Secret Game Project In Production

Polycount Productions has started a new secret project. I believe in open development (as we do with Morphlings) but in this case we want to keep it secret.

I can give you some hints…
– We have 3 members doing the game (I’m producing it, one programmer, one 3D artist and one 2D artist). We need one more to do sounds & music.
– The game will have an eastern (japanese/chinese) fantasy theme… samurais and chi wizards in it.
– It will be 2 player game – either against human or computer. Hot seat or at the Internet.
– It will be turn based.
– And it’s darn addictive. At least the concept is.
– We have very tight scheducle – we try to release it in 2-3 months.

If you want to ask something about the project, feel free to comment or email. We just might answer…

If you want to get informed when the game is released. Throw your email in this post. (I really gotta get that newsletter available asap).

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. Yes, we are making a game. If you know studio max 9, then why not start doing graphics for games? cgtalk.com is a fine site which you might be interested. Our artists use various tools… I suppose max, photoshop, blender, and quite likely some others as well.

    What should you do with your future? You are the only one who can answer that. What would you want to do?

  2. So i see your making a game.. I was looking to get into the career of game producing. I am familiar with studio max 9, and some other mini programs. I wanted to know what program you guys use. And if you have any suggestions on what i should do with my future.

  3. I prefer RTS games over turn-based, but I love both. :D
    RTS has more challenge for me, I love the mental contest.
    Turnbased can certainly be challenging, but it is also a lot slower.

    The old game Warlords (http://www.abandonia.com/games/554/Warlords2) was one of the first multiplayer games I played, and I loved it.

    I highly prefer fantasy theme over realism because,
    1. It is impossible to create perfectly realistic graphics,
    2. The closer the graphics get to perfection the more closely they are criticised
    3. Highly realistic graphics are not very beautiful.

    The realistic graphics are usually dull, drab and not very fun to look at.

    There are some exception however.
    Wings of War (http://www.godgames.com/wingsofwar/) graphics are an excellent blend of realism and nice colors.

    There’s my 2.5 cents :D

  4. @Arex: :)

    @Jams: I think it will be quite difficult to have historical accuracy on this… and I cannot reveal the reason without revealing more about the game. I think we’ll investigate this realism vs fantasy more in the future.

    I think we go with the fantasy here. We’ll investigate.

  5. Looks like the target audience for this kind of game is very picky about historical accuracy and believability!!! Maybe a tough crowd to please…

    While we’re on the subject of DVD’s, ‘Azumi’ or ‘Azumi 2’ might be good research for your game :)

  6. Drunken master is good one, maybe one of the best Jackie has made, Hero isn’t bad either. :)

  7. Heh, well the ‘realism’ contains both fact & fiction in… I think it’s more like “flying dragons, spells… and mixed fantasy elements in the other part”.

    Btw – just bought 2 DVDs: Drunken master (Jackie Chan) and Hero. Gotta watch them soon…

  8. Actually i want to change my vote to ‘believability’… it could be a completely fictional scenario but it has to be believable :)

  9. Realism got 2 points.

    @Jam & moi: Thanks for the hints. I must tell you that I have read a lot eastern (about chinese and japanese) books (mostly about buddhism, zen, and different martial arts: aikido, Sun Tzu etc.) and the chinese language course was a nice introduction to chinese culture (food, habits, etc.). I have some basic knowledge about the japanese language. I haven’t seen many movies – but some yes. Oh, Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns are good ‘japanese’ movies (they are directly influenced by Akira Kurosawa) ;)

    Anyway… the only problem with realism here is that the core gameplay is quite free from any thematic approach – and the scenery Jams describes is quite difficult to fit in the game.

    Oh well, votes go:
    Realism: 2
    Fantasy: 0

  10. If you want to take a good start : watch several japanese movies, any type actually not only chambara.
    You’ll find A LOT of scenaristic and aesthetic ideas there :) ….
    Avoid anime at all cost :)

  11. For me, realism every time! But perhaps you could come up with some hypothetical situations, a path that history never took maybe. For example, the Mongol invasion of Japan – IRL it was a failure, what what if Kublai Khan had succeeded? In your storyline, Japan could be another province of the Mongol empire along with china…

  12. @moi: Thanks for the input. The Japanese and Chinese cultures are indeed very rich cultures. Even though the tone of that post is not so encouraging I think you have a solid point there. Which means we could do some research about realistic versus fantasy. Final Fantasy and all those Pokemons are very well received by their audiences and the huge amount of fantasy themes could be one reason why you are tired for the western cliches – cliches which I personally like ;)

    We make the game moddable, so it’s possible to change the style (from fantasy to realistic) but it would be nice to hear (before the launch) what people think about this: Fantasy or Realism – what do you prefer?

  13. This game should be better described as “fantasy eastern exotic rather” than japanese themed IMHO.
    I for one am a bit tired of all those games that use tired western cliches about the orient, and can’t even differentiate chinese culture from japanese culture (it’s like if you counfounded russia and united states’ culture, lol). The japanese culture is very rich and interesting by itself and I for one would be more interested in a game with a real, researched, solid background.
    The scenario you describe looks like the type of things I’d come up with when I was 10.
    Food for thought…

  14. Glad someone pointed out about Chi and Ki. If it going to be Japanese it will be better just to have Ki. If you are just going for an “oriental” themse then I guess it doesn’t matter as much. Perhaps you could play on the perceived difference between Chi and Ki. For example, Chinese believe you can store Chi and make it hard or soft and project it out. Japanese don’t think you store Ki, you just use it like a flow, expanding, contracting or extending.

