The Grinder

#1 Edited by Al3xand3r (7912 posts) -

Sorry MB, I couldn't wait for the new game page to be approved. Anyway, The Grinder is a first person shooter pitting players against hordes of vampires, werewolves and other nasty creations. Inspired by Left 4 Dead, it aims to offer similarly frantic gameplay.

Interview, pics:

Random tidbits:

Eric: I can't tell you how excited we are to be sharing The Grinder with you! We've been playing a lot of Left 4 Dead and there really isn't that kind of frantic cooperative experience on the Wii right now. There's certainly nothing that takes advantage of the Wii hardware the way we are able to with our engine. One thing that we learned from working on the Hunter series is that we'd prefer to feel like badasses who are suiting up to go out and slay monsters. This opens up all sorts of possibilities for enemies, weapons, characters and story.

Eric: I don't want to give too much away right now, but the game takes place in a world we've imagined where monsters are real. Vampires, werewolves, and undead are all a part of everyday life and this world has adapted to their presence. Our group of heroes is a sort of the cryptobiological A-Team of going into areas with infestations and killing everything that moves. We've definitely been influenced by lots of great horror movies and the grindhouse style is something we've tried to incorporate into our characters and storyline.

Matt: Although The Grinder E3 demo we are showcasing has been designed to focus on a limited set of abilities and weapons, we currently have plans to incorporate weapon and character upgrades into the final version of the game.

Kerry: We call the technology our Imposter and Instancing system. We are able to take a single enemy and replicate him over and over again. Along with the replication, we can also scale, color, and otherwise modify each instance. This allows us to get an unprecedented number of unique enemies on screen at once at a fraction of the cost to do it otherwise. During our in-house testing, we have been able to see up-to 65 enemies on screen at once. These were initial tests… [Smiles]

Eric: We want to capture the sound of Trent Reznor and Ennio Morricone in bar room fight after watching Dusk Till Dawn, Dawn of the Dead, An American Werewolf in London, and Tremors and doing copious shots of tequila. Our phenomenally talented audio team is going for lots of Skinny Puppy / Coil-style ambience and music that that adapts to what is going on with gameplay. We're trying to alternate between creepy music that generates tension and all out frenzied tracks for the times where you're mowing down hundreds of vampires.

Eric: For the E3 demo you will see feral vampires, werewolves, and the Slasher. The characters in The Conduit were primarily focused on ranged attacks, but our vampires are all melee. They do have some teleportation tricks as well. The Werewolf is more a mini-boss character who requires coordination between the players to defeat. The Slasher I'll keep under wraps until E3, but he's got some special tricks up the sleeves of his straightjacket.


I just noticed that promotional image shows artwork for couple more enemy types.

A properly winged vampire-ish boss which I assume will also fly more, and the low-end mob form of the werewolf side which looks more humanoid as Linky wished. There also are a few more great looking screenshots so be sure to check them all out.

#2 Posted by chronicsmoke (1032 posts) -

I freakin love the concept of the game,if they do it right this could turn out to be better than left 4 dead,I hope to god this turns out good.

#3 Edited by Linkyshinks (11405 posts) -

It sounds like it could be neat game, if done right. This replication thing is clever, but it will mean nothing without well animated characters that respond to NPCs and the player, as well as environment. On the evidence of the Conduit, I don't expect it will be fluid and as reactive as one would hope.  I wonder also if it will have a AI Director. Have Voltage created a new AI model for this game?.  If not, that would be a mistake. Nobody wants a lame shooting gallery game, which I think this would turn into without strong AI.

We want to capture the sound of Trent Reznor and Ennio Morricone in bar room fight after watching Dusk Till Dawn, Dawn of the Dead, An American Werewolf in London, and Tremors and doing copious shots of tequila.

Audio is so undervalued in such games. I thought Dead Space brought audio design to a new level, will this game too, I doubt it.

On another note, what the fuck is it with Voltage Software and character design?,  these characters look like they have been ripped from Resistance 2 and have had wings attached. Why not look at the breadth of Vampire depictions throughout the last century and create some NEW FFS! I think their design looks iffy. I wonder if they roost and fly.

