First full look at the indie arcade game Friction

Shaggy January 14, 2010 24

It has been a while since we first teased about a new arcade light-gun shooter coming to arcades from an independent game studio known as Friction Game Studios and today, we can reveal quite a bit more about the game.  I have been excited about this game since I first saw it in action at AMOA 2008 and one thing I particularly liked about the entire project was that it has been designed with the small operator in mind. From the price to parts replacement and game quality, this game is going to be a great deal for ops looking to add another arcade exclusive title to their list.

As you can see from the picture above (as well as after the break where I have embedded several more pics) the game is housed in a cabinet that features a 27″ CRT monitor; there are two light-guns (force feedback is optional); a bit of slick artwork all over the cabinet; and two 180 watt speakers for superb sound.

To give you a better idea of how the game plays, here are four videos of Friction in action. Graphically it has changed a little bit from when I saw it, with better lighting effects and lot more particles being thrown around. While we do not have an exact idea on when this game will be available, as you can see it’s finished and should be available soon. The game will be sold direct so checking the website for the game for details on how to order is probably wise. We look forward to seeing what else FGS will bring to the arcade industry in the future so give them your support!

For more pictures of the cabinet, check them out past the break below. Many thanks to Juan of Friction Game Studios for providing us with this first look!

Here’s a side shot of the cabinet art.

Another side shot, from a little further back

Close up on the control panel

Close up of the game instructions

From the front with the marquee lit up

Close-up of the screen. The game is running at 640×480 resolution at 60 fps, in case anyone was wondering.


  1. ECM January 14, 2010 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    The game is running at 800×600 resolution at 60 fps, in case anyone was wondering.

    As an avid ‘spec whore’ I always appreciate this sort of info 🙂

    In fact, do you have any other info on what it’s running on? Custom PC?

  2. Shaggy January 14, 2010 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    All I know is that it’s a custom PC that also includes a custom I/O board that allows the game to use better speakers than your standard JAMMA-to-PC interface. The nice thing about their method is that if a part in the PC fails, the operator just has to buy a replacement part from any PC parts supplier, as opposed to going directly through them, saving a lot of money for ops (I know that some of the big arcade makers charge extremely high rates for replacement PC parts – gfx card replacements on a Lindbergh game can go for $800 where the card is probably worth $50).

    The sound in the game is quite impressive too – they were using 3D sound at the demo I saw in ’08 and they stated that the sound has improved with those 180 watt speakers they have in the cabinet. You might also have noticed a little bit of physics being used in the game there when you watch the videos, which I believe are all done in software.

    Also IIRC the game will choose different paths depending upon the order of who you shoot in certain scenes.

  3. frictiongamestudios January 14, 2010 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    Hi ECM here are some stats\specs for you. The game is actually running at 640×480 resolution at a constant 60 fps. The videos were recorded from the cabinet you see in the pictures. As for hardware specs:

    – P4 Intel 2.8 Ghz
    – 1 Gb memory
    – nVidia 9500 GT 512 MB
    – custom I\O board
    – 180 Watt speakers with 3D sound

    With the exception of the I\O board, all hardware parts can be purchased from your local store or website. Should you need a replacement I\O board we
    will sell those at the cost it took us to make them plus shipping unless it is still under warranty.


  4. ECM January 14, 2010 at 7:51 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the specs and thank GOD for 60fps!

  5. frictiongamestudios January 14, 2010 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    I almost forgot we are using XP embedded as the OS. The game uses DirectX as our graphics API. All the lighting is done using version 2.0 vertex\pixel shaders.

  6. Shaggy January 14, 2010 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    Thanks for correcting me on the resolution, I fixed it in the post.

  7. manny January 14, 2010 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    Will there be an LCD version of the cabinet available as well?

  8. editor January 14, 2010 at 11:09 pm - Reply

    Do you guys seriously think you will get a Yellow PAS? – I am in the middle of a feature on the PAS system and they will not allow the game as you show a pass – look at what Target Terror had to go though to get their Yellow.

    The game looks great – and if prised well with be perfect cinema and game hall material.

    How are you carrying out the testing? any way we can give some input?

  9. editor January 14, 2010 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    Could I suggest the ‘Police Trainer’ is a great example of how a independent game release can survive in the current market.

  10. frictiongamestudios January 15, 2010 at 12:43 am - Reply

    Currently there are no plans for an LCD version. The reason being that it involves substantial resources in both capital and development efforts to get an I\O board built from scratch. As this game was done with a two person team, we currently do not have the resources to tackle an IO board that will allow us to play the game on an LCD based cabinet.

    However, if the game is well received we have no problem with getting to work on an LCD version in the future.

  11. arkadez January 15, 2010 at 8:13 am - Reply

    I suppose they won’t let Terminator Salvation pass either.

