ARK: Survival of the Fittest - Summer Cup, Development Kit & Going Forward
On July 24th 2015, we announced a competitive-battle mod for ARK, called “Survival of the Fittest”!
A lot has changed since that announcement, what first started out as an internal mod side-project, grew into a publicly released Total Conversion, and eventually became its own standalone client - ARK: SotF has seen plenty of changes over the past year and today we’re going to discuss the future of this game mode. But before we go into that, some congratulations is in order!
The 2016 Summer Cup
The past week, 31 Survivors (one unfortunately was not able to go!) flew out to compete in the first ever official SotF LAN Tournament. The teams which qualified were Kitty Cats, Kappa Pride, Beliebers, Get Out The Way, Los Bandoleros, PsychoSocial, The Rejects, Grabuge, plus local Chinese teams D.K and ZG. The ten teams took to the Island and battled it out across an epic three-game series.
The first game was an intense match filled with a ton of action, with teams proving that they were capable of performing on a LAN environment. KappaPride’s Deki really showed off his fantastic gunslingers which a large number of solo kills using the pistol. The game became very close at the end with Turbo pulling off some clutch moves to try to even up the odds. The game ended with the Chinese teams securing the top two positions and ZG taking it on most kills.
The second game proved just to be as exciting with a ton of blood being spilled. The Survivor League teams wanted to send a message that they were here to play for real, with the winners of the previous game immediately lost two players in an early skirmish. As the game went on it was clear that there were a number of tribes who could take the match. Kitty Cats were successful in taming the Broodmother and used it to massive effectiveness instantly as they thwarted the incoming attack from Beliebers! Ultimately it ended in a large 5-way tie with Kitty Cats taking the match with the most kills.
As we entered the final game, the judges tallied the scores and the Cup was anyone's to take. Tied for first place was local team ZG alongside European powerhouse, Kitty Cats. Tied for second place was local team D.K alongside the seasoned SotF tribe KappaPride, with third place currently being held by Beliebers (who were playing with 3 players!). During the early game it had looked like a lot of mistakes were occurring which led to some real up-hill battles. Perhaps it was a case of nerves, or just some bad luck. D.K Captain Ke Le was sending a message to the other tribes as he single-handedly took on, with a little help from his team, an entire tribe of 4 and came out victorious.
As we approached the platform and the final 6 - with all top 5 tribes still in the game, persevering to take the win. Of the 5 tribes, Beliebers was first to be eliminated - they put up a great fight but were taken out by ZG. Ralph was the last member alive from KappaPride and held up valiantly, playing the last moments of his life on foot before he was eaten by a Spinosaurus from the ZG tribe. The remaining tribes at this point were ZG and D.K both with 4 members, and Kitty Cats with 2. It seemed apparent that ZG and D.K were playing it safe and avoiding confrontation, as the two most powerful tribes it makes strategic sense to clear out the others first. Wilson from Kitty Cats was taken out, as team captain MOLNMAN had finished off the Get Out The Way tribe, but was inevitably killed himself. The game ended in a two-way tie between D.K and ZG both with four remaining members. At the end the judges tallied the scores and the kills and the results are as below:
3rd Place: D.K
2nd Place: Kitty Cats
1st Place: ZG
If you haven’t had a chance to catch the games yet, we recommend you do - you can check the highlight streams over at www.twitch.tv/survivetheark
The tournament was a lot of fun to run, and it was awesome seeing all the strategies and skill demonstrated by our survivors. There were a lot of tense moments too with some players turning up the heat and really making a name for themselves on an international stage. Put simply: we got to witness some epic gameplay and unforgettable moments. We also learned a lot about the high-level game during these few days, as well as lot about hosting LAN matches and we’re very thankful to those of you who tuned into to support our survivors, the survivors for attending and competing, as well as those of you who were at the event itself whether as member of the team, supporting your friends, or watching the game in person.
Thank you Survivors, we could not do it without you!
SoTF and the Future!
