The Big Papas — State of the Game

Henry Felerski
Sep 3 · 9 min read

A Recap

Cako took up the mic on Sunday to give the second ever “State of the Game” presentation for Rushdown Revolt. He started things off with a recap of the last “State of the Game”. Cako reminded our community of the planned combo contest, the new holo’s on the way, and the new character in the works, Velora. He also talked about Revolt University which gives community members a chance towards enhancing their abilities down several different paths. Sign ups close September 1st so if anyone is even thinking about signing up, do it now!

Friends and Family

After the brief intro, Cako moved into the “feature presentation” where he talked about the new friends that we’ve made outside of our community. First up was Rodney Conyers Jr., a FGC commentator who can be seen commentating Rushdown Revolt tournaments often. He also has a podcast, Shacknews where he and his co-hosts highlighted Rushdown Revolt. Next was the outreach to Aaron who used the RushRev tag at Ultimate Summit 3 over the past weekend. Cako also discussed our partnership with Leffen at The Big LEVO 3, getting exposure for Rushdown Revolt and building a trusting relationship with Leffen. The last friendship discussed was that with MockRock who has been on the RushdownRevolt Twitch channel recently discussing the game as well as commentating.

The longest section of the presentation was when Cako talked about “New Family”. The first new family member is the next character to be released, Velora. He recapped the first look that was given of Velora at The Big LEVO 3. At this event, our team showed off the character model as well as the “Artillery Strike” move that is shot down from Velora’s ship Horizon’s Roar. Lastly, the voice actor for Velora, Sarah Miller-Crews, and her work were revealed. She also named Velora’s weapon The Lady.

The reveal of Velora’s character Model at The Big LEVO 3

The presentation continued as Cako discussed our community’s family tree. He reminded everyone that he is “The Papa”, but the family tree is horizontal; we’re all equal. Cako talked about how he wanted to do something no other game studios do: he wanted to be completely open with the player base about what was going on with the game including behind the scenes on the business side. Cako hinted that our community was getting a “Super Papa”, a “New IRL Ally’’, and that they would be people who influence the game. He then revealed that Team Vortex now has investors who were interested and passionate in Rushdown Revolt. These aren’t some suits in a boardroom. Instead, they are people who are interested in the game and want to push it’s growth. They are supportive and trusting of Cako to make the decisions that he, Team Vortex, and the community need to make and they are emotionally invested in Rushdown Revolt and it’s community.

Cako doesn’t pay people what they are worth, he pays them what they need and helps them grow to that level. Similarly, the investors asked Cako how much Team Vortex needed instead of giving him what they thought the game was worth. This is when Cako knew that the Investors were right for our family. He said that our team spent about $100,000 over the past two years and would probably need double that for the next year. The investors instead put forward $880,000. Cako got emotional as he talked about how he invested every last penny he had into this game, maxed out his credit cards, took loans from friends, and spent time living at his parent’s and girlfriend’s places.

Why? Or What’s Next?

The next slide asked a question, “What is all this money for?” The answer wasn’t to give all the money to Pugsy, or for ridiculously large prize pools, but for transformation. The slide after that had another question, “What do they want?” The investors want transformation. A third question was posed in the next question, “What happens next?”. You can probably guess that what happens next is transformation. Each slide said transformation but the rest of the presentation went on to explain exactly what that will look like.

We spent about $8,000 per month on the team, but now that there are around fifty people contributing that cost is $80,000 per month including marketing. That is why we need investors. But investors want something to happen because of their investments. They want to see dramatic acceleration of production and profit. As a team we listen, learn, and grow from players giving us feedback. The investors expect us to continue to do this. If they see this happening they will want to invest in us more. They also want Team Vortex to build the same sort of trust with them that we have with the players.

Cako told the audience that this was “a new beginning” for the game to reach a new level. He talked about how Wavedash had even more money for Icons but it still failed and how Team Vortex needs to continue to support the community in the same way. We can’t let money change us. He revealed that the next patch would be aptly named “New Beginnings” and would be released on September 25th.

