Linux Support for Distance – A Next Generation Arcade Racer

According to their recent update, Distance will officially be supported on Linux!

The Official word from Refract Studios

Time for Change

With only two weeks left and 58% still to go, we feel it’s time to change things up. We’ve been spending every waking minute since launching this campaign to spread the word to press and original fans of Nitronic Rush, but it’s not enough. We’re going to be putting out a lot more updates about the project from here on out, and we’ll need your help to share them with the world.

Before I get too far, I want to say to everyone who’s expressed concern over us making the goal, bumped up their pledges, and have been writing and sharing the game online, your belief in this project means everything to us. It really gives us the encouragement to push forward everyday, since we know that you’ll be as devastated as us if we can’t make this game.

New Additions: Linux support, split-screen, and a new tier!

We’re excited to announce that Distance will officially be supported on Linux! We tested Distance using the Unity 4 beta, and we feel confident that we can safely bring Distance to Linux. You can read more about the Unity 4 Linux support by checking out their FAQ page here. For those of you who are Linux users, please help by reaching out to the Linux community and let them know that this game exists!

On top of that, we’re announcing the official addition of split-screen to Distance. We took the time to test it out because we believe it’s something severely lacking from most racing games today, and we’re excited to have it be a part of the action in Distance. Right now we’re looking at 2-4 players, but we’ll keep experimenting to see what works best for each mode.

We’ve also been listening to your comments and we’re adding a new tier to our campaign! There is now a $35 tier for anyone who wants the backer vehicle but doesn’t want two copies of the game. It will include everything at the $25 tier plus the backer vehicle. If you already pledged for something below $35 remember that you can easily bump up your pledge by clicking the blue “Manage Your Pledge” button on Distance’s Kickstarter page.

Remember that this vehicle is only available for Kickstarter backers, and never available again to anyone else down the road. Jason’s been working on a concept sketch for it which you can see below. It’s still a work in progress, but it gives a glance at what the car may look like when it’s modeled:

Clarifications: Two copies of the game for $70+, DRM-free copies

We realized that at all $70+ tiers you only get one copy of the game by getting all of the things in the $25 tier. We’re bumping it up so that you’ll be getting everything at the $50 tier, which means everyone $70+ will be getting two copies of the game and the backer vehicle.

We also want to clarify that you’ll always be able to get the game DRM-free! We’re doing our best to get onto as many digital distribution platforms as possible, and we’re doing well on Steam Greenlight so you’ll most likely be able to download it on Steam at launch. No matter what though, you’ll be able to get a copy of Distance DRM-free direct download (like Nitronic Rush) if you prefer.

CAMPAIGN ADDITIONS:

We can’t change the description of tiers once the campaign’s started, but all of these modifications are effective as of now:

  • All tiers now include the option of Windows, Mac, or Linux [NEW]!
  • Every tier includes a DRM-free version for whatever platform you choose.
  • All tiers $70+ now include 2 copies of the game and access to the backer vehicle (everything from the $50 tier instead of from the $25 tier).
  • We included a new $35 backer tier for those that want the backer vehicle but don’t want two copies of the game.
  • The game now includes split-screen support for at least 2-4 players!

THE RESPONSE SO FAR:

  • “Considering the level of quality this group achieved as students at DigiPen with the excellent (and free!) Nitronic Rush, the promise of making a more ambitious follow-up with more money and staff is exciting.” Allistair Pinsof, Destructoid
  • “The themes of Nitronic are repeated here – gravity-defying racing on impossible tracks, this time far more pretty, along with multiplayer, and driving upside down, like in real life.” John Walker, RockPaperShotgun
  • “[T]he exploration mode sounds more exciting than the traditional Grand Theft Auto style, since the car can jump, rotate, ride up building sides, and generally defy gravity.” John Polson, IndieGames.com

To see more, check out the news roundups in our Updates!

Distance is a Windows/Mac/Linux survival racing game that combines the intense action of arcade racing with the exploration of an atmospheric world. You control a unique car that allows you to boost, jump, rotate, and even fly through a chaotic and twisted city. The world has a mysterious history, and as you explore you’ll be able to uncover pieces of its past.

The roads are treacherous and unpredictable with obstacles around every corner. Instead of doing laps on a loop, you’ll be trying to survive to the end in the quickest time. Since your car has several abilities, it allows you to not only drive fast on the track but also upside down and on buildings and walls! You can also fly to discover new shortcuts and paths.

You can take on the roads alone, or in multiplayer with your friends!

