defend what is ours. This time, with a clear comprehension of their true purpose, we are more than capable of ensuring the plague of the humans is never allowed to happen again. So, if they are dim-witted enough not to know what they are up against – let them come. The plague, and the filthy, untrustworthy aliens that carry both it, along with any of the other various weapons they dare raise against us, must, and will, be destroyed. And as our Gods are our witness we vow to eliminate this selfish, ungrateful, uncivilized scourge from our galaxy, and maybe theirs as well – once and for all. One way or the other, we Ematrants will survive.

Let them come. Their long overdue, and much deserved, brutal extinction awaits…”

OVERVIEW

“Select the role of Battlefield Commander and toggle between managing your team in RTS and fighting an intense battle as a FPS. Or choose one of three other roles and enjoy extraordinary first-person combat as you experience character growth. “Spoils of War” skillfully combines the successes of real-time strategy and first-person shooter to create intense warfare and player depth that is unparalleled. As Battlefield Commander, switch between RTS and FPS modes to manage your team’s economy and technology while leading your fellow human players to victory. As one of three first-person characters you will commandeer vehicles, become skillful with weaponry, and use unique powers in a high velocity war.”

GAME FEATURES

  • Start your own game: Be one of four Battlefield Commanders and determine your team’s strategy, build structures and weapons, manage resources, and provide instant instruction via chat. Or be one of 12 first-person characters and follow your commander’s instructions to help your team to victory.
  • The engine designed for “Spoils of War” uniquely combines RTS with FPS to deliver speed, incredible 3D rendering, community, and scale in a high-contrast alien environment.
  • Create over 50 unique structures and units.
  • Wreak havoc by controlling deadly beasts, manning heavy artillery, commandeering vehicles, or using special powers.
  • Explore a diverse world of intense lighting, sound, and perspective.

Further details emerged quickly after its reveal, with, for instance, a detailed sheet explaining every classes for both sides, alongside an interview of Matt Andrews by HomeLAN:

HomeLAN – First, how did East Coast Games come to be formed?

M.A. – ECG was founded in January, 2004 by Jim Servia (President) and Chuck Goebel (Chief Technology Officer). They both gave me a call with a unique creative opportunity and after just a few phone calls I was on-board managing the creative direction and marketing for the title. Chuck and Jim had begun developing the Spoils of War game engine a while prior to our first call and I was extremely impressed with their concept and progress.

HomeLAN – Another critically acclaimed game, Savage, also combined first person shooter and real time strategy gameplay. How will Spoils of War differ from that game’s approach?

M.A. – The main point of difference with Spoils of War from any other game is an equal combination of the two genres; we stayed away from being one genre with some of another mixed in. We’ve accomplished this with our character structure in that the player has the ability to decide how they want to play the game, in FPS mode only, in RTS mode only, or by combining the two. When a person plays Spoils of War they might find that the Battlefield Commander position is one they’d like to try because of the ability to control resources and manage Artificial Intelligence’s or they may be perfectly happy going off on their own and wreaking havoc as an overwhelming FPS. Others may enjoy RTS, but every once in a while wish they could drop down and help their fellow warrior(s) on the battlefield.

Also, our characters have a lot of depth with some having powers, brute force, agility, or a million combinations of those and more. Another unique quality to Spoils of War that people will enjoy is the environment. We worked hard to create terrains that would not only present good opportunities for battle, but they challenge users to think, explore, strategize, and use to their fullest extent.

HomeLAN – How will the first person shooter and real time strategy aspects of the genre be used in Spoils of War?

M.A. – Our RTS and FPS elements are unique to Spoils of War because some of the RTS assets can be occupied by FPS characters or managed by the RTS Battlefield Commander character. For example there are the Main and Heavy Battle Mechs on the Human side. These mechanical beasts of destruction can be told by the Battlefield Commander to attack any asset or a FPS character can find one on the field of play, hop in it and start wreaking havoc. We have a series of Artificial Intelligence characters on each side as well that all have characteristics of their own and in some cases will be as organic as the FPS characters in the way they move. Take the Ematrant Reaper for instance: This massive beast was bread for pure hatred of the enemy and is instructed by the Ematrant Battlefield Commander to do nothing by demolish anything or anyone that comes in its path. We made this thing so overpowering as a bi-ped that when you compare the player economies he pairs-up with the Main Battle Mech in intimidation.

