Planets³ Opens Up the World for Player Creativity

image courtesy of Cubical Drift

Roleplaying games come in all shapes and varieties in 2014, and if Cubical Drift has anything to say about it, you’ll be able to shape their game any way you want in Planets³.

The eight-person team at Cubical Drift is building a game that will let players experiment and explore, fight in combat and build structures. There will be a lot going on in the game, which is currently raising funds through Kickstarter (which at the time of this writing shows $181,685 raised with 6,222 backers and eight days to go) and has some backing of initial investors as well. The small team has some pretty big goals, and to learn more about all they have planned you can visit their Kickstarter page, but I had to opportunity to chat with CEO of Cubical Drift Michael Thomazeau about how this game came about.

Thomazeau said the team was founded by three old friends that met while in engineering school 13 years ago. Over time the company has grown to be two developers, two creative artists, two graphic artists, a musician, and Thomazeau as CEO, and he believes they are building the exact game they want.

“We surrounded ourselves with competent and truly motivated people from different horizons (creative artists, graphics, and a musician) to develop the game of our dreams. We founded Cubical Drift in October. I am a prudent person and did not want to create the company before managing to implement the “‘infinite view distance engine’ as it was the main technical challenge.”

That passion and drive for making the game they want, not one they’re being told to make, has led the team to creating a large-scale voxel-based game that also has a full RPG storyline as well.

 

“Planets³ is all about bringing a story over a voxel world,” Thomazeau said. “Planets³ is a RPG with all that is involved. There will be a storyline with a lot of quests, characters that will accompany you in your adventure; some of them will help you to progress. And we want to bring the construction aspect in the quest: some of them will ask you to build specific structures.”

This game mechanic could spell the end of “go kill six of these monsters and return” kinds of quests, though fetch quests may be necessary to gather the materials for building structures. Still, the idea that you’ll be able to shape the world anyway you want to, while questing, could prove enticing for players. Don’t like how flat this prairie is? Change it! Want to build a stronghold along the long road between outposts? Build it! The game gives you the freedom to play your RPG the way YOU want, not the way they want you to.

Planets³ will have a strong exploration system, rewarding players for going out into the world and discovering new areas. While there aren’t a whole lot of details on that yet, Thomazeau said exploration could lead to finding important objects, resources, or even new quests. Similarly, combat, while important for overall success in the game, can be avoided until you are ready for the challenge. There may also be certain instances where the player will be able to assist in defending certain aspects of the world, but Thomazeau wasn’t quite ready to go into detail just yet.

On Friday March 28, some new features were announced that help round out the world of Planets³. A few examples are that now every player will be able to create their own server, storylines will be playable in multiplayer and all progression will be stored on the server, new armour was added, and certain wild animals can be tamed and kept as pets.

With just over a week to go in the Kickstarter campaign, things are looking good for the game being funded. For more information, visit the Planets³ campaign page.

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