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Help A Stranded Astronaut Survive In Proven Lands


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#1 IMG News

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 01:26 AM

An IMG reader recently emailed us about Proven Lands, an upcoming "3D sci-fi sandbox survival game." Already Greenlit on Steam, and currently the subject of an active Kickstarter campaign, Proven Lands puts players in the role of a stranded astronaut who must fight to survive against hunger, thirst, strange animals, and natural forces.

THE GAME
We've been working on Proven Lands with a super small team for some months now, creating a game in you become an explorer - not just another sandbox item collector. Packed with the real mysteries of physics, biology and chemistry, plus tons of (hopefully) reasonable science-fiction, influenced by Star Trek, Don't Starve and Project Zomboid.

In Proven Lands survival is our strongest concept. It starts with a stranded astronaut -- you. You fight hunger, thirst, strange animals, weather and even the nature itself. Give the pre alpha demo a try, attempt to survive for a few days. Right at this moment you’re able to eat everything with your helmet on (for demonstration reasons) but because we aim to be a hard sci-fi game in the future you’ll have to take off your helmet first before you can eat anything. Your initial spacesuit is weak and old. However you’ll need an armored one to survive against stronger animals and armed aliens later on – oh, and you’ll need better weapons than an axe.

As soon as you’ve mastered the first terrain biome (desert), there will be plenty to discover such as steppes, savannah like environments, forests, big rivers, caves and different planet types such as ice or volcano - each filled with tons of items and characters. The AI game master will watch your influence in a region so after some time more intelligent animals, and perhaps even aliens will start to attack you. First off though we start with simple alien villagers and introduce you to a rather basic storyline. And, because it’s a sci-fi survival game, build devices, smaller machines, factories and before you basically upgrade your “camp” to a small one-man outpost -- similar to an advanced camp in Don't Starve, just deeper, bigger, and more sci-fi.

KEY CONCEPTS AND GAME MECHANICS
  • Modding - We love mods! Proven Lands was designed with mods in mind, from the get-go.
  • Procedurally generated - Endless and seamless procedurally generated terrain with different biomes on different planets. So far we have desert, forest, river, mountain, hill, swamp and lake biomes.
  • Alien races and eco system - In Proven Lands aliens participate in a simple eco system. Trade with a tribe or village, if you have something desirable, similar to Don't Starve.
  • AI meta game - The AI is the director of your unique story based on custom quests, ambitions and events - like a pen & paper game master.
  • Classes and no super powers - Proven Lands has some RPG elements. Everyone starts as The Forklift Driver with no super powers and a broken heart, and as time goes by new classes unlock: The Medic, The Pilot, The Engineer, The Soldier, The Scientist, and The Android. See stretch goals.
  • Moods and ambitions - A mood and trait system makes your character less predictable. A wound left unattended might lead to fever, which could in turn lead to mental instability or death. See demo. Ambitions are quests with a deadline, chosen by you or the AI meta engine, similar to Crusader Kings 2.
  • Building, housing, farming and eco system - Craft automatic ore mines, water drills, energy and oxygen generators to make your life easier. Proven Lands is not a sim, but there is a small eco system, influenced by an older game jam prototype called LOST UTOPIA.
  • Crafting - Each item, weapon, tool, vehicle, drone and building has 7 modules: a base module (type) plus 6 extra modules. Extra modules for armor, power cells, shielding, special abilities, incredients or decoration. For instance, a knife: tool base short steel blade; or a bio scanner: tool chassis biology level 1 scanner; or a M1 Abrams tank with a scanner: car base kevlar-uranium armor smoothbore gun turbine engine bio lvl 1 scanner. ;) Aliens craft items depending on the planet's resources.
  • Skills - Basic skills like condition, endurance, willpower, strength. Scientific skills like biology, physics, engineering, ehemistry and xeno sciences. And item skills like blunt weapons, laser weapons or drones (depending on your knowledge). Each skill with an own small skill tree.
  • Archaeology and technology - Explore uncharted regions, unknown items and creatures, lost civilizations and artefacts. Your character progresses not only through skills, but through item and artefact knowledge. You do not develop revolutionary physics after a few nights, instead, you gather knowledge in order to become a specialist. Dismantle alien devices for undiscovered resources! See ASCII roguelikes as Dungeon Crawl or Cataclysm.
  • Outposts and camps - You're not a camper with a huge bagpack. An outpost is for the long-term, with generators and storage.
  • Airlock and natural organism - Thirst, hunger, insanity, oxygen deprivation and energy consumption. On some planets you need an airlock to eat, drink and survive.
  • Power supply - Sci-fi devices depend on energy.
  • Spaceship artefacts - Sometimes you’ll find useful spaceship parts scattered around the planet.
  • Items, resources and item modules - From food to wood to stones to water and megalomaniac butterflies. Each item can be analyzed from level 1 to 3.
  • Tools, devices and weapons - From a shovel to a scanner, from a navigator to generators and small factories! Aliens have their own devices, weapons and tools too.
  • Spaceship, jump drive and space travel - Travel to other planets as soon you've a jump drive or gate. Your spaceship is not a ship, it is more jump gate in the orbit with a few special modules, dictating where your next journey starts. In order to jump to the next planet, talk to aliens and gather resources.
  • One more hour - Most survival games are not known for chill time: you are a laboratory mouse, always in a rush, starving or defending. So, we're working hard to give you more time for exploration and archaeology, or for just being cool.
  • Alien companion - Start with the space cat from your first spaceship.
STORY AND AN AI GAME MASTER
The main story is thrilling but also a little bit philosophical too - about friendship, bravery, responsibility and even a pregnancy. You assume the role not of a scientist or a soldier, but a a working class hero or heroine. You're named after the real-life Teruo Nakamura - a soldier of the Japanese Imperial Army who did not surrender until 1974.

