What kind of organization features you have plans for? Like a hangar where members can use organization ships (rent)? Will it be possible to charged them if they crash it?
Assets that belong to an organization (like a ship, a weapon or a container) will be shareable via the "Rights and Duties Management System" that we have started to describe in one of our devblogs. You can attach tags to certain actions associated to your asset, and grant access to these actions to members of your organization by giving them the same tag (which is done via member functions). You can also have a look at the Organization devblog to know more about how orgs are going to be customizable and structured. The idea of a penalty if loosing the asset while using it is interesting, we will think about it and possible abuses that could arise.
Will there be a Galaxy Map where you can see everything the organization has discovered so far (celestial bodies, points of interests, plot a ship course, life feed of current organization events, etc?
There will be a map, yes, this is a necessity. But we are still working on exactly how it will look, knowing that you have to display information at vastly different scales, between cities, planet surfaces, solar systems and the galaxy. You have also information located in 3D, as opposed to the usual 2D worlds.
Will it be possible to use some kind of space scanners when traveling at FTL speed in a spaceship? To find asteroids, space garbage or alien relics?
This is not planned for the moment, but it's an interesting idea. We will likely release a very basic FTL functionnality first and then refine it over game expansions to add more interesting features, by better understanding what makes sense for the existing gameplay. Thanks for the suggestion!
"If Construct vs Construct' is a stretch goal, how about ""Construct vs Player""?
How are the PVP battles going to be if you don't get this ""Construct vs Construct"" stretch goal?"
First of all, if we don't reach a given Stretch Goal, is does not mean that the feature will never be implemented, but that it might be postponed to a (free) game expansion. Remember that this is a MMO, and unlike a singleplayer game, there is no "final" build. Now, Construct vs Construct combat means more precisely that we implement certain elements like weapons, shields, etc, that you will be able to use to make localized dammage to other constructs. If this damage hits a players inside the construct (or at the surface of a planet), this player will die and respawn. So, in effect, CvsC combat implies CvsPlayer too! Now, without CvsC combat you could still board enemy ships and take control of them by neutralizing the crew. Who knows, maybe this will become the prefered way of doing combat business in Dual!
What system specs are you currently using to test the game and on average how much fps are you getting?
We are using machines that range from core i5 with GTX770 to core i7 with GTX980. These are not the official specs, it's too soon to say that, but that's what we use now. The FPS depends on the place where you are, and today, without any optimization, ranges around 20-40 FPS. This is very good at this stage. Optimization comes in the final part of the development cycle, so no worries. Remember also that "optimization" does not necessarily mean we will reduce the graphics quality in a visible way, so don't be afraid that the game will look ugly
Will the arkship have a inside or will players just spawn around it?
At release we won't have an interior to the Arkship, nothing more than what you will see in the game start sequence, we you step out of the cryosleep vats. In the future (through game expansions), we would love to make the Arkship a kind of "dungeon" that you can enter and explore. The goal would be for any player to try to reach the top, which we would make very difficult to achieve. It would be like a pilgrimage that almost any serious player would have to do at some point, and that would grant a small bonus. These are just ideas at the moment, so don't expect it in the game any time soon. But we would love to have your feedback!
Is there any plans to stop people from getting traped in side a buildings in land there not allowed to edit for example somebody gose inside a house then the owner removes the door?
Even if you don't have the right to edit a construct, you could always break it if you are not in a safe zone (break means that the voxel edition does not get you any material, it's vaporized). It might take you a lot of time if the material is very strong, but it could be done. Now, inside a safe zone, you could in principle be trapped like this. The options are: suicide evac, calling for help, negotiating. We might implement a "back to the Arkship" feature in the most extreme cases (like, your resurection node trapped inside a prison).
Are scammers / griefers going to be banned by admins in-game? If someone tricks another to give them money for nothing, would the scammer be banned in that scenario?
