About this project
Dual Universe is an innovative Sci-Fi sandbox MMORPG defined by:
- One centralized and unique persistent universe shared by everyone at the same time. No instances, no zones, no transitions.
- Everything in the game is player-made: ships, cities, orbital stations,... with no limit in size. The world is fully editable.
- Emergent gameplay: economy, trade, territories, politics and warfare are all player-driven. Both PvP and non-PvP will be possible.
We want to go back to the roots of the MMO genre: massively multiplayer gaming, emergent gameplay, and fully editable world.
In Dual Universe, you can for example:
- Build a giant space station the size of a moon with your friends
- Create an intergalactic political Empire
- Gather along with thousands of others in player-made cities
- Get hundreds of players inside space exploring ships
- Mass-produce your custom designed ships to sell them in-game
- Become a trader, a logistician or an industrialist
- Program complex behaviors for your constructions
- Live in a secret base 1km underground on a remote moon
- Make a name as a spaceship designer or outpost architect
In other words, in Dual Universe, you can invent a new life for yourself in a world without limits, where almost anything is possible. We aim to make a massively multiplayer roleplaying sandbox on PC like never seen before.
You may have seen some of the gameplay features we have in other games, but never all together and in a continuous “single-shard” universe.
And it changes everything because everything you do matters, it's part of a collective story.
The idea of Dual Universe is both simple and ambitious: one huge virtual “Dual” universe where you are free to invent your own story, start anew in a boundless world.
How can we do it? Why now? Well, all this is made possible today because of our groundbreaking new server and voxel technologies that we have been working on for the last 3 years. Together with the current improvements in bandwidth and Cloud infrastructures, we have reached a point where this old dream can finally come true! We want to push the boundaries of the MMO genre and create a new kind of incredible collective experience, where players will be able to rebuild civilization together.
Team-up or go solo!
While we strongly encourage team play, in Dual Universe you are totally free to go your own way solo, or team up with others to go further. Take a spaceship for example: the game experience can range from being a lone pirate pilot in a custom made ship, to joining a crew of 100 players aboard a giant battleship that has been built in a huge industrial complex run by thousands of players. Each end of the spectrum has its unique advantages and brings exciting new gameplay experiences.
The features we describe below are what we plan to have at the release of the game, not the whole scope of our long term vision. Keep in mind that Dual Universe is an MMO, and as such it will live and grow for years and many of the exciting ideas we have already discussed on the forum will be developed later in the release cycle, via expansions. What we show here is not everything, but things we can ship with the time and money we ask for!
In Dual Universe, everybody plays in the same huge sandbox, at the same time. Everything you do matters because you are part of a collective story that unfolds as players follow their dreams. And that changes everything. Check this Blog post on why a continuous single-shard matters in terms of gameplay.
Everyone will start on the same planet (Alioth) and will expand from there. Accessing new planets and then new solar systems will be hard and will make the exploration of the universe progressive and bound to players achievements.
Everything you encounter in Dual Universe will be built by players: cities, spaceships, giant orbital stations, imperial palaces. We have developed our own planetary-sized voxel technology to allow you to freely dig/build on a planet, and create your own constructions in-game. The time and efforts put into your constructions will define how big they can be!
Gathering specific materials will have a critical importance in Dual Universe to build constructs. Some resources will be visible by just exploring planet surfaces, but a lot will be hidden underground and will need scanning, with a specific gameplay. Just finding ore deposits without mining them will be a real activity ... and can become a lucrative one!
Some of your constructs are becoming really popular? and you're afraid of not being able to fulfill all the demands? The blueprint system and the Factory Units will make your life a lot easier: when you are done building a construct, you will be able to get a Blueprint from it. By using this Blueprint in a Factory Unit, you will be able to replicate your construct (if you have the necessary quantity of raw materials and Elements)!
The economy in Dual Universe is realistic and under player control: you can create market exchanges that work with buy/sell orders (not auction houses), trade for resources or finished products, start an industrial or financial empire, do marketing, logistics, create your own company!
