1.0 Scenario and gameplay overview
E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy story comes from our role-playing board game: A.V.A.
The story takes place in a dark future that has seen unending wars between the Federation - a several worlds union, and the Metastreumonic Force - an ancient and mysterious power.
The player embodies an infiltrated spy in E.Y.E - a group of elite monk warriors - made up of two rival factions in constant internal power struggles, themselves serving the Secreta Secretorum you work for: a multi-thousand-years-old secret organization desirous to steal power from the Federation. The organization ordered your infiltration to control and survey E.Y.E actions, as well to unmask a traitor to the cause.
The player, travelling through a solo campaign in which FPS and RPG merge into one set, must fight the coming back Metastreumonic Force, but also helpthe Federation to take control again. This campaign will also be an occasion for the player to discover an obscure conspiracy and a large amount of rivalries and manipulations for power. During his journeys, the player will meet many other characters with whom he will create a friendship, will collaborate, or will fight against. With most of them, conversations are possible via a multiple choice dialogue interface.
His way will be scattered through conspiracies, treasons, and impious horror. The psychological factor, especially trauma management, will be seen in full spectrum during these dramatic moments. During his adventure, on top of the main plot, the player can fulfill secondary missions in the worlds he has discovered.
To survive and succeed in his intents, the player must manage his inventory, juggle the 10 skills and 19 cybernetic implants made available for him, to the best of his abilities, while using the research and development interface to continually discover new weapons and technologies.
Though implants and competencies do influence the game, player's own skills and reflexes will probably be the most important factor in order to achieve victory, as he will be in constant danger.
An arsenal of 30-odd weapons allows the player to effectively fight against his enemies in many different ways, whether he can fight using distant combat through nerve channeling, he can also use bloody close quarter combat, or sneaky strategies.
Cybernetic implants provide the player with special powers making him a divine warrior - half man, half machine ... in the eyes of a simple warrior. Intensive PSI training allows the player to use a palette of original PSI powers to undermine each perilous situations in extraordinary ways
The player can at one's convenience buy new weapons, cybernetic implants and also psi powers to special sellers from the Secreta.
It's also possible for the player to penetrate into cyber-space to hack and get the upper-hand on security, locking and unlocking passageways, spying, and getting the low down on new terrain. But especially to hack Cybertech elements from his enemies.
Whether playing solo or in co-op mode, the AI opponents, completely non-scripted (except plotted cut scenes), show original craftiness, and rarely heard reactivity. Furthermore, in every new game enemies are not necessarily the same thanks to a partially random spawn system. A random choice of patrolling and war-faction management between the 5 different NPC levels insure excellent re-playability and a living feeling particular to each level.
It is not needed to say that the levels are huge and non-linear, allowing the player to face multiple choices and find more than one solution to every sitation. His travels will bring him in several levels with unique and related difficulties, where he can lose himself in every turn of this captivating adventure.
2.0 Gameplay mechanics details
E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy has a solo campaign with 21 chapters. It's constituted from some dynamic main missions to further the plot and the scenario of the game.
This campaign is playable as well in solo as in 2 player cooperative.
The player has a complete inventory at his disposition for managing equipment and weapons; each chapter provides him with a fully equipped vehicle (not drivable) acting as an armory where he can exchange supplies and restock ammunition.
Between each mission, the player will come back to the E.Y.E's head quarter, where he will be able to buy some new equipments, psi powers and implants. He will also be able to do some secondary missions on the maps he has visited. These missions are random and will bring in XP and money.
Each primary mission is dynamic; so the game still continues whether a particular mission is a failure or a success. If the player fails a mission, he is not game over, his failure influence directly the game.
For example, in one chapter near the middle of the script, the player is here to infiltrate a group of space raiders, bothersome to Secreta Secretorum, in order to get close to and eliminate their leader. One of the main missions in this chapter is to sabotage a raid structure, while helping them to rid of intruders.
If the player gets caught trying to sabotage the raiders, then his infiltration mission is a failure. This might be the end of the game in a different story, but here, failure transforms the events, making the player enemies with all the raiders present in the game, so that he will have to figure out on his own who their leader is before eliminating him, harder now than if he had succeeded his sabotage mission without being noticed.
E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy also has 2 multiplayers modes:
- The cooperative campaign, where 2 players help each other and cooperate on the same campaign than in solo
- The cooperative missions, where 8 players help each other and cooperate on some special missions (the same than the secondary missions playable by the player in solo)
In each game mode, the player's character see his skills evolving by an advanced experience system. He can configure his experience in automatic or manual mode
Automatic: the more the character will perform an activity the more he will improve it.