Dual Universe is a game about freedom, we don't want to arbitrarily draw a line between what is a scam and what is a failed business proposal. Players will have to use their judgment, report scammers publicly to help other to identify them (and possibly retaliate). The way we will handle griefers is that we will introduce game mechanics that will make their life more difficult, in particular the bounty system (to be described in a future post). People can also unite against them and build their own justice system. There will however be limits to how far harrasment can go and we reserve the right to interviene in the most extreme cases. This is still just a game, remember.
Can I build stuff shaped like wieners and boobs?
This is perhaps one of the first question we had about the game We won't prevent this to happen, and it will most likely exist in the game, but we believe that it will be somehow limited. We don't think that the whole community aspires to use the potential of the game just for this, but that rather most people will want to fly nice looking ships, inhabit palaces, and role play in a SciFi context. The market will also select what most people really like and help to spread this in the world because successful things will be mass produced. That being said, there will be a mechanism to report abuses and we may act/ban if some law-breaking limits are crossed. Interestingly also, we will implement the fact that every modification of the voxel world will be stamped with the name of the player who did the modification. So, no anonymous boobs, you'll have to account for your creativity. If a majority of players don't like what you do, beware of the consequences and the bounty hunters!
Will the digital packs that are equivalent to one that contains an ark-ship id also contain a name reservation?
At the moment no. But if we reach 6000 backers, every backer with at least an Iron Founder Pack will have one.
How will the player-made "Mission/Quest" system work? How will these systems create incentives outside the scope of what Markets already create? What systems will make players complete quests instead of just mining/selling everything for cash?
The "quest market" or "job market" is something we are still working on. The idea is that it will be closely linked to the contract system that will allow any player/org to specify a two sides agreement where "you get this if you do that". We would like that the expressivity of these system could be rich enough to express much more complex jobs that just "get me some X". So, it will be more sophisticated than the passive market way of declaring that you need a particular asset by setting a buy order. Our long term vision is that this job market could be the first thing you look at as a new player, with jobs ranked in difficulty so that you can decide what level of risk you are willing to take. There are a lot of sides effects we are looking into right now, so this is not simple. Any feedback from the community is welcome! Note that this feature may not be available at the first release, but may come in an expansion.
Could you please list your first stretch goals and how much each will cost?
This has already been done as we reached the 5.000 backers threshold. Check our Kickstarter page for more information.
If we dont reach the stretch goal for construct vs construct will you set up a donation campaign on the website so we can make it happen anyway?
We are looking into this yes. But people must focus on supporting our campaigm right now, and the more we reach on Kickstarter, the stronger we will be. Players of the world, unite for change!
Can you give more information about the funding of your project ? How much did you already invested ? Do you have other investors or do you need them ? 500k € seems not so much for a game of your ambition, it's obvious this amount can't cover salaries of the whole Novaquark team during 2 years. Is KS your last round of funding or will it be a stepping stone to outside investors?
This is an important question. We have been supported by visionnary investors so far, who helped build the techmology that we demonstrate today. Some of them are eager to keep investing, so we are optimistic. However, investors are negotiators and the more money we need from them, the more power we loose. The stronger the community support, the stronger we are in asserting that our vision is the right one, that we don't need to change anything. For you, backers, supporting us is helping to fund the project, make us stronger, and gets you access to the game at a highly discounted price. By backing us you are shouting: we want this, we like this, make it happen! This is the power of the crowdfunding model, pushing innovation forward.
Will you plan to do DU localization on other languages?
We plan on supporting other languages in the long run, not at launch. This is one of the tradeoff we have to make to control our costs at the moment. Ideally, we would love to have automated translation in the chats, but this does not work well at the moment, so keep in mind that to interact with strangers in the game, English will most likely be the default language anyway.
What server architecture are you using? ie. your own dedicated setup (eg. eve online) or cloud (eg. google compute, aws, etc). Will there be regional servers? US, EU, Oceania, S.America & Asia? Or is it dynamic global like star citizen is aiming for?
