Uranium Soda is an independant studio based in Toulouse (France).
We are 2 fellows sharing a great passion for video games.
We love what we do, and we hope that you will feel that in Supralympic Runners.
(reported by Jules De Guglielmi)
Beginners in the Mist
I first met Romain in high school back in 2005. We started working together in 2012, with further skills. We didn't have any specific game development knowledge neither any professional experience of it when we began. But we had complementary technical profiles to create a video game : software developer & graphic artist. We could make this childhood's dream come true, and this idea was very motivating.
For years, between studies and labours, we have been seeking for a game style, for a creative software technology, for a unique gameplay. Regularly reshaping our projects as we learned new skills, never settling something for good except one thing : it would be a mobile game... (do not ask why)
- "Let's go with an interactive comic story taking place in the future!"
- "Holy crap, 3 depths of choices in the story tree produce over 40 images! Even when rebasing forks it's hell of a mess!"
- "Writing a story is fun but it's not so easy (neither Romain's field nor mine), especially an interactive one! And what about the music?"
- "Well the software part is not so exciting and we could do better! What if we add a dialog-based system on it?"
- "Hey what if it was a point-and-click animated comic story instead? We could mix 3D environment with 2D comic characters and it would take place in a crappy bar!"
- "Ok let's have no limits : what if we add an emotion-based A.I. on top of it, ruling the dialogs and other behaviours? And why just a bar, let's build the whole city!" (If i could go back in the past i would like to choke us bad!)
We are not sure for dates, but it's pretty closed from the reality... You can easily guess here that Romain upgraded from 2D graphic artist to cinema-oriented digital VFX artist and I from software developer to A.I. research engineer between 2012 and 2014.
Rush Beyond a.k.a. Supralympic Runners
The idea of an endless runner came out from the stack because it was accessible, because we used to play Jetpack Joyride and Temple Run, I guess and mostly because we had to settle something challenging & doable for good. In several months of hard work, we managed somehow to build a decent prototype of a familiar physic-based first-person endless-runner.
Waiting for full-time development in september 2015, Romain had found a solution to freely develop and express his art with "Boussole Records", a digital electronic music label he created with friends.
Meanwhile, I had saved money from a 1 year contract as an engineer in a "serious-game" laboratory, and i could work for at least 2 years with a tighten belt. I had made a great step into game design theory with, among other readings, "The Art of Game Design" by Jesse Shell (I would recommend it).
Things had started to be serious. We had developed a more mature mindset. To accelerate the project, We entered a seek and destroy phase, shooting at all old damned bad ideas sticking to the game like hitmans under cocaine. Among many clean-ups, the greatest relief was when we bombed the "it is a mobile game" settlement. The crappiest idea of the project was dead...
An other great step was when we met the other game makers around us, through the Toulouse Game Dev local association. We started leaving the cave for good! We have been participating to some affordable french video games events like the Toulouse Game Show 2017 / 2018 / Spring Break 2018, and the Japan Expo Sud 2018. Obviously, the discovery of our players was a significant enlightenment! Parenthesis: if you are a game maker, don't be stupid, don't be a troglodyte, show your work and get feedback soon (it's worth it).
In 2018, two great fellows came to strenghten the team : Léonard Bertos to ease the workload on communication, bringing some oxygen, and Masami Komuro to compose the original soundtrack of the game! About the latter, our collaboration has been very prolific. Determined to honour this essential part, we discussed about an adaptative music player that would subtly marry the music with the game, making transitions imperceptible. I implemented this music logic program while Masami composed combinable music loops, the result is just awesome!
We launched the Steam early access on may 2018. A small but lovely community of fans contributed and supported this project until release. Finally, despite all setbacks, we pulled Supralympic Runners from the ground. It's not perfect, but it's a bunch of work we are proud of. We really busted a gut on this piece of ludic art. Hope you'll enjoy it so!
To be continued…
Romain DANOS - Visual Art, Sound Design, Additional Game Design
Jules DE GUGLIELMI - Game Design, Programming, Project Management
Léonard BERTOS - Additional Communication Support
Masami KOMURO - Music Composition