Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
NQ-Nyzaltar

DevBlog: About the Alpha Gameplay

Recommended Posts

(Posted Sunday 17th of August 2014 on the DevBlog)
 

 

04-hunter-small.jpg

 

 

We have been asked several times what the actual typical gameplay of Dual Universe would be, how it would be played, in a very practical way. It's of course too soon to give a lot of details about the numerous activities that will be possible within the game, but we thought it would be nice to go through like five typical minutes of the kind of gameplay you could experience on the surface of a planet. To start with, let's talk a bit more about what we have in store for the alpha version, which will be made available next summer.

 

(Update Tuesday 17th of March 2015: The alpha version has been postponed. We will give more information on this subject as soon as possible)

 

In the alpha version, you wake up inside the arkship, which is still on its way towards the planet where you are to establish a new civilization with your fellow colonists. You have been woken up early from cryosleep, because you are a member of the alpha team, a set of special operatives that will be given a pre-training in the basic ways to run your future new life on the new planet, and be able to coordinate actions when the time will come (when the beta will be out). And this pre-training will be done through... a simulation (within the simulation, yes, where does it end?). So basically, you are still in your cryosleep vat and the ship’s AI is plugging you on a sort of Oculus Rift-like super neat simulator and here you go.

You step out of the arkship already loaded with blueprints, materials, skills, etc. The simulation is meant to put you in a situation which would correspond to where you are after a few months of playing and skilling already, so that you, the player, can experience it right away and test the core of the game. Generally speaking, it is a difficult thing to show “the” gameplay of Dual, because we expect that there will be many gameplays possible and, more specifically to the sandbox experience, we expect the gameplay to evolve over time, as players master more and more technologies and expand into the world. Think of it as a sort of live version of Sid Meyer’s Civilization, entirely player-driven!

OK, so you are in the alpha simulation. The game is going to be a FPS, and depending on our budget and time, we will also provide some TPS view, especially in combat. The FPS view is important for immersion and also because we have Oculus Rift and similar devices in mind, so it would not make sense to offer only TPS view in any case. So, looking through your virtual eyes, the arkship stands proud and high in the sky behind you and you are facing a large empty crater that was created by the ship impact, followed a bit further by a dark and deep forest on your left, and a large mountain chain on your right, with white snowy tops. It looks very familiar, the planet’s atmosphere is similar to the one on the Earth, and the cloud patterns you can see in the distance are also recognizable. It’s not exactly like on Earth, but familiar enough. Some planets will look much less friendly than this when you’ll start to explore the universe, but for the moment, it’s OK.

Your first task will be to create a safe house to protect yourself from the cold of the night, as the temperature differences on this planet are much stronger than on the Earth. You got a quick briefing from the arkship’s AI, so you know that already. The arkship can be a protection for a while, but it won’t host a lot of people as the space inside it is limited (all goes to fuel – now empty containers, but not meant to be lived in – and to cryosleep vat support technology. More about the arkship in another blog post). The simplest thing to do is to head for the forest, and get a bit of wood and stone to start building your safe, and create a fireplace inside it for the night.

You come equipped with a very powerful and central tool, rigged right into your arm: the nanoformer. This tool uses incredibly sophisticated nanotechnology to allow you two things: to collect materials and store them in a nanopack (think of it as a super backpack, with space and gravitational compression capabilities), and to release these materials in various forms anywhere you want in your environment. Very convenient! Inside the forest, you have no difficulty to find wood, cutting large trees and gathering stone materials when you find them on the ground. Soon, your nanopack gets filled with various materials and you can start to think about building your first shelter. The process is very similar to Minecraft at this stage, but you will have many more possibilities to carve the structures you want to build into almost any shape. Still, we believe in the simplicity of some elementary geometric shapes, at least as a start, to make the process of 3D construction less cognitively demanding.