The game is a spiritual successor to the multi-award winning game Nitronic Rush, created by ourselves and 8 others while attending DigiPen Institute of Technology. It was released in 2011 on PC, and it was widely praised for its innovative mechanics, visual style, audio design, and atmosphere.

Nitronic Rush was a student project and in many ways only a prototype for what Distance will become. You can try it out for yourself (for free) by downloading it on the Nitronic Rush download page.

  • “Even if you’re not a big racing fan, the intuitive controls and fun atmosphere will keep the pedal to the metal for some time to come.” Rob Manuel, G4TV
  • “It’s a fun, slick, and professionally designed game, and I’m looking forward to more from the Nitronic Rush team.” Todd Kenreck, MSNBC
  • “If you haven’t already guessed, this game’s kinda awesome” … “It’s brilliant, it’s an incredibly good racing game.” John Bain, TotalBiscuit
  • “If you like a unique, challenging racing game, there is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t download it.” Allistair Pinsof, Destructoid

We recently graduated from DigiPen, and several of the other developers on Nitronic Rush took jobs in the AAA game industry or went to work on other projects. When looking at what the three of us wanted to do, we decided to go indie and focus on games we’re really passionate about.

We tossed around a few ideas of what project we wanted to work on next and we always seemed to come back to arcade racing. There are very few developers working on arcade racing games, let alone small indie teams, so we saw it as a unique opportunity to push this genre.

Nitronic Rush demonstrated to us that arcade racing games can be incredibly fun and there’s still a lot of room for innovation in the genre. We learned a ton from creating that game, and we’re really excited to make a spiritual successor that will blow away the original.

  • “Please, try and support this Kickstarter and let’s see what they’re going to do next. I know I’m excited and I hope you are too.” Aaron Hightower, Lead Programmer on Rush 2049 Arcade
  • “I think it’s going to be a fantastic game. They’re very talented guys and they deserve your support.” Cliff Bleszinski, Co-creator of Jazz Jackrabbit, Unreal, and Gears of War

Since we’ve created a game similar to this before, we’re building upon what players found fun in the previous game, and taking that to the next level.

Our focus is on making the solo and multiplayer tracks incredibly fun, which means that there’s much that we’re iterating on in terms of designing a deeper city and atmosphere, as well as creating entirely new game modes, obstacles, and track designs.

On top of the many features and modes in the original game, such as the parkour-inspired Hardcore mode, nail-biting Challenge mode, and heart-pounding Stunt mode, we’re now including many fan-requested features that weren’t possible before:

  • Multiplayer: LAN, Online, and Split-Screen [NEW] play in several modes, such as Classic Race mode as well as Tag, Capture The Flag, Stunt mode, and many others including cooperative modes. We’re targeting to support as many players as is fun for each game mode!
  • Level editor and modding tools: We’re developing a powerful, user-friendly level editor where you can create levels from inside the game and share them with players around the world. We’ll also be releasing other tools used to create content in the game in an effort to best support modders.
  • Exploration: Since the car can jump, rotate, and fly, you’re able to explore the city to find hidden paths, as well as find secrets that reveal the city’s past. Fans loved this aspect of Nitronic Rush and really want to develop a deeper city with a backstory of its own.
  • Updated visuals and atmosphere: The game is now being developed in Unity (as compared to creating Nitronic Rush entirely from scratch). This allows us to mature a lot of visual elements, and really go for a detailed look that supports the atmospheric world we’re building.
  • New dynamic soundtrack: Jordan (aka TORCHT) is back composing a new electro/ambient dynamic soundtrack. Expanding upon his experience from composing the dynamic music in Nitronic Rush (as well as in Solace and Solstice), he’s really excited to create a new sophisticated soundscape.
  • Controller support: Similar to Nitronic Rush we’ll be supporting Xbox 360™ controllers and the keyboard, but we’ll also be doing our best to support as many controllers as possible, such as steering wheels and various gamepads, alongside re-mappable key configurations.
  • Windows, Mac, and Linux: Distance will be released for Windows, Mac, and Linux, all with access to DRM-free versions of the game.

While the core of the game is similar to Nitronic Rush, Distance is a much more expansive game offering including far more modes, levels, and vehicles, not found before. On top of that, we’re aiming for a level of polish that greatly surpases anything found in the student prototype.

We’re using Kickstarter because we see it as an incredible opportunity to get players involved in the development of the game right from the beginning. You get to come behind the scenes, feel an ownership of the game, and be a part of the development process.

