PAX Prime 2014: Upsilon Circuit debuts to the public

upsilon circuit
I'll echo what Eliot wrote back at PAX East earlier this year: Upsilon Circuit is almost certainly one of the strangest and most intriguing video game concepts I've ever seen. Part Diablo clone, part Smash TV, part Hunger Games, and part Max Headroom, it's a virtual game show there eight contestants fight to stay alive while the larger player audience helps or hurts the contestants as they wish. This is all overseen by a Ronald Reagan-ish game show host who will snark and deadpan the proceedings.

The Robot Loves Kitty dev team said at this year's PAX Prime that the genesis for Upsilon Circuit came from seeing the surge of popularity for folks who watched other people livestream games. Why not take that voyeurism and make it more interactive? Thus, Upsilon Circuit was born.

The game was enjoying its first public appearance at PAX Prime, with good ol' Ronnie heckling passers-by and demanding that a photographer pay him $20 after he took a photo of the screen. Either Ronnie is some of the best AI I've ever seen or it was a guy with a headset and keyboard tucked away somewhere, but either way it communicated well the spirit of the game. I also saw the action RPG portion in play, which looked much like a colorful Diablo-style game.

Another interesting piece of the Upsilon Circuit puzzle is that the game will actually feature a rather in-depth story that will be revealed as the daily game shows progress. I was teased with only a snippet of this story, which is that Manhattan went missing in the '80s. Perhaps this is connected to virtual Ronald Regan? I think so.

Robot Loves Kitty said that the story is so under wraps that testing will feature a prequel tale instead. There's a lot that the team isn't saying about the game, but I got a feeling that this was due to the devs still figuring out the finer details of how this crazy concept will work. I know that I'll be part of the audience when it is released to the public in early 2015 because I need a gladiator fix in my life.

Massively's on the ground in Seattle during the weekend of August 29th to September 1st, bringing you all the best news from PAX Prime 2014. Whether you're dying to know more about Warlords of Draenor, The Elder Scrolls Online, Landmark, or any MMO in between, you can bet we'll have it covered!
This article was originally published on Massively.