Tag Archives: Sci-fi

PAX Prime 2014: The Repopulation’s Josh Halls on beta, fishing, and houses

Above & Beyond Technologies Lead Developer Josh Halls has been on a very long journey with The Repopulation, a journey that began back in 2009 and isn't even close to being over yet. I met with Halls at PAX Prime to talk about where this sci-fi sandbox has been and where it's going as it angles for beta testing.

The Repopulation released its Alpha 3 build this past April and will be sticking with that for the duration of alpha testing. Halls told me that there's a pretty dedicated group of testers in the game, with around 1,500 having picked up the title so far and around 20 to 40 playing at any given moment. Those numbers are primed to increase when the game transitions into beta and Steam Early Access later this year.

While it's not terribly sexy, bug tracking and fixing is vital to the development process and foremost on the team's mind. Player feedback during the alpha has helped to refine the game in other ways, such as to make gathering less of a click-fest and more of a community effort. Right now a group of players can work together to enhance a region in order to gather better materials.

Other big to-do items include putting in a fishing minigame and opening the doors (so to speak) for open-world housing. Fishing will pave the way for other possible minigames, and open-world housing is the next step from the game's existing instanced homes.

Halls said that the dozen or so members of the team are hard at work to prepare The Repopulation for the larger gaming public and that the studio is currently operating in the black.

Continue reading PAX Prime 2014: The Repopulation's Josh Halls on beta, fishing, and houses

MassivelyPAX Prime 2014: The Repopulation's Josh Halls on beta, fishing, and houses originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 30 Aug 2014 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Landmark’s combat patch goes live

Combat has finally come to Landmark, but there's much more to this update than just armor, weapons, and death. There are plenty of new Kerran-themed props, new materials (10 new color of Stucco variations and 16 new Burled Wood tints), movement props, and bug fixes. On top of that, there's a new way to pay claim upkeep; those who desperately want to keep their claims but don't want to bother with copper now have the opportunity to pay with Station Cash at a cost of 10 SC per day per claim.

And here's probably some of the best news from the mouths of the devs themselves:
"We've made a number of optimizations that should improve framerates for many players. This does not include the Multithreaded Rendering, which we are still working on."
If you plan to dive in and check out combat, SOE has posted instructions for setting up the PvP games on the forums to help answer any questions. Full details on the update can be found in the patch notes. For now, all claims will be flagged for PvP until the observer mode can be added.

Finally, the Workshop livestream is moving! Starting August 28th, the show focusing on the collaborative development of racial buildings will be broadcast on the EverQuest Next Twitch Channel Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. EDT.

MassivelyLandmark's combat patch goes live originally appeared on Massively on Thu, 28 Aug 2014 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Anarchy Online’s graphics engine upgrade suffers delays

Anarchy Online Funcom has announced that two Anarchy Online developers, Genele and Macrosun, are leaving the studio and "relocating back to their homelands in Scandinavia." That's bad news for MMO gamers patiently awaiting the game's promised new graphics engine, as the devs' departures mean delays for both the upgrade and the next patch. Creative Director Joel "Nusquam" Bylos explained the situation to players on the official forum:
[L]osing competent and knowledgeable people does have some impact on our development schedule, so we've had to rearrange some things and tune our schedules to make sure we can deliver on our vision for the game. Originally we were planning to patch 18.7 to live this month. We have now delayed it until we have had the chance to give it a thorough going over with the new designers. It is a large and complex patch and we want to be a hundred percent certain that we understand all of the intricacies of the patch before we make it live.

Additionally, because Macrosun was the technical coordinator on the new engine, it causes some challenges on the code side. It will take our live coders some time to get themselves acquainted with the engine and all that it entails. The beta will remain up and running and we hope to get past beta status as soon as we can.
Nusquam noted that Henry "Michizure" Senger will take over for Genele and that the existing live team was organized with "competence sharing" across the studio's games to minimize the impact of personnel shifts. Funcom earlier this week tweeted about new job openings in its Durham, North Carolina, location.

[Thanks to tipster Divalicious Diva. Image credit: Azzura.]

MassivelyAnarchy Online's graphics engine upgrade suffers delays originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Online’s Hyperion update adds PvE missions, tweaks wormholes

CCP pushed EVE Online's latest update to the game's live server this morning. Hyperion features "the biggest wormhole changes since they were first discovered" as well as new PvE missions. CCP Guard also notes the patch's "ton of quality-of-life features" during the latest In-Development video dev diary, which you can view by clicking past the cut.

