CryoFall brings together the fun elements of surviving in the post-apocalyptic future with some great mechanics and depth of character. We got the chance to talk with Valentin Gukov about the game and get a perspective on how building a world like this will set CryoFall apart. Enjoy reading up on his answers and look for the game soon on Steam.
MMORPG: CryoFall is set in a mixed sci-fi universe — tell us about the backstory?
Valentin Gukov: Well it can take a while to explain the entire backstory, but I will try to condense it as much as possible:
It’s far in the future. New planets are being explored, and any planet with usable resources or things of interest can be claimed by corporations on a public auction. The planet you encounter in CryoFall is one such planet. The corporation that first discovered this planet found that it contained the ancient ruins of an unknown civilization. So without telling that fact to anyone, they immediately claimed the planet by paying the highest price on auction. Then they quickly terraformed it (the planet was already mostly suitable for habitation), established a colony and started researching the ruins.
But after activating an ancient device in the ruins, they realized that it created an anomalous field around the entire planet, preventing any ships from entering orbit to resupply or evacuate the colony. The planet was effectively cut off from the rest of the universe, and the colony slowly perished. After many attempts to rectify the situation, the corporation just gave up and decided to sweep everything under the rug. The planet was slowly forgotten. That is until you, the player, happened to pass in the vicinity of the planet on your ship, unknowingly entering the influence of the field around the planet and causing your ship to crash down on its surface. This is where the game begins.
MMORPG: You have an intricate economic system which allows players a lot of options — can you give us a breakdown?
VG: Absolutely. Since the game is built around much longer sessions compared to most other survival games, it makes sense for players to engage in different economic activities. In order to facilitate that, we added many different options: you can mint coins, as well as build fully automated trading stations that can sell or buy items from other players without you even having to be online. This allows people to create large stores with many items for sale, or use the trading stations to purchase large quantities of resources from other players on the server. You can even set up money exchange machines. Naturally, you can also simply barter directly. So far we’ve seen a lot of interesting emerging gameplay arising from all this.
MMORPG: Steam Early Access came this month for you guys — how has it been going?
VG: We are extremely happy with how the game has been received by the players, and we see player numbers consistently growing every day! We have a lot of plans for the game, and we will continue expanding it with more and more features in the coming months. One of the biggest planned updates is the electricity system. It will completely change every aspect of the game!
MMORPG: What are some of the changes you are working on with your community? How has the player feedback been?
VG: One of the most requested features was PvE servers for people who want to play the game in a more relaxed atmosphere. We are currently working to have it available in the May update. It should make it possible for more PvP-oriented players to really engage each other without any limitations on the original PvP servers while letting people interested in a more creative and/or cooperative type of gameplay trade, explore, socialize, build or just relax together in a friendlier environment on these new PvE servers. We want to give everyone the type of experience they’re happy with.
MMORPG: Resource management is a big part of the game — tell us about the crafting systems that players can enjoy?
VG: Based on our experience with other games, we did not want players to have to plow through thousands of recipes in the recipe list, trying to find what they need or remember all the ingredients for every little thing. So rather than that, we separated technologies into distinct categories, making it super easy to find what you need. If you want to craft armor, for example, you can simply interact with the armorer workbench. For weapons and ammo, you can use a weapon workbench. And we have a dozen such categories: armor, weapons, medicine, cooking, chemistry, industry, construction, cybernetics and so on. This also ties neatly with our unique specialization system, where each player is able to specialize in certain areas and develop only those technologies, but to a much higher degree than players who might choose to become a jack-of-all-trades. The technology system is completely open-ended, and you can make your own choices.
MMORPG: How does combat work in the game? With some options for both melee and ranged weapons, it must be fun to choose?
VG: We have a working combat system in the game that is constantly revised and expanded upon. For example, each armor piece has several defense stats (such as impact, kinetic, heat, cold, chemical, electrical, radiation and psi protection), while each weapon has the type of damage it inflicts, armor penetration, special effects and other properties. This enables us to create very specialized types of weapons and ammo. You might use bullets that expand upon impact and deal massive damage to unarmored targets, or go the opposite route and choose armor-piercing bullets. There is also special ammo, like the salt charge for shotguns, ammo carrying toxin, blank ammo (yes!), or even energy weapons such as plasma rifles. Different melee weapons can also have special effects, such as a knife having the chance to inflict a bleeding wound or a mace dazing an opponent after a successful hit.
MMORPG: What is your timeline for production? When can we expect a patch to early access and ultimately launch?
VG: We have just finished a small patch coming next week which will introduce a newbie-protection system for the first two hours of the game, enabling new players to learn the basics and build their first shelter a bit more easily. We are also working on a large update that will introduce a completely separate PvE game mode, as I explained above. And after that we will start working on the largest update to the game yet - electricity! It will introduce a lot of new gameplay elements and new possibilities! After that we will continue as we did previously in open alpha and release new updates roughly every 1 to 1.5 months. Thanks to our custom engine, our development turnaround is quite quick, making it possible to introduce even huge features relatively quickly! We have a roadmap with most major features that we plan to implement in future updates.