Here is some exciting news for Chronicles of Elyria’s fans: The project is nearing its first alpha phase as the dev team lays down the foundation for VoxElyria. This will be the graphical MUD that will allow players to test the MMO’s systems with very basic graphics.
The team worked up a new blog post to talk about the various tasks that it is undertaking to get the game ready for 0.5.0. These tasks include developing proximity chat, working up a voting system for maps, procedurally generating the world, and figuring out a lot of the behind-the-scenes technical issues to make the gameplay smooth.
“With the impending pre-alpha release, Chronicles of Elyria will finally be growing up,” a Soulbound Studios dev said. “We’re going to be transitioning from having dozens of players able to be in the world at once … to thousands! To ensure that we’re able to scale effectively, I will be working more on our scalability, load balancing, and other platform solutions to make sure we’re ready to go.”
MMO development is rarely steady and even; there are ups and downs, fast periods and slow cycles. Sometimes the slower patches are necessary to firm up the basics, which is why Dual Universe has been in a “feature freeze mode” for a while. The good news? This phase is at an end, and we should be hearing more about what’s going into this sci-fi space sim in the near future.
“For several months we have been in a feature freeze mode to direct our focus near exclusively on both server and client stability,” Novaquark said. “This freeze period will be ending as the next client build coming in May will deliver many anticipated features! Players can now look forward to scanning, mining, trading, a piloting mechanics revamp, and other additional new content!”
In this month’s Kickstarter update, the team also showed off the new female Novean base outfit, laid out its May pre-alpha testing schedule, and shared the winners of the outpost building contest.
Check out our recent Dual Universe demo and interview for a deeper look at this interesting title!
How is it even possible to make a Diablo-style game more awesome than the original? Easy — you toss in time travel. Now things get interesting.
“Time travel meets the online ARPG” is the premise of Last Epoch, which will send players across four distinct eras to murder everything in the vicinity. For loot reasons, you understand. The game features five base classes, 10 mastery classes, a branching skill system, game seasons, crafting, and all of the rewards you expect out of such games.
The title recently launched a Kickstarter campaign seeking $210,000 for the pre-alpha title. If all goes well, alpha will begin this August, beta in April 2019, and a full release during April 2020. The cool thing is that you can try out the demo right now for free before deciding if this a project you wish to support.
Those looking forward to Fractured will have a chance to put their money where their mouths are in June, because that’s when the game is kicking off its Kickstarter campaign. The game will be aiming for at least $250,000 in funding to add to its $100,000 from investor funding, so we’ll see how well it does once it actually hits the crowdfunding circuit.
But what will you actually be funding? A game or some concept art? You can answer that question by checking out the 17-minute video just below, showing off a sizable chunk of pre-alpha footage and including exploration, combat, and the overall art direction. You can check it out just below; while it’s definitely in the early development stage, you can get a sense of what the overall goal of the game’s design will be even from that. And if you like what you see there, well, just get ready for the hit to your wallet in June.
My experience with Rend last year felt a bit like stepping into a faerie circle and slipping into another world, sneaking up to a rather secret meeting in a restaurant on the Boston pier and seeing this game that at once seemed like a very obvious take on a familiar formula while also being immediately appealing to me personally. So it was a given that I would go back, and I can confirm that the fish restaurant itself was very real; I had some fried fish. It was tasty.
Of course, by that point I had already seen Rend again because it had a booth on the show floor showing off what it had on offer.
I didn’t get to actually play the game on the show floor this year, but I did get a guided tour through all of the things that the game had gone through in the year since I had seen it. As I was told repeatedly, when I saw the game then, it was the work of five guys crammed into a basement working on something. Now, though, the game is approaching something much bigger, better, and brighter.
By far, this is the focus of Pantheon’s February state of the game post by Creative Director Chris Perkins, who reports that the testing has resulted in “overwhelmingly positive and constructive” feedback for the team. The development team is hard at work on the perception system, combat, class design (in particular, the Ranger and Dire Lord), NPC AI and dispositions, and game balancing.
While there are only a few hundred checking out a limited slice of the game at this point, the pre-alpha will be expanding soon as it heads into its second phase next month. Pre-Alpha 2 will open up to include Halnir Cave for gameplay, with additional zones to follow.
For Ashes of Creation fans, January has provided a video bonanza to help with the lengthy wait to beta and launch. Last week we were treated to a look at the game’s surprisingly beautiful Underrealm, and this week it’s a hands-on romp through the world.
