Press Release: Gears of Glory: Apex Ace announced.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DOMIPHEUS LABS TAKES TO THE PODIUM WITH GEARS OF GLORY: APEX ACE

EDINBURGH, UK- March 20th, 2012: Domipheus Labs has announced its first title to be launched on the IndieCity publishing platform.

Gears of Glory: Apex Ace is a casual racer which redefines how competition can be handled in a pick-up-and-play title. Apex Ace takes the mechanics of mainstream casual games and catapults it into the hands of racing fans, who want clean racing lines, perfect apexes and a level playing field.

Players can race and progress through the twenty-four season tier circuits, unlock achievements, complete challenges and climb leaderboard ranks but at the games heart is a comprehensive challenge and news system.

Gears of Glory: Apex Ace aims to bring the pick-up-and-play nature of casual games and combine it with competitive racing. The game is continuously feeding information about the current rankings of your various laps, how other players are changing your standings and what to do next.

In addition, the game features a track creator so players can create their own circuits and race them with friends over a network in multiplayer mode.

Colin Riley, owner of recently formed Domipheus Labs, added “You can get so many small games which are tailored for players that focus on physics, destruction, and puzzles, but the racing genre seems light on content in comparison.”

“For those players who only have a few minutes free to play, they can immediately launch a challenge from the main screen and gain a reward for everyone to see. However they may come back to the game later to find a friend has knocked them off their leaderboard spot, and the defeat is on the front page of the in-game newspaper, the Gear Times. The game world is designed to be constantly evolving and resting on ones laurels will prove costly in the global rankings.”

Game Features:

  • Compete in the racing season, gaining best laps and climbing the global leaderboard ranks.
  • Challenge friends in multiplayer races, and brag of your successes to foes.
  • Create circuits using the track builder, sharing them and racing with friends in multiplayer.
  • Unlock a large list of achievements from gaining perfect laps to getting into the global top-ten.
  • Watch as the Gears of Glory universe around you changes minute-by-minute with dynamic news and challenge systems keeping you in the loop.
  • Succeed in becoming a Gears of Glory race legend.

Domipheus Labs hopes this title can be the first in a line of successful games which focus on ease of play, with a competitive edge.

Gears of Glory: Apex Ace is launching exclusively on IndieCity, and will be priced around that of an espresso from popular coffee houses. It has been developed with low system requirements in mind, for non-fullscreen play on current Windows operating systems.

Gears of Glory: Apex Ace is being released May 2012. For more information visit http://gearsofglory.com.

Press/Media Contact: Colin Riley, Owner, Domipheus Labs. Email: [email protected] Twitter: http://twitter.com/Domipheus

About Gears of Glory: Apex Ace:
Gears of Glory: Apex Ace is the game in which players race competitively to achieve the glory of becoming a race legend. It’s top down style allows for perfect racing lines to be sought out and achieved – perfection will be required if players are to become race legends, topping global leaderboards, creating custom tracks and winning heats of multiplayer challenges. Gears of Glory: Apex Ace features an innovative challenge and news system to keep gameplay vibrant and dynamic for all players and is launching May 2012 for Windows PC via IndieCity. http://gearsofglory.com Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zxly2OGch-E&hd=1

About Domipheus Labs:
Domipheus Labs is based in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was launched in 2012 to bring to market the hobby work of Colin “Domipheus” Riley. By day Colin works for a well known technology company who have experience with games consoles and other gaming hardware. Domipheus Labs is purely a spare-time endeavour as Colin releases game ideas and concepts that have built up over years of prototyping. Colin is the sole designer, programmer and artist on all titles. Domipheus Labs’ first title, Gears of Glory: Apex Ace, is launching May 2012 for Windows PC via IndieCity. http://domipheus.com

About IndieCity:
IndieCity.com is a unique online marketplace committed to celebrating and supporting the indie gaming community at all levels, highlighting the creativity, the passion and the people. The site aims to create one integrated indie community that draws together developers, gamers and press to encourage the discovery, promotion and enjoyment of indie games of all shapes and sizes. http://IndieCity.com

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http://gearsofglory.co.uk/release1_media/PR_Pack_GearsOfGloryApexAce_Launch.zip
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Leaderboard Ordering

Gears of Glory: Apex Ace makes extensive use of leaderboards. Not just a measure of skill, they are used in Apex Ace as a competitive gameplay device by generating challenges and news stories by tracking how the standings change over time.

If you end up lower in the rankings due to being overtaken whilst not playing, a challenge to retake that position may be generated the next time you play. This is one of the points in the game for which gameplay scenarios are expanded: players get awarded extra trophies for completing the challenge, as well as being higher in the ranks for all to see. In the same way, the challenge can be generated whilst actually playing – and an in-game notice will alert players that they have fallen in the rankings, and what to do to rectify that situation – usually by shaving a few hundredths off a lap.

Leaderboards in which scores can go on and on – endurance titles – are ideal for this sort of challenge based gameplay. Games which have a natural score ceiling, however, such as racing lap times (as they approach the perfect racing line) have the problem that leaderboards can become saturated with page after page of the same time – at which point the ordering of players in the leaderboard who have identical scores becomes really important.

Here is an example; Player A is currently in P1 with a score of 10. Player B is in P2, with 12 and Player C in P3 with 13.

  1. Player A: 10
  2. Player B: 12
  3. Player C: 13

If Player D comes along and scores 12 also – what position should they be in?

  1. Player A: 10
  2. Player D: 12
  3. Player B: 12
  4. Player C: 13
  1. Player A: 10
  2. Player B: 12
  3. Player D: 12
  4. Player C: 13

I asked this question on twitter, and got many responses. My own view is that, for Apex Ace, and for my challenge system to work well, newer scores must be higher in the ranks than previous scores. The leaderboard must be fluid towards the top, player ranks changing and generating challenges/news regardless of lap times themselves being better.

Note that, technically, both Player D and Player B are in P2. In this scenario there is an assumption that only one player can hold a unique position – so either of them can be in P2 or P3, depending on leaderboard ordering where scores are equal.

There were too many responses to list here, so sorry if I have not used your quote!

Most of the responses seemed to agree with my desired method as being more of a challenge;

However @flaxed’s point is quite valid. It can be seen as unfair too – there were plenty of replies who mentioned the first player to gain a score should remain higher on the list:

My (possibly harsh) opinion of the fairness point is that if you can’t race the lap at the same time again you probably don’t deserve to hold onto your spot.

Of course, a way of keeping the boards active yet keeping the ‘fair’ aspect would be to have boards periodically reset – pointed out by @jwatte.

Resetting of the boards is something I considered early on, and created a poll for it on the facebook group. The results, whilst consisting of only a handful of replies, showed resetting was not a feature with much support.

At the moment my favoured method of sorting the leaderboards is not supported by my publishing platform: IndieCity. I could migrate to my own leaderboard system – but this would mean achievements and leaderboards being on different portals, and isn’t a route i’d like to go down. Hopefully I can convince IndieCity of the benefits of having different leaderboard orderings and get it added to their development roadmap – it’s something I certainly want for Apex Ace, and feel other people could make use of.

Finally; there were some other interesting responses, most of them along these lines:

Interesting (and slightly cheeky 😉 ), but I need the listings to have the same positions across the board for generated news stories – even though it would make players feel better! The ranks can be viewed online also, so the ordering needs support at the level of the platform rather than the client.

Thanks to all who replied to my question!