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Infinity: The Quest for Earth

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Infinity: The Quest for Earth is a space MMOG being developed by Flavien Brebion and a small group of developers as well as a large group of contributors. In Infinity, the player controls a spacecraft and travels throughout the entire galaxy trying to make a name for him/herself. Since the game is a MMOG, the player connects to an online server on which any number of people are playing in a persistent world.[1]

Development

All of the programming work for the game is being undertaken by Flavien Brebion. Planet terrain, star systems and a galaxy will all be created using procedural generation. Many game assets will not, however, be generated procedurally. These include 3D models of ships and structures, textures, and music. The remainder of the development team is employed in the production of these assets.[2] Additionally, many contributions of 3D models have been received from amateurs. This is encouraged by the development team and is similar to the practice of crowd sourcing.

Gameplay

Gameplay is inspired by an older space simulation game called Elite made by David Braben and Ian Bell. Like Elite, the player travels throughout the vast galaxy to fight, trade, explore and develop their character through missions, bounties, etc. However, both have different game features resulting in different gameplay. Infinity does not focus on combat as much as Elite. The combat and flight in Infinity is twitch-based (at least for smaller ships) and not at all similar to the point-and-click-based movement and combat in many other space MMOGs.[3] Instead, the game is open-ended, and the player can engage in either aggressive or peaceful styles of playing.[4] Also, unlike Elite, player can land on planets and see their landscapes like in Elite's sequels Frontier: Elite II and Frontier: First Encounters.[5]

Planets and systems

Like Elite, Infinity will offer a vast number of systems and planets. The universe will consist of approximately 200 billion star systems each with an assortment of planets, moons, and smaller bodies in addition to other phenomena such as nebulae and black holes. Procedural generation is used to create this vast universe on the fly as the player moves throughout the galaxy. This does not mean that each player will generate a random universe to explore on their own, but rather that each player's client will generate a universe identical to everyone else's, creating an effect similar to the non-procedural design of most standard MMOGs. In addition, the engine has the ability to automatically adjust planetary level of detail so that the player can seamlessly move from orbit to ground level without loading screens. Unlike many space based computer games, realistic scales and distances are maintained, and planetary bodies move realistically about their stars.[6]

Client

Like most independent MMOG, Infinity will not be found in brick and mortar retail. Instead the player will download the client from the internet.[7] Although no official version of the game has been released yet (alpha testing is planned to begin in 2010[8]), a combat prototype has been released to test the combat system as well as various technical implementations.[9]

Payment

The business model and subscription plans have not been made available to the public at this time. However, the current plan of the Infinity developer team is to keep the opportunity for a free and unlimited trial, but make all of the game's content only available to paying players.[10]

Awards

Infinity has received the following Mod of the Year Awards from ModDB:[11]:

  • Editor's choice for the most anticipated standalone game of 2006
  • Honorable mention for the player's choice of the most anticipated mod of 2006
  • Player's choice for the standalone game of the year category (received the highest number of votes, but ineligible due to not being released yet)
  • Editor's choice of 2007

Infinity also received a Visual Delight Award from ModDB in 2006:[12]:

Infinity Combat Prototype

The Infinity Combat Prototype (latest version: 2.2.a) is a standalone game that was released in may of 2006 and improved upon until July 2007 as a way to test some components of Infinity before it is finished. It is a completely separate program that only shares the engine, and as such it does not represent what is to be found in Infinity. Its goal is, namely, to test the graphics engine, the physics engine, and the networking engine, and to experiment with its controls, combat mechanics and balance. Its goal is also to improve stability/fix bugs and measure/stress performance. The combat prototype does not include any form of planetary landing, and only ten ships are available to the players. The gameplay is arena (team vs team) based, as opposed to Infinity's intended open-ended, "sandbox" style of play.[9]

References

External links

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