IGN took a developer tour of the game this week, noting that while there were (presumably) placeholder kill 10 rats quests and a lack of many standard features in the pre-alpha, the combat was “punchy” and the non-instanced dungeon an exciting concept.
You can watch some of this tour after the break. It may not be the most in-depth video ever, but there is plenty of eye candy and combat to behold.
Don’t do survival the hard way, with only your fleshy meatbag shell as your primary resource. Use your brains and futuristic technology to summon an army of intelligent robots instead to do your bidding!
That’s the premise of Outpost Zero, a new survival sandbox that bills itself as a cross between “multiplayer FPS” and StarCraft. Players will land on an alien planet, gather resources, build bots, and construct a base. There isn’t a peaceful resolution here, however; base vs. base wars are the core of the endgame. Leading a trained bot army, players will engage in FPS combat against enemies in an attempt to interrupt operations and loot resources.
The studio says that Outpost Zero is a very deep sandbox, particularly when it comes to the game’s base construction and economic market. It’s currently ramping up its alpha program. Check out the trailer below!
You could argue that a pre-alpha is itself a seed that will eventually grow into a full, playable game. It’d be a bit of a tortured metaphor, but it would also mean that you could make the argument that the two minutes of pre-alpha footage available for Seed below represent a seed of Seed. And isn’t it all worth as many tortured metaphors as it takes to make a lame joke?
Probably not. In fact, it’s probably more productive to just watch the footage and think a little bit about what you’re seeing on the screen. You get to see the early version of building structures, plotting gardens, and developing a campsite from a small gathering into a larger group, so all of that is pretty indicative of the final game Seed wants to be. We’ll see how it blossoms over the coming months.
Here’s a little bit of bad news that’s followed by a large dose of good news for Arcfall fans. The team announced that it decided to move back the implementation of the game’s PvP system by two weeks.
Bummer, right? Well, it’s actually because of an unexpectedly good thing. The team said that it’s been making such great progress on the western sandbox that it will be able to exit pre-alpha and enter alpha testing earlier than anticipated. And because the transition requires a wipe, it didn’t make sense to also wipe for a PvP system two weeks beforehand.
Thus, on August 25th Arcfall will officially become an alpha product, and add systems like PvP, animal taming, animal farming, mounts, factions, guilds, swimming, castles, player-owned vendors, and a revised loot system. That’s a decent trade-off for a two-week delay, eh?
Sometimes it’s the small details that makes a patch memorable. For Gloria Victis, it’s something as simple as additional music during character creation, terrain footstep sounds, and a Chinese translation.
These come courtesy of Wednesday’s patch, which also factored in plenty of new combat and performance improvements. Hit detection, player synchronization, and being able to block arrows with a shield strapped on a character’s back were all fixed thanks to player feedback and developer response.
We’ve got a buffet of Gloria Victis videos for you after the break, including one of the new music tracks, a look at crafting, and the combat update. Check them out and let us know what you think in the comments!
If No Man’s Sky didn’t exactly scratch your itch for multiplayer interplanetary exploration, mining, and crafting, then Astroneer is suiting up right now to take a stab at this format with all sorts of lovely soft pastel visuals and a quirky feel.
The team posted its development roadmap this week that traces the project’s main goals from Astroneer’s current pre-alpha status all of the way to launch. Currently, the team is tackling some of the large, essential “boulders” that will make up the core systems, which are broken down into more manageable “rocks” to allow for progress.
There were also hints dropped about possible features, such as themed spacesuit designs: “Without giving too much away, one can already begin to speculate about all the ways planet-themed unlockable suits might add to multiple areas on this roadmap, like the research system, crafting, customization, and others.”
In a small planned surprise, Frostkeep sent out a wave of unannounced pre-alpha invites for Rend this week. The studio says that the additional testers will prove most helpful as work continues to get the survival sandbox ready for early access. More waves will be coming soon, so don’t feel shy about signing up.
The team went on to pen a dev blog about its skill system, which sounds fairly similar to other games out there. There are no limitations as to how many skills you can work on, so go nuts. Leveled-up skills lead to better efficiency as well as unlocked crafting recipes and helpful perks.
As in most survival sandboxes, you’re going to start out at the bottom rung of the gathering ladder, punching trees for their wood and also because they deserve it. Y’know, it only now occurs to us how poorly these so-called “survival” games actually prepare players for a real-world survival situation.