|Dune, one of the touchstones
of SF, the captivating universe of Frank Herbert !
A world so famous that it attracts thousands of fans throughout
the world, and has done for several generations
Today, Cryonetworks is devoting considerable energy to gathering a
team in a new adventure: to create a permanent online DUNE universe
where, for the first time, players will battle to establish their
own dynasty on one of the topmost steps of the imperial throne of
Emperor Shaddam IV.
Our development team has the complex task of creating the guidelines
for the game designers
who have pulled out all the stops: they've
put their heart and soul into this. Now it's our turn to play!
How was the project organized?
We set up three specialized teams, each responsible for a different
aspect of the game :
The Game System team
takes care of all the permanent aspects. It is
responsible for developing secure databases for storing the game universe
and players' actions. It also falls to them to create the entire production
system (construction of buildings, military units etc.), but also
to develop the code for the missions and campaigns that will be suggested
to players. That's no mean feat when you consider the enormous mound
of work the scriptwriters went through.
The Gameplay team
implements the numerous rules of the game that
will allow and govern the interaction between the players. Alliances,
trading, management of dynasties, espionage etc. are also areas that
fall under the leadership of the game designers. In particular, however,
it is the Gameplay team that is responsible for designing the game's
AI system. We can promise one thing: players who are already thinking
of tactical battles against NPCs ("non-player characters")
as a simple formality can be on their way
The Visualization team,
finally, with perhaps the greatest responsibility.
This team manages all the visual aspects of the game, from the 2D
interfaces to the 3D representation of the universe, not forgetting
the special effects and sound effects. They are already hard at work
on an attractive 3D engine. Initial tests look extremely promising
and should allow the graphic designers optimum creative freedom.
To create all this, we have a specialized tool
for developing multi-user multimedia applications; we rely largely
on a technology named SCOL, a distributed
client-server programming language optimized for online 3D
applications. With this tool, we are able to reduce development time.
Make no mistake about it: the development of a permanent world is
a mighty task on its own, before the wishes of the game designers
are even considered, and they have also included an impressive range
of functionalities in Dune Generations.
The true strength of this team lies above all in the osmosis among
its members who all share the same tremendous passion for video games
and the DUNE universe.
Lead Programmers Dune Generations