Six months ago, we started to develop Untold Universe, and already shared some screenshots and a video showing technical progress on the game.
But now, as we almost have a working technical proof of concept, we feel the need to answer an important question: what is Untold Universe apart from the technical footages?
As we are now starting to work on the actual gameplay, making our proof of concept a real game, we would like to present the project to you. Indeed, since the begining, we have been very vague about it. Some saw the video and thought: what is this? Minecraft? Others found it cool in screenshots.
But ahead of the tech demo and the engine is an idea born from our passion for gaming and creativity. We now will expose it to you the best way we can.
Untold Universe is the dream game of three soon to be graduated engineering students and passionate players from Paris.
As our technical skills grew, we thought about making a project together that would be something we would love to play and share with our friends. Quickly, we found an idea: a game in which you would be able to play with anyone, explore an entire universe, shape it to your will from ground to space and have a real role to play.
The idea seemed too big in the first place. How could you let the player build, design, destroy anything in a virtually infinite universe, without asking him to own a supercomputer? Well a game achieved this before, and this game is Minecraft. Let’s say it: we think Minecraft gives the player the best way to do what he wants with his environment, with the simplicity of cubes. So we don't really want to be different in that way. We won't pretend to reinvent Minecraft or something, what we want to do is to take the basic idea of a game that defined a whole new genre, and make a massive, multiplayer, persistent game with a complete and interesting gameplay.
So why would this be great, in our opinion? Well, cube based games are a lot about creativity, and what our game would bring on top of that is:
- Space: The game will let you travel in space to discover many planets and maybe even asteroids and moons.
- Multiplayer and persistency: Any player in the world will be able to see, visit and interact with the things you build, and with you.
- Strong gameplay: We think that giving a use to your designs is important. By the addition of many features through time, we hope that most of the things you could think of making from cubes could be of use in some way, for someone. From mining facilities to hospitals, farming space stations, giant spaceships, or underwater pubs, we want to give these ideas an actual place in the gameplay mechanics.
- Sharing: More than building and using things, we want to allow players to share their designs, by making them blueprints and selling them in-game. So people who mostly like creating things have a place of choice in our universe.
- Infinite: Our planets might be tiny, but our universe will be virtually infinite, so you will always have something to play with.
- Player driven: As the game will let you create most of the content, there is no point in making anything like a base economy. Everything will be driven by the players, and if the game lacks something to let you do what you want, we hope to notice it so we can add it.
- Freedom: The most important concept in Untold Universe. We want to give you as much as possible the means to be what you want. Fleet commander, ground trooper, merchant, designer, explorer, farmer, or hippie, you name it.
So basically, it is an ultra massive voxel game in space with spaceships piloting, planet shaping, goods trading, pirate fighting, design sharing, and many more "-ing" words.
More on gameplay
Now that we detailed the idea, let’s dig a bit deeper in the gameplay mechanics. Here are some of the most important features of the game in detail:
- Playing together: The game will always have only one big universe for everyone, like Eve Online. Our goal is to incite people to group up and play together. We will thus give them various means to easily communicate, create groups of any size from a small gang of friends to an enormous super corporation of miners or mercenaries.
- Industry and automation: Of course, to build things, one will have to create the tools and materials he needs. We want to automate as much as possible the ore extraction and processing so players can focus on actually designing, maintaining and defending colonies and do not spend most of their time hitting rocks.
- Blueprints: A very important feature is the creation of blueprints. Given a construction field of some size, the player has the means to design something like a building or a spaceship. Then, he can make this design a blueprint and sell it to other players. Those will be able able to automatically rebuild the original design if they have the necessary resources.
- Fighting: The game will feature different combat mechanics to let you attack those who might annoy you, on ground or in space. Different size of spaceships will feature different combat styles, like fighters dogfight or motherships squad support. On ground, the game will offer you several weapons for distant elimination, close combat or fortress attack.
- Continuity: We want space not to be disconnected from ground, thus allowing the player to go from one planet to the other without any loading screen. This will moreover let you interact with the planet from space in different ways depending on your distance with it. The environment is currently split into three zones: ground, low orbit and far space. On ground, you can walk, build things and fly light class vessels. On low orbit, you can’t build anything, but can fly medium class vessels and you will still be able to interact directly with the ground, to bombard it or survey it. In far space, you are free to fly around the planet without rotating with it. Your interactions with the ground will be limited, but your playground will be huge and will accept massive spaceships.
- Protected planets: In Untold Universe you go from planet to planet, playing with only one at a time. Some of these planets will be in a “protected” state. On those, no one can harm you, and you can buy land to build the house of your dreams. But do not expect to extract anything of value from them! Un-protected planets will contain interesting materials, but you have to defend it yourself. When such a planet is no more of interest to anyone, it will be bought back from the corporation holding it and become protected to be terraformed by people, helping in the colonisation effort!
We hope that this will help you to imagine better what we are trying to achieve!
Creating a proof of concept in which you can go from ground to space, switch planet, play with friends, design spaceships and fire a gun will soon be achieved. It took us roughly six months to do that, and we expect to make it a game in 7-8 months from now for a private Beta with limited features. Our final goal is to have most of the features for the public Beta release, that will take place in about a year.
Please, do not hesitate to share your thoughts and opinions with us, we would really like to know how much this concept seems cool or absurd to you!
See you soon!
I really love this game. And I really hope there are no griefers at all.
Great ideas. I was thinking "hm... this will be hard to balance", until I read the last point "Protected planets". I love that idea... having to go to dangerous places for the most valuable resources... nice! Tracking!
How are the massive-multiplayer concepts coming along? From what I've seen I don't doubt that you will be able to code it... but as indies, it's always very difficult to test something like this.
I'd love to read a post about how you plan to support so many players (zones? or limited amount of players per universe?)
It might be easier to make the server like minecraft's server - allow up to 256 (or so) players per server and let people host their own servers... this might scale better than one massive server that everyone plays on...
Keep it up!
Really amazing concept. I'm from Brazil and hope this game in brasilian language (portuguese) ;D
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