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Satellite Reign - All News

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Friday - April 20, 2018
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Box Art

Friday - April 20, 2018

Satellite Reign - Free to Own on Humble Bundle

by Silver, 03:29

Satellite Reign is free to own forever until Saturday on Humble Bundle.

Satellite Reign is provided via Steam key for Windows, Mac, and Linux. For key redemption, a free Steam account is required.


Get Satellite Reign, cross-platform on Steam and DRM-free!

Co-Op Multiplayer

Play the entirety of Satellite Reign with your friends in co-op multiplayer. Up to four players can each control their own agent, opening up a whole new level of strategic and co-ordinated play.
With full drop-in/drop-out support, LAN and Internet play, and customisable agent assignment, get ready to experience Satellite Reign like never before.

Strategic Cyberpunk Action
Satellite Reign is a real-time, class-based strategy game, set in an open-world cyberpunk city. You command a group of 4 agents through rain-soaked, neon-lit streets, where the law is the will of mega-corporations. Use your agents to sneak, shoot, steal, and sabotage your way up the corporate ladder, and take control of the most powerful monopoly of all time.

Each of your agents can be tailored toward your favoured play-style, while still maintaining their own unique specialisations. Shape your team into an offensive war machine, or an elite covert spec-ops outfit, and take the open-world city as your own.

Open World
The city of Satellite Reign is one big, open playground. No individual levels to pick between, the whole world can be explored seamlessly. Uncover new missions while you explore, and pick and choose which objectives you want to tackle.

Customise your Team
Each of your four agents can be tailored to suit your play style. Choose their skills, weapons, gear, augmentations, and even their genetic base by cloning exceptional individuals from the general population.

Multiple Strategies
There's no 'right-way' to complete your objectives. The world has been designed to facilitate emergent gameplay, allowing you to choose from and combine a wide range of strategic options. Sneak in through ventilation shafts, hack doors, take out power generators, hijack the minds of guards, or just blow the front door down. Countless opportunities await.

Wednesday - November 23, 2016

Satellite Reign - Review @Indigo Gaming

by Silver, 11:26

@Indigo Gaming reviews Satellite Reign and asks if its the majestic return of Syndicate or a cash grab.


In this episode of Cyberpunk Curated, Indigo takes a look at Satellite Reign, the spiritual successor to Syndicate and Syndicate Wars. This game was started and developed as a spiritual sequel to the original Bullfrog games by Syndicate Wars veteran Mike Diskett.

Saturday - July 16, 2016

Satellite Reign - Co-Op Mode This Week

by Aubrielle, 02:49

Satellite Reign's dev team had hoped for a 4-player co-op mode to be rolled out with release. It didn't happen, but it looks like the Syndicate successor might finally get it this week.

One of the stretch goals in the 2013 Kickstarter for the cyberpunk RTS Satellite Reign was co-op multiplayer. Sadly, it didn't happen: The goal was $1 million, and the campaign raised only $610,000. But developer 5 Lives Studios decided to go ahead and do it anyway, and online player is now in open beta and will soon go into full release. 

Online co-op play has actually been in development for awhile now, but was only rolled out to the main branch of the game this week, so 5 Lives could take advantage of more widespread testing now that the most critical issues have been addressed. Players will now have the choice of starting either a single-player or multiplayer game; selecting multiplayer will then give the option to either host a game with an existing save, or join another one as a client. 

“We were having issues for some time with random disconnections, as well as an issue where clients would suddenly see everything stop (e.g. agents not responding, enemies and civs standing still), but everything is fine for the host. We're fairly confident we've solved this issue, but if anyone experiences this, please let us know,” the studio wrote. “We're also aware that you may not be able to see games hosted in other regions. We're using the Unity networking system, which uses their own relay servers, located around the world. Currently, games hosted in other regions don't seem to be showing up in the server browser—however games hosted by overseas Steam friends should be visible if you change the filtering to 'Friends.' We've contacted Unity about possible solutions.” 

A full rollout date hasn't been announced but the team said co-op multiplayer will “officially” launch at the end of the week, which is just about upon us. A co-op open beta feedback thread is available here.

Source: PC Gamer

Wednesday - July 13, 2016

Satellite Reign - Co-op in Open Beta

by Silver, 10:03

Satellite Reign has moved to open beta for the new co-op feature.

Co-op Now in Open Beta!
Hi everyone!

We've updated the main branch with the co-op build of Satellite Reign, so now everyone will have access be default! We're not "officially" launching until the end of the week, but we wanted to get a few days of it being tested by everyone, now that we've addressed the most critical issues.

First thing you'll notice, is you'll be greeted with a choice between Singleplayer and Multiplayer. To play co-op, simply select Multiplayer, and either load up your own existing save as a host, or join someone else as a client

We were having issues for some time with random disconnections, as well as an issue where clients would suddenly see everything stop (e.g. agents not responding, enemies and civs standing still), but everything is fine for the host. We're fairly confident we've solved this issue, but if anyone experiences this, please let us know! It haunted our dreams for so long, we're almost finding it difficult to believe that it's fixed!

We're also aware that you may not be able to see games hosted in other regions. We're using the Unity networking system, which uses their own relay servers, located around the world. Currently, games hosted in other regions don't seem to be showing up in the server browser-however games hosted by overseas Steam friends should be visible if you change the filtering to "Friends." We've contacted Unity about possible solutions.

We've made a feedback thread for this build. Post here if you've got any feedback!

Thanks so much for your support!

5 Lives Team.

Friday - May 27, 2016

Satellite Reign - Co-Op and Chill

by Silver, 13:07

In the latest kickstarter update for Satellite Reign there are some announcements about when to expect co-op (3rd June) and that they are migrating their forums to the official 5 Lives Studio forums. This comes with some rebranding (Satellite Reign: Uplink). In the meantime you can play multiplayer with the nightly branch and expect physical rewards to be delivered soon if your a backer.

Multiplayer Beta

The co-op multiplayer update-which we've titled Satellite Reign: Uplink-is coming along nicely, and we're pleased to announce that all backers and owners of the game will be able to jump online and play as of the 3rd of June. That's only a week away!

satellite reign uplink announcement poster

We'll be uploading a multiplayer beta to Steam which you can opt-in to play. Anyone who was playing the Nightly branch during the Early Access period will be familiar. We decided to do this just in case there are any bugs which may interfere with the single-player experience. This way, anyone not interested in beta-testing the multiplayer won't have to worry.

We're also planning to make the multiplayer beta build available on Humble, so any backers who don't want to use Steam will be able to access it from there.

New Website and Forums

We recently launched new and improved websites for both Satellite Reign and our official 5 Lives Studios homepage. Along with the update comes a new forum. Rather than having a forum attached to the Satellite Reign page, we've decided to have one official 5 Lives Studios forum which will act as the hub for all future 5 Lives titles (hopefully there'll be a lot!). This does mean that the old forums are no longer going to be updated. They're still viewable at the moment (, but will be shut down in the near future.

That's all for now. We'll have another announcement next week with instructions for playing the multiplayer beta.

5 Lives Team.

Thursday - February 18, 2016

Satellite Reign - Adds 4 Player Coop

by Hiddenx, 22:10

Co-Optimus reports that the Sattelite Reign devs are adding a four play coop mode to the game:

Satellite Reign is Adding 4 Player Co-Op, We Have the Developer Interview


Co-Optimus: What led to the decision to add co-op to Satellite Reign?

Chris: Co-op was an easy choice. We actually had this planned from the very beginning. One of our Kickstarter stretch goals, that we unfortunately didn't reach, was to include co-op. We have had a lot of people ask us along the way if we would include co-op but we had to be realistic about the costs of including it in the initial release. 

Co-Optimus: Will it be a whole new campaign? Separate missions? Or will the main campaign be modified to support co-op?

Chris: The entire game was built with the plan to add co-op at the end. Because of this we made sure that nearly every aspect of the game would be able to be played with multiple players. The only restriction (which we have in the original release) is that each agent must be in the same district. Aside from that, you can do what you want. We were testing the other day where we broke up into pairs to try and run through a few compounds. It does make things much more difficult but it is completely up to the players how they want to play.


Thanks Eye!

Friday - November 27, 2015

Satellite Reign - Localisation Update

by Hiddenx, 00:15

Version 1.06 introduces a lot of new languages for Satellite Reign:

v1.06 Update! Localisation—French, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian and Czech!

Friday - October 09, 2015

Satellite Reign - Interview @ Develop

by Myrthos, 23:05

Develop has interviewed some of the Satellite Reign devs about their game with a main focus on the Unity engine they are using.

“This is our first game as an indie studio,” said Brent Waller, environment artist. “The response so far on Early Access has been really positive, so we’re sure people will really enjoy it. We hope it does well for us, but for now, we’re trying to play it safe by keeping our expectations somewhat grounded.”

Given the team’s varying levels of experience with Unity on both personal projects, character artist Dean Ferguson says other engines “barely got more than a glance”. In fact, Unity was used for more than just the game’s development.

“All of our Kickstarter pitch cinematics and materials were created in Unity,” he reveals. “Usually something like that would have been created with pre-rendered cinematics. Unity allowed us a high quality end result without the time sink of rendering.”

Thanks Eye.

Sunday - September 06, 2015

Satellite Reign - Iron Man Update

by Hiddenx, 22:44

Version 1.03 of Satellite Reign fixes some bugs and adds some new features:

Greetings Agents!