At this stage, it is not clear if we will have enough time until the alpha to implement NPC animals to come and bother you during the night, as well as serve as hunting preys. But that’s the idea, because you will need to feed yourself, and the nanoformer cannot make wood-based lunch for you!

The nanoformer can also be used as a very primitive weapon, projecting materials or energy towards your opponent. But nothing really more than a punch in the face. If you want to deal some damage, you’ll need a weapon. It turns out that you have various blueprints in your inventory, which are in fact weapon recipes. All you need to assemble them is to find the raw materials, which means: start mining and digging, Minecraft style! Once you have found the precious ingredients, just set your nanoformer to run a given blueprint and here you go, you can see the item forging itself in front of you. You will also have various recipes for armor, mining tools and various useful items (why aren’t these simply available in the arkship, you might ask? You know the story about telling a man how to fish, rather than giving him a single fish? I think the conceptors of the arkship had this idea in mind!).

I did not talk much about energy at this stage, because it is still under discussion. But the nanoformer, and of course more powerful tools or weapons, will need energy sources. For the nanoformer, it could simply be your body heat, so all you need to do is to (h)eat. We would need to get some serious future pseudo-science to explain that however, because the Watts available will be rather limited!

The next experience for you will probably be to try and build one of the construct blueprint available in your inventory. Like, for example: the hover car, or the balloon powered explorer vehicle, or… the rocket! More about the construct building in another post, but all this will require that you gather more or less difficult-to-find materials, and energy sources. You might want to start a trade post to exchange resources, tools or weapons with other players. Gathering into organizations will also be a good idea, as well as start to claim territories to secure your property. You don’t have to worry about PvP aggression as long as you remain inside the security zone managed by the arkship (see the Arkship security blog post), but if you wander further (about 20km away), you might also start to need to organize your defense and establish an outpost.

Each of these topics probably will be treated in dedicated blog post, so I won’t go any deeper at this stage. To summarize, we’ve seen a very short preview of the FPS style gameplay that will be available in the game: you can gather resources and construct houses, buildings, items. You can also create more dynamics constructs like vehicle or rockets (actually, space ships or space stations, there is no limit in size). We are also thinking about farming and hunting, because you will need food. You can team up with other players, or compete with them, through economy, politics, manufacturing, territory control and a lot of other emergent gameplay elements. One of the challenges we have as we design the alpha version is to find a way to make all these aspects of gameplay easy to learn and quite naturally flowing from the player’s experience. We are working on it ;)

JC Baillie,
Project Lead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(Update Tuesday 17th of March 2015: The alpha version has been postponed. We will give more information on this subject as soon as possible)

 

What? I haven't seen this elsewhere, please inform.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

What? I haven't seen this elsewhere, please inform.

 

Hi Astrov,

 

Yes, Alpha release has been postponed:

We want to provide a meaningful experience for Dual Universe Alpha testers.

And while the game has evolved a lot until now, it seems to us that we won't have a version that we estimate satisfactory enough to be released (even with a restricted access). Updating our roadmap with this in mind is currently in progress. As soon as more information will be available for the Alpha release, you will be informed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can wait! The opening post sounds amazing. Can't wait to try out my nanoformer! I like the sound of the temperature differences on planets. I wonder if that means different heat sources will aid in keeping us warm. Really enjoying the fact there is a strong survival element to this. I wonder if, similar to Minecraft, night brings out more dangerous creatures.

 

Might eventually have to get an occulus rift for this game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know. I hate the fact that this game is so good that I have to shell out money for a Rift. There goes my savings.

 

Hehe! I've never seen or heard of a game before that gave me the desire to own an occulus rift, but Dual Universe just sounds too good not to experience it in the best way possible! *starts putting money into piggy bank*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im necroing this because I wanted to see if big game safari hunting is still even a possibility? Can you imagine a guild of hunters, going from planet to planet to hunt the most lethal creatures in the galaxy and also support for a hunting mechanic...ie traps and tracking?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...