Advent Rising devs unveil first game from new studio

Empire to be Chair Entertainment's debut title; Orson Scott Card to write novelization for futuristic tale of second US Civil War.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

Or so says a team of former Advent Rising developers. After the retail and critical disappointment of last year's Advent Rising, which featured a story penned by sci-fi writer Orson Scott Card, a handful of developers departed from that game's developer, GlyphX Games. They formed their own company, Chair Entertainment, and have announced their first game, Empire--again featuring a science-fiction story in collaboration with writer Card.

But this time, the typical video game adaptation cycle is flipped. Chair Entertainment created the story of Empire, while Card is adapting it to his medium of choice. Card's Empire is set to be released in November by Tor Books.

While details of Empire's gameplay are sparse (it will be a first-person shooter running on Unreal Engine 3, as first reported by fan site FiringSquad), the game's backstory is much more fleshed out. Empire is set amid a second civil war in the United States that takes today's partisan politics to extremes.

"The American Empire has grown too fast, and the fault lines at home are stressed to the breaking point," reads the book's description. "The war of words between Right and Left has collapsed into a shooting war, though most people just want to be left alone."

As Republicans and Democrats in the United States gear up for November midterms, Card's adaptation will introduce the book-reading public to the franchise before game players get a chance to play through the story. Chair Entertainment hopes its partnership with Card will boost Empire, with its politically charged storyline, to a new level.

"Given the current state of politics and the upcoming fall elections, we think the timing for this story couldn't be better," Donald Mustard, creative director at Chair Entertainment, told GameSpot. "[It] is certainly going to have people talking."

From the beginning, Chair saw the development of Empire as a tightly knit collaboration between game developer and author. After Advent Rising, Mustard said, teaming up once more with Card was a no-brainer.

"Card and I had a great experience working together in the past, but never felt as if we had the chance to truly collaborate to the degree we'd hoped," Mustard said.

"With Empire, I wanted to involve him on a larger scale and bring him into the loop from the very start," he continued. "We made sure to establish all of the major plot points, gameplay scenarios, and the entire arc of the franchise so that it had a very defined beginning, middle, and end."

With Advent Rising, the developers inherited Card's story and had to fashion the gameplay around the author's vision. Mustard said they had more freedom this time around.

"[T]he book provides us with interesting hooks which we can choose to either touch on lightly, or delve into more deeply with the game," Mustard said. "This allowed us to design our gameplay functionality around the story, which is the direction we want to take games--gameplay features driven by the narrative, as opposed to the game's features dictating what the narrative has to be."

Empire the game is currently without a release date or announced platform(s). In fact, development of the game has not yet begun, Mustard said, and Chair Entertainment has its lips sealed about many of the specific gameplay features, other than its first-person-shooter roots.

Although the link to Orson Scott Card is Empire's major touted partnership, Chair is not ruling out future products or media emblazoned with the Empire name. A Chair spokesperson revealed that the game company owns the rights to the franchise, and the book is just the first step.

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Empire (based on Orson Scott Card novel)

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Discussion

59 comments
drim_vells
drim_vells

The book is actually pretty good. Well come to think of it...it was written by Card so of course it's good. I'm actually interested in the game. I might not buy it the day it comes out but I'll check it out for sure.

scruffybawls
scruffybawls

if yall are gonna sh!t out biased ideas at least make it about systems, jesus, who can even agree with republicans or democrats, theyre both weak extremes, if people were independent and thought for themselves we wouldnt vote for stupid presidents, yall just vote for wat party yur mommys and daddys voted for, this game will blow if its about democrats and republicans instead states rights vs. governments rights.

GunnerTHB
GunnerTHB

Civil War was about tariffs on southern goods like amplizine said. The south was mainly agricultural, and the north was mainly industrial. Just because the north's industries couldn't compete with foreign industries the South had to pay for it.

amplizine
amplizine

LOL PoetSilenius. You don't sound bitter in the slightest! Also Berserker_2, history likes to romantacize that the Civil War was about slavery and good vs. evil, but like all wars, it was about resources: cotton and tobacco. The slavery issue became more prevalent later.

GW_Tome
GW_Tome

Meh. I'll buy the novel, but I'm not going anywhere near the game.

MC34
MC34

Maybe it will be based upon a country that rises up to stop a President from creating the most selfish evil empire mankind has ever seen. Sort of like the 2008 elections.