    Exhibit A:

    This is clearly NOT a yellow label game if you follow the letter of the law as it is written for the PAS system. To be honest there really is no governing body that administers this. From the AAMA’s website:

    “By using the Guidelines, the manufacturer
    and/or developer is able to accurately identify
    the appropriate Parental Advisory Disclosure
    Messages to be placed on each coin-operated
    video game.

    Once you have gone through the guidelines and
    rated your video games, please fax this form to
    the AAMA, so that we may update our records
    and online game ratings list.”

    I mean who are they kidding they ask the developers to rate their own games? Frankly the PAS system is full of vague and open-ended descriptions.

    Times have changed and advanced but as with most things arcade wise we are still stuck in the 80s. So a game like Grand Theft Auto if it were placed in the arcades would be considered red label violence wise.

    According to this system we should rank Terminator Salvation and this Friction game as red label also. Obviously this example clearly shows how flawed this antiquated rating system really is.

  12. arkadez January 15, 2010 at 9:07 am - Reply

    And not to beat a dead horse but here is exhibit B:

    This game has scantily clad women in sexually suggestive poses throughout the game. Were is the label warning for sexual content? Also when you shoot an animal it slams violently into the pavement. Does it still get a yellow rating because the creatures are not human like? Or does Raw Thrills get a “pass” in this industry because of Eugene Jarvis ala Steven Spielberg with the Jaws and Transformers movie ratings?

    Clearly the ratings are NOT enforced or policed to any extent in this industry.

  13. editor January 15, 2010 at 11:15 am - Reply

    Dear arkadez – okay you have jumped my guns; you have hit the nail on the head regarding what our new feature is about. Yet another aspect of the trade that needs ‘work’. Now in Play Mechanix defense they have only ‘test’ machines out in the field and the Yellow PAS is an ‘indication’ of what they want to achieve. They propose to do the same as they did so successfully with Target Terror and offers two versions of the game to follow guidelines – I have yet to see the implementation but respect that they are attempting to achieve this.

    We saw the situation of guideline fudging with Razing Storm and Ghost Squad, games that tried to flaunt the letter of the PAS guidelines only to get caught out and a slap on the wrist. But as these guys are hungry to get into Chuck E. Cheese and others (that only accept Yellow or Green games) so the lure to ignore PAS is there!

  14. arkadez January 15, 2010 at 11:56 am - Reply

    I must STILL STRONGLY protest, the Big Buck Hunter Safari machines I have seen are played by little kids. They get to see all the scantily clad babes in all their glory and the game is YELLOW LABEL on a FINAL PRODUCTION arcade cabinet. And absolutely no reference is made to the sexual content of the game in the PAS sticker of the machine. So I am not buying your defense, Raw Thrills skirts the rules like everyone else and nothing is done about it. I look forward to seeing what your response will be in regards to Raw Thrill’s games in your article. Or perhaps you will just “overlook it” like the rest of the industry seems to be doing.

    And you STILL haven’t argued the point against violence against animals. So this STILL means that they get yellow label ratings even though they have the killing of animals in their games? If Friction has the dismembering of full animal carcases I suppose that they should also be given a yellow rating since the characters are no longer “human like”

    Frankly the PAS ratings are a joke and I suggest the industry moves to the ESRB ratings so that people can finally take this seriously.

  15. editor January 15, 2010 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    Dear arkadez – if you think the Stinger Report will “…overlook [the issue] it like the rest of the industry…” you have not been reading the Stinger for over the last 15 years! As we are one of the only news services to cover the subject should speak for itself!

    The PAS scheme is far from perfect, and I have never claimed it to be great – the issue about animal death representation is valid, however the phrase ‘dismembering’ is inflammatory as there is never any blood or organs shown in the game. It is interesting that the amusement industry has rated the game higher than the consumer game industry rated Deer Hunter!

    You have made allegations that Raw Thrills may be given a ‘pass’ by the amusement industry for not following the PAS guidelines – that seems inflammatory – is the issue over Yellow PAS any different to SEGA or Namco – remember the industry is still complaining that Razing Storm dose not have the correct PAS sticker on cabinet (let alone screen!) I think you may be mixing up lack of activity, for favoritism.

    The PAS guidelines rates sexual content – but is the scantly clad women any worse than seen on daytime TV (Price is Right, etc.)?

    I am interested that you suggest reverting to the ESRB rating scheme for amusement. The criticism and controversy that the rating service has seen in its history would lay it open to question – especially considering the need for payment of rating quality questions. Either way I would agree that more teeth in all aspects of association business is needed to survive.

  16. arkadez January 15, 2010 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    Perhaps it is you who needs to read the PAS quide lines. This is taken directly from the AAMA website. The rules are VERY clear. YOU DON’T get to interpret the rules as you see fit just because of what you see on daytime TV.


