Atom Universe is a theme park featuring plenty of rides and mini-games, as well as advanced social interactions. It will be released on PC first, then on PS4. We have been approved by Sony for a PS4 release.
Download our free PC demo from http://atomuniverse.net/AU/index.php?/topic/368-kickstarter-demo-6/.
You can also play the demo on PS4: in the PlayStation Store, go to New > Demos, scroll all the way to the right, and click the "New Demos" button : "Atom Universe" is the first in the list. No voucher code is required. We know it's very glitchy, it's not a beta, not even a first playable demo. It's just a proof of concept, for you to appreciate how the game might feel.
The first release will be on PC initially, then PS4 later. It will contain the main hub, a place to meet up and socialize in the centre of the theme park, plus 3 rides: The Minikart Race, the Shooting Gallery and the Motor Stunts.
The main hub is the central area in the theme park, surrounded by all the rides. In it you can chat, challenge other players, dance, drive vehicles and perform advanced interactions described below.
In the Minikart race, race around multiple tracks and beat the clock to beat your highscore! New tracks will be added regularly in many consecutive updates. Show off your high scores on leaderboards, and earn rewards for winning multiple challenges!
The shooting gallery lets you practice your aiming skills on holographic targets. Improve your skills, unlock new weapons, and progress through new levels!
The Motor Stunts lets you drive a buggy around a terrain filled with bumps, ramps, loop-de-loops and other crazy features. Best described as a cross between the classic Stunt Car Racer and Next Car Game: Wreckfest, the aim of the game is to perform daring stunts to reach pick-ups positioned strategically around the track. Get rewards and high-scores for reaching all pick-ups!
All scores and rewards obtained in each ride will feed into the meta-score of the user's profile, which will grant each player with a grade, that will allow players to show off their overall rank in the universe.
On top of the basic movement and chat, avatars will have advanced means of interactions:
-Environment interactions: sit on benches, lean on walls, lie on a bed...
-Actions: dance, take a pose, express your emotions via gestures and effects...
-Avatar-to-avatar physical interactions: dance together, shake hands, hug, kiss, hold hands, piggyback.... Multiple avatars can also execute synchronized moves as a group: conga line, Mexican wave, line dancing, Macarena, walk like a horde of zombies...
-Locomotion: you will be able to drive a vehicle... But not just on your own: in Atom Universe, you can hitch a ride too! Any avatar can pick you up in their vehicle and you can just enjoy the ride!
Thank you to all our backers for putting your faith in us. It looks like we are going to attain our goal at this pace. Which is great! But it doesn't have to stop at £20k: the more funding we get, the quicker we can get the game out to you. And because we are so close to our goal -we almost reached it last night- now is a good time to make an extra commitment. So here's the deal: if we get £30k ($45k), we'll aim to launch Atom Universe on PS4 and PC at the same time, and release a PS4 and PC beta both in August 2015. For us, it's a big commitment: initially we thought of releasing the game on PC first, as it's safer, easier, more straight-forward and quicker for us than PS4. But we know most of you really want it on PS4. So we have had a good discussion with the team: we could recruit more people to deliver the game out to you sooner, on both platforms. But that will cost us, because we need to optimize the game for PS4, but more importantly we must do more QA testing for Sony: there will be more bugs to fix, to comply with Sony's strict demands, and for them to authorize the release on PS4. But please understand the additional £10k ($15k) cost involved.
We much prefer if you pledge via Kickstarter, as it will contribute towards reaching our stretch goal. However if you can't because you have no bank account or credit card, then you can pledge via Paypal: make a payment to firstname.lastname@example.org, accompanied with a message referencing to the crowd-funding campaign.
We are not doing any physical rewards, as the community told us their favourite reward would be to see the game come out soon, to have some place to go. So all rewards are digital, mostly in-game. This way we can focus our efforts on the game development -rather than producing and shipping physical rewards- and contribute to making the game world a richer experience. Here is a summary table of the perks obtained at each level:
Note that the icons representing your level (on the left) will be displayed over your avatar's head in Atom Universe, showing that you were one of our initial funders.
Initially Atom Republic will produce all type of content for this environment (1). Then, third-party developers will help increase the content exponentially, releasing their own clothes, vehicles and accessories (2). Finally, Users themselves will be given tools to create their own content, like a ride editor to make their own roller coasters (3).
First we will release the game on PC, and then on PS4: the more funding we get, the quicker we can release on PS4. Every 2 months, there will be an update with an extra ride or feature. This way we minimize the risk by getting early feedback, and we can adjust the game based on your feedback, to improve your gameplay experience a little more with each new update.
Atom Universe is the most persistent, engaging and immersive virtual fairground of its generation:
•Persistence: Atom Universe is a persistent game where you can chat, play rides, and show off your latest purchases and rewards. Being free-to-play, there will always be plenty of people around to interact with. Atom Universe is cross-region, cross-platform: this means if you live in the USA and use a PC, you can play with another user in Europe, who plays on a PS4. Multi-platform, Atom Universe will not die with the PS4: we can port it to any high-end hardware, and it will out-live the current generation of consoles.
•Engagement: Atom Universe has lots of games, daily quests and challenges to keep you engaged, with something to do, even on your own. You can come back each day to chat and play with friends, attend events and get rewards.
•Immersion: for a more immersive gameplay, we will support virtual reality (VR) hardware: namely the Morpheus on PS4 and Oculus Rift headsets on PC.
