Synther is an FPP simulation game with adventure-like, detective elements set in a futuristic, open world. The game is innovative and reminiscent of early 3D games and DOS applications.
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Q1 2019
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Available: Q1 2019

 

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December 20, 2018

The Agent has encountered an error and will be shut down




1. The feature, the bug and the crash
Computers are complicated, as well as software that is written for them. We’ve lived through multiple generations of hardware, and used various programs on our consoles, home computers, cellphones, smart TVs and smart socks with build in Wi-Fi, gsm, GPS, and 12 types of massage programs. Over the years scale of computer projects skyrocketed, as well as amount of features in both, hardware and software, which in other hand took bigger and bigger teams of people working on them, in tighter time spans.

This kind of pressure, ever raising wanted features amount, fuzzy development and amounts of things to do by the end user causes bugs to appear in the product.

What are those bugs? If you are a gamer you might have already heard of them, as they are quite popular in the games. They are unexpected things that happened, but shouldn’t. You’re playing a mission, and your target suddenly clips through the ground and you can’t kill him any more to progress? A bug. You’ve started a new game, found some dirt on the floor, and sold it to a shop NPC for 2,147,483,647 coins, even though its value was 1? Yup, that’s a bug too. Playing an FPS, and suddenly instead of bullets you are shooting rockets with your pistol? That’s a fun bug!

Still next to the inconvenient and fun bugs, which might be avoided by reloading the last save state, we have critical ones. Those can wreck your quiet evening enjoying a game, by either crashing it, without a save available, breaking your save, making it impossible to play through a certain point, or even run the game. Lets talk about some, which we’ve encountered during the Synther development.

https://youtu.be/PvBisSAFifM

2. SuperAgent
Our agent, who is controllable by the player, went through couple of hard phrases for him. He lives in a cyberpunk world, where you can posses various augmentations, yet he starts completely augmentation-naked, trusts the player to purchase those for him, and chose an appropriate appointment with a clinic worker (or an underground unlicensed doctor, but I haven’t told you that, ok?) to install those augmentations for him. Since the world is real time, he could get bored at periods of time where everyone in the team worked instead of playing the game, controlling him, thus using the free time of his the SuperAgent has been born, and his powers had to be reckon with.

Superpower no. 1 – Super grip
Durning one trip over the roofs of the skyscrapers, I took a step too far over the ledge. We both knew that it meant a certain death, but the agent had something up his sleeve. While trying to land on any ledge to avoid avoid dieing, Agent happily grabbed the wall, and started to slow down the fall speed, until completely stopping in mid air, still couple of levels above the ground.

https://youtu.be/Gmp30qvPgWY

After seeing the brake smoke coming out of the hand fingers stop, and processing what just happened a strong experimentation desire appeared.

What could we do together! Walk on walls like it’s nothing, jump from wall to wall, get down from any roof without a need of puny flying cars, elevators, stairs or ladders.

Sadly we both knew that this augmentation is highly illegal in Vesser. To this day I’m wondering where the agent got it from. Probably from some shady import action.

https://youtu.be/n2q_p5lpKUA

Superpower no. 2 – Disregard for the rules of the game
Synther, like other games, has some basic rules, that are expected to exist in a game. For instance, opening a main menu. Still we are a little different, as the main menu is actually part of the experience, and is included as one of the programs of the Agent’s pocket computer. Throwing the computer away is a no-no, as then we are literally loosing the possibility to save the game, change settings, view our current tasks, talk to others, translate the SGA texts found in adverts, graffiti and posters, and more. Yet our agent had a phrase, where he happily threw the computer away, causing you to be unable to do any of the above. Talk about being a rebel!

Superpower no. 3 – Parkour
In addition with the superpower no. 1 the Agent was a beast in regards to city locomotion. Not only could he use the super grip to get down from buildings and slide on the walls, but also he could use angles of cars, walls and even other NPCs to bounce higher during jumping.

The recipe for reaching highest heights was as follows: first squat, then acquire an appropriate angled object in front of you. Start sprinting, while still squatting, stand up, then jump to hit the angled surface, and off you go to the moon.

NPCs didn’t seem to mind you using their heads to bounce!

https://youtu.be/9yJjfIZtqy0

3. Could you kindly stop doing that?
AI, the artificial intelligence to some, hundreds of IF conditions to others. There are times when you wonder if the intelligence term is even appropriate for the artificial behaviour that happens. In Synther every single NPC lives his day, is in one particular spot, and has his own personality, stats and plans. NPCs can then either like or dislike the Agent, depending on his actions, but with this bug it seems that whole city hates the player.

They just love it. There’s a door in the room? Oh boy! Are there two? Great, lets call a friend to help jerk the handles. It just happened that NPCs, just like in the legend about the goldfishes, had 3 seconds memory of using a locked door. After this time they still stayed locked, but there’s no harm at trying to open them again, right? Wrong.