    3. Does the game contain depictions of sexual behavior and/or the human body?

    If YES, this game should have a Disclosure Message of “Sexual Content- Strong”; proceed to question #5.
    If NO, proceed to question 4.

    4. Does the game contain sexually suggestive references of material?

    If YES, this game should have a Disclosure Message of “Sexual Content-Mild”; proceed to
    question #5.
    If NO, proceed to question #5.


    5. Does this game contain scenes involving human-like characters engaged in aggressive conflict, combative activity involving weapons, or other violent situations that results in bloodshed, serious injury, death, or the disappearance of the depicted character(s) as a direct result of the aggressive, combative or violent actions?

    If YES, this game should have a Disclosure Message of “Life-Like Violence-Strong”; skip questions 6-8 and fill in the appropriate Disclosure Message in Section III. If NO, proceed to question #6.

  17. editor January 15, 2010 at 11:29 pm - Reply

    I know what toy are saying – I have read the rules – I even added comments to when they were scripted!

    Would love to open a forum about the scope of the rules. If you want I will add a sidebar to the feature I am writing to add your comments.

  18. Shaggy January 16, 2010 at 12:48 am - Reply

    Wow, talk about a discussion on ratings – not something we have ever gotten into actually.

    The fact of the matter is that rating systems across the entertainment industry have questionable ways of going about giving that rating and in many cases it’s arbitrary. Some years ago no PG-13 movie would have the “F-bomb” in it but nowadays they can get away with it once or twice. The same goes for sexual content. Sure there are certain things you just can’t do but they aren’t as strict about it as they used to be, which does go along with cultural tastes. A movie that is rated R in the US often gets a lower rating in different countries, but I know that is a slightly different tangent to go on.

    In the case of BBS with a yellow label – I can’t recall any arcade title that had more than one rating label on it. If there are multiple things in the game that can be rated, they always seem to focus on whether it’s violent or not. I do understand the point about the girls but they can be disabled – if you have a problem with a location which has BBS there with the girls on, I’m sure you could complain about it and they could deactivate them (I do on mine to avoid problems). It does sound like you have a problem with the entire existence of the game however so I can’t suggest anything there.

    Let’s be honest though – the only people that care about ratings are the operators and whether they refuse to carry red label games. A majority of people that wander into the arcade really don’t look at them. In the years I’ve been working in an arcade environment, both in my own and in others I have never heard anyone ask about or make a fuss about game ratings. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have ratings but at the end of the day but I don’t think we need to switch over to the ESRB, which has it’s own problems and inconsistencies in how ratings are handed out as well.

    I don’t think that Friction is a red-label game. If it had blood then that’s a different story but the action of shooting robots is clearing different than shooting “living” characters.

    Just my two cents.

  19. frictiongamestudios January 16, 2010 at 1:16 am - Reply

    Ok to clear things up about our rating selection and how we selected it. Essentially I went to several arcades and took down notes on the ratings I saw. I saw several machines with no PAS stickers, several machines that had PAS stickers but the PAS warning message that showed up onscreen was different. After seeing all this variation and not being able to find any concrete guidelines (thanks BTW to arkadez for that link) I came to the following general conclusion, green label for kids games, yellow label for teens and red label for adult level games. As for why we picked animated violence mild, well this was what was most prevalent amongst the games at the arcades that I visited. Our intention was not to deceive anyone with the rating. This game will not find its way into Chuckee Cheese no matter what changes we make. As for the comment that Terminator Salvation is mislabeled as yellow label I disagree. Yes according to the PAS guidelines: “the disappearance of the depicted character(s) as a direct result of the aggressive, combative or violent actions” the game is not in compliance. But compared to modern day video games Terminator Salvation and the violence depicted is very mild. So a yellow label rating is appropriate. Again this game will and should not find its way to Chuckee Cheese. As for our rating we will not change it. If an operator has an issue with this they can choose to put their own sticker over the marquee to a rating they feel is appropriate or they can choose to not buy our unit.

  20. igo January 16, 2010 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    I think arcades should move to the esrb rating system. It would be more recognizable to the games users then the PAS system. As a console gamer I barely realize the PAS ratings are there (on the machine) because I am not familiar with them.

  21. Chuck H March 15, 2011 at 10:31 am - Reply

    when will the kit be available to order, and who will be offering it for the best prices?

    • arcadehero March 15, 2011 at 12:17 pm - Reply

      It’s available now from Coast To Coast Entertainment. I’m not sure who else is carrying it beyond them yet

  22. Pavel November 18, 2011 at 2:51 am - Reply

    In this game I have probem, next error 105B: Interface board not present….
    But it present, and working. Who can say in what problem?

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