PoetSilenius
PoetSilenius

I can't say I trust Orson Scott Card to pen something about politics that doesn't involve black and white, instead of the shades of grey this stuff requires. The final boss is probably going to be Hilary Clinton, and there are probably going to be cutscenes wherein Howard Dean appeals to Satan for some grand, babykilling monster, summoned through the dark and horrible ceremony of homosexual marriage. You will, of course, be able to defeat this monster... But only if you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Because the path to happiness is only bought by the Blood of the Son! Fair and Balanced, ladies and gentlemen.

jiggster147
jiggster147

Sooo...what about Advent Rising?? Are we at least gonna try again?? The story was wonderful, but the game could've used a little bit of work..At least release a novel or something to let us know how it ends!!!

Berserker_2
Berserker_2

spydrman5472 & Kenshi_is_god: You can make up anything for a future event, but it should always be plausible. The name suggests that at least one side has the will to colonize more territory, and this just does not exist now. Empires seek world domination. The US seeks to provide freedom to all countries while recognizing their sovereignty. Our civil war was a fight to end slavery. It was a moral issue in which the states were divided. If we have another civil war, it could only be triggered by states having contradictory laws. The only issue that could cause this now is marriage law. If the states are allowed to define marriage as they see fit, the union will be unstable. Maybe I should write his book? By the way, I do watch Fox News like the majority of cable subscribers. The reason is that they have redefined news (they report the truth, plainly). Most of the other news outlets follow the liberal agenda of the New York Times. Did you ever wonder why NBC, ABC, and CBS report the same news?

TheGrandMiG
TheGrandMiG

lol we will just how good the game is... im more interested in the book

doomed51
doomed51

nice cant wait for some more stuff by Card

MC34
MC34

Advent Rising's story was Star Wars, Titan AE and a million little pieces from other great Sci Fi movies. I can't wait to see who Mustard fleeces in his latest adventure. My prediction....FOLDING CHAIR

mattxavier
mattxavier

We will know how good it is when it comes out.

catsimboy
catsimboy

Even though Advent Rising sucked I still want to know how it ends dagnabbit! Make a sequel and hold the suck please.

DrCLos
DrCLos

The story sounds very intriguing Too bad the game will most likely suck :P I think the story could make a good movie actually.

jag215
jag215

I'd preorder iit now but I can't. I'm getting the book and I'll see the movie. (OH... It will eventually be a movie) This is exactly what the game industry needs original concepts that will churn out a great story with (hopefully) solid gameplay that builds the story instead of stands beside it. (ya, I think that sentece makes sense.) This is a totally new idea and I for one am totally for it. Also Chair owning the rights to the entire franchise will make sure that nothing is lost in translation from print to game.This is a totally new idea and I for one am totally for it. Rock on Chair Rock on.

Fallout_red
Fallout_red

The idea if extremely PROMISING!!!! I hope with better execution than AR, they make this one great. Besides, they now have Unreal Engine 3 !!!

rynmls
rynmls

create more games that are top notch....

slickr
slickr

LOL, stupid US-oriented game! And whats even worse it's thats it's somekind of futuristic tale of us history!? If you do such a game at least do in of real history.

daqua_99
daqua_99

I could not care less for American war games ... I like European or Pacific war games more ...

Night_Frost
Night_Frost

Let's hope it doesn't turn out to be another Advent Rising

Voltor25
Voltor25

Although this sounds REALLY cool, the story is REALLY out there, too. Democrats wouldn't ever fight in a war! Well, maybe against Republicans, they might reconsider their views on gun control... HAHAHAHAHA

nicktyler
nicktyler

Now that they have their own company they should make the next Advent Rising game and totally reinvent the gameplay and make it run smoothly. The first one was okay and I'd like to see the trilogy to the end. But it probably will never happen.

SpiderFreak
SpiderFreak

This looks interesting. However, while it sounds good, will probably be full of "politically correct" crap. And, most likely, as seems to be the case in all media, the Republicans and/or Conservatives will be the "evil" people. Unless they're a bit more original than I think they will, I can pretty much tell what the story will be like: Right/Left get into a war. Left is fighting for peace and freedom. Right is the evil, resource-hungry, war-starting, oppressive group. In the end, Left defeats the Right and wins peace and freedom for everone! ^_^ Chair/Card could suprise me, but I doubt they will. SF

YEPEE00
YEPEE00

hyeee! chair entertaining is tiring work...and their not so good at chair-oke.

