This AMA contains some questions regarding the kickstarter, which has ended at the time of this page's creation. These questions are included for completion in a separate section.
I can understand why you would like to keep Alpha's to a somewhat controlled limit because of server costs/ capabilities, but could you give us a rough estimate about how often Alpha servers would be open once started Q1 2017?
We will try to have them open at least several days per week, pondered by maintenances (scheduled or announced shortly before the shut down in case of patch deployment)
Is there any info on sensors?
We still have to work on sensors to give precise answers. We plan to have sensors to detect constructs in a given radius, probes to scan for planets minerals, also sensors to assess a given construct firepower (you can't assume predefined ship classes like in other games), potentially sensors to detect how many people are in the ship, what kind of cargo it contains, together with electronic countermeasures to weaken these sensors.
How do (sensors) work?
Sensors will be either equipment items that avatars can use, or, Elements than can deployed inside a construct. In that case, they will be accessible via a Control Unit that can select to display their UI when in action. They can also be scripted to be interfaced with other part of the construct.
Sensors and LUA
Can sensors activate LUA scripts? (Assuming someone has rights)
Yes, the way it will work is that the DPU inside a sensor will be able to emit events when new sensor data is available. On the LUA side, you can write event "catchers" that will trigger when the event occur and do whatever you want with the arguments given together with the event.
Backing After Kickstarter
If you continue the Crowdfunding after the Kickstarter, will it be possible to pay with Paypal?
Yes, it would be possible.
When will we choose the name(s) we can reserve?
Within a few days after the Kickstarter, we will setup the process for you to reserve your name.
Performance Enhancing Drugs
Will it be possible to adjust for short period of time some abilities by eating some food (buffing) without the need to train in the Arkship? For example a soldier takes some drugs for increasing his aim and stamina before engaging a battle. Same for pilots.
It's an interesting idea and we will discuss it with the game design team! We have for the moment no plan to have food introduced at release, but rather in a "survival" expansion that would come later.
Will it be possible to create this food from NPC animals and flora and oil? This could add the option for protect of valued animals, who need grass, sun and water for living, and having ground control to protect them in your own farm (what you cannot hide in underground).
These are all excellent ideas and we will consider them, but not for the initial release, but more in the "survival" expansion that would come later.
Will players/organizations be able to set up an alternative method for wallet tracking, i.e. if an organization wanted to somehow manufacture and issue their own currency, could the wallet be modified to track it?
Having several currencies in game is not something we will favor. The reason is that it would make the development of the in-game economy more complicated, where in fact we need a system that is as fluid as possible to favor exchanges between players, and player specialization. Nothing prevents you from creating your own currency and role-playing it, but the price of items on the markets will still be displayed in the universal in-game currency.
Offline Ship Security
Will there be a possibility to secure my constructs like bases or ships when i'm offline without the help from other players?
You won't have to worry if your construct is inside the Safe Zone. Outside the Safe Zone, you will be able to power some protection bubbles to create a first layer of protection (you can be notified offline if it gets attacked, and it will be hard to break so you have time to react). We are considering the possibility to have some basic defense scripts running on the server when you are offline (basic action/reaction scripts), but if we do that, this will not be implemented at release, probably in a future expansion.
Will there be a voice chat like Elite Dangerous? Will it change with distance? Will there be a filter of talking through ship comms?
This is a very interesting feature we will look into, if we can find the proper third-party partnership to implement it with us. Depending on the complexity of integration it may or may not make it to the initial release!
Custom In-Game Music
Will there be a way to port music from player computer and play in game through a jukebox or something?
It's an interesting feature that was already mentioned on the forum a long time ago. However, it's not a priority at the moment. We will see what can be done, and when we can think about adding it.
Will there be any fire mechanics, such as over heating components and/or fire-spread that ship crew will have to rush to put out or automated suppression systems etc.?
Nothing of the sort is in the roadmap, but it fits in a more general "environmental" set of features that we will look into at some point, most likely in a future expansion, but not at the initial release.
Will there be any natural predators like animals or anything that might attack you?
We will have a few animal NPCs for the initial release, and some will probably have a predator behavior. In a future "survival" expansion, we will see to add more dangerous animals that you will have to deal with, in particular in wild environments that have not yet been "civilized".
Will there be pressurized environments? So if an unshielded and unarmored construct is hit by a missile, would we have to close bulkhead doors to prevent the ship depressurizing?
This feature is hard to implement in a non-predefined environment, and in Dual Universe everything will be made by players, so we cannot know in advance the shape of volumes inside a ship. The computational requirements to calculate what is a sealed area is therefore potentially unbounded. So it is very unlikely that we can implement physically-based pressure systems.
Will there be reentry aerodynamics? Such as: needing heat shielding to prevent burning up in normal-dense atmospheres?
We have not worked on that yet, but it's an interesting idea to explore!
Will there be SDH subtitles (for deaf persons) provided in this game?'
Until we implement a voice chat system (which is currently not in the roadmap), most interactions will take place via a traditional chat. Hearing impairments should not be an issue in this context. Also, there are no cinematics or story-line in Dual Universe, so no need for subtitles.
Required LUA Script Proximity
You mentioned you have to be within a certain distance for your Lua scripts to be active, what distance roughly is that - a few hundred meters? a continent? a planet? or a solar system?
If your script is using a set of elements, those elements must be loaded to work. After a certain distance, elements get unloaded for performance reasons (no need to show details of things when you are far away). We don't have the exact numbers yet, this will depend on our optimization phase, but you can count on a few hundreds of meters. We may also add the possibility to mark certain elements as being more important, therefore persisting at larger distance, but this will be limited to a few of them for performance reasons.
