Monetization: player happiness and economic viability

Vintage video game with Insert Coin screen isolated on white

Today, we want to share with you our view on a delicate topic: how we plan to monetize our game. Monetizing an online game is a difficult exercise: if it’s not profitable, it dies quickly. If it’s overpriced, it turns off players and the game dies as well. Adding the fact that there is no monetization model fitting perfectly for every type of game… and this can give a quite serious headache to make it right, even when the guys in charge have experience in the field. Finding the adequate equilibrium is never easy. We have given a lot of thoughts on the topic, collected feedback from the community and listed a number of related critical points and checked how each model is adapted for each of them. We wanted to share our conclusion with you.

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Builder gameplay, Voxel Tools & Elements

voxel-tools

In the past few weeks Dual Universe has been on occasion described as being mainly a PvP MMO. However Dual Universe is so much more than this: it has a rich “Builder” gameplay at its core, which is rather new in the MMO genre (at least at this scale). Specifically, this gameplay is not just a kind of single player experience added on top of a MMO, but takes an entirely new dimension because of the fact that you are building within a MMO that takes the word “massive” seriously. This is a crucial aspect, and is central to the emergent gameplay experience.

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LUA Script and Distributed Processing Units

Militrische Radar und Kommunikationszentrale

Big news! We just finished designing and implementing one of the most critical and distinguishing feature of Dual: the capability to script any construct that you make. A construct is anything that you build in the game, it can be a ship, a building, a space station, or whatever. It is a physical object, it can move, collide with stuff and potentially include hundreds of “Elements”, which are operational units that you can craft or buy, and freely position inside your construct to add functionalities to it. Examples of Elements are: propulsion engines, control units (computers), doors, weapons, batteries, containers, accelerometers, radars, targeters, drone bay, elevator, and many more. The way the construct orchestrates all these Elements is through scripts, and what we call “Distributed Processing Units”. Let’s dive into it, and see what it can do.

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Dual Universe (Part 5)

Arkship-New-Wallpaper

One month later

Everywhere Alioth grows populated. Cities and villages are born on the whole inhabitable surface. The first guerillas were born, the first battles. The first madmen greedy for power and resources established their little empires, enslaved villages, attacked isolated communities with their ships to raid them for raw materials, energy and constructs. A resistance is organized, but it is weak. As for me, I already want to leave and explore other planets, other horizons. With the five loyal pioneers who have become my friends, we were finishing our ship when I went out alone to explore a swampy area outside the circle controlled by the Novark.

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Dual Universe (Part 4)

Arkship-New-Wallpaper

In the ship, I slept one last night, lying in my hibernacle, that I can’t stand anymore. And when the first sun rose, I activated the Novark’s lower airlock to take my first step on the planet. I took my light flightsuit, with the kadpak on my back. A technological marvel that uses Calabi-Yau manifolds, notably K3 spaces, to compress matter at ultra-high degrees of density. Once sucked inside, that matter can be taken out with whatever geometrical form one wishes. All with a mere kyrium tube somehow wrapped around my forearm, a mere canon, which can even serve as a rudimentary weapon in case of attack: the morpher.

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Dual Universe (Part 3)

Arkship-New-Wallpaper

A week after my first awakening, a crane removed me from my nest and set my hibernacle on the bare floor of the immense hibernatory. I don’t know how I got out of it. How long did it take? Just imagine a 10,000-year-old man getting out of his ice back and you’ll have a fairly faithful image of what I did. I’ve never learned how many pioneers had gotten out before me. Like my own hibernacle, theirs was put away in its nest, empty. I was the only one teetering on two ridiculously weak legs – alone with Aphelia’s rigid voice talking to me by bone conduction.

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Dual Universe (Part 2)

Arkship-New-Wallpaper

“Defrosting the ocular region…”

A sensation of warmth on my eyes, of melting eyelids… Opening one’s eyes is the easiest thing in the world to do, even tetraplegics do it. Still, I feel like I’m lifting a 280-kilo rusted mechanical shutter with each eyelash. I take in the shock of the light. It’s just the light from the Kœl helmet stuck to my eyes. Still wedged in my hibernacle, by way of the curved screen, I wander through the passageways, pass through an airlock, cross the empty lobby and enter the control room, whose bay opens onto an enormous planet, orange and blue, riddled with craters scrolling by at top speed. I’d like someone to stop spinning the globe, it’s making me nauseous.

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