If love it, make it free (c) ;)
Trying to steal Vray's thunder.
It was at E3 that we met with Alex Koshelkov, CEO and founder of Crytivo Games, and had a conversation about his company’s Unity developed game The Universim. Accompanying him was Nick Moutsios (Lead Developer) and George Kravas (Game Developer). Alex and his team was kind enough to spend time out of their busy schedule to have a nice discussion with us about their title in development, and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Our company is an independent game development studio founded in 2013. We are a Kickstarter project and we were funded one-and-a-half years ago. We are based all over the world and our boys come from Russia, Greece, UK, Switzerland, and Portugal. In total we have 15 people. I’m personally in San Diego. We work on this game remotely, sitting at our house in our underwear and eating chicken [laughs].
It’s a big scope game and people call us III (triple I games) instead of AAA, it stands for indie. Right now we’re in the early stage still. We call it pre-alpha, or more like a tech demo where we develop the actual planet generation platform. Each time you start the game all the planets are completely different, object placements are different, everything is different but at the same time it looks familiar to you. We try to keep your first planet and keep it as familiar as possible for you (like planet earth).
At the same time it has all the dynamic factors such as different temperatures and different biomes like desert, mountains, or forests. All of these have different temperatures which affect all our people, which are called nuggets. The nuggets basically look like chicken nuggets. They live their lives starting in the Stone Age and they evolve into other eras. The process goes from Stone Age, to Medieval Age, to Modern Age, and even to the Space Age.
There is technology and research that you will be able to run, and when you reach the Space Age you’ll be able to fly to and colonize different planets. All of those planets will be dynamically generated. There will be dynamic object placement, dynamic statistics and stuff like that. Some planets will be super cold, some will be super hot, and some planets will be friendly.
Based on all the statistics you’ll be able to actually terraform those. So if it’s super hot you can put the thermogenerators that will consume a lot of fuel and gas, but it will lower temperatures on the planet, or you can put oxygen generators if there is no oxygen on the planet.
The Power is in your Hands
At the same time we want to give players the ability the choose the way he wants to evolve. If he wants to evolve the green way or the more aggressive/faster way he can. If you want to evolve the aggressive way, you can use a little more of the planet’s resources and gas and oil. It’s your choice. The downside is that there the rate of pollution is faster and there is more of it and you’ll run out of resources faster. The green way is slower, but everything will be much more beautiful for the people living on the planet.
Later on we will have the planet editor where you will be able to create your own planets. We want to give our players the ability to customize as many things as possible. So for the nuggets you can customize their clothing, hairstyles, colors, and stuff like that.
Planet editor is the big priority and a big deal because we want our fan base to make their own planets and share them with their friends and impress them. Maybe down the road we’ll be able to link and have a rating system where all our players can fly to different planets and discover them for the first time ever.
Live News System
We have plans to implement the dynamic live news system. What we’re doing is developing the web page where our fan base will be able to go and use it as a portal where they can make their own news for the game. So there will be triggers that you can select, such as the era (stone age) and another trigger (death) and input “Michael Jackson just died, blah blah blah” and you submit that. We review it and if we approve it, it goes to our online database, which is optional it’s not like DRM or anything.
If you’re connected to the internet, your game will go ahead and pick the news from our database and every time you play the game you see all the different stories submitted by different people. Every time you play the game you’ll get different news.
Platforms and Controllers
Right now we’re shooting for Windows, Mac, Linux, and possibly on current generation consoles. That’s because the Unity system makes it easy for us to do this and develop it. Right now we’re really considering other platforms because we want to make sure that you feel comfortable navigating in the game with controllers.
Right now actually, since we built the main platform with the planet generation and all the dynamic stuff, we will start experimenting with controls for consoles. We’re really critical about the navigation in the game. We want you to feel very comfortable flying around the planet to give you that national geographic feel, almost as if you are part of the helicopter crew and recording animals.
Goals of the Game
We basically want the player to feel that he is actually playing with something organic. We want to give that experience of where you feel like you’re managing your own ant farm. Where you care about these people, make your decision to help or kill them or punish them. It’s like managing your own little world in front of you where you’re the boss.
This is a startup and as a startup environment it’s a bit challenging. The fact that we’re all working remotely, adds up. We’ve come a long way though. At this point we have established a really strong team and I can say that it’s been pretty amazing so far. The experience is really nice. The feedback we’re getting from the people and our community is what keeps us going. It’s really motivating. The ultimate experience we can get is seeing the people’s face. Seeing how excited they are about it.
That really means a lot because all this time we’ve been developing it internally without actually sharing it with anybody for feedback. Right now is the first time we’ve shown it in public where a random person can try it and tell us what they like and don’t like. This is a really important time where we take a lot of notes and where we work on them. The next step is releasing it for our backers on Kickstarter (September 15). We want to keep people excited and comfortable.
The full game we hope to release by the end of next year. The game will be DRM free and DLC free. You buy it once, you get all the updates for free.
Oh, and can I say hi to my mom?