Our current project, Xeno, is set a few hundred years in the future, and takes place in an age of unprecedented galactic exploration. In the game, players will explore other planets and encounter alien life and extinct civilizations. Part of our goal from a lore perspective is to try and imagine what life would be like in such a world, and base it in realism as much as possible. More importantly, we get to take advantage of these imagined technological advancements as a way to explain within the game world itself how normal game mechanics, such as respawning, might be possible.
Of course, such a radical leap to the future comes fraught with technologies that seem more fantastical than real, but we feel that this also realistic. One can wonder, how would, say, Mozart react to a future time traveler upon hearing his own symphonies being played from a smartphone? Or how he would react when he heard today’s music. The phone would certainly seem like it ran on magic to him.
The rate of progression allows us to take some liberties when creating technologies in Xeno. For instance, any story or game that involves space travel means that faster than light travel is practically a must. The universe is quite a large place, after all, and our own galaxy is 100,000 light years wide. That’d take an awful long time at conventional travel speeds. Even if we traveled at the speed of light in a vacuum, which is about 186,000 miles per second would take way too long. The speed of light also seems to be a hard “speed limit” of our universe. This speed limit seems to be just a property of our universe, but it imposes a creative challenge: how do we cheat the laws of physics and allow for greater speeds?
A commonly employed method for such travel would be something along the lines of not traveling faster through space, but changing the amount of space one travels through, and this is the basis for our FTL travel as well. The basic premise is, tiny black holes are generated in front of the ship causing it to accelerate, but the black hole is made to dissipate before the ship comes into contact with it. By utilizing the massive gravity of the black hole and the compression of space, the ship continually accelerates to incredible speeds, without the nasty effects of time dilation or the infinite energy requirements of lightspeed. The result is thousands of humans flying around the galaxy, exploring countless planets in a way that evokes a romantic picture of humanity’s next steps of evolution.
In order to accomplish something like that, powerful energy sources and advanced computers would obviously be necessary. In Xeno, humans have integrated with advanced AI helpers via computer implants to expand their mental faculties many times greater than what a “normal” human would have. Imagine having a computer integrated into your brain, allowing you to store perfectly recallable memories, or to learn any bit of information instantly, thanks to a persistent connection to an intragalactic information network. Think anywhere-accessible internet on steroids here.
These things are a lot of fun to think about, but they really only provide a rich backdrop against which Xeno is cast. Thanks to these advancements, corporations can afford to send only a couple of miners (the players) to a planet to extract valuable resources. The players have resistant bodies that can survive in almost any environment, and thanks to neural network mapping, a player can be regenerated if an unfortunate termination has occurred. So you see, with advanced technology, we can provide in game lore, and therefore in game immersion for all of the normal functionality you see in games, but in a way that we think is very interesting.
All of this imagining has required some research into our physical world, and the laws of physics as well as cosmology. Our real universe really is quite a fascinating place, and serves as a great inspiration to bringing you a hopefully fascinating experience through Xeno, and we can’t wait to share it with you.