But now, they are releasing â€œEvil Genius Onlineâ€ (AKA EGO), their first social game on Facebook. The game concept was inherited from â€œEvil Geniusâ€, a successful 2004 PC game. In the game, you play the role of a villain determined to rule the world.
The Online version includes like in the original, memorable characters with lots of humor. Your goal is simple… build a secret base and develop evil super weapons to gain notoriety to become the most evil genius! In the game you will receive help from other villains, you also lead a team of minions that will do the dirty work for you 😉
EGO (Evil Genius Online) was developed by a Rebellion’s team placed in Oxford, England. We had the possibility to talk with EGO team about the game, Flare3d and the development procces:
-How long did you guys spend developing the game and who comprised the team?
Evil Genius Online was originally prototyped by a small team before going into full development in 2012. During the prototype stage we looked at various rendering engines for Flash, and quickly decided that Flare3D was the best option for us and the project. As soon the game was green lit we started the recruitment process for artists, server and client side programmers, designers and the Dev Ops guy who does lots of server monitoring, scaling and tweaks.
-Evil Genius you personalize the bad guy, an ambitious and an criminal entrepreneur.Â Â Â What was your inspiration?Â
How many times do you see a film where the bad guy â€˜winsâ€™? Or play a game where the primary antagonist gets to swan into the sunset whilst the good guys are made to look totally foolish? Not too many, Iâ€™d wager. Thereâ€™s a bit of an Evil Genius within us all I think â€“ the game lets you unlock that part of your brain and let it thrive! Of course our biggest inspiration was the original Evil Genius PC game which really nailed the dark humour of being a megalomaniac!
-Did you want to give the game a retro look like the TV shows of the 60Â´s?
During the prototype we tried out a few different art styles and even toyed with the idea of making it modern day and realistic. However nothing seemed right compared with the strong 60â€™s art style of the original Evil Genius game on PC, so we quickly went back to original art style. We started dissecting the original art assets and creating all new artwork in the original style that was optimised for the game engine. The Austin Powers style of humour was a big plus for us and hopefully this can be picked up in the gameâ€™s dialog; it gels very well with the art.
-Is it feasible to expect the game to run on mobile devices?
We have already worked on multi-touch controls and the game works great on Windows 8 touch screens and the Microsoft Surface Pro 2. Having the game running on a bigger range of mobile devices such as iOS and Android devices is on our roadmap, but we donâ€™t have a date set in stone for this yet. Our plan is to move over to a Starling UI layer and optimising the 3D models to run on the targeted devices, a challenge the team are looking forward to.Â Watch this space!
-How did Flare3D contributed to the development phase of the game?
Flare 3D is a great tool for rapid prototyping which was essential during the initial phases of development. We managed to put together the first working prototype extremely quickly. Flare 3D integrated seamlessly into our backend AS3 framework and we were able to hit the ground running. One of our favourite features the Flare3D offered was FLSL and weâ€™ve used a number of shaders to create effects such as fading reflections in the floor and chrome textures.
-What was the toughest issue you ran into while you developed the game? Were you able to resolve it?
With a game of this magnitude the biggest issue we have come across is optimising the game to run on as wide a range of devices as possible. Luckily Flare3D is a fairly quick so most of the optimisation was done on the asset end. We have focussed on created several quality experiences for the game so that model complexity and render modes can be simplified dynamically on low end hardware.
-For all those games developers who would like to explore the world of social games, what are the things you must never forget and which are the things you must never do?
The biggest thing weâ€™ve learnt while developing Evil Genius Online is that for a project the size of a social game youâ€™ll never manage to think of everything. There is so much to think about from social network and payments integration to building menu systems, animations, backend servers and data, lots of data that requires understanding, balancing, rebalancing and continuous testing. Make your framework as flexible as possible so when you need to change your design or road map which is inevitable you are well prepared. Prepare for failure, make mistakes, but deal with it as quickly as possible.
-What are Rebellion plans for developing games in 2014?
Well like everyone else weâ€™re learning that a New Year, doesnâ€™t just mean new games â€“ it means supporting, improving and evolving your current games too. For EGO we are continuing to develop to our road map and have some very cool new content and features planned.
Of course weâ€™re known for our console and PC games too, so I hope you donâ€™t us plugging Sniper Elite 3 which is due out later this year on PC and consoles â€“ including PS4 and Xbox One. Alongside some other stuff we canâ€™t talk about yet, itâ€™s going to be a big year for Evil Genius, and Rebellion.
The game is on line as “Open beta” for everyone who wants to know how world domination feels :-).
Join and enjoy Evil Genius Online here: https://apps.facebook.com/evil-genius-online/
And remember… how the evil master said…
Pinky: Gee, Brain. What are we going to do tonight?
The Brain: The same thing we do every night, Pinky.Try to take over the world.