Rogue Islands has gone through a bit of an odd development process. It was originally developed by Kiaran Ritchie, an ex-Bioware employee, and his wife, Jasmine Ritchie, over the course of four years, but then Kiaran returned to Bioware as a principal animator and developer. The game was then handed off to Keystone Games, which assigned “a team of AAA developers” lead by ex-Atari and EA programmer Jane Whittaker. Having spent several months in Early Access, Whittaker’s team is now about to release the game on Steam on September 12th and will also be responsible for future development of the game, including updates and any potential expansion packs.
As for the game itself, Rogue Islands is a first-person shooter set in a procedurally generated world. Players will explore various procedurally generated islands, looking for “food, fuel, and materials to craft new magical spells.” As they explore, hordes of various monsters will attack them and they may even run into boss monsters. Similar in nature to Left4Dead, the game features an advanced “adaptive AI engine” that keeps an eye on your progress and how well you’re playing and adjusts the level of difficulty to match.
In essence, it’s a new take on the traditional survival game formula. Players will explore the world, mining materials and fighting monsters, but the game isn’t about base building and such. Instead, it’s about exploring, gathering materials, crafting new spells, and constantly growing in power.
Team lead Jane Whittaker had the following to say about the announcement.
“We are proud to have picked up Rogue Islands, following Kiaran’s return to Bioware. Rogue Islands sets new heights in procedural landscape generation and gameplay. It’s a beautifully crafted game, with technology that actually supports gameplay. Each island is effectively hand crafted by the computer, it is not just a fun game, but also a technical masterpiece.”
She then added a statement about the game’s procedural generation technology, which is as follows.
“There is the opportunity to add considerably more detail to the game worlds than traditional technologies without slowing the game’s fluidity and performance. In essence, we can pump out so many more objects on screen and build worlds of great detail of beauty whilst still maximising performance, even on lower spec PC’s.”
Rogue Islands is now available on Steam Early Access for $19.99, with a full release planned for September 12th.