Tag Archives: Sunset Blog

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Many of you have played Sunset Overdrive in the months since it launched on Xbox One last holiday. We’re so grateful for all of your support and great feedback on the game.

We ran a trial period a while back and got a great response, so we’re going to do another trial through Xbox Live Xbox’s Trial and Deals with Gold! Running from June 9th through June 15th, Xbox Live gold and silver members can download the full game and play it* for up to three hours.

Additionally, the full game, season pass, and digital deluxe edition will all be 33% off for Gold Members during this period as well.

For best results with the three-hour trial, we recommend waiting for the game to download to 100% before you begin playing. While you can play earlier, you may have to wait for the game to continue installing!. Further, if you do quit the game mid-trial, be sure to actually exit the application (Xbox Home Button -> Menu Button -> Quit Game), to stop the timer! If you leave the game open while switching to another app like Watch TV, the timer may will continue in the background.

We hope that if you haven’t played Sunset Overdrive yet, you’ll take this opportunity to experience the first few hours of the game. And if you have played it, check out the awesome deals on the Season Pass (which includes two new story add-ons: the Mystery of the Moo-oil Rig and the Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines) or tell your friends who haven’t played yet!

Thanks again for all of your support of Sunset Overdrive!

*Chaos Squad (Multiplayer) does require a gold subscription.

Hello Sunsetters (we just made that up, can you tell?),

We are excited to bring you big news today. First up, Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines campaign add-on is now available! Yes, we know it’s April Fools’ Day. No, this is not a prank. You can purchase this by itself or get the Season Pass and get BOTH the Mystery of the Mooil Rig AND Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines, as well as, the Weapons Pack at a discount.

Man vs. Machine: The savage battle that’s been raging on for billions of years enters its latest bout in Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines. A rescue mission to save Sam’s old mentors from the Fizzco Robotics Factory quickly turns into an all-out assault to counter-hack and dismantle Fizzco defenses. Don’t worry. For you, hacking equates to pulling triggers and laying waste to a bevy of upgraded Fizzco bots. Everyone has their strengths!

Featuring an all new story, weapons, traps, Amps, enemies, clothing, gameplay mechanics, and a massive new area to explore – Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines is a techtonic addition to the Sunset Overdrive universe.

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New Achievement

As an added bonus, we’re celebrating April Fools’ Day the only way Fizzie would – with the release of new achievements for ALL players. The “Worst Job in the Kingdom” achievement is unlocked by replaying and completing the “Floating Garbage” mission within par time (15 minutes) for a whopping 200 Gamerscore! There’s also the “Fizzie Says April Fools!” achievement. Complete them, and see what happens. Let the pranks begin!

Sunset Overdrive is now $39.99**!

For those of you who haven’t picked up Sunset yet, that is ok, we won’t judge, but now is your perfect chance! Sunset Overdrive is now (and will be moving forward) only $39.99! Grab it today via your favorite retailer or download directly from Xbox Live. Be sure to grab the Season Pass too which includes all the additional content for only $19.99.

**$39.99 is only in effect in the US. If you’re outside of the US prices may be different.

Content Update

With the new add-on comes some bug fixes and improvements. We want to let you know what is getting fixed. We apologize if any of these have prevented you from fully enjoying the game.

So here you go and we hope to see you all online foolin’ around in Chaos Squad.

GENERAL:

  • Fixed a bug with Game DVR where the clip is recorded to the wrong profile after switching accounts via the Xbox Dashboard.
  • Fixed a bug where a Game DVR clip would be recorded when the player has failed a challenge but reached a high score during the failed attempt.
  • Fixed a bug where Game DVR would record a clip when Night Defense was successful even though the player did not reach a new high score.
  • Fixed a bug where bombs from the Shield Buddy could potentially get trapped in a nearby player’s shield.
  • Fixed a bug where some UI elements would not appear in-game when multiple Xbox accounts are signed in.
  • Fixed a bug where the poster credits sequence would not be visually displayed, but audio could be heard in the background.
  • Fixed a bug where the piranha’s in the “Suddenly Piranhas” amp could potentially fall through the world when they spawn in.
  • Fixed a potential crash that could occur when quickly accessing the weapon wheel after respawning with a loading screen.
  • Fixed a bug where the player could potentially have a blank trap screen and not be able to edit their trap loadout.
  • Fixed a bug where the D-pad trap selection UI and various POI are missing from HUD when a secondary profile is signed in before launching.

