There was a little news tidbit about the Copernicus Project from 38 Studios. According to the press release (via Ten Ton Hammer), they have signed on Big World Technology and will use their engine and toolset to create their upcoming game..
What can we infer from this?
- They want to spend time on content and creative design, rather than building up an engine from scratch. Makes sense, if Big World is quality stuff. It’s also a nice little money saver, which is great if they can put the money into all the cool game stuff that we players always pine for and have yet to see in games. This also makes it sound like they are ready to roll up their sleeves and start making the “wouldn’t it be cool if….” into a real game, which is exciting.
- According to a recent Ten Ton Hammer interview, Big World touts itself as providing a very customizable engine, yet one that runs smoothly on lower end systems. It goes without saying that this is important. The only thing is that I hope the game will look fresher and better than current games. The game won’t be released for a few more years, and by then, I think people will be expecting games to look better than the colorful, yet flat, world of a game like WoW (or, heck, even LOTRO). But I guess part of how the game will look falls on those who are creating it.
- They aren’t geared towards Vista or Mac. It does sound like they will be vista compatible eventually though. I am interested to see if it’s console-friendly.
- They have brought in several products as part of their service, including Vivox, which is soon to make its way into SoE games. So it’s probably safe to assume that “Copernicus” will have voice chat upon launch. (I don’t care how fun it is, you will never hear me using the “elven voice” modifier. Orc, maybe, but not elf)
- They claim to be able to do small shards, or large worlds. They also claim to be able to make seamless worlds. Sounds interesting. Eve X 10, in a fantasy setting?
The big question is, how good is Big World? Sure, they were used by a few Asian games, Dark and Light, some unnamed upcoming Sierra game, and Stargate: Worlds (although it sounds like they are actually using the Unreal engine), but they can’t really tie their name to any big hits. It will be interesting to see what 38 Studios can do with it.
One other curious tidbit in there. They trademarked OEE (Online Entertainment Experience). What’s OEE? Sounds like they are trying to make something different from an MMO(G). But then again, the last time I saw that little “tm” was next to The Vision, and we know where that ended up!
Now I have this image of an orc marching around yelling, “You down with O.E.E? (Yeah you know me!)”