From Ummagumma Games comes Abadon: Guardians Rise; a 2D platformed, roguelite ode to classic split-screen, couch co-op based entertainment scheduled for a 2018 release. With features such as that of uniquely customizable characters and dynamically structured levels, vicious enemy design, co-operative game play and a demanding narrative comprised of multiple play-through’s, Guardians Rise will not only be the two-man development team’s fourth title release, but also its first major venture into the PC gaming industry.
When an unprecedented, targeted assault on Planet Abadon leaves its seemingly Utopian feature in shambles, Abadon: Guardians Rise will have players take control of the Vanguardians — the Planet’s legendary, now almost decimated task force — in a retro-themed, action-packed rush to recover it from the clutches of alien originated violence.
As these Guardians rush to neutralise the enemy and salvage the missing remnants of their task force, a larger conspiracy unravels; one inclusive of branching timelines, parallel universes, suspense and an overarching theme of vengeance that will have players coursing through Abadon: Guardian’s Rise several times.
A large part of this rush will include the mobilisation and dispatch of playable Vanguardians from Aegis, the task force’s space HUB inclusive of a partly functional AI and an unstable mechanic, to various regions of the World Map.
Therein civilians must be rescued, enemies pulverised and an assortment of other objectives completed in order to minimize a region’s Threat Level and urge the narrative forward. Playable characters from the Vanguardian squad meanwhile arrive with their own set of attacks, insanely stackable upgrades and a steep learning curve, that players will be able to make use of across single-player or 4-player local/online co-operative modes.
Successfully taking down the variety — often mobs — of enemies the extra-terrestrial invasion has to offer, further facilitates the repair and modification of Aegis, as well as the purchase of character-specific upgrades.
Although these upgrades might persist through multiple play-through’s, level settings, navigation and correspondent enemy behaviour will be dynamically altered with each iteration of the narrative, calling for multiple play-styles and experiences throughout.
Following its inception in October, 2015, Abadon: Guardians of the Rise is currently having its various characters, levels and populating assets developed.
The team is currently aiming for a release of the game’s Vertical Slice — demonstrative of its base mechanics, a fraction of its character and level roster — by Q1 2017, with the intent of garnering crucial player feedback therefrom towards future development.
‘Abadon: Guardians Rise represents Ummagumma Games’ most ambitious effort yet,’ states Ummagumma co-founder and Lead Designer/Programmer Scott Bowser. ‘We had previously focused on smaller mobile games, just to get a portfolio started. We really wanted to wait until we had a few releases before jumping into a larger, more full game on PC or Console.’
Through the course of this journey, Bowser will primarily be flanked and aided by Lead Artist/Illustrator Andrew Restrepo Ganzales.
Ganzales’ relationship with the former dates back to You Can’t Escape, a 2D platformed runner originally created by Bowser and then programming partner Nuno Nunes under the banner of Out Of The Box Entertainment in the early months of 2014, that had Ganzales play the role of freelance artist.
The duo would then go on to form the Ummagumma Games banner, relaunch You Can’t Escape, develop and release Godsmash Armageddon over winter, the same year, before commencing development on their third mobile arcade title Soul Samurai.
With the same due for a release soon, Abadon: Guardian’s Rise will mark Ummagumma’s fourth collaborative venture and first PC-directed release, with a potential Xbox One launch being considered as well.
‘Soul Samurai is only a few hours of development from being our 3rd finished mobile release,’ Bowser continues. ‘We just don’t enjoy the casual mobile industry as much however. It feels too saturated with the same money grabbing techniques, and anything that falls of that formula isn’t going to be noticed. ‘
Inspirations for the 2D Roguelite spin of Abadon: Guardian’s Rise emerge from Bowser’s own fascination for local co-operative games.
‘My favorite games have always been the local co-op ones, where I could sit on the couch with a few friends and get lost in a campaign,’ he writes. ‘I’d been playing a lot of those before work on Abadon began in 2015 and was quickly running out of options.’
Much brainstorming and the piling together of various mechanics later, Abadon finally commenced developed in the month of October, the same year, under the temporary moniker of Terra-Force.
It was also around the same time that a relationship was developed between the team and Higher Eclectic Ground, with the latter aiding in social media/PR coverage therefrom.
Drawing inspiration from various Roguelike/Roguelike classics in the vein of Rogue Legacy, Risk of Rain and Nuclear Throne, the months thereafter witnessed the development of several of the game’s core game-play mechanics pertinent to Aegis, character upgrades, the World Map, base enemy classes and other underlying fundamentals. Much of this progress still stands documented on the game’s Higher Eclectic Space.
The team then proceeded into a short hiatus from the public eye over the summer of 2016, wherein several aspects of Terra-Force’s existing design, concept and future progress were evaluated, before now resurfacing with the newly finalised name of Abadon: Guardians Rise, its first teaser, an upcoming development blog and more.
A collaboration has further been established between the Bowser-Ganzaels duo and Van Reeves; a Philippines based freelance musician affiliated to Higher Eclectic’s own network of independent game talent, Reeves is currently providing his cinematic, ambient and heavy-metal infused Synthwave sensibilities towards furnishing the preliminary soundtrack and audio base of Abadon: Guardian’s Rise’s upcoming vertical slice.
While his working title track for the game can be heard within its above teaser, attached herein is a preview of the theme backing the platformer’s City level in its daytime version. ‘Abadon’s title theme is all energy with hints of arcade-like sounds,’ explains Van.
‘The Day time track heard here however is more of a dance track by design; faster tempo, pronounced synth work and prominent drum elements.’ More of Reeves’ work on the game will continue to be showcased as development progresses.