A slower week for the small Prosperous Universe team nevertheless proved to be beneficial, as the sci-fi MMO rolled through its second alpha test more or less intact.
The team said that while this version of the game “feels way slower” than previously, the test is progressing smoothly from a technical test. It also sounds like players are getting a better handle on their start in this sandbox universe: “While the players I spoke with complained about not being able to be self-sufficient from the beginning, they quickly adapted to the new situation and started to trade the things they need to grow their bases. This is exactly what we hoped for and what this test is about.”
Curious about this “sandbox business simulation MMO?” The team put together a series of questions and answers about Prosperous Universe and addressed them while showing off some of the gameplay. Check it out below!
With nearly two years under the small indie team’s belt, Prosperous Universe successfully survived the launch and reentry of its first alpha test.
“We are still quite surprised by how well the overall system performed,” the team reported. “To be honest, we expected for things to fall apart rather quickly, with people discovering major game-breaking problems or blocking bugs that would keep players from accessing the game. Except for one such bug, everything went surprisingly smoothly, though […] This unexpected lack of major problems meant that people could actually play the game the way it was intended to.”
As the Prosperous Universe team prepares for another test in the future, there’s a lot to do in the here and now. The crew said that its members are busy incorporating feedback from the first alpha, redesigning the production interface, and improving the starter base building experience.
Considering the sparse information that has been released about CD Projekt Red’s perhaps-an-MMO Cyberpunk 2077 over the last four years, it’s easy to assume that the game has long been abandoned. However, the studio asserted this week that it has a good reason for being closed-lipped about the project, saying that it takes time to “reinvent the wheel” and innovate with new games.
The Witcher 3 studio was prompted to make an official response about the game following public concerns over alleged poor morale and high turnover behind the scenes. CD Projekt Red said that instead of shrinking, the studio is now double the size that it was in 2015 and is still hiring. And best of all, CD Projekt Red confirmed that Cyberpunk 2077 is still being made and has the backing of the studio.
“Cyberpunk 2077 is progressing as planned, but we are taking our time — in this case, silence is the cost of making a great game,” the studio said. You can read the full letter concerning the project after the break.
Hula-hoops and cats — they go together like cats and anything else that cats aren’t especially known to do. But somehow Atlas Reactor is making it work with NEV:3, a catgirl character who uses Tron-like hoops for ranged damage. Plus, she’s got a cat face emoticon in her name, so you know she means business.
NEV:3 joined the game’s cast yesterday in the Chapter 3 update: “With her custom-made catarangs, NEV:3 can prove to be quite catastrophic to her enemies. Her catarangs can be dished out to deal damage and will stay out for a turn. Afterwards, the catarang returns to NEV:3 dealing reduced damage along the path to her.”
Whether you’re on board with this catastrophe or not, Atlas Reactor is activating a double ISO weekend from July 14th through the 16th for everyone, so it might be worth setting aside some time to rack up extra advancement.
Mark Kern’s Em-8er project has reached another internal milestone, with the team achieving a few small (and decidedly quirky) goals such as creating an art demo with the THMPR mech and 3-D printing some tiny THMPR models as backer rewards. The team also put together a 20-page full-color design vision pitch book to sell prospective gamers and publishers on what Em-8er is all about (other than revolutionary titling, of course).
The small team continues to grow and will head into its next fundraising phase next week with a focus on creating male and female models. Kern said that interest in Em-8er continues to grow, with 8,300 people on the game’s mailing list.
“All these milestones (we anticipate 3 more or so), will combine to create the ultimate playable mockup of the game,” Kern wrote. “The mockup will include a sample THMPR encounter with attacking Tsi-Hu shapeshifting aliens, gliding and jetting Omniframes with basic abilities, and a frenzy of sample ranged and melee combat. This demo will be used to promote our eventual Kickstarter and future funding of the game.”
CD Projekt Red, the maker of the acclaimed Witcher RPG series, claimed that cyber thieves have made off with “internal files” and “early designs” for its upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 and have reported the theft to Polish police. What’s more bizarre is that the thieves are allegedly holding the documents ransom until the studio pays up.
The studio released a statement on Twitter about the crime, saying that the documents are old and should be ignored if leaked: “An unidentified individual or individuals have just informed us they are in possession of a few internal files belonging to CD Projekt Red. Among them are documents connected to early designs for the upcoming game, Cyberpunk 2077. A demand for ransom has been made, saying that should we not comply, the files will be released to the general public.”