Every year a lot of people go to the hospital because of having their eardrums perforated. Only we can lower the casualties.

https://youtu.be/9oD4y7eXHnM

4. AI driver 2000
Player has access to an AI controller flying car, and it is a handy way of getting around the city, but sometimes the AI decided that it would take too much time to simply rotate the car when starting off from the landzone. So what would it do? Fly backwards of course! Luckily even though the player could only see what he’s passing, there was no need for manual control and the vehicle almost always got to the target. Almost.

Since getting to the target is only half of the battle, the AI also has to do it quickly enough, so the player doesn’t fall asleep durning the flight, but he still has some time to plan ahead, organize the tasks on the personal computer or check the minimap. Just teleporting to the target doesn’t work, as the game is real time, so it would little sense to have an info of something happening in the other part of the town, just to teleport there in an instant.

5. Roadmap
Like with any serious project, as we work on the last milestones before the game release we aim to reach the optimal balance of features and polish, reducing the amount of bugs to possible minimum, even though it’s not that easy, as we had so many ideas to put into the game, but only so much time, and man power, to do so.

Still some of the bugs were so fun, that instead of applying a fix, we’ve just slightly tweaked them, so they are not game-breaking. Now they are supervised features of the game mechanics.

Synther links:
Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/752960/Synther/
Discord: https://discord.gg/EV3gKD

-Griz, Developer
1 comments Read more

December 11, 2018

Synther in top 100 on IndieDB: Indie of the year!



We are very happy to annouce that Synther with yours help is in top 100 on IndieDB: Indie of The year 2018 award! But our fight is just began. We still need your votes. Now with additional 9 days we are voting for best of the best, so what you can do to help us with this? go to this link:IndieDB Indie Of the Year 2018 Top 100 or this one: Synther IndieDB page find us under: upcoming games / First Person Shoter and smash that red vote button
(there is no need to sign in or register)

2 comments Read more

Reviews

“Retro immersive sim Synther looks like Deus Ex circa ’95.”
Rock Paper Shotgun

“Synther looks like it could be one of the most interesting games of the year.”
COG Connected

Feature List

  • You Are The Agent - you belong to Steiger corporation, a privatised company employing hunters. You are participating in the Awant project - the first programme that uses servo-savants to remotely accomplish dangerous tasks.
  • Open World - more than 70% of the island is explorable: from docks and metro station recesses to individual flats inside buildings. Use various routes to reach and explore the location.
  • Autonomous City - you are not a hero, you’re a newcomer with a specific task, the city will take care of itself without you and go on regardless.
  • Unique and simple player interface - no excess on-screen information, all actions are accessible with a few keys.
  • Personal Microcomputer - translate, discover, gain valuable information and start conversations with every character you meet.
  • Reputation System - be good or bad, make enemies or allies, every decision matters.
  • General Language SGA - learn the famous Standard Galactic Alphabet or use your microcomputer to translate visually in real-time.
  • World Randomization - thanks to the total randomization of the main mission setup the gameplay is different every time.
  • Think Like A Detective - look for clues and analyse them to solve cases.
  • Learn Electronics - learn the basics of logic systems by hacking, disabling door locks as well as computers or find alternative solutions to gain access.
  • Advanced Artificial Intelligence - characters have their acquaintances, locations where they belong and their personal goals that don’t have to correlate with yours.
  • The Real Real-time - schedule and meet your informants at appropriate places and times. Follow characters in the world and analyse their activities. Your simulation goes on regardless whether you are in it or not.
  • Almost Permadeath - if you leave the simulation in a dangerous location and your reputation isn’t in a good state there is a possibility you will die even when you are not playing - however, you always have the opportunity to escape and survive.
  • Limited Time - your servo-savant has a limited lifecycle. After the expiration point it will start decomposing and eventually end the game session.
  • Extensive Communication & Transportation - walk, use the metro or your autonomous vehicle to reach locations.
  • Define The Simulation - it is you who decides what you experience in the simulation. Accomplish main mission, random ones or neither. Eliminate anything that moves or hack and explore the world.

About This Game

Synther is an FPP simulation game with adventure-like, detective elements set in a futuristic, open world. The game is innovative and reminiscent of early 3D games and DOS applications.

The game is set in a city located on a remote island and the year is 2050. The players get a chance to step in the shoes of Agent from Steiger Corporation, explore vast areas, crime scenes and gather intel, that reveals even more mysteries surrounding the city and its inhabitants. The police, paramilitary groups, gangs, fractions, large corporations - they can all stand in your way or can be helpful during, what can be the most demanding assignment of Your Agent career.

Synther has been in development for five years, since 2013. It's highly inspired by movies like Blade Runner, anime like Ghost In The Shell and games like Deus Ex, B.A.T. Syndicate from 1993.

Mature Content Description

The developers describe the content like this:

This Game may contain content not appropriate for all ages, or may not be appropriate for viewing at work: Frequent Violence or Gore, General Mature Content

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
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