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Empyrion – Galactic Survival: Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
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General Questions about Empyrion
Q: What is Empyrion – Galactic Survival?
Empyrion is a 3D open world, space survival adventure in which you can fly across space and land on planets. The game will feature space & planetary exploration, building & construction, mining & resource gathering, survival, crafting, terrain deformation, as well as space & land combats. It takes place in a vast procedurally generated galaxy that includes hundreds of different solar systems. Each solar system contains several planets with their own characteristics.
Q: What is the gameplay like?
Empyrion is an open world game about building, exploring, fighting and surviving in a procedurally generated galaxy full of hidden dangers. The vast galaxy features endless space, asteroids, planets, and fierce enemies. You can build everything out of blocks and building parts like in Minecraft: large starships, small spaceships, space and planetary stations, as well as facilities such as mining robots and solar panels. Your mobile home base is a self-created starship (mothership) that is able to fly from planet to planet and warp between solar systems. To access and explore a planet, you must build one or several, small spaceships that can enter the planet’s orbit and land on the planet’s surface. The mothership and spaceships can be equipped with weapons to defend themselves against other players and NPC enemies.
For building and construction, you must gather and mine resources. You will find these resources on planets and asteroids. Empyrion features several planet types such as desert, ice, lava, barren, oceanic, temperate and alien. Each of them is different and has its own characteristics and potentially unforgiving conditions. To survive, you have to adapt to a planet’s unique environment. Initially, you face an uncharted universe with only basic information about the planets, their resources, and (potentially dangerous) life forms. Before your first landing on a planet, you will not know exactly what awaits you – be prepared for any surprise.
Q: What makes Empyrion unique?
The majority of space simulations do not offer the possibility to land on planets and freely walk around on their surface. We were always frustrated that in these games you can see planets and you can approach them but you are not able to actually enter their orbit, fly over their surface and eventually land on them to freely walk around. If you are lucky, Ego-Shooters/FPS allow you to freely explore a planet in an open world style but you cannot get on a spaceship, leave the planet and freely explore a vast procedurally generated galaxy.
In Empyrion, we got rid of these two major limitations described above: Imagine that while you’re flying through space you see a planet in the distance. As you get closer, you can see there are mountains on it. Well, the really cool thing is that you can actually keep flying towards the planet, enter its atmosphere and eventually land on these mountains. Then you can get off your ship and freely explore your surroundings. Likewise, if you walk around on the planet and see a moon on the horizon, you can take your spaceship and fly to this moon and land on it. So, as you can see, unlike many other games, Empyrion offers a true free-roaming experience.
In addition, Empyrion is strongly inspired by world editing games. Specifically, we integrated a freedom of open world where you can build everything out of blocks and building parts. The very cool and unique feature in Empyrion is that the optimal strategy is not fixed but will strongly depend on “how” you build stuff. For example, if you like to be more of an explorative type who wants to discover many different planets you should build a small and fast mothership, while a large, heavy and well-armed mothership will drive your playing style towards fighting and defence of few planets.
Moreover, we think that elements from survival games like Rust or other survival games add a level of realism to the gameplay that makes it addictive. In Empyrion, every decision you make will have an impact on the course of the game and eventually decide whether you succeed…or not.
Q: Is there a background story to Empyrion?
A: Yes. Please check out our detailed background story here: http://empyriongame.com/story The background story is inspired by the never-ending hunt for paradise. The word “Emyprion” is derived from the Medieval Latin “empyreus” and refers to the place in the highest heaven beyond the firmament, which in ancient cosmologies was supposed to be occupied by celestial beings made of pure light that are the source of creation. In the year 2402, a team of researchers discovered the wrack of a starship in the Antarctic, hidden up to this time under a thick cover of ice. Apparently, the ship belonged to a technologically highly advanced alien race and was powered by an unknown form of energy. Also a star map containing ancient symbols was recovered. Soon scientists realized that the symbols on the star map were similar to those used in ancient cosmologies to describe “Empyrion” – the land of plenty. With humanity on verge of extinction, the “United Council of Humanity” decided to focus the remaining resources on Earth on a unified effort to build a fleet of starships with the aim of establishing contact with the mysterious aliens and finding Empyrion. Players assume the role of the first commander of the frigate “MS Titan”, on the mission to find Empyrion. But not everything turns out as expected…
Q: When will Empyrion be released and where will I be able to purchase Empyrion?
A: The public Pre-Alpha has been released on August,5th 2015 as a digital download only. Alpha 1.o has been released on April 15th 2016 as a digital download only
Q: What does Early Access mean?
A: Early Access means that you can buy a playable but not yet final version of Empyrion, while the game is still under active development. By buying the Alpha version of Empyrion, you are actively supporting its development.
Q: Do i need to buy the game again when it leaves Alpha or Early Access?
A: No. You only need to buy it once.
Q: What game engine do you use to develop the game?
A: We use Unity (currently v5.3) as our game engine due to its ease of use, flexibility, robust scripting system and large asset store (middleware). We believe that middleware is the key to finishing a game for a small, independent game studio. By purchasing assets that have been tested rather than starting from scratch, we reduce the development risk and increase efficiency. With this approach, we speed up development and free up capacity to focus on the gameplay.
Q: On which platforms will Empyrion be released? (PC, MAC, Linux, Etc.)?
A: In the beginning, we are focusing on releasing the game on Windows PC (at least the first builds) and the dedicated servers for Linux. Given that we develop on Unity 3d – a cross-platform game creation system which allows to publish to over 10 platforms (Mac, Linux, PlayStation, Xbox etc.) – we will try our best to make Empyrion available on a maximum number of platforms over time.
