Imagined by video game lovers, Planets³ (pronounced «planetscube») combines the excitement of role playing with the pleasure of construction and the boundless freedom to roam about in a 3D universe. Its intricate plot and outstanding voxel based design offers opportunities for intense action and unlimited creativity. Planets³ has been designed to promote multi-player gameplay, to share the fun with friends.
Today, in the early development stage, all the elements are in place to develop a first PC (windows) release. What we need now is your help to make it happen!
Rumors have it that aliens who look like humans, crashed onto the planet some years ago. What happened? Where are they from? Why did they crash? Are there survivors?
To discover the answers to these questions, Planets³ players will have to solve a number of mysteries and build up their own little world, before expanding into the universe. Many adventures await them and they’ll find plenty of help -and enemies- along the way. As they progress, they’ll be able to level up their character to achieve more and more freedom, till they can roam the universe in their own starship, which, by the way, they may have created themselves…
Who said the Earth was round?
Planets³ adventures take place in a universe entirely made of 25cm³ blocks (voxels). Each planet represents thousands of billions of blocks. The blocks can be combined in a variety of ways to build beautiful objects and landscape elements of all shapes and size.
Free to roam
In this completely open world, freedom is the key. With entire surroundings that can be completely modulated, destroyed and recreated as you wish, the only limit in Planets³ is your own imagination! But this freedom comes with its own set of challenges. For instance, to leave our planet and visit the universe, players must unlock their own personal spaceship, or build one themselves… And you’ll need the natives to grant you their trust, so you can master the craft system and learn new skills.
Share the journey
You will find lots of characters during your journey, natives who will ask you to complete tasks for them. Once you have gained their trust, some of them will allow you to use their crafting skills: they will then become Job Masters, Job Masters are essential for your progression since they can provide assistance in many ways: They can research new recipes for you, help build new structures, repair broken items, dismantle objects to learn how to reproduce them; they can also harvest crops for cooking, and of course, fight by your side against any enemy… Job masters can be blacksmith, goldsmith, engineer, fighter, cook, builder or farmer.
The first one you will encounter is Watts the blacksmith. He will be the one to teach you how to craft low level tools, armors and weapons.
Experience an amazing evolution
Planets³ is split into zones, which represent different levels of difficulty and mark the progression of the player in the story line.
You’ll be able to level up your avatar and improve your character’s skills while playing. In fact every action will improve one of your statistics: For instance, running and jumping will improve your form, making you run faster and jump higher; Pushing your limit will increase your stamina and endurance; Using heavy tools or weapons will improve your strength, and make it easier for you to use them.
Increase your technical level
Your technical level is defined by the level of the tools you can create. How do you progress in this area? When traveling from one zone to the next you’ll find new resources that can be used by the Job Master to research new recipes and craft more powerful items. You can also improve your technical level by taking the enemy’s gear after you win a fight, to use it directly or to bring it to a Job Master to dismantle it and discover new recipes.
The more advanced your technical level, the more powerful the crafted items will become, but also the more complicated the recipe to create them (requiring more resources and/or rare resources).
Choose your combat mode
With Planets³ you decide how you wish to fight: You may want to be a heavily armed warrior, fearing nothing except the lack of enemies. But perhaps you will prefer to play an undetectable ninja, sniping enemies from a long distance or sneaking up from behind… Players teaming up can combine their favorite fighting styles, so that, together, they can take on the most challenging of enemies.
Fight the enemies in dungeons
Dungeons take up a big place in the Planets³ story and in the secondary quests. Inside each dungeon is at least one boss, who protects a long hidden treasure by sending out enemy apparitions. To put an end to the attacks and reach the treasure, you’ll have to get past the enemies and kill the boss. The treasure itself is a chest full of useful objects, with some unique items in it, which you can bring to a job master to discover new recipes.
Most dungeons are destructible, but you will need to have the adequate tools to do so. Some will prove to be indestructible for the moment, and you’ll have to make it through their labyrinth to get past them.
Beware: enemies in Planets³ are clever. They will work together in groups, aiding each other to fight intelligently against you. When an enemy apparition is killed, there is no random reward but you can take the armor or the objects they were wearing.
And explore every corner!
An important part of the adventure will take place in the depth of the planets, where danger is ubiquitous. Of course the player will harvest valuable resources (minerals or crystals), but mainly he will be led there by the story in order to solve quests or mysteries.
More than just an adventure game, Planets³ is also a construction game, entirely composed of blocks. The wide range of shapes and materials allows you to create everything you need: tools, vehicles, housing… A hundred different materials are represented, including woods, rocks, metals, dirt, sand, gravel, transformed materials, and of course…alien technology and materials! You’ll be able to use them as you see fit, to make whatever you have to throughout the game.
Crafting is key
Crafting is the essential feature of the game, and the only way to evolve. All objects (except gathered resources) are done by assembling subparts; each subpart makes the tool unique in terms of form and material.
When you find an object, with a subpart you can’t craft yet, you can choose to dismantle it to learn how to reproduce the object at will or construct new objects with this newly acquired subpart!
Equip every weapon
In Planets³ players can equip every weapon, whatever their progression. There are no restrictions, but each weapon has an important statistic for its use, called the ‘recommended strength’; this makes it easier or harder to use depending on your character’s strength.
Become a builder
Some quests in the game will ask the player to build houses (Job Master’s houses for example) or vehicles. To accelerate things you can call on the builder Job Masters to help you out. You will then be able to record the building patterns for key structures and reuse them in another spot, at another time in the story.
