My name is Mark, and I am obsessed with making the space sim of my dreams. That sim is Universe or Nothing, and this is an introduction to it.
Universe or Nothing is a space sim which allows you to be a Captain, facing real challenges and making meaningful choices; a Helmsman, evading missiles while keeping the enemy in your sights; a Tactical Officer, bringing destruction to your foes and managing away teams; a Science Officer, fighting an information war and directing researchers; or a Chief Engineer, pushing systems to their limits and overseeing technicians.
As Captain you will be able to command and control four roles on the bridge of your ship; Helm, Tactical Ops, Science and Engineering. Commanding involves issuing orders to your bridge crew from your Captains console, controlling means you take their console and do it yourself. You can invite friends on Steam to take over one or more roles on your ship for a compelling cooperative experience.
The game will feature an expansive dynamic campaign, played over a large seamless map, and smaller scripted scenario maps (kobayashi maru anyone?).
A huge amount of pre-production has gone into Universe or Nothing. I began working on the game in 2012 and have since been refining everything about it. I have built all of the game's base systems, including multiplayer networking, physics, graphics, and simulation systems (power, energy signatures, damage etc.).
Our concept artist Isaac Hannaford, who was lead concept artist on many of the Halo games as well as Destiny, has created beautiful ship designs for us. The first two can be seen in his illustration "Ambush at Pentalux" (click here to view it).
We have two part-time contributors who have helped me with design and development. These are our writer Pádraig, who has helped to flesh out the game's universe and narrative (you can read two of his Universe or Nothing fiction shorts here and here) and second developer David, who has helped to refine the gameplay systems and who is developing the game's AI (AI is his specialty).
I have so far completed two of the console UI designs, Tactical Ops and Engineering (click on each to see it in full size).
So far all development has been done in my own time using what funds I could spare. I have gotten to a point where I know what the game is, how it works technically, and what designs I will use. My only issue is time.
In order to complete Universe or Nothing in a reasonable time period I need to work on it full time, and I need to bring Pádraig, David and at least one other artist on-board full-time as well.
That means Universe or Nothing needs funding. I have spoken to some publishers and while they think the game is really cool, and that the progress we've made is impressive, they do not invest in niche games and we are not a proven team. Two of them asked us to pitch a more accessible version, for a larger audience, but that does not interest me.
I think our best option at this point is Kickstarter, but I'm not rushing into it. I've been working on having as much to show as possible, and that time is close.
We have a small but dedicated community on our forums and Facebook page. These brilliant people have helped me shape the game into what it is now.
In order for Universe or Nothing to be a success we need our community to grow, and I would love you to join us in shaping the future.
Thanks for reading!
UNION is a multi-crew space sim where up to five players command a single spaceship. In this video DevLog we demonstrate the Engineering Power Wheel Presets...
Our first in a bi-weekly series of video DevLogs. These DevLogs will hopefully give you a deeper insight into what UNION is and where it is going. This...
Where we talk about a little about simulating a spaceship, and our helm view.
Where we talk a little about our UI and how you will able to mod UNION.
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Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.
We have been focusing on development and have really let our IndieDB page slip. I have updated the page with our new name, details and art and I will post a full article during the week, which will contain all of our news/developments and show, for the first time, the completed Engineering UI design.
If you would like to see our updates from the past few months, you can find them on our forum: Universeornothing.com
Thanks for reading!
can you be first person and walk around the ship..or, well, the bridge at least? like.. immersion into being a spaceship captain? i don't much care for the 3rd person view, but if there was a bridge with consoles and a window... take my money.
UNION is played with your computer screen(s) used for the console(s) on the bridge of the ship. There are exterior views of the ship, but they are all from cameras which are fixed to the hull and turrets.
On a basic level we are creating a submarine sim, like the Silent Hunter games (see this video for an example of that Youtu.be).
We would love to, and are fully capable of, add a 3D bridge which you and the other players can share. However we can also do that if we secure enough funding.
Thanks for your interest!
CANT WAIT TO PLAY AAHAHA so cool
Is there a way to Support you?
Is there sill a way to sign up for Alpha ?
Hey! Thanks for the kind words. :)
We're not signing up anyone else for the closed alpha at the moment, we'll post info on our plans closer to the time.
Looks like Guns of Icarus, but in space.
...I've been waiting for exactly that.
Yeah, it's not a million miles off GoI. :D
Hey, Bloodaxe here!
I was wondering about the Captain position, and the Science/Comms position.
Does a captain work in the same way as a captain in Artemis? Like, he doesn't use a computer himself, but he sits in a chair and watches the big screen, whilst he tells others to manage what information to display there at any given time? And then based upon the information he gets from the big screen, and his crew, he gives orders and makes tactical decisions?
And the Science/Comms, how does communication work between player space ships? Would it be possible to do it a bit star-trek style? Like, if you have a camera plugged in, your comms could choose to display the captain and his crew to the enemy/friend on their big-screen if the accept a comms invite? Or will the chatting between ships be purely text-based?
Thanks in advance ^^
Sorry for the delay in responding, we've been very busy lately and are just catching up.
Yeah the Captain is a hands off role in UNION. It can be shared with any of the other roles too though (you could be the Helm officer and Captain, for example).
Getting VoIP (voice) chat working well is a big challenge, and one which I do not believe we will be able to take on before release. I would love to do it at some stage though.
So for now, communication will happen via text and menus.
Love the concept. Like what I see so far. Definitely will get this when it's ready. Too bad I have to wait till next year.
Love to participate in an alpha. But I am sure you have filled out your testers. If you need perspective from a middle aged gamer let me know. Lol. Also voted on steam.
Thanks for checking in, it's great to hear from people who are interested in UNION. The support we've received is pretty amazing too.
We have already about 300 people signed up for the alpha, these are mostly people who were early supporters here on IndieDB. We may include others in the alpha, but we are not sure how that would be arranged. We will post details closer to the alpha release date, later this year.
In the mean time we will be sharing the development process with everyone here.
- Mark / Faerdan