Since graduating from DigiPen, we’ve been working on setting up our studio and building the prototype of the new game. The prototype has shown us that multiplayer with this type of game is incredibly fun, but it still needs to be improved and polished.

We want to add more modes, more tracks, and more vehicles, as well as truly craft the city and atmosphere. To make this into a fully realized and polished game, we need the financial support to continue the development further.

We’ll use the money for:

  • Software Licenses : Since we just started our studio, we are missing a lot of software that we need to make this game. Unfortunately, software isn’t cheap and the costs add up quickly.
  • Multiplayer / Hosting: Based on the heavy load on our servers from Nitronic Rush’s minimal use of networking, we’re wanting to properly prepare ourselves for the mulitplayer and server load in this new game. This is also the first time that we’ve worked on multiplayer at this scale so we want to spend the proper time and effort to get it right, which includes proper protection against cheating since we’re on PC.
  • Art : We contracted a concept artist to help us with look and feel and working with him has been great. We’d love to continue working with him going into the future, as well as contract a few other artists that have enlisted to join development down the road.
  • Stipends: We’ll need to take minimal-survival-level salaries, and our hope is that the success of the game will allow us be profitable enough to make other games after we ship Distance.
  • Polish : Any funding in excess of our goal will be invested into refining the game even further.

If we’re able to surpass our initial goal, we have several stretch goals we’ll be excited to announce!

Join developers behind the hit racing game Nitronic Rush as they take futuristic arcade racing to the next level!

  • Launched: Oct 16, 2012
  • Funding ends: Nov 16, 2012
  • Remind Me

Check out our latest video for more pre-alpha gameplay (with new music):

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OZEn4b69eM?fs=1&feature=oembed&wmode=transparent]

Need more convincing? Download Nitronic Rush right HERE for free!

CAMPAIGN ADDITIONS:

We can’t change the description of tiers once the campaign’s started, but all of these modifications are effective as of now:

  • All tiers now include the option of Windows, Mac, or Linux [NEW]!
  • Every tier includes a DRM-free version for whatever platform you choose.
  • All tiers $70+ now include 2 copies of the game and access to the backer vehicle (everything from the $50 tier instead of from the $25 tier).
  • We included a new $35 backer tier for those that want the backer vehicle but don’t want two copies of the game.
  • The game now includes split-screen support for at least 2-4 players!

UPDATES:

Update #7, November 2nd: Announcing Linux support, split-screen, a new tier, and free upgrades for existing backers!

Update #6, October 31st: World and atmosphere overview.

Update #5, October 28th: Pre-alpha gameplay video release, live streams of Kyle building levels using the pre-alpha level editor.

Update #4, October 24th: Mini dev diary, access to new music and wallpapers.

Update #3, October 21st: Reddit AMA (Q&A).

Update #2, October 20th: News roundup and 2 new screenshots released.

Update #1, October 17th: Steam Greenlight announcement, 3 new screenshots released.

THE RESPONSE SO FAR:

  • “Considering the level of quality this group achieved as students at DigiPen with the excellent (and free!) Nitronic Rush, the promise of making a more ambitious follow-up with more money and staff is exciting.” Allistair Pinsof, Destructoid
  • “The themes of Nitronic are repeated here – gravity-defying racing on impossible tracks, this time far more pretty, along with multiplayer, and driving upside down, like in real life.” John Walker, RockPaperShotgun
  • “[T]he exploration mode sounds more exciting than the traditional Grand Theft Auto style, since the car can jump, rotate, ride up building sides, and generally defy gravity.” John Polson, IndieGames.com

To see more, check out the news roundups in our Updates!

Distance is a Windows/Mac/Linux survival racing game that combines the intense action of arcade racing with the exploration of an atmospheric world. You control a unique car that allows you to boost, jump, rotate, and even fly through a chaotic and twisted city. The world has a mysterious history, and as you explore you’ll be able to uncover pieces of its past.

The roads are treacherous and unpredictable with obstacles around every corner. Instead of doing laps on a loop, you’ll be trying to survive to the end in the quickest time. Since your car has several abilities, it allows you to not only drive fast on the track but also upside down and on buildings and walls! You can also fly to discover new shortcuts and paths.

You can take on the roads alone, or in multiplayer with your friends!

The game is a spiritual successor to the multi-award winning game Nitronic Rush, created by ourselves and 8 others while attending DigiPen Institute of Technology. It was released in 2011 on PC, and it was widely praised for its innovative mechanics, visual style, audio design, and atmosphere.

