Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Improbable’s SpatialOS is going to be leveraged by the developers of Scavengers in a way that other multiplayer games are incapable of thanks to the scales it can work with. That’s part of the message in a recent interview with Improbable chief technology officer Lincoln Wallen and developer Midwinter Entertainment founder Josh Holmes, but the interview does start by acknowledging how other games using SpatialOS fell flat.
“There’s all sorts of reasons they’re risky projects, in the best of times,” said Wallen in the interview. “I would say that some of the lessons which we’ve learned with Midwinter is that development is a process. It’s a creative process. It’s an iterative process. Finding the right end result involves creating more flexibility for the developers in search of that result.”
This time will reportedly be different, as the devs at Midwinter have been working with Improbable and on Scavengers for about four years. “We leveraged the platform to offload our AI and significantly increase the scale at which we can operate,” claims Holmes. “The other thing that technology really allows us to do is be very iterative in our approach to development and look for opportunities to continually expand the scale. We can try out new mechanics that maybe have many more players or have persistence, things like that.”
The application of SpatialOS to Scavengers’ gameplay mostly focuses on things like changing weather systems, dynamic wildlife AI, and a play space that houses between 30 and 60 players on a large scale map. The full gameplay beats are focused on PvPvE, though win conditions aren’t about being the last group standing so much as being the team that completes the most objectives and scores the most points — multiple teams can make it to the drop ship and escape.
Scavengers is eyeing a release sometime this year, with launch on PC, PS4, and Xbox One with full cross-play support. Early access is expected to start in late April, which is a month later than the devs had originally planned.