Crafting & Scavenging
Realism & Immersion
Hunting & Foraging
Large Open World
Day and Night Cycle
In a nutshell, Diverted is a persistent multiplayer wilderness survival game set in modern times which has a heavy emphasis on realism and immersion.
In Diverted, players will create a character that will be immediately thrust into a wilderness survival situation when a commercial airliner they are on board crashes somewhere in the far northern reaches of North America (think Alaska/Yukon).
The pretext of the game sets the stage for an interesting and immersive experience as players will attempt to survive in a harsh environment by any means available to them: hunting, foraging, scavenging, harvesting, and crafting. Particularly nefarious players may also find other means to survive such as looting or murdering other survivors for their material goods, but they do so at their own risk.
Players will have to maintain their nutrition, hydration, warmth and health in order to survive, just as in a real-world survival situation. How they do so is up to them. There will be many threats. Starvation, dehydration, hypothermia, wild animals, poisoning, broken bones, cuts, infections, not to mention the aforementioned other survivors...
This is a game that rewards cunning, skill and careful playing, as if your own life depended on it. If you should die, it will be permanent. You will drop and lose all your possessions. You will be able to create another character, but your last character will be no longer available to play.
Your old character will not be forgotten if they have made an impact on the world, however. If you have played and survived a certain length above the average, the leaderboard of survivors will display a tombstone in your honor with your survival stats.
While playing, you will be ranked on the active leaderboard according to your survival stats. There will be both a global and a local (server) leaderboard. The global leaderboard will be displayed both in-game and on the game's official website.
Crafting & Scavenging
Many of the items in the game will be crafted. Crafted items will mostly be at the level of stone-age technology, as players will be using only what is available from their environment or whatever can be scavenged from the plane wreck(s).
Besides crafting, scavenging is another potentially viable option for obtaining useful tools and weapons. In addition to scavenging the scattered wreckage of the commercial airliner which crashed to set the stage for the game, the players may occasionally discover the wreckage of smaller planes or potentially even abandoned shacks which may contain useful items. Many rare items will be possible to obtain in this way.
The inventory system in Diverted will be likely be very different from the games you are used to. There will be no "slots" per se, but in their place will be layers. When you open the inventory window, you will simply see your character and you will be able to click and drag to equip or unequip items. Clothing layers will be automatically managed for you.
You will not have a backpack by default. You will have to scavenge to find one. Initially, you will be able to carry only what you can manage to fit in your pockets, wear or hold in your hands. Later, you may find additional containers which will expand your inventory.
Each wearable item, be it an item of clothing or a backpack, has the potential to be a container. Double-clicking on the item will open its associated container window. Inside of the container window will be a free-form view of the container's contents which you can arrange without any constraints from a grid.
Each item will have both a weight and a size. The size of items will limit what containers it can be placed inside. After all, you can't place a rifle in your pants. At least, I wouldn't advise it if your goal is to survive. :)
In Diverted, as in the real world, humans can only carry so much. The more weight you carry, the slower you will move, until you will ultimately be unable to move unless you shed some weight.
Realism & Immersion
One of the most important goals in our game design is achieving a superior level of realism and a high immersion factor, while also remembering that it is a game and fun factor is very important.
For example, one of the ways we are approaching this is to ensure that every item that will exist in the game will have a reason and an explanation for being there--items that do not pass the believability test will never make their way into the game. Each item that we plan to include was also extensively researched. Even our crafting recipes were carefully researched such that you could create the items in the same way in the real world. As such, our game might even teach you some basic survival skills!
Balance is of utmost importance to us. The gap between stoneage technology and modern technology is wide, but by making modern items rare and excluding many modern elements such as military weapons, we lessen the gap and the advantage of players who are lucky enough to have found some modern equipment so that skill is always a factor and no one will ever be so overpowered they can completely dominate, unless they are just that good of a survivor. In other words, equipment will give you the edge but it won't make you a god.
Players will be able to harvest various resources for use in crafting:
- Chopping wood with an axe will be the quickest way to get sticks and logs, but they may also occasionally be found on the ground.
- Skinning animals will produce furs, meat, sinew, and bone, all of which are useful in some way.
