Dune: Awakening will take players to the deadly sandworm-infested desert planet of Arrakis, but developer Funcom doesn’t want the survival MMO’s various systems to scare away those who aren’t normally interested 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 around since the beginning of the survival genre, because the first (survival game) made them,” said Joel Bylos, creative director of Dune: Awakening. “And everybody kind of copied that, so we’re rethinking some of those paradigms. And so I would say we want to create these very strong survival tensions, but we also don’t want to punish players in a ridiculously harsh way. So we’re trying to find one. nice balance with that.
Bylos points to indie sensation Valheim as an example of a popular survival game that rejected certain survival staples and was more accessible to a wider 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 will not be overly punished for not doing so. Instead, players will be incentivized in certain ways to keep their spice levels high.
According to the interview, Dune: Awakening will focus on three main pillars of survival that players will need to think about consistently: shelter, sandworms, and water. Moving across open sand too haphazardly will, true to the Dune books, attract sandworms, so players will constantly need to be aware of 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 deep desert. But like Valheim, players won’t be instantly killed if they don’t maintain their water levels or find themselves without shelter.
When it comes to crafting, Dune: Awakening revolves around players discovering blueprints in the open world that can be used to craft specific items. One of the mainstays of the game is “endless exploration”, where the sands of the Arakki desert will shift and discover 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 Rare Scheme, which will allow them to corner the market on a specific type of item for a limited time until a sandstorm reveals that location again.
This latest interview finally teases what players can expect from Dune: Awakening, with few concrete details about the game being 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 still 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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