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Funatics | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Sci-Fi | Status:Beta Testing  (est.rel N/A)  | Pub:Gamigo
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Browser | Retail Price:n/a | Pay Type:Free | Monthly Fee:n/a
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By Garrett Fuller on January 03, 2012 | Interviews | Comments


Tell us about the concept behind UFO Online. Where did the influences come from?

Christoph Ullmann:

We wanted to provide a first-rate turn-based online strategy game with UFO Online. We took a lot of inspiration from the legends of turn-based strategy, such as Jagged Alliance, X-Com and Incubation. There's really no getting around great games like those, which helped shape the genre so much, especially when part of our development team worked on the latter project and when you are a huge fan of these classics, which we are. Of course we won't just take the same old gameplay, but rather we are looking to combine the best of the old style with all of the possibilities that are available today.


The graphics engine on the browser looks very strong, what was it like putting that together?

Christoph Ullmann::

We're using the mighty Unity engine for the game's 3D part. The results are impressive; in fullscreen mode it's especially easy to forget that UFO Online is actually a browser game. The challenge there was finding a balance between detailed graphics and performance since we also want the game to run on as many different computers as possible so it is available to as many players as possible.

Tell us some of the features in the game that make you excited as a developer? (We are not the developers)

Christoph Ullmann::

I was always drawn to the strong PvP aspects, but the novel approach to character development (skill triangles instead of trees) and the idea that a turn-based strategy game could be playable in a browser were also some of the main reasons why I wanted to work on this game.

Can you talk about the three factions in the game? Give us some background on them.

Christoph Ullmann::

I could write endless pages about them, but I'll try to keep it short. We currently have three human factions in the game: the "Central Economy Federation", "Sovereign East Association" and the "American Stability Pact". Each of these factions rules a different part of the Earth and has different reasons for cooperating with the aliens. These differentiating faction features are not in the game yet, but they are planned. In the future each faction will have its own skills that the player can use in battle to influence the dynamics of the PvP matches significantly.

You explain that there are mercenary styles classes in the game? Does this mean you can work for different factions at any one time?

Christoph Ullmann::

No, a player can only belong to one faction. Mercenaries are more like specialists that a player can hire in order to take them along on a mission.

What can players expect in terms of UI? Will the game be easy to use from an interface standpoint?

Christoph Ullmann::

We're trying to make it easy to get started in the game. We're getting lots of great feedback from our beta testers and are making improvements to the UI in lots of of different areas. The aim is to create a UI that can be used intuitively and provides easy access to the deep, strategic gameplay.

You also mention there will be PvP in the game, what will that be like?

Christoph Ullmann::

Like in the PvE battles, players try to use the strengths of their units as best as they can when fighting other players. The unpredictability of human tactics and being able to measure your skills against your friends makes fighting duels even more exciting. The core of PvP lies in gaining domination of the world with one's faction. At the beginning of the game, each player has to choose which faction they would like to join and can then complete missions in a variety of territories to collect faction points. In the neat future another feature will be added that will make the battle for world domination even more interesting: the black market. Players that have collected a lot of faction points can get unique weapons and equipment there that is not available in the standard shop. I'm really looking forward to open beta testing so I can go up against lots of players in PvP :)

What are the next few months looking like for UFO Online?

Christoph Ullmann::

At the moment we're primarily busy implementing new features (guilds, tutorial, black market, etc.) and of course also reacting to feedback from the community. For example, we've found that the "Quick Join" match-making system hasn't been working as we'd hoped. Which is why Funatics is working on a solution that will allow players to get started faster in the game. I think closed beta testing was an important step for the game because it is the feedback from the community that allows us to see how good our game actually is. So far everyone has confirmed that we're on the right path and I'm sure we'll see even more improvements as the game moves towards commercial release.

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