- Bones and antlers may also occasionally be found on the ground.
- Rocks will be scattered about and can be collected by hand. Rocks can be broken down into smaller pieces and used to create things. Occasionally, rare minerals may even be discovered which may have useful properties.
Hunting & Foraging
Hunting will be the primary means of achieving sustenance, with foraging filling the gaps but presenting a risk of poisoning and scavenging providing the rare bit of junk food to keep your character going. Big game will be elusive, but a skilled player will be able to craft the necessary items to track down and kill animals such as deer and many more planned animals. Players who don't mind getting their feet wet may also find luck with spear fishing.
The AI in Diverted is going to be a cut above the rest. We aim to make you feel like you are really lost in the wilderness, so our creatures will behave as you'd expect wild animals to behave. For example, wolves will mostly travel in packs and will seek out food when they are hungry, either by hunting other animals or by coming to you for the meat they smell in your pack. Deer will spook easily and run away--they will always try to maintain their distance from humans and predators, and it will be a challenge to hunt them.
Player-versus-player will be a harsh reality that everyone will have to face at some point in Diverted, whether they like it or not. It is all part of the survival aspect of the game and we leave it up to the players to choose who is friend or foe.
Day and Night Cycle
Our day and night cycle is beautiful and realistic. Nightfall will bring with it the dangers one could expect from the wilderness, with howling packs of wolves being the scariest threat at night. Just make sure you're not carrying around too much raw meat. If you do, I hope you'll have a means to scare them away, because you certainly won't be able to kill an entire pack of wolves by yourself...
Large Open World
The world will be completely open and quite large: the map in our prototype is 5 km x 5 km, and the technology on which we are building the game will support seamless worlds consisting of a virtually unlimited number of terrains 20 km x 20 km or larger (for reference, Skyrim is roughly 6.9 km x 5.4 km and Day Z's Chernarus is 15 km x 15 km).
Diverted will feature a third-person perspective with zoomable first-person mode. In other words, the best of both worlds. There will be full body awareness, meaning you will be able to look down and see yourself and what you are doing in first person mode.
Diverted will feature persistent multiplayer, similar to Day Z and Rust. More details on our multiplayer will be forthcoming.
Players will be able to choose their ethnicity, skin color, body type, hair style (including beard/mustache), and hair color. Other character customization features may be available, but those are the core ones that we are currently committed to.
We are experimenting with the idea of characters aging over time the longer they survive, but we haven't decided if we will go with that idea or simply enable you to select your character's age during character creation.
Note: Due to our small team's resource constraints, female player characters will not be available initially, but we hope to add them at a later date.
Our design philosophy heavily emphasizes emergent gameplay. Emergent gameplay is a concept that is underutilized in game development, though it provides for vastly engaging experiences. As an example of the level to which we will go to provide truly emergent gameplay, consider this example:
To build a fire in Diverted, you will obviously have to collect some wood, just as in every other survival game. But what is not so obvious is how you will start a fire. In other games, you might select the "build campfire" option from the menu or otherwise combine some items to build the campfire item which you will then deploy into the world somehow.
In Diverted, just as in the real world, you will literally have to collect and transport pieces of wood to the site in which you intend to build your campfire, then you will have to collect some tinder (dry, flammable material) and place it close to the wood you wish to start a fire with. From here, you will have to collect a few rocks and smash them on other rocks or bolders to obtain flint rock shards. Rarely, you might also find a piece of pyrite, the last item necessary in building your fire. With the flint rock shard and pyrite in hand, you will have to strike the two together to generate sparks, which will in turn ignite the tinder, which will generate a flame and hopefully ignite the wood, creating your campfire.
It is important to note that the behaviors of each of these items in response to the stimuli exists irrespective of whether you manage to put it all together to generate a fire. This is where the emergence in emergent gameplay comes in. Other items may be flammable and therefore react to the flames as well. How you choose to use these mechanics is up to you. We provide the mechanics. You choose how to play. You might even surprise us.
We are old school gamers and we don't believe in the free-to-play, cash shop and pay-to-win movements. In fact, we abhor them and what they have done to gaming. Therefore, Diverted will be available as a one-time purchase and you'll get free updates to the core game as we continually improve it.