Sol Contingency will return soon! Check out our FAQ in the meantime!

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What is Sol Contingency?

Sol Contingency is a six degrees of freedom (6DOF) first person shooter in the veins of classic games of the same genre such as Descent and Forsaken. It puts you in a small fighter ship, armed to the teeth with lasers and missiles, and lets you explore underground caverns, installations and architecture inside moons and planets of our solar system. Your mission: stop an onslaught of mining machines and robots that have gone berserk (single player campaign), or go head to head against other fighters in a close combat dogfight in multiplayer! It's a fresh take on a classic formula that fans of the genre have been missing for a long time, and we bring it back.

I heard Sol Contingency was related to DESCENT; is this true? Is Interplay involved?

Sol Contingency started out as a Descent remake. The original goal was to stay close to the gameplay that Descent fans love, but also put a new story in as well as some additional ideas.
We were in talks with Interplay through a subcompany for a while to get a deal going, but it fell through and Interplay decided to license the Descent name to the new game Descent: Underground. In turn, Sol Contingency is not affiliated with any of the Descent-branded games as we have changed the designs and some of our gameplay (weapons especially) to deviate from the protected IP; however, 6DOF fans will still feel at home in our game as the mechanics and aesthetics are still the same we started out with.

Who is making Sol Contingency?

Project lead MadMax started out coding a prototype of a 6DOF flight model in UDK, the Unreal Development Kit, in 2012. When this prototype was shown to the world, a lot of people jumped on board to help develop a full game, essentially reviving a genre that was dead for a long time. In two years, a small team was formed that includes DuderSeb (from The Ascent Project), 1/2Hawk (from R.A.T.S.), Verran and Vertigo Fox (from the Descent community), and other die-hard 6DOF fans who joined in on the project as it started getting off the ground. We are a small team with most of us being non-professionals, based in North and South America as well as Europe.
Since this is the first time for many of us to undertake a full-scale game design project, things are taking a bit longer, but our followers and fans have been incredibly patient and we want to thank everyone for their continued support. We rely on you to get the game to the finish line as we plan a Kickstarter campaign for later, to speed up development.

When will Sol Contingency be released?

Pretty soon! Here’s how:

Because we are a small team producing the game on our free time so far, it has been a long time coming. Several release dates were set and broken, so we have decided not to set a date at all. Still, the plan is to release two versions of the game:

  • Proving Grounds, a standalone multiplayer demo/preview of our game made with UDK
  • the full game in small episodes, including single and multiplayer, made with Unreal Engine 4

We have shown you several screenshots and videos from the Proving Grounds development process, and we are almost ready to release. It’s probably a matter of a few weeks at this point and we will definitely set a proper date when we are sure to hit it. So keep your eyes peeled and warm up your flight sticks!

What about Kickstarter? I want to give you my money!

After the release of Proving Grounds, we will set up a crowdfunding campaign much like Descent: Underground did recently, to gather the funds we require so we can license proper software, buy some better hardware, scale back on our day-to-day jobs and focus exclusively on making the full version of the game. Because we move on to Unreal Engine 4 at that point, it will be a complete rebuild of what Proving Grounds is, and funding will allow us to spend more time on the game and less on getting by with other jobs. If you enjoy Proving Grounds and decide to give us your money, you will fund some of our lives for the duration of the game’s initial development phase! Thank you :)

What will Proving Grounds include?

The demo we call Proving Grounds was meant to be very basic, showing off the gameplay more than beautiful assets, and was to be released quite a while ago. Along the way, some of our artists started building beautiful things and we decided to go the extra mile and make this first outing of our game a much more fleshed-out thing, which is why it took longer to make. As a result, while it is still an incomplete version of Sol Contingency (not having all the weapons, no single player campaign, etc.), it will give you a very good impression of the quality that we strive for.

Proving Grounds will include:

  • Three maps for multiplayer action in close quarters, suitable for a small to medium number of players. Up to 16 players are supported in total.
  • Deathmatch and team deathmatch game modes.
  • Steam support: host your server on Steam so others can find your game easily.
  • IP hosting: for non-Steam users and dedicated server admins.
  • The Eclipse, our player ship, in various colors for multiplayer.
  • Five primary weapons ranging from lasers to a gatling gun to ion blasters.
  • Four secondary weapons, including dumbfire and homing missiles.
  • Support for keyboard, mouse, controller and flight stick input (DirectInput included).
  • Community mapping support from our team.

What do I need to play Proving Grounds?

A PC running Windows 7 or up (Windows 10 is compatible), a dual-core processor comparable to an Intel Core i3, 2 GB of RAM (4 GB recommended) and a GeForce GTX 200 series card or comparable (everything from GTX 260 up can play the game nicely). The game also works with GeForce 8 series cards, but performance may be low. Laptop graphics chipsets from Intel can run the game, but very slowly. We recommend a proper Nvidia/AMD chipset.

Generally speaking, if your rig can run Unreal Tournament 3, Gears of War or BioShock 2, it can run our game.

Linux is not supported with Proving Grounds, but the full game (made with Unreal Engine 4) may support Linux and/or MacOS.

Will Proving Grounds be released on Steam?

A Steam release is still in discussion. Regardless of this, Steam can be used to host and find game servers as described above.

What have you done to make sure it feels right?

For starters, Sol Contingency is being developed by die-hard 6DOF fans fueled by nothing but a deep passion for the genre and gameplay style. Since they were first implemented a couple of years ago, Sol Contingency's flight mechanics have been meticulously tested and tuned in order to remain true to to those of the old games we all know and love. We have involved a number of Rangers in a first round of testing and plan on involving them again in a second prior to release. Our deepest wish is that Proving Grounds' flight model and gameplay mechanics feel right at home if you are a veteran like us.
Furthermore, the very purpose of releasing a free demo (Proving Grounds) is to collect and critically analyze your feedback - that way we can assure that the full game is fully dialed in to provide the right experience for us all.
Everyone will be welcome to participate and give their feedback; from veterans to newcomers. With Proving Grounds, we will give you an unparalleled opportunity to test everything that has gone into Sol Contingency before it goes into actual full development. We also want to prove to you first hand that we have plenty to show and are not fooling around!

Will your game include MOBA-style multiplayer, purchaseable in-game items or subscriptions?

No.

Can I choose from multiple ships in Proving Grounds?

No, we give you one beautiful ship, the Eclipse, which you will see soon on our media outlets. The full game may or may not have a ship selection, though.

Will Proving Grounds be mod-friendly? Can I build maps?

Mapping will be supported by us directly. We will give you advice (through tutorials and the forum) on how to set up UDK and provide you with an asset kit that you can use to create maps for Proving Grounds using the same assets we did. We want to make sure that players will keep entertained beyond the initial phase after release, and since we will be busy making the full game, we encourage community mapping! That said, modding (as in, changing the game code) will not be possible at this time. Content mods may be possible to an extent; however, we still have to figure out the technical bits behind that.

Where can I go to discuss Sol Contingency and stay up to date?

A new website will launch right here very soon, under the new domains preparetodescend.com and solcontingency.com – you can also follow our new Twitter and our Facebook page (heads up, a new page will go up soon and the old one will be discarded, so go like our new page as soon as it’s up!)
You can also visit our community forum to talk to other 6DOF fans and directly to the developers.

See you in the mines!