  15. Superfrog says: Polycount Productions? Nice way of capitalising on Polycount’s already established reputation.

    Definition of ‘polycount’ (from wikipedia)
    The term polycount refers to the number of polygons (usually triangles) that form a 3d model.

    Polycount (from wikipedia)
    ‘Polycount’ is a website hosted by PlanetQuake devoted to user-created models and textures for use in various computer games. The site is host to an active community of 3d modelers, texture artists and animators who frequent the forums. Website link: polycount.com’

    Polycount Productions
    An independent game development company focused on online multiplayer games. Website link: polycountproductions.com’

    The birth of my company – and the name
    I started my company ‘Polycount Productions’ from the viewpoint that I wanted to see some game related term in the company name. ‘Polycount’ sounded good to me so I picked that one. It represent the fact that we have worked mostly on 3D game projects and most of our games will be made in 3D – which means polygons to be seen in the screen. The ‘secret game’ will be two dimensional – but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t use 3D rendering & textures to present the 2 dimensional game area.

    I wrote about the name issue earlier Polycount Productions Founded – I picked up up the name ‘Polycount’just because it was one of the possible names I had in my mind. There were ideas like ‘cogito productions’ (which was declined by Finnish registration office), ‘arctic studios’, ‘northern productions’, ‘flying dragon productions’ and several others. I chose ‘Polycount Productions’ (‘Polycount Productions Finland’ is the full legal name). I believe if I had picked up ‘arctic productions’ then somebody would blame me for copying name of ‘arctic games’, if I had used ‘northern productions’ then somebody would have accused me for copying ‘northern games’. And because these two games websites are in games business I decided not to have them. Word ‘polycount games’ doesn’t bring any game development companies when doing a google search.

    I didn’t know polycount.com to be such an active site. It must be years (*before* I founded my company) when I visited the site. I’ve never participated in the discussion (didn’t even know they have forums there) and never really checked what the site is all about – until now as you mentioned it. Even if I had known more about the site (than just heard the name) – it’s still a *model/texturing* site, not a *game company*.

    The website is copyrighted by GameSpy along with A. Risch and there seems to great list of model resources for many games (ranging from Unreal Tournament, Quake, Half-life and from other games). There also seems to be an active community (lots of posts and the last posts are made recently) so if you are into modeling/texturing, go check out the place.

    We work in different businesses (they are a community/website dedicated to models – we are a business entity making games) and I believe we two can co-exists peacefully. I believe in building our own reputation and our own brand instead of copying someone else. I don’t want to ride on anyone else’s fame – I want to create quality games and focus that our players have fun.

    Hopefully this cleared things out.

  16. Hello. I found this page via the Indiegamer boards and just dropped by to say that this game sounds really interesting. I hope you manage to stay on your planned schedule. :)

  17. @Penguinx: Oh crap. Where were my eyes :) I read it again (this time eyes OPEN). Sorry – of course it says you like them.

    – Number one: show me a game developer’s blog who would *not* link to his corporate site :) I believe any game developers who develop games have links to their projects. Of course I link. I also encourage people not just to *visit* but also *BUY* as much as possible ;)
    – Number two: “almost” daily? This has been daily since Jan 1st 2006 :) Every day… at 8:00 (gmt+2) there’s a post. Thanks for coming back! And thanks for participating in the discussion. I appreciate that.
    – Number three: thanks for the challenge.. (you aren’t fan of turn-based). I’ll email you when the game is finished. We will make it so darn good that there’s no chance that you wouldn’t like it.

  18. Interesting approach, setting up a blog about game design tips while linking it to your corporation site. These almost daily updates definitely keep me coming back here.

    And yeah, mail me when the game is done. Sounds interesting (though I’m not really a fan of turn-based, but let’s see how it turns out).

  19. Juuso, my post was a little unclear. I highly prefer turnbased games. I don’t have the reflexes for real time strategy (or the mind, I’m afraid!).

  20. Polycount Productions? Nice way of capitalising on Polycount’s already established reputation.

  21. @Ville: Yep. Thanks. Good luck to you with your project as well ;)

    @Jams: yeh… I think “eastern” them would be more appropriate. There’s japanese and chinese elements – mixed together. I have studied chinese basics (one language course) and ‘chi’ is a chinese term yes. I believe ‘ki’ is same thing – just in japanese. Our game won’t be historically accurate – if that’s what you are referring to ;) We will grap some units (samurais, ninjas, chi wizard, sumo etc.) in the game.

    @Andrew: I’m sure our two games are very different. It would be interesting to hear about your game! Challenge accepted ;)

    @Penguinx: Well, you are about to see the first turn based game you like. :)

  22. I’m a sucker for turn based games of ANY kind as well. I HIGHLY prefer them to real time based strategy games.

  23. Damn, I’m also making samurai-theme kind of turn based game! Though I don’t have much to show yet. Let’s see who’s gonna be better ;)

  24. Sounds like a very interesting project, the Japanese theme is very appealing! I’m just wondering, do you have a Japanese team member to advise on historical content and such? The reason i ask is that ‘Chi’ is a Chinese term, and the Japanese concept is a bit different (Ki). Also, most samurai did not train in ki related arts – only the highest nobility were allowed to train in Aikijutsu, Aikiken etc (forerunners to modern Aikido).

    Anyway good luck with the project!

  25. Keeping busy I see, having two games already announced. Good luck with the project!

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