the first to explore
the new world
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Explore an unfamiliar universe, where organic life has never come to be. Thousands of virgin planets, that you can explore, where you can make your new operation base or just exploit their resources. Visit populated faction capitals, pirate harbors and distant forposts situated on abandoned planets, orbital stations, star bridges and hollow moons.
Whoever you are, a pirate or a respectable trucker, a hacker or a mysterious artifact hunter, you need a base to store your components, equipment and resources to build and repair your own bots, mine rare minerals or build server farms, that allow you to dig for information about your enemies or victims. It's important to find a distant planet, of which no one knows about, and hide the base in a secret cave or on the ocean floor, so it's not too easy to find.
On the planets, situated close to trade routes or full of rare minerals, building a base is too dangerous. It makes more sense to limit yourself to short raids — collect valuable minerals and fly away before you get spotted by anyone else. But if your radars detect a wandering miner — why not attack him and check whose robots are smarter and more efficiently assembled?
You control up to 4 bots at a time, which you build from various parts, defining the role of this bot, its abilities, strengths and weaknesses. Each frame is best suited to certain roles like scout, sniper, tank, rogue and so on. You can shoot specific enemy parts directly to disable some of the bot's abilities.
Bulky frames (usually used as tanks) can carry more modules: radars, defense field generators and batteries with higher capacity, providing enough power for the most impactful weapons. Each bot has its own tactics depending on the installed components.
A robot with a short-range weapon will make use of harpoons to pull enemies closer and EMI-grenades to immobilize them for a short period of time. For a scout, hunting miners and snipers in the enemy rear, a cloaking field and radar are more useful than a heavy machine gun.
Cosmos is the final frontier, it’s so vast that space-time itself becomes your ultimate enemy. You always have to get somewhere else – to a rich mine or to save someone in trouble. You will have a lot of bases, pieces of home scattered across the galaxy, but your true home is your ship. Your main fortress, your greatest treasure and your closest friend.
A brisk fighter can't fit a container with ore, but it is the fastest and the most stealth ship out there. They can easily avoid enemy detectors and be the first to deliver the squad to the destination. In a world where information is everything, flying "below the radars" sometimes is way more important than capacious cargo bays.
Flying fortresses are slow and expensive, but they are the only way to deliver bulky cargo and protect it from pirates. Spacious decks and bays perfectly fit any equipment — from cloaking fields to manufacturing lines assembling bot components or server farms, not to mention all luxury items that can be placed there.
Fight in the sci-fiuniverse
The core of the game is the robot battle, which occurs in real time, but follows the pace and logic of turn-based combat, so that there is no hurry and strategy prevails over cliсks per minute.
Each player controls up to 4 bots, which they builds themselves from various parts, defining the role of this droid, its abilities, strengths and weaknesses.
Alpha version will concentrate on the arena battles, but towards the release Cybernation Online will grow into an open-world MMO featuring spaceship building, galaxy exploration, base building and guarding. There you can mine resources, manufacture robot and ship parts, set up data mining server farms, that will help you defeat enemies in battles, hack their databases and so on. Infowars will be an essential and unique part of the game, alongside with quest system, that engages several players in the shared narrative in different roles.
It has been a while since I published our last development update. Developing an MMO game with a small indie team is an exciting adventure! Unfortunately posting development updates competes with all the other work we have to do, hence the multi-month silence. Luckily we've built a bunch of very important core systems and I'm going to share the progress with you right now!
This video demonstrates the range of 3D models that can be generated with the technology being developed for Cybernation Online. All the models in the video are defined by code, and can be modified programmatically. The system allows to have static and script-controlled components in the same models. The majority of mechanical objects in the game will be generated with this system, ranging from robots and their weapons, to spaceships and huge orbital stations.
We came up with 8 variants of combat, one of which, our current one, I described in the previous post. We figured it will be also interesting to tell you about some of this 7 alternatives and why they were put aside in the end.
If you read the «Core gameplay» post you know the basics – we took traditional turn-based tactics (like X-com or Fallout battles) as a starting point and changed a bunch of things to fit it better for the MMO specifics, trying to keep the feel and the flow of the battle intact.
This time we are going to show a video from the real game client. It demonstrates how the island terrain is generated and some atmospheric effects are applied to the scene:
Cybernation online is a space exploration game. The story takes place in another universe, where carbon-based life does not exist. The player’s avatar is a virtual synthetic mind in a complex anthropomorphic robot called bathyscaphe (because from the point of view of the Synthets it’s a vehicle for diving from the virtual world into the real one). Bathyscaphes build and control more primitive and crude bots, that, unlike scaphes, don’t have consciousness of their own. Synthets are capable of controlling only up to 4 bots at a time, sometimes entering the battle themselves (so your army consists of 5 units maximum).
Traditionally, MMORPG quests are similar to those in single player RPGs, an NPC tells you what it needs, and you go get it – rarely interacting with other players. If you were the only one on the server, it would still work – it’s an isolated experience. And it barely makes sense – some sad merchant asks you to bring him a new wheel for his cart, and you do – as do millions of others before and after you. This merchant has millions of wheels by now, but the cart is still not repaired and he is still at his place, looking sad. Maybe he doesn’t really want to go anywhere and the wheel was just an excuse for procrastinating.
Sometimes you come across an idea that wasn’t used in any game you encountered, it may be pretty obvious, so there must be some good reasons no one used it before. Usually, it’s because the concept is really hard to implement, or it appears to be not that interesting in reality as it was in theory. But on rare occasions you do find something viable, that just waited for its time.
We consider the concept of infowars one of the main features of our MMO.
There’s a saying in gamedev: “Every game designer wants to make their own Fallout”, but few get a chance to actually do it. You have to work through projects that may seem not that appealing or interesting to you, full of compromises and questionable monetization techniques before you get freedom and experience needed to make the game of your dreams.
After 10 years in the industry Alex Lurye and I decided, that we have a chance to actually do it – try to create something that is truly ambitious and fulfilling.