We won't have our own datacenter at start, that would be too costly and really not necessary in 2016 when there are so many high quality cloud offers dedicated to high performance gaming. So we will work with third parties to host the datacenter, and we are currently reviewing several offers. Now, due to our single-shard approach, we cannot of have regional servers, there will be one central cluster to connect to. We are considering the possibility to switch from a US based cluster or Europe based cluster depending on the time of day (doing sync in the background or during down times), but this might not be necessary.
Multiple Alpha Keys
Will you add multiple alpha accesses to those with more expensive packs in order to let them test with friends?
In our view, alpha access should remain a personal commitment of a highly engaged fan, ready to test the game, talk about it and in fact motivated to even pay for that access. So, there are no plans for the moment to grant extra alpha access beyond the one included in the current packs.
Organizational Size Parity
How does the game deal with small groups and big organizations? Many don't like Eve Online because big organizations control everything. Small groups could not survive in the universe.
The comparison with Eve Online is a good one at many levels, but doesn't stand close scrutiny when we start to look at the details. First, it will be much more difficult for any group of player, however large, to gain full control of an area because, unlike in Eve, access points to game locations are not bottlenecked through fixed stargate points. Imagine how many troops it would require to secure a 100km radius area on a planet: that is about 600 km of border, and so many possible underground infiltration surface. Dominance will be hard to achieve in Dual Universe. The universe also is going to be large and constantly extendable via player-made stargates (that will come in an expansion, not at release), so you will always have a choice to use your resources for a fight or to explore further. Also, resources do not respawn, which means that nobody can secure an inifinite source of wealth by holding a rich mineral deposit. It will end at some point. Etc, there are many differences that we believe are going to make Dual Universe quite unique compared to Eve.
You've said that you want emergent gameplay where the story and interactions are driven by players. Do you have any mechanism to capture and share that story? We've seen in other communities where people have written histories of a game or server, but that depends on someone being there, experiencing the events and recording them. I think it would be extremely cool if there is a mechanism in game to help capture these histories so they can be shared with everyone, particularly new users looking to join in on the fun.
We are extremely interested in anything that helps player to build their story. So far, there is no clearly defined plan to do what you suggest, but we are open to suggestions. To what extend could we "record" things, favor journalist professions, help keep track of major events. We need your feedback on possible route for this, and we will see if we can squeeze some of these mechanisms for release or if it should be made into a future (free) expansion.
Will we be able to have more than one character?
Yes, up to three. But they can not be learning skills at the same time, so you have to choose who gets most of the attention.
Regarding DACs, will they be a physical item that can be looted/stolen by other players. If so will you offer protections on DAC's that are given via kickstarter?
As DACs are a complex and sensible topic, we made a dedicated thread on it.
Will underwater exploration be available?
It will be very limited at start, because this requires quite a lot of specific developments and we want to focus on the ground gameplay first. But in the long run, yes, we have ideas on how to make it possible to explore underwater or even build underwater bases, vehicles, etc. But this would come in a future (free) expansion.
When you discuss scripting/editing is this something that you can pick up and learn in the game or do you have to know how to do this beforehand?
We think that the scripting part should probably be accessible to a large audience in-game, because we will introduce some high-level functions that you can build your behaviors from. But a basic understanding of what is a programming language is still required. The good news is that there are tons of very well done and quite fun tutorials to learn LUA, which is a fairly easy language, so if you are interested it should not be too difficult to get up to speed. Now, keep also in mind that scripting is in no way an obligation in Dual Universe. We will make it so that default basic scripts are put in place for you to allow you to fly your spaceship for example.
Name Reservation Priority
Will people that have backed higher amounts of money be the first to get first pick of a name, for example the gold members will pick before iron members or will it be a free for all?
It will be based on a "first arrived first served" principle, based on the date of the first pledge made by the person. No difference on the amount pledged, because it would not be fair for people who do not have as much money as others.