MISSIONS:

  • Fixed a bug where not enough Fizzco enemies would spawn during the “Awesomesmithing” mission if the Chance of Lightning amp kills enough of the Fizzco enemies.
  • Fixed a bug where the failed screen would continue to appear after reloading the last checkpoint in the “Find 4Kim” mission.

QUESTS:

  • Fixed a bug where the failed screen would continue to appear after reloading the last checkpoint if the player fails to keep up with the train in the “Help a Hobo” quest.

CHALLENGES:

  • Fixed a bug in the “Excalamune” challenge where it will not end if the Spawner is killed before the Herker.
  • Fixed a bug in the “Episode 4 – Buck Stops Here” challenge where the player would be taken to their primary mission location instead of the actual challenge location.

CHAOS SQUAD:

  • Fixed a typo in one of the intro images for “Fizzco Ambush” mission in Chaos Squad.
  • Fixed a bug where some Chaos Squad missions could potentially be assigned as active in the Campaign.
  • Fixed a bug where a client would be unable to pick-up the battery after being killed by the battery in the “Power Up” mission in Chaos Squad.
  • Fixed a bug where the 4th and 5th spinners for the Chaos Squad rewards would no longer appear once the player has earned all the amps and vanity rewards.
  • Fixed a bug in Chaos Squad where the player could potentially lose their weapon loadout during the “The Floor is Lava”.

VANITY:

  • Fixed a bug where the last outfit purchased with Calista could still be displayed as purchasable.
  • Fixed a potential bug where vanity items owned could be shown as available to buy with Calista if an Insomniac Set was purchased but not equipped.
  • Fixed a bug where the Dev Shirt could potentially disappear from the players inventory.

The first story-based add-on for Sunset Overdrive, The Mystery of the Mooil Rig, is out now!

When a distress signal cries out from a Mooil Oil rig off the shores of Sunset City, Bryllcream emphatically asks for your help investigating. You swim right smack in the middle of a violent turf war between disgruntled and well-armed union workers. Plus, you have new mutants of the aquatic flair on your plate, too. But, you can handle it and set things straight. And if you can’t – well – there’s no use crying over spilt oil.

It’s packed full of new story missions, weapons, Amps, traps, quests, challenges, Night Defense bases, and Chaos Squad missions that will keep you busy and blissfully distracted from the horrors of reality.

For more info on what you’ll be getting check out the trailer above – or peruse the latest Sunset TV’s (12/9/14, 12/16/14) for an in-depth look at what you’ll be getting.
Enjoy the Mooil Rig and be sure to keep up to date with us on Twitter for more exciting Sunset Overdrive updates coming soon!

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Hi. My name is Marcus. While not acting as Creative Director on Sunset Overdrive, I enjoy listening to music. One of the amazing benefits of this incredible job I have is getting the opportunity to work with artists I love. The music in Sunset Overdrive is exactly that- music I love. From the very early days of working out the rough ideas that would become the game, Drew (Murray, Game Director) and I would make mix tapes for one another to express our ideas tonally. We had a shared affinity for hardcore and punk rock, the music we’d grown-up listening to, but we’d also included styles that exemplified facets of the world that became Sunset City- from the strutting nature of Glam Rock to “classic rock” to proto-punk to electroclash to new wave to shoegaze and artists that defy genres. The point is, even before we knew what the game was, we were using music to define it. And one of the coolest things in the world is that we got to work with many of the bands that were on our original ‘inspiration’ list (created over two and a half years ago).

