Imagine a game world with hundreds of stars, thousands of planets and asteroids, new colonies, huge empires and -- you. A tiny little company, owning a few ships, barely enough money to buy fuel for your next jump. What would you do?
Would you try your luck in one of the asteroid fields mining for rare ores? Would you sell your ships, your cargo and everything else to start trading in one of the large trading hubs? Would you want to become a respected designer of modern space ships? Or would you do anything to become the leader of one of the large corporations to scheme plans on how to wage trade wars against your enemies? Whatever you decide to do, it will leave a mark in the persistent world of Prosperous Universe and have consequences for you and everyone else.
Prosperous Universe is massively browser-based online game where everyone plays in the same world. No shards, no different servers, no restarts. One universe.
While the focus of Prosperous Universe lies on the economic part, there will be a military component as well. Conflicts will not be about destroying everything your opponent owns, though: They take place as part of a high-level meta game that’s about taking control over certain orbital or planetary structures, allowing you to influence planets, markets and taxes.
If we had to name one defining thing that makes Prosperous Universe what it is, the thing that determines game feel, pacing and a player’s progression in the game world, we’d have to say this was the Material Tree. And with most core features of the Early Access release candidate being in the game, the material tree is our primary focus at the moment.
This time we deviate from our usual devlog format a bit. The simple reason: Michi was at simulogics HQ again and we spent the days (mostly) locked in a room together, staring at a whiteboard and pondering over the material tree. Before we start putting in the high-level meta gameplay features during the Early Access phase, any sense of progression in the game is rooted in the material tree. Therefore it has to tick quite a few boxes:
Tech-trees are the bread & butter of game designers out there. But add the fact that PU needs many hundreds of materials to work properly to the already quite extensive list above and you start to see the challenge we’re facing: Balancing this beast and keeping it in line with all our requirements is tricky, to say the least.
Obviously, we didn’t solve the issue over the few days we got to spend together this week, but I think we at least have a few ideas on how to tackle this problem. I am pretty sure you will read a lot more about it over the coming weeks or - if you are part of our alpha test program - you might actually experience the first results first-hand. If you want to become a part of said program, make sure to join the forums and let us know!
Last but not least: The voting for the IndieDB indie-of-the-year competition is open for a few more hours! Please help us out and cast your vote for Prosperous Universe!
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