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Funcom Reveals Dune: Awakening Details, From Core Survival Mechanics to Approachable Design

Christina Gonzalez Updated: Posted:
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Funcom’s upcoming survival MMO Dune: Awakening will center on a few core survival mechanics, encourage exploration, and draws inspiration from Valheim, according to a new interview.

When it comes to survival games, some of them can get very complex, feeling like you may need to micromanage some elements in order to succeed. In an interview with PC Gamer, Funcom’s Joel Bylos, the game’s creative director, laid out the more streamlined approach to Dune: Awakening. They’ve decided to focus on just a couple of survival mechanics and environmental threats. Building shelter and protecting yourself from sandstorms, for one.  “Sandworms themselves are a giant threat in the world. If you walk on sand, they will come. If you create vibrations, they will come. So you have to think about how you approach traversal in the game world,” he says. Taking place on a desert planet also means that water will be another important mechanic. As will spice. 

Clearly, the environment and its dangers are going to impact a lot, and those key elements of the IP and setting are designed to make players feel consistent tension.You need to survive, but you'll also need spice. Yet, they are not looking to make it punishing. Bylos cites Valheim as a game from which they're drawing some inspiration, to approach something with a little more flexibility. You might need to keep a certain spice level to maintain your max health or to learn new abilities, but it won’t kill you if you don't. To encourage learning and discovery, and make it valuable to get those supplies is more their design philosophy. 

The preview also goes into crafting and how this system will differ from Funcom's Conan Exiles. Crafting will be important, since it is a survival MMO, but you'll have to go out and find schematics that you can use in order to craft the items you need. Their intention is also to drive exploration, and even reward it specifically through what they're calling “infinite exploration”. The sandstorms will shape the world and change it, sometimes creating opportunities to find schematics that no one else ever has. This might mean exclusive access to that schematic until a new storm cycle.

For more on the game, head to Dune: Awakening.


Christina Gonzalez

Christina is MMORPG.COM’s News Editor and a contributor since 2011. Always a fan of great community and wondering if the same sort of magic that was her first guild exists anymore.