How extensive will the Lua scripting be? What sort of things can we do with it?
The way scripting is working is actually quite simple in its principle: every Element will offer some "public" functions that can be used to interact with it via scripting. For example, an engine will have a 'setPower' function to control the thrust. A light will have a 'setState' function to switch it on or off, etc. Some Elements will also provide info through "events" containing parameters that you can catch. One paticular set of events are keystrokes or mouse movements. From there, it's basically about catching events and reacting by calling some Elements public functions to do things. Note that there will be a limit to how many functions you can call during a cycle, to control the server load.
And what are the options for those that don't want to use it?
Scripting will not be something you have to do. For example, when you build a spaceship, there will be an intelligent auto-configuration system that will look at your ship and build a flight control script for you. So, as long as your ship is properly equipped for flying (engines, fuel tanks, gyro, etc), it will fly with the default standard controls. You can also of course buy ready-to-use constructs on the in-game markets, that will come with their own ready-to-use scripts.
What can you NOT do with a script?
You cannot mine automatically, and we will also probably severely limit how much combat you can do with a script. The reason for this is that scripting should not become the prefered way to do certain things, or this would effectively kill that gameplay, in particular for new comers. This is very important for the equilibrium of the game. So, smart flight mechanics, auto pilots, door control, light panels, AI conversational agents, etc are all OK, but not auto-mining, auto-fighting, auto-building, auto-exploring, etc.
Application Program Interface (API)
Will there be any API for external tools (like the X52 & G13 programmable screens)?
Adding functionnality to external devices via LUA scripting is just about us making a bridge with the drivers. If there are ready-to-use C++ interfaces, this could be easily made and, depending on community request, could be added.
How will scripted items affect game balance? As in, can I make a weapon that has 9999999999999 damage or something like that and then just go destroy everyone? Or will there be a system in place making sure that no weapon is too powerful/item too valuable, etc
Scripting will not affect weapons stats, so upgrading Elements via scripting will not be possible. Scripting will simply allow you to automate certain types of actions that are offered to you via our gamedesign, so there is no way people will be able to do unexpected actions. As for weapons, we are still considering whether the 'fire' action should be scriptable or not. If it is, it would be limited to certain situations and probably be made ways less effective than what a real human player could do by controlling the weapon directly. We are working on this, so feedback is welcome!
Out of all of the things you guys want to do with this game, which feature or aspect is the most daunting or problematic?
The most difficult thing in an emergent game like this is to make sure that every gameplay mechanics we introduce has a crucial and not replaceable role in the game, that will not be overridden by some other gameplay mechanics. A good example is spaceship combat. We want that it makes sense to have large ships with a crew, as well as small fighter ships. Both should have their utility or else we will end up with either only large ships, or only small ships. So, these questions are the most challenging because they are hard to forecast. The alpha/beta testing will help us to fine tune this, even in future expansions that we will open in advance on some testing servers.
How cooperation with other players will be encouraged? like forming a corporation or alliance to be able to do even greater things then as an individual.
There is much to say about the various incentives we will introduce to push people to cooperate. Players may want to gather to mutualize defence systems, create a team of specialists (you will not be able to be an expert maximally skilled in every domain), or simply share the same role playing goal (how about building the death star?). We have also imagined a fairly advanced way for players to define their organizations structure (see the devblog about organizations). So, there will be many reasons why people will want to unite, and we will provide the tools to do so.
If I don't know how to code/script (and don't want to learn), will I still be able to enjoy the game and will I suffer any disadvantage? Will there be any questing?
The game is not only about scripting, or even building for that matter. This is just one part of the game, and, thanks to the in-game markets, it will be possible for any player to buy ships that are ready-to-us, with no disavantage in using them, compared to the builders/scripters. Even for builders, we have designed an auto-configuration system that will generate a basic but functional script to pilot his/her ship, so scripting is in no way an obligation. About questing, we have answered already in some other question how we imagine the in-game "job/quest market" will actually be able to replace the usual quests you find in other games.
