The RepRev "Republic: The Revolution" FAQ
(Last updated 23/06/03 [European date])
This FAQ has been created by myself, Jonathan Mayer, of www.strategyplanet.com/republic. Please do not reproduce this FAQ without my permission. The latest version of this FAQ can always be found at the above web address.
Please note: This FAQ covers common questions about the game and introduces the game to those who don't know anything it. You will not find the answer to every playability question here - there are other pages on the website which cover specifics. Want more answers? Check out this forum thread for a question/answer session with Ben from Elixir, and leave your own questions...
Please please please use the forums for asking questions not answered here...
Republic FAQ v1.2.4
- General Questions
- The Gameplay
- Technical Specifications
- Elixir Studios
- Miscellaneous R:TR stuff
- Other Stuff
- FAQ History
1) General Questions
What is "Republic: The Revolution"?
Republic: The Revolution (R:TR) is a PC strategy game currently in development at Elixir Studios, London.
What is the basic story throughout the game?
(Synopsis taken from http://www.republictherevolution.com)
"You’re a powerful faction leader and you must oust the President of the Republic... by any means."
It’s the 1990s and the mighty Soviet Union has just broken up. Dozens of autonomous countries spring from the crumbling remnants. It is into one of these, the Republic of Novistrana, that you enter the fray as a small time faction leader.
We are recreating the whole of Novistrana in its full glory in totally freeform 3D. This will give the game a cinematic quality the likes of which have never been experienced before. 50 towns and cities all rendered down to an incredible level of detail. Additionally, populating the country will be a million living breathing citizens. Every one will be totally unique, each with their own daily routines, ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs and political leanings.
Starting with a single loyal supporter, a tiny secret HQ and a very small base of local support, you must build up a nationwide faction powerful enough to oust the President and rule the Republic of Novistrana.
Up to 16 other factions (human or computer controlled) will be doing everything in their power to stop you and seize control for themselves. And of course, most formidable of all is the President as he’ll go to any lengths necessary to hold onto power.
Persuade, hire and recruit all manner of specialist characters to your cause or use less ethical methods such as brainwashing or blackmailing to achieve your aims. These characters range from army generals to TV filmstars to archbishops.
Players may follow five different strands of play, allowing them to play as politicians, businessmen, criminals, religious leaders or generals. Behave as ruthlessly or as compassionately as you want. The choice is yours, but beware, as every decision has consequences.
Influence the general populace through your key supporters by using them to instigate actions. Thousands of exciting and diverse actions to order and orchestrate from vast rallies and riots to rigging football matches to secret police ‘hits’ to broadcasting news propaganda.
For more detailed information, please visit my story page or the official Republic site.
Who is developing R:TR?
Elixir Studios (www.elixir-studios.co.uk) is the development team. Elixir was founded in 1998 by Demis Hassabis. R:TR is one of three games which Elixir are currently producing (details of the other titles available on my In the Pipeline page). Please browse through my "developer section" for information, interviews and photos from Elixir Studios.
Who will be publishing R:TR?
Eidos (www.eidosinteractive.com), the company which published the Tomb Raider series and Deus Ex.
How much will R:TR cost?
Probably in the region of £30 - £35 (in the UK at least). Amazon are doing it for £25. Generally speaking, the same price as current games. Bargain!
What are the system requirements for R:TR?
A lot of talk has been going around as to what the system requirements will be. Due to the scalability of the "Totality Engine" (graphics engine running the game - see below for more), the minimum specifications will be fairly low, but the better the hardware you have, the better the game will look and feel.
See the specifications page for up to date info.
Will R:TR be released on any platforms other than the PC?
Officially, no. Just the PC. But there are rumours around that the game will make the leap into the strange world of consoles, possibly reaching the Playstation 2 or the Xbox. But certainly not for a while though.
When will it be released?
Check out the side bar for the latest release dates.
2) The Gameplay and Game Features
So what kind of a game is R:TR?
A free-form strategy game, based in a fictional country called Novistrana. That's probably the best description. Read the synopsis above to get a better idea. More information about what you do in the game can also be found on my reports pages, written after I visited Elixir Studios.
Is there anything like it on the market at the moment?
Generally speaking, no. In some ways, it is similar to "The Sims" in that you control people going about their day-to-day lives. The language that the characters speak is also a mixture or Russian and Sim-style nonsense. However, this game is much darker and grander than "The Sims", and will appeal to a different type of person. (An example of the voices can be found in my downloads section).
