Several days ago a colleague of mine showed me a youtube video that absolutely took my breath away. It’s a technology demo for an in-development computer game called Infinity, and though it’s still in earlier stages of development it looks to be something truly special. Watch the video and you’ll see what I mean.
The elegance behind the I-Novae engine is that planets, stars and environments are procedurally generated using complex algorithms, meaning each planet, star, or element doesn’t need to have the bits stored on a disc or on a server somewhere to be looked up and instanced. Rather, the engine will generate an object for the user on an as-needed basis, allowing the developers to implement a persistent full scale galaxy of billions of stars without needing the data of billions of stars to be pre-written to memory.
Procedurally generated elements are not the same as randomly generated elements. If two players are each visiting the same planet, the seed assigned to that planet will cause the procedural algorithms to recreate the same planet for both observers. Infinity is an MMO designed around this engine, and from first impression promises to be a game which is very unique.
What I like most about the planned game play of Infinity is the fact that there are NO classes, races, levels, cooldowns or other traditional RPG progression mechanics. Combat is real time and dependent entirely on player skill, and unlike EVE, you won’t need to spend 3 years building up skills to have the ability to use big capital ships. The game is incredibly open ended, player driven and (forgive the pun) astronomical in scale.
It will probably be a few more years before Infinity is released, as the small independent studio behind the game is currently working to polish up the game engine for sale and licensing. Still, I’m content to wait if it means that they can deliver the sort of game they’re promising to. It’s finding gems like these that make me wish I had a wealth of venture capital to invest.
Official Infinity Site: http://www.infinity-universe.com
I-Novae Studio Site: http://inovaestudios.com/index.htm