Player vs Environment (PvE) Gameplay
Is there really anything here for the PVE crowd? With limited mobs in game, Is PVE basically limited to mining and stockpiling for PVP battles?
We will add simple fauna at start, and we will gradually add more and more content along the line of PvE, but the more substantial activities will come from players themselves: building stuffs, participating to building stuffs by helping secure areas, explore to find minerals or artefacts/ruins (more about that later, it will be linked to the uncovering of new Safe Zones). In some future expansion, we have ideas to also add farming, and some survival aspects.
"Will we also be able to sell physical ships, and not just blueprints?
I would love to have a used ship salesman port. ""Ytty's goodies, bought and sold."" :D"
Yes, physical ships will be sellable. You can sell them as one of a kind, so, a bit out of the normal supply/demand market, but we will introduce a validation system that will stamp a ship as being identical to a given blueprint reference, so that you can trust what it is before you buy (and they can be sold on the in-game markets, being undistinguishable and therefore tradable in bulks).
Will there be permission systems for crafting / construction? Is it possible for someone to destroy your work while you are offline?
Yes, there will be a quite powerful right management system (we call it the RDMS, check our devblog about it). Only authorized people will be able to edit your constructs, and in the Safe Zone, that means absolute protection. Outside the safe zone, people will still not be allowed to edit your construct (using the builders tools), but they will of course be allowed to break it (using weapons) or else there would be no PvP. You will have all sorts of other tools to protect yourself from that, like protection bubbles or shields.
Women at Novaquark
How many women are on your team? Are any of them working with coding or game design?
We would love to have much more women in the team, but unfortunately so far, we had close to zero application from women, or they were simply not matching our requirements for the job opened (we don't want to penalize women, nor to favor them in any way, men and women are equal). One of the reasons behind this situation is that there is a very strong bias in France for women not to go to Science or Tech, this is very unfortunate. As a consequence, the dev team is only made of men at the moment, so please apply because we are recruiting!! We have one woman in the team however, and she is in charge of admin & finance management.
Is there a limit to how deep you can dig? To put this question into better context, I would imaging that you would want to hide your possessions from other players. I am wondering about what are the limits of editing the environment?
There are no technical limit to how deep you could dig, but we will put some limits for gameplay reasons. The exact depth is not set yet, but below something like a few kilometers, you will encounter lava, which will help making the job of deep mining prospection more dangerous (like in Minecraft, actually). We may have a few small moons that do not have this restriction. And, yes, hiding your stuff underground will be a possibility. But we are looking at ways to make this a bit more difficult, so there is a tradeoff, for example adding the need for special gears to breathe in the depth, requiring costly cartridges to operate, etc.
Will DU support multiple controller inputs such as joysticks, track ir, and vr? Depending on the community pushing for certains interfaces, we may introduce them at some point in the development. For the moment, there is no such support envisioned for the initial release however.
Alternative Game Modes
Will there be a creative mode as well as the full online multiplayer mode?
There is only one way to be in Dual Universe: to connect to the one and only reality we operate. One universe, shared by everybody at the same time, this is our commitment to the MMO genre. There is no side server, local gameplay or creative mode. We will have a few testing clusters also to try new ideas, but they will be limited.
Extent of Game World
How large will space be in the game/how quickly will you be able to travel? In real life, space is staggeringly large, and our ability to traverse it is limited. Even with light speed travel, interplanetary travel would still be slow(by video game standars considerably) and interstellar travel would still take years. How does interplanetary and interstellar travel in dual universe compare?.
