When Infinity started some time ago, I remember the title being “Infinity: Quest For Earth”
That was to be a sandbox game with battles rather than a game built around battles as a base.
I quite liked the idea of disappearing into the void to create a base using materials mined and otherwise extracted from the surrounding system. Coupled with the possibility of being found and attacked by another player being in the low unlikely range due to the sheer number of systems, it made it more of an online space survival game, (imagine ‘Rust’ in a space setting instead of an island).
After Elite:Dangerous came out, I was excited that I could do this but alas, they deigned it unnecessary to use those billions of other planets for players to make their own bases and vetoed the idea of player owned stations etc. I quickly got bored of the nerfs of trading that Elite was built on since, being attacked and losing your ship, even with insurance, was still expensive. When it centred more around combat than trading, deviating from the original Elite, I gave up because I’m not as keen on PVP and prefer to build rather than destroy.
I was really hoping that Infinity would allow us to break the PVP battle dominated games and become more of a space economics game with a bit of PVP warfare involved. I was hoping that we could avoid PVP if we wanted to and concentrate on building rather than destroying.
The Quest for Earth may still be created at some point in the future. However, the scale of it was too much for a small team and no funding. So I-Novae are throwing everything they have at a realistic target (Battlescape)
If this game becomes popular and they earn enough from it, it’s entirely probable the next project will be the epic MMO we dream of!
In Battlescape itself, there will be a whole system with real-sized planets and moons, so I suspect it won’t be hard to fly off somewhere and go exploring. Also, building strategically is a stretch goal.
There will be other roles in battlescape other than pure PvP i’m sure, but it’s ultimately about the battles.
If they reach $1.5 mil we will have player built infrastructure, so hopefully we can reach that.
All the work that goes into Battlescape will be a great foundation to build an MMO from, and that is still the dream game the devs are hoping for, so enjoy Battlescape and other space sims in the mean time.
First of all, I would want to tell you that I share in 200 % your feeling about Elite Dangerous, all the same ! Moreover, I share your feeling and your reaction : I gave up too, for the same reason. It has been a long time now that I have on mind that Elite is “dead” for me.
But I understand too the approach of the I-Novae team : Rather than to propose a too ambitious project, they prefer to propose a small project which they are sure to be able to realize, and, if this project works fine, the team could to tackle a more ambitious project : Infinity the MMO or Quest For Earth or whatever will be the final name.
It’s the reason I support the kickstarter project. If the project reach its goal and Infinity:Battlescape will release in September 2017… Well, I will receive a wonderful combat space simulator, which I probably would not play, or just a very little bit. But there’s no hope to see I-Novae create a “deeper” game before the success of Battlescape. It’s up to you what you want to do : bet or not bet on the future.
I did donate as I remember back on the Infinity Quest For Earth forums, they did say that they would design a cut down version to be built on as a final game called Quest For Earth.
I didn’t realise than that Battlescape was going to be a standalone game, I thought it was going to be a base from which the rest was built. However, If they decide to release Battlescape as a standalone, even better since, I feel that Quest For Earth would be a lot better if it wasn’t built on top of a mostly PVP game.
After seeing how much work went into the seamless transition from space to atmospheric flight, I felt the team would do well designing a game. I just hope they employ a few more staff to code up the game so it doesn’t take forever to design. I also hope they don’t do a Digital Anvil on us and sell out to a big corporation like Microsoft who will hack it to pieces and give us a tiny fragment of the game we wanted like they did with Freelancer.
I look at it this way… much of the work done to build Battlescape will directly benefit any future MMO. There will of course be things specific to Battlescape that aren’t “transferable” but I think having already gone through refining the gameplay once it should be easier to do it again.
I just hope it happens. I was looking forward to QfE since I’m not a fan of space battles, too much of it is what put me off Elite Dangerous, couldn’t fly anywhere without being interdicted several times by either a player or a NPC looking for a fight.
I’m reminded, in a way, of Colossal Order.
Where, by tackling smaller and more niche markets (Cities in Motion etc) they learned about what works and what doesn’t, before realising Cities: Skylines.