Territory Control is about securing land on planet grounds, for strategic, economic or safety reasons. Owning a territory is done via the deployment of a Territory Unit, which will grant you or your organization rights to control who can do what in the 1 km wide hexagonal tile associated to it. With territory comes battles, and the need to protect, federate resources and defenses. We will introduce Safe Zones, in particular around the arkship, for more peaceful territory ownership and role play.
From politics to territorial and social policies, warfare and galactic-sized alliances, power struggles and influence, warfare, civilization rise and fall, everything you will live within Dual Universe will emerge from the player community itself, based on the specific gameplay mechanics we have designed. You are in control of the world, and only you will shape its future towards harmony or chaos.
Safe Zones will protect you, and avoid Dual Universe to become a free for all PvP game. However, PvP will be possible when you step out of the Safe Zone. Players will be able to fight each other, balancing their equipment and energy between shield and armor, with dedicated weapon type with different types of damage. We will provide a “lock & fire” mechanism to combat, to facilitate very large battles that are made possible in-game by our Continuous Single-Shard Cluster. Players can further specialize into certain weapons through skills and improve their combat prowess with better equipment.
Like in real life, you won’t be stuck in a particular playing style in Dual Universe: we use a skill-based character progression. You can select one skill at a time to train, and specialize your character as you go. Skills train in real-time, whether you're online or not. We make it so that first level skills of any type of activity are fairly quick to train, so that you can explore a broad range of gameplay easily and quickly. But, as often, to become the best in your trade, specialization is key.
Earth has been destroyed and after a very long journey aboard a colonial ship (also called Arkship), survivors waking from 10.000 years of cryogenic sleep, land on a new earth-like planet. How does it feel to wake up after such a long time, step out of the Arkship and experience the first days of Humanity 2.0? You can learn more about it by reading the great short story written by Alain Damasio, co-founder of DontNod Entertainment, maker of titles like "Life is Strange", and award-winning French Sci-Fi writer.
Hundreds of players have already started to create their own Organizations (nations, corporations, pirate guilds and many others) on our community portal, check it out and join or create one of them! There are already more than 700 organizations recruiting! Check out also our devblog and start discussing the long term vision of the game with the community!
We are extremely honored to work with Maxime Ferrieu for the game music. Maxime is a great composer, gold medal of the French conservatory school of music, and he has perfectly captured the spirit of Dual. Check it out here:
Our team is an experienced team of industry veterans from Sony, Apple, Ubisoft and several other French game companies. The company founder, J.C. Baillie, is an experienced tech entrepreneur with a deep passion for gaming, as well as an expert in complex technologies (his background is in AI & Robotics).
How much will Dual Universe cost? You won't have to buy the game itself, and the game will be accessible with a "free to try" limited access (the limits are still in discussion but will be related to things like the amount of skill, money and/or places you can explore). The full game experience will be available with a monthly subscription at a price at launch that is comparable to similar products on the market (typically around $10-$13/month or 10€-13€/month depending on the country). However, it will be possible to play for free by activating a 30 days time coupon (Dual Access Coupon) that you can buy on the in-game markets. You can also buy a DAC from Novaquark (at a price at launch of 18€/$18) to sell it on the in-game market in exchange of in-game currency. More background information about why we choose this model can be read in our devblog article about monetization.
By backing our game, you can get many rewards.
Here are short descriptions about each of them:
- "Thank you!": An e-mail to thank you for backing us. Even 1€ matters to us!
- Special thanks in game credits: You will be mentioned in the credits of the game as a Kickstarter Backer that has made possible to create Dual Universe!
- Founder Forum Title: You will be able to display the support you gave us on the official forum.
- Dual Access Coupon (DAC): The DAC is a virtual item that you will be able to use for different purposes. You will be able to consume one to get 30 days of play in Dual Universe, or give one to a friend.
- Original Sound Track (Digital): You will be able to download the whole Original Sound Track.
- ID Card Arskhip Passenger (Physical Reward): You will receive a personalized card with the pseudonym of your choice, representing your avatar's name, who have slept during thousands of years before landing on Alioth. This pseudonym will be automatically reserved for you in-game.
- In-game Pet: A cool mechanized pet robot that will follow you everywhere. The higher version, the shinier it will be!