There will be several levels of scale in your capacity to move around: on the planets first, you can move by walking. You can then craft hovercrafts to move over a few kilometers. You may build then atmospheric ships for heavy duty planetary atmospheric travel. Then, you can start to look at building space faring ships. They will travel at normal speed first, allowing you to reach nearby moons in a few minutes, or other planets in the system in a few days (you can very well enjoy sharing a huge ship with friends, as it travels through space, and you go to whatever in-ship activity you like, for example building or trading). Then, either at release or perhaps in an expansion, we will introduce FTL drives. You will then be able to move between planets in a few minutes, and possibly reach new systems over several days. The final step will be stargates, that will come in an expansion, and that will allow near instant connections between systems. The size of the known/explored universe will then start to grow as players build more and more stargates. Stargates are going to be very expansive and complex to do, so don't expect a large network immediately. We will use this slow growth to introduce more variety in the discovered planets, as we have time/budget to further develop new biomes.
Will buildings have purpose? For example, I hear a lot about city building, but why build them if the buildings serve no purpose? I understand houses will have shelter and we can build a store, but is that the extent of buildings function?
There will be several reasons why players may want to create a city: first, so mutualize defence or resource access. Buidings can contain markets, factories or crafting facilities that you would like to be not too far away, to minimize transport costs. Also, we believe most players or organization will want to create impressive buildings to show off their status, and as they are competing to recruit talents, they might cluster these buildings in areas where they can be all visible. In the long run, we are thinking about ways to have mutualized energy transport system, that would make it logical for people to aggregate in close by areas. In any case, this is a very rich topic to discuss and we invite the community to keep talking about it on our forums.
Can I build a Resurrection Node, that is open to public use, and tax you when used? how about free to use?
This is an interesting idea. We would have to think about the gameplay consequences (like the fact that mutualized RN would be a single-point of failure for all who rely on them), but we are open to discussion about it, yes.
Will there be territory to control in space, if so how big?
We will work in this aspect a bit later, in a further game expansion, but yes, there will be territory management beyond planet ground. The way we see it for now is that territory in space should not be about defining volumes in space, but rather about establishing planet ownership, then system ownership. This ownership could be triggered once a given percentage of the claimed planet territories are under one organization control, with a hysteresis mechanism to avoid constant flips. This planetary scale ownership should grant certain rights to the owner, but not deprive other planet grounded territories of their prerogatives. This is a complex gameplay that we will further talk about in the future, but it will not be implemented at release time for now.
Can i build a construct, and have a self-destruct programed into it to damage an intruder/attacker etc., and destroy its contents, preventing loot?
Self destruct capability might seem like a good idea but it could actually make the job of pirates close to impossible. Quickly, people will understand that a self destruct system is a must to avoid pirates trying to loot them for profit, and that would kill the pirating gameplay. One possibility would be to provide pirates with a self-destruct scrambler that they should use prior to any attack. We would like to have your feedback on this! In any case, this would be a post-release feature that we could introduce in an expansion.
Will I be able to fully customize my store or other services i can charge for (tolls, usage tax etc.) so that if player X attacks me or my stuff, I can set a higher rate for them?
The Right and Duty Management System (RDMS, as described in our devblog) is a very flexible system and would allow you in principle to charge people differently depending on the tag you give them. You could also simply ban certain people based on the belonging to certain orgs. We will in any case offer high level of customization for market owners to set their fees, in order to favor competition on different business strategies.
If you are flagged as not having permission to mine in my owned territory, can you still dig and mine, and just get flagged for breaking that, or does the game not let you mine or dig at all?
You will not be able to mine, but you will still be able to enter the territory (and be flagged for that), and possibly destroy materials by using weapons (if not in a safe zone) instead of mining equipment.
If I have to be online for my scripts to work, can I just stay on, while AFK, or will you have an auto log off timer that kicks players?
At the moment, we don't see any reason to auto logoff, so it would be possible to afk for scripting only. This might change as alpha and beta gets us better feedback on side effects about this decision.
Multiple Name Reservations
ID card holders get to reserve two names, can they be on different accounts?
Technically, the advantages associated to a pledge are linked to the kickstarter email address, which will itself be linked to your account, so there is no simple way to transfer name reservation to other accounts. We will look into it however on a case by case basis.