Travel the universe
During your journey you’ll come across animals which you can tame and mount. But the best way to travel is to create the vehicle you wish: Just assemble the blocks to get the shape you want and add the necessary control blocks (motor, cockpit, wheel …). Vehicles control blocks are crafted as any other object in the game, but the player will need to find the engineer job master to unlock the recipes.
Ground vehicles and animals are not the only means of transportation. Planets³ will have specific control blocks for spaceships!
Some of the stretch goals can unlock other specific control blocks for boats, planes and helicopters.
Customization and Sharing
The entire Planets³ universe is customizable via xml file (or Planets³ editor if the stretch goal is reached). Crafts can be modified, but also textures, 3D models, quests, planets generation (landscapes), predefined constructions and so on …
Ultimately, a tool is due to be integrated in the Planets³ editor and implemented on our website so that players can easily share their creations.
In the case of multiplayers, customization is stored on the server so that when you join a server you will automatically upgrade your client files.
We are three friends who graduated from the same engineering school in France. We share the same passion for video games. After gaining experience, during 9 years, developing a range of applications (professional applications and/or video games) for Windows, Mac, mobiles and even consoles, we decided to found our independent game studio, Cubical Drift, last year in october.
We surrounded ourselves with competent and truly motivated people from different horizons (creative artists, graphics and musician) to develop the game of our dreams
Every aspect of Planets³ reflects what we like in video games: old classic RPG, new open world RPG, adventure game and ‘sandbox game’.
Today we aspire to dedicating all our energy to this game.
Why should you trust us? The fate of our company and its team depends on the success of this game.
Meet the Team
We use Ogre as our 3D engine, because we have years of experience with it.
We have developed specific multithreading algorithms to be able to display a massive number of blocks with a large (almost infinite) viewing distance in real time. This allows you to see other planets from the surface (by night and without clouds!). This was our focus in the actual prototype.
Among our top interesting features:
- Marked progression, with clearly defined zone levels
- Scalable UI: you craft what you need (a map, a watch, radar…)
- An ‘In Game’ vehicle construction system to build your transport solutions
- Natural elements taken into account, such as planets alignment, because all the planets are in motion!
- Realism, with features like pipelines to transport resources, different smelting furnaces for metal, electric circuits management, farming and animal husbandry
Planets³ is full of technical challenges such as:
- Large viewing distance: you will be able to see everything that is happening in the solar system you are in
- Massive amount of blocs to display: a planet is composed of 32 000 000 000 000 of blocks! One tranche of planet is composed of 1 billion of blocks!
- Complex physical engine for blocks made vehicles
- Community Sharing management (to enable players to share their creations)
Parts of these technical challenges have been addressed. In particular, before coming to Kickstarter, we had created the «sub resolution based view distance» engine, which is the major display feature of the game. We reached that goal in December. Sure it will take us a lot of time to optimize the engine, but the hardest part is done!
Here is an actual game footage. The dev team has been focusing on technical challenges leaving aside the gameplay and the artistic aspect of the game.
As for now 10% of the game has been developed (game design, artwork, development bases), but we need you to make the other 90%!
As you see some of our stretch goals are really ambitious, and developing them will take more than a year. This is why we decided to release the game in 2 parts:
- The first release, named Planets³: Race to Space, is to be finalized, with all features complete, for the fall of 2015 and will include all the goals up to 500 000$ (with the Planets³ editor). It will take place in the first solar system, with the storyline suspended beyond that...
- We are targeting 2017 for the release of the 'full game', named Planets³: Space Enemies, which will open onto the universe and lead to a climactic story ending. Some clues will be scattered in the first opus, though mostly in annex quests and dungeons.
Most of the funds will go to development and artwork, the two bigger parts of the planning in terms of the number of persons involved (we will expand the team) and the time needed to complete them. The game also requires writing the story, the quests and working on the sound. These are key to success, even if less demanding in financial terms
We plan to sell the game at around $30. As a backer, it means you'll save some money when you support us ; two birds one stone !
All Backers (whatever the amount) will receive a special thanks in the game credits and an access to the private discussion forum.
Contact and/or delivery for pledges will occur this summer.
You just need to add the chosen amount to your current pledge and reward tier:
- For each additional +$10, you will get an extra digital download (1 access to the alpha, beta and release). Available from the $35 tier and above. Limited to 5 per account.
- For each additional +$20, a set of 3 pets that will help you in the game. Available from tiers between $15 and $100, included in the $200 tiers and above. Limited to 1 per digital copy of the game.
We want backers to get something that will make them feel special when starting to play. Something that feels unique.
Here are the 3 unique backer pets :
Kickstarter Stretch Goals
All Kickstarter backers (>=$15) will get free access to the first PC (Windows) game, Planets³: Race to Space, AND the second, Planets³: space enemies, as soon as they are available.
As backers, you will also be kept up to date on the evolution of the game; we will update you frequently with weekly news, monthly development reports (newletter). What’s more, you’ll take part in the final design of the game. We will open a forum to discuss your feedback and we will listen to you!
We’re convinced Planets³ has all the ingredients for success. We hope you’ll like it as much as we do!
Risks and challenges
As experienced software and/or game industry professionals, we are aware of the risks and challenges these kinds of projects bring. It is important for you, backers, to know that we will not release the game just to keep up with the planning if we are not convinced of its quality.
The Alpha and Beta version of the game will help us reach these quality goals, with the support of you, backers, who will take part in the final «design» of the game.
- (31 days)