It’s been one week since Satellite Reign was released! Thanks again to all our backers and everyone who has supported the game so far. We appreciate all the feedback and bug reports you’ve provided, and hope that you keep it up.

We’ve got a whole bunch of new additions and bug fixes in this update. Let’s start with the new stuff!

Iron Man Mode

For those who want a bit more of a challenge, we’ve added the option to start a new game in Iron Man Mode. This resets an agent’s skills and XP upon death. This option—along with the following—are only available on new games, and unfortunately cannot be used on existing save games.

Ultra Damage Mode

If Iron Man Mode wasn’t hard enough, we’ve added Ultra Damage Mode which multiplies the damage dealt as well as received by roughly three times! You’ll down enemies much quicker, but you’re just as vulnerable as they are. It’s a much more brutal and on-the-edge experience for those who are gluttons for punishment.

Slow Down Time Ability Unlocked

We’ve had a lot of requests for a ‘Real-Time with Pause’ feature. We felt we had covered this with the ‘Team Stims’ ability for the Support agent, which slows down time allowing you to issue orders at a more leisurely pace. Admittedly, it takes a while to unlock and fully upgrade this skill, so for those who wanted to to have it available from the beginning, we’ve added a new game option to fully unlock this ability. We hope this is good news for those of you who want to take their time contemplating their next move.

Bug Fixes

– Various navigation improvements
– Various mission fixes including VIP respawning
– Various fixes to buggy vehicles and traffic
– Fixes for ziplines dropping agents out of the world
– Fixes for looping sounds persisting after game loads
– Fixed various sounds not being affected by volume controls and sounds which should be localized but were infinite.
– Fixes for billboards not breaking correctly
– Various other minor fixes


– Iron Man Mode
– Ultra Damage Mode
– Slow Down Time Ability Unlocked
– Added achievements for hacking data terminals and ATMs
– Added option to invert mouse panning, panning speed also decreases when zoomed in.


Translation into French, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian and Czech is still on the way and we’re hoping to roll them out in a few weeks. We’ll notify everyone with an announcement when that happens.

We’ll be continuing to fix bugs as they come. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy these new additions to the game!

-5 Lives Team.


Wednesday - September 02, 2015

Satellite Reign - More Reviews

by Myrthos, 23:13

Here are two more reviews, that were spotted by Eye.

GamingTrend, 8.5:

If there is one thing that surprised me quite a bit, it’s the sheer magnitude of this Satellite Reign. The massive downtown area is just one of the four major hubs, with a fifth smaller area hanging in the wings. The massive play space is filled with subtle nods to other games, both new and old. For example, Hertzog and Zwei Streets intersect, referencing an early Sega RTS that predated genre-defining Dune II by three years. You’ll also see clear influences from Blade Runner, The Matrix, Neuromancer, and other cyberpunk games and media. Each area feels different as well – I just wish the citizens were more than mobile clone meat.

GameRevolution, 4.5/5

If you remember the original Syndicate games, then I should imagine that purchasing Satellite Reign would be a no-brainer, but even for newcomers to the series such as myself, this is a highly recommended purchase. Through its wonderfully dynamic gameplay which mixes methodical forward-planning with glorious, chaotic scrambles out of dodge, Satellite Reign has taught me that being a perfectionist is actually dull—the real fun begins when you make a mistake.

Satellite Reign - Guide to Mayhem and Corporate Violence

by Silver, 03:02

PC Invasion has a guide for people who are struggling with Satellite Reign or who want to be more effective. Read the guide here.

A sample:

For anybody who wishes Satellite Reign had a pause function, Team Stims are also a must. They effectively become your pause key, allowing you to think for a while about your moves and positioning. Very helpful for those who want to take all four agents into combat on a regular basis.

If you're not so bothered about having a pseudo-pause, Field Medic is a solid investment. Another (mostly) passive ability, this one improves squad health, makes health recharge a little quicker and makes any med-kits you have work better. You can also activate nano-bots for some energy-based healing.


Tuesday - September 01, 2015

Satellite Reign - Review @ MDK20

by Hiddenx, 09:34

Watcher Blagoj spotted a Satellite Reign review at MD20:

As is to be expected, cyberpunk cities come packed with top-tier technology. Huge neon billboards shine over grand skyscrapers, towering over the rain-soaked and neglected slums down below. The silent moans of the oppressed are silenced by the distant sounds of futuristic vehicles, hitting from all directions.

In Satellite Reign, every installation, whether above or underground, is under the strict regime and control of the corporate police, led by the mega-corporations. It is under this heavy thumb the general populace is surviving, silently getting through each day, following the corporate rules – not because they want to, but because it is the most beneficial way to get by. Your role is to guide four agents through this neon-lit city, using all the tools at your disposal, to shoot, sneak, steal or sabotage your way up the corporate ladder and wrench control of the biggest monopoly.


This game is fully committed to its combat system, tactics, strategy and all the different avenues by which you can approach and achieve your objectives. The large repertoire of tools with which you can react to every challenge and the optimized mechanics with which you do it, as well as the design of the world, make Satellite Reign a far more enjoyable and fun affair than the original Syndicate of the distant 1993, and a worthy successor, but yet with dozens of similarities and same premise.


Sunday - August 30, 2015

Satellite Reign - Review @ Trusted Reviews

by Hiddenx, 12:17

Daniel Griliopoulos (Trusted Reviews) has reviewed the recently released tactical squad game Satellite Reign:

Back in 1993, Bullfrog made a ground-breaking cyberpunk tactical combat game called Syndicate. Its 1996 sequel, Syndicate Wars, was one of gaming’s lost Ur-genres, an even darker game about religion in a fully-destructible cityscape. Both were perfect recreations of grim cyberpunk worlds that you had to take over with your gang of cyborgs, by stealth, hacking or straightforward ultraviolence.

Satellite Reign (named punningly after Satellite Rain, the most indiscriminately-destructive of Syndicate Wars’ weapons) is a spiritual sequel to those games. You take control of a corporation seeking to muscle in another corp that’s dominating your city, using a group of four specialised cyborgs.

Despite the wealth of text in the game (or perhaps because of it), we're somewhat hazy on what the actual storyline is. It appears that the Dracogenics corporation has taken over everything, using a technology that makes people functionally immortal, and you’re a rival corporation trying to break their monopoly – for your own dark purposes rather than human happiness, of course. [...]


  • Great cyberpunk city to explore
  • Welcome revival of a dead genre
  • Deep, difficult and rewarding


  • Combat is loose, combat AI buggy
  • Support agent’s view mode damages atmosphere
  • Story is backgrounded compared to the combat


These quibbles aside, Satellite Reign has infiltrated our hearts. It’s a handsome tribute to a much-loved game series that also functions as a unique RPG and a tactical combat game. As a revival, it takes its place alongside Shadowrun: Dragonfall and Pillars of Eternity with pride; as a tactical combat game, it runs a close second to XCOM.

Score: 8/10

Saturday - August 29, 2015

Satellite Reign - Launched With a Discount

by Myrthos, 22:25

Satelite Reign was released yesterday with a 20% discount on Steam and GOG.


Wednesday - August 26, 2015

Satellite Reign - Reviews

by Myrthos, 23:20

Here are a few reviews for Satelite Reign.

PC Gamer, 8

These are issues that haunt every moment of play, but otherwise, Satellite Reign is one of the most enjoyable small-squad strategy games I’ve played in a long time. I love how it blends tactical combat with an open-world structure and Deus Ex-inspired freedom. Creeping through a heavily defended enemy base unseen is a thrill, and if things go awry, there are lots of combat options to experiment with. Messing up is never a bad thing, because adapting and surviving is so much fun. Then you slip back into the darkness of those rain-lashed streets until the heat dies down, and you search the map for the next bank, military facility, or police station to hit.

Kotaku, A Yes

A lot has changed since Syndicate was released, and I’m glad Satellite Reign’s designers had the sense to change with the times. Cyberpunk cityscapes and cyborg agents were all well and good in 1993, but 2015 needed something a little slower and a little smarter.

Mouse N Joypad, 8.1

Satellite Reign is one of the best RTS titles I have ever played. Although there were some slightly annoying errors and glitches present, it hadn't affected my experience enough to seriously hinder gameplay or the game's brilliant atmosphere. The open world, rain, neon city, multiple ways of infiltration, variety of skill trees and load outs, and let's not forget the killer soundtrack makes Satellite Reign a must play for every hardcore gamer.

Starburst, 9

All in all 5 Lives have done a superb job and set a template for how you should approach updating a classic. The love for the title is clear to see and the team should pat themselves on the back for a job well done. If you liked Syndicate or Syndicate Wars, this is a must for you - and if you didn't, well it's time to join the future.

VGU, 3/5

In most games which require a lot of stealth, being in complete control of your character is absolutely paramount when one wrong move can mean you effectively fail the mission. So, imagine the absolute frustration when you have to control 4 characters in real time who often don’t go the way you commanded and stumble into a guard patrol and get gunned down in a matter of seconds, booting you back to the start of the Compound. Combine that with the lack of an ability to save in a Compound and that even if you do save, loading that save back up teleports you back to the nearest Relay Beacon rather than having you appear exactly where you saved and you have a recipe for computers flying out windows. Now, this could be easily fixed if combat was turn-based like XCOM or Shadowrun, meaning that even if you did fluff a movement command, it didn’t mean instant death or if there was a live pause feature like in Dragon Age, where you could pause action and issue attack or movement commands to be enacted when you unpause. These would go a hell of a long way to reduce the frustration of Satellite Reign’s combat but at the moment, it never feels like you are ever really in control while playing.


