Building a massively multiplayer action game has been an impossible ambition for indie developers. Until now.
Spilt Milk Studios – a four-person independent studio based in London, UK – has released a number of successful and well-received indie games, including Hard Lines, a “gloriously inventive combination of Nokia’s Snake and Tron’s light cycles” and Tango Fiesta, a multiplayer action shooter which began life as an eight-hour game jam experiment and will shortly be available for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One after a successful PC release.
Andrew Smith, the CEO and founder of Spilt Milk, recently delivered a “developer session” at EGX, the UK’s largest gaming event. There, he discussed how a team of four has been able to make Lazarus, a multiplayer game where large numbers of players fight and support each other in a huge playing environment. Along with the impressively high number of simultaneous players it can support and the massive size of its playing area, Lazarus has another unique feature: the game universe persists for a week, reflecting the changes the war has made, and preserving the defences built by the players. Then, at the end of the week, the universe is wiped, and everyone starts with a clean slate. Finding ways to carry advantages across these world-destroying wipes – there are some! – is one of the puzzles and twists of the game.
The video of this developer session (warning: contains amazing GIFs and terrible puns), where Andrew discusses the challenges of taking a small team and making a huge game, is below.
We’re delighted to have the universe of Lazarus growing on SpatialOS, and can’t wait to join the fight.
Lazarus is now in development, and will be launching on Steam for PC and Mac soon. To register for pre-launch Steam keys for playtesting right now, and to get more information on Lazarus, go to the Lazarus website.