dual universe

Official Site: Dual Universe
Studio: Novaquark
Launch Date: Planned for 2018
Genre: Sci-fi sandbox
Business Model: Subscription
Platform: PC

Betawatch: The Repopulation is back in the saddle again (March 17, 2017)

It has been an odd and not altogether happy ride for The Repopulation, but the good news is that the game is back into a playable state. It's also the exact same game from when it got shut down, so if you were expecting some huge changes, you will be somewhat disappointed. And, you know, there's the whole change in ownership that's left a bad taste in many people's mouths. Still, it's online!

Other beta stuff also happened this week as it turns out. Which is good and hopefully will be less depressing. Let's see.

Some of that still found a way to be sort of a downer, huh? Well, you can check out the full list of games in testing below, perhaps that will bring you more joy. As always, let us know if something hopped test phases in the comments! We're trying to get rid of all the cash shops that take your money in supposed beta tests, but they're remarkably resilient. Some of us suspect there's a hive.

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Dual Universe announces alpha delay

You're going to have to wait a little while longer to see a playable version of Dual Universe, as the team announced last Friday that it will be delaying the alpha release to September, with a possible preview in August.

"We first aimed at the first half of 2017, as we said many times in interviews," the team reported in a video. "But we feel today that we will need a bit more time to include a more complete game and a better experience."

It's not all just bummer news about delays from this sci-fi title, however. Dual Universe has been growing thanks to new placement tools, more finished ship design elements, and a rendering technique that will show planet surfaces in breathtaking detail when you're halfway between the ground and outer space.

Check out the February update video after the break!

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Make My MMO: The Exiled arrives to mixed reviews on Steam (February 25, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, The Exiled was released to the wilds of Steam early access. Formerly called Das Tal, the buy-to-play indie sandbox attempted to raise funds through Kickstarter back in 2015 but pulled in only €33,000 of its €50,000 goal and resorted to website preorders instead, forging ahead to now. Reviews on Steam so far are mixed; once you subtract the confused trial players who seem surprised to see PvP in a PvP sandbox, the main complaints revolve around crafting grind and lag.

Meanwhile, Ship of Heroes teased its Kickstarter, Shroud of the Avatar released R39, Albion Online settled on a July release, Life is Feudal rolled out its second beta, Pantheon brought on more new employees (thanks, Reht!), Dual Universe planned a GDC community meetup, Star Citizen explored the Magnus system and released a new concept ship, HEX got a new publisher, and Elite: Dangerous did science and turned... beige.

Closer to home, games critic and veritable prince of Patreon Jim Sterling scored a victory for games journalism in the courts as a judge dismissed with prejudice a game developer's libel lawsuit against him. (Thanks to everyone who tipped this our way!)

Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on.

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Perfect Ten: MMORPGs that help you get your spaceship on

Sometimes even the most die-hard MMORPG player finds him or herself a little tired of constantly looking at the back of a head and a running butt. We yearn to slip the surly bonds of the world to explore the cosmos in our very own rocket ship to see what is out there. E.T., are you taking house calls? Can we hang for a little while? I brought Reese's Pieces!

Getting this experience isn't quite as easy as, say, finding an MMO that caters to the dragon-slaying crowd. It's well-known that sci-fi MMORPGs are in the minority, and only a fraction of those center around or contain some element of space flight and combat. However, over the years we've seen online games here and there allow us to live out our fantasies of being a space jockey, whether in the form of a trader, a fighter pilot, or an explorer.

Today, let's look at 10 MMOs, past and present, that helped us get our spaceship on!

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Make My MMO: Elite Dangerous betas Commanders 2.3 next month (January 28, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Frontier announced that the beta for Elite Dangerous' 2.3 update, dubbed Commanders, will release to Horizons beta players on February 26th. "Elite Dangerous: The Commanders (2.3) will come with features such as Multicrew and Commander Creator, as well as a number of other improvements and changes," the studio declared. "Bring your friends or invite new crew mates to pack that extra punch you might need in key situations, and add more personality to your Commander with an all-new visual upgrade."