Audio Director Paul Mudra and I spent a lot of time looking for the perfect sounds to fit Sunset Overdrive. We worked with Pyramind Studios and Cutting Edge Group to locate the sounds that drive the action. As a result, Sunset Overdrive has a soundtrack made up of original songs created by bands Cheap Time, The Bronx, Dan Sartain, Bass Drum of Death, Meat Market, BOATS!, and Brenna Red. The bands created the songs incorporating story elements from the game and were edited to create “sub-mixes” that are layered in depending on the intensity of action in the game, so the more intense the action, the more full and intense the songs will be. These bands fit the tonal qualities that work for the theme and tempo of the gameplay and we couldn’t be happier with the results. Sunset also features great licensed tracks from bands FIDLAR, Cheap Time, The Death Set, Carbonas, The Glockenwise, The Blind Shake, Cerebral Ballzy, Bass Drum of Death, and Zig Zags. Everybody should go see these bands if they play in your town because they are all incredible.

And as if that weren’t enough, we also had a chance to work with Buzz Osborne. A while back, Jon Paquette (Sunset’s Lead Writer) came to Drew and I and said that he wanted to write a mission where the player had to put together a concert for a sick kid and asked who we’d most want to work with. It took me exactly zero seconds to reply with The Melvins. Buzz Osborne is such an incredible inspiration because he works incredibly hard and creates unique, relevant music. All hail King Buzzo!

Dreams really do come true:

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Buzz Osborne (left) and Marcus Smith (right)

Timing is everything! Friends of Insomniac and contributing band The Bronx have a new album out now from their alter egos, ‘Mariachi El Bronx’ (“Be who you want to be!) Also go see them live at one of these upcoming events! You won’t regret it!

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Microsoft and Insomniac Games are excited to announce even more explosive action and mutant-infested mayhem for fans with the “Sunset Overdrive” Season Pass, available for purchase on Xbox Live and participating retailers at release.

Packed with exclusive content, the “Sunset Overdrive” Season Pass includes the first three complete Game Add-ons for “Sunset Overdrive,” as well as six character outfits, two Amps and two Traps available exclusively to Season Pass purchasers as soon as the game is released.

The “Sunset Overdrive” Season Pass grants you:

  • Two campaign Game Add-ons that each deliver new locations to explore, stories to experience, and bosses to battle. Each of these Add-ons also includes new weapons, new Amps, a new Trap, new character outfits as well as new challenges and Chaos Squad* objectives!
  • The Weapons Pack Game Add-on, which includes four deadly new weapons to augment your arsenal!
  • BONUS – six character outfits, two Amps and two Traps to use as soon as the game is released

In total, the Season Pass delivers a massive amount of adventure and destruction: eight new devastating weapons, four deadly traps to deploy in Chaos Squad, four new Amps to unleash over-the-top mayhem, and 10 unique outfits for your character – all for $19.99 U.S. ERP, a savings of more than 20% compared to purchasing the three Game Add-ons individually.

*Sunset Overdrive game required, sold separately. Chaos Squad objectives and Traps require Xbox Live Gold membership, sold separately. Retail prices may vary.

The fine folks over at ilovedust, have done it again. On top of helping us with our initial keyart, Sunset City art, and doing the boxart, check out their awesome Chaos Squad art.

This is based on the Night Defense section of Chaos Squad. It’s definitely darker than the boxart, but then again, it’s night! Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Also, if you are looking for wallpaper sizes, we have a 1920×1080 version here and a 1920×1200 version here. Or you can get the full size here.

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As we continue towards this Fall, we wanted to spotlight various members of the Sunset Overdrive team with some questions you hopefully haven’t seen answered elsewhere. Get to know the Sunset Overdrive team. This week we talk to Director of Project Management Bryan Intihar.

brianiHow did you end up at Insomniac?

Ryan Schneider (our Director of Marketing and Brand Development), that’s how. During my days at Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) I worked very closely with Ryan whenever it came to writing about Insomniac titles. Ryan—along with Ted—always went above and beyond whenever I had a request and I really enjoyed visiting the studio.

When I got the itch to move into game development, Ryan was the first person I called and was fortunate that he had a position open on the community team. After about a year I moved into production with Ryan’s blessing (if you can’t tell already, he’s one awesome guy).

