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Huge update: on Xenocider, team members, Kickstarter, and the Dreamer engine

Welcome back to the stage of history.

As you probably know already, my name is Carlos Oliveros and I’m the all-around communications officer here at Retro Sumus. Why I remind you of this is because I’m about to introduce you to the team behind Xenocider which, God willing and all that, shall be the first of our two projects to be released, for at least a couple of reasons. But there is quite a lot to talk about today and I think the title of this post sums it all up, so let’s begin:

We are back, we are retro!

We got ourselves a new website, as you can see. The clean, minimalistic blog was fine, but the home page was not descriptive of what we do. So there you go. We hope you like it and feel at home at our forums.

But we are back because that’s what Retro Sumus means (in latin, as well as “we are retro”). After Chui, Abel and myself worked or collaborated on Pier Solar at different levels, we felt like working together to create something of our own. Ameba and Xenocider were the first ideas we thought deserved attention and we began to work on them.

Watermelon's Pier Solar 3D stage
Watermelon’s Pier Solar 3D stage
Shoot first, ask questions later

After careful consideration we have decided to give priority to the development of Xenocider over Ameba. For a number of reasons including (but not limited to) huge delays with Ameba’s artwork, which led us to miss the first deadlines we had set for ourselves, we think a more arcade-like game is the right choice to give Dreamcast fans something new and exciting to get to know us for. The last thing we want is making promises we can’t keep and losing users’ interest because of that. As we always say, as gamers and buyers we’ve all had too much of that. This doesn’t mean Ameba is on hold, only that we will be asking for your confidence and support for Xenocider first.

Xenocider concept art
Xenocider main character Xara | Concept art by Nines Hammerstein
Who’s in charge?

We’d like to believe there are no bosses as such at Retro Sumus. Other than stage bosses, that is. It was our resident 3D designer Abel del Dedo who came up with the original concept for Xenocider after working on that 3D stage from Pier Solar (Dreamcast and HD versions), and he’s the one creating all the graphic assets for the game with the help of concept and texture artist Marina Rodríguez, our newest addition to the team. Lead programmer Daniel Lancha aka Chui developed a new engine / framework for the game to run properly not only on Dreamcast but on other platforms and is of course in charge of all the code, tools and such.

Composer and sound designer Juanjo Martín has already created 5 tracks for the soundtrack to the game and is working on the sound effects as I write this. All communication on social media, forums and whatnot will still be managed by yours truly.

In conclusion, Xenocider and Ameba are two radically different projects which require different skills and assets. That’s why tasks are more clearly split and distributed from now on and the teams behind each project will be different as well.

Xenocider for Dreamcast original soundtrack
Xenocider soundtrack demos
What’s the Dreamer engine?

If you backed the Kickstarter campaign for Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, you may have learned what the team is using to bring the project to life: the Dreamer engine is what will make Saber Rider work on Dreamcast as well as on modern platforms. So what does this have to do with us, I hear you ask?

Well, the Dreamer engine is part Chui’s work for 2Dream, Tulio Gonçalves’ new company. And we think this tells you a bit more about who our partners in crime are for the foreseeable future…

Please note this is not an engine as current / next-gen / AAA games have led us to call an engine. You cannot just throw your 3D models into it, shake it, and give birth to Assassin’s Duty X. This is handcrafted, low-level code, more like a framework or SDL, but it allows us to create a huge variety of games for a huge variety of platforms, and that’s why the Saber Rider team chose to work with 2Dream and Chui’s Dreamer engine. That’s why Hucast‘s Ghost Blade uses Dreamer as well.

Xenocider playable demo and Kickstarter campaign

We are currently working on finishing a complete playable demo we will make available for download so that anyone can see for themselves that we are serious about Xenocider. We have backed quite a few Kickstarter projects ourselves, and don’t like vaporware and empty promises more than you do. If we ask for you support, we want you to know we have nothing to hide.

So yes, we are going the Kickstarter route. Meanwhile, it’s back to work for me, as I’m editing a new Dev Diaries episode to show you guys the evolution of Xenocider from our first proof of concept to what the game will look like in the playable demo.

See you there in May. Yes, next month. On Kickstarter.

Xenocider concept art
Xenocider main character Xara | Concept art by Nines Hammerstein

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