Is it a single or multiplayer game?
R:TR has been designed as a single-player experience. You go head to head against 16 other factions, each vying for the title of President. As for the possibility of multiplayer - it is certainly something that Elixir have thought about, and might possibly be added on to the game in the form of a patch or add-on, but it is something that won't be released at the start. This is due to the fact that your faction is better than the rival factions, meaning that multiplayer would not be very balanced.
So - what's all the fuss about? What's so great about the game?
Ha - where do I start? What about these features to start with:
- Richest simulation environment ever. Revolutionary AI techniques will allow 10,000 living and breathing individual citizens to inhabit the towns and cities in Novistrana.
- Each person will have detailed daily routines that range from going to work, to collecting their kids from school, to doing their shopping and to voting in elections. Each individual will also have their own set of beliefs, emotions, skills and loyalties that govern their behaviour, producing consistent and realistic reactions to situations that arise in the game.
- Thousands of factions, organisations and parties to subvert and control, each with their own goals and powers. Thousands of factors dictate how these groups will react to a player's actions. As a result, every game will be a different and exciting experience.
- Extremely efficient and realistic citizen navigation utilising an innovative hierarchical path-finding algorithm. Use of potential field technology allows for flexible crowd formation and flocking behaviour. Towns feature advanced transport routines that accurately model inner city traffic and metro systems.
- State of the art AI-controlled music system changes the mood of the music smoothly depending on how you are playing, the persona of your in-game character and the action you are currently viewing.
- Cutting edge behavioural cloning techniques will be employed to produce intelligent computer players with personalities. They will provide the sternest of challenges to even the best strategy gamers, learning and adapting to the way you play.
- Over 250 different, scaleable actions that can be acted out to try to win the support of the Novistrana citizens.
Want more? Keep reading, or browse around this website for comprehensive details on different areas of the game. 30 cool and new game features I found about the game after visiting them can be found here (this is an old article now and is only for reference rather than firmly correct details)
What time period is the game based in?
How will the navigation system work?
No official word yet, although some of the screenshots currently available show what the general in game set-up will look like (take a look at the E3 2003 shots for a good idea). Demis has pointed out that he doesn't want lots and lots of buttons and lists - everything should be controlled by clicking are areas of the screen with the right mouse button (similar to "The Sims" or "Black and White").
How will the camera work?
There are to be 4 modes - a map mode, a city overview mode, a floor level mode, and a game action close up mode. How the controls will work is unknown.
Does the game actually look like any of the available screenshots?
Any screenshots before 2002 do not show a realistic view of what to expect in the game. However E3 2003 and later shots are probably similar to the final feal of the game.
How long will the game be?
Current estimates are around 30 hours with incredible replayability.
How will the player win the game?
When you become the President. The game will not continue after this point.
Will the player be allowed to build stuff (like buildings)?
Sorry... not in this game!
Can you drive cars then?
You won't be able to control cars, but you can travel on the transport systems in the towns and cities. This is not Midtown Madness :)
Will the player be allowed into buildings?
No. There *might* be a couple of buildings which are important to your day-to-day life, such as your HQ, but you cannot actually wander around them. You can, however, send snipers into houses so they can get a good shot through a window.
Will the factions have names like political parties? If so, would I be able to name my faction?
Yes, at the start of the game you'll be able to choose your faction. There will be preset names, but you can change it to whatever you fancy.
How do *you* appear in the game? Can you see yourself, or are you the all-seeing leader who justs controls what goes on? Do you walk around, or not?
You can't actually walk around yourself (ie. you can't control your specific movements). However, Elixir are still undecided as to whether you are a behind the scenes mastermind who directs your minions or a hands on leader with actions of your own.
Ben, from Elixir, adds: "We're checking it out to see whether it is more satisfying than it is frustrating or whether one of the other things we're playing with is even better. The one we think works best will get in to the version you see on the shelves."
Will we see far more destructive tactics, like carbombs? Be able to blow apart buildings? Or will there be the standard kneejerk September 11th reaction to it all?
You will be able to carbomb people and there are quite a few military options available to you: provided you can get the military on your side, or set up your own gangs to do the dirty for you.
As for the reaction you get, well, that will depend on who you do it against. A Pacifist party will not respond like Bush did, but then other factions might. . . just be careful who you mess with and how you mess!
Will there be any scripted plot elements or is the game completely freeform?