Meanwhile, Albion Online is running a tourney this weekend, Shroud of the Avatar released its 38th update, and Worlds Adrift revealed... biomes!

Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on!

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Dual Universe turns on test server and shows off its progress

Like a small child thrusting her coloring page at you in hopes of approval, Dual Universe is eager to for you to check out its progress over the past month. The team posted a video showing its work on biomes, lighting, building, and physics. Even better than seeing the improvements is hearing that the game is close to pulling in enough donations to fund the development of "construct vs. construct" fights for the launch game.

Another piece of good news is that Dual Universe has a live test server up and running: "Every member of the team can now connect and test gameplay and stability on a server running non stop and permanently crowded with hundreds of bots!"

Get your Dual Universe January briefing after the break.

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Make My MMO: The Repopulation's new owner, Shards Online's alpha (January 14, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Above & Beyond announced that Hero Engine company Idea Fabrik has acquired all rights to its indie sci-fi sandbox MMORPG The Repopulation and will be relaunching the game -- in the Hero Engine -- with a new content patch sometime in Q1 2017. The game had originally raised $230,000 in Kickstarter funds in 2012 and 2014 and made it to early access in 2014, only to become entangled in a financial drama with Idea Fabrik over a year ago, which kept the game offline for a year while A&B built Fragmented with the goal of porting Repop to Unreal. The port will no longer be happening, but A&B is still working on Fragmented's console version. Definitely check out our whole article on what's up -- we've got an exclusive interview with A&B there as well.

Meanwhile,

Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on!

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MMOs Chronicles of Elyria, Dual Universe, and AQ3D were among top crowdfunded games of 2016

Fig, the gaming crowdfunding platform that surged in popularity in 2016 thanks to successful Wasteland 3 and Psychonauts 2 campaigns, has released a list of the top 10 biggest gaming crowdfunds of last year -- and it includes three MMOs.

Fig is touting the games that raised cash on its own platform, of course, but the data also include three MMORPGs in the top 10, backed off Fig: Soulbound's PvP sandbox, Chronicles of ElyriaNovaquark's builder-centric sci-fi sandbox, Dual Universe; and Artix's cutesy cross-platform MMO, AdventureQuest 3D. All three were funded through Kickstarter.

Fig, like the Indiegogo/Microventures platform Crowfall has used for its latest investment round, takes advantage of relatively new U.S. laws that allow non-accredited investors to invest in startups online, making some of these crowdfunds true investment, not just donations, though they come with plenty of restrictions and caveats. Check out the full infographic below.

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Make My MMO: Shards Online's January alpha, Star Citizen's Star Marine (December 24, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Shards Online announced it'll kick off its alpha early in the new year, on January 13th. "Based on the feedback we've received from our current playerbase, there are a few things that need to happen before we can consider ourselves ready for Steam," says Citadel's Derek Brinkmann -- and those include a bigger world map, tamed mounts, the archery skill, modding, and dev tools.

And last night, Star Citizen dropped 2.6 Star Marine for backers, along with the surprise announcement that it's been using Amazon Lumberyard for over a year now.

Meanwhile,

  • Former City of Heroes community member Je Saist has set up a GoFundMe to help him pay off medical bills accruing as a result of his early onset glaucoma diagnosis.
  • John Smedley told Redditors that "money is tight" for Hero's Song.
  • Project Gorgon pulled in over $17,000 from its Indiegogo campaign.
  • Grim Dawn rolled out its 1.0.0.7 patch, which includes a massive outdoor "Aetherial roguelike" dungeon.
  • Elite: Dangerous raised £46,813 during its recent charity livestream.
  • Descent: Underground announced its Avalanche update and GOG launch.
  • Wild Terra updated with its Christmas event this very weekend.

Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on!

