Sandbox Survival MMO Sounds Like Minecraft Meets Rust Mixed With Eve Online

Oort Online is a massively multiplayer, open-world, crafting survival game that's playable in its prototype state right now.

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
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

64 comments
Raditz5
Raditz5

I don't think I can deal with anymore cube based games, they give me a headache. The Forest was a welcome breath of fresh air and though it doesn't let you modify the land, it sure looks a lot better and doesn't give me mass headaches from endless worlds of freaking blocks. We need more evolution of the genre to not look like a world of blocks even when it is, not another spin off. 

Having said that, go after it man. Independent developers are hard to hate on for any reason.

inthepastxx
inthepastxx

So, just a slightly different take one cube world, with a minecraft influence.... 


wowwow27
wowwow27

looks like another mine craft.  i hope they incorporate action/adventure gameplay into the world.

xboxgamer2003
xboxgamer2003

Xbox? it would look better on xbox coz of better graphics than pc.


_big_daddy_
_big_daddy_

Yeaaah.. Im never gonna buy that..-.-'


Faustavus
Faustavus

Do they really think putting 'Worked at Lionhead Studios' on their resume is a good thing?

Tiwill44
Tiwill44

"Early Access", "sandbox", "voxel", made by ex-EA developers... lol yeah no thanks.

sigmact
sigmact

anyone remembers this game, cube world...?

kargion
kargion

Looks cool, once I can get one for 10-20 ill give it a try

jotalandia
jotalandia

I've had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!

DANNYtheBOY11
DANNYtheBOY11

Do we need this? "No man's sky" is the answer

bloody-hell
bloody-hell

Not playable offline and I can't host my own server - should be free then since I don't "own" the game and am dependent on them keeping the servers up and available (and my account data and savegames safe) and I don't spend my money on such things.

Floating geometry because of "simple" Voxel implementation and no physics or AI terrain navigation / combat shown - I assume it will be a simple, boring "reduce enemy healthbar to zero" type of game with just static content.

Since it's online only there'll most likely also be no mod support so what you get is all there is, which is not that impressive either.


If they make it playable offline, allow me to host my own server for multiplayer, support modding and enhance the Voxel engine with physics and fix floating geometry issues I might perhaps become slightly interested though.

chieflion
chieflion

this looks like lego shrooms

WingChopMasta
WingChopMasta

Where in the hell did they get 'Eve' online from this?


Do these people even game, bro?

spikepigeo
spikepigeo

So tired of the block aesthetic, but at least they are trying some new things.


Im more interested in Landmark. At least their voxel system is smooth, not blocky.

vibroknife
vibroknife

Yawn. Minecraft rip offs are prettymuch always bad. Although this does introduce some interesting ideas.. It is, essentially, Minecraft with RPG elements.

chuckles471
chuckles471

I'm skeptical of these games now.  We are always told how it always about survival but really it's just a PVP game with a bigger map.


The only way to stop it would be greater punishments for dying.  I am not taking about just losing your character and starting again.  But something that would make think more about wading in guns a blazing.


The most fair one would be time punishments.  Die and you can't play the game for another 6 hours.  Yes, a company would be crazy to do it.  But it it would make the game more about pure survival.


The most unfair, microtransactions.  You pay for your shot, arcade style.  But same effect, it will make the population take less risks and add actual real tension.

vackillers
vackillers

I like it, I think it shows a lot of promise but Minecraft will always reign king because of the sheer amount of mods you can get for that ranging from total conversion mods, gameplay enhancing mods, full texture packs as well as shaders which change the entire look of MC to a full AAA game. I am worried that it is a browser based game, because those games always lag, not quite a smooth gameplay as a proper game engine would be. Fact that is it a browser based game also indicates that it could be using Java based scripts as well instead of using a full blown proper gaming engine. Another thing is the fact its an MMO online only game, which that gives you great gameplay in some area's it will also take away others, like having the ability to build entirely on your own without someone else coming in and taking all your sh!t.  Or just having private friends only servers and relying solely on an internet connection always being there, weither its on your side, or server side.


The game looks good, much better then say vanilia looking minecraft, but for me, its miles away the quality of say SEUS shaders for minecraft visually wise, and the textures really need improveing from what I've seen. Games like this have a very simple question to answer in order for masses of people to want to play it.  What does this game have that minecraft doesn't? if there isn't much stuff or much different, people just simply wont stop playing minecraft for a game that offers little gameplay difference.


The connecting worlds could potentially make this game, being on completely different worlds which are as big as a single minecraft would, each wither their own visually different styles and monsters could be absolutely awesome. Its still so early and really not liking the pricey packages they have right now, especially when there is only 1 package which lets you gain access to the game now but I for one am looking forward to this and I need to see more on how this developers before I'm totally sold on it.


here's another video for it:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2AJ3T5Y9RQ&list=UUh00rY6Zq10LmcwtpjEdo3w



Bazongaman502
Bazongaman502

I'm interested. Looks really cool. I'll give it a shot

waffleiron88
waffleiron88

Clearly all these survival games are being made to prepare us for the impending nuclear war thats about to consume the world.

WingChopMasta
WingChopMasta

Wow so they took what Nerdkingdom was doing with TUG and actually make it look nice.


I like the Minecraft approach but I hate the MMO aspect of this. Building games are good with friends but I hate the idea of clutter all over the landscape. 

tom_cat_01
tom_cat_01

Cubes are yesterday's news. Where's my dodecahedron-based crafting game?

saturatedbutter
saturatedbutter

Minecraft - one of the most influential video games in history, or THE most influential video game in history?