- Closed Beta Access Key: You will automatically have access to the Closed Beta when the game will enter this phase.
- Alpha Access Key: You will automatically have access to the Alpha when the game will enter this phase.
- Alpha Team Outfit: As you are a member of the Alpha Team, those who have awaken sooner than most of the Arkship passengers, your character will have a special suit showing he/she was among the first to test the harsh conditions of Humanity new homeworld.
- Dual Universe T-Shirt (Physical Reward): A T-Shirt with Dual Universe's Logo & Artwork.
- Metallic Box + Game DVD + OST CD (Physical Reward): A numbered metallic Box with a DVD containing the game Dual Universe 1.0 and a CD containing the whole Original Sound Track.
- Dual Universe Artbook (Physical Reward): A hard covered book containing many artworks and concept arts from Dual Universe.
- Dual Universe Poster (Physical Reward): A poster representing one of the most popular artwork of Dual Universe, giant size!
- Dual Universe Tote Bag (Physical Reward): A bag... representing your Nanopack in Real Life?
- Arkship USB Key (Physical Reward): A USB Key to transport all your most precious game files!
- Alpha Team Member Statue (Physical Reward): 2 models will exist, male and female. You will be able to choose the one you want with a Ruby founder pack, and you will have automatically both of them with the Emerald founder pack!
- Dual Universe Collector Box: A collector carton box where can be stored all Dual Universe physical rewards!
- 1 Hour Call Conference with JC: You will be able to have a private conversation with JC to ask questions, give personal feedback or even make suggestions for the game!
- 1/2 and 1 Day with JC and the team: You will be able to meet JC and the team, discuss with us, see the development process of the game and much more! (plane ticket not included)
- Development of a Dual Universe Secret: Participate and work with us on one of the secrets that Dual Universe will contain (the team reserves the rights to refuse ideas that would be technically irrealistic or not compatible with the storyline).
Some practical examples of what you get in terms of play time:
- Silver Founder Pack (60€): you get, among other things, 10 DACs, which gives you access to 10 months of play time after launch. Depending on the market price and your play style, it is possible that you could accumulate over this period enough in-game money to then start buying more DACs on the in-game markets, and effectively play for free! Plus you get an early access to the Beta.
- Gold Founder Pack (120€): same reasoning, but with 20 DACs, that is almost 2 years of play time right after launch. Plus you get an early access to the Beta and the Alpha.
For those among you interested in pledging a little more than the price of a specific pack it's now possible to pledge an “Add-On” as described below! (if you want to use this option, make sure the pledge you make in addition to the chosen founder pack is divisible by 7, to obtain the adequate number of additional DACs!)
- Why Kickstarter?
Places like Kickstarter are where real innovation can happen. Because with innovation comes risk, most publishers don’t take the chance to support creative projects like Dual Universe. The game is a revolutionary take on the MMO genre, enough to make it difficult to finance by conventional means.
We are an independent studio, and so far we’ve got support from visionary investors, including the studio founder, JC Baillie. This has brought us up to where we are now, and has helped us develop the kind of new technologies that are necessary for Dual Universe to work, considerably lowering the risks.
But this was just the first step.To complete the vision, we need your support. We want Dual Universe to be community driven, and not driven by some investors or publishers agenda. The more backing we will have, the stronger we will be, and the more independent we can remain: either by having the game entirely funded by the community, or simply by making us stronger in negotiations with third parties.
By backing Dual Universe, you are making a statement and you'll help bringing the most innovative Sci-Fi MMO game of the decade to life. We believe this is going to redefine the genre, and you can be part of those who helped to make it happen.
Risks and challenges
Developing a game, and a MMO in particular, is an incredibly difficult and complex task. Our 25 people team is experienced and has worked and shipped several titles already before, and therefore we fully measure how challenging a project like Dual Universe is. Here are some of the things we are facing:
- We don’t create content, or traditional game level design. We do high-level game mechanisms, which are complex and hard to balance.
- We have several new technologies, in particular the server technologies, that are trying to solve problems that have never been solved before. It may not work as planned, or as our current testing suggests.
