Like all game development stories there is a beginning, an idea. That one experimental project you made in a day or even a week. It's maybe a "stupid" idea, it could be crazy but you never know where that idea may take you, so if you feel passionate about it just go for it. Our main inspiration is Futurama, so in that case the idea is a space game where you can travel between planets and deliver cargo back and forth but with Futurama like adventures.
This was 5 years ago, and our first official showcase of the project. We all have to start somewhere and for us it was a spaceship flying around some buildings with destructible asteroids. Which is nothing compared to what we have today, but if it wasn't for that experimental project, that one idea, our game will not be where it is today and back then it was just one developer on the now 5 man team, Marc Fabricius our Lead Developer and owner of Moonmen Games.
Marc was developing this project solo for three and a half years, during that time he laid the foundations for the game. When it comes to game development I will always advise to get the core foundations made, they don't have to be amazing just something rough so you have something to build off, plan ahead.
For us our foundations were all about being able to do things on planet and in space. So we needed a way to get between the two and at the time this was done by switching between levels via a planetary gate that the player would have to pass through to travel between both planets and space. The plan was for this game to be open world or more accurately open solar system, our solar system. Unlike most space games their planets aren't real and are designed and created by the developers whether that be hand crafted or procedural. But the idea was to make it local, which in itself can and will be a challenge since we have to make sure we pay the right respect to our amazing solar system. Even though the in-game planets are 1:5 scale you still get an amazing appreciation of the scale of these planets.
At the time we were limiting the player's playable area on the planets via domes. This was down to the fact we had no experience in making fully open planets with directional gravity etc. Also it was down to the amount of work it would take to achieve such task at the time. So these domes would have a planetary gate at the peak of the dome to transition to space.
All this was during the time where loading screens were still the norm for these types of games so it wasn't much of an issue of having that system. But we needed to keep up with the times and go for seamless transitions since games were becoming more seamless.
Thankfully the timing could of not been any more perfect with us making this transition. The Voxel Plugin for Unreal Engine 4 was released, this plugin has already helped us a ton to help bring the vision of the game to a reality. The plugin aided us to now have fully seamless transitions between planets and space and also gave us the ability to make the entirety of the planets explorable whilst also making the planets have more detail with actual depth to them. Because of us now having seamless transitions we can now have more stunning visual moments like entering the atmosphere of a planet. Also, the voxel planets are procedurally generated using custom textures and heightmaps from real life data to help us make the voxel planets as accurate as possible to their real life counter-part whilst having our own stylistic twist.
Due to the planets now being procedural we now have easier ways of populating the planets with unique cities, landmarks and much more. Our planets are not the only things that will be procedural, we plan to have many elements in the game procedural to try and bring fresh experiences to the player every time. Modularity is key to bring variation to games like ours, especially with our ship customization. Not only will the player have many options to design the ship they want but with this system the NPC's will also have variation in their ships designs. Not only will the ships be customisable but also the character themselves adding even more variation to the world around the player and themselves.
That brings us to today, we've recently had a name change from 'Welcome To The Future' to 'Worlds Of The Future' which we are happy with even though we will miss the old name. We are working hard to bring this game to life and to get this in peoples hands and so far, progress is great. We can't wait to show you what's to come, to keep posted make sure to visit our website where you can also find links to our social media platforms, as well as a sign up to our newsletter to make sure you don't miss upcoming announcements and news regarding the game.