All the work they had done previously came to fruition, as well as the lessons learned from Sim City 4 (they cut away any idea of multiplayer after that), and the result was a very enjoyable city simulator with few flaws and a thriving community.
I have similar hopes for I-Novae, though I too am waiting for the MMO.
But Battlescape will be a nice introduction / distraction.
I had hopes for E4 and hoped that Braben had learned from previous versions.While I welcomed a massive universe, I didn’t like that you had no way to either make a base or way station at least anywhere. Even previous versions had planetary landing and mining machines you could leave to gather resources while you were gone, it was an add-on for E4 which cost as much as the game originally did. The complete lack of offline single player that he promised from the start was a huge let down too, I don’t have the skills for PVP and NPC’s don’t either so we’re evenly matched.
Take all that and add in the ability to build stations and even NPC colonies in the far reaches of space, well off the beaten track with no bottlenecks forcing interaction (like the gates of Eve Online) and you have the perfect game as far as I’m concerned. What I don’t want to see is a repeat of Brabens trick of making you pay for a basic game with very little content then charging you just as much for an add-on that should have been part of the original game.
Imagine E4’s massive universe (but filled with some NPC aliens too for trading and combat), Wurm Unlimited (for the extensive crafting for building colonies etc but with the ability to have NPC’s to gather resources for you) and add in a touch of Privateer for missions, X -Rebirth for trading and NPC controlled trading runs and finally ad a dash of Wing Commander for alien encounters and the perfect space sim will be born. Finally add in the ability to play offline as well as online so those of us with poor internet connections can still play. Release a game like that and E4 and all the rest will be consigned to history as total failures.
There was quite a lot of discussion on ED on another thread. Long story short, I think ED doesn’t fully achieve sand-box mode (world interactions are limited for the moment) nor MMO mode (single online mode is kind of a heresy for a MMO, among many things).
But the truth is, creating a full video game consumes a lot of time / money, especially when you’ve got to make shiny graphics.
And the more you add online interactions, the more time it consumes.
ED is slowly coming together, however long it takes. Same for I:B and, in the distant future, QfE.
As for the offline mode, it is a false argument IMO. Either you want a MMO, as you describe it, and then no “offline mode” should be possible, or you want another type of game and then a “single online mode” is not quite without sense, like for Diablo3.
I thought I was describing a game. I made no mention of MMO. You could play it with more than one player although the two should not be interchangeable (ie you can’t continue within a MMO environment with your single player save game). However, there is no reason why E4 couldn’t have also been a single player game with that same limitation, after all it’s only really a slightly modified rewrite of the original Elite with a MMO element thrown in.
Same here. If a game can be played both as single player solely against NPC’s and as a MMO with a mix of NPC’s and players, why the hell not? After all, unless you program in a lot of cheating, a NPC will never be as good as a player, nor anywhere near as unpredictable.
It then has the beauty of both worlds. Those who want a game to play that’s fun and engaging but not so difficult for those who are not so great in combat that they keep getting killed, they play the single player offline mode. For those who want a real challenge in combat, (as well as the bonus of chatting to others while they play), they play the MMO online version.
Some may even enjoy a mix of both, playing the offline version when they don’t want a constant challenge or maybe they just want to poodle about doing their own thing for a break from difficult combat. Or playing the MMO version when they feel like pitting themselves against other players. As I suggested above, if both games are not interchangeable they can’t build up a massive force offline and then go online to use it against some poor player who’s only ever played the MMO version and isn’t nearly so powerful.
I do the same in Ark and also Wurm Unlimited. I play on an online server for a challenge and single player just to build and have fun.
After all, NPC’s were good enough for us years ago before we had internet to play online games. Why not now?
Indeed, you did not mention the word “MMO” but you do describe it, if I understand you correctly.
As to why there’s no single offline to ED, I think it’s due to the current road they’ve taken for the game. As a single ship, you have to spend huge amount of time defending / attacking a faction controled system on your own. Exploration is fine, but looses interest if newly discovered systems / planets don’t get your name on it. Accumulating money through trade is another word for “space truck simulator”.