Think of the AI meta game engine as a pen & paper game master who gathers all the randomly generated elements unique to each player's experience and weaves these components into an one-off adventure. You'll be kept busy battling thirst, hunger, oxygen deprivation and dwindling energy supplies .... but as soon you've gathered enough resources, seek out for new civilizations!

INFLUENCES
  • Games - Dungeon Crawl, Project Zomboid, Don't Starve, Crusader Kings 2, Starflight, Minecraft, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, The Sims, SWTOR, Dead Space 1, Dwarf Fortress, Diablo 3
  • Movies, TV and comics - Star Trek (TNG, DS9, TOS, VOY, ENT), Alien, Planetes, Enemy Mine, Outland, Gravity, Contact, Nausicaä, Star Wars

Learn more at the links below.
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#2 nick68k

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 08:51 PM

It looks pretty neat, although the project is only 8% funded with 17 days to go.

It's not clear to me what being 'greenlit by Steam' means either.

#3 Frost

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:29 PM

Interesting! Looks like a less ambitious version of Starforge (and probably a good thing, as I think the SF devs have bitten off more than they can chew even though the concept is incredible and the work they've done so far is great).
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#4 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 12:34 AM

View Postnick68k, on 25 March 2014 - 08:51 PM, said:

It's not clear to me what being 'greenlit by Steam' means either.
Steam has this early access program, where users vote if they want to see a certain game on Steam that is under development. And in this case, the users find the premise interesting, and when/if the game gets fully developed, it will come out on Steam from day one. As such it has nothing to do with the game development, but more with its publishing.


I also like the premise of this game.. I think I'll go for it, although the sound track pledge level is a bit high.
"They're everywhere!"

And now, time for some Legend of Zelda.

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#5 nick68k

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 06:25 PM

Sad to report that the kickstarter's been cancelled. Too bad.

Email from the dev:

"Hey folks,
I’d like to be honest with you. We need a change in strategy. We’ll cancel our Kickstarter campaign.

We’ve been thinking about a backer survey but I think the numbers are obvious, aren’t they? The progress of £23.4k ($38.7k), two weeks before the deadline is great but not enough for such a high goal.

I’m genuinely surprised and touched by your help and the support of the creator community for the last weeks. It was a pleasure. Much love for that, really. Thank you all! Also see below for the last shout outs for some friends.

You might wonder what’s next now. I think I need a break to think it through. It’s a long time ago since I’ve played Don’t Starve or Minecraft the last time. We’ve learned a few things, not only about press releases, campaign goals or procedural games on Kickstarter. I’ve also made some interesting friends. I’ll make sort of a post mortem about Kickstarter insights soon.

Another interesting thing is that we have a few publisher offers on the table and a Humble store waiting to be launched – I actually like the guys and the idea behind Humble Store a lot. We did great on Steam Greenlight (greenlit within a few days!). So, we’ll move forward, one way or another. I’m making the feature list more reasonable for a smaller dev team. It is just important now to slow down a bit in order to make the right decision. There are some good news already. More on that soon -- on twitter, tumblr, and here, I hope."


#6 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:29 AM

Aka they got external funding, and cut down on the initial scope of the game.
"They're everywhere!"

And now, time for some Legend of Zelda.

iMac 2011, quad 3,4Ghz i7, 8GB RAM, 2GB Radeon 6970m.