Not So MMO: Space Punks Open Beta Developer Interview

ByJose A. York

Apr 20, 2022

space punks just announced that this dynamic online shooter is about to dive into open beta, and on April 20, players will be able to step into the void and try out Flying Wild Hog’s latest adventure.

This opportunity to try and smash the upcoming title will give us all a chance to play with friends, blasting through all that the Frontier of Alien Civilization has to offer as we weave our way through a series of missions to bring home as much loot as possible. With a wry smile and a definitive nod or two to Borderlands Where wild starit is an open beta that interests us.

If you haven’t purchased a pre-order pack for this free game yet or just haven’t heard of it yet, you can check out the trailer below to get an idea of ​​what to expect in this cartoon dungeon crawler. As you push players into the far reaches of outer space, you will discover that there is gold in this subspace void. It’s up to a range of outlandish characters to pick up their weapons, throw themselves into the abyss, and see if they can carve their way to a fortune in this upcoming title from Flying Wild Hog and Jagex.

There’s just about enough time left to free up some time in your calendar and check out the open beta trailer to see what’s to come. We took some of that time to talk to space punks Lead Game Designer Bartek Schweiger on the upcoming open beta.

MMORPGs: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today, space punks The open beta is almost here. Is the team excited for what’s to come?

Bartech: Yes, we are super excited. I think everyone on the team is especially excited because the closed beta test went better than expected. We look forward to testing the old and new stuff on a much wider group of players as well.

MMORPGs: Will these large-scale tests be the focus of the next round of tests?

Bartech: This will be one of the points, but we also want to let you know and check if our game system is enjoyable. We want to test if our new crafting systems work as intended, for example, and if the feedback is positive. There are a number of other things we want feedback on, but scale is one of the few main points.

MMORPGs: I guess it also gives you the ability to incorporate a wide variety of player types into the game. Everyone who has played so far has bought into the idea?

Bartech: Yes. I think it’s important because we kind of know how our fan base feels and how they play. These are the people who stick with us throughout the Closed Beta. Now it will be wider. The other significant difference is that the closed beta was rather exclusive. You had to have access via the pack or from an event. People came in with different expectations than the open beta. Everyone can play.

MMORPGs: Are we expecting this flood of players to break the game?

Bartech: I think there is always a possibility that someone will break some things to be honest. We are preparing for this.

MMORPGs: We just played a little shadow warrior 3 today. It’s a very different game space punks. Did Jagex contribute to this change of direction?

Bartech: Yes, we worked closely with Jagex every day on the technical side and on the Living Game side because space punks is a living game and the development is very different from the approach taken with Shadow Warrior.

MMORPGs: Did that include how you told the story? Shadow Warrior seems pretty linear compared to Space Punk’s drop-in, drop-out style of play?

Bartech: I think it’s different, but not so different. The biggest challenge for this is remembering that there are story beats you need to hit. At the same time, you need to create content and missions that are replayable, so players can enjoy [it] when they play it not just once, but 15, 16 or 100 times. That was the main challenge for us, changing the mindset from kind of a one-time experience to a story-based experience that can be expanded and varied.

I’m going to give you an example. You have story missions in space punks, but you also get versions of these that are replayable types of this mission. In this case, you can modify certain elements of it. Alternatively, you can get missions that introduce a mechanic, which will then be used in other redeemable missions. The bottom line is that these redeemable missions are constructed differently to better deliver that seamless experience for players.

MMORPGs: What additional part of the game can players expect to see in the open beta?

Bartech: As for closed testing, our last update was story related. We have given players new story missions. Open beta, we will start with these kind of missions. Now we want to focus on some systems like improving crafting, iterating on mission systems that make content replayable, etc. You will get the same set of missions. For our next update, you will get two story-focused features, as well as many other updates. Most of the basics of the game are set, but we still want to add some things, but mostly endgame focused. That could, of course, change during testing, but we’ll have to see.

MMORPGs: The open beta isn’t just a change to the game, it’s a massive change for the community. Are you ready for this?

Bartech: I will say that I know preparations are underway. Granted, Jagex might be in a better position to answer that question, as it’s one of the ways they help us with things like community management. We’re excited to see people joining Discord and what they’re doing, whether it’s playing the game, making fan art, or 3D printing their own characters.

I will say something about our growing community which is also great. We will get so much feedback and data on what works.

MMORPGs: Does it help you make decisions to improve the game?

Bartech: Yes a lot. Our analysis team is working with Jagex, which has a lot more experience in this area, and it’s been very successful. This is one of the highlights of the closed beta test. A good example is that from the data collected, we have seen that our players are not playing together as much as we hoped. They seemed to play solo a lot.

We basically checked what might be the case. After looking at everything we could, we decided to try and highlight the party UI to make it more noticeable. We did that and it doubled the number of people playing together. A small change in the user interface made a huge difference in the game experience and we could see and solve it from the data analysis.

That’s the kind of thing you can see in the data. You may find that too many people fail to complete this mission successfully, so you change the difficulty and it can have an instant change for people playing the game.

MMORPGs: In anticipation of the launch of the game, why opt for the free to play model with monetization?

Bartech: To support the live game, yes you need people who can play the game and consistently choose to give us Monday for our work. This allows us to develop it more and more. That said, we didn’t want to be aggressive with our monetization because we know players don’t appreciate that. We’ve looked at games that have done this successfully, like Warfame and Path of Exile. We’ve looked at their practices and balanced what we think is fair and what we think will allow us to continue creating content.

MMORPGs: Is that why you implemented a weapon upgrade system rather than monetizing game skin transfers?

Bartech: In fact, the original reason was to allow point-oriented players to be able to upgrade their weapon, to be able to craft the best possible weapon and upgrade it. This ties into our core principle that our monetization should not affect a player’s power. It can change the look of things or improve the quality of life, but never affects your power.

MMORPGs: Back to the upcoming test. What are your hopes for the open beta?

Bartech: Two things. As a designer, I really want to see how everything works. We know how we think things will work out, but we can see it live now. Also, I hope people will like space punks. It’s a game we’ve been working on for so long and it’ll be great if people enjoy their time with it.

On that note, we’re ready to lock and load space punks. You can read more about this multiplayer mashup of loot shooters and online ARPGs on the official website. space punks website now.