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Collateral

These two things might have something to do with one another. I'll let you decide.

We can't thank you all enough. Really, we can't, so I'm only going to try once. Thank you to everyone that voted for us, everyone who asked their friends to vote for us, everyone who forced their friends to vote for us, and everyone else who contributed to the process who doesn't feel adequately thanked enough.

Again, you guys are awesome!

Hey everyone!

So after the batch of games got Greenlit last week we jumped up in rank, and now Collateral is sitting at #94 on Greenlight! Thank you to all of you that have voted for us thus far. If you have any friends on Steam that haven’t voted for us yet then please encourage them to help us edge that little bit closer to being Greenlit ourselves!

In case you didn’t see yesterday’s press release, Dancing Dinosaur Games has officially licensed a full version of Unreal Engine 3 for use on Collateral. This is a big deal because of the added flexibility it gives us for development and all the added perks of having support from Epic as well. What does this mean to you, the players? Let me explain.

Some of you may be thinking “But I thought you guys were already using the Unreal Engine,” and technically, yes we were. Until recently we’d been using UDK, which is the Unreal Development Kit. This is a free version of Unreal that Epic allows people to use with a lot of the features of the Unreal Engine and even a great indie-affordable license deal if you want to start selling any games you’ve made with it. While we won’t discuss the fine details about what’s different between UDK and UE3 (Unreal Engine 3), it basically means we now have full control over how we use the engine.

Why did we need to get a full engine license? So that we can make a better game for all of you! I know that sounds like lame pandering, but it’s true. We hit some bottlenecks in performance that we couldn’t work around within the confines of UDK, and we didn’t want you guys suffering with terrible frame rates if there was a way we could make things better. The main issue was the fact that UDK only allows programmers to use Unreal’s own language UnrealScript and DLL binding. That meant that without a full license we would be unable to do anything that required using native C++ code. Now that we have access to the underlying native code we can use that to do a whole lot of useful things, not the least of which is use multithreading.

What is “multithreading”? Basically it’s the ability for a program to execute multiple parts of itself, individually called threads, simultaneously while sharing resources like memory and processing power. This can significantly increase the speed of a program if the threads are trying to achieve goals that don’t interfere or overlap with each other.

So now that you understand the concept of multithreading, why do we need it and what effect will it have on Collateral? Well the simple answer is that it will improve performance. The biggest bottleneck I mentioned earlier is that we have a whole lot of non-player vehicles flying around, and the more of them we have all on a single thread the worse the performance was getting. We hadn’t even added the pedestrians (they’re coming eventually, it’s just taking them a while to get here on foot) and already we were reaching the limit of vehicles that we could put in the game before it started noticeably slowing the game down. Instead of giving you guys a game that seemed like a neon ghost town we wanted to breathe life into the city with more vehicles and people and other interesting things.

When will you guys see the benefits of all this? Well unfortunately it’s taking us a little longer than expected to translate Collateral from UDK to UE3. Sadly it’s not quite as simple as you’d think because of a bunch of recoding that needs doing. This will probably add a bit to our expected completion date but we’re still aiming for a release late this year.

There are a number of other benefits we’ve gained from this license, but I’m starting to feel like this is an imposing enough wall of text already. I’ll talk more about all that in future updates. For now, we’d like to say a massive thanks to Jay Wilbur, VP of Epic, who was awesome enough to personally set things up for us to get a license after a trip he made to Melbourne last year. He’s a totally awesome guy.

Open world, dystopian vehicular combat game now powered by Unreal

Melbourne, Australia (February 20, 2014) -- Dancing Dinosaur Games announces an agreement to license Epic Games’ award-winning Unreal Engine 3 technology for the development of its new game "Collateral."

"Collateral" is an open-world vehicular combat game set in a dark, dystopian future that puts players in the driver's seat of a heavily armed and highly customizable flying taxi as they try to escape the dangerous city of New Bedlam.

