Bossa Studios, the London gaming start-up supported by Atomico and behind popular titles 'Surgeon Simulator' and & # 39; I am Bread & # 39 ;, is embarking on his biggest and most ambitious project to date.
Described as a "community-created MMO," where players have literally co-built the game's environment and will continue to do so, Worlds Adrift sees its wider public release today via the Steam Early Access program.
The new game, which was created three years ago and was born from a Bossa Studios' "jam game", is similar to the kind of internal hackathons that many startups regularly hold, tries to get a number of firsts
For beginners (and probably the most noteworthy TechCrunch readers), this is the first game to be built on Improbable SpacialOS, the cloud-based platform for creating games and other virtual environments that must go beyond traditional limits. server architectures.
Improbable raised $ 502 million last May from Softbank and existing investors for an assessment of more than a billion dollars, and therefore – inadvertently, at least – probably has a lot of success on Worlds Adrift.
For the Bossa Studios team, the stakes are even greater. The improbable technology is not really proven and, in comparison, Bossa Studios is a smaller and much less well-funded start-up, trying to outgrow its weight even though the team has a lot of pedigree in the game industry.
During a video call with two of its founders, Roberta Lucca and Henrique Olifiers, they were visibly excited by the launch but conceded a large amount of nerves before the launch. When the concept of Worlds Adrift was first conceived at this famous gambling jam several years ago, it was put on hold indefinitely because it was too ambitious in relation to the size of the game. 39; company.
A chance meeting with Improbable a bit later – where I am told that the two young companies were introduced somewhat accidentally by having the same PR agency – it became clear that this could to be possible. In the coming weeks and months, Bossa Studios will find out if this bet, which involved redirecting all the resources of the startup to its largest company by far, has probably paid off.
The other first, explained Lucca and Olifiers, is the pure and simple scale of the game. Inspiring from the trend of "makers", the first testers of Worlds Adrift have shaped the game thanks to the Bossa's Island Creator tool. This resulted in the submission of 10,000 drawings and Worlds Adrift launched with 300 "floating islands", almost all of which were created by the community rather than by Bossa Studios staff.
Related to this and enabled by the evolutionary nature of SpacialOS, every aspect of Worlds Adrift is "persistent", which means that the current physical status of an object persists in real time, by how or when it was interacted, either by player or the game's own persistent physics. If, for example, a ship is destroyed and its pieces are scattered on the ground, it will remain so indefinitely unless another player, object or environment in which he resides does not disturb him.
In addition, the use of SpacialOS means that players do not need to be separated into cohorts based on region and / or distance to a specific set of servers and can all play in the same world and at the same time.
"Each player globally will be able to interact with each other and each action of each player will have a lasting impact and will be visible to all other players in the game forever," says Bossa Studios.
On a scale, open-ended, and with player-versus-player gameplay that increases exponentially as the launch of Worlds Adrift increases, even its creators are unsure of how these dynamics will be played.
"Offering a fully user-generated environment, with a completely improvised play style, the scale of its scale, and the beauty of its design, is an invitation to experimentation. Linked only by the laws of physics, the sky is really the limit ", reads in the text of presentation of the game.
On this note, I was not able to play the game – again – namely because it runs on Windows and I only have access to a Mac. However, Bossa kindly invited me to their next match and to spend time with Worlds Adrift and his creators. If I have to participate in the jam, I'm ready to launch my idea of an adventure game featuring a wheelchair-bound guy wearing a hat who has to navigate a dystopian future with inaccessibility. , bureaucracy and government cuts, all while holding a job as a technical-private journalist. I think it could be a success.