BagoGames recently spoke with one of the architects of VoidSpace, a game with endless possibilities that knows no boundaries and a game where you can decide your own fate and your own story. To find out more about the folks behind VoidSpace, we talked with the game’s lead designer, Nikolas, to find out just where its ideas came from and where they’re actually going.
There’s a strong chance you have heard of The Universe Project after a successful video was uploaded onto YouTube, describing all the details of their master plan. Originally it looked like it would be Earth-based until they decided to look at a Space game to test the Engine, however it seems that is now become a priority for Nikolas and The Universe Projects as it is on Greenlight and has a Kickstarter itself.
What follows is a partially transcribed Q & A with some paraphrasing. It was a free flowing interview.
I first asked Nikolas to talk a bit about VoidSpace, the Universe Engine and how the original idea of a Earth-based game came about as many following the game felt lost after the idea of the Space came about – rather than people, we see Spaceships.
“It was actually always the plan to use VoidSpace as the test bed for the Universe Engine. The only deviation from the plan was the decision to turn VoidSpace into a full-fledged Universe Project rather than just a test bed. So instead, it will be used to develop and test every facet of the Universe Engine. When VoidSpace is complete, The Universe Engine will also be complete. From there work will begin on an Earth-like survival game.”
Where did the idea actually come from?
“The majority of the inspiration for the game came from simply asking myself the question how can I recreate real life.” Nikolas became obsessed with the concept and “by 16 years old,” he knew that this is what he’d be doing for the rest of his life.
And when will VoidSpace be complete?
“We’ve estimated 2 years after full funding but people will be able to play throughout the development process.
Currently, donating $50 on the Kickstarter will give you access to the “latest and greatest” game features on the release candidate. $35 will give you access to the “stable” release only, which is usually lagged behind the release candidate and $20 will give you access to the full game, starting from the beta.”
Do you feel you can get some of the funding via a successful Kickstarter?
“From what I can tell, the Kickstarter could be successful. The only thing that is missing is major media picking it up.”
Many people are also very shocked at The Universe Projects asking for $275k CAD, do you believe that’s a lot to ask for?
“We came to that amount because it was the minimum amount we figured we needed to make the entire game in the time frame we gave on the Kickstarter.”
As it is, The Universe Projects & VoidSpace don’t have investors lined up yet and “haven’t been looking”.
Their focus is on the Kickstarter due to the publicity it could gain.
Another thing potential players have brought up is the fact the game could quickly turn into a run-and-gun, pay-to-win mess. I quizzed him about the possibility of VoidSpace turning into a run-and-gun, with players turning away from playing strategically.
“With all the griefer protection from the built in mechanics, I find that most likely to be impossible. Combat isn’t something that could be taken lightly in this game. For an individual who just wants to stir the pot and shoot people up, he can absolutely do that, but when he dies, he doesn’t get to spawn in the same spot he did, which ensures he will not be facing the same group of people he did when he died.”
He will instead spawn somewhere completely different, if he wants to return to the spot he will need to wait through a time out before respawning in the original spot. This could be up to a day, or more. Or less. They feel some play-testing would be required before deciding on the right balance.
But what about the micro-transactions? Could the game just turn into a play-to-win?
“Our funding model is partially based on the fees we receive for micro-transactions between players. The alternative would likely have to be a monthly subscription for the game, which players would probably hate.”
He continued, “A few people see the player to player Real Money Transaction as a Pay-to-Win system and I have a handful of reasons why this isn’t the problem they think it is.”
He then listed some of the stuff he mentioned in a blog post. The main point he made is the fact that play-to-win usually works when players boost their chances in a game by buying things from the developer, all transactions in VoidSpace will be between actual players.
VoidSpace will certainly be interesting and I look forward to what may come of it over this next year. Nikolas is determined to see the project come on. VoidSpace has potential to be revolutionary if everything clicks together.
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