Dean Hall didn't reveal much (opens in new tab) about Ion at E3 the other week, but we later learned that it would feature an isometric viewpoint, and that if you click on another player their organs might fall out (opens in new tab). Thanks to an interview with Polygon (opens in new tab) (thanks PCGamesN (opens in new tab)), we now know a little more. Ion is inspired by EVE Online, Minecraft's Tekkit modpack, and Space Station 13. Also—as with Lord British, famously, in Ultima Online—it will be possible for players to off Dean Hall in the game.
EVE Online's single, persistent server has influenced Ion, as has Minecrat's Tekkit (opens in new tab), a collection of mods that, collectively, substantially empower the game's building mechanics. But the initial inspiration comes from Space Station 13 (opens in new tab), a collaborative space station sim-thing that Hall was raving about to us two years ago (opens in new tab), when he first talked about what his next game might be. Speaking to Polygon, he now says of Space Station 13 that "it's incredibly intricate in what you can do, but also incredibly difficult to learn how to play. That was the core idea of the game".
Returning to the topic of Tekkit:
"My friends would say, let's play Tekkit, let's build a nuclear reactor, and I'd say, why? I want a context. I want it to occur in a broader scheme of things. That's what Ion is about. It's taking Minecraft and Tekkit and everyone's own separate worlds, their own servers, and mashing it all together, linking all the regions."
You'll be able to learn the skills to become, for instance, an engineer, miner or doctor in the game, and there'll be a reputation system so players can make a name for themselves one way or the other. Watching over everything will be The Federation, with Dean Hall acting as president. "The Federation is run by me, by us as the game developers. We play characters in the game". And yes, players "could kill me as the president of the Federation".
Unlike DayZ, developers RocketWerkz have a more solid roadmap in mind for Ion, so its development will hopefully be less protracted. "Ion has a solid road map. But I guess that's why we haven't released a lot of details. Until we really lock that road map down, we don't want to say, this feature, this feature, this feature. I can talk to the parts that are there."
Read the full Polygon (opens in new tab) interview for more.