Descent’s Original Developers Want To Make A Successor

Descent co-creators Matt Toschlog and Mike Kulas want to make a spiritual successor to the “six-degree of freedom” shooters they released back in the ’90s. And they’re asking for $US300,000 to help make it happen. Overload, which went live on Kickstarter this morning, has a relatively simple pitch:

The creators of Descent are proud to present the ultimate 6-degree-of-freedom shooter, OVERLOAD. Revival Productions is continuing where Parallax left off and creating an all-new single-player game that combines the best of classic 6-DOF gameplay with modern graphics and technology. Destroy robots, rescue hostages, blow up the reactor, and escape before the whole thing explodes.

Overload is a totally different beast than Interplay’s Descent: Underground, which was itself Kickstarted last year. Explains Overload‘s Kickstarter page: “Descent: Underground is being created by a different group of developers (with experience in space games like Wing Commander and Star Citizen) who have licensed the name from Interplay and are creating a new game with a different focus. We’ve talked to them a couple times and they seem pretty cool. Overload and Descent: Underground are completely different games from different groups of people, but we all love 6-degree-of-freedom shooters.”

(As always, remember that Kickstarter is a risk and that nothing is guaranteed.)


          • Yes, but that’s because they had to change the title to avoid a trademark dispute with another company’s compression software called FreeSpace. Descent was Parallax / Volition’s biggest thing at the time so they added the name to the start to try and sell more copies.

            It’s not part of the same universe as Descent, plays differently, contains none of the gameplay concepts and very little shared code.

            Also note that the sequel is ‘Freespace 2’. No Descent name.

            Here’s an interview with the president of Volition / Parallax:

            “The conception of FreeSpace was not influenced by our work in Descent. We wanted to do something pretty different than Descent.”

            “We largely started from scratch. There was a little bit of Descent code, but it was more a matter of pulling in small pieces for specific purposes. We didn’t start with the whole Descent code base and turn it into FreeSpace.”

            “Several FS team members had been space sim fans for some time. TIE Fighter and Wing Commander were really the biggest influences on FreeSpace, not too surprisingly. We really just wanted to do the best space sim ever made, with everything we’d always wanted. Other bits of inspiration also came from the Orson Scott Card book Ender’s Game and the TV series Space: Above and Beyond.”

          • It’s not part of the same universe as Descent, plays differently, contains none of the gameplay concepts and very little shared code.

            That’s just nitpicking… 😉

            I should probably have winkied my previous comment, it was a bit of a sarcasm fail. Thanks for the history though. I remember it all vaguely from first time round – remember using some tape and a piece of cardboard for playing Descent in 3D (it didn’t work very well, but it worked…).

          • I had a friend that had a very early video headset thing and he hooked Descent II up to it once.

            Good way to get a crick in your neck *and* make you want to puke within seconds.

  • This is the Descent sequel we actually wanted. Unlike, ironically, the new game in development with the Descent name, which is a multiplayer shooter.

  • Mike Kulas is a very cool guy, used to hang out on the Volition forums back in the Freespace 1/2 days. Those guys helped get Freespace 2 open sourced and were always the nicest guys to the community. I’d be happy to help back their game.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!