Demis Hassabis answers: "Although the gameplay is freeform in nature there will be parts that could be considered scripted plot elements. An example of this might be a visit by a powerful character such as politician, celebrity, crime lord, etc, if players successfully perform certain actions at the same time as this event then the player will yield bonuses, such as extra resource points or unlocking new opportunities in the game. Events such as these will be fired-off by the simulation depending on the actual game state at that particular moment."
In the first section, the "town" level, do you actually have any real opponants? Or do you just get them from the city "level" onwards?
Whichever town you start in is thought of as your 'home town' where you get to build your power base without other pesky factions getting in the way. It makes it easier to get to grips with the game without having enemies there who are out to get you. The president will still not be too keen on you tho'...
What sort of background music will be used? None? Russian-Classical? Will it be speciialy composed if so?
Elixir are lucky to have some incredibly talented audio people in house such as Richard Joseph. The music will be classical and the feel will change and develop based on what's happening and the location you're in.
Can you kill people?
Oh yes......... but watch out for the consequences!
3) Technical Specifications
What is the graphics engine used in R:TR?
The "Totality Engine", created in-house. For more information, see my Totality page.
Will the engine be licensed out to any other companies?
Elixir are undecided, although it would be probable
With such a complicated game, why have Elixir gone to such lengths to create your own graphical engine as well? Was licensing another engine ever considered?
Elixir answers: "No currently licensible engine can do what Totality does. It's utterly unique. We had to build our own engine because what we're asking it to do has never been done before. The detail is simply mindblowing."
Can I have some more details about the implementation of the AI?
Sure… check out my AI page!
4) Elixir Studios
When was Elixir formed? Who formed Elixir?
1998, by Demis Hassabis, who had previously left Lionhead after working on the early stages of "Black and White". For a detailed look at how Elixir was formed, check out my Elixir's formation page.
How many people are on the Elixir team?
Around 60 people (in April 2002 at least). For a comprehensive list of the main team members, and the board members, check out my Team Information page.
Have Elixir created any other games?
No, but there are other games in the pipeline along with R:TR, such as Evil Genius. Up-to-date info on the other games can be found on my In the Pipeline page.
5) Miscellaneous R:TR stuff
When will R:TR be released?
When it's done… :) The game was originally due out late 2000, so it has obviously slipped a lot. For up-to-date release dates, check out my main page.
Is there a demo?
No… not for a while anyway.
Are Elixir needing beta-testers?
No. They probably won't need them later either.
How long has the game been in production?
Since October 1998.
Will there be a level-editor?
It is unlikely that they will be releasing any tools with the initial game mainly due to time constraints. However, at a later date they would like to release the city building tools so people can create their own 'living' metropolises and maybe even the action creation tools so people can create their own actions and use them in the game.
What are the official webpages?
www.elixir-studios.co.uk - Elixir Studios
www.republictherevolution.com - R:TR official site.
www.novistrana.com - Novistrana website.
www.elixir-studios.co.uk/cgi-bin/ubb/Ultimate.cgi - The official forums
6) Other stuff
This work is provided "as is" without any warranty; without the implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. The author is not liable for any results arising from the use of this work. All risks and results thereof fall on the user.
Most importantly, any of the information contained within this document is liable to change, however these are the best approximations available at this time.
This FAQ is Copyright © 2001, RepRev. All Rights Reserved.
I have a question which is not covered in this FAQ…
E-mail me and ask me about it - I'll try to help you, and add it to this FAQ.
Why is this FAQ so inconclusive?
Because the game hasn't been released yet - Elixir is drip-feeding information, so there is not much of it about! If your question isn't answered here on on the website, it is probably because it is not public knowledge.
7) FAQ History (all dates are DD/MM/YY)
v1.0 - 16/01/02 - FAQ created
v1.1 - 18/01/02 - A couple of answers corrected, and additions to the Gameplay section
v1.2 - 05/03/02 - Gameplay Section extended
v1.2.1 - 09/03/02 - Minor Gameplay Section corrections
v1.2.2 - 05/04/02 - Several answers updated after trip to Elixir
v1.2.3 - 30/05/02 - Couple of post-E3 changes
v1.2.4 - 01/08/02 - Minor updates to reflect recent changes
v1.2.5 - 06/05/03 - Minor updates before E3 2003.
v1.3 - 23/06/03 - Some rather large innacuracies corrected...