It has been a while since I published our last development update. Developing an MMO game with a small indie team is an exciting adventure! Unfortunately posting development updates competes with all the other work we have to do, hence the multi-month silence. Luckily we've built a bunch of very important core systems and I'm going to share the progress with you right now!
This video demonstrates the range of 3D models that can be generated with the technology being developed for Cybernation Online. All the models in the video are defined by code, and can be modified programmatically. The system allows to have static and script-controlled components in the same models. The majority of mechanical objects in the game will be generated with this system, ranging from robots and their weapons, to spaceships and huge orbital stations.
We came up with 8 variants of combat, one of which, our current one, I described in the previous post. We figured it will be also interesting to tell you about some of this 7 alternatives and why they were put aside in the end.
This time we are going to show a video from the real game client. It demonstrates how the island terrain is generated and some atmospheric effects are applied to the scene:
Cybernation online is a space exploration game. The story takes place in another universe, where carbon-based life does not exist. The player’s avatar is a virtual synthetic mind in a complex anthropomorphic robot called bathyscaphe (because from the point of view of the Synthets it’s a vehicle for diving from the virtual world into the real one). Bathyscaphes build and control more primitive and crude bots, that, unlike scaphes, don’t have consciousness of their own. Synthets are capable of controlling only up to 4 bots at a time, sometimes entering the battle themselves (so your army consists of 5 units maximum).
Traditionally, MMORPG quests are similar to those in single player RPGs, an NPC tells you what it needs, and you go get it – rarely interacting with other players. If you were the only one on the server, it would still work – it’s an isolated experience. And it barely makes sense – some sad merchant asks you to bring him a new wheel for his cart, and you do – as do millions of others before and after you. This merchant has millions of wheels by now, but the cart is still not repaired and he is still at his place, looking sad. Maybe he doesn’t really want to go anywhere and the wheel was just an excuse for procrastinating.
Sometimes you come across an idea that wasn’t used in any game you encountered, it may be pretty obvious, so there must be some good reasons no one used it before. Usually, it’s because the concept is really hard to implement, or it appears to be not that interesting in reality as it was in theory. But on rare occasions you do find something viable, that just waited for its time.
We consider the concept of infowars one of the main features of our MMO.
There’s a saying in gamedev: “Every game designer wants to make their own Fallout”, but few get a chance to actually do it. You have to work through projects that may seem not that appealing or interesting to you, full of compromises and questionable monetization techniques before you get freedom and experience needed to make the game of your dreams.
After 10 years in the industry Alex Lurye and I decided, that we have a chance to actually do it – try to create something that is truly ambitious and fulfilling.