Monday - August 24, 2015

Satellite Reign - Review @ High-Def Digest

by Hiddenx, 07:46

High-Def Digest highly recommends the spiritual successor to the old Syndicate series: Satelite Reign.

The Game Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

'Satellite Reign' is not the kind of game that holds your hand. After a brief tutorial I was dumped into the city with a trio of eager agents, with only a "good luck" and a "here’s your fourth agent, by the way she’s in a heavily guarded police compound" mission to my name. This made me very happy. It is not a theme park like most open world games turn out to be, where a chipper tour guide would slowly escort me about the various mechanics for hours, withholding the good stuff until halfway through the campaign. It is a sandbox, where the city lives on its own terms, gradually adapting to my presence as I hack into ATMs, infiltrate merc barracks, and bribe dirty cops for information.

In this city, as in any just about cyberpunk story, megacorps have taken over the governing role from the state and mixed in their own special brand of fascism, information control, and terror. It’s the future, so there are many future things like cybernetic implants, laser guns, and outlandish hairstyles. The game takes a laissez-faire approach to both exposition and morality. I am free to explore the city, steal things, and kill people, so long as I am able to fight off or escape from the responding security forces. The game does not penalize me for doing bad things, nor does it necessarily reward me for doing good things. I am rewarded for serving my own purposes, which I just kind of make up as I go along. My agents aren’t running the March of Dimes, after all - we’re trying to build a criminal empire. [...]

Final Thoughts:

'Satellite Reign' truly embodies the phrase "spiritual successor". It is very much a modern adaptation of an older title. That is not to say that it is without innovation or not a good game - far from it. 'Satellite Reign' takes the best parts of its source material and expands upon them with modern tech, creating an intoxicating, thickly cyberpunk strategy experience. The degree of freedom available invokes that special kind of PC game that is all-too infrequent these days.

Score: 4/5

Thursday - August 20, 2015

Satellite Reign - Launch Trailer

by Hiddenx, 08:34

Satellite Reign will be released on August 28 - here's the lauch trailer:


Greetings Agents,

As some of you may already be aware, Satellite Reign is now less than two weeks from leaving Early Access, taking it into full release. Creating this title has been an amazing, unforgettable experience for us, and we owe it all to our backers. Watching the release date draw nearer is both exciting and nerve-racking, but we’re optimistic that people will enjoy what we’ve created.

We’d now like to present to you the Satellite Reign Launch Trailer!

Tuesday - July 21, 2015

Satellite Reign - Release Date: August 28

by Hiddenx, 07:59

Satellite Reign is now content complete and will be released on August 28 this year.

The latest update:

Update to version 0.8 – Beta!

We’re pleased to announce that Satellite Reign has now reached its content-complete milestone, meaning the entirety of the game is now available to play, from start to finish. From here, our focus is entirely on fixing bugs and improving performance.

So, what’s been added to this release?

Dracogenics Tower Unlocked

The Gates have been opened to the final section of the city—Dracogenics Tower. At the northern end of the CBD, Dracogenics Tower is the corporation’s world headquarters, and the office of the CEO, Steven Dengler. If you ever want to take control of Dracogenics’ Monopoly on their sought-after Res-Tech network, you’ll have to climb the tower and say ‘hi’ in person—but don’t expect a warm welcome. This encounter will be the most challenging portion of the entire game, so don’t go up unprepared!

Tag Gets a Voice

Until now, Tag has just been some text on a screen, but now she’ll deliver key mission information over voice-comms. In addition to the intro and outro sequences, Tag delivers updates on the ultimate mission objective as you progress through the city.

Opening Sequence

Rather than just dumping you into the world oblivious, we now have a suitably cyberpunk introduction sequence upon starting a new game. However, if you’re anything like our lead coder Mike, and you hate story, feel free to hit the skip button.

Leaving Early Access

Entering beta is a huge milestone, but not as big as getting the game ready for the masses, and leaving Early Access. We’re announcing today that we will be entering full release on the 28th of August 2015. We’ll have a full launch trailer ready to go out before then, but in the meantime, here’s a little teaser trailer we’ve put together.

Of course, leaving Early Access is by no means a finish-line. Satellite Reign is hugely important to our little studio, and we’ll be continuing to support the game as long as necessary post-release, while also investigating new content and features we would like to add.

Thanks very much for all of your help and support over the past 7 months we’ve been on Early Access, and a huge thanks to those of you who had enough faith to back us on Kickstarter almost 2 years ago! We’re almost there now, so keep leaving your thoughts on the forums, and sending those bugs through!

5 Lives Team.

Thursday - May 14, 2015

Satellite Reign - Alpha 0.6 and New District Added

by Aubrielle, 06:19

This landmark update has moved Satellite Reign from Unity 4 to Unity 5 and added the brand new Grid District.  The game is starting to look nice.

We've finally reached our internal alpha milestone. This means all of the game's features are implemented and functional. Additionally, we've unlocked the next district for you to explore! It's time to head into The Grid, home of The Eternals faction.

With this update, we've also transitioned to the latest version of Unity - Unity 5. We weren't originally intending to move over to Unity 5, especially not so late into development, but Unity 5 had features which ended up being essential for being able to handle the scale of Satellite Reign's city.

Please note that this is a Windows-only release. Sit tight, a couple of small Mac/Linux issues need to be ironed out, and then they will be updated shortly.

There are countless changes in this build, but some of the more substantial changes are listed below:

The Grid District
The Grid is the home of The Eternals, an organisation fixated on moving humanity forward through body augmentation, replacing their mortal flesh with machines.

The Grid is clean, wealthy and futuristic, setting itself apart from the rest of the city.

UI Improvements
Lots of improvements have made their way into the UI system.
  • Agents now have unique portraits.
  • New Agent clone screen.
  • Front-end menus.
  • Mission debriefs.

Unity 5
We now have access to the latest and greatest Unity has to offer. This brings the latest version of PhysX for improved physics performance, much improved profiling tools (to help Mike more efficiently squash bugs and performance hogs), improved CPU usage, and much more.

Lots of these new features won't be immediately visible, but they will help us deliver a higher quality final version of Satellite Reign.

New Abilities and Items
We've added new abilities and items, as well as improved those which were already existing.

You can now outfit your agents with drones, smoke grenades, sound-dampening grenades, shield boosters, and more.

There are also new tactical opportunities with stealth-kills. Get up close behind unsuspecting enemies, and get a headshot for an instant kill. Please note that while this feature is working, it will be undergoing some design iterations soon to improve usability.

Balancing Changes
This version includes balancing changes to almost all aspects of the game, including money, experience, health, armour, and more. There's still much more balancing to go, but it is closer to what you can expect to see in the final release.

More information.

Thursday - April 23, 2015

Satellite Reign - Preview @ Continue-Play

by Couchpotato, 05:53

I found another preview for 5 Live Studios Syndicate inspired game Satellite Reign on a site called Continue-Play. Just remember the game is only available on Early Access.

My main bugbear at the moment is the UI, which currently feels a bit unwieldy, with icons being far too small and text being difficult to make out without sticking your face close to the screen. After one prolonged session I found myself suffering from a rather unpleasant case of eye strain, and the problem only gets worse as you increase the resolution, suggesting that proper UI scaling is yet to be implemented. The UI has evolved a few times since the early Backers’ version of the game, and it’s clear that Diskett and his team are still trying to nail down the best interface.

Of course there are the usual bugs, placeholders and crashes. Satellite Reign is a lot more stable than it once was, but as with any game at this stage of the development process, you can expect plenty of technical issues. The launcher sometimes stops responding, and while gameplay is seamless once you’re in the city, the initial loading time could do with a bit of optimization. Put up with the normal foibles associated with playing a game that’s still in active development though, and there’s a lot of fun to be had simply trying out new approaches and navigating the city.

5 Lives clearly wanted to nail the basics of gameplay before optimizing the core tech underpinning everything, and with the team currently transitioning the game to Unity Engine 5, I have my fingers crossed that the final game will be polished, satisfying and suitably expansive.

Tuesday - April 14, 2015

Satellite Reign - Preview @ Grabit Magazine

by Couchpotato, 04:24

Grabit Magazine has a new preview of the Early Access version of Satellite Reign.

Even at this early stage, dare I say that Satellite Reign is the spiritual successor to Syndicate Wars we’ve been patiently waiting for all those years. There’s still a fair bit of work to go into the game but 5 Lives is responding promptly and with open ears to the feedback from Steam Early Access users. 

Sunday - March 29, 2015

Satellite Reign - Early Access Preview @ IGC

by Couchpotato, 05:11

Invision Game Community published a new preview of the Steam Early Access build of Satellite Reign, and concluded the game has a very bright future.


Satellite Reign has a bright future ahead of it and I feel they can only improve on what they currently have, adding more regions, more quests and possibly some more customisation of characters. Being Early Access, and I mean very early, Satellite suffers from several optimisation problems and bugs that will make you unable to play due to laughter, one recurring bug is when characters fly into the air when they aim, getting the best angle possible I would think. Beyond the going above and beyond the call of duty bugs the overall game plays nicely, and glitches are only every other hour or so and don’t deter much from the overall experience.