The red eyes are shite also. Do we really need red eyes?, it seems so childish, it's something kids use to portray evil. Real eyes are far more menacing, they should create real eyes that track the player.

#4 Posted by PercyChuggs (1137 posts) -

If this was on the PS3 or 360, it would be a derivative ripoff. But it's on the Wii, so it's not.

#5 Posted by PercyChuggs (1137 posts) -
Staff said:
Has been deleted..
I just think it's premature to get excited over a game made by a company whose original game everyone is excited about (The Conduit) would be a laughably bad console FPS.
#6 Posted by Linkyshinks (11405 posts) -
Staff said:
Has been deleted..

There's no excuse for bad character design and art, and ripping off other games without providing notable innovation of your own. I get the impression that's exactly what they have done here...These characters look so like some found in Resistance/2, only in Resistance they look far better of course.  These Vampires have wings, but does that mean they will fly and roost?. I very much doubt it given the engine, so in turn it makes their design weak. They look more like Gargoyle's than Vampires..maybe they are Gargoyle's.

If HVS have a crap art team, I don't want to be playing their games [ . ], They should know that art is of the utmot importance when making games for Wii. None of the games we have seen from them on Wii have good art imo, what they have shown to date is generic crap meant to appeal to the widest audience. I don't like that.

I know that if I was in charge of the art I would not be creating character design of this low generic quality.  I would instead provide something distinctly cool and intriguing for players, as well as something that would not require high specs to run many models simultaniously .

#7 Posted by Linkyshinks (11405 posts) -
Staff said:
Has been deleted..

I am well aware of that  fact. I just think it's a shame that Voltage who are doing something admirable in attempting these games, fail in such a essential aspect for good Wii software design. Good game engines mean nothing if the quality of art is low, and that applies to any platform.

#8 Posted by WilliamRLBaker (4941 posts) -

the sandwich?

#9 Posted by Linkyshinks (11405 posts) -

They look more like Resistance characters than Nosferatu's great film depiction. They have a very similar colouration and body posture, and even have the same spouts coming out their spines, all that's missing is some light armour.

The Werewolf looks like all the other depictions of a Werewolf we have seen so many times before. Why not provide something new and interesting instead, a re-imagining using current knowledge - based on how a human might look if it had genes spliced with a Wolf. It's the mutation aspect of the werewolf that intrigues people, not simply a humanoid wolf. There's no trace of human in that Werewolf's face at all!

rant /

#10 Edited by PureRok (4268 posts) -

I like the way werewolves were depicted in Underworld. That's all I really have to say on the subject of werewolves.

Edit: Wait, I do have something else to say. Why isn't there a game yet (modern) where you can play as a werewolf character? The only game I know of is Werewolf on the NES. I remember White Wolf (the guys who did the Vampire the Masquerade games) were doing one, but that got canceled.

I'd love to play a werewolf character.

#11 Posted by Linkyshinks (11405 posts) -

You can as a fighter, in Vampire / Darkstalkers. Unfortunately not in another genre though.

#12 Posted by PureRok (4268 posts) -
Linkyshinks said:
You can as a fighter, in Vampire / Darkstalkers. Unfortunately not in another genre though.
Yea, well, fighters aren't really games. At least, not what I was talking about. I meant real games.
#13 Edited by Endogene (5183 posts) -

The site is incredibly slow right now, i can't seem to approve wiki submissions at the moment. Hope that it will fine in a moment. Anyway ...

#14 Posted by Linkyshinks (11405 posts) -

lol, I expected someone would notice that opportunity.

#15 Posted by Marzy (684 posts) -

It's looking great, in my opinion. I really hope it turns out to be a decent game, since it appeals a lot more to me than The Conduit and their other game in development. The co-op online element is definitely something the Wii has needed and if it turns out to be good, I think it could easily be one of the most enjoyable online Wii games.

I can't wait to see more at E3.

