Recently I was able to speak with VoidSpace’s lead developer, Nikolas Gauvreau, about a few of the key elements of VoidSpace along with the digital currency implementation.
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What are a few of your favorite features of the game?
My favorite feature has to be the general, raw nature of the game. It’s the surreal feeling that you’re actually existing in a virtual universe and not just playing a game. It’s a feeling that I can only imagine right now because nothing has ever been able to do this for me yet, although Minecraft comes close sometimes. I believe this feeling will only be possible in a universe that is as familiar and relatable as our own; it has to be a truly organic and enormous world in every aspect, modeling the universe, in a simplified, but a very real way.
What sparked the idea for VoidSpace?
Well VoidSpace is one step of a much larger plan for Universe Projects, but I suppose the idea for VoidSpace is a combination and culmination of games I made growing up. When I was a junior in high school, I was making multiplayer games using dots as ships in basic. I eventually moved on to QuickBasic, which basically gave me some serious graphical power, and I managed to make my first “high-definition” multiplayer game. At the time this meant 800×600, 256 colors with my own 3D rendered assets; however, one of the biggest reasons for VoidSpace is that it is a fairly simple game to do graphically. It allows me to concentrate on the much larger picture of the Universe Project.
VoidSpace is going to be our first Universe Project. It’s graphically simpler which allows us to concentrate more on the Universe Engine development that will serve as the foundation for all Universe Projects and ultimately 90% of the code for them.
How will people use digital currencies in the game?
For one thing, every MMORPG has its own digital currency. The only real distinction is whether or not a game company will officially allow the exchange of in-game currency for real money. Most don’t, and yet the exchanges will take place anyway, and this just isn’t safe for the player. Cryptocurrency seems a particularly good fit for a number of reasons. First, there are fewer restrictions on the exchange and handling of this kind of currency in a lot of countries, especially my own in Canada. I’m not an expert on law by any means, but I think at least in the short term, we might be able to take advantage of this.
What other digital currencies are you looking to implement, and how?
We are going to be using Moolah.io as our payment processor and will therefore be supporting all currencies that they support. At this time, that would mean:
We will be accepting all of these currencies, but the in-game real-money currency we will be employing will be Dogecoin.
With all the digital currencies being in the game at once, will players be able to collect different kinds?
Players will be able to use Dogecoin optionally, but they will also be able to create their own in-game currencies. The control of these in-game currencies will be entirely up to the players and it is very likely that many different types of currencies will be created, just like in the real world. Player groups and organizations will spring up with their own government systems that are completely player contrived and with them will likely come their own currencies.
Will using digital currency be easier than using fiat money?
I certainly think so. We managed to start using Moolah’s services very quickly and it only took about a day or so to implement. There is still a lot of work that is required regarding security before we start testing Dogecoin integration more seriously, but it’s not much more complicated than most secure websites have to deal with.
What are some challenges VoidSpace faces as it moves forward?
Allowing real money transactions on many different platforms might be a bit tricky at times. It’s funny that the hardest part isn’t making a game that plays on all platforms, thanks to HTML5. Other than that, we’re looking at a fairly long development road for the Universe Engine still, even with the year and a half we’ve already put into it. Some big milestones we still have to make are distributed scalability and client bubbling. This will turn the game from a multiplayer game into a massively multiplayer game. The game element framework will allow us to create vast amounts of content for the invention system directly through the database without having to write code for the game elements specifically.
People have the ability to back VoidSpace on Kickstarter, as well as support them on Steam.