Getting Started

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Dual Universe is a sandbox MMO where all players participate in the same game universe. This allows players to work together and compete while building, crafting, mining, refining, and exploring a massive gaming universe. The game is currently in the beta stage of development, and therefor information on specific game mechanics is limited and subject to change. Updates to this page will be made when content becomes available to the players.

Shape The Universe, Leave Your Mark[edit | edit source]

The Dual Universe is a gigantic multi-planet universe, where players are free to invent their collective destiny: civilizations will rise and fall, and player-driven events will shape the course of history, because everything you do matters in a persistent single-shard universe. We are pushing the limits of what is technically possible today to open the door to what we believe is the next generation of MMO games. Welcome to Dual Universe!

Where did the idea for game come from?[edit | edit source]

The original concept started about 7 years ago. But at the time, the technology was not ready. The idea is actually a very old gamer's dream: to immerse yourself into a virtual world where you are free to do anything you like, build anything you want, become anyone you fancy. We believe that the time has come to make this dream come true.

Are you going to support Oculus Rift?[edit | edit source]

We have considered the idea in the past. However, as the first real roadmap defined by the Kickstarter campaign in 2016 didn't include it (not part of the strech goals reached), all VR related features have been put on hold. Novaquark is currently focused on developing the core game mechanics as top priority for the official release. As the game progresses and the VR market matures, we will be reevaluating the opportunity in the future. We just want to be upfront that it’s not going to be before after the commercial release of the game.

So there will be only “First Person” view available in Dual Universe?[edit | edit source]

By default, it will be the "First Person" view, yes. This is the most practical view mode in some situations like when you start digging in underground environment, piloting a ship or using a weapon turret. However, we are aware that many MMO players like (or even prefer) "Third Person" view. We consider this view mode to be very important too, and we will seriously think about adding it as an option if the development timeline allows it.

When will the game be available?[edit | edit source]

We are targeting a (playable) alpha release in late September of 2017. We should need one more year to reach the beta stage and constantly improve from there until we get to the official release. We will then regularly update the game with new free extensions, to offer more possibilities to players and create new gaming opportunities.

Is the game going to be free to play?[edit | edit source]

Free-to-play is a great model for certain types of games. Not all of them. We are currently looking at all options. One of the ideas we like is the notion of game time coupons. You can buy these coupons from the game company to extend your game time (more or less like a monthly subscription) or trade them for the in-game currency. Veteran players able to gather enough in-game money to buy those coupons will indeed play for free, while beginners get a head start. It’s another way to look at "Free to play" models: it’s free as soon as you are veteran enough to earn it.

Which platforms are you aiming for?[edit | edit source]

Using Unigine 2, we will primarily focus on Windows at the beginning, and maybe Linux. We considered Mac in the past, but that was before we switched to Unigine (we started developing Dual Universe on Unreal Engine 4).

Will you develop Apps for the game? Will you allow players to make their own Apps?[edit | edit source]

We know that apps on other media like mobile phones or tablets are really popular, for some aspects of the gameplay. We haven't decided yet what we will do on this subject, as it is still quite far in the future. First, we need to release the game but we will keep in mind accessibility for potential Apps.

With the information shown in the July Dev-Diary (2:22), NQ proved the ability for players to script their own apps in game via a DPU (Distributed Programming Unit) linked to a Screen Unit. Visit the LUA scripting page for more information about the limits of in-game app development.

Who are you?[edit | edit source]

Novaquark is the company developing Dual Universe. It's a small indie studio, with a passionate team devoted to bringing this crazy game to life! The team is experienced and the founder has already created other companies, like Gostai which is a company specialized in Robotics, and has now joined the Aldebaran Robotics group.

Will there be free PvP everywhere? Not all players want to be permanently in PvP situations...[edit | edit source]

We have been thinking about this for a long time. While player freedom is at the very heart of our game design, we have found several solid reasons to implement at least one secure area in the game.

Have you planned a "Newbie Protection"?[edit | edit source]

Yes. With the secure area, new players will be able to make their first steps without trouble. It's never fun to be attacked by experienced players when you are just discovering the gameplay. Especially with the fact that PvP will most likely start right away after the game release.

