Infinity: The Quest for Earth
is an upcoming indie MMORPG set 10,000 years in the future. Players pilot their ships, blow things up, make money, and so on. The story is driven by a disease that mankind is afflicted of that makes almost everyone infertile, which means involuntary - and dangerous for the human race - Population Control
. Legends say the lost planet of origins may contain a cure.
Perhaps its two most important features, it will have a fully accessible milky way (between 200 and 400 billion stars); not only that, every star, planet, moon, asteroid and ship will be to scale. This means you can land on a planet, then go to its moon without any loading screen, and they will all be as massive as the Earth and its moon is.
To accomplish this, the universe is procedurally generated
. This means that instead of actually storing data on hundreds of billions of stars, planets, and other objects, the galaxy is generated by a complex algorithm: you input a seed, it outputs whatever the game needs to generate (a system, a planet...). All terrain is similarly generated.
The method was used in the early days of gaming to be able to store large amounts of levels into the very small storage spaces available at the time; with time (and bigger storing devices), the method has mostly fallen out of use by the mainstream gaming industry, as they could afford to take up more space.
The coding is being handled by a single man, Flavien Brebion; however, numerous contributors make concepts, 3D models, sound effects, music, or other art assets for the game.
The game is heavily inspired by the Elite
series (the lead developer likes to think of it as a Spiritual Successor
"The Quest for Earth" is the current subtitle, but it will change as the story progresses.
Not to be confused for the tabletop miniatures wargame Infinity
The game was canceled after years in limbo
, and its engine will be put to use in a much more reasonably sized space combat game, set inside a single solar system.
The game has examples of:
- Absent Aliens: Humans are alone, at least in this galaxy (which is the only one in the game).
- Class and Level System: Averted. There are no classes, levels, skill points, etc. The game works on skill (what you, as a player, can do) and what equipment you have (the small almost-unarmed shuttle will have trouble against the 3-miles-long battleship).
- Cool Starship: Completely straight, since you spend the entire game in starships.
- Cut and Paste Environments: The trope come full circle. Both fantastically averted and played completely straight because of procedural generation and a limited texture and model set. While no planet (or system, moon, etc) can ever be perfectly identical, because of the breadth of the game, some planets are bound to look very similar to others.
- Dynamic Loading: Played with, in that the game doesn't actually load the solar system you are in, but rather generates it from a seed. Nevertheless, in practice,the effect is the same: landing on a planet will progressively generate the terrain necessary.
- Ray Gun: These might be available, but if they are they will probably be implemented in a 'realistic' way.
- Scenery Porn: While it's impossible to have worlds as detailed as traditional games, the sheer scope makes up for it.
- Shown Their Work: Earth and its close neighbours (a mere couple dozen thousand stars) are expected to be present in the game world in realistic positions. While it is impossible to do so with the rest of the galaxy (both for storage reasons and because we don't have star maps that good yet), the rest of the galaxy should be realistic in its density, the kinds of stars encountered, planet distribution, etc.
- Space Compression: Completely averted. Infinity will feature more space and land area than any other game before. Also, ships are scaled correctly (for reference, the smallest ships there are about 10-15 meters long, while the largest are about 5 kilometers long).
- Space Is an Ocean: Both straight and averted. While there will be no space friction and space is 3D, it is still sometimes played straight with piracy or the Standard Sci-Fi Fleet.
- Space Police: Played straight, in that some areas of the galaxy will be controlled and policed, notably to provide some form of newbie area.
- Used Future: particularly in the StarFold Confederacy, a nation of industrialists and super-capitalists, who don't really care about the visual aspect of their ships or buildings.
- Wide Open Sandbox: The very widest.