There have been many survival and crafting games since Minecraft exploded in popularity. Wonderstruck Games, composed of ex-Lionhead and EA developers, has decided to join the trend and is making a sandbox survival game called Oort Online. But where Minecraft worlds are limited, Wonderstruck promises that the Oort Online universe is expansive, populated by many players all working to craft materials and survive.
Wonderstruck describes the game on its website as "a massively multiplayer game set in a sandbox universe of connected voxel worlds." In other words, it's an open-world MMO with a 3D pixel-art style. Players are tasked with discovering resources, exploring, and fighting the Protectors, a mysterious race of creatures who inhabit Oort's worlds. If you gather enough resources, you can build portals which take you to different, potentially rewarding places.
The website also emphasizes player interactions and how alliances and commerce will emerge. Exploration also seems to be geared toward bringing players together, and hints at the same sort of alliances and wars between players that appear in the multiplayer survival game, Rust. "Travel to different worlds and survive in a new environment with real players and challenges," the website states. "Stockpile abundant resources from your world and trade them with players in other worlds."
Of course, a lot of the game focuses on crafting and building. In order to prevent people from potentially destroying other players' creations, Wonderstruck has created Beacons. Each player is given a certain number of these, which allow you to claim land and determine who can and cannot enter. Once you own land, all of the resources contained within are yours, and you can set up shop and sell your wares. In the style of EVE Online, players will be able to set up their own businesses to try to make money off of the loot and supplies they collect.
Oort Online is being crowdfunded through its website and it is following a similar development pattern to Star Citizen. If you pay $95, you can get access to the game's prototype build right now. As funding increases, the developer will gradually add more and more features, growing the game over the course of its life cycle. The campaign has made over $22,000 at the time of this writing.
Wonderstruck is currently targeting late 2015 for a release of the game through distribution platforms such as Steam. It is currently only planned for a PC release, although the developer is considering moving to mobile devices later. Right now, you can reserve a launch copy for $15, beta access for $25, and alpha access for $50. The alpha is tentatively scheduled for early 2015 and the beta for mid 2015.
The studio has also worked on two other games: Polycraft, a tower defense game, and The Marvelous Miss Take, a "streamlined stealth game," according to its website. You can play Polycraft for free here.
Do you think that there are too many survival games already, or does Oort Online sound like it can stand out? Let us know in the comments!
|Alex Newhouse is an editorial intern at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @alexbnewhouse|
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