Friday - March 20, 2015

Satellite Reign - Video Preview @ Saving Content

by Couchpotato, 03:58

Saving Content posted a new three minute video preview of Satellite Reign.


Scott enters the cyberpunk world of Satellite Reign while on Steam Early Access, and is pleasantly surprised with what he finds.

Thursday - March 19, 2015

Satellite Reign - Backer Kit Survey News

by Couchpotato, 03:18

Developer 5 Lives new update for Satellite Reign talks about a backer survey.

Greetings Agents,

Thanks for being so patient! We’ve finally got our backer survey together to start organizing rewards. By now you should have received an email from Backerkit with a link to the survey. This will allow you to give us necessary shipping information, and you will also be able to select any previously paid-for add-ons, and even getting some extras!

Each backer will receive an email with their own unique invite link. It is important that when you receive the survey, you get it back to us as quickly as you can. Our ability to make an order depends on receiving this information. You do not need to make a login and password to fill out your survey, just fill it out and you’re all good to go! If you use your Facebook login for your Kickstarter account, the BackerKit invite will be sent to the email you used for your Facebook account.

If you have another email you prefer it to be sent to, please email Thanks again for making Satellite Reign a reality!

Wednesday - March 11, 2015

Satellite Reign - New Video Preview

by Couchpotato, 02:01

Robert Cram of Gram Gaming released a new twenty five minute video showing off the new updates that 5 Lives Studios released this week for Satellite Reign.


Sunday - March 08, 2015

Satellite Reign - Version 0.4 Released

by Couchpotato, 03:59

It has been a month since an update for Satellite Reign was released, but developer 5 Lives has just updated the beta to version 0.4 this week. Here are the patch details.

New District Released! Update to Version 0.4

Industrial District

Introducing the Industrial District! This is primarily the turf of the Uzy Korporatsiya, or Uzy Korp, a Russian-based organisation. They control the city’s imports, exports, and are big on armour manufacturing, so you’ll want to keep your plasma weapons handy.

New Factions

New corporations now patrol the streets and compounds of the city. The previously mentioned Uzy Korp are located throughout the Industrial District, as well as in the compounds operated by their subsidiaries in Downtown, such as Ronin Industries.

The Eternals make their first appearance as well. A corporation born from a religious movement, they own and operate the City Surveillance Authority, and can be found patrolling their respective compounds.

New User Interface

While it’s still very much a work in progress, you’re going to see some big improvements in the UI, both visually and functionally. The in-game HUD is being revamped, and the menus have been overhauled as well. There’s still more to go, but it’s already looking great!

Streaming System

With the introduction of a new district, and wanting to have a full city without any loading screens, we’ve now got a system to stream the world into memory dynamically. Again, it’s still a work in progress, but it has come with some nice benefits, including reduced GPU memory usage.

New Civilian System

You’ll likely notice more people wandering around the city now. This is thanks to a completely new approach to populating the city. Previously, there were lots of people in memory, but they were often outside of the actual gameplay area. Now, there are people to be found all over!

New Tactical Opportunities

You’ll now have new tools at your disposal to break your way into the various compounds throughout the city. The Hardwire ability allows for more of a brute-force approach to getting through security.

Ventilation systems can also now be exploited by your agents as a new way to sneak around. But, make sure you’ve evacuated any noxious fumes they might be funnelling.

Updates to OpenGL mode

Various bugs in OpenGL mode have been fixed, which should hopefully make things easier on our Mac and Linux users. As always, let us know if you come across anything that looks a bit funny.

Thursday - February 05, 2015

Satellite Reign - Patch 0.2.11 Released

by Couchpotato, 04:16

5 Lives Studios released patch 0.2.11 for Satellite Reign on Steam this week.

We've got lots of new fixes and changes for Satellite Reign. The update is now live for Windows. Mac OS and Linux builds are now available.

Please note: There have been changes to the way missions progress is recorded, so some saves may list certain missions as being incomplete. This will not affect your previously-awarded weapons, gear or agent progression. You will be able to repeat the missions and attain extra loot though!

Sunday - February 01, 2015

Satellite Reign - How Did They Make That

by Couchpotato, 03:10

Rock, Paper, Shotgun published another one of their weirdly named articles this week with some of the staff at 5 Lives Studios, and talk about how they developed Satellite Reign.

In this irregular column, Marsh Davies stumbles across an impressive effect or neat bit of trickery and asks, “How did they do that?” his eyes brimming with tears of admiration and wonder. Then one of the developers tells him, hopefully using terms that don’t cause the soft mass of his brain to boil out of his ears.

Thursday - January 29, 2015

Satellite Reign - Patch 0.2.10 Released

by Couchpotato, 04:31

5 Lives Studios released patch 0.2.10 for Satellite Reign on Steam last week. I usually try top keep up with the news, but sometimes fall behind. Here are the changes.

We've got a new update for Satellite Reign available.

This update does include some significant changes to the Save/Load system. We’ve tried to make sure it is still backwards compatible with old saves, and it seems to be working in our testing. When an old save is detected, it will be slightly modified to work with the new system, which will update the timestamp on the file. If you have troubles with old saves, please send us your save file so we can identify the cause.

Also, we are aware of the heavy slowdown when loading. It will last for a few seconds while various things in the world are generated, and then return to normal.

Saturday - January 24, 2015

Satellite Reign - First Impressions @ Space Sector

by Couchpotato, 05:21

Keith Turner of Space Sector is the next person this month that I found that shares his opinion of Satellite Reign based on the games early Beta on Steam Early Access.

My first impressions of Satellite Reign are that it has left me wanting for more, but willing to wait. It’s got a great concept and setting for cyberpunk fans, and the beginnings of an interesting weapon/augmentation/skill system. When the game works, it works well. It’s at its absolute best when I am watching for patrols, hacking open doors, shooting out cameras, and positioning agents to flank enemies I’ve alerted to my position.

It’s also a pre-alpha with bugs everywhere, framerate issues, samey feeling missions, very small hard to read text, and unresponsive controls. While the game feels broad in its reach at this point, it feels shallow in its implementation. The framework of a lot of the features are in, and it looks great, but it is going to take time to fill everything in. As it stands now, there’s only a few hours of content in the game. I’m very interested to see how this one turns out once they’ve had a chance to finish implementing all they’ve got planned.

Saturday - January 17, 2015

Satellite Reign - Preview @ Capsule Computers

by Couchpotato, 03:44

Capsule Computers has a new preview of Satellite Reign, and they also had an interview form earlier this with the developers. So here the link if you missed it.

Overall, this is an unpolished gem which I quite enjoyed playing through despite its many bugs and glitches. I look forward to seeing all the new features being implemented as the game develops. I will especially be looking forward to seeing more of the city unlocked and will definitely be keeping an eye on the game as it develops.

Friday - January 16, 2015

Satellite Reign - Early Review @ PC GamesN

by Couchpotato, 04:36

I found another Early Access review this week from PC GamesN who posted their thought on the game, and came to the conclusion you should wait to play the game.

As if we didn't know that already as the game is still in the Alph stage.

It’s Syndicate. Not the actual Syndicate, mind, but the one that exists in the memories of those who played it over 20 years ago. And that’s a real treat. But if you’ve waited this long for it, you can probably wait just a wee while longer

Tuesday - January 13, 2015

Satellite Reign - Interview @ Capsule Computers

by Couchpotato, 04:29

Mateja Simovic of Capsule Computers had the chance to interview Chris Conte & Dean Ferguson of 5 Live Games, ask a few questions about Satellite Reign.

What has the experience been like with developing the game through a crowdfunding model in comparison to a publisher-funded model?

It has been overwhelmingly positive to be honest, we have a direct line to the end user which is priceless in our industry.  It has also been very humbling to have so many people share our belief in what we are doing. Probably the biggest difference is just the freedom to take risks and explore things we would never have done if a publisher had veto power.

The end goal Satellite Reign is to take control of the city for your own nefarious purposes (or so my fixer tells me). To that end, how would the game-play transition from you ‘stickin’ it to the man’ in the early game to ‘being the man’ in the end game?

Your goal isn’t to take control of the city bit by bit, but rather to work your way through the city, building up your team to strike at the heart of the oppressive company, which has a stranglehold on the city. You start with a small team and limited resources, but through stealing, bribing and violent means, you can take your team from lowly cloned agents, into the heavily augmented, fully equipped, battle hardened killing machines you will need to make the final push into the Dracogenics headquarters and gain control of their satellite network.

Monday - January 12, 2015

Satellite Reign - Minor Update Released

by Couchpotato, 04:33

5 Lives Studios released a minor update for Satellite Reign to add the Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package. Here are the details from the Steam post.

Some people have noticed a small update came through for Satellite Reign today. While we didn't upload a new build just yet, we did update the Steam requirements to include the Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package.

While the game will still load and run without this package, doing so will result in severe performance issues. Now that it's included, it should install the next time you run the game if it wasn't already present on your PC. This may help performance for some players.

Thanks everyone, we'll have a new update for you shortly! Chris and Mike have been working tirelessly on bug fixes and new features!

Sunday - January 11, 2015

Satellite Reign - Early Impression @ IncGamers

by Couchpotato, 01:44

Peter Parrish of IncGamers played the Early Access version of Satellite Reign, and decided to share his impression of the game with everyone, Here is a small snippet.