Standard RTS assets such as structures and Artificial Intelligence characters interact with the FPS characters in that they offer support and are all an integral part to achieving a FPS or RTS objective to defeat the enemy. I’ll run through an example: At the beginning of a game the random spawn points drop you and your team on one side of a 5-mile wide crater and your opponent on the other side. After some tactical recon you decide to maneuver towards a large-sized resource deposit that’s in close proximity to your enemy. Following some minor advancement you know you’re going to eventually be seen, so you might as well build-up some forces before engaging your opponent. As the Battlefield Commander you dispatch Construction Droids (say you’re a Human) to go mine resources you find along the way. Once you’ve accumulated enough you build a clone lab that will produce ground infantry. Production of the infantry begins; you amass your forces and command them to run with your FPS characters to achieve your goal. The infantry is commanded in RTS mode and the FPS characters are led via in-game chat.

HomeLAN – Will there be a single player campaign or will the game be a multiplayer title only?

M.A. – For now this is multiplayer only. We may introduce a single-player piece. With a maximum of 16 players on one map, Spoils of War will allow for massive battles, fast-paced warfare, and the ultimate tactical challenge.

HomeLAN – What is the current status of the game’s progress and when will it be released?

M.A. – We’re currently getting ready to do an internal beta release, gathering beta participants and finalizing the test plan.

We have a few months of testing to complete and concurrently we’re weighing our publishing options. To date we’ve been reviewing opportunities with a lot publishers and are working hard to shore-up the best way to get the product in your hands in the most effective manner.

Unfortunately, the game discreetly vanished after all of this. We can assume that the developer didn’t manage to secure a publisher and had to postpone it.

However, in February 2014, East Coast Games resurfaced from the dead by lauching a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter for their game. But the financial goal wasn’t reach, only collecting 285$ on a total of 350.000$. Without surprise, Spoils of War was again cancelled after that failed attempt and East Coast Games definitely disappeared from the picture.

Spoils of War wasn’t necessarily the first cancelled game trying that mix between FPS and RTS. In the same period, we also could see games such as Ghost Wars, Dreadnoughts and Terra : Formations, among others.

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Black Powder Red Earth (FPS Version from Echelon Software) [PC – Cancelled]

Black Powder Red Earth is a turn-based tactics game published and developed by Echelon Software and released on PC and mobile phones in 2021.

As we can read on Steam, the story takes place in the near present, where you step into the event horizon of a failed state in the Middle East, as Private Military Contractor – Cold Harbor, hunting jihadist terrorists in war-torn sprawls as a lethal surrogate for the host nation. The license is also available in tabletop wargames and graphic novels.

But before being released in this form, Black Powder Red Earth took a much different approach. The game was announced in June 2007 by its developers as a multiplayer First-Person Shooter, powered by the Unreal Engine 3 and taking place in the distant future as announced by FiringSquad:

“Rather than build an elaborate 3D world space, Black Powder Red Earth uses the same framework commonly found on the Web for social networking. Players are already used to creating and managing online identities on sites like Myspace and Orkut. They are also buying and selling real and virtual products on sites like Ebay, iTunes and Amazon. By using these familiar tools, Black Powder Red Earth keeps the learning curve as flat as possible,” says Jon Chang, president of Echelon. “Best of all, unbinding these activities from the game executable gives players access to the world of Black Powder Red Earth either from inside the game or from the outside via any Web-enabled device. Persistence is the real world, anytime the players want it.”

Set on Mars in 2043, Players act as mercenary soldiers executing contracts for warring corporations in a variety of urban/industrial sprawls, using bleeding edge weapons in hi-tech team based battles for virtual currency that can be used to purchase new weapons, upgrade existing weapons, buy armor and tactical enhancements to fine tune their in-game experience. As players rank up, they will also be able to open their own mercenary franchises. These franchises provide a base for recruiting other players into a clan, offer in- game advantages for members and allow the owners to open their own storefronts that compete against the game MSRPs and can generate “cash” from new players of the game.

  • Multiplayer-only, allowing up to 16 players to battle online together
  • Next-generation graphics powered by Unreal Engine 3
  • 8 contract campaign plays out in a detailed near-future 3D environments
  • Earn “virt cash” to collect more than 100 parts and accessories
  • Customize weapons, browse for new items, and build a career in a familiar Web interface in- game or from any Web browser at any time!
  • Build a franchise private military company (PMC) with other players or create a competing store front to sell arms and gear to other players
  • Association with former PMC operatives ensures realistic game play

During the same period, a short trailer was also unveiled, but after that, the game fell completely into limbo before resurfacing in 2011, then 2014, in the form of a graphic novel, the background completely modified but using the same war-based themes.

If you know someone who worked on this version of Black Powder Red Earth and could help us preserve more screenshots, footage or details, please let us know!

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