What about those who like to produce and trade, but have no interest in PvP?[edit | edit source]

A player-driven economy needs time and space to flourish. By observing player-driven economies in other games, we have realized that a majority of the players impacting the economy don't want to be bothered when they are collecting basic resources or producing gear or ships (even those related to PvP Combat). This is just two different gameplay styles, two "states of mind" types that must coexist in the same world (or universe) to find some balance. If you want unending PvP, let the industrialists produce in peace to provide you abundant equipment for warfare. However, as the in-game economy grows, it will quickly become obvious that the most interesting trades will be those in non-secure areas. This is the famous “Risk vs Reward” concept.

There are also people who want to build things, beautiful buildings and ships, without being interrupted by sudden PvP action? Will they have a safe place too?[edit | edit source]

We are perfectly aware that players designing new ships and/or a new building don’t want to be shot by another player in the middle of their work. Again, if you are among those who want to fight everywhere with anybody, keep in mind that being provided ships with a nice fuselage or having stylish fortified outposts/cities to attack or defend implies having a secure area somewhere to design all these things.

Okay. Then where will this secure area be?[edit | edit source]

Around the Arkship. We are thinking about a large enough area to give space for the types of players mentioned above: Newbies, Traders, Industrialists, Artists, Builders, and Engineers. The current "Safe Zone" is 20 km in diameter.[1]

But will we be able to build, design and produce outside this secure area?[edit | edit source]

Of course! It will often be far more profitable to develop a market or a factory in a risky area: in remote places, players won't come back to the Arkship area each time they want to buy something if they can buy it locally, even at a higher price. But beware of pirates who like pillaging isolated outposts!

What about players behaving badly?[edit | edit source]

"Bad behavior" doesn't have the same meaning in Sandbox games and in non-Sandbox games.To preserve the "Sandbox" spirit, a fairly large amount of freedom in behavior will be allowed, as long as it stays in-game.

Will you punish scams?[edit | edit source]

In-game scams are as much a part of the harsh life in a new world as space pirates are, as long as they don't involve real life money (so only in game currency), and as long as they don't use rely on bugs or exploits. In other words, it will be up to the player to be cautious about whom he/she gives his/her trust to. When you start the game, do not trust anyone! Take your time to know other players before giving your trust to some of them (we are also going to build an in-game reputation system). Another way to dramatically reduce the chance of scamming: start the game with friends you already know in real life!

What do you plan to do about "Trash talk"?[edit | edit source]

"Trash talk" is allowed as long as it stays in game and "in character" (meaning: as long as it's roleplayed). This might seem a bit unfitting for children or young teenagers playing the game, but here's our position: a real sandbox, by it's very nature and the player freedom it implies, is only a fitting game for young (or less young) adults. However, there will be some limits: no public humiliation targeting a specific player, no real life harassment, and no real life insults or aggression will be tolerated. We want to give more freedom, without legitimate real life bad behavior.

Will there be an "early access"? During the Alpha or the Closed Beta phase?[edit | edit source]

There will probably be an early access, accessible for founder and supporter members. We are aware that some players don't like this idea as it is seen like "selling an unfinished game". However, we want to be clear on this: founder and supporter members will have many rewards and goodies for supporting us, but the "early access" is NOT considered as a part of "what you've paid for". For us, an early access is not a gift but a help request. At this stage we will really need the presence of players wanting to help improve the game. For those who just want to try the game, we can totally understand that, but it will be way too soon for many reasons.

If it's not part of the founder/supporter pack, why giving access to founder and supporter members only then?[edit | edit source]

For a very simple reason: By supporting our project, founder/supporter members have already proven they want to help the game, and not just try it before everyone else.

Okay, but there are also players wanting to help the game without having the money to support it. What about them?[edit | edit source]

We also are perfectly aware of that. But it's extremely difficult (and very time consuming) to differentiate players who just want to try the game and those who really want to help improving the game with detailed feedback. In the future, we might find a way to give early access to the most dedicated players of the community who are not already founder/supporter members, if time allows it. But we can't promise that at the moment.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. DUExplorers YouTube Channel, "Dual Universe Explorers - Live Q&A w/ JC Baillie - Novaquark CEO", Timestamp: 38:20, Sep 17 2016. Transcript: [null Archive:DU Explorers Interview (Sep 17, 2016)].