The Origins Of Rumblers Part 1

The Meeting

It was a bright afternoon on my first day into the 3 year trainee program at the Deutsche Telekom in the year 2013. The company wanted to take the trainees for 3 days to a nice resort for a warm welcome party. Surrounded by the chatter of 400 people, I felt quite alienated as I stood there by myself. Walking around aimlessly, I found myself standing next to some smoking black haired guy, who for the record looked quiet out of place. I just went up to him and said’“Hi man, do you like gaming?”’. ‘“Yes!”’ he said while looking at me with a confused expression, ‘“do you?”’. And that is how I met Angelo.

A friendship evolves

For the next two years I would meet Angelo once a week to hang out. We would chill, eat, and talk at his place until my time persmission slip from my wife would run out and I would have to take a bus home for 35min. At the end of a very intense gaming session one night, we started talking about making something out of our lives. Since he was the Developer and I was the Sales/Project Manager we thought to stick to our strengths and make something great. The first step was to discuss in which direction our work should go, since Angelo already made a software called Coca and another one called Eidetic in his free time, we went ahead and discussed what were the available routes to take. Of course it was not hard to decide, as we both wanted to do what we loved the most, to play to our strenght and be creative. We decided to create a game! Yes, a game! That night we did an intense Brainstorming session, in which we discussed around 12 different games and possibilites. We started with a robotic jump and run, passed through some awesome arcade shooting and finally managed to agree on one game ‘Refugee’

The first struggle

The main idea of the game was to let a player experience the struggle, pain, and harsh decision makings of an individual before the start of their refuge. We first split the work between us, where my focus lied on the creative design and story telling, whereas Angelo was tasked with the actual development. Knowing our tasks, the search for a suitable engine to develop in started, whereupon Angelo stumbled on Lumberyard. From here the nightmare began… For all fairness I have to state that we started using Lumberyard during its Alpha launch phase. It took us in the beginning a couple of hours just to setup the engine on our Mac and Windows OS. Then it took another couple of hours to figure out how to launch a project. After intensive reading and a long googling session we figured out the terminal command to create and launch a project. Once the project was launched, the Asset Manager of Lumberyard, responsible for generating and launching the engine and project, generated an error message at around 92% (load time of 4 - 5 hours). It took us another 3 days to find out that the engine was unable to process the destination folder named ‘Test Project’ due to the spacing in the name. Renaming it to ‘TestProject’ solved the issue and the engine was finally starting the first project. When we met up again the next week to familiarize ourselves with Lumberyard, we were shocked to see that the Asset Manager needed again 3 - 4 hours of loading time.

All good things come in 3’s

After a long strugle with Lumberyard, we decided to look for an engine replacement and finally found the UE4. The reason we went for it were:

  • The UE4 is open source
  • We are able to fix the bugs ourselves
  • The pricing system was very attractive
  • The Blueprint system of the engine was promising and had a sweet touch to it

Done with the testing, we dived straight into building our first level outline and the “Menu” Level. Confirming that we were right on track, we decided it was best for me to finish writing the rest of the story plot while Angelo finishes developing our website. One day Angelo’s old friend Marcel came to help us with the website and we could see how dedicated and motivated he was, so we asked him about helping us develope the game. He’s been part of the team ever since. A few other people wanted to participate as well, for example, by creating 3D Assets or offering administration service. However due varying reasons everyone except Marcel, Angelo and Me left Kindred.