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Dual Universe team offers fans a development update before vacation

If you were hoping for more Dual Universe news through the end of the year, the bad news is that it's not happening. The development team is heading on vacation until January, which seems fair. But the team isn't leaving fans without anything to enjoy over the last few days of 2016; a new development diary video is available just below, showing off all of the hard work that the team has put in to making the game a reality. You just won't be hearing more about it until January.

The team is also opening up the game's crowdfunding portal to allow Kickstarter backers the chance to update their pledges, albeit only for a limited time. The upgrade option is meant to be in place for only a few months, with a two-week notice before it closes for good, so you should take the opportunity to upgrade if you have some more money and want a bigger package. (Ahem.) Everyone else can just watch the video below and catch up come January.

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Make My MMO: Crowfall's big world playtest, Star Citizen's alpha 2.6 (December 3, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, ArtCraft says over 9000 gamers have been invited to try to break the three alpha servers active during Crowfall's "Big World" playtest. "We’ve shifted our development approach to be more like a live MMO," says Creative Director and Co-Founder J. Todd Coleman. Still on the way "soon" are the new crafting skill trees, unique world maps, the necromancy system that serves as the foundation for avatar swapping, and the protype for the Eternal Kingdoms. The company also crossed the minimum threshold for its Indiegogo-based equity crowdfunding effort, though it has been thus far unwilling to answer questions about its now-public finances.

Meanwhile, Pantheon is plotting a stream on December 9th, Ship of Heroes became the fourth City of Heroes spiritual successor (and has crowdfunding on the way), Star Citizen began testing alpha 26, Richard Garriott donated an in-game skull to a tavern in Shroud of the Avatar, and The Exiled kicked off its closed alpha (for which we still have keys!).

Finally, we sat down with Project Gorgon's Eric Heimburg to chat about the state of the game and its graphics plans for 2017.

Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on!

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Dual Universe's new crowdfunding portal is now live

Didn't get around to backing Dual Universe back when it busted through its Kickstarter goal? Novaquark announced today that it would still like your money, and you can hand it over starting today through the game's brand-new crowdfunding portal. As explained earlier this month, players will intially be able to pick up pre-order packs akin to those originally available on the Kickstarter, but those founder packs will eventually -- likely in January -- vanishand be replaced by supporter packs with fewer early bird perks.

"If you have already bought a pack (either during the Kickstarter or since Friday the 18th November on our crowdfunding portal), you will see different discounted prices. This is the amount needed to upgrade your existing pack to a higher one," the studio notes in its FAQ. "Keep in mind that it's not possible to upgrade a Kickstarter pledge yet, so the discounted price is there just for information purpose at the moment. We will inform the community as soon as the Kickstarter pledges will be upgradeable on our crowdfunding portal."

Funding through the portal will continue to contribute to the stretch goals; the next one, at €650,000, adds new combat elements.

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Make My MMO: Camelot Unchained likes big bots and it cannot lie (November 19, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, City State Entertainment posted a happy update for Camelot Unchained: Not only has the studio fixed the chat server problems it alluded to last week, but it's been hard at work populating the test server with "just about 2000" unique bots and player testers to stress the game... and the server won. "I was flying above the a crowd of about 2K Bots and not only didn’t the game crash, but it performed well," CSE's Mark Jacobs said of the game's big bot testing. Jacobs also sat down for part two of our interview for The Game Archaeologist column, so don't miss that either!

Meanwhile, Hero's Song's early access got a new patch, Dogma: Eternal Night announced a playable build for December, Shroud of the Avatar pushed out release 36, Crowfall opened itself to unaccredited investors on a new crowdfunding platform,and an Elite: Dangerous player went on a two-day mission to rescue another player -- which he did successfully.

Finally, Star Citizen's Chris Roberts celebrated the fourth anniversary of the game's record-shattering Kickstarter by telling players that his studio will soon be making itself even more transparent by sharing internal timelines. In other words, you can stop making cheap jokes about playing Star Citizen in 2050.

Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding this week and the roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on!

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