Manual: the player gets some skill points for each experience level he got. Depending on his will he can distribute them in many different skills of his character.
In the two cases, the player get new experience level, allowing him to know his progression.
The player's character also has cybernetic implants at his disposal, allowing him to increase his abilities but also to access special powers. The player can improve his implants with money from the death of certain NPC, fulfilling certain missions or winning multi-player tournaments.
The player can choose the game difficulty from levels one through four. The difficulty level determines the injuries a player can sustain, the number of times he can use his resurector (which brings him back to life once his life-points have reached zero), as well as the efficiency of his enemies. In cooperative, the difficulty is changed by the number of players in the game.
NPC principles and operation
One of the great strengths of the game is in its NPC management. They are equipped with high-end reactive and adaptive AI. Most of the places where NPC appear are completely random concerning their places and even more so in the type of NPC that does appear. Effectively, from one game to the next, the adversaries will not be the same, nor in the places, and with different weapons as well.
The NPC also patrol regularly which allows them to choose a random, but also credible, itinerary. Each visit is therefore different even on a same level, not to mention the surprising intensity this brings to gameplay.
The AI have a dozen combat tactics that they can add to their existing ones (blockades, ambushes, bypasses) and adapt to their needs and opportunities.
The different NPC factions have individual relationships and can interact independently, without player intervention, giving an astonishing level of life to the E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy universe and incredibly deep immersion to the player.
Like the player, NPC use sight, hearing, some of them even use smell! The NPC and the player have also in common to be subjected to damages localized on 7 different zones.
Opened and non linear environments
The different levels are conceived with the player's strategic liberty and free-will in mind. The player can resolve situations from many different angles, and a number of paths are always open.
Environment exploration is therefore quite fun and never compulsory.
Saves and game quits, principles and running:
To get more immersion and scripted credibility, we pitch on an original save system: the game is automatically saved every 3 minutes and it is also saved each time the player quits the game.
When the player resumes his game, he starts at the main mission he was the last time he played.
Psychology and trauma
The player possesses a skill called mental balance which determines his psychological equilibrium.
The skill-level is lowered when certain events traumatize the character, for example injuries inflicted by strange creatures, the teammate or allied NPC's death, use of the resurector, confrontation with certain horrors.
At each new mental unbalance, a test is given on the level of this skill. If the test is failed, one or several madness can entail for a time proportional to the player's mental balance. Types of Madness.
Types of Madness
For each kind of madness, the player's vision changes, becomes blurred and strange.
- Paranoia: The player's character shoots intermittently, not according to the player's wishes.
- Inhibition: The player's character can't shoot!
- Paralyzing Terror: The player's character can not move!
- Visual Hallucinations: The player sees explosions that don't really exist, horrific visions of dead friends or strangers beyond the grave.
- Auditive Hallucinations: The players hears strange and mysterious sounds that don't exist.
With each fatal injury the player's character risks becoming permanently damaged and get some irreversible lesions. That will make him losing skill points, but will also personalize his character who becomes unique with his own past and particular pains. Psychology and Karma.
Psychology and Karma
The mental balance of the player's character will constantly evolve during both the solo and multi play, transforming him psychologically, making him again even more unique: strong or weak facing his weakness, giving to the trip a more human and emotional feel. The player's actions, good and bad, will be sanctioned by karma which influences the character's destiny and modifies his abilities.
In E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy, a player can order some scientific studies. For that, he opens the research menu and determine how many scientists will work on the project and starts the research for a given amount of money. The more scientists will work on the project, the higher the research cost will be.
Research allows for the players equipment and cybertechnology to improve, but he can also find powerful new weapons and technologies as well.
The player begins with 2 possible research levels which grow as elements are found (about 50 different discoveries), when NPC lose them, or as research advances.
Dynamic recoil and sighting
For shooting weapons, precision sighting and recoil are determined by the specific position and activity of the player, how the weapon is held (taking aim or not...) as well as the number of shots fired. Accuracy is represented on screen by a transparent sighting cross hair which grows larger as precision diminishes.
All weapons are supplied with a cyber-interface for sighting, recoil, information such as bullet and charge amounts, as well as special ironsight material.
Each specific type of shooting ammunition has a different material penetration factor - for each of the 12 types of material presented: metal, wood, etc. ... and each specific round can therefore cut through different materials with the equivalent varying levels of efficiency.
On top of the 5 different attacks available, each melee weapon can make a power attack by holding the attack button down for one and a half seconds; the character will take the position depending on the direction key the player hold, and when the attack button is released, the power attack is given. The direction and style of hits depend on the position chosen by the player: uppercut, facial, down jab, right or left.
