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Today we have a chat with brothers Justus and Ben Karney from Eierkop-Games to speak about their cool genre-blending game, MaxControl. Coming to Steam Early Access, the CRYENGINE-powered title is being developed by a small team of five people and is already showing huge amounts of promise. Read on to find out more…
Can you tell us about MaxControl for people who haven't heard of the game?
Justus: Well, MaxControl is the very first Base Building, RTS and Shooter hybrid made with CRYENGINE. We mix classic shooter elements like first person / third person perspectives, looting gameplay, and customizable weapons with elements like base building, resource harvesting, and trading and THEN we add in RTS elements like a real-time combat mode, a real-time map, and territory acquisition.
Sounds ambitious! How did you come up with the idea?
Ben: Back in our teenage years games like Dune, Command and Conquer, and Age of Empires influenced us. We also spent days and nights playing FPS games like Crysis, Flashpoint, and Arma. To be honest, there are heaps of games that influenced our ideas for MaxControl.
We decided we wanted to play games that would make it possible for us to play different genres at the same time. The options were rather limited so we slowly developed the idea to create something of our own. The mix of RTS, Base Building and Shooting gameplay excited us so much that it was only a matter of time that we would want to transform our concept into reality. Early in 2015 we had developed our concept and we could start with the process of development.
Why did you choose to go the Early Access route?
Justus: After about a year, we entered into Steam Greenlight. We wanted to know how others liked our idea and if they saw potential in our concept. After just two weeks MaxControl had been greenlit! From that point on, it was clear to us that we wanted to go the Early Access route. To get feedback from a growing community is priceless. Furthermore, the players know that the game is in development and many are more than happy when they can be in immediate contact with us, the developers.
How was the experience of going through Steam Greenlight?
Ben: It was exciting. You're waiting to be greenlit and you also get the chance to be in close contact with the community. Over 90% of the feedback and experience was positive, we received plenty of feedback from gamers, and word of the game started to spread virally. However it is tough to receive support from Steam during those first few days and it’s your responsibility to keep pushing your title and getting the word out. Greenlight was our first opportunity to verify our concept, so we could take our game from an idea to reality.
How long have you and your team been working with CRYENGINE? How did you get together?
Justus: In the beginning of 2015 we decided to give up our day jobs and work full time with CRYENGINE. After about nine months, we started to build up our team. In a way, it wasn’t anything remarkable – more organic. A friend told a friend that we were developing our own game. That’s how we got to know Philipp Nikodem, our Art Director, and shortly after that our Community Manager Svenja Desinger and our composer Simon Rahm came on board. Only my brother and I work full time on the game though.
Why did you choose CRYENGINE to develop your game?
Ben: Apart from the great features and the workflow of the level designer, there was one defining thing that motivated us the most. Nobody had ever developed a hybrid game like ours with CRYENGINE. So we wanted to be the first to succeed!
Which CRYENGINE features have made the difference for your development?
Justus: In my opinion, one of the most effective features is Flowgraph. It makes it possible, especially for beginners, to implement ideas effectively and to create amazing things with hardly any programming knowledge. The lightning system is also incredible. With only a few lights, some environment probes, and adding some small settings in "Time of Day" you can create awesome scenes. The PBR system is also easy to understand and use. As a designer, I enjoy every day that I work with the material editor too. It runs really quickly and looks stunning whether you are mixing materials or making them shine or glow.
Has the CRYENGINE community helped during the project?
Ben: There really are some darn good people in the CRYENGINE community. Without their knowledge, we wouldn't be where we are today. We’ve received loads of useful and constructive information. We are thankful for all the help and support from the community over the past couple of years.
What are the next steps for the game?
Ben: We are in the final steps of our Kickstarter campaign, and we’ll be announcing dates and further information soon. Stay tuned to our channels! If the Kickstarter is successful, we will begin a Closed Alpha with our backers a few weeks later. To support development we will also set up a donations account on our website. After over two years of development without any external financial support, we are now at a point where we need funds to help the team expand and keep working on the game full time.
Awesome. Any other business?
Justus: We’d just like to say CRYENGINE is an amazing tool to implement your own visions. As long as you have the endurance, everything is possible! Also, we really want to thank the whole CRYENGINE community for their help and support, also Özkan Afacan for continuing to develop the BCRY 5 Exporter and, of course, every member of the MaxControl community!
You can check out MaxControl on Facebook, their website and you’re welcome to ask questions of the team and the community on Steam & the CE forum.
And as always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter and the official forums. Want to see more awesome games like MaxControl? Check out how you can contribute to CRYENGINE development here.
-Your CRYENGINE Team