Frequently Asked Questions

Game Concept

What is Dual Universe?

Dual Universe is a gigantic multi-planet universe where players are free to invent their collective destiny: player-driven events will shape the course of History, civilizations will rise and fall, everything that happens matters in a persistent single-shard universe. We are pushing the limits of what is technically possible today to open the door to what we believe is the next generation of MMO games.

What is the game story?

Earth has been destroyed by a massive cosmic event. Prior to the planet meeting its doom, the United Nations started the "Rebirth Program" to send millions of citizens into the far reaches of the cosmos aboard colonial Arkships to ensure Humanity's survival. You are one of these survivors, waking up from your long cryosleep to rebuild civilization in the new galaxy in which you find yourself.

Where did the idea come from?

Many gamers dream of a game where they can immerse themselves into a virtual world of endless possibilities where they are free to do anything they like, build anything they imagine and become anyone they want. The original concept and technology prototyping for Dual Universe was started by AI & Robotics expert JC Baillie in 2011. Many of the scalable and cloud-based technologies necessary were not yet available to support a project of this size, but we believe that the time has come to make this dream come true.

What is a persistent Continuous Single-Shard universe?

We call it a “Boundless MMO.” A persistent Single-Shard universe, from the player's perspective, is a single game world where there are no levels, zones or instances. “Continuous” means you can move in it freely and seamlessly. The "persistent" aspect highlights the fact that the game world is evolving over time; changes made by players accumulate and the environment is never the same. From a technical perspective the underlying technology of a single-shard is that all concurrent players are evolving in the same game world.

Must one be a fan of sci-fi, RPGs, or space simulators to play?

Dual Universe is a Massively Multiplayer Online game that without a doubt has a sci-fi context. Many players will roleplay with each other and/or pilot spaceships of all sizes. Players can also simply remain grounded on a given planet of their choosing. It will be possible to play as a trader, a political leader, a space explorer, an industrialist, a pirate or a miner. Or, due to the sandbox nature of Dual Universe, there are no character classes, a self-determined role.

When will it be released?

Dual Universe is an ambitious, long-term project. We aim to have a playable Alpha version open to a limited number of people in the first half of 2017. There are different ways to be selected for the Alpha phase, see the forum for details. The Beta phase is expected for the first half of 2018 and the official release for the end of 2018. After the release, development will continue as the idea of Dual Universe is to create a lasting game that will evolve with its player base.

Will I need a high spec computer to play?

It‘s too early to outline exact specs. We plan to provide high-quality graphics in Dual Universe. In order to have an editable voxel game with a realistic look integrating Physically Based Rendering, you'll need either a medium-range nvidia GTX card (or ATI equivalent) to play with basic graphic settings, or a current high-range graphics card for high settings.
Keep in mind that by release, a high-range graphics card today may well be a medium range graphics card tomorrow. Basically, a high spec computer of today or a medium spec computer of tomorrow should suffice.

Will the game support Oculus Rift?

Oculus Rift was one of the main reasons why we decided to go for the “First Person” view. We are looking at all new technologies that will favor immersion. Exciting things are on the way with the increase of interest in virtual worlds. We aim to cater to this market as well as to more traditional technologies. We are also considering implementing Third Person View as we know a lot of players prefer this view when playing MMO games, but this will is not planned for the initial release. Early editions of Dual Universe will be First Person.

Which rendering engine do you use?

We are using the rendering engine Unigine 2, as well as home-made shaders. After testing several engines, we concluded that it was the best match for our project. If you want to know more about this engine, you can read more on our devblog post here.

Will the game have an age rating?

We expect the game to suit mature audiences as players will roleplay good guys (and gals) as well as bad ones. Players incarnating space pirates might not talk and behave like well-mannered people. There will be some limits in the EULA; for example, a player playing a baddie will have to keep all the acting in-game. Personal attacks will not be tolerated.

Will there be offline and single-player modes?

Dual Universe will be exclusively Online and Massively Multiplayer. It will be possible to play the game without interacting with other players. However, expect that some activities will require huge amounts of resources and play time, such as building an orbital station or a stargate, and this will most likely require you to team up!

How much will it cost?

You won't have to pay up front for Dual Universe: the game will be downloadable for free. There will be a free trial period. After that, a monthly subscription will be needed: the fee will scale from $10 to $13 (from €10 to €13 in Europe) depending on the number of months paid in a row. You won't have to pay for Expansions or DLCs.
DACs (Dual Access Coupons) will also be available. They are virtual items that will be possible to use in several ways:

  • a DAC can be consumed to get 30 days of play time.
  • a DAC can be given to a friend if they do not have the budget for a monthly subscription.
  • a DAC can be traded to another player for in-game money (not real money).
For more details, you can read this DevBlog post

Who are Novaquark?