Nitronic Rush was a student project and in many ways only a prototype for what Distance will become. You can try it out for yourself (for free) by downloading it on the Nitronic Rush download page.

    • “Even if you’re not a big racing fan, the intuitive controls and fun atmosphere will keep the pedal to the metal for some time to come.” Rob Manuel, G4TV
  • “It’s a fun, slick, and professionally designed game, and I’m looking forward to more from the Nitronic Rush team.” Todd Kenreck, MSNBC
  • “If you haven’t already guessed, this game’s kinda awesome” … “It’s brilliant, it’s an incredibly good racing game.” John Bain, TotalBiscuit
  • “If you like a unique, challenging racing game, there is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t download it.” Allistair Pinsof, Destructoid

We recently graduated from DigiPen, and several of the other developers on Nitronic Rush took jobs in the AAA game industry or went to work on other projects. When looking at what the three of us wanted to do, we decided to go indie and focus on games we’re really passionate about.

We tossed around a few ideas of what project we wanted to work on next and we always seemed to come back to arcade racing. There are very few developers working on arcade racing games, let alone small indie teams, so we saw it as a unique opportunity to push this genre.

Nitronic Rush demonstrated to us that arcade racing games can be incredibly fun and there’s still a lot of room for innovation in the genre. We learned a ton from creating that game, and we’re really excited to make a spiritual successor that will blow away the original.

  • “Please, try and support this Kickstarter and let’s see what they’re going to do next. I know I’m excited and I hope you are too.” Aaron Hightower, Lead Programmer on Rush 2049 Arcade
  • “I think it’s going to be a fantastic game. They’re very talented guys and they deserve your support.” Cliff Bleszinski, Co-creator of Jazz Jackrabbit, Unreal, and Gears of War

Since we’ve created a game similar to this before, we’re building upon what players found fun in the previous game, and taking that to the next level.

Our focus is on making the solo and multiplayer tracks incredibly fun, which means that there’s much that we’re iterating on in terms of designing a deeper city and atmosphere, as well as creating entirely new game modes, obstacles, and track designs.

On top of the many features and modes in the original game, such as the parkour-inspired Hardcore mode, nail-biting Challenge mode, and heart-pounding Stunt mode, we’re now including many fan-requested features that weren’t possible before:

  • Multiplayer: LAN, Online, and Split-Screen [NEW] play in several modes, such as Classic Race mode as well as Tag, Capture The Flag, Stunt mode, and many others including cooperative modes. We’re targeting to support as many players as is fun for each game mode!
  • Level editor and modding tools: We’re developing a powerful, user-friendly level editor where you can create levels from inside the game and share them with players around the world. We’ll also be releasing other tools used to create content in the game in an effort to best support modders.
  • Exploration: Since the car can jump, rotate, and fly, you’re able to explore the city to find hidden paths, as well as find secrets that reveal the city’s past. Fans loved this aspect of Nitronic Rush and really want to develop a deeper city with a backstory of its own.
  • Updated visuals and atmosphere: The game is now being developed in Unity (as compared to creating Nitronic Rush entirely from scratch). This allows us to mature a lot of visual elements, and really go for a detailed look that supports the atmospheric world we’re building.
  • New dynamic soundtrack: Jordan (aka TORCHT) is back composing a new electro/ambient dynamic soundtrack. Expanding upon his experience from composing the dynamic music in Nitronic Rush (as well as in Solace and Solstice), he’s really excited to create a new sophisticated soundscape.
  • Controller support: Similar to Nitronic Rush we’ll be supporting Xbox 360™ controllers and the keyboard, but we’ll also be doing our best to support as many controllers as possible, such as steering wheels and various gamepads, alongside re-mappable key configurations.
  • Windows, Mac, and Linux: Distance will be released for Windows, Mac, and Linux, all with access to DRM-free versions of the game.

While the core of the game is similar to Nitronic Rush, Distance is a much more expansive game offering including far more modes, levels, and vehicles, not found before. On top of that, we’re aiming for a level of polish that greatly surpases anything found in the student prototype.

We’re using Kickstarter because we see it as an incredible opportunity to get players involved in the development of the game right from the beginning. You get to come behind the scenes, feel an ownership of the game, and be a part of the development process.

Since graduating from DigiPen, we’ve been working on setting up our studio and building the prototype of the new game. The prototype has shown us that multiplayer with this type of game is incredibly fun, but it still needs to be improved and polished.

We want to add more modes, more tracks, and more vehicles, as well as truly craft the city and atmosphere. To make this into a fully realized and polished game, we need the financial support to continue the development further.