"Unreal Engine 3 is awesome. We are stoked to be using it," said Joshua Woods, managing director at Dancing Dinosaur Games, "We’ve had experience with other engines before, but to make a game like ‘Collateral’ we knew we needed an engine that could easily handle the scale of the environment and the level of detail that we want to produce. We think that Unreal is definitely the right choice."

"It’s critical for ‘Collateral’ to have lots of vehicles and pedestrians filling the streets so you get the feeling of being in a living, breathing city," said David Northfield, senior programmer at Dancing Dinosaur Games, "It’s great to be under the hood with the engine and using multi-threading so that we can ramp up the amount of AI we have running in the game."

Heavily inspired by the 1990’s game “Quarantine” as well as the movies “Fifth Element” and “Blade Runner,” “Collateral” is currently in development for PC. An alpha version is available for purchase via the game’s website and Desura, and a full release is planned for later this year.

For more information on “Collateral” visit http://www.dancingdinosaurgames.com/collateral/


About Dancing Dinosaur Games

Dancing Dinosaur Games is a small independent game studio operating out of Melbourne, Australia. The company was founded in 2012 by several members who were studying together at the time. It has since expanded and now consists of 8 enthusiastic gamers with various complimentary skills. Dancing Dinosaur Games strives to make original, exciting, and humourous games that appeal to the team as both developers and gamers.

For more on Dancing Dinosaur Games, visit http://www.dancingdinosaurgames.com and follow @DancinDinoGames.


About Unreal Engine

Developed by Epic Games, the award-winning Unreal Engine is known for its cutting-edge graphics technology, world-class toolset and scalability across PC, console and mobile platforms. Unreal Engine 3 (UE3) is designed to accelerate developers’ productivity for creating high-quality games, applications, training simulations, visualizations, digital films and animated entertainment. Powering hundreds of games and integrated with two dozen leading middleware technologies, UE3 holds more than 20 technology awards, including eight Game Developer Front Line Awards and five Develop Industry Excellence Awards. The Unreal Engine also owns a seat in the Front Line Awards Hall of Fame. Unreal Engine 4 (UE4), winner of multiple Best of E3 2012 awards, offers unprecedented graphical capabilities and workflow improvements that provide unparalleled accessibility for developers building the next generation of games and applications. For more information, visit http://www.unrealengine.com/ and follow @UnrealEngine.


Epic, Epic Games, Unreal, Unreal Engine, UE3 and UE4 are trademarks or registered trademarks of Epic Games, Inc. in the United States of America and elsewhere. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

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17. januar - RiPpEr

Hey guys, lead programmer Rohan here, just letting you all know that we appreciate your interest and support, we've still got a bit of a way until we're in the top 100, however I'd like to address the issue of Linux support

I myself am an avid user of Linux and it saddens even me that we have not announced Linux support, but we have to take a look through very logical eyes, at the moment we haven't procured enough sales of Collateral to draw a wage from it, in fact a lot of us are still hoping to get some of our earlier investments into the studio back, what this does mean however, is that we cannot work full time indefinitely on the game, which means that what we're really short on is time, time means everything at the position we're currently in, our Kickstarter backers and users on Desura and the Humblestore have felt our lack of time first hand with some massive waits between releases (weeks at a time in the most recent case).

The lack of time causes one major problem for a Linux and OS X version of Collateral, in that we have to keep expanding and updating the game, hoping to convince our audience that our game is worth talking about, because only when you tell others about our game, do we gain votes on greenlight, the more votes we gain on greenlight means the closer we are to getting on Steam, we're confident that if we become privileged enough to have you all get us greenlit that our game will do well enough so that we'll be able to give up the other work we're doing in order to support ourselves and make our limited time a non-issue.

tl;dr, The more "yes" votes we get, the closer you get us to a point where I'm able to sit down and actually figure out an OS X and Linux port for us all!

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