BoW have a video interview with the Dark Space guys talking about the game. It's a long 'un, but fascinating none the less.
A few bits for those who don't want to watch it for the hour:
The "living world" will work much like we speculated. The dev team will periodically open up areas of the map and players and take part in "episodes" that shape the game world.
These episodes can be anything from a weekend raid to gain control of a planet all the way up introducing new alien races and technologies.
A note on raids
- Something particularly interesting that was brought up is text/email/facebook updates about episodes. In their example, everyone who had registered on their site as the attacking faction received an email telling them a raid was taking place to control a particular planet. However, the defending faction's players didn't get the email until some hours later. This creates a very interesting dynamic where you, the defender, receive an email telling you your planet has been under siege for a few hours and you need to rush home and play some games.
A note on the technology
- An example was given in the video that the team may design a new piece of tech, a weapon say, and then run a episode to see which faction actually gets to use that weapon. So the games you play have a very real impact on the universe.
They also spoke of online guild systems similar to MMOs to allow people to easily connect to other players of their faction.
I think (and hope) all these things are going to create a really engaging game that really keeps people interested over time.
I'd love to set up a heresy guild so we can go out there and crush all others before our might!