I know it might sound cliché, but I truly do have the greatest job. That doesn’t mean things don’t get tough/stressful at times, but it’s still amazing to see on a daily basis how these games come together.

How did being in games media help you in your position now?

Well, let’s start with how it didn’t help—I COMPLETELY underestimated just what goes into making these things. I’ve written a lot of articles and been on numerous gaming podcasts, and when I think about at some of my comments/criticisms I’m like “wow—you really had no idea how difficult it can be to do what you’re asking.”

However, I feel like being part of the games media did allow me to give the dev team some insights  on how people might react to , say, a new game feature or initial impressions of a demo build through the eyes of a journalist.

Sunset Overdrive Character Grouping by Julien Renoult

Sunset Overdrive Character Grouping by Julien Renoult

What’s the biggest challenge when guiding roughly 200 people making a game?

Communication, communication, and—oh yeah—communication. Sunset is easily the biggest game we’ve ever made at Insomniac, which has led to us staffing up appropriately. But when you have team size this big, it’s a constant challenge to keep everyone in the loop. Luckily, I have an amazing production team that keeps the flow of information going throughout the studio.

Any “ah-ha” moments on Sunset Overdrive?

I would say the first time we got actually shooting-while-traversing working in the game. Early on Steve Ryder—one of our animators—did some pre-vis work about what it could feel like running through the city like in those parkour videos yet blasting away OD with such unbelievable style. The day I grabbed the controller and said “it’s just like Steve’s video,” I knew the team was on to something pretty special.

How many different departments go into making a videogame?

Lots! You have the ones that you might expect: Design, Programming, Animation, Audio, etc. However, there’s also several that I like to call “unsung heroes” that go into making this game (and studio)—tick, such as our QA staff, community team (who are rocking it these days with our weekly Sunset TV episodes), and yes—even HR. Our HR group is always doing something special for the studio to keep things fun even at the most difficult times at the project.

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How is Insomniac managing Sunset Overdrive differently than other projects?

The sheer size of this game has forced us to improve our tracking methods. There are so many features/assets/etc. that you really need to be buttoned up as a production team so things don’t fall through the cracks. We’ve made some tremendous headway in this area on Sunset, but it will continue to be a point of emphasis on future projects, as well.

What are your three most vital tools that you couldn’t do your job without?

  1. My legs: People always laugh at me I’m usually seen speed-walking around the office trying to track someone down. I’m not a fan of communicating via e-mail or IM; it’s all about the face-to-face.
  2. My team: The production team (Heather, Kevin, Peter, Scott) along with my QA leads (Doug, Joe, and Ricky) make it possible for me to do my job. I ask so much of them on a daily basis and even when I put new stuff on their plate they always find a way to deliver.
  3. My Insom family: Insomniac is more than just a job for me. I’ve always described this place as a second family and I’d do anything to help it succeed. For as much time we spend here making these games, you better really like and respect the people you work with—and that’s exactly the case here at Insomniac. It’s an amazing place to be.

I hear you’re a Browns fan. How’s that going?

Such a loaded question! No matter what, I will always bleed orange and brown. #Believeland

What faction do you honestly think you would be a part of in Sunset City?

Hmm, great question. If it were up to me, I’d be a rebel and try to be part of TWO factions at once—Troop Bushido and the Fargarths. And thanks to our customization system, in Sunset I can sure look the part!!!

The Sunset Overdrive team dresses up to storm the green carpet at the Xbox E3 Media Briefing in 2014

The Sunset Overdrive team dresses up to storm the green carpet at the Xbox E3 Media Briefing in 2014

Check out all of our Before Sunset interviews here.

Hot off the presses (computers?) is this brand-new Sunset Overdrive trailer. It was unveiled at the Xbox Gamescom press conference – an event we are at in full force! Get a first-look at new gameplay footage and enemy types. You’ll meet new mutant variants that you’ll be battling in the dangerous world of Sunset City – as well as the new Fizzco robot security force. They are sent into the city after the outbreak occurs and tasked with covering-up Fizzco’s little-big mistake. That means murdering every living thing in sight. Efficient!