To expect Satellite Reign to have the same impact on me as those first moments with Syndicate back in the 90s would be absurdly unrealistic. This is a different time, under entirely different circumstances, and the game is, as advertised, in rather early stages of development.

If that sounds like enough to be going on with, and you’re prepared to wait a fair while, Satellite Reign should only improve and expand over time. The game plays heavily to gloomy, dystopian future imagery, but the outcome forecast by this pre-Alpha build looks brighter than the rain-soaked streets would suggest. Just be aware that buying in to any Early Access title in these initial stages always carries an implicit risk.

Saturday - January 03, 2015

Satellite Reign - Preview @ Entertainment Buddha

by Couchpotato, 02:57
Nick Horry of Entertainment Buddha posted his impression of Satellite Reign.
Satellite Reign looks incredibly promising, and will no doubt attract the attention of a lot of players due to its various gameplay elements and rich setting. With the game being so early in development, I definitely will be taking another look at it in the future. At this stage, however, I can only hope that the game lives up to expectations, as I can imagine there’s a fair few gamers out there that are hungry for a game like this.

Wednesday - December 31, 2014

Satellite Reign - Patch Released

by Couchpotato, 05:38

5 Lives Studios released a new patch for Satellite Reign on Steam. I haven't had a chance to play the Early Access build, but I have read a few postie previews.

A new update is out just in time for the holidays!

  • Cars now explode in an appropriate fashion. Use this to clear out traffic jams until the traffic system is less broken!
  • Further fixes to save and load (saves from previous version should still work).
  • Minimap is now resizable.
  • Added ability to rebind keys. Press the ; (semicolon) key to bring up key-binding menu.
  • Updates to environment dressing.
  • Improved agent responsiveness to sprinting and entering/leaving cover.
  • Added more tooltips to various UI elements.
  • A special present from Lead Designer Chris at the bottom of the options menu.

Happy holidays to all of our players, and also happy birthday to Yasmin, our QA and customer service rep!

Friday - December 19, 2014

Satellite Reign - Impression @ RPS

by Couchpotato, 05:03

Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Alec Meer posted his thoughts on the Early Access version of Satellite Reign that was released this month, and his opinion is very positive.

There are ripples of possibility from every attempted incursion, and right now I’m enjoying watching them spread. The game is in a rickety state right now, no doubt about that, but nothing like enough to destroy what’s working so very well here.

The big question is how this will all play out on a wider, and longer-lasting stage. Car stuff is super-buggy at present, augmentations and weapon upgrades aren’t in there yet, so there’s no way to tell how bigger stuff will affect the delicate balance of combat, and right now missions (selected in an order of your choice from a rudimentary and placeholder menu) don’t entail anything more than getting inside somewhere. The fun is how you get inside, of course, but I suspect it’s going to need a better pay-off if it’s to be done regularly.

There’s a long way to go for sure, and don’t anticipate spending more than a few hours with the current build, but it’s that rare and precious Early Access thing – a game that gets its fundamentals right, right out of the gate, and I’m actively keen to watch it grow, rather than being frustrated by everything that isn’t there.

Most of all, this: Satellite Reign is on course to be the Syndicate we need, not simply the Syndicate we wanted. Please don’t let anything go wrong.

Thursday - December 11, 2014

Satellite Reign - Coming to Steam Today

by Aubrielle, 13:21

For those of us who weren't early backers, Satellite Reign is coming to Steam Early Access today.

More information.

Wednesday - December 03, 2014

Satellite Reign - A Closer Look

by Myrthos, 19:51

On her own blog Aubrielle explores the information available of the cyberpunk strategy RPG Satellite Reign, which is coming to Early Access on the 11th of December.

For example, you won’t be able to have 2 Soldiers and 2 Hackers to make up the team, this doesn’t mean you can’t bias the entire team towards a specific play style you prefer, it just means each agent will have unique skills and ways of achieving goals in your chosen style.

Hmm…sounds pretty stiff and linear.  I am wondering how we’ll pull off any real flexibility with a pre-chosen team.  It seems like they’d want to give the players as much openness as possible, let them screw up if they wanted to take four soldiers or four hackers, let them run into impossible cyber-obstacles or let them get killed a few times, make them learn hard lessons.  But I guess we’ll see how this translates in terms of gameplay.  Maybe it will end up working out.  The devs still insist we’ll have plenty of choice in how or even if we want to go into a fight.

Saturday - November 15, 2014

Satellite Reign - Early Access Trailer

by Couchpotato, 05:37

5 Lives Studios has posted a new Early Access Trailer for Satellite Reign.

Satellite Reign is a real-time action-strategy game set in a dystopian cyberpunk world. It is launching on Steam Early Access in December 2014.

Tuesday - November 11, 2014

Satellite Reign - Development Diary #11

by Couchpotato, 01:56

5 Lives Studios has posted the eleventh Development Diary for Satellite Reign.

The whole team is back in the office after heading down to Melbourne for PAX Aus 2014. What a weekend! While it was exhausting, we met so many awesome people, and it was great to finally meet a heap of our backers, face to face, and just chat about Satellite Reign.

A whole lot of people came by our booth to give the game a whirl, and not only was it nice to hear people’s thoughts, but it was incredibly helpful to see how different people played. Having fresh-eyes on the game has helped the designers make better-informed decisions moving forward.

Speaking of moving forward, we’re currently doing some optimisations to get the next build of the game out, bringing our beta-level backers into the fold. That’s everyone on the ASSASSIN £29/$45 tier and higher. We’re hoping to get it into people’s hands next week. Stay tuned!

To all of our high-level backers at the Director tier and higher (£640/$1000 and higher), Dean sent an email out to you all last week regarding getting your likeness into the game. If you didn’t see the email, please check your spam folder. If it still isn’t there, let us know ASAP. There is a deadline for this in order to fit into our schedule.

Watch this space, we’ll have more info regarding the beta-backer access very soon, as well as some more information on our Steam Early Access release in December, which will be available to all backers!

Wednesday - October 15, 2014

Satellite Reign - Hands-On @ RPS

by Couchpotato, 04:42

Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Jim Rossignol posted his thoughts on the Alpha version of Satellite Reign that was released to certain backers of the game.

All this leads me to that anxiety: there’s so much that could go wrong. There are serious limitations that the tech faces with the amount of stuff the game is throwing into this huge city, including the all-important crowds on the street. Then there’s the overall flow and balance of the game. It’s a precarious piece of design that will demand serious balancing care to be the game it needs to be. I’m not saying it’s likely to go wrong… just that it looks and feels fantastic so early, that it must now NOT GO WRONG. Do you understand?

Ultimately, of course, this is just an early build. I can’t call it a Kickstarter success story just yet, but just maybe… Yeah. AI behaviour is way off being what you’d want to play a full game with, and lots of the systems – like persuasion of citizens – remain to be implemented. It is the first iteration of what will doubtless still be a long and murky road. That it shines so brightly now, however, is a reason to be genuinely excited.

Wednesday - October 01, 2014

Satellite Reign - Pre-Alpha Gameplay Demo

by Couchpotato, 08:58

5 Lives released a new Pre-Alpha gameplay video for Satellite Reign. Thank you tomasp3n for sending me the link, and the rest of you enjoy the ten minute video.

We’ve got a special treat for you today. As we mentioned in our last update, alpha-level backers will be getting a build of Satellite Reign very soon. But, we can’t let them keep ALL of the excitement to themselves! Chris and his beard have worked together to bring you a narrated gameplay demo of the beginning of the pre-alpha build about to be released.

All of the usual pre-alpha disclaimers apply: nothing in the video is final, performance optimisations are ongoing, and so on. Interested? Take a look!

We’ve still got plenty of work to go until Satellite Reign is complete. There are more simulation systems to make, more characters to build, more environments to design and fill with art, more animations to make, and lots of balancing to do, but we’re pleased to say that thus far, things are on-track.

Monday - September 29, 2014

Satellite Reign - Development Diary #10

by Couchpotato, 06:02

5 Lives Studios has posted the tenth Development Diary for Satellite Reign. The update has news on the games Schedule, User Interface, and much more.

Dev Diary #10

We’ve been slogging away at Satellite Reign for over a year now, and we’re happy to announce that backers who pledged for Alpha access will be getting their hands on the game early next month!

Strictly speaking, Satellite Reign isn’t actually in alpha yet, so what you’ll be getting your hands on is a pre-alpha version two months ahead of the game hitting Steam early access. It will have a handy dandy in game button for submitting bugs, so you will all be able to help QA the game, there’s also some integrated analytics (disableable) to help us balance gameplay, and smooth out difficulty bumps.

So, what can you expect to see in this first-access build? You’ll be able to explore the first of the four main districts of the game, with all four agent classes. You’ll be able to sneak or fight your way into any of the compounds, and get a feel for the direction we’re heading. Again, this will be pre-alpha, so it’ll be buggy, and lacking some optimisation work, but there’s more than enough to keep the alpha access backers happy.


Here’s a brief overview of what our (very busy) timeline is like for the rest of the year. PAX Aus is just over a month away, and we’re getting things sorted to show Satellite Reign to anyone who walks past the 5 Lives booth! We’re planning to have two PCs set up, which will be running an updated build of what our alpha-level backers have been playing. We’ll be releasing this build to our alpha and beta-level backers shortly after we return from PAX. Then, we’ll be stuck into getting our Steam Early Access build ready for a December release. Steam Early Access will be available to everyone who backed us for a copy of the game.

