Brian McRae, CEO and co-founder of Fenix Fire Entertainment, has a lot of ambitious plans for his Early Access survival game Osiris: New Dawn. When we spoke at the Game Developer's Conference, he laid out the path of the game, which entered Early Access in September of last year. I took an early look at it back then, but a lot has changed, like the addition of craftable spaceships, and it sounds like there's plenty more to come.
And, a lot of what's coming is the result of community feedback. According to McRae, "a good 85%" of player feedback and ideas have made it into New Dawn's Early Access roadmap. McRae is impressed, not just with the community's ideas, but how well-informed they are. "I'm always amazed by how knowledgeable our audience is about game design."
A few things those knowledgeable players can look forward to are building complex space stations that will need to be crafted in pieces on the planet's surface, then launched via rocket into space, one by one, to be assembled in orbit. According to McRae, players may even be able build a biosphere on the station and grow food, allowing them to sustain themselves while in orbit.
That sounds cool, but McRae doesn't seem content to simply let players grow their space-crops in complete peace. Though they're far from the surface of the deadly planet, there will still be plenty of survival challenges. "We could have tiny meteorites that crack a hole into the glass," McRae speculated. "You're losing pressure, alarms are going off, you've got to space walk to repair it. It creates a lot of interesting scenarios that I don't think we've seen in games yet."
Another thing not to be forgotten is how damn scary Osiris: New Dawn can be. Encountering alien crabs at night is always terrifying, and quite frankly even in broad daylight they're pretty scary as they doggedly pursue you across the barren planet. And, of course, there are the giant sand worms. The first time I encountered one I was so completely dumbstruck I couldn't even move.
There are more horrors on the way, which could potentially include tiny alien critters that can breach your space suit and scurry around inside your helmet—while you're wearing it. The thought of that is deeply alarming—and naturally, McRae has plans to bring Osiris: New Dawn to virtual reality headsets. Can you imagine an alien bug skittering around inside your space-helmet while playing in VR? Guhhh.
Concept art: alien species
Concept art: New crab creature
Concept art: New spaceship
Concept art: Space station interior
There will also be mysteries to solve relating to ancient civilizations, as players may someday come across massive alien ruins and work to discover their origins. "And maybe the next time you play, [the ruins aren't] even there," McRae said. "So, it's like what is this, what's going on? And even the unfolding of this [alien] race is something we want to be real serious about how we lay it out."
This is all in Osiris: New Dawn's future, of course. "We hardly have a game right now, you're really just kind of going around and mining minerals and building stuff," McRae said, "but where we want to go with it is you're unraveling this mystery, this story that's going on. You are going off on all these different missions, there's always different things to discover."
McRae and Fenix Fire will be listening to player feedback and suggestions along the way. "We really do rely on our community to give us feedback on how we're balancing the game."