Continue reading EVE Online's Hyperion update adds PvE missions, tweaks wormholes

MassivelyEVE Online's Hyperion update adds PvE missions, tweaks wormholes originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 26 Aug 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Stick and Rudder: Star Citizen is standing on the shoulders of genre giants

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It's confession time, folks. My Star Citizen fandom has been on the fritz. It's not that I'm less enamored with Cloud Imperium's sci-fi sandbox opus; it's just that the interminable waiting coupled with a pretty severe case of themepark MMO burnout (help me, ArcheAge, you're my only hope) has conspired to foul my gaming mood of late.

Fortunately, CIG read my mind and pulled me back in with its gangbusters Gamescom reveals.

Continue reading Stick and Rudder: Star Citizen is standing on the shoulders of genre giants

MassivelyStick and Rudder: Star Citizen is standing on the shoulders of genre giants originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 24 Aug 2014 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New Elite newsletter features outposts, smuggling, and more

The latest Elite: Dangerous newsletter is here, and it's worth parsing if you're high on Frontier's gorgeous space-sim sandbox. Outposts are coming to Beta 2, which might cause some of you to ask "what's an outpost?" Well, it's the "equivalent of the run-down road-side cafe, the isolated fuel station, the research outpost, the deep-space shack where Joe the Hermit lives."

Outposts are generally exposed, zero-G, and unsafe, but they do offer cheap fuel and a place to temporarily lie low. Speaking of lying low, this week's newsletter also features a player-made video illustrating how Elite's stealth mechanics may be used for smuggling. You can view that after the break.

[Thanks Cotic!]

Continue reading New Elite newsletter features outposts, smuggling, and more

MassivelyNew Elite newsletter features outposts, smuggling, and more originally appeared on Massively on Fri, 22 Aug 2014 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Origins of Malu’s Dunham talks phased release, Unreal 4, and more

So, what's going on with Origins of Malu? Quite a lot, as it turns out. Recall that the sci-fantasy game recently updated its website and hinted at huge upcoming changes. Lead developer Michael Dunham then took to YouTube over the weekend to talk about what's basically a complete revamp of both the game and the development process.

The dev team has switched to the Unreal 4 engine as well as DirectX 11, which of course involves plenty of labor, testing, and the like. Dunham also mentions that OOM's original scope was way too big, and even though the team has already spent nearly five years and 60,000 hours on the project, a "much smaller scope for initial release" is driving the current plan. There's a "much, much higher focus" on combat at the moment, Dunham explains, though he says that the end goal is still a skill-based sandbox.

You can watch the full devlog after the break.

Continue reading Origins of Malu's Dunham talks phased release, Unreal 4, and more

MassivelyOrigins of Malu's Dunham talks phased release, Unreal 4, and more originally appeared on Massively on Mon, 18 Aug 2014 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Evolved: How to fix nullsec territorial warfare

EVE Evolved title image If you've been playing EVE Online lately or just following the major events in the game, it can't have escaped your notice that nullsec has become a bit stagnant. The lawless nullsec regions are supposed to be politically unstable territories claimed by hundreds of warring player-run alliances, but today they're dominated primarily by just two or three mega-coalitions. Individual alliances can no longer hold out against the combined forces of the coalitions and must either pick a side or be annihilated. The coalitions have even signed agreements not to take space from each other by force, and players are being bored to death as a result.

Two weeks ago, I examined the history of force projection in EVE Online and made the argument that capital ships and jump drives ultimately created today's nullsec problems. Increases in mobility have led to alliances teaming up over vast distances, making mega-coalitions an inevitable outcome. It's obviously too late to remove capital ships or jump logistics, but there are plenty of other ways to potentially fix the nullsec problem. We had some great discussions in the comments of the previous article about how this complex problem could be solved without making warfare the painful slog it was back in 2004, and I believe it's possible.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I lay out some ideas for new game mechanics that could solve the current nullsec crisis and may meet CCP's goals for the eventual sovereignty revamp that's on the way.

Continue reading EVE Evolved: How to fix nullsec territorial warfare

MassivelyEVE Evolved: How to fix nullsec territorial warfare originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 17 Aug 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Origins of Malu goes ‘back to the drawing board’

Long-gestating sci-fantasy sandbox Origins of Malu has an updated and now rather cryptic website teasing something called Project: Hail Mary as well as some "upcoming changes" for the game.

Burning Dog says that it has gone "back to the drawing board so to speak and in the next couple of weeks, we'll be unleashing just what OOM has become during our hiatus!" There are also PlayStation, Xbox One, Mac, and Windows logos prominently displayed on the teaser page. Finally, the revamped landing page mentions a video blog scheduled for Sunday, August 17th.

[Thanks Dystopiq!]

