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Infinity : The Quest for Earth

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Infinity is an upcomming space MMORPG, currently in development.
It has some amazing features:

  • The Galaxy: Over 200 billion star systems containing planets you can actually visit!
  • Loading Screens: You can fly in space and land on every planet (heh, unless it's a gas giant), without any loading screens or unnatural transitions between space and planets!
  • Newtonian Physics: Spaceships are manually controlled with keyboard or joystick. Everything will be real-time. Te Newtonian spaceflight is automatically adjusted by a navigationcomputer in order to make ships flyable by the average gamer.
  • Astrophysics: The Milky Way is realistically being modelled: You will find moons and asteroids in orbit of larger planets, themselves orbiting their star(s). your ship will be affected by the gravity of large objects near you. Your navigation computer (combined with Anti-grav engines for larger ships) will adjust your thrusters to avoid a crash. That doesn't necessarily mean you can't crash into other ships.
  • Open Ended Gameplay: Unlike about any mmorpg, Infinity will advance in the story in-game. Read further at "story".

Infinity is being developed by a small team. Flavien Brebion(also known as InfinityAdmin - IA) is the founder of Infinity and the only programmer. Amongst the other developers there's a concept artist, a planetary texture artist and a few active modellers. But that's not it: Infinity is in open development. Because of this, everyone can contribute to the game in means of Models, Textures or Music.
The main reason why the development team is small is because there is no real company making this game. It's started by a single man with a dream. IA already had experience with gaming development. Some have failed because of lack of activity/motivation in a large team. Others became playable but never were a real hit because the organisation usually sucked. If you have multiple programmers, they must work together. Since the contributers come from all over the world, it requires too much time for the head-designers to lead everything. IA decided doing all the programming himself was the best thing.

Sounds interesting so far? I'll try to give some information on how everything will work:

1) The Galaxy
So... You weren't planning to manually model every system, if you ever plan on having over 200 billion, are you?
No. Infinity: TQFE uses the Procedural Generation technique. This technique actually generates the galaxy "on the fly", meaning you generate your environment (planets, stars, asteroids, ...) while you're flying towards them.
But... this is a MMO, how are 2 players going to see the same thing??
Procedural Generation can be compared to a function with a fixed seed. E.g. if I take y = 2x, and I tell everybody that x = 5 (fixed seed); Everyone will see that Y = 10, right?
This means that a whole GALAXY will be generated when you're playing. If you would start playing right now, you still wouldn't be able to visit each planet for 1 second!
Currently there are 2 servers planned on release: one in the US; one in the EU. They will use a different seed to avoid problems with the story.

How does it look like? We've all seen pictures of it, but here's a WIP of the in-game one!
galaxy.png

2) The Story
Infinity Website said:
Mankind eventually mastered interstellar travel and colonized thousands of planetary systems, bringing a new Era of prosperity lasting centuries. Today, this age of light is coming to an end. Recently, a strange disease has appeared and spread like wildfire, keeping women from becoming pregnant. The population is condemned to age and die out in but a few decades if no solution is found. Fortunately, scientists have come across some references to a cure, which would naturally be abundant on the mysterious planet of Origins, where it is believed that life appeared for the first time... Unfortunately, the exact location of this planet has been lost throughout the generations.

Now, the only glimmer of hope lies in the hands of a small group of fearless adventurers relentlessly exploring the galaxy, trying to discover the location of this mythical world forgotten by all.. a small blue planet better known as Earth.

Official Storyline. This is the released version. Many questions will remain open until the release of the beta.

3) Gameplay
Infinity will NOT feature any skills or attributes.
Everything will depend on your own skills: Maneuvring, shooting, it all happens in realtime, so there are no skills involved.
Is it not a limitation on gameplay? I think not: You'll be able to be a trader, miner, mercenary, freelancer, Pirate, etc.
The Game is open ended. If you wish to start a civilisation, all you need is money and a planet. Finding a planet shouldn't be too hard, the money is going to be a pain in the ass though... So why don't you start a corporation with some friends? Before you know, you'll be assembling ships and putting them for sale to other players! Many ships (the largest one is over 5 km) will have to be assembled by players rather than buying them from NPC's or looting them from a boss. Buying a Flamberge will be quite impossible, considering the huge upkeep. So if you want to become powerful, you'll need a corporation. Technically, it'll even be possible to take some players with you (amongst a ship full of NPC's) and start a new civilisation on one of those planets out there!
It won't be easy though.

4) Graphics
Time for screenshots.
The graphics will be stunning! Any pictures shown here are only WIP's, not the final product. Most of them are meant to show 1 specific aspect IA has been working on, and thus lack in other aspects.

planet.jpg
early screenshot

Terrain.jpg
early screenshot

Sky.jpg
A screenshot showing the current implementation of clouds.

