GRIP is now on Steam Early Access!

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We sincerely thank those who supported our funding campaign. We couldn't have done this without you! For those who want to support us but didn't get to pre-order in time, you can check out GRIP on the Steam store right now!

With GRIP in Early Access, we can truly focus on development, getting iterations of the game out to the gamers as efficiently as possible while also receiving your valuable input on upcoming features.

We realize there are many issues with the version of the game currently on Steam, and we are constantly working on fixing them. Being a very communicative team, we will be frequently updating the community on the status of upcoming patches. We hope you enjoy what we have so far :)

If you would like to join in on the discussion, you can either visit our forum or Steam community page

A PS4 version is still planned. We will have more details in 2016.


 

 

 


Inspired by the Rollcage games of 1999 and 2000, GRIP is a new IP for a new generation. A return to the hardcore combat racer, bristling with heavy weapons and packing ferocious speed, the game is an intense, sensory feast.

Harnessing the awesome potential of Epic's Unreal Engine 4, GRIP will take you back to your nostalgic past, while simultaneously propelling you into a kick-ass future.




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We want most modes to come with various options to increase replay value, such as weather changes and time of day, as well as modifiers that let you enable or disable certain pick-ups and change how they work. Want an explosive match where racers are equipped only with unlimited mines? You can do that. How about disabling pick-ups altogether to make it just about the driving skill? Sure, why not.

There will also be variations on game modes, like knock-out (eliminate last place driver each lap) as well as points for inflicting the most damage.

Our aim is to supply the player with the ability to cater their experience to how they want to play. This customization will extend to other options menus as well, including graphics, where you'll be able to tweak to your heart's content on PC.

 

 

 


An illicit sport that spread like napalm

GRIP has its origins in the illegal street racing scene that spawned in the early 21st century. At that time the races were reasonably harmless. A danger to the public, certainly, with inexperienced drivers managing to destroy their rides in ill-judged corners. But most of the time, it was only the drivers themselves that wound-up dead. It was characterized as an underground movement, largely ignored by law enforcement, with only a handful of arrests ever being made. The world had other worries.

Then things started to change. The scene became dominated by major players with big egos. Full of bravura, their cars evolved and became all about the speed, and with that the danger began to grow. Elements of the public started to become interested in the drama and a whole new subculture gravitated towards the action. This was racing alright, and everyone in it was out to win, whatever the cost. Accidents happened often, and that too became part of the allure. This sport was really taking off, despite the intensifying efforts of authorities to bury it.

In the end, the races became so testosterone-fueled and running so close to the edge that even pirate TV started to cover them. The channel known simply as GRIP became synonymous with the whole scene, which exploded with massive public interest running counter to government crackdowns on the problem. Funded by gambling income and black-market TV subscriptions, the hacker crew running the TV link became very wealthy indeed.

The drivers in these races quickly realized what they were missing, and they were more than just a little displeased, they were harbouring some righteous anger. Some TV network taking over their scene - taking all the rewards yet sharing none of the risks, what the hell was that about? The fury erupted, and the big dogs made their grab for power. Fierce fighting broke out between the two groups, but the network was no match for the drivers and gave way to superior force. Faced with no choice but to accept the offer they were given, a balance of power was struck, and everyone moved forward. The network retained a cut, but the drivers were now collecting an income for their risk, a real income that allowed them to pimp their speed machines even further.

But money corrupts, and in GRIP it corrupted absolutely. The cut from the races was split between all the drivers, those that ended first received the most, and those that didn’t end at all, well, received nothing. It wasn’t long before this fact was viciously exploited. The cars, originally built purely for racing, slowly evolved to become armed, and armoured. Fewer people finishing a race meant more money for those that did. It wasn’t just about racing any more, it was about destroying your rivals along the way.

The government really couldn’t tolerate such an obscene display of violence and weaponry in their backyard. The regular police were hopelessly outclassed, so they sent in the military. But as they became increasingly involved, this just added to the whole drama of the scene. Though still very much underground, it was becoming rampantly popular. It was everyone’s favourite new addiction, their guilty pleasure. For the drivers though, the military intervention was just killing it. The racing was already intense enough, but fighting on two fronts was all but impossible. Something had to be done, this was a way of life now, and it wasn’t going to just stop. So the whole thing started to move, not just into the far reaches of the desert where it would be less conspicuous, but eventually off-world to try and find places where they could race to the max without wasting munition on government forces that they would much rather save to fight against each other. It was all about the winning.

Now, in the age of streamlined interstellar travel, GRIP has come of age with its fiery cocktail of cars and carnage spreading throughout the known star systems - the organizers now crashing exotic planets and bulldozing environments to create improvised race tracks to battle upon. That is, until the region's authorities show up and try to ruin the party with a hail of gunfire and rockets. Not only are racers dealing with each other's explosive tendencies, they now contend with a fierce war between those that want the anarchy to continue, and those that would extinguish what could become the biggest televised spectacle in the galaxy.

Welcome to GRIP.

 

 

 




Just as in Rollcage, the cars in GRIP are extraordinary. With larger wheels that extend not just below the frame but also above it, with GRIP's cars there is no right way up and they can flip sides whenever they need to and just keep on thrusting forwards. But that’s not all. These cars also develop a tremendous amount of down-force, so much down-force in fact that driving on walls and even ceilings becomes possible. And in GRIP, this isn’t just possible, at times it’s essential. It’s all about survival, and getting to the end of the race, whatever it takes.



All of the vehicles in GRIP are heavily armed, and most of them heavily armoured. There’s a variety to choose from, ranging from sleek and light thoroughbreds built purely for speed, all the way over to ironclad behemoths that can not only deal out the punishment, but also take it. Whatever your thing is, there’s a ride in GRIP with your name all over it.



UPGRADES

You will start with a very capable car as you enter the GRIP arena, anything less would be suicide. Slowly but surely however, you will be able to upgrade your car with money earned from scoring a decent race position as well as salvage recovered along the track while racing. The more you win, the more you earn, the faster and more devastating your car becomes. Not only that, but you’ll be able to visually customize your beast with a selection of paint-jobs, rims, wheels and body armour kits. Make your mark on the track as you exit the pit lane ready to put on a show for the carnage-hungry race fans.


 

 

 


It’s not enough to just cross the finish line first in GRIP, more important is how you got there, and how much destruction you wrought upon your rivals along the way. Weapons and power-ups are now an integral part of the races that you will be taking part in. Here is a selection of what will potentially be on offer:

 

 

 


Liddo 5: A sphere enveloped by lush alien jungle that is very much alive. The GRIP league drop their materials and crew through the thick canopy of trees to lay as much track as they can before the planet starts to take over again. The world was once peppered with research facilities, but most have subdued to the plant life's lust for reclaiming its territory.


Orbital Prime: Essentially a floating metropolis, this planet is one big city, devoid of landscape, vegetation or wild life. What it lacks in natural colour, it makes up for with its Red Sun district and flashy advertisements. Orbital Prime is mostly a seedy, corrupt place full of outcasts and criminals, and would make the perfect place to drop a race if it weren't for the affluent oligarchs running the show with the local militia rewarded well to assert their will.


Norvos: Once a highly utilized military installation that strategically borders an opposing planet, this cold, barren landscape became just too hostile for habitation. Knives of ice jut out from the planet's hardened crust, and brutal ice storms mercilessly ravage the surface without end. Authorities rarely attempt to shut down the races here, and for good reason.


Jahtra: What we would call the very epitome of blistering desert, this arid but resource rich location quickly showed itself to be ideal for GRIP's show-downs. With its massive surface size, access to an abundance of fuel and the ability to drop track sections in and out with ease, Jahtra quickly became a prime racing location.


 

 

 


We've been lucky, and are very honoured to have such an impressive roster of musicians wanting to get involved. Not only that, but they love what they see of GRIP and are making their passion clear for wanting to create some truly wicked tunes for the game. Having Technical Itch and Dom & Roland on board is especially cool because they were on the soundtrack for Rollcage Stage II.

The search for the right people has been stressful but exciting, and we're really happy with how it's turned out. This is going to be one hell of a great soundtrack


 

 

 


GRIP is a newly-born IP produced by a newly-born team. Until recently, just two people working together at furious pace to produce the GRIP prototype. Now, a small studio called Caged Element. The team is starting to grow, and likewise its combined industry experience.

We collectively have worked on dozens of titles starting back in the mid-nineties. Two of our number in particular, worked on the original Rollcage titles published by Psygnosis. Having key roles in bringing those games to life and making them what they were, we understand our market very well and know what to deliver with GRIP.