#16 Posted by Meowayne (6168 posts) -
Marzy: Have you tried Onslaught (Wiiware)? It's basically the exact same. Four-player Co-Op FPS of killing swarms of creatures.
#17 Posted by Marzy (684 posts) -
Meowayne said:
Marzy: Have you tried Onslaught (Wiiware)? It's basically the exact same. Four-player Co-Op FPS of killing swarms of creatures. [more]

Nope, I haven't tried it. I heard it wasn't very good though.
#18 Posted by SpinCookie (749 posts) -
Endogene said:
The site is incredibly slow right now, i can't seem to approve wiki submissions at the moment. Hope that it ... [more]
First off, the screenshot is gorgeous,  your addition makes it even better.

This game looks super awesome.  I'm a huge NIN fan so I'm absolutely thrilled with the direction they're taking the music.  This game definitely has my attention.  I'm not a huge fan of Co-op shooters so I'm hoping they can get the single player up to par, this game looks all types of bad ass either way though.
#19 Posted by ArclightBorealis (1722 posts) -

I hardly expected a type of game like this to come on Wii. If the online for this game really does work well, it might be a game I may ACTUALLY play with friends (yeah, I'm not really a multiplayer person, but I will go for co-op).

#20 Posted by BiffMcBlumpkin (3808 posts) -

This game looks like total shit. Am I the crazy one now? Looking at a handful of screens and drawing out these overblown conclusions is pretty fucking silly but I can't imagine how anyone would look at those screens without thinking it looks like a big bowl of warmed-over shit.

#21 Posted by Stephen_Von_Cloud (1537 posts) -

It's cool to see a company going all out with Wii development and making some interesting games.  Keep up the good work High Voltage.

#22 Posted by Black_Rose (7772 posts) -

It looks subpar to be honest, but High Voltage made a great job with CoD 3 on the Wii so I'll keep my hopes up.

#23 Posted by End_Boss (3363 posts) -

I'm not sure how to respond to this one. Though I like the idea of the Wii getting some more mature (teen?) rated fun, I can't help but feel like this is a cop-out to Left 4 Dead's success (on that note, I wonder if Valve will have anything to say about this one). As others before me have said, I question the character design; though the art style is decidedly realistic, looking at the models I can't help but think of Saturday-morning cartoons, particularly that old show... Was it actually called "Gargoyles"? Yes, Wikipedia deems it so. I don't know why it makes me think of it, but it does.

I'll follow this one for a while, see where it goes. It would be nice to get some footage up in this piece.

#24 Posted by Meowayne (6168 posts) -

Wow Biffy, you noticed that a Wii game has outdated graphics. Nice find, bro!

#25 Edited by BiffMcBlumpkin (3808 posts) -

Thanks bro! We just gave eachother two seriously sarcastic brojobs behind the first page of this thread!

They also did an awesome job in making the environments 110% bland and generic and the enemies all completely uninspired!  My recomendation would be to cover all solid block surfaces in more mounted deerheads, even the cliffs and rock ledges, and to enlarge the reticle so it takes up the entire screen regardless of where the gun is aimed, change the gun to a mounted deerhead and mount a tiny deerhead on the side of it.

#26 Posted by OmegaPirate (5642 posts) -
BiffMcBlumpkin said:
Thanks bro! We just gave eachother two seriously sarcastic brojobs behind the first page of this thread!They also did an awesome ... [more]
What would the gun fire?
#27 Posted by BiffMcBlumpkin (3808 posts) -
OmegaPirate said:
BiffMcBlumpkin said: Thanks bro! We just gave eachother two seriously sarcastic brojobs behind the first page of this thread!They also did ... [more]

Copies of the game.
#28 Posted by Arkthemaniac (6872 posts) -

Okay, we have to compare this to L4D, so let's just do it. Left 4 Dead may end up having better, stronger mechanics . . . but this game's concept is so fucking cool that I can't even stand it. L4D with VAMPIRES!?!

#29 Posted by Badman (2 posts) -

Maybe High Voltage will just announce one derivative Wii game a day until the Wii has at least one game that closely approximates every other popular game out there.

