The latest version of the largest video game trade show in the world, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), which celebrated its 16 years of existence this 2010 in the Los Angeles Convention Center in California, received a historic 45,600 visitors, including businesspeople, creators, journalists, and fans.
It was in this context that — in its condition as the publisher — one of the most traditional companies in the industry, the US branch of Japan’s Atlus, presented the preview of Rock of Ages, a proposal that the Chilean studio ACE Team – established in the city of Santiago by the brothers Andrés, Carlos, and Edmundo Bordeu, in addition to David Caloguerea – will launch in the first half of 2011.
Strategy and platform
As with Zeno clash, its previous production, the young team has created a proposal that is as risky as it is innovative, which resulted in a hybrid with elements from strategy and platform games designed to be downloaded to a computer or via the Microsoft and Sony systems for their latest-generation consoles: the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.
But to make Rock of Ages a multiplatform game and to prevent the same thing happening to it as did with their first product – originally created for a PC, then modified for the Xbox and technically impossible to adapt to the Japanese recreational console – the Bordeu brothers successfully applied to a state fund of approximately US$ 80,000 from the Production Development Corporation (Corfo).
ACE Team’s new project considers game modalities against artificial intelligence, with a split screen and online. Briefly put, the objective is to organize over 20 different units, among troops and defensive positions, along a sloped path to protect your castle from a giant rock that is controlled by your opponent and thrown from the top of the hill.
Both the soundtrack as well as the esthetics are based on different periods in the history of art, with renaissance and gothic designs, among others, all inspired in the TV program Monty Python’s Flying Circus, by the British comedy group with the same name, which the Bordeu brothers are declared admirers of.
And while the team worked exclusively from its office in the residential neighborhood of Providencia in the capital to do this, they are equipped with the powerful game engine Unreal Engine 3, the same one used to develop bestsellers like Gears of War and Mass Effect.
The Bordeu brothers’ history goes back to the early 1990s, when they began to modify games like Space Invaders and Pac Man. Later they transplanted Gotham City and its entire fauna to Doom, which earned them respect among the “gamer” community, and they then dared to take on Quake 3.
The twins Andres and Carlos were then baptized in Wanako Games, the pioneering firm in the local industry. They then decided to become independent and to give life to the First Person Shooter (FPS) game Zeno Clash, which the specialist magazine PC Gamer distinguished as the best independent launch of 2009 and was nominated in the Visual Arts category of the Independent Games Festival, “the Sundance of video games.”