Dune: Awakening will take players to the deadly sandworm-infested desert planet of Arrakis, but developer Funcom doesn’t want the various systems in the upcoming survival MMO to scare off those who don’t normally dabble in the survival game genre.
New details about the MMO set in Frank Herbert’s sci-fi universe come via a pc gamer interview with the creative director of Dune: Awakening, who shares that Funcom is looking at some of the assumptions of the genre and rethinking what survival game systems can look like.
“There are assumptions that have been there since the beginning of the survival genre, because the first (survival game) made them,” said Joel Bylos, creative director of Dune: Awakening. “And everyone else copied that, so we’re rethinking some of those paradigms. So I would say we want to create these very strong survivability tensions, but we also don’t want to punish players in a ridiculously harsh way.” So we’re trying to find a good balance with that.”
Bylos points to indie sensation Valheim as an example of a popular survival game that eschewed certain basic survival elements and made it more accessible to a broader audience on its systems. For example, in Dune: Awakening, players will want to consume spice, the most precious substance in the game universe, but players won’t be too punished for not doing so. Instead, players will be incentivized in certain ways to keep their spiciness levels up.
According to the interview, Dune: Awakening will focus on three basic pillars of survival that players will need to constantly think about: shelter, sandworms, and water. Moving around the open arena too haphazardly, true to the Dune books, will attract sandworms, so players will need to constantly keep an eye on their movements. The harsh desert sandstorms will require players to seek shelter or build their own. Water, of course, is a constant concern in the depths of the desert. But just like Valheim, players won’t die instantly if they don’t maintain their water levels or find themselves without shelter.
When it comes to crafting, Dune: Awakening will revolve around players discovering schematics in the open world that can be used to craft specific items. One of the mainstays of the game is “infinite exploration”, where the desert sands of Arakkis will shift and reveal new areas to explore or temporarily bury existing locations. The first player to explore some of these locations can be the first to claim a new and rare schematic, allowing you to corner the market on a specific type of item for a limited time until a sandstorm discovers that location once more. .
This latest interview finally sheds light on what players can expect from Dune: Awakening, and few concrete details about the game have been shared since its original announcement. One component of Dune: Awakening that has been confirmed is that the game will include vehicles.
Dune: Awakening received a new trailer at The Game Awards last year, but it currently doesn’t have a release date. Those interested in participating in a beta test of the game can sign up via the Dune: Awakening website.
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