UPDATE: OK, time to come clean. This was an April Fools joke that I dreamt up a few months ago although I only got the ball rolling on it this past week. BIG THANKS to Sean “Gozer” Newton for his part in creating a cabinet in Google SketchUp for me based upon my rough idea that I passed along to him, which was also very last minute on my part. You can see his many excellent arcade cabinets for SketchUp here. If anyone is interested, I will see about posting the Firefly Arcade SketchUp model so you can see some of the neat details he put into it. Everything is textured, even the underside of the cabinet. The only change I made to it was the main screen image to fit into my idea of the game, using two games I enjoy, both on the PC. The environment is from a free game called Xonotic and the character is someone from The Haunted: Hells Reach that I had to do some photoshopping with. Aside from that, GlobalVR and Fox had no hand in this, just to clear that up if needed.
As for why Firefly, I enjoy the show even though I discovered it a few years after it had been canceled and I would really like to see a game of this type (Cabal style run ‘n gun) grace arcades again. I think I’m not the only one either judging by many comments I have seen online. There are a few other shows that could probably fit into something like this, Stargate being another(give that a circular or oval screen – hey why not?). Top that off with this by far being the most popular post we’ve had on the site this year, well outnumbering the interest from announcements of real arcade games that were unveiled recently. Thanks for making this a record breaker – perhaps these numbers show some viability of the idea at least on some level.
Here’s the original post below. If you have Google SketchUp 8, download the Firefly Arcade model from here!
We have unveiled many firsts on brand-new games coming to the arcade industry – H2Overdrive, Justice League: Heroes United, Sega Rally 3, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Arcade, Terminator Salvation, and many others. So I’m glad to once again present to you the next cool game you will be able to enjoy later this year at a venue near you. I actually meant to post this yesterday but I was sidetracked, so here it is today instead.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the brief TV show Firefly. Despite it’s short life-span on the small screen, it became something of a cult hit and there was a movie called Serenity that came out back in 2006. Now ten years after the show came and went, it returns to the small screen as players will get a chance to jump into the roles of Mal Reynolds, Zoe Washburne, or Jayne Cobb as they partake in another adventure, albeit one that involves plenty of shooting and explosions.
What we see here is a prototype rendering of the cabinet, which is typical for arcade game cabinets these days at this point in the development cycle. The game will be produced by arcade manufacturer GlobalVR (hence the similarity in the cabinet with titles like Aliens: Extermination Deluxe or Justice League Deluxe that they produced a few years ago) and is scheduled for a release Q3 2012, probably to coincide with the anniversary of the show in September. At this point the storyline for the game is being kept under wraps, but given that this is an arcade title it’s probably a minimal story that gives our heroes a reason to wantonly blast hordes of enemies. Fortunately we have been told a little of what to expect out of the game itself. In a surprise step, it hearkens back to a run ‘n gun style game that hasn’t been seen in some years, a 3rd person behind-the-back run ‘n gun similar to early 90s arcade titles such as Konami’s G.I Joe: The Arcade Game, or Sega’s Rambo III but with shiny modernized 3D graphics and some of the advantages that come out of that. Players move their character on the screen side-to-side with an internally lit analog joystick and aim on screen with a trackball. Some of the other features that have been revealed to us for now:
-Support for 1-3 players, simultaneously. There is no friendly fire and the characters will just stick to the same axis as the player can move them side-to-side. If targeting reticules of two or more players are matched it adds a damage multiplier to the shots. The joystick design hearkens back to the Midway era, but they have been enhanced with internal LED lighting and force-feedback, the latter of which is uncommon in joystick arcade games.
-Original voice work by actors Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres and Adam Baldwin. How much voice acting they have provided wasn’t mentioned but it’s a fitting touch.
-Players can take up certain “Jobs” for each level that will offer rewards for completion, similar to Achievements
-There are 8 levels total. While those run ‘n gun games of the past I mentioned generally just had you running in a straight line, this will dynamically turn depending upon the environment and will also allow players to pick a path at certain points. Players will usually be on the move although the occasional
-Unique smartphone functionality that allows smartphone users who are standing by to selectively insert power-ups or enemies into the game during play, by using the Firefly Arcade App which can be downloaded to the phone for free from the cabinet. I imagine that this functionality has branched out of GVRs Mobile App development. It also facilitates statistic and location tracking as well as social media connectivity with Twitter and Facebook. This is the first arcade game I have ever heard of that makes such in-depth use of a smartphone.
-In a first for arcades, the game will utilize 42″ 1200p screen (1920×1200 screen resolution which is most common with PC monitors) and maintains a solid 60 FPS frame rate. That is no small feat and shows that the game is packing some serious hardware to make it happen with all of the objects that will also be on-screen with these settings. As can be expected with this type of game, there is plenty to shoot and destroy as players face off against Alliance troops, Reavers and general bad guys they encounter.
-Unique Wind Feedback system – using technology similar to the Dyson Air Multipler, this will blow hot air towards the players when they cause or encounter a large in-game explosion. The device is located right underneath the monitor behind what looks like a speaker grill. The grill on the front under the control panel contains red LED lights just for aesthetics
Screenshots and video of the game in action are soon forthcoming, for now all we have is the rendering of the prototype cabinet seen above. This of course means that it is subject to change.
All-in-all, they are looking to pack quite a punch with this game, something that will become quite a piece in any arcade or gameroom for years to come. In the meantime while we wait to find out more about it this coming week, I have added the game to our upcoming arcade games release list. Also if you want to bug your local arcade into getting one, check out the links on that page.