The trailer also introduces you to Floyd – a character you’ll be getting to know in Sunset Overdrive. He used to be a Head Fizzco Scientist, but has since left that position because – well – everything went to hell. Now, he’s helping you kick ass the in wonderful world of the apocalypse. How sweet.

So, get your eyes and ears ready for more Sunset Overdrive. And let us know what you think about it in the comments!

Enjoy!

Pre-Order Sunset Overdrive Today!

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Big news: Sunset Overdrive is getting bundled with a white Xbox One! Surprise!? This is also the first time that the public has the chance to grab the white edition of the console. It looks pretty snazzy! It comes out on October 28th and will be $399.99. That’s means you are basically getting the game for free. And free is better than not free!

The Xbox One Special Edition “Sunset Overdrive” Bundle will include the following:

  • White console and controller – available to consumers for the first time
  • Full game download token for “Sunset Overdrive”
  • All Day One Edition in-game content, including the Nothin’ but the Hits gun, a custom Fizzie outfit and the Hardcore! Hammer

Not bad, eh?

The Xbox One Special Edition Sunset Overdrive Bundle will be available at retailers in worldwide Xbox One regions while supplies last, beginning with the game’s North America launch on October 28th.

We also just released a new trailer for Sunset Overdrive showcasing the variety of insane enemies you’ll be pitted against in beautiful Sunset City – including new mutant types and Fizzco’s robotic security force. Check it out here.

That’s about it for now. If you’ve been waiting to get an Xbox One for Sunset Overdrive – might we suggest this bundle?

Sound good? Good! Enjoy!

Pre-Order the Bundle Here!

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As we continue towards this Fall, we wanted to spotlight various members of the Sunset Overdrive team with some questions you hopefully haven’t seen answered elsewhere. Get to know the Sunset Overdrive team. This week we talk to Lead Character Artist Gavin Goulden.

gavingHow has your past work experience influenced your work on Sunset Overdrive?

I’ve been given a lot of great opportunities in my career and try to apply lessons that I have learned from those past experiences to my current situation.  In the past, I was the Lead Character Artist on Bioshock Infinite, this role prepared me for better team management, finishing a giant project as a lead, creating modular character systems, really learning about smarter design choices, and let me play a bigger role in the art direction of enemy characters, fashion sense, and overall consistency throughout the game.  Before that, I played a big part in the character customization system for Dead Rising 2, which obviously I am still carrying with me today.  I am a huge character customization nerd, it’s a thing I’ve always been interested in from a professional standpoint and as a gamer, I like dressing up my in game character as much as I like building the system for how to do it.  I think that job really taught me a lot in how to build a working clothing system, and  the expectations of variety in such an open world game.  Plus, in general, my personal artistic “flavor” matches pretty closely to what the creative and art directors like, and wanted to push for in Sunset Overdrive, which makes it a dream project in many ways for me.

How would you describe the character’s style in Sunset Overdrive?

It’s the end of the world, and you can do whatever you want.  The laws don’t apply to you anymore, the rules you had to follow are gone, and you can be who you want to be.  You really have a new lease on life and have gone from a nobody in a dead end job to the protagonist of a video game.  This gives us a lot of room to play with, and justify, fashion sense.  We’ve grabbed a bunch of different references (anime, Tank Girl, Gorillaz, Iggy Pop, etc.) and have tried to tailor outfits that would loosely fit these archetypes that were once popular, and allow the players to mix and match.  We also have many different costume elements that are just plain fun to have, wouldn’t make sense to be wearing walking down the streets of LA (well…it depends where you go, I guess) that mix well with the palette of normal fashion options.  So, you can easily have a track jacket, fur vest, pair of jeans, cowboy boots, and a WW2 pilots helmet – they all mix and play well together.

How many different customization combination option do you gather are in Sunset Overdrive?