"Oh, Pac-Man? Man, we've got K.C. Munchkin, fuck that Pac-Man shit!"
#30 Posted by addictedtopinescent (3634 posts) -
Al3xand3r said:
  The Grinder at Sorry MB, I couldn't wait for the new game page to be approved. Anyway, The Grinder ... [more]

But this game looks interesting,
I can't think of the last time I shot me some werewolves, looks like a pretty good opportunity. 
#31 Edited by Al3xand3r (7912 posts) -
#32 Posted by Meowayne (6168 posts) -

Looks like Onslaught in a different setting. : )

#33 Edited by Al3xand3r (7912 posts) -

I like the enemies hanging from the ceiling at one point. The visuals are also more consistent and perhaps subtle and convincing as a whole than in their other titles. The Overkill-esque movie filter looks good too. They don't even show the co-op yet, and the game's more than a year away. That's pretty fucking promising if you're ask me. My issue with Onslaught is the controls, I'm not comfortable with any of the settings. This one's bound to inherit the customisability of The Conduit and be much better off. Being a retail title, it should also have more content and variety. Of course, it will also inherit the competent way they handle friend codes and match making, rendering that aspect much less annoying ;)

#34 Posted by Mushir (2631 posts) -

HVS desperately needs new designers. All of their games look so dull and generic. The gameplay might be good, but I don't wanna get bored looking at the screen.

#35 Edited by Al3xand3r (7912 posts) -
#36 Posted by Dr_Feelgood38 (1582 posts) -

This actually looks pretty cool. The screens didn't really do much for me but in motion this game doesn't look half bad.

#37 Posted by Dalai (7793 posts) -

This could be interesting, but I'm just focused on seeing how The Conduit will be from these guys.  Plus, I'm eventually getting Left 4 Dead so I might just skip this entirely if The Conduit ends up being disappointing.

#38 Posted by Al3xand3r (7912 posts) -
I think their focus is completely different and this one could end up really fun even if The Conduit is lackluster. The latter tries to have some adventure elements also, with the All Seeing Eye and having an actual plot, while the former goes for the Left 4 Dead feel with over the top action. Co-op makes everything better at the very least. Besides, they can use what they learnt and not repeat mistakes. It certainly seems to have far better visuals already, even though it's over a year away. It could pass for a Source engine port or something, with the nicely detailed textures and environments (especially visible when the camera moves past  the deer heads wall and we can see cracks on it, or when it goes past the wooden walls with the monsters eating someone) and promise of many breakable objects and such. The fire effects are nice also. Besides, it's probably not the exact same team doing all these games, they have about 150 people, I can see it being split at 50 per game or something.
#39 Posted by dsplayer1010 (2331 posts) -

Is it just me, or did the Voice Over sound a little weird?

#40 Posted by ThomasP (1665 posts) -

I am skeptical. I still want to give The Conduit a rental when that comes out and see how it plays. I appreciate what High Voltage is doing, though.

#41 Posted by Mikemcn (7505 posts) -

Looks awesome, is it using the same engine as The Conduit?

#42 Posted by Al3xand3r (7912 posts) -

Yeah, but much improved since. Lots of breakable objects, many more enemies on screen, more details, etc.

#43 Posted by Mikemcn (7505 posts) -

Sweet, cant wait to play it

#44 Posted by Al3xand3r (7912 posts) -
#45 Posted by Endogene (5183 posts) -

"150 enemies on screen"


#46 Posted by Al3xand3r (7912 posts) -

Probably just meant at one instance, not all exactly on-screen... Or can't count, after all, they said they did 65 in internal tests. Doubt that's in the E3 demo.

#47 Posted by Ross (421 posts) -

So which game are people going to be looking forward to more The Conduit or The Grinder?  Right now I'm leaning just a little bit towards The Conduit myself.

#48 Edited by Al3xand3r (7912 posts) -

The Grinder is a 2010 game so there's no use to be more hyped for it right NOW... I'm confident it will be far better with HVS having experience from The Conduit but that shouldn't be half bad either. Destructoid's hands-on with The Conduit was surprisingly positive, even though they tend to hate the Wii. Just don't have too high expectations, it is after all their first game of the type and first test for their engine.

It's also a different game type of course, it doesn't mean people who like one will like the other. The Grinder has no online deathmatch, ctf, etc stuff, it's only cooperative. And vice versa for The Conduit.

#49 Posted by JebranRush (38 posts) -

Really ugly looking game, but looks like a lot of fun. I'll see how this progresses.

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