MassivelyOrigins of Malu goes 'back to the drawing board' originally appeared on Massively on Fri, 15 Aug 2014 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Star Citizen’s Arena Commander gets new CTF mode

Cloud Imperium has added a new game mode to Star Citizen's Arena Commander dogfighting module. Capture the Core is a team-based mode that sees players tasked with -- you guessed it -- capping the core on the opposite side of the map. If that sounds a bit like classic capture-the-flag games, that's by design, though CIG's announcement post points out that there's an "additional challenge of operating in three dimensional space."

The new mode is now available to all Arena Commander-eligible backers.

[Thanks Cardboard!]

MassivelyStar Citizen's Arena Commander gets new CTF mode originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 09 Aug 2014 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Stomping Land is switching to Unreal Engine 4

Dino-delay or evolutionary upgrade? The situation might be both for The Stomping Land, which has been on the down low while its developer works to bring it to a new game engine after the old engine lost studio support.

"It has been quiet in The Stomping Land community but that is certainly not the case behind the scenes!" Developer Alex "Jig" Fundora told Kotaku. "The game is being moved to Unreal Engine 4 to take advantage of technical and creative opportunities, and while the game was so early in development, I didn't want to keep working for years with a game engine (UDK) that had officially lost support by Epic. The move has put a bit of more work on my plate, but the already discovered opportunities using UE4 are exciting, and I'm confident fans will be satisfied with the long-run decision."

The dinosaur-themed survival sandbox went into early access this past May 30th.

MassivelyThe Stomping Land is switching to Unreal Engine 4 originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 06 Aug 2014 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chris Roberts: ‘If I were a little saner, I wouldn’t be biting off as much as we’re doing here’

Star Citizen will top $50 million in crowdfunding at some point over the next few weeks, and when it does, chances are good that you'll see increased media coverage. Some of that coverage has already started, if a new piece at The Verge is any indication.

There's nothing new here for fans or backers, but it's a great high-level primer for your on-the-fence friends that focuses on creator Chris Roberts and his desire to build the ultimate space sim. "If I [were] a little saner, I wouldn't be biting off as much as we're doing here," Roberts explains, "but it's the game that I've wanted to play and dreamed about playing forever."

MassivelyChris Roberts: 'If I were a little saner, I wouldn't be biting off as much as we're doing here' originally appeared on Massively on Mon, 04 Aug 2014 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Repopulation looks back at its July test updates

The world is big, and so are we. The end of the month means a new update for those on the outside looking in at The Repopulation, and July brought with it some sizable changes. For example, the game introduced 27 new areas, with several existing areas seeing new improvements and a lot of extra paths opening up. Any explorer has plenty of new stuff to see throughout the game, from new ways to see old regions to old regions just filled with new things.

July also saw the inclusion of the training mechanic, which allows players to spend training points to improve various abilities. Pharmaceuticals, equipment fittings, and music also saw large-scale overhauls for players, and the development team launched a survey to get a better idea of the player types watching the game closely. You can see the full list of patch changes with the official update, along with more details on the overhauls and plans moving forward.

MassivelyThe Repopulation looks back at its July test updates originally appeared on Massively on Mon, 04 Aug 2014 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Star Citizen’s latest ship is ready for the races

star citizen Not every spaceship is slated for combat or trade; some ships exist to go as fast as possible. The Origin M50, Star Citizen's newest offering, is a racing ship that can do double duty as a courier or interceptor. The craft is dominated by a pair of engines that provide an incredible amount of thrust and maneuverability.

Players who cough up $90 can put one of these sleek machines in their collection right now. The devs promise that the M50 is "hanger-ready," meaning that you can admire it in person via the hanger module. Taking it out for a spin? That may be a while yet.

[Thanks to James for the tip!]

MassivelyStar Citizen's latest ship is ready for the races originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 02 Aug 2014 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Oort Online strives to create a ‘universe-sized’ sandbox

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Oort Online
Why should your sandbox MMO be confined to one measly world? That's the premise of Oort Online, an upcoming sandbox title that involves several worlds that can be explored, conquered, and molded by players. In this voxel-based game, players will exist on the same server and can choose to fight a nasty galaxy-spanning race called the Protectors or carve out a slice of land on which to build a masterpiece.

"We think fans of procedural games are going to love Oort Online! We're making a universe-sized sandbox and giving players control over what happens," developer Wonderstruck said.

Oort Online has been in development for six months and is available right now as an early access prototype for funders who spend $95 or more. The crowdfunded project also has cheaper tiers for alpha and beta access and promises a package of goodies (including a chance to win instant access) for those who send out a tweet promoting the game.

Get a sneak peek of Oort Online in a dev video after the break!

Continue reading Oort Online strives to create a 'universe-sized' sandbox

MassivelyOort Online strives to create a 'universe-sized' sandbox originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 30 Jul 2014 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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