As we look to the future of SotF, we came to a decision: Survival of the Fittest will be brought back internally as part of the ARK: Survival Evolved package. For technical functionality it will still exist as its own application, and everyone who has thus-far played the game will continue to be able to play it without having to own ARK: Survival Evolved, but going forward it will be considered part of the ARK: Survival Evolved product group. There are some key reasons behind this decision, which we believe is the best option for the success of Survival of the Fittest and we’ll go through those points as follows:
The release of the Development Kit is the main reason for bringing back SotF internally. We have been pondering for a while how to release the kit without any restrictions on content and licensing, allowing SotF modders to freely take all the content from Survival Evolved as they wish. We wanted to ensure that modders would have freedom when working with the kit to create the mods that they wanted to see in SotF. This was more important to us than any other reason, and to accomplish this, we had to bring SotF back into the Survival Evolved product. We do not want to place any restrictions on you, this community has provided a lot of feedback in regards to SotF and there are a number of you who have expressed a desire to work on the game mode itself and take it to a new place. We wanted to ensure that you would be able to meet those desires and make SotF into the game you want to see, no limits. Furthermore, we’ll be kicking off a large-scale SotF Mod Contest shortly to help give the SotF creative community a boost to get out there and make cool stuff, stay tuned for details on that! You can download the SotF Development Kit here ( http://arkfiles.com/sotf/ARKDevKitSotF_v177.2.zip -- 50 GB! ) and start uploading your SotF Content to Steam Workshop right now! Feel free to take any and all content you want from Survival Evolved, let’s see some new Dinos in SotF! Tutorials and info on how to create content (Maps, Mods, Map Extensions, and Total Conversions) are available here: https://forums.unrealengine.com/forumdisplay.php?70-ARK-Survival-Evolved
No Free To Play Monetisation
When a game like SotF is made free to play, there are still expenses - this can range from development work, server costs, running of tournaments, prizes and of course the opportunity cost. To ensure that SotF would remain a success and a sound choice, Wildcard would have had to put a lot of resources and time into learning how to become a ‘free to play’ developer. We would have had to learn how to monetize a free game, notoriously through the use of in-app purchases such as skins and other cosmetics. Ultimately, it’s clear this is not who we are, we like to make games, and to make the gameplay fun. We don’t know much about monetization, and quite frankly we aren’t interested in hiring an economics team to take over that process, it is much more in our and your best interest for Wildcard to solely focus on the development of a game. We just aren’t cut out for free to play mechanics. With SotF being part of ARK: Survival Evolved, it’ll be able to draw from Survival Evolved resource pool directly, and enable us to continue operating the title.
July’s Survivor League Final shall be taking place on Saturday, the 6th of August! It will take place at 11:00AM EST where the qualifying survivors across 3 tables will compete to be placed in July’s Survivor League, and earn a prize pool of over $65,000.
You can check out the qualifying Survivor’s here:
The games shall be hosted on www.twitch.tv/survivtheark and casted by non-other than typeForced! We hope to see you guys tune in for the exciting games!
Survivor League will be continuing throughout August, however due to some major gameplay changes made in the last few days, we will resetting the League’s ELO for August. This means that players current scores will reset and players will need to compete against on the ladder to reclaim their rankings. You can check out the most recent changes by reading our patch-notes thread:
Naughty or Nice
It’s coming back! We’re going to prepare the epic 100v100 ‘Naughty or Nice’ battle-mode as a SotF “Total Conversion”, incorporating all the latest updates made to SotF - it will be open-source so modders can take it further if they wish. We’re hoping to release the TC by the end of August and host a gamers’ Charity Match sometime in September, to which all the qualifying members of August’s Survivors League are invited to participate! We had a lot of good feedback about our last, and there has been a lot of request for when the game mode will be making its reappearance, just to let you know - we’re on it guys! And yes, the developers will compete, and get our butts kicked
Right now here’s what we are certain of:
- The SotF Development Kit will be released today, without restrictions due to this change and this means that there will be no restrictions on modders.
- For this to happen without content license restrictions (take whatever you want from Survival Evolved and put it into SotF!), we’re bringing back SotF Internally into the main-game’s product group again, and it will no longer be a separate “Free to Play” title.
- We will continue to support and encourage modders through their developing endeavors to see where they can take SotF. Details on the first SotF Mod Contest will be announced soon!
- Survival of the Fittest will be maintained as a playable game mode internally. If there are issues with the game, we will resolve them. If we’re able to make performance updates due to optimisation work done on the main game, SotF will also receive them. Major content upgrades to SotF will be pending further expansion of the team, and the development kit will continue be updated with content from ARK: Survival Evolved (which can be directly copied into SotF by modders).
- Console development of SotF (PS4 and Xbox One) will be placed on hold so we can take a step back and see how these changes pan out in the long term, without making any hasty decisions about ARK: SotF.
- The 100v100 ‘Naughty or Nice’ event is making a comeback in September!
- Summer Cup was a lot of fun - thank you to everyone who attended and all the fans who watched it live from China! Hope you enjoyed it too!
- Stay tuned for longer-term announcements about future regional tournaments.
These changes will be taking place immediately. It is very important for us to see how SotF progresses and we want to make sure we’re making the right choices. We understand that these changes are quite big and will impact the future of game, but hope you can understand our reasons to do so and will continue to support the game mode you love. We are very excited to see what the release of the Development Kit will bring to SotF and where creative players will take it -- if you have some balancing or gameplay ideas, or simply want to see more creatures in the game, you can now make them happen!
All the best,
Wildcard Jat and the ARK: Survival of the Fittest Team.
Edited by Jat