Overhangs.jpg
Recently, IA decided to implement overhangs in the terrain. No models are involved, something like this isn't seen much in games! Only one texture has been used.

nebulae.jpg
No, this is not a skybox. It's actually 3D!

Asteroids.jpg
Gas giants often are surrounded by Asteroids.

city.jpg
Most buildings will be modular, making room for nearly infinity combinations of structures. This picture has been taken in a Dome, often used on inhabital planets.

Concept.jpg
One of the various concepts made by Koshime, one of the nicest concept artists I've ever seen.

Fighter.jpg
This screenshot features rain, a wheather effect that's most likely to be implented in the final game.

Ship.jpg
A Medium sized ship made by one of the various contributers (Irashi). This one has been made by the Centaurus, one of the 3 largest civilisations known in Infinity.

Hangar.jpg
Ships of this scale can carry a certain amount of fighters (as seen in the rain screenshot) in it's hangar.

Capital.jpg
A screenshot of the back of the Flamberge, the largest ship in Infinity. the texture is still a WIP.

halcyon3mk1.jpg
A render of the "Halcyon" on a conceptual background


5) System Requirements?

No real minimum requirements are known yet. There's a min. requirement listed on the website though.
I'd say, if you can play the ICP on medium settings, you should be able to play the whole game on low settings. Considering the fact the game will not go gold before 2009, I wouldn't worry about it.


6) Download?

Currently Infinity is in Development. An open beta has been planned for the end of 2008. This date is in no way final.
In order to test the networking and the twitch-based combat system, an ICP (Infinity Combat Prototype) has been released, and a newer version was made soon after.
ICP.jpg
ICP2.jpg
Carrier.jpg
The Carrier (last picture) is the biggest ship flyable in the ICP. In the final game, You'll be able to fly anything you want.

Note that the ICP is in no way a demo of Infinity, it doesn't contain all features mentioned above, since it's only meant for early testing. It's fun to try though! Play it and imagine what the final game must look like!

The Final game will most likely not be free. Servercosts (especially for a twitch-based game) require an upkeep that has to be payed. A Price cannot be told, and perhaps you'll be able to download a free account with limitations. But nothing has been set in stone, it's simply too early to think about this.

Combat Prototype Page
Note that some mirrors might be broken/corrupted.
Serverlist. Green servers are online

7) Links

The Official Website
The Official Forum
Please note that no spamming is allowed. The contributionsforum is there for music/textures/models contributions ONLY. Questions should go in Gameplay or General. But, please search first if you have questions.
Moddb link. Let's not confuse you: it's not a mod, it's a standalone. But It's registered at moddb.
FAQ

Videos:
Official ICP Trailer
Fan ICP Trailer
Infinity Nebulae
Space Rain. (Rain not in space, but the video was made in space to make it easy)
Entering an Asteroidbelt
Video on a planet
Another one

I'm not a representive of this game, and what I said here might not be completelly correct, but I think this game is worth your time!
If you have any questions, you can ask here if you wish.
 
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so how do you conclude this game is going to be rubbish? I can't see any argumentation at all. Comparing screens would
1) be stupid because these are WIP
2) those screens are already better than the average game out there.

This game is going to be next-gen. Not just an old concept with some better shaders or anything but truly conceptually next-gen.
 
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See... if you're not coming up with some good arguments, you horribly fail...

I mean, you whine about a story? Go read the whole thread this time, the FEW known things contain more story than DBZ, and that's only the tip of the iceberg...
You whine about gameplay? It's probably more deeper roleplaying than any game has ever had.
 
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Like I said, these games were released and were made by a whole professional payed team. Also, you don't seem to realise the consequences of 200 billion planets. In Crysis, the farthest you can look is 100 meters. With today's technology, you can afford over a million triangles to be rendered including lots of textures. There's a difference in amount of detail when you got to spend those triangles in 100 meter or 100 000 km. Remember the viewing distance in crysis is but a fraction of infinities.

Ofcourse I never said a good game is a game with good graphics, but you almost litterally said that a game with good graphics is per definition a bad game.
 
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Robot-Dude, my initial reaction was the same.. That the grapics don't look good. Then i realized that the idea of those scenarios are not like me looking at an ant with a microscope. If you were as far as they conceptually make you feel, i'm sure those scapes would look just like that. Detail is for First Person games, where you're actually up in and facing walls.

The only bug i have with the images is the one of an inside of a spaceship or dock. I wouldn't want an "inside" situational game, where your character walks around and presses buttons. No, no character at all unless it's brief to give depth to the transition of scenarios or insight into how the plot progresses.

If the game is about colonizing the infinite space i wouldn't want to be worried about or involved in a great amount of time (1/2, 1/3) of gameplay setting-up, organizing and/or running a "corporation", etc.

These are opinions and thoughts i'm shooting out there. They really need no reply. That's my buff and i hope i don't get any guff!
 
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Sounds very much like EVE Online. Very, very much like.