Website and Forums

As some of you may have noticed, our website and forum was a bit broken when the last update went out. Between WordPress bugs and our web-developer being away, it took longer than anticipated to fix, but it’s all up and running again now. Please let us know if you continue to have issues.

Pre-Orders on the Humble Store

Satellite Reign is now available for pre-order on the Humble Store! From now until launch, it will be 10% off the final retail price, and will include access to the public release on Steam Early Access.

Thursday - September 04, 2014

Satellite Reign - Development Diary #9

by Couchpotato, 05:20

5 Lives Studios has posted the next Development Diary for Satellite Reign. I know it's from a month ago, but I missed the update. So sorry about the late post.

Dev Diary #09

Greetings Agents,

We’re currently working towards getting together our first playable build for our alpha backers. Lots and lots and lots (and lots) of bugs need to be squished, but things are steadily moving forward.


As some of you may have noticed, pledging has now officially closed, marking 12 months since our Kickstarter was officially funded. In place of pledging, we’ll soon have Satellite Reign available to pre-order.

We’ll post an update when pre-orders are available, but we can announce that the Humble Store will be handling deployment of the game for backers of Satellite Reign. Through the Humble Store, you will be able to download a DRM-free copy of the game directly or redeem a Steam key.


It seems our ugly mugs have been plastered over screens worldwide lately. First up, local Australian TV program Good Game aired a story on 5 Lives Studios and Satellite Reign. The majority of the footage was filmed late last year, but there are a few snippets of newer footage within the story below.

Wednesday - July 02, 2014

Satellite Reign - Development Diary #8

by Couchpotato, 04:44

5 Lives Studios has finally posted the next Development Diary for Satellite Reign. It's a meaty update so I can't share the entire update so here is a brief part of it.

Dev Diary #08

Greetings Agents,

We know there have been rumblings on the forums of our lack of communication, so we’d like to start by apologising for that. We’ve been so heads-down, stuck into development, and managing our new members of the team, that we’ve neglected out duties in keeping you all informed. We’ll be making an effort to keep on top of that in future.


This week marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of our Kickstarter campaign! Work on the actual game didn’t start until late August, but we felt it was an important milestone to acknowledge. With that in mind, we’ve decided to close pledging for the game in one month, exactly one year after our Kickstarter project was successfully concluded. So on July 29th we’ll be closing pledging and moving to a pre-order system. So now is your last chance to up your pledges and receive rewards. Once we’ve closed pledging, we’ll start organising the surveys to send out to backers.

Release Plans

So what are our plans for getting the game to you, you ask? We’re aiming for a Steam Early Access release by the end of the year, which will be preceded by the Alpha and Beta releases. Both Alpha and Beta releases will be available DRM free for backers who pledged at their respective tiers. We’ll keep you all informed when we have more exact dates for those releases.

We’re aiming to get the Alpha and Beta releases to you in an earlier state than what you might expect from a normal Alpha or Beta release. We want to get the game in your hands as early as possible so we can start getting feedback to help development. This will allow us time to react and tweak the game based on your feedback. We don’t expect it to be perfect straight out the gate, so your help will be invaluable to us in balancing and improving the game.

Development Update

So what HAVE we been doing you ask? For starters, we’ve had our technical artist extraordinaire Bruno Rime working on all manner of post-effects, shaders and weapon effects. Here’s a peak at some of the effects below as well as a selection of our weapon models by Chris Vera.

Saturday - May 17, 2014

Satellite Reign - Development Diary #7

by Couchpotato, 00:32

The seventh Development Diary for Satellite Reign has been posted by 5 Lives Studios. I t contains various information on the games combat , and other systems

Dev Diary #07 – Code Update

MikeD here, thought its time to give you an update on how the code is coming along. I will leave it to the art teams to provide flashy videos, this is going to be a text heavy blog, but you might find some interesting info in here, even if you’re not technically minded..

Chris and myself have quite a few major systems up and running. Here is a summary of a few of them.

Saturday - March 15, 2014

Satellite Reign - Developer Diary #6

by Couchpotato, 05:07

5 Lives Studios has posted the development diary for Satellite Reign. The update gives us a look at some gameplay footage for the first time.

We are really excited to give you a first glimpse of Satellite Reign today in glorious 1080p. But first the disclaimers, its very much a pre alpha build being demoed, nothing here is really final, the UI, audio, weapons and effects are 100% placeholder, in fact it’s so early we weren’t going to show any combat or civilians, but..

The video was actually meant  to demonstrate the agents coats reacting to wind from the cars zooming  by, but before we knew it we were showing crowds of civilians, CCTV cameras, cover usage, x ray camera mode and even a couple of enemies..

The video was recorded at 1920×1080 @ 60 fps on a 2nd Generation i5 PC with a Radeon 5970 using Fraps.

Saturday - February 08, 2014

Satellite Reign - Preview @ EDGE

by Couchpotato, 00:08

Edge-Online takes a look at the spiritual successor to Syndicate in this new preview.

As with everything that 5 Lives is promising with Satellite Reign, these grizzly options are, as Diskett describes it, “like Syndicate Wars, but with more depth.” But maybe the more exciting thing about games like Satellite Reign is that developers are now free to build games that can include hot-button mechanics like kidnapping and suicide bombing without fear of making a publisher blanch. It’s early days for Satellite Reign, but perhaps the same fans who were disappointed by EA’s abandonment of Syndicate classic have more to be thankful for than they realise, as if Diskett and the rest of the 5 Lives team can live up to their vision the game’s grim future, Satellite Reign could be the full, adult evolution of Syndicate they wanted in the first place.

Friday - February 07, 2014

Satellite Reign - Dev Diary #5

by Couchpotato, 00:26

5 Lives Studios has posted the next update of their development diary for Satellite Reign.

Dev Diary #05

Dev Diary #05 is now live! More concepts, chats on the forums and a new office toy! ;)  Head on over to the site and check out Dev Diary #05, or just jump straight into the backer only forums!

Saturday - December 21, 2013

Satellite Reign - Post-Funding Update #42

by Couchpotato, 03:55

Satellite Reign has a new post-funding update with the fourth developer diary.

Dev Diary #04

Greetings agents!

One last mission update before we have a little break for Christmas. In this update, we have a couple of big announcements… 

Firstly, we hit our next stretch goal!! HOORAY! 

That means we now have to fight off not only one big corporation, but three big corporations! On top of that, we now get to battle them in two new locations. AND we get Russell Zimmerman onboard to help with the writing for the game! It is a big stretch goal to hit and we are super excited about it. So, a big thank you goes out to all our backers who helped us get this far and especially those of you who have just joined us, or have upped their pledge to help get this stretch goal! 

Secondly, the backer only forums are up. This is a special little place where only backers can go to give your input and vote on the direction of the game. Just head to the forums section of the site and sign in!

Thursday - November 07, 2013

Satellite Reign - Developer Diary Video

by Couchpotato, 00:18

5 Lives Studios Mitch Clifford talks about how Satellite Reign can compete with huge animation teams on a small budget in this new video.

How to use a bunch of PlayStation cameras, several bits of wire, a flashlight and a dollop of ingenuity in place of mutli-million pound mo-cap facilities...

5 Lives Studios' Mitch Clifford explains how Kickstarter-funded Satellite Reign can compete with products with huge animation teams by using a smarter, leaner animation pipeline. It's a good watch people!

You can download the original video from here, or alternatively you can watch the video or grab embed codes from YouTube.

For further information about Satellite Reign, please contact Tim at Renegade PR.

A note about Renegade PR's involvement with Satellite Reign: we backed this Kickstarter because we loved Syndicate Wars, and we really want to see this fantastic project thrive. No Kickstarter funds have been spent employing us. We are helping get the message out in our own time and with our own resources.

Friday - October 18, 2013

Satellite Reign - Dev Diary #2

by Couchpotato, 01:04

Satellite Reign has a new post-funding update with the second update of their development diary.

Greetings Agents!

Pre-production is moving along nicely and we are creeping up on that next stretch goal! We’re nutting out the basic building blocks of the world at the moment, trying to create a solid foundation on top of which we can build the actual game. This is an incredibly important part of production, and is often cut short in many project schedules, which always causes issues further down the line. It’s great to finally have the chance to have a really solid pre-production period without having publishers breathing down our necks. We will show a bit of what we are doing in our next dev diary (it will be a much shorter wait this time), but for today, we’ve got something a little more on the technical/informative side for you all. Mitch has put together a run-down on his animation workflow for Satellite Reign. Check out the video, and if you’re still keen for a little bit more detail, there’s a write-up accompanying it too.

Animation Pipeline

Hi everyone, Mitch here, the one responsible for all things animation at 5 Lives. Something we’ve seen raised a number of times around the internet is the fact that our game is fairly ambitious for a small team, which is a fair point. Essentially, what this means is we each have to be as efficient as possible in order to achieve our goals. The five of us are currently in pre-production, figuring out our individual pipelines, which basically means we’re working out how we each go about getting our ideas out of our heads and into the game, minimising headaches further down the line. Today, I’m going to give a rundown on how I’ll be approaching the animation aspect of Satellite Reign.