Melee weapons can also be used to protect the player when holding the attack 2 button, which puts him into the defensive stance, protecting him from facial attacks. With this defense the player even blocks bullet shots to the face, thanks to the force field activated with his movement, but it does use up energy (stamina).
10 times the damage can be inflicted upon an enemy when a player equipped with a melee weapon hits him in the head or back.
- 25 weapons, 14 cybernetic implants, 10 cybernetic powers, 9 psi powers, 10 skills defining the character and evolving with experience, about 20 NPC and enemies, 21 chapters playable in solo, about 50 scientific discoveries and researches
- Localized damage system, and advanced armor system (by localization zones)
- Excellent replayability, in solo as in coop, random NPC appearance, AI patrols
- Dynamic main missions
- Death doesn't stop the progression, and allow the game to be differently appreciable for hardcore gamer as for casual gamer
- Player's skills are more important than character's skills, E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy favors the art of playing
- Levels: big sized area, up to 1 to 2 hours of play for each map, no load inside a map
- Sonorous dialogs language especially invented and created , increase immersion
Behind the game, the company
We are, like the fashionable common appellation appoint us: indies developers; in the mean that we don't actually work under the aegis of a publisher or other, although we have nothing against this idea. But we are fond of our artistic and content liberty.
We are more or less auto-financing, in the mean we have not received any external financing or any financial help. So we are eating a lot of noodles.
We have begun our video game experience in 1999 by developing a free game for Half Life: Syndicate Black Ops. It was a cooperative and a deathmach, in the universe which will constitute our role-playing board game and then E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy.
In July 2005, we have started to think to create a video game studio and to the idea of E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy. Its real development has begun in early 2006 and the studio has been officially created in July 2007. Since that, our small team is make up by less than a dozen of people, aged in the mean of 25 years old.
3.0 Our Inspirations
We thank all our sources for inspirations, especially those which will forget to quote.
We will not develop in what each thing inspired us, that would ask far too much time and space. The order is purely fortuitous and without logic.
- The role-playing board game AVA, that we have developed for many years.
The works from:
- Mamoru Oshii (Avalon, Ghost in the shell 1 & 2 ...)
- Akira Kurosawa
- Tsui Hark (The Blade, Time and tide, Kung Fu Cannibals ...)
- Ryuhei Kitamura (Versus ...)
- J.Carpenter (The thing, In the mouth of madness, they live ...)
- T.Kitano (Sonatine, Kids Return ...)
- Shinya Tsukamoto (Tetsuo 1 et 2, Hiroko ...)
- David Lynch (Dune, Mulholland Drive, Twin Peaks ...)
- Vincent Patar & Stephane Aubier (Pic Pic Andre shoow, A Town called Panic)
- Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira)
- Monty Python (The Holy Grail)
- Total recall 2070
- Cowboy bebop
- Samurai champloo
- Wolf's rain
- Fist of the north Star
- Star Wars (all)
- Alien 1 & 2
- Total Recall
- Running Man
- Minority Report
- Blade Runner
- Starship troopers
- Evil dead (the 3 movies)
- Apocalypse Now
- Battle royale
The role playing games:
- Shadow run
- Warhammer 40000
The writers and the books:
- P.K Dick
- Aldous Huxley
- John Brunner
- Graham Balard
- Isaac Asimov
- Qinggjing Jing
- Tao Te King
- The Analects of Confucius
- Clavicula Salomonis
- Magic Cabbala
- Codex malificarum libra, 1st edition (1724)
- Xcom 1 & 2
- Syndicate 1 & 2
- Wipe Out
- Doom 1,2 & 3
- Our free release Syndicate black ops
- Mount & Blade
- Omnikron (Nomad Soul)
- Space hulk
- Deus Ex
- Left 4 Dead
- Team Fortress 2
Drawings and paintings from:
- Enki Bilal
- Tsutomu Nihei
- Christophe Bec
- Zdzisalw Beksinski
- Kenji Kawai
- Harry Gregson Williams
- Bear McCreary
- Mark Snow
- Vangelis Papathanassíou
- Jack Wall & Sam Hullik
- Juno Reactor
- Don Davis
- Lisa Coleman
- Wendy Melvoin
- Nick Phoenix
- Thomas Bergersen
- Doug Rogers
- Gustaf Grefberg
- Akira Yamaoka
- Alexander Brandon
- Craig Armstrong
- Brian Tyler
- John Powell
- Hans Zimmer
- Fear Factory
- Dream Theater
- Ultra vomit
- And a lot fucking more :]
And also a lot of other things.