And yes, Bioshock was mostly atmosphere, but on a DX10 card it did look pretty good. Besides which, that game played like a movie, a really awesome movie.

-*meow*


Obviously, I was surprised already nobody mentioned this...

There's a thread about the differences, and TBH, it would be easier to say hat they share:
- space themed

that's about all that's the same...

Differences:
- twitch based combat; no skills at all. You actually control your ship instead of point n click
- Vast universe, not 5000 systems that all act the same
- Realistic Collisions on everything.
- Realistic scales on everything: If you fly in a fighter, a Flamberge will be HUGE, but then again, it's only a tiny object compared to a whole planet. EVE's planets are skyboxes.
- Planets are real, this implies you can land with any ship (or hover with Capital ships - they don't have landing gear) on any planet.
- Astrophysics - Like said: a realistic model of the milky way
- Questing: Questing system will be dynamic. As a player you'll be able to give quests to other people, rather than having a quest system dominated by NPC's.
- Dynamic economy
- Dynamic storyline, dynamic universe: nothing ever stays the same. NPC's live their lives.
- Owning your own empire, setting your own taxes, building your own cities, space stations, ...

The only bug i have with the images is the one of an inside of a spaceship or dock. I wouldn't want an "inside" situational game, where your character walks around and presses buttons. No, no character at all unless it's brief to give depth to the transition of scenarios or insight into how the plot progresses.
Adding avatars to the game would ask too much of the engine: If you want to have some detail in a character, it has to have at least 5000 triangles. then we'd have to model whole interiors of buildings, ships, etc.
The amount of content to be created would be comparable to WoW * 200 billion planets. Even now, I think Infinity is aiming quite high with what they're trying to accomplish.

The Inside of the dock you see is there because you'll be able to fly with fighters (15 to 25 m). In fact, it's most likely you start in a fighter. But once you can afford a larger ship, you'll need fighters to protect you from enemy fighters. Ofcourse you can buy anti-fighter turrets on your ship, but having a couple of fighters as a backup in your docks could save your ass in combat.
Considering the fact this game is a sandbox game, an org should really consider buying a ship with organisationmoney, and then buy fighters for inside the ship. These could be manned by hired NPC's, but also by a hired player. As you might know, a skilled player is worth more than an NPC.
Also consider the fact that spacestations will be tradecenters. In the docks of stations you'll buy, trade, look for quests, etc.
Another feature of this game is that when you log off, your ship will remain in space. It's quite odd to see a 2km large ship suddenly disappear because the pilot logged off. You shouldn't worry too much about it, because NPC's will control your ship and protect you from offenders when you're not there, so assaulting an "inactive" ship will still be a pain in the ass.
As a fighter however, it'd be very useful if you could find a place to hide or "store" your ship while you're offline. That's where docks come in.
having docks is therefor not a luxury.

Colonizing space isn't something you do all day. Considering the fact birthrates are quite much zero, you'll need NPC's crazy enough to follow you to unknown space. If you wish to colonise, you'll see that having (or being part of) a corporation can come in very handy.
But that doesn't mean you can't be a freelancer ofcourse.

Like most (space) MMORPGS, it will most definatly be Pay 2 Play which I do not like.
True, I do agree with you on this one, but I haven't seen a single free mmorpg that didn't bore me after 5 days. Also, if this game is a success, prices might go down. Again, nothing is said about prices.
 
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- Vast universe, not 5000 systems that all act the same

Eve's unvierse is rather vast, and the fact is that with generated planets they'll all become much alike, after a while.

- Realistic scales on everything: If you fly in a fighter, a Flamberge will be HUGE, but then again, it's only a tiny object compared to a whole planet. EVE's planets are skyboxes.

Carrier ships are freaking huge compared to fighters in EVE.

- Dynamic economy
- Dynamic storyline, dynamic universe: nothing ever stays the same. NPC's live their lives.
- Owning your own empire, setting your own taxes, building your own cities, space stations, ...

Which is why it sounds so very much like EVE. One of EVE's main attractions is the fact that players build and run everything important.

To me, it sounds like you haven't played EVE Online at all, or at least not very much. If you have, then you seem to be ignoring large portions of it, and this game does sound rather similar. Yes, it's different, but did I say it was a clone of EVE? No, I said it was very, very similar. Also, why the hell is it using Newtonian mechanics? Didn't Einstein create his theory of relativity in this universe?

-*meow*
 

Dr Super Good

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Many space games like Freelancer played like your ship was a combination between a helicopter and an jetplane, basicly you could stop on a pin point pretty much. By this I think he means that the more cargo in your ship, the harder it is to turn / stop and also to start moving again. Basicly a less starwars like space game and a more realistic space game. Still it would rule if it was free but since it is not or atleast is most likely to not be, who cares about this game?
 
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I agree with Shados. It does sound a lot like EVE. I hope it has a lot of fighting though, I don't care for games about business.
 
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