We have had our eye on Cyberpunk 2077 since last year when the game’s description made us wonder if this title will be an MMORPG in disguise. You can read the full CD Projekt Red statement after the break.
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.”
Stationeers, an upcoming multiplayer survival sim, marks Dean Hall’s (DayZ) third attempt to create a space station title. In a recent interview with PC Games N, Hall seems confident that this one will make it across the finish line.
“The other day we set a record of 28 players playing, with excellent bandwidth usage,” he says. “It was fantastic. It was the first time we’d run a playtest with a large number of players that had no major errors, so that’s putting us on the road to release.”
Hall talks about the features that are going into the game, the ones being adjusted, and the ones being left out due to resource limitations. He’s hoping that trading between stations will make its way into the game at some point, but Hall is more concerned with creating a “great core game loop” that was present in other successful early access titles like Prison Architect and Rimworld.
Stationeers is slated to come to Steam early access some time this year.
Sniffing out promising upcoming MMOs is getting more difficult now that developers and studios are avoiding that label like the plague. Instead, we’re looking for terms like “seamless multiplayer” and “shared open world” as indicators for the types of games that we enjoy.
One of these possible MMOs-in-disguise is Cyberpunk 2077, a sci-fi RPG that’s being developed by Witcher creator CD Projekt Red. The game has been in development at least since 2012 and is supposed to create a world that’s far larger than the already expansive Witcher 3. What’s of interest to us, specifically, are recent grant applications of the title that speak of “seamless multiplayer.”
According to descriptions of this feature, Cyberpunk 2077 will have “a complex technology for making unique multiplayer gameplay mechanics, including the ability to search for opponents, manage game session, replicate objects, and support different game modes along with a unique set of dedicated tools.”
It should be noted that CD Projekt Red has been very quiet on this title since 2013, making no updates to its development blog or Twitter account. Still, if you’re curious what Cyberpunk 2077 looks like, hit the jump for a couple of videos showing off the concept.
Do you want to head off into the depths of the galaxy and forge your own path in a spaceship? That’s kind of the gold standard for space games, really. Add Legends of Azulgar into that grouping when it hits Early Access tomorrow after being voted into the Stream Greenlight service; the game is boasting a procedurally generated universe, your own ship and crew, lots of different build options, and so forth.
Currently, the game appears to have more single-player features than multiplayer, but a persistent universe for multiple players is apparently on its roadmap. When those features will actually arrive is another story, but it’s still nice to have another flavor of space explore-and-dominate game on the market, right?
Have you been waiting for a good deal before jumping on board Fragmented? Time to put your money where your interest is, for the survival game has gone on sale at 25% off in the Humble Store.
Fragmented normally costs $25, but for the next six days or so, you can get it for just $18.74 through this sale. Buying it in the Humble Store will net you a key to unlock the game in Steam, so be aware that you’ll need to use the digital platform to access the game.
Fragmented is still in early access, as evidenced by its frequent patches and new car smell.
is working hard to make a name for itself as a unique twist in the multiplayer PvP space. One of its challenges is in selling (simultaneous) turn-based gameplay to a crowd not used to seeing that. Probably the best move is to get people to simply play it, which could be why Trion Worlds
is opening up the closed beta this weekend
for everyone to give Atlas Reactor
From May 13th through the 15th, Atlas Reactor will unlock its closed beta to the general public and make every character available to play. Founders will get additional progression boosts during the weekend for extra incentive to play.
Atlas Reactor recently switched from a free-to-play to a buy-to-play model. Will you try it this weekend to evaluate a possible purchase?
Jonesing for a nice bite of cyberpunk in your MMO diet? Then you might want to keep one augmented eye on Exile Online, an upcoming sandbox that is jacked in to all sorts of cyberpunk feels.
Exile Online has a wide variety of ambitious features, including extensive player housing, a mix-and-match skill system, an intricate economy, implants, politics, and, of course, a futuristic dystopia of high technology and low morals. “Life on Erebus is cheap,” the devs explained. “The wary citizen must always keep an eye out, lest they become just another statistic, crushed under the feet of monumentally powerful and corrupt mega corporations and bureaucratic agencies.”
While the pre-alpha isn’t yet accessible by the public, the team recently made an apartment demo available to all. The game has been in development from at least 2014. A Kickstarter campaign is in the works for some time this year.