The team behind TimeSplitters Rewind, a non-commercial HD blend of all three TimeSplitters games, works closely with license holder Crytek.
“We collaborate with Crytek as often as possible. We’re both very busy working on our respective projects,” project manager Michael Hubicka told Cooking with Grenades.
The multiplayer-only re-imagining opf the franchise to date was green lit by Crytek itself late last year; the developer even handed over the original in-game assets. Development kicked off shortly thereafter.
The developer hinted that a console release might be possible, and said some of the original Timesplitters staff are involved in the project. Hubicka has plans to ask Crytek about bringing back the voice actors, too.
As for nitty-gritty details, TimeSplitters Rewind will use a mix of scan or ballistic physics, as the original games did, and the team is looking to playtesters to help find a solution for supporting both game pad and mouse and keyboard players in the same matches.
Hubicka said that a compatible version of Sandbox, the CruEngine 3 SDK, will be available at launch, allowing players to make their own levels and mods. Dedicated sever tools are also inbound, but the team does not have an ETA. LAN will be available at launch, though.
The team won’t be adding any new characters, but is considering some new play modes if play testers enjoy them and fans respond well. Hubicka said he’s aiming for “definitely the core experience with extremely little to no additions”. Sever admins will possibly be able to choose between classic and updated Timesplitetrs gameplay, for those who strongly prefer the first or later games.
Timesplitters Rewind will first release in multiplayer-only form, with single-player possible at a later ate if Crytek agrees. The first public release will be a demo, which will be “more or less a beta”. There is no release date, beyond sometime before Christmas, but Hubicka anticipates strong demand and has said that at launch distribution will be supported by torrents and plenty of mirrors. Team members put in a minimum of five hours work on the project each week. Timesplitters Rewind has to be free, under the agreement between the team and Crytek, and Hubicka asked eager fans to donate their money to charities instead.
The team behind TimeSplitters Rewind is also working on a commercial title, Loki’s Playground. Hubicka said the Unreal-based arena shooter hasn’t slowed work on TimeSplitters Rewind at all, in fact helping speed things along.
Crytek has expressed enthusiasm for a new TimeSplitters game on several occasions but feels it’s simply not commercially viable. If you’d like to know more about how TimeSplitters developer Free Radical collapsed, read Dave’s excellent two-part feature on the matter.