Well, I could look at my Excel sheet, do some quick math, and give you an exact answer – but – I’m just going to say the amount of possible combinations is easily in the thousands or more.  We wanted to take the element of choice in a  different direction with Sunset Overdrive.  Rather than just slapping color changes onto an asset, we wanted to feel like you were opening your closet and picking out your favorite shirt.  Each option is hand crafter and given purpose, and are specific.  Though, that being said, there are many, MANY different pieces to pick and choose from to take you anywhere on the scale from boring business man to a super hero from space.

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About how long does it take you to make a character from scratch?

Starting from scratch, most character artists are looking at about 2 – 3 weeks of work, give or take some time depending on how difficult the character is.  This breaks down to about a few days of creating a base mesh, a week of sculpting, a few days of creating a low poly model and unwrapping, then creating textures.  Once the model is finished, we hand it over to our rigging team and get the character moving in game.  If there are any obvious issues we missed during it’s creation, the model gets kicked back and we do any necessary fixes.  Generally, we are in constant communication with the department before and after us, though, to minimize bouncing models back and forth.  Luckily, after a while you have a system in place where you can grab different elements of a model and reuse it in your new character.  So, for example, there’s no point in recreating cargo shorts if you already have cargo pants.  Not only does this save a ton of time during production, but it also helps keep our look and style consistent throughout the game, since many things will come from the same root.

What is your philosophy before creating a new vanity item?

Obviously, the first question we need to ask is “Will It Work”?  New pieces need to fit in the system that we have set up before we can really dive into it.  But that doesn’t sound fun.  We need to always be player facing and questioning if this new piece of vanity will add to the experience of players, and that the new article of clothing will add to the enjoyment of the game.  Rather than trying to create every possible type of shirt, we want to hit with heavier punches, and leave each item feeling totally different than the last.  Looking at the vanity items we have as a whole, we need to ask “Would this be fun to wear?”

Can it be difficult to generate new ideas? How do you get over that?

Thankfully, I have a whole team of people that have great ideas.  Jacinda (Chew, Art Director) is the driving force for our high level style, we have a team of concept artists that bring a lot of different outfit styles to the modelers, and my direct team are all very creative and can generate ideas for items that we need.  Mostly, that takes care of a lot of the pressure, and it’s not hard to ask those around you “How can I make this better?”  Left alone, though, I would always go back to our references – the main pieces that inspired our game.  There are so many possible things to gather influence from, comic books, movies, runway fashion, music videos, etc.  I am also becoming a bit a fashion nerd, not that I’m fashionable by any means, but I find myself looking at people on the street and seeing what they decided to wear that morning, how different materials give a desired effect, what works and what doesn’t, what is common and what isn’t, etc.  When it comes to thinking of a new idea for clothing, we are literally surrounded by inspiration.

What is your favorite vanity item in the game? Would you ever wear it in public?

There are so many to choose from and, as the team lead, I see everything come through and get to play with different combinations on a daily basis.  I want to break the rules and give you a top 3.  The first one, of course, is the Luchador assets we have.  Given the right combination you can become a high flying, suplex machine, running through Sunset City.  Second is our Fizzie loadout (available to players in the Day One Edition of Sunset Overdrive) where you get to dress as Fizzie stage performer from Horror Night, you get an awesome garage jacket, Fizzie themed pants and a glorious Fizzie helmet.  Finally, we have a “Wasteland” themed jacket that has you fully decked out for anything that comes your way – this piece is a big technical achievement for us as it involves so many parts giving secondary motion to the character – chains, straps, sleeping bags, backpacks, it’s basically the kitchen sink asset.

You can reskin any game with Sunset Overdrive art. What game is it?

My knee jerk reaction to any question like this is to just say Doom or Xcom because they’re my favorite games of all time.  But, I can’t imagine Doom in a brightly colored world, where you slay demons while wearing a kangaroo head cod piece.  I really like all types of games, but it’s tough because Sunset Overdrive is a very unique creature – not many things look like it, and the tone that we set, the attitude that we have, hasn’t really been done before.  Thinking about it, I would say Fable.  I’ve always really liked the game, and I think it would work well in a world like our own. Rather than chasing chickens through Albion, you would be chasing them through Sunset City.

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Check out all of our Before Sunset interviews here.