Dual Universe: What to expect and what not to expect
The crowd-funded space game launches its alpha build today
Dual Universe is an upcoming MMO space sandbox game currently in development at Novaquark. The game was announced in 2016 and has been in development ever since. Its first alpha test build releases today.
The game is partially funded by its Kickstarter campaign that launched two years ago. In total the project has collected roughly 10 million euro in funding, with 1.2 million euro coming directly from its backers.
To summarize, the game is similar to games like Star Citizen, Empyrion: Galactic Survival, and No Man's Sky. You and other players can harvest minerals and matter from procedurally-generated planets and you can use those materials to create anything from buildings to spaceships.
Almost anything in Dual Universe is modular. In the preview I saw, the developers exhibited basic constructions by using the available visual scripting tools that are already present in the game.
On top of using the in-game tools, players can also use the LUA programming language to program enhancements on existing objects. One instance that the developers showcased is an arcade machine in a player-made building that plays an Arkanoid-type Breakout game.
Dual Universe also has an economy system where players can buy, trade, and sell things they have created or acquired. Players can sell materials, item blueprints, information on mining locations and many more through market hubs. This makes the game's economy a player-driven experience.
Since the game is still in alpha, it is very hard to critique the game fairly. There are a lot of things that still needs work in this game. For example, the build that was showcased during the demo I participated in crashed in the very beginning of the broadcast.
Crafting bits and pieces of a blueprint isn't as refined or involved as I would've liked. The player vs. player interactions are still under wraps and pretty much everything that makes this game an MMO is still under construction.
However, during an interview after the demo, Novaquark representative Baptiste Agati said that crafting will be a lot more involved in the future and that the current system of crafting materials is a place holder.
Judging from what I witnessed in the developer demo, I believe that Dual Universe has tremendous potential. I love the modularity that the game offers and the player-driven market.
This game is in a great starting point and it is pretty exciting to see what Novaquark has in store for the future. The development roadmap is available on their website.