Animating an entire city population is no small task, especially when your entire animation team consists of one person. So, in order to get through the amount of work in front of me, I need a method to quickly create large volumes of animation. Animation is an incredibly time-consuming task, so animation-heavy games often have reasonably large animation teams. We’re on a very limited budget, so that isn’t really an option for us. This is what made me start looking at motion capture.

Wednesday - September 11, 2013

Satellite Reign - Dev Diary #1

by Couchpotato, 01:12

Satellite Reign has a new post-funding update with the promised Dev Diary.

It has been a while since our last update, but we are all finally in our new office! Yay! We have been having conversations with lawyers and accountants over the last few weeks, as well as looking for an office for us to move into and having a little bit of a break after the Kickstarter campaign. But, we were all rested up and ready for Satellite Reign to consume us, and then all of our bodies decided it was time to revolt, and most of the team fell ill. We have managed to get the majority of us back in the office now but it resembles more of a quarantine zone with all the coughing and spluttering going on. Regardless, we push on!

What is next?

We still have a healthy “to do” list to get through before we are all working full steam on the game, but we already have the project set up in Perforce, and are starting to get the basics in so we can started on our stress tests. Over the next few weeks, we will be doing stress tests to determine the size we can make the city in terms of memory and what can actually be rendered. We will also be looking at how many characters we can get on screen, how many polys they can be, how many bones and how many materials we can use. We will also be doing up a first pass production schedule so we can make sure we are all on track.

Will I ever hear from you again?

More updates are coming! We are all moving from “set-up studio” mode and into “make awesome game” mode over the next few weeks. We won’t be able to post as many updates as we did during the Kickstarter campaign, however we will be keeping you all up to date with our Dev Diaries and we will be on the backer forums chatting to you all.

Friday - August 09, 2013

Satellite Reign - Preview @ VG 24/7

by Couchpotato, 00:44

VG 24/7 has a new preview for the funded kickstater Satellite Reign.

If you check out the Satellite Reign site you’ll see that a monumental amount of effort and skill has gone into crafting a loving continuation of the Syndicate ethos. If you’re someone who felt burned by the current-gen Starbreeze reboot and its dubstep soundtrack, then this is surely your reward for putting up with EA’s attempt to modernise a template that should have been left alone.

In closing, then, I asked Diskett for his thoughts on the Syndicate reboot and if he’s heard any feedback from his former colleagues at Bullfrog. “Lots have got back in contact with me as a result of the Kickstarter,” he concluded, “and are all really excited by it, wanting to help out too. Quite a few have backed the Kickstarter too.

“Just to be clear we don’t own any Syndicate IP and aren’t using any characters story or content from the Syndicate series. EA owns the IP and we didn’t consider even trying to talk to them , I imagine it would go something like this:  

EA: “That will be $10 million” .
5 Lives: “We have $10 “.
EA *Hangs up*.

“So as is the fashion, we are crafting a spiritual successor – a homage if you will to the Syndicate Wars game I made 15 years ago.”

Wednesday - July 31, 2013

Satellite Reign - The Road Ahead

by Couchpotato, 00:23

5 Lives Studios has a new post-funding update talking about the road ahead for Satellite Reign.

We're funded and then some! At the time of writing the combined Kickstarter and PayPal total was £474,755.50, just over £25,000 short of the fourth stretch goal, which I'm sure we will reach in the coming months via PayPal.

A huge thank you to everyone who pledged so generously and put time and effort into spreading the word and providing feedback on the forum's email and comments. We read it all, sometimes twice!

As with every Kickstarter a percentage of pledge payments will fail to process correctly. If you're one of the people affected by this, please contact Kickstarter directly to update your details. In Kickstarter's own words:

If, for whatever reason, some of your backers’  cards are declined, we send them an email every 48 hours with a link to fix the issue. Backers have 7 days to fix their pledges, whether that means fixing a few numbers on the card they entered or trying a new card altogether. You can track the status of your pledges in your Backer Report. Declined pledges will show up as “errored” and any pledge that doesn't get fixed within 7 days will become “dropped.” It’s normal for projects to have a few errored pledges.

So if you're one of the affected please take the time to fix your details. Every cent will matter towards our stretch goals and currently the "errored" pledges could take a sizeable chunk out of our final tally. (For example, we have 45 "errored" pledges on the resistor tier alone).

We plan to continue the PayPal backing option on our site indefinitely, so for those who've only just discovered us or those wanting to share the link with friends, here's the link

PayPal Pledging still available here!

Monday - July 29, 2013

Satellite Reign - Kickstarter Funded

by Couchpotato, 13:09

Satellite Reign has been funded with two stretch goals achieved thanks to the last minute rush of pledges. I also have two new videos to go along with this post.

Augmentation Visualisation

As we build different systems in the game, we will often create a mock-up visualisation of the system before we start programming and creating final art to see if the idea will work, and what things we may have overlooked. Those of you who have backed the project now have access to the backer only forums and will get to see lots more of these videos as we go through production. Today, we are showing off our first UI mock-up video to the public so everyone can get a taste of what the backers will be seeing over the next year.

Reflective Awesomeness

Bruno Rime, an old colleague of ours from Krome Studios, has allowed us to present his post effect screen space raytraced reflections system for Unity, SSRR for short. This is actually quite a big deal :) and is the culmination of several years of R&D.

It looks awesome on our desktops in 1080p, unfortunately you will have to make do with just an amazing 720p YouTube video, using in game assets and filmed live from the Unity editor.

SSRR is a post effect reflection system that integrates into a customized variation of Unity's deferred rendering pipeline. By modifying Unity's lighting algorithm to approximate physically based models, the SSRR system is able to better reproduce complex light environments and detailed surfaces. The system is comparable to the technology path taken by both the Crytek and Umbra engines.

Saturday - July 27, 2013

Satellite Reign - Interview @ Worlds Factory

by Couchpotato, 01:25

Worlds Factory interviews Mike Diskett about their recently funded kickstarter Satellite Reign.

Did you realize why there has been no Syndicate-like game in the past 15 years or so? Honestly, I didn’t play the original games (shame on me, I was a kid though), but even the basic concept of Satellite Reign sounds a lot more exciting to me than the average base-building RTS.

That’s part of the reason we came up with Satellite Reign to begin with, there really hasn’t been anything like this in 15 years. Even trying to explain it to younger gamers who never played it isn’t an easy exercise as there aren’t many recent reference points.

I love the sandbox, emergent gameplay approach to Satellite Reign. I’m wondering the extent to which the systems can be exploited by the clever player: for instance, you said that “power grids actually power the city”. Is it possible to take down a specific power grid in order to disable power in a specific sector of the city and facilitate infiltration by night?

That’s exactly the type of scenarios we want the player to uncover of their own volition. But the thing which excites us the most is seeing players come up with ways of playing the game we would never have thought of, unique solutions to problem which can only come from a true sandbox game.

The funding goal is for the single player campaign, but you acknowledged on Kickstarter that multiplayer opportunities are exciting. If you eventually add four players co-op, would each player control just one character? Also, what are your current ideas for a potential versus mode? Some user on your forums proposed Player-vs-Player Corps wars, that sounds like it could potentially awesome but I’m not sure it would be fitting to your kind of gameplay.

Each player would control one agent (or multiple agents if there was less than 4 players) as they played through the single player campaign. We’d love to do a versus mode but it would take a lot more time and subsequently more money to balance properly, we could throw in a versus mode fairly quickly if we already had the backend setup for co-op, but it’d be fairly bare bones and basic. We think there’s a lot of potential in a real fleshed out faction vs faction version of multiplayer, so we’d prefer to wait and do it properly. It’d likely be a further stretch goal past co-op if we were lucky enough to get that far, or in a sequel once the first game is successful.

Friday - July 26, 2013

Satellite Reign - Interview @ Softpedia

by Couchpotato, 02:19

Softpedia set us new of an interview they conducted with Mike Diskett, and the development team working on Satellite Reign.

Q: When did the idea that a Syndicate Wars spiritual sequel would be interesting for a modern audience first emerge?

Mike had been sitting on the idea for quite some time and had mentioned it to us quite a number of time, we were all very keen but at that stage happily employed.

The employment situation changed and we took it as a sign from the gaming gods to take a shot at going indie.

Also when EA made the fps Syndicate it became clear there was demand for a return to the original style RTS.

Q: Why choose Kickstarter and not go for a large publisher?

The quick answer is we wanted to be completely independent.

However it is also not a matter of simply emailing a publisher and getting funded, it could take months of negotiation/pitching with us having to build contacts/relationships as well as having to get work during that time...and in the end it may still not pan out for us.

Kickstarter is our phone line to God, we can pitch straight to the people who will be playing the game.

Q: Were you influenced by the success of other Kickstarter spiritual successors, like Project Eternity?

The success of the recent batch of titles such as Star Citizen, Project Eternity, Massive Chalice etc where a big nod to us that Kickstarter was a viable platform for game dev. funding.

There were many lessons to learn from how they approached it as well.

We are 5 passionate game developers with a tonne of experience behind us but the reality is we aren’t a big name company, so we knew we needed to wow people to win them over, we weren’t going to get $3 million on a smile that many of the proven developers could.

We were also very keen to be as transparent as possible and engage the backers as often as possible. Having their feedback is immensely critical to our success.

Thank you Ranger for sending me your interview link.

