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Deceit: Levelling Up For Release

Published on 1st June 2016

From the beginning of 2016, as a team of 8 we designed and built our first iteration of Deceit using the Unity platform. We showed a (work-in-progress) public demo at EGX REZZED which received very positive feedback, and alongside our concept and trailer brought it swiftly into the top-10 of Steam greenlight. Whilst it showed to be a fantastic concept that people loved, EGX not only gave us more ideas for the gameplay, but also highlighted that we didn't yet have the level of AAA polish we expect. For the last two months, we've been working hard on taking both our team, and the Deceit project to the next level. Today we're pleased to announce what we have been doing, and where the project is going.

Developing with CryEngine V

Our tech team have worked on extending the Unity engine in a number of ways, from shaders to large scale networking features. Unity gave us a good starting point, giving us a great platform to prototype and test Deceit. Unity also provides a strong feature set including vast cross platform support, and a fairly well featured graphics engine. However, we are fortunate to have a strong tech team, so creating game logic is quick and easy for us; we found the most of our time has been spent trying to recreate high-end features to match the newer AAA titles. In this context, we spoke to CryTek about their industry-leading graphics technologies, their roadmap for the brand new CryEngine V, and quickly saw a perfect fit for our team.

CryEngine has led the industry for many years in numerous areas of game engine technology. Whilst its background is in large budget titles, with complexities that can hold back smaller, or more fast-paced studios, the release of CryEngine V has shown a change: faster workflows, cleaner interfaces, more platforms; yet still retaining a jaw-dropping fully-realtime feature set that sets it apart. We look forward to working with CryEngine over a few of our upcoming projects, and we are excited show you what we can do with it in just a few months, and how it has pushed our development to the next level. For those of you who played Deceit at EGX: this means the a refined version of the same gameplay concept, but a completely unrecognisable level of smoothness, attention to detail, and polish.

Automaton is Growing

Since January, we've been actively recruiting and are fortunate to have been able to review a large number of applications to join our team, which focuses on both fast-paced development of exciting online games, and a commitment to innovation. Despite a cautious and rigorous hiring process, we're excited that the Deceit team is now twice the size. We feel that our team is now well positioned to deliver a polished product in both art and tech within our ambitious release schedule.

So when is our actual release date?

Initially we intended to begin rolling out early access this coming month, and to push to full release in August. Moving platforms to CryEngine means that these goals have changed. Overhauling our workflows and development structure has been a large task to undertake and means our early access release has to be slightly pushed back. Ultimately we are only happy releasing Deceit when we believe it is in a state ready to be rolled out. We have a strong ethos that, although we have a proven ability to rapidly develop games, we should only fully release them to the public when they meet our own expectations.

Despite this, we’re still on track to release a public version of Deceit in August (which we previously announced as our “full release”), though we can only commit to this after discussing our plans with Steam next month. So, in July we will officially announce when you will be able to get your hands on Deceit and make your way into our abandoned asylum to see if you manage to escape unharmed.

The Automaton Team