We’ll use the money for:

  • Software Licenses : Since we just started our studio, we are missing a lot of software that we need to make this game. Unfortunately, software isn’t cheap and the costs add up quickly.
  • Multiplayer / Hosting: Based on the heavy load on our servers from Nitronic Rush’s minimal use of networking, we’re wanting to properly prepare ourselves for the mulitplayer and server load in this new game. This is also the first time that we’ve worked on multiplayer at this scale so we want to spend the proper time and effort to get it right, which includes proper protection against cheating since we’re on PC.
  • Art : We contracted a concept artist to help us with look and feel and working with him has been great. We’d love to continue working with him going into the future, as well as contract a few other artists that have enlisted to join development down the road.
  • Stipends: We’ll need to take minimal-survival-level salaries, and our hope is that the success of the game will allow us be profitable enough to make other games after we ship Distance.
  • Polish : Any funding in excess of our goal will be invested into refining the game even further.

If we’re able to surpass our initial goal, we have several stretch goals we’ll be excited to announce!

REFRACT is a studio formed by graduates from DigiPen Institute of Technology. We all met through working on Nitronic Rush after working on several separate experimental games. We’re all incredibly passionate about fusing beautiful audio/visual design with engaging gameplay, and we’re putting our experience from our past games right into the development of Distance.

Kyle Holdwick really excels at developing and growing teams. He’s incredibly passionate about working with others and pushing them to reach new heights. As one of the most varied members on the team, he’s worked on AI systems for the ASCII game Sowlar (IndieCade), functioned as a visual engineer and world designer on Solstice (presented at Tokyo Game Show for Sense of Wonder Night)and created various 2D and 3D graphics engines from scratch.

He was the Producer for Nitronic Rush. He wrote tons of gameplay logic including much of the obstacle logic, created many of the Challenge and Stunt levels, functioned as a liaison between artists and coders, and managed the day-to-day operation of the team.

Jason Nollan has had a history in-game development from both the technical and artistic aspects of creation. He spent several years developing skills in Blender creating models, textures, and several game prototypes well before coming to DigiPen. Over the past few years he’s created low level graphics and physics engines from scratch, as well as providing 2D and 3D art for all of the games he’s worked on. He did the art and graphics programming for the 2D stealth game Subsonic (finalist in IGC) and most of the work on a Tetris prototype which ended up winning $20,000 and Grand Prize in the Tetris Design Challenge.

He was the programmer behind the entire physics engine in Nitronic Rush, as well as implementing the car controls, obstacle logic, many of the Challenge levels, and tons of other game logic. He also created the art for all of the vehicles and several in-game props.

Jordan Hemenway (aka TORCHT) is really passionate about gameplay that makes a deep emotional impact on the player. He’s been programming since he was 10, and at DigiPen he was one of the developers/composers behind several experimental games. He was the Producer, game logic programmer, and lead composer for Solace (winner in IGF, PAX10) and Solstice. He also contributed music to the soundtrack for The Fourth Wall (finalist in IGC, Freeplay).

On Nitronic Rush, he composed the music for the Story mode and main menu, developed an adaptive system for the in-game music, implemented the sound design, and helped with milestone planning, marketing, and community management.

The team’s also been working with Chin Fong, an environment artist on the upcoming Halo 4, to develop the look and feel for the game. He did all of the beautiful concept paintings and the poster shown above.

Working together and with others, the games we’ve worked on have been nominated for over 35 awards including:

THE RELEASED GAME:

Everyone who backs the project (first tier and higher) will get a copy of the final game on Windows, Mac, or Linux when released. You’ll be able to race to the death, bust out crazy tricks, and even explore the city with your friends or by yourself!

We’re hoping for a release on Steam (we’re on Greenlight currently) as well as on other distribution platforms, but if nothing else you’ll always have access to a DRM-free version of the game. The release date is not currently decided, but we’ve included the BETA which is described below.

THE PRIVATE DISCUSSION COMMUNITY:

Everyone who backs the project (first tier and higher) will be a part of a private discussion community. You’ll be the first to know of any news or details about the game as it’s being developed. You’ll also be able to provide your feedback and suggestions as the project progresses.

THE BETA:

Everyone who backs the project (first tier and higher) will also have the chance to play the BETA before the game is released! We’re excited to have you play the game at BETA so you can enjoy the experience earlier and so we can get your feedback on what we need to improve before the actual release.

Reblogged from: Kickstarter

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