Arcamonde
Arcamonde

@bloody-hell  "should be free then since I don't "own" the game and am dependent on them keeping the servers up and available (and my account data and savegames safe) and I don't spend my money on such things." 


I guess. Every MMO functions on this mechanic. Doesn't mean it "should" be free. And if it was, it would likely be loaded with microtransactions and paywalls, such as paying for these "Beacons" so that way you can own land. Either way, you end up paying for something. As I assume you've noticed, the game is in an extremely early form of development and is not in any real position to be judged as a full game. 


You might perhaps be one of those people that would benefit from not looking at this until it is close to completion, as you seem to have a bad reaction to early stage development.

Pikdum
Pikdum

@WingChopMasta I think they mean in terms of in game economics, player interaction, scale, etc. EVE is about player driven experiences and I assume this will be the same.

Clovergirl227
Clovergirl227

@WingChopMasta Maybe they will do automatic $70 surprise billings that will get your account banned if you don't allow it to happen, like EvE. xP

catsimboy
catsimboy

@chuckles471  All that would do is attract more griefers who simply go around pretending to be helpful but the second you turn your back you're dead and the game aids the griefers by locking you out for 6 hours. Really the only way to do it is to make PvP an option of consent either through PvP servers, a PvP flag you can toggle or PvP areas of the map. Otherwise the game just becomes another WarZ (or Infestation: Survivor Stories as it's called now)

rinker03
rinker03

@tom_cat_01  Crappy mod of a game + kickstarter that promises said dreams  = gold

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

@tom_cat_01 They're in you dreams.....$5 extra to have those dreams however....$10 and you can remember the dream......

bloody-hell
bloody-hell

@Arcamonde Oh I am all for supporting games in early development, it's just that "online only" aspect that bothers me the most because of purely bad experiences with that type of business model. (except for Guild Wars 2 and Path of Exile)

If that would be optional and I could play it offline and host a private server I'd perhaps not even have a problem with it if the "MMO style multiplayer" would be entirely optional.


I just read on their site that one may be able to rent a server instance for "private" use at some point and that some form of regulated mod support may or may not come, but it still has that sour "online only" taste to it.

You may be right with one thing though - This game may not be for me, but perhaps I just overreacted when I read "online only" and "MMO" - admittedly, if it's a one time payment without subscription requirement and no microtransaction / pay to win nonsense and if it turns out not to be a Minecraft clone MMO I might still get it at some point, but we'll see.

thehollowones
thehollowones

@catsimboy @chuckles471 I dream of a game with fantastically hard and intelligent mobs that wonder the premises of the "safe" (at least from PvP) zones and require real cooperation to defeat with other players. And why will they help you? Because they can't kill you in the "no pvp" zone, and you'd share the loot dropped if you damage the mob a certain percentage of their health (say 20% easy mobs, 10% reg mobs, 5% hard mobs). These mobs take place of the pvp sense of danger within "no pvp" zones. Some mobs can even damage your buildings, and players who help rebuild other players' damaged or wrecked structures (either by contributing supplies to the structure or using their tools to help rebuild) are rewarded. In my dream game, helping isn't just nice to do, it's rewarded richly. 

But this would be no easy game, starting out would be hard and survival would be its core and most punishing aspect. All the good resources, the sturdy woods, rivers for fishing and plentiful wildlife are in the PvP zones located in deep forests or mountains. The open or slightly wooded plains are safe zones with no PvP but much more PvE and night time is brutal hell for the unprotected. I'd support the hell out of a game like that.

joke_man
joke_man

@gamefreak215jd @saturatedbutter


It's influential for sure, and for lots of reasons.  BUT, probably not near the most influential.  


Maybe up there for games in the last 5 years.  


But, competing with games like Mario, Tetris, Wolfestein, Doom, Pacman, Half-Life, Alone in the Dark, GTA, etc., ya, top 50 maybe.  

dwarfjuggler
dwarfjuggler

@thehollowones @catsimboy @chuckles471 

We'll never get there if developers don't stop focusing on graphics and instead revolutionize AI development.

AI now is so static and predictable that any game will have the inevitable "It's hard... because he has a lot of HP" aspect.


Dark souls and such are probably the closest to breaking this mold but even their AI isn't particularly hard. You just need to memorize the patterns and then it becomes clockwork.

hystavito
hystavito

@joke_man @gamefreak215jd @saturatedbutter I think as you say for the last several years it may be.  On the business side, well it really did a lot for both the indies and also the early access style sales, it's probably even had a bigger impact on that side.


I think the impact of Minecraft will be seen even more in the future, because it's probably shaping the gaming attitudes of a lot of kids right now.

saturatedbutter
saturatedbutter

@hystavito It's already shaping other games. creative sandbox games are becoming popular and all of them take inspiration from Minecraft. Even games that aren't sandbox games are trying to capture what Minecraft did for so many people. It is easily the most influential of the 21st century at the least.

saturatedbutter
saturatedbutter

@gamefreak215jd Minecraft is the 3rd best selling video game of all time. Only behind Tetris and Wii Sports. 54 million units. It is beloved by kids across the world and captures the imagination of all who try it. There have been educational programs for schools to use Minecraft as a teaching tool. It's influencing power is enormous. It's up there with Pac-man, Tetris and Mario.