Q: Do you have a forum?
A: Of course! Please head over to www.empyriononline.com.
Q: Do you plan to translate the game into other languages?
A: Currently the game is available in English and German. We plan to add more languages like French and Spanish. More languages will follow.
Q: What is your policy on YouTube videos?
A: Using these guidelines, Eleon Game Studios grants permission for users to make videos (Let’s Play, reviews, walk-throughs, etc.), monetize them and publish to YouTube, twitch.TV, or similar digital services.
Building and Construction
Q: How many block types will there be? For example will there be blocks with a really low gradient to create sleek, thin spaceships?
A: As of today, we have already added several types of materials and blocks that offer up to 32 individual shapes!
Q: Will there be construction solidity physics?
A: Yes. A first version of Structural Integrity has been introduced with Alpha 1.0
Q: How is the crafting system going to work?
A: We have decided to use crafting stations for creating blocks and items.
Q: Is Empyrion’s main focus engineering?
A: The focus of Empyrion will not be on engineering but rather on exploration and survival in a vast procedurally generated galaxy with hundreds of different solar systems.
Q: Will there be tools like axes and shovels?
A: Given that we are in the year 2473, we might not add axes and shovels but more advanced equipment. But never say never.
Space and Planet
Q: Are planets destructible and you can dig all the way through?
A: Planet have solid cores (i.e. you cannot dig all the way through) and they will probably not be destructible.
Q: Will you be able to circle a planet, i.e, start at point A, fly in one direction and arrive at the same point A?
A: Yes, absolutely. The planets are round which means you can circle them. The larger ones will be about 150 km^2 which means that a player would need more than 60min to circle the entire planet at the equator by foot.
Q: How you are going to add enough interest for players to explore on the planets?
A: You must explore different planets because they will provide you with the necessary resources. You won’t find everything you need on one planet. Each planet will be unique with its own characteristics and potentially unforgiving conditions. You have to adapt to a planet’s environment – otherwise you will not succeed. Initially, you only have basic information about the planets, their resources, and (potentially dangerous) life forms. Before your first landing on a planet, you will not know exactly what awaits you. So you will feel like Christopher Columbus each time you enter a planet’s orbit for the first time.
AI, PVE, PVP and Multiplayer Mechanics
Q: How advanced will AI be?
A: In the beginning, AI will be basic but we plan to make it more advanced over the development of the game.
Q: Will this be a more PVP or PVE focused game?
A: This is up to the server admins. It is possible to make the whole game PvE or PvP only. You can also set differente playfields (Planet or Orbits) to PvP or PvE individually!
Q: Is it possible to play the whole game in single player ?
A: Yes, you will be able to play the whole game in single player if you want.
Q: How will multiplayer work?
A: At the moment, dedicated servers can be hosted by any player (the necessary files are included in every installation of the game) or rented by a server provider. Admins have a lot of options to alter their server universe and we aim to add more customization options in the development process. Our vision for later is the development and implementation of a multiplayer infrastructure that allows connecting a huge number of servers with each other. Each server will simulate a certain part of the galaxy and together they constitute the galaxy in which everybody plays.
Q: Will there be diplomacy
A: Too early to say but it could be a feature for later development.
Q: Are there be factions?
A: Yes. Any player can create a faction. Factions also can own buildings and vessels.
Gameplay and Mechanics
Q: Is a mothership able to land on a planet?
A: Yes, Capital Vessels can land on a planet. The downside: flying around on a planet with such a big vessel uses up the fuel very, very quickly.
Q: How will you control your ships and bases?
A: There will be a “control panel” from which you can control the whole ship / base.
Q: How do shields work?
A: Shields will be around the outside of your ship. However, functioning of shields is not yet 100% defined – we are working on it.
Q: Will there be a deep space radar?
A: Yes, that is a feature we would like to implement in later development. Also, we would like to implement a detection system and some sort of cloaking system.
Q: Is there a creative mode?
A: Yes. You can choose between Survival and Creative when starting a new game.
Q: Apart from finding “Empyrion” will there be another story or side quests?
A: Yes, we plan to add some side quests (however, not in the first Alpha builds but for later development).
Q: Are there ground vehicles to explore planets?
A: Yes, we have hover-based ground vessels.
Technical and Modding
Q: Will there be a version for Linux and Mac?
A: In the beginning, we are focusing on releasing the game on Windows PC (at least the alpha version) and the dedicated servers for Linux. Given that we develop on Unity – a cross-platform game creation system which allows to publish to over 10 platforms (Mac, Linux, PlayStation, Xbox etc.) – we don’t exclude the possibility that in the future the game will be available on other platforms as well.
Q: Will Empyrion be open to modding?
A: We are open to modders! However, it will require additional time and effort to polish developer tools and make them intuitive for modders. Therefore, the extent of mod support we will be able to provide is a question of priority, cost and time.
Q: What are the system requirements for the game?
A: Minimum System Requirements. OS: Windows (7 and 8), 64-bit system required. Processor: Dual-Core Processor 2.5 GHz or better. Memory: 4GB RAM. Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 or equivalent. DirectX: 9.0c (Shader Model 3.0). Hard Drive: 2.5GB available space. Sound Card: DirectX® compatible.
Recommended Requirements. OS: Windows (7 and 8), 64-bit system required. Processor: Quad-Core 2.8 GHz or better. Memory: 8GB RAM. Graphics: Nvidia 560 GTX or better. DirectX: 11. Hard Drive: 2.5GB available space. Sound Card: DirectX® compatible.
Dedicated server requirements will follow.