Allan_X
Allan_X

Uh-oh. We've got another plagiarist on the loose! Those are Halo's M808B "Scorpion" Main Battle Tanks, without a doubt. Time for us fans to shame them into getting a better cover artist!

darthchipmunk17
darthchipmunk17

Ok, I love Orson Scott Card as an author, and I agree, an American Civil War game would be really interesting. It is also almost guaranteed to be good simply because Card is writing it, so it won't just be for idiotic reasons and make no sense. Someone mentioned that Card had too little control on the Advent Rising story, but bear in mind that Empire is coming as a book first, so it is almost given that Card will have the greater if not total (as I would hope) control over the events in the game. This looks really interesting, as did Advent Rising (which I still feel like I should have played, but never did). I'll be keeping an eye on this one.

samneo363
samneo363

The Advent Rising story was really good and I was hoping that they finish the trilogy. Come on, I want to save another race again.

dukerav
dukerav

"With Advent Rising, the developers inherited Card's story and had to fashion the gameplay around the author's vision. Mustard said they had more freedom this time around." "[T]he book provides us with interesting hooks which we can choose to either touch on lightly, or delve into more deeply with the game," Mustard said. "This allowed us to design our gameplay functionality around the story, which is the direction we want to take games--gameplay features driven by the narrative, as opposed to the game's features dictating what the narrative has to be." I think that first paragraph might be one of the reasons for Advent not being as good as it could have been. All in all I think there is great potential with this game, they just have to correct any mistakes made with the previous game. It seems they have the story fixed anf it sounds good imo, now just time to work on gameplay.

ExcAREentric
ExcAREentric

Why do those look like the Scorpion tanks from Halo...?

amplizine
amplizine

As one person stated, they cancelled the contest for SECURITY reasons. Instead, they gave free games (2 or 3 games, I can't remember) to anyone that participated. I don't think it was a money issue if they could afford that kind of reimbursement. Majesco covered their asses quite smoothly if you ask me.

UpInFlames
UpInFlames

K1LLSWITCH, Majesco scrapped the contest probably because they couldn't raise the money after the game flopped. Of course, they named some kind of a bogus reason as an excuse.

ImaCarrot
ImaCarrot

That's because the contest proved to be flawed and was ultimately cancled, which helped lead to the game's demise.

K1LLSWITCH
K1LLSWITCH

I find it interesting that even with a contest (where the winner gets $1 mil if the player finds a rare item in the game online on XBL, in which I never even heard who the winner was) Advent Rising still flopped. I'll keep an eye on this game, Empire, and see how well it does.

Sgt_So_and_So
Sgt_So_and_So

That is the suckiest cover I have ever seen.

acesion
acesion

It will be interesting hopefully they can make sense of the history and not be so political but morely action because thats what we all want. FPS all the way.

CepheusArneb
CepheusArneb

Did GlyphX scrap the rest of the Advent trilogy? I liked the concept and art style a lot, but the execution was pretty lacklustre.

ccgod
ccgod

The guy in the pic has a german helm from WWII

amplizine
amplizine

Some people's comments are political enough for everyone, so I'll just avoid that. Also some people have mentioned it's PC, or X360 instead of PS3, when the article says Chair hasn't announced any platforms yet. I just hope it's a good game, regardless of the platform. It kinda seems to me like the devs at Chair split from GlyphX because they didn't have the control to turn Advent Rising into the game they wanted and felt was best. Maybe this time around, now that they have control over their own vision, I see this as being a big hit! Go get 'em guys! And make sure you secure Tommy Tallarico to do the music (and the footstep sounds, tee hee).

doomtaggert
doomtaggert

The tanks look exactly like Scorpions from Halo. Some one either really likes Halo or got a little lazy with the drawing.

ping5000
ping5000

Well, good luck Chair. Advent Rising had the potenial to be truly great but I found it to be fun but forgettable game.

UpInFlames
UpInFlames

Chair has got to be the worst developer name in history. Congrats.

hirushubi2
hirushubi2

Great concept I hope that it is executed well.....has alot of potential.

desertspartan
desertspartan

Is it me, or do those tanks look like Scorpions from Halo.........

bcfish
bcfish

So many promising games died before they even got finished, and this sounds like it may be one of those games unfortunately, while a Madden game identical to its predecessor is certain. Still, here's hoping to Empire, it sounds very promising!

Donkeljohn
Donkeljohn

A second civil war . . . very nice Mr. Card. "Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of men in your own land."

kinglink2
kinglink2

Only one problem with their story. Card had almost nothing to do with Advent Rising. He didn't write it, he didn't come up with the idea. All he did was fill in some of the dialogue as meantioned in his blog which was out before the game came out. I like Card, he's a great writer, but just saying he wrote the story can't help a game, the reason you'd hirer a writer like him is to consult on the story, or write most of it. Not to just use him as a tool to get more interest.