Meet the team!
We are a team of veteran video-game developers: collectively we have exactly 100 years of industry experience! We are joining forces to make sure that together, we have the combined skills to make Atom Universe a reality.
With over 20 years in the games industry, Tanguy has acquired a wide range of skills: from concept art, through assets production, to team management. First as an Artist at Cryo, then Simtex and Argonaut, he became Lead Artist on I-Ninja and Catwoman, also contributing to Harry Potter. Moving to Kuju, with games like M.A.C.H. and Geometry Wars Galaxies, he then became Art Director at doublesix on games like Burn, Zombie Burn, South Park, Top Gun and Strike Suit Zero. He started up his own games studio in 2012: Atom Republic, the most innovative developer on PlayStation Home, specializing in social features... Naturally leading on to Atom Universe!
A multi-talented Senior Programmer, Alex has been developing videogames over the last 17 years, on high-profile games like FIFA, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, Madden NFL, Gangs of London or Resogun. While having a broad spectrum of experience at the best games studios (Sony, Climax, EA, Kuju...), he also built up an expertise in cloud-computing and developed network technologies to stream and store game data from the cloud. Being an all-rounder, seasoned coder as well as an innovative developer of network tools, Alex is the best suited individual to implement the social features in Atom Universe.
Adena has been a gamer for many years, she purchased a PS3 in 2009 and began playing PlayStation Home early in 2010. Beginning in 2012, she founded the Home Decorator’s Guild in PS Home, and within the first year grew the HDG to include 10 decorator clubs with over 300 members. Between her extensive work, volunteer, and life experience, she has over 35 years experience in customer service, customer relations, multiple computer software programs, web design, and other organizational, problem solving, and multi-tasking skills. She is now retired, but generously volunteered when possible as a Community Manager for Atom Republic, since 2013: she has been actively helping users and organizing events in PS Home, and she is now animating the forums and social media around Atom Universe.
Stuart started his professional career in 1998 as a software engineer at Codemasters, being part of a team that produced chart-topping titles. He worked through various roles of development and management at studios such as Criterion, EA and Emergent, focused on middleware technologies over the subsequent 10 years. These companies involved Stuart travelling to see hundreds of different game studios around the world, to learn and share best practices in using new gaming technologies. Spending much of his time attending and speaking at conferences and seeing an emerging opportunity in the mobile space, Stuart develops mobile apps for this market. But his passion for developing new gaming technology makes him look forward to contributing to Atom Universe!
Paul is a 3D Level Artist with a total of 26 years experience in 3d graphics and rendering.He has worked for over 20 years in the games industry, 12 years of which was at Sony Computer Entertainment London where he worked as a Senior Artist on numerous games. Most notably, he worked on PlayStation Home for 8 years, from in-house development work and building the original Home Square, Central Plaza, to creating the most breathtaking personal apartments for PlayStation Home, like the Prehistoric valley, Kingdom of the Skies, Dream Island, Paradise Health Club, Stately Home, Singstar space and the Complex 2.
Amar is a 2D/3D Artist with more than 20 years experience in the games industry. He started first as a bitmap artist on Sega Megadrive at Funcom then rapidly moved to make 3D games like Omikron at Quantic dreams or IronStorm at 4X technologies. He is now multi-talented and experienced freelance artist working with different studio like Game-consulting, Ubisoft or Amplitude.
We are not alone: we have been talking to a lot of other developers, and most are happy to provide content for us. And we can can already officially announce that two of them will be our partners: nDreams and PS Talent! nDreams are going to be assisting in the project and offering advice, and PSTalent will produce video content and more.
The tip of the Iceberg
As you know the Kickstarter will only finance the first release on PC, i.e. our minimum viable product. But it is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak: if we get more funding above the £20k target, that will speed up the PS4 development. We are also talking to private investors who will be watching this Kickstarter campaign, to test if there really is demand. If it succeeds, they will have more confidence, and will invest in us. So your investment will trigger theirs, like a domino effect. This will finance the many updates that will make Atom Universe a bigger and better game with more and more rides and features.
To be sure we can reach the maximum quality, we will make the environment one small step at a time. The first release will have the hub and 3 rides, and every new update will bring a new ride. The choice of the rides will be decided by the Kickstarter backers who pledge £30 or more, and have a right to vote as a reward. Here is what it could look like:
We use Unreal Engine 4, the most advanced graphics engine available, to provide you the high-end realistic visuals, to make the most of this generation of consoles' graphics. It is also the most suited technology to support VR.
Please help us build Atom Universe!
Risks and challenges
We know the game is ambitious, so we have an iterative development in mind: the game will be released in stages. The first release will be consist of a main hub with three rides, and will feature multiple avatar interactions. Then every other month, the game will be updated with new rides and features, like personal space customization and an avatar editing, but also ride editors, and the ability to upload your own photos and designs into the game world.
The Kickstarter will only finance the development of the first iteration. The following updates will be financed by in-game commerce.This way we minimize the risk, by getting your impressions early on: your feedback will help us prioritize the features and improvements of each update.
Virtual reality (VR) headset are not available commercially yet. So, even though we will support the technology, our gameplay is not reliant on it. We’ll release the game without VR initially, and incorporate VR once it's been tested. Having said that, we chose a rendering engine (Unreal Engine 4) that is the most advanced to support VR.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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