Building on Asteroids
Will it be possible to build on an asteroid?
Yes! See our latest video update to see an example.
Static or Dynamic Asteroids
Will asteroids be static or will they move?
They will be static, like all other celestial bodies. We will consider however the possibility that a player could move them with the proper engines attached via a construct, but this is not something we can promise yet.
Will asteroids have gravity just like planets?
Yes, but much smaller.
Territory Controlled by Inactive Players
As we can't destroy anything in a safe zone, how will you prevent the territories to be occupied by players that have left the game?
We have currently several ideas to tackle this problem (construct wear affecting territory units, upkeep cost to maintain the territory claim, etc), but we haven't made our final decision yet on this topic. We are still in the phase where we ponder the Pros and Cons of each idea. If you have other ideas on the matter, we are open to suggestions!
In-Game Preservation After Subscription Expiration
If I park a ship in a safe zone and I don't pay the subscription during one month (or more), Will I find everything intact when I will subscribe again and will come back in the game? Same question for claimed territories in safe zones?
As for the previous question, this game mechanics is still in development. We can't give a precise and final answer for the moment.
How do you intend to handle persistence when it comes to a player and his ship? Will both remain in the universe when you log out or will you essentially vanish?
The player avatar will disappear after a few minutes. The constructs however remain, so the ship is still there. It can however be protected be either being in the Safe Zone, or simply with a protection bubble, and possibly also an invisibility cloak that you can power to make it disappear when offline.
In-Game Currency Production
How is currency "created" and controlled? In the real world we have note printing and minting institutions and the amount of money in the system is carefully controlled (to avoid hyper inflation, hopefully). How is money going to work in DU? How is it created and what limits the amount of currency in the game?
The in-game markets will host some bots that will create buy/sell orders in order to act as money sinks and money faucets. This is one of the mechanisms, but we will also add some taxes on various activities, which will act as a way to take money out of the equation. We are still thinking about other ways to regulate the mass of money, but the general principle is that the amount of money should be proportionate to the economic activity in the game. This is a quite well know issue, and we will draw inspiration from other games that already dealt with it.
Developer Health Concerns
How many stress related heart attacks will the devs get before the end of the kickstarter campaign?
None for the moment! But we came very close!
Regarding character names, will we have to have a completely unique name in this massive universe? Or will we have account names (which are unique) + character names (which can be common)? Or something else that would allow everyone to create a character name they really like?
You have the account name, which is of course unique. Then each of your character in this account must have a distinct name to be able to identify him (for example in transactions, or when you meet him, or in the chat). This is why each character must have a unique name that differs from all the others.
Increasing Combat Abilities
Regarding PvE/PvP for people wanting to pursue military professions, how exactly would they level up? Would they go out and hunt a bunch of wildlife or primative aliens or would they have to start PvPing right out the door?
There is no "level" in Dual Universe, but rather a skill tree that you can use to specialize your character (similar mechanism like in Eve Online). So, your character can improve either by training more in the skill tree, or simply by acquiring more efficient player skills at playing! It is very possible that a very experienced players in a beginner's avatar can be much more effective than a beginner's players in a highly skilled avatar.
What happens when you die, what do you lose?
When you die, you respawn at the nearest resurrection node, which is by default the Arkship. See our devblog about resurrection nodes to learn more. Now, when that happens, you loose all the content of your inventory, because things don't teleport themselves in Dual Universe. Your inventory becomes a virtual container at the place where you died, so you can try to get back there and recollect it, if nobody else has taken it!
Internet Speed Requirements
What is the rough absolute minimum download and upload speed requirements for a DU client?
This is too soon to tell, we need to move towards the alpha to get a precise measure. But any modern Internet connection should be enough to play.
What scale is planned for the planets? Meaning: how much of a surface area are we talking about in comparison to the earth's surface?
For the moment, the largest planet we have in mind as about 100km radius. That is about 125.000 km2 of surface, which is already very very large!
What will be the age limit to play the game?
We have not set the legal aspects on this matter, but the game is not designed for children. Many game mechanics will be designed to responsibilize the players in their choices and we can't ask this from a child. So this may end with age restrictions for Dual Universe, as we target a mature audience.
Got to the credit card stage but was wondering how does my pledge link to my account (on the forums)?
- We will link all pledges to accounts based on the e-mail address you provided. So it is very important for you to provide the same e-mail address in the Kickstarter form we will send you soon than the one you have used to register on the forum or the community portal.
I signed into kickstarter with facebook: is it a bad idea?
- Kickstarter is going to provide us an email address (probably the one attached to your Facebook account), this is how we will identify you.
Do I need to make proper account somewhere for my Kickstarter Reward?
- You should create an account on our community website (community.dualthegame.com) or our forum (board.dualthegame.com), they are all interconnected. If for some reason the email you used on the Kickstarter is not valid on our website, let us know and we will resolve issues on a case by case basis.
What if I already have a forum account, or an account on the Community Portal?
- If the email on our account differs from the one used on Kickstarter, just let us know so we can reconnect the dots.
Is it possible to support the Kickstarter by paying with Paypal?
- Unfortunately, Kickstarter does not allow paypal as a valid way to pledge, and there is nothing we can do about it at the moment. We are working on a solution and will let you know.
Any chance to pick up physical rewards directly in Paris, to avoid fees and possible damaged items during transport?
- The fees will be charged by Kickstarter no matter what. It will be difficult for us to refund them, but we can look into it. There might be also the fact that the goodies manufacturer will be in another country (possibly the US) and we might not have the goodies stored in France. When the time will come, you can contact us and we will see what can be done on a case by case basis.