About Chain Gang Chase


We are building Chain Gang Chase, a 1-8 player couch co-op game for OUYA and PC/Linux/Mac (and potentially Android, iOS, and Web!).

Each player in the game is one member of a chain gang that escapes and runs in search of a timely train to cut their chains. On the way to the tracks, they must work together to avoid trees, solve puzzles, evade detection and capture, and just not get stuck. Once there, it is a race to stretch the chains over the tracks while not getting so close as to be hit by the train (and thereby killed to death).

In addition to the game, anyone may register for a free account at http://www.chaingangchase.com and use our map editor to create levels to be downloaded and played in the game!

The History

Joe Pietruch is a professor with the School of Interactive Games and Media at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). He was an OUYA backer, and Chain Gang Chase started as his idea for a game to create for that platform. Joe built the current prototype and companion website over a 25-day sprint in June of 2013, but had to stop because his other obligations caught up with him.

Fast-forward to August 2013, when OUYA announced its #FreeTheGames Fund. Joe saw this as an opportunity to continue working on his game and provide an educational experience for his students. RIT requires that students complete co-ops (think internships) as part of the degree requirements for certain majors. Our successful Kickstarter campaign, with the added help of OUYA's #FreeTheGames Fund, provided a way for Joe to fund a team of students on co-op. Here's a quick blurb about the #FreeTheGames Fund:

Double Our Fun(ds)!

We're participating in OUYA's #FreeTheGames Fund, created by OUYA to support developers making new and creative console games. OUYA will match your pledge dollar-for-dollar up to your goal amount (and a max of $250,000), so help us get there and make a great game for everyone! To be eligible for this match, we commit that this game will be an OUYA exclusive for a period of time. To learn more about OUYA, go to www.OUYA.tv.

With the generous support of Kickstarter backers, we funded a team of students and faculty to make a great game for you to enjoy!

Plans for the Future

As you can see in our campaign video, the prototype does a great job of proving that the main mechanic of the game works… but the rest of the game needs to be fleshed out! The game still needs to go through a more thorough design process, with added elements and play-testing. We have plans for gates and fences and puzzles, different types of terrain, and even a line-of-sight / spotlight sneaking component. This is happening right now!

Beyond what's shown in the prototype, each match will eventually take place across multiple map-track sprints, so players will have multiple chances to cut their chains (or die trying). Prisoners that are killed by the train will re-spawn as Rookie Cops (see the limited reward tiers) and be able to chase the surviving Prisoners.

After a selected number of map-track-map-track-map-track segments, the surviving Prisoners will face an end-level boss in the form of The Law (see the limited reward tiers). They fight The Law ... but who will win?

The MAGIC Center at RIT

This project is run through the brand new Center of Excellence in Media Arts Games Interaction and Creativity (MAGIC) at RIT, and will be published through MAGIC Spell Studios. You can find out more about MAGIC at http://magic.rit.edu/.

MAGIC at RIT