Community Spotlight #7

This is why we’ve created The Dual Universe Community Spotlight! Our intention is to interview our most interesting and influential players and share their insight with the Dual Universe Community. We hope that you look forward to hearing their stories as much as we do!

This time, we’re chatting with Pantera.

Novaquark: To start things off, could you briefly introduce yourself?
Pantera: Howdy! My name is Pantera. I’m in Texas and a trainer for a TV and Internet provider. I like playing multiplayer games (I find single player games dull) and also enjoy the hardware side of computing as well. I am the legate for Prophet Rocket Foundry and member of its parent org Infinity Corporation.

Novaquark: How and when did you discover Dual Universe? What was it that brought you into the community?
Pantera: Wow. I think I found DU like 4-5 years ago, was it? I know I knew about it before the forum was created and was one of the first on the DU twitter account. I think in early 2014. Damn thats a long time.

Anywho, at that time I was playing Landmark and learning to smash voxels together in that game and I was just looking for other potential voxel based building type games when I found Dual. I followed ever since. Once Landmark was gone, Dual was the next closest thing to being able to create your own world, so full steam ahead!

Novaquark: Since becoming a fan of Dual Universe and playing it so extensively, what is it that you find so enticing about it?
Pantera: I love the fact you can make ANYTHING. You know, like a space-faring wooden boat complete with sails. ;)

The big thing to enjoy is not just building things, but sharing them in a way that you can interact with it. If I want to make a pretty image I’d go make something in Blender or what not. No. I want to walk through it. I want strangers to happen upon my build and run through it and jump on it and flip switches to see what happens. It's fun to share not just a build, but potentially a story. It’s going to be hard for me to blow up someone else's hard work, but not impossible.

This "boat" shows the originality possible in Dual Univese.

Novaquark: That boat made us laugh, it was awesome!
Pantera: Glad you all liked the boat. It was fun to build and more fun to show off to others. I love that “Wait what?!?” reaction that I got from players when I was flying it around and parking it for all to see.

Novaquark: As an ex-Landmark aficionado, what were your thoughts during the following of our Kickstarter campaign? We often feel DU is kind of the new home for this community.
(Note: If people are interested in checking that out, we’ve published a
post-mortem of our Kickstarter campaign.)
I really didn’t know what to expect at first. I knew DU had voxels and I was like “I like voxels” so why the hell not. It was different than Landmark, being its primarily sci-fi and that it had something Landmark didn’t have in that you can fly your builds around! Hell yes! Dual currently is the only thing I’ve ever backed on Kickstarter. The more I learned, the more I saw it’s massive potential, but not just in this game, but the impact it can have on the industry going forward. Single shard? Let’s do this!

As far as Landmark players finding a new home, yeah I think so. It’s similar, but different. Some players are a bit skeptical of the survival and pvp aspect of things and I get that. Landmark was a place to create and there is something to say for a builder friendly world. Griefing there was limited to building a giant tower of gold or glowing material next to someone else’s site. I believe once they see how ridiculously big DU will be, they’ll realize there’s room for everyone.

One of the major things about having a new home such as this is that we have knowledge to share. It’s probably the one thing I miss the most about Landmark is its community. We shared almost everything. There was no real competition. We offered up tips, tricks, resources, time… we had numerous buildings dedicated to voxel templates that anyone could copy and use. It was the best community and I miss it. So us coming over, we bring that voxel know how and we share it. We want this to work and look good while doing it.

The community here is the same really. Love to see all the people sharing code, helping with building, and providing resources. This is especially evident in how we treat new people. Ask and ye shall receive. Help is everywhere if you just raise your hand. I’d like to think that the things we all learned from playing Landmark made a huge impact right out of the gate when DU started its first play tests. Showing people the potential of the voxel and how to manipulate them. The creations we’ve seen I think are a testament to that.

The Knotty Narwhal ship by Pantera (screenshot courtesy of Geo).

Novaquark: We're super proud of what the community achieves in the game! It's already going beyond our expectations... And it's only the beginning! We're super happy about its welcoming spirit too. Now, about your own unique goals to achieve in-game; what are your personal plans for the future?
Pantera: Unique goals? I don’t think I’m alone in the fact that I want to build lots of pretty things. I love to show off my creations. I suppose my big goal would be to create ‘destinations’. I want people to have places to visit and I want them to be unique and wonderful. A 1000m tall statue of JC? Yes. The majestic floating gardens of Alioth? Yes. An ancient underground temple? A Roman inspired city? An old west town? Yes, yes and YES! Do it all! Build and create whatever you want! I mentioned earlier that DU was primarily sci-fi, but it doesn't have to be.

Personally, I want to have a stupid big universe to tool around in and explore. I want to empower people to build what they want and give them the knowledge and tools to do so. Once the NDA is lifted, I do plan to stream as much as I can and help with the new player experience. There is a certain responsibility a veteran looking to see success in a game has with the noobs. :)

The Skiff by Pantera.

Novaquark: You seem to like humor a lot and that comedy really shows in your creations. Where does that come from? What/who inspires you?
Pantera: What are you talking about? I’m always super serious. ;)

I don’t want a universe full of the same thing, I suppose. The best way to make it as diverse as possible is to make silly and ridiculous things. Build the unexpected. Make things people haven’t.

As far as inspiration goes, I'm a fan of sci-fi in general, so ideas come from everywhere. Most of my ships are not planned. I have a habit of slapping things down until it works. For example, I wanted to build a Star Wars style hover skiff to putt-putt around in and it stayed that way for about 2 hours before I decided to add wings. Then I added a cargo container. A few hours later it was completely different and I was in space flying to another planet. I change my mind a lot.

Another good source of inspiration is other players. It's been an AMAZING ride so far. Being able to see the things people built on day 1 compared to now has been an uplifting experience. Maybe I inspired some people too? I hope so. I also have a desire to capture those inspiring moments with killer screenshots. It’s always fun when you get that perfect shot.

The Skiff in orbital flight at sunrise

Novaquark: Seeing so much enthusiasm is surely heart warming! And since you mentioned it earlier, we often ask: do you have pro-tips and advice you'd like to share with the community, both veterans and newcomers alike?
Pantera: Don’t give up. Be inspired and just start building. Do what’s fun for you is my biggest tip. If it's not building, then DU will have plenty of other things to do. Explore. Mine stuff. Shoot stuff. Be a dictator... Hmm… that sounds like fun too.

Novaquark: Where can people reach you?
Pantera: I can be found on Twitter @PantsPantsless and my org @prophetrocket... seeing my Twitter name you might hear the phrase “No pants Pantera.” It’s something that’s carried over from Landmark. So be very afraid if we ever get the chance to take our spacesuits off.


Thanks to Pantera for taking the time to answer our questions! We hope that you enjoyed our conversation! In the future, we’ll be reaching out to more players on a host of topics, introducing you to them, and sharing their amazing achievements with our incredible community. If there is someone you feel should be in the spotlight, please let us know!

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Previous interviews of our awesome community members are available here: