Introducing local developer Open-Reset

Open-Reset recently poked its head from out of the shadows of local indie game development when it realised an impressive demo of its awesome looking platformer, Bounty Arms. The side scrolling platformer makes use of Epic Games’ famous Unreal Engine, and even in its early stages of development it looks like something that could pop up on Xbox Live or PSN.

We caught up with one of Open-Reset’s founding members to find out more about the company and its plans for the future.

Hi Benjamin, thanks very much for your time.

Hi Nic, it’s great to be talking with My Gaming.

Would you like to start by introducing yourself, and explaining your role at Open-Reset?

My Name is Benjamin Duk (pronounced “dook”), and my roles at Open-Reset include project management, art director, art supervisor and a picky perfectionist as the rest of the team call me.

When was Open-Reset started?

After my partner Henk Bernhardt and I left I-Imagine, we started working on commercials as freelancers and later thought that it would be a good idea to actually formalise a company. So in 2007 we registered the company and Open-Reset was born.

How many people are currently working at Open-Reset?

We have 7 people working with us currently, but we have plans to grow the team in the near future.

I assume you all have day jobs, at some point do you think you guys could make games full time?

We all have day jobs except for Henk. Yes we believe that we could make games full time, if we are provided with the opportunity. We are trying very hard to make this happen.

Give us a rundown of your latest project, Bounty Arms?

Bounty Arms is an old-school 3d side-scrolling action game that utilizes modern technology from the Unreal Engine 3. You travel as a group of bounty hunters with a mission to bring down the alliance of criminals with the 4 initial characters, Goober, Drake Mass, Mewt 9, and Flux Helix.
Each character will have 3 weapons and a special ability unique to that character. There will be weapon upgrades, special ability upgrades, combined abilities, special weapons, and grenades. Each world will be unique in its design, enemies, mini bosses, and final bosses.

View the Bounty Arms gameplay video on MyGaming

How do you plan to release the game?

We are planning to release our game on multiple platforms to cater for most gaming consumers. Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network for consoles, and Steam for PC.

When do you aim to finish development on the game by?

The project timeline for the development of Bounty Arms will take 2 years to finish. Even though this may seem long for a 3d side-scroller, it is because of the high level of detail that we want to put into our characters and environments that add to the development time.

Do you think that game development is a viable profession in SA, or would wannabe developers be better off going overseas?

Right now it’s a very small industry mostly made up of cell phone game development, and it’s not geared up for Next Generation console games. There are companies like Luma, us, and some others who are trying to change that outlook on SA game development and make it a more viable profession. It is not an easy process but we believe that South African’s have a lot to offer, and that we can stand amongst the best all over the world.

I would say that local developers should stick around because game development will change in the near future in SA. It’s not always better to go and work for a big company overseas, because you just become a number as my friend told me. So if we build something here locally, developers will have a greater say in the direction of a game, and will also have a greater freedom of where they would want to take their game development company.

Any hints as to what you guys plan on doing once Bounty Arms is completed?

Well what we want to do is release at least 3 separate titles of Bounty Arms, in an aim to make the title well known globally. From there we will consider creating a totally new Intellectual Property, or who knows, we might just make 3 more titles of Bounty Arms.

Lastly, besides Bounty Arms, what game are you most excited about in 2010?

For me personally I would have to say Final Fantasy 13. I’m a huge fan and I can’t wait for this epic game.

Thank you for having us on My Gaming. It is our privilege.

Some questions from the My Gaming Forums:

Tsar – Will they have a pumping soundtrack and how long will the game be?

The music for the game will be quite tricky, because we feel that some levels might benefit from having a soundtrack play throughout the level, and others might be better by having stronger environment sounds to create mood, and then only having music play at key moments. This is still up in the air though. We know that the game’s final soundtrack will be kick ass though.

The game will between  27 – 35 levels long. Right now the demo is just 1 level. So the full game will take about 5-6 hours on single player excluding any bonus levels, extra tasks, extra characters, and the collecting of all items and trophy awards. So the game time will be on par if not longer with most games of this genre.

Xyber – Sometimes you need to do a proof of concept first and doing it through mods is (especially with a game developed in your target engine) a cheap way. Don’t think UDK was yet available (under the current license) when they started else they might have gone with UDK directly.

Xyber is correct. We actually started production of Bounty Arms in late 2008. We were working with a custom engine at the time, but that didn’t pan out so we decided to move to UT3 because of the graphical engine features needed for our game. We wanted to be able to show our game in the way it was intended to be seen. It is very important to present your game in the best way possible especially when you’re based in SA, because we do not have a high amount of game development history.

UDK only became available in August/October of 2009 and we were not aware of its development at all so we were surprised when it did come out. If UDK was out when we started we would have used it from the beginning. Since we are from South Africa we felt that we needed to show what we could do and have people comment on the game and not say that it’s not bad for South Africa. We knew the bar was high and we knew that we could meet it graphically, we just needed and engine like the UE3 that could help us realise it. 

Tsar – I played the Bounty Arms demo, and I have one complaint (Forgive me for sounding negative) But I am not a fan of the enemies. But this is a demo and I am sure it will be better in the full game.

They definitely will be and this is not a negative comment at all, rather a very welcomed one. Even though this is a demo, it’s actually nowhere close to the final version. It’s basically an Alpha 0.1 version and we know it requires so much more work. The enemy AI is one aspect where we want to tweak a whole lot further. We appreciate all the feedback we get from people playing our game, which is why we released it at this stage. So please feel free to write and comment.

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