Thursday - July 25, 2013

Satellite Reign - Mission Accomplished!

by Couchpotato, 01:16

5 Lives Studios announces that Satellite Reign has been funded. Pledges slowed down and it wasn't looking good for a while. So a big thank you all those that backed the game on the watch.

Great success! We've reached our initial funding goal! A huge thanks from the entire team to everyone who has backed thus far. We're still a few days out and we've got some meaty stretch goals to aim towards so we'll be continuing with our update schedule. We still have to introduce you to the Assassin Agent and we have a few surprise updates up our sleeves, so stay tuned!

PayPal Coming Soon...

You've all gone way too fast for us! We were in the midst of getting the PayPal pledging ready to launch BEFORE we reached our goal but you've beaten us to the punch. We're still working on it and will have it up and running very soon!

Source: Kickstarter

Tuesday - July 23, 2013

Satellite Reign - In Engine Gameplay Visualisation

by Couchpotato, 00:47

5 Lives Studios has released a new video for Satellite Reign to show how the game should look when finished.

We’ve had a quite a few requests to see gameplay footage, the dilemma for us being that it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation. To accurately portray the kind of immerse, simulated and emergent world we want to create, we need to actually create it for reals! And that’s what this Kickstarter campaign is for, to create the game. We’d love to be able to demonstrate a mission played numerous different ways to sell the idea to you but that would require several months and a lot of money to produce. If we could do that we’d have the game half done and we wouldn't really need Kickstarter to get us off the ground. We need a right, royal Kickstarting!  

So with that in mind, while we prepare for our final week's onslaught of updates (no spoilers, we want them to be a surprise!), we thought you might like to see the extended cuts and a few unused gameplay shots we created for the initial pitch video and how we imagine the game will play and look. All of this was done in the engine we’re using for Satellite Reign, Unity.

Source: Kickstarter

Sunday - July 21, 2013

Satellite Reign - Propaganda Blitz

by Couchpotato, 00:52

Satellite Reign is in need of help. The kickstarter has eight days left and still needs help to get funded. 5 Lives Studios is asking for everyone to help spread the news


Greetings agents!

Usually the weekends are relatively quiet and since were are knuckling down preparing the coming FINAL weeks onslaught of updates for the Kickstarter we thought it might be time to have our agents do a bit of reconnaissance work for us. After all, what’s the point of running a big evil corporation if you can't order around your agents?!

Propaganda Blitz

Your mission is to spread the word of Satellite Reign. Enlist new recruits and “persuade” them to part with their hard earned cash! But being gracious overlords we wouldn't send you out blindly to recruit the masses. If every agent jumps on their Facebook or twitter accounts and helps get the Kickstarter in front of just a handful of new people, we could potentially have thousands more agents in our ranks, allowing us to hit our initial goal and start making good grounds towards our stretch goals! Below are messages for you to send out on your Facebook and Twitter accounts if you don’t want to write messages of your own. 


“Hello everyone, I have recently supported this awesome game called Satellite Reign on Kickstarter. It is a spiritual successor to Syndicate Wars that is now in the final stretch to meet its funding goal. Have a look at the link below and if you like what you see please consider pledging. Thanks!” 


I supported Satellite Reign, the spiritual successor to Syndicate. Support their Kickstarter before its too late!
If you need more information here are a few more sites that covered the game.
- Mike, Dean and Mitch talk to Fund This Game about the beginnings of all things Satellite Reign
- Mike gets down and dirty with I Game Responsibly
- Our Russian friends over at Game Star interrogate Mike on Satellite Reign. Available in both English and Russian
- Finally we got a nice boost in pledges from a segment TotalBiscuit did on us on his Content Patch Show (starts at 12:17)

Source: Kickstarter

Thursday - July 11, 2013

Satellite Reign - News Roundup

by Couchpotato, 01:16

Satellite Reign has a few interviews and other assorted newsbits this week. So without wasting anymore time read on.

First we have a new Dev Chat video.

Next we have a few interviews.

PC Games Hardware

PCGH: Could you summarize in a few sentences for all the Syndicate fans why Satellite Reign will be a noteworthy game and why this game should be realized?

Chris: Satellite Reign will take the core essence from the Syndicate series and expand and explore it. It will give you a simulated cyberpunk, dystopian city to discover and a squad of deadly agents to do it with.

MikeD: For me it's the city simulation side and the emergent gameplay, really making the city and its inhabitants react to what you are doing, and making the enemies intelligent rather than just following scripted commands is what makes this game unique.


JHS: Can we start by getting you to briefly introduce us to the world of Satellite Reign and what some of the main pillars of gameplay are here?

Brent Waller: Satellite Reign is a real time tactical strategy game in the vein of the Syndicate series from the 1990s. Our main pillars are our simulated and open-world city, our classed based action and corporate espionage.

And finally the developers are hosting a live Reddit today only.

We're all here, ready to answer your questions. Come ask us stuff!

Our username is 5LivesStudios.

Saturday - July 06, 2013

Satellite Reign - Kickstarter Update

by Couchpotato, 03:58

Satellite Reign has reached half of it's funding with 23 left. They have also announced a Limited Edition Boxed Copy of the game.


This limited-edition physical boxed copy will be available in the new £55 / $85 USD tier and inside your box, you'll get a high-quality fold-out disc case containing the game disc, colour booklet, and the game soundtrack on an audio CD.

We'll also have a limited early-bird tier for the boxed copy at £52 / $80 USD, so get in fast to grab your limited-edition boxed version even cheaper!

All backers who have already pledged beyond this new tier will have the option to swap their extra digital copy for the physical boxed version at no additional charge. We'll send around a survey at the conclusion of the campaign where you'll be able to specify your preference.

In other news, Chris and his beard will appear in a video interview tomorrow on The Krautfunding Show, where he'll be discussing even more details about the world and design of Satellite Reign. We'll provide a direct link to the show when it's live so you don't miss it.

Wednesday - July 03, 2013

Satellite Reign - Interview @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun

by Couchpotato, 02:34

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has an interview with Satellite Reign's Progect Lead Mike Diskett. I also have a dev chat video with the developers.

RPS: Last year when the Kickstarter stuff was starting to really heat up, I said to Gillen that we should go and find Mike Diskett and tell him to do a Syndicate-like Kickstarter. With so many American classics getting spiritual successors, it seems like a time to bring back some of those visions from the Amiga days that really made us who we are. But it turns out we didn’t have to go on that peculiar quest, because you were already on that same path?

Diskett: When Kickstarter really started being successful, I suppose about eighteen months ago, I began thinking about whether there would be any interest in a game that followed Syndicate and Syndicate Wars, and I wasn’t totally sure that there would be enough interest out there. Especially given that the original Syndicate games didn’t sell well. Despite that, I suppose, everyone I meet has played them. At least in the games industry. They’re well-known games, even if they were not commercially great. I’ve moved around between a lot of different companies, across England, Scotland, Australia; Rockstar, THQ, Pandemic – most places I went I expected people to ask about working on GTA at Rockstar North, but actually they asked about Syndicate Wars. It was that project that interested people, not GTA!

RPS: But isn’t that people of a certain age? Gillen and myself are getting on a bit now, and that’s why we are old men playing at running the world constantly banging on Amiga stuff, and isn’t that true of a maturing game development community?

Diskett: It’s odd because the people I work with are often quite young, and I’ve met fans of Syndicate who were barely born when the original game came out. These are people who have played the game and won’t even know what an Amiga was. They’ve played it on the PC when they were young, maybe they didn’t have a good PC, but had one that could play some old Bullfrog classics, something like that. The point is: there are all these 20-somethings that remember it, because of being able to play older games on the PC. So I knew there was some audience there. But there was another thing that really brought home what a fanbase there was for this sort of game, which was… well, I really like Starcraft II. I used to play constantly and I used to watch the Day9 ‘casts. He does all these videos, and he did a “lifetime in Stacraft” video, which I watched, and one of the things he said was about how he used to play Syndicate Wars with his brother. So there was this moment where I thought: One of my heroes played and loved this old game I worked on! So that was a revelation.

Here is the video.

Dean, Mitch, Chris and Mike chat about Good vs Evil, Character classes and City simulations


Saturday - June 29, 2013

Satellite Reign - Syndicate Wars Spiritual Sequel

by Couchpotato, 10:45

Yes I know this isn't an RPG but the news deserves front page status. After getting the failed FPS  two years ago I lost all hope for a new Syndicate War game.

Now we have a new project from some of the original developers. The game is called Satellite Reign a project from developer 5 Lives Studios.

Satellite Reign is a A real-time, class-based strategy game, set in an open world cyberpunk city, from the creator of Syndicate Wars.

You control a team of four agents, each with distinct and unique abilities, collectively battling for control of a fully simulated, living cyberpunk city.

The game world is designed to facilitate emergent gameplay, giving you the tools and freedom to play how you want to play, so you can create strategies and scenarios that not even we had anticipated!

Customise your team with the strength to destroy your enemies head-on, or hack into their facilities to manipulate their infrastructure without them ever knowing you were even there.

Will you take down your enemies with brute-force? Covert espionage and infiltration? Or will you use propaganda to influence the citizens of the city and overthrow the controlling powers?

Information about

Satellite Reign

Developer: 5 Lives Studios

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Combat: Real-time
Play-time: 20-40 hours
Voice-acting: Partially voiced

Regions & platforms
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released: 2015-08-28
· Publisher: 5 Lives Studios