- We have set for ourselves an ambitious fast release cycle. We may encounter unseen problems that could delay our schedule. Unless what you do has already been done before countless of times, you can never be sure how much time it will take.
- The whole game is a brand new way of doing MMO. What will emerge from this universe? It’s at the same time exciting, but also very risky. We try to orient the game design towards interesting dynamics, but we cannot be sure.
The energy that drives us is the energy of the explorers. We have done that before, we have explored, we have innovated, the whole team is an incredibly talented and world-class, so we are both excited and confident that we can deal with these challenges.
In any case, here is what we can promise you:
- Absolute transparency about the development progress
- 100% of the funding will go to the development of Dual Universe, more specifically to pay the developers & artists. The whole point of Novaquark is Dual Universe, and we are not doing anything else.
- Engage with the community and listen to your feedback, with new and innovative ways to get you directly involved in the roadmap decisions.
With your help, nothing is impossible. We are so excited and happy to have this opportunity to make this old dream come true: the first online virtual civilization, Dual Universe! Thank you so much for your support!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The game is currently planned for Windows.
Linux might be supported at some point, but we can't guarantee that for now.
The game isn't planned on MacOs or any console at the moment.
- First half of 2017 for Alpha.
- First half of 2018 for Beta.
- End of 2018 for Official Release.
You won't have to pay upfront for Dual Universe: the game will be downloadable for free. There will be a free trial period. After that, a monthly subscription will be needed: the fee will scale from $10 to $13 (from €10 to €13 in Europe) depending of the number of months paid in a row. You won't have to pay for Expansions or DLCs.
We've opted for the subscription model to be able to cover the operating costs as well as a measure to prevent Pay-to-Win risks: there won't be items giving advantages against other players available in a cash shop and only accessible by spending real life money.
The game might be available on Steam at some point, but this won't be before Beta, and if we make a Steam version we plan to keep a Standalone version available for those who don't want to use Steam.
No. The game vision for Dual Universe is to gather the whole community in one unique game universe, not to fragment it among several servers: this would dilute (or even nullify) the meaning of many major game features as the player-driven economy, industry or even territory control.
Yes, we've introduced during the first week of the Kickstarter campaign digital versions of the Silver, Gold, Sapphire and Ruby Packs. Physical rewards have been replaced by additional DACs (Dual Access Coupons) in these versions and of course, shipping costs have been removed. For more information about DACs, the full description of this reward is available in the "Rewards" section of the Kickstarter page.
DACs (Dual Access Coupons) are virtual items that will be possible to use in several ways:
- a DAC can be consumed to get 30 days of play time.
- a DAC can be given to a friend if he doesn't have the budget for a monthly subscription.
- a DAC can be traded to another player for in-game money (not real money).
No. As the main goal is to favorize interaction with all other players, an offline mode wouldn't make much sense in this context.
The Silver Pack does have one physical reward: the "Arkship Passenger ID Card". The full description of this reward is available in the "Rewards" section of the Kickstarter page. To avoid shipping cost, a full digital version of the Silver Pack is available.
As we are aiming for a coherent Sci-fi universe, you won't encounter unicorns in our game.
Space whales? That topic hasn't been decided yet. Maybe if we find the question to the answer "42".
It's the lowest tiers providing the lifetime subscription.
Due to popular demand, we have made a digital version of the Ruby Pack with 20 DACs replacing the physical rewards.
On planets with a relatively friendly environment, players might encounter some primitive creatures.
It might be possible during exploration that players find ruins from an extinct civilization.
But we won't say more for now. It's part of the Dual Universe mysteries ;)
There will be a few primitive NPC creatures in the initial version of the game.
We might develop more advanced NPCs in the future, but we can't say to which extent and we can't promise anything yet.
Unfortunately, no. Players will incarnate normal humans, colonists without god-like abilities such as creating NPCs. (Note: Robots and/or Droid Helpers might be an exception in the future)
Quests or Missions will be made by the players themselves: we will develop and give them the tools to make their own quest/missions.
"Construct vs Construct" combat is the first stretch goal. If it's not reached during the Kickstarter campaign, it might be added later, after official release.
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