Thursday, May 26, 2016

Dual Universe - the Future of the MMO Genre?





Novaquark's Dual Universe - billed a "Boundless MMO" by its creator - is certainly one ambitious undertaking. So ambitious in fact, that it may just end up the harbinger of an entirely new generation of MMO, one in which an unlimited number of players will engage in a universe of exploration, intrigue, politics, military conflict, crafting, mining and trade. The Dual Universe game world would be comprised of millions of planets and its boundless nature also means that players would be allowed to essentially build up their own little worlds within it.

The brains behind the project is Novaquark founder Jean-Christophe Baillie, who used to work for Aldebaran Robotics and who came up with the technology behind the engine that is required to run a game of the scope of Dual Universe. The first working prototype of the game engine - which uses Continuous Single-Shard Cluster technology - was created back in 2014. It essentially allows an unlimited number of players to exist and act within a single, persistent and fully moddable universe. The Novaquark team is comprised of former Ubisoft, Sony and Apple employees, so at least theoretically, the potential to turn Dual Universe into reality is definitely there.

The first objective of the team is to create an alpha build of the game, which will essentially demo the game engine as well as the CSSC technology under the hood, through some preliminary gameplay features. This alpha stage is set to be reached in early 2017. From there, the plan is to launch a long-term continuous development stage, from which a fully functional and playable version would eventually arise. There are already some screenshots available of the game, but it's obviously difficult to determine the current development stage of the project based on these.

Philip Thalberg is a Dota 2 maniac, who has been serving under the GosuTeam banner since 2004. 

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