This is why the single mode is “online”: not only to limit cheating, but also to maintain interest to it without having to heavily modify the code to keep it interesting.
Also, I think you’re confusing a few different notions: playing a MMO doesn’t mean you get to PvP necessarily. Guild Wars series choose to entierly separate it, and looking at WoW, going on a PvE realm disables PvP in contested areas (and also mean you’re not getting wrecked in the noob starter area). So in those MMOs, you don’t get player-challenged if you don’t want to.
Now because ED wants a “sand box” like definition, they didn’t establish any particuliar rules. Maybe the occasionnal NPC patrols that warp out if you’re “low level” and you’re attacked by either NPCs or players. But that’s weak and not always seen.
Well, you said it in your previous paragraphs. Developping an AI that’s challenging enough for a human is a real difficulty. So you design the map levels to compensate for their lack of intelligence and make them stronger, with patterns to be able to bring them down. That’s called PvE and I have nothing against it, quite the contrary. I’m happy to see ED is tackling this problem in their latest patch.
The main reason Frontier scrapped the offline singleplayer was that it’d mean excluding those players from the player-driven economy and stuff like community events. You can play Solo Play on ED, and that lets you tangle with NPCs in a psuedo-singleplayer mode. It’s only in the open multiplayer that you’ll encounter potentially unfriendly human pilots
@Topperfalkon The excuse we were given was that teh database would be too large for a single player. Well, considering we had hard disks, even at the time ED was launched, with terrabytes of space, that’s not really an issue. What did annoy people was that an old favourite and well known single player game was now only possible to play online whether single player or MMO. That might be fine for those with decent internet connections but some players did not have the luxury of good connections.
As we have seen with Wurm and a few others where we can host our own servers, modding has become as much a part of the gaming industry as playing the game. A game that is merely okay can be made far greater once modders get hold of it and add the parts they feel are missing. With so many really good model designers, games can benefit from mod addons with really well designed models if allowed. I saw some models for gear and characters in Skyrim that far surpassed the models we had in the original game in terms of detail. Some game designers would do well to think of employing some of these modders considering the low quality their own model designers are coming out with.
Ark made a great leap forward in game design and by using some of the mods in the game. It’s recognition for the modders who are often trying to break into the game design industry and also takes the pressure off the game designer to design all the content themselves. In the end, the more leeway designers allow for modding, the more the modders will make the game something that many people want to play. This translates to sales for the original game designer when people want to play it with their favourite mods. for example, if modders got hold of ED and made a Star Trek total conversion with Klingon and Romaulan NPC’s, many trekkies would want to play it. To do so, they would have to buy the original game and then install the mod and host the server themselves (or use another fans server).
QfE started getting fans involved in model making and such but it could go way further. Here’s a thought for developers everywhere. Make a basic platform and give the scripting to modders, let the fans design the game THEY want to see by allowing them to submit any mods they design. The developers acting as a tailor, stitching the mods together to bulk out the game and doing various bit like optimising. The outrageously silly mods could be discarded and we all know there are going to be flying sheep mods and no doubt a space whale called Mobius Dick submitted (you know who you are). But on the whole, the sensible mods submitted could be incorporated into a massive game since there are far more modders out there than the biggest game design studios could ever employ. If the engine and basic platform allowed space, ground mining and various genres all rolled into one, modders could work on their favourite genre. You would have intricate crafting and teraforming like in Wurm, first person action and base raiding like Rust, flying as in any combat flight sim, a vast universe like ED and space flight and battles like Battlescape, base building in space with the same detailed crafting and much more. Now pop that onto dedicated servers for players to host themselves so they can add any silly mods they want and you have a game that a fan of any genre can play. Want to play single player against NPC’s only? No problem, just run the game and select single player offline and the server portion will run in the background as a dedicated LAN only server (please, no registering on Steam to do it so it can be played completely offline for those with bad connections and no internet at all).
My biggest gripe with ED was that if my internet went down for any reason, I couldn’t play at all. I used to love playing the original Elite series, all alone in the universe with only my wits to survive on (also time dilate so I didn’t have to fly for 10 minutes or more each time I went to certain stations - half an hour if you go to Alpha Centauri).