Mod Overview


As said before, Rise is a FPS+Z. A multiplayer First Person Shooter on a massive scale, with a jetpack strapped to your back. We're using very large landscapes and jetpacks and to achieve a very fluent, very fast, very skilful movement. This game is about player-to-player mid-air battles, about the pure feeling of speed, about the teamwork needed to capture the enemy flag, about chasing the flag carrier over several kilometres while going 100 mph through the trees.

This concept is not new. In fact, it is what the Tribes series of games is known for. The Tribes series (Starsiege: Tribes, Tribes 2, Tribes: Vengeance) is the most prominent example of an FPS+Z game. Those too featured massive landscapes and players with jetpacks and, throughout the series, several takes on skiing. We are obviously taking massive influence from this series of games. However, we clearly do not want to copy any game in the Tribes series. As quoted from the FAQ:

So, you're remaking Tribes?
The Tribes series of games is an obvious influence for us - it introduced jetpack gameplay to the fps players. We are, however, not remaking Tribes. Rise is a game that takes elements from the Tribes series and builds upon it. We are trying to create a new, modern game, that will give you the same feeling of freedom, speed and teamwork that the Tribes series is known for.

Rise design guidelines

This is the kind of info that everyone (both artists and developers) should keep in mind when working on rise. If something is unclear, be sure to let us know on IRC or on the forums.

The Heritage

The heritage of gameplay

Rise is aiming to be a modern take on the fps genre. It uses elements from the Tribes series games (most noticeably jetpack and skiing mechanisms) but it in no way limits itself to these. We are very aware that Tribes was not a hugely successful series, even though it’s fans are extremely loyal and are proven to be some of the most dedicated players in the gaming scene. Most of the designers have affection for Tribes or are one of these Tribes fans, and we definitely want to build a game that will appeal to ex-Tribes players. We believe that, for the first stage at least, using the core Tribes elements is a very solid starting point. We believe that we must interpret the set of rules that are given to us and play with them, and experiment. Try out completely new things in the fps+z gameplay.

The heritage of style

With this heritage of game play comes the heritage of art style. Classically speaking, Tribes was set in the Starsiege world, which by today’s standards can be described as a very stereotypical sci-fi themed environment. It had a lot of different planets, crazy color use to make things look alien, and the armors, weapons and vehicles were all metal plated in a very typical sci-fi kind of way. The playgrounds usually consisted of massive terrains with enormous floating bases, very large concrete structures and so on. The structures itself served no purpose other than game play – there was no “reason” for them to be there, except for the player to be in them (Quake 3 is also known for this). They were usually very impressive and had a unique architecture, which was possible because of the extreme freedom of movement that the jetpack wearing player had been given. The game series was never known for its grand designs, with the possible exception of Tribes: Vengeance (which was not developed by the same studio as the first two Tribes games).

(insert screenshot of T1 here)
(insert screenshot of T2 here)
(insert screenshot of T:V here)

The uniqueness of Rise

The mood and artistic style

For Rise, we have a couple of ideas we believe are very powerful and modern, while keeping the wink to the past. We want Rise to be more mature and more realistic. We don’t want a classic sci-fi look, we would much rather want something that is believable and thus immersive. We want to suck the player up in the experience, make them completely forget they’re playing a game. We want it to be nasty, we want it to be harsh. Style influences in gaming can be found in Gears of War (GoW also has a (albeit very different) take on modern semi-realistic sci-fi), Halo (grandness of buildings and architecture), Crysis (stunning views and landscapes that boggle the mind) and ofcourse the Tribes series, most noticeably Tribes: Vengeance (terrain and base integration, weapon design, various other things). I’m very aware that these examples are very known games and may sound stereotypical. To get a better idea of the style and mood of Rise I think I can best explain it by telling our little backstory.

General setting

We’ve come up with a very simple back-story, which gives us a time, place and motivation. It is, in fact, more a setting than a true story. We explicitly DO NOT want to feed a story to the player. Rise is a multiplayer game, and because of that we don’t need a storyline to motivate the player through a series of campaigns. We simply have it there to keep all of our style, all of our art, all of our ideas coherent. It’s there to make sure that when we’re working on this, everyone is thinking about the same game. Don’t expect something grand. It is, instead, simply meant to be a powerful tool for design, style, and mood. A lot of this is spawned from huge alcohol-fueled brainstorm sessions between myself Aereogramme and Freddan, mostly based on Bucksters concepts.

Time is the near-distant future – think of 2150 or 2200. Unlike most games, the human race has not been brought to near-extinction and is not enslaved by some aliens – it is thriving, and expanding. Several entrepreneurs are expanding their territory scouting for new locations for possible settlements, industries, plantations, or otherwise. They are expanding beyond the planet earth, and their search has brought them to a planet much larger than ours, but with a similar climate. It is on this planet that Rise is normally set, but earth and possible other (more out-of-the-box) planets might also be an option. In this society, Rise is a competition. Rise is a harsh sport, a blood sport, which is being played only by (ex-) convicts, suicidal people, extreme thrill seekers and other people with severe psychoses. This is not a friendly, legal, government sponsored competition. Rise is the middle finger to the booming society – something very underground, and highly secretive.


The equipment for Rise is stolen from military convoys. The players wear armored environmental suits, fit for exploring hostile environments quickly. The pilot inside has to be completely covered to avoid fatal gas/water leaks. For the tournament, the military suits are (often hastily) converted by the participants – think of blue paint strokes across the armored chest to indicate that this is the blue team, and the Rise logo and several other pieces graffiti and sports patterns
(‘war stripes’, etc) are painted on there to intimidate the opponent. The weapons used in Rise are modified military weapons – again, they can have quick paint jobs and the like. Elements like the HUD can keep a military look (which would resemble classic sci-fi).


The environment Rise is set in has to be remote to avoid government detection (exceptions, like a crowded cave area or a radar shielded arena can be implemented). Beside the widely varying terrains, the structures and landmarks that the environments have can be greatly varied. For actual bases and significant manmade structures, there are basically three types.

Firstly, there are abandoned structures. Old industry remnants, ruins of a settlement, an old military border defense outpost, an automated windmill farm, etc. The Rise tournament crew can move in these shortly before the match is played to quickly convert them for the rise specifics (add ramps, indicator lights, graffiti arrows and logos, etc).

Secondly, there are dropped base structures. These structures are dropped from height into the formerly peaceful environment to quickly and instantly convert it to a rise battleground. These structures can be bunkers, flag stands, simple bases, ammo dispensers, simple barriers, lookout towers, etc. They are hastily dropped and without a lot of precision, so it’s very possible that they land at a slight angle, that they crush a set of trees, that they tumble over because they are dropped on hard soil, etc. They might also leave a large crater because of the high impact energy. Some of these assets can be designed to fold out, etc. There are a lot of possibilities with this.

Thirdly there are Rise-built structures. Usually set in extremely remote or in extremely inhospitable environments, these buildings are specifically built for the tournament. The Tribes series have had these kind of pre-built bases pretty much exclusively, and because they look relatively unconvincing (why are there two exact the same buildings facing each other in this lonely terrain?) we probably want to keep this kind to a minimum.
It goes without saying that all of these three building types can be combined with eachother.

Personal verdict

Rise is going to be a very immersive, very modern game which will suck the players in. With the talent we have on board we can build an extremely high quality game with a unique style that I think players will dig a lot. We have the resources, the fans and the tools to create something that is absolutely stunning. Something a little more mature and gritty, yet very high velocity and fun. I can’t tell you guys how excited I am at the possibilities.

Media from previous Tribes games

(more to be added)

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