Novaquark is the company developing Dual Universe. It's an indie studio based in Paris devoted to bringing this crazy game to life! Formed in 2014 by veterans from Ubisoft, Sony, Apple and Aldebaran Robotics, the entire team is dedicated to the development and production of Dual Universe.

Game Play

What are the gameplay objective?

There is no single goal; each player may have their own objectives. Dual Universe is a true sandbox game that will have many different game loops and paths of progression depending on the player's choosing. Whatever you choose to do, each step should feel like an achievement.

How big is the Dual Universe?

Thanks to procedural generation algorithms, there is no limit to the number of planets and star systems we can generate. As the game grows, so will the Universe. Players will discover planets gradually as their spaceships take them further and further from the Arkships.
Planets may range from a few hundred to thousands of kilometers in diameter, so even exploring the surface of just one planet is a big task and would take a long time to execute without the right equipment.

How many people will be in the Dual Universe?

Dual Universe will be a massively multiplayer game. Using our Robotics and AI experience, we have developed our own technology to allow hundreds of thousands (even millions) of players to interact within the same game world. This technology is also aimed at making large scale gatherings (for battles or urban activities) of players in the same area at the same time possible.

How will PvP and PvE be handled?

In a virtual world like Dual Universe, combat becomes an important aspect of risk versus reward gameplay. However, we understand that not everybody likes to get shot or have their work destroyed. We are working on creating a system of safe-zones in the game where players and their work will be protected. These safe-zones will provide infrastructure, commodities and consumables for the players who dare to venture into hostile areas. Meanwhile, the players who roam the hostile areas will provide resources, protection, trade and expansion for the safe-zones.

How will novices and experienced players balance?

New players will emerge from Arkships into what we call the Arkship Safe Area (ASA), which will protect new players as they make their first steps. It's never fun to be attacked by experienced players when you are just discovering the world and learning game mechanisms.

What if my character dies?

Note: this answer may be subject to change during development
You won’t lose any skill points. However, what you had on your character at the time of his death will be partially destroyed and partially dropped on the ground where you died.

How will my character progress in the game?

In Dual Universe, unlike many MMORPGs, player's characters won’t have a level. Novice players will be able to do the same basic activities that an experienced one can do (mining, building, crafting, building, piloting, etc.), but experienced players will just be better at doing it. Specializing your character in one skill will be relatively quick. You can expect to get 80% of the bonus given by the skill in 20% of the time necessary to max it. In other words, the closer you get to 100% of the bonus, the more time it will take to reach it.

Can I have more than one character?

Yes. But you will only be able to improve skills on one character at a time.

Will there be NPCs?

There will be animal NPCs to hunt, breed or fight, and probably also space creatures or ships attacking players in later versions of the game. These will not be in the Alpha. There will also be trading NPCs acting on the in-game markets to help bootstrap the economy, but not to give quests like in “themepark” MMORPGs. We want to favor social interactions between players.

How will mining/scanning work?

Note: this answer may be subject to change during development
Dual Universe players and the civilizations that arise will depend on commodities. The first step to obtaining commodities is the harvesting of raw materials. Every player is equipped with a Nanoformer, a tool that will enable them to extract material from their environment and into their Nanopack. To do this efficiently, players should obtain a scanner first and locate where the good sources of resources are. The rarer the resource, the more difficult it will be to find and extract. There will be different scanners for different types of material. Scanning itself will be an art form and will be an important gameplay mechanism.

Can I really build anything? How will that work?

Voxel Technology will enable you to build pretty much anything you want. There are two types of building: "Planet" and "Construct."
Planet building will involve modifying the surface of a planet, and you will be able to deploy and extract materials to shape the environment around you. A Construct will involve building on to a "Core Unit." Core Units are versatile and can be manipulated to a scale of 25cm. They also allow you to attach "Elements" (Engines, Cockpits, Control Units, etc.) to enable you to build spaceships, bases or anything you can imagine and make it truly unique.

How will the economy work?

Note: This answer will apply only to Alpha and might change as we further develop the game.
The economy will be a market economy primarily based on buy/sell orders of raw materials and elements. Prices on the market will be determied by supply and demand. Unique items, such as a well crafted and constructed spaceship, will go to auction. We hope players will appreciate and reward builders and architects, so that those with no desire to build their own crafts will still have access to sophisticated constructs.
Our goal is to have an emergent economy with minimum intervention by the developers. The Arkship will have a rudimentary market with NPCs who will buy and sell various items and resources to foster early stage gameplay and bootstrap the economy. Other than that, it will be up to players to build and manage market places. These will inevitably compete against each other and fuel other aspects of a civilization; security, logistics, accessibility, etc.

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