Contributors
Derek Ellis (Mr. Splines): Blueprint consultation - Website
Sven Van Lathem: Motion graphics, User Interface, Consultation
Thomas Woodward: Vehicle creation (3D, materials) - Portfolio
Rahul Philip: Concept art - Portfolio

Students (International Game Architecture and Design - NHTV)
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Alex Shijan: Producer
Arjo Munnik: Art Director
Yoran Hartog: Lead Environment Artist
Rik van Peer: Environment Artist
Irini Wiersma: Environment Artist
Valentin Vöckel: Environment Artist
Welmer Blom: Environment Artist
Mitchel de Koning: Artist/Designer
Jeffrey Van Der Zalm: Lead Level Designer
Roel Slier: Level Designer
Brian van Schaijk: Level Designer
Luís Freire Ferreira: Level Designer
Tom Klein Tijssink: Level Designer
Jelle van der Gulik: Programmer
Sjef van Doorn: Programmer
Nicky van de Groep: Programmer

Prior:
Samuel Gilbert: Producer
Gabriela Koleva: Producer
Stefan Leschke: Assistant Producer
Nita van der Velden: Artist
Shanice Lapierre Armande: Artist
Lion van Woerden: Artist
Sanjey van Gaste: Artist
Remco van den Berg: Artist
Nick Post: Artist
Quinten Buijs: Designer
Wesley de Bruijn: Designer
Kevin van Schaijk: Designer
Jasper Lamboo: Designer

 

 

 


So that we could concentrate more fully on the creative process of making a great game for you, we decided to leverage the power of Unreal Engine 4 in bringing GRIP to life. With its huge, well-established user base, the use of Unreal Engine has significantly reduced the technical risks involved in producing a game like this.

Powering games like the new Unreal Tournament, Fable Legends, Eve Valkyrie and Street Fighter V, it allows us to bring you the very best in rendering quality available today. GRIP will not just play well, it will also look great.

The very progressive physics and handling of the vehicles found in GRIP demand a strong physics system on which to develop them. PhysX, beating at the heart of Unreal Engine, is that system. Independent of which GPU you might have, PhysX delivers a swift and robust solution to our demanding vehicle needs via the CPU. At speeds of 600+ kph, and with monstrous down-force allowing you to drive on roads, walls and ceilings, you have to know that the engine can hold things together for you.

Multiplayer too is a key feature of GRIP and something we well know we have to get right. And that too, is something that Unreal Engine provides substantial support for. Whereas in most multiplayer games the majority of the development time is spent getting the technology right, in GRIP, the majority of our time will be spent getting the gameplay right.

 

 

 


There are many complexities associated with GRIP's development that need to be managed. We know this, because we’ve been through the development process many times before.

The team here has a wealth of experience in producing high-profile titles. We know the common pitfalls of projects like this; the technology risks, the staffing issues, the funding calculation errors and scheduling mistakes that people so often make. We’ve seen it all and we learned very early. There is some risk, of course, but we know how to mitigate it and how to manage the little that is left.

We also know how to make a great racing game. Having written half a dozen of them before now there is little left to give us any surprises. Many of the algorithms you need to write a game of this sort such as vehicle setup, racing AI, weapon management etc. have become second nature to us.

We’ve already developed a substantial prototype to prove that Unreal Engine can handle a game of this kind. It’s scored well in all areas, including the specialized vehicle physics setup that GRIP demands. The only major feature we’ve not yet explored in this prototype is multiplayer, though Unreal Engine provides a lot of support in this area.

The key to getting multiplayer working well in any game is to give it abundant testing over a long period of time. We intend to do just that by adding it right at the beginning of the main thrust of development, and test with a quorum of around 100 players regularly throughout the game’s development span. Towards the end we will expand the test program to several thousand players in order to work through any remaining issues well before the game’s official release.

Our main focus however, isn’t the technology, with our past experience and using Unreal Engine 4, we pretty much have that licked. No, our main focus is making the game you want, we want, and delivering it to you on time, and on budget. To that end, we’ve produced a very well-considered and detailed schedule founded on an equally detailed game design specification. We have high confidence that our development figures are correct, with ample time for slippage, and that consequently we have an accurate budget here to cover the costs of development.

So with the business stuff out of the way, our only remaining challenge is to create an adrenalin-fuelled game that you just can’t put down. The challenge we’re savouring the most, the one we can’t wait to attack. We think that we've made it clear with what we've already shown of GRIP that our time has come - and soon will yours.

 

 

 


Will there be XBOX/MAC/Linux versions?

Currently, GRIP is only available for Windows on PC, with a PS4 version coming later. However, we haven't ruled out any other platforms

Will there be DRM-free digital versions?

We’re not planning DRM-free digital versions at the present time, however there's a while before release to explore DRM-free options.

Will GRIP fully support gamepads and steering wheels?

Yep!

Will there be Online and LAN multiplayer support?

Absolutely!

Will there be split-screen?

Yes! 2-4 players

 

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