With this new patch will come the anticipated release of Velora alongside a whole slew of cast upgrades. Cako reflected on how Seth was a huge experiment for our team. Fusions had never been done in a fighting game before and it had been a learning experience for us. Seth, the Weishan and Ashani hybrid, had been largely derivative of the two characters he was based off of but Cako promised Velora will be something entirely new while still feeling like a true fusion of Raymer and Zhurong. His eyes lit up as he explained how Velora made our team realize that they were still working with legacy systems, without spark, and without multiple up specials and air rushes. It was the first time we designed a character with all of these new systems in mind and they ended up making Velora too cool. We realized that the rest of the characters felt boring compared to Velora, so we are giving the entire cast an overhaul to bring it up to the “Velora Standard”. All new characters will be designed around this standard as the game moves forward. Velora will be released on the 25th of September.

Transformation will also be seen in a few more ways. The first is the scale that Alpha Season 2 will have. There will now be five regions: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. This means five weekly circuits and five, region specific arcadians so that everyone can play people in their region and skill level. Cako also told the investors that he wants Rushdown Revolt to be the largest fighting game or close to it by the end of 2022. Next, Cako discussed the never before heard of role, the Chief Wellbeing Leader. This person’s job is to make sure that everyone is happy. Not just the members of Team Vortex, but every single player as well. This illustrates how focused we are on listening, learning, and growing. The third transformation was the announcement of the Open Beta, releasing November 12th. To our team, the game hasn’t felt like an Alpha game for a while so this feels like the right move. Cako made another promise. He told the stream that Rushdown Revolt will start to feel like a real game. A League of Legends caliber game. A Valorant caliber game. He ended this section by thanking Team Vortex and the players for getting the game and the community to this exciting point before previewing a meet and greet with the investors soon.

The Town Hall

Team Vortex now opened up the floor for questions. They discussed their inability to help the P+ team as any financial support would get both of our teams in trouble. This led to a segue where Cako said he wanted to make Rushdown Revolt moddable in the future to let others express themselves. There is already a build of the game that allows modding with an easy to use graphical interface that anyone can use without coding experience. There were hints at more fusions that were coming and that the next one would include Afi & Galu, but a deadline wasn’t given. Cako also expressed that our team doesn’t use deadlines as this ends up creating a worse player experience. On the topic of fusions, Cako also reiterated that Velora feels distinctly different from Zhurong and Raymer, who she is a fusion of.

The discussion then moved to the hot ticket item: Low Tide City. Our team wanted feedback from the community on their decision in regards to the tournament. This is because it affects the players as well as our team. Cako presented his evidence on why having Rushdown Revolt’s first major be at Low Tide City wasn’t such a great idea. Originally, we were looking for sixty entrants and had a prize pool of $10,000. However, only ten people have signed up for the event and none of The Big LEVO 3 Top 4 will be able to attend due to COVID restrictions, as well as Goose, since they are all Canadian. Further, the Texas Governor put forth Executive Order GA-36, eliminating “Mask Mandates” which leads to uncertainty about safety. He posed a series of questions about downsizing the prize pool, showing up “officially”, mandating masks illegally, and maintaining a relationship with the Low Tide City team before discussing our team’s priorities. These are “the wellbeing of our family” including the Low Tide City team, “supporting and caring for those attending”, providing “the best environment for competition”, and “not forcing anything unnatural”. A solution was then presented of showing up for the tournament but only having a booth. This would be an event with more of a meetup feel, meaning there would be no stream and a much smaller prize pool. It was discussed with the Twitch Chat and the consensus was that this new proposition matched our team and our community priorities.

After this decision, another Q&A session commenced. A question was asked about Reina and our team talked about how it was good to work on the Velora fusion before any new characters now that the “Velora Standard” was introduced. We discussed the play testing for Velora and that it will be closed. This means that when Velora is finally released our community will have this special, exciting moment where we all get to play the new fusion character together. Someone wanted to know if there will be UI updates for the Open Beta and it was confirmed that there will be. The next question was about seeing Rushdown Revolt on console and while Cako didn’t confirm it, he did say that it is more likely than ever thanks to the investors backing. The very last question answered was a hint that new mechanics are being looked at. We want everyone to know that feedback is being listened to.

As a wrap up, Cako discussed the new friends made, the Velora release, the new investors, and where Rushdown Revolt will go from here. It was an exciting presentation filled with a lot of passion and exciting hints at what the future will hold. The community was consulted on Low Tide City and some of their burning questions were answered. Rushdown Revolt is about to undergo a transformation where it will reach new heights. We hope you’ll join us for the journey.

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