Oort Online: A Promising Minecraft/No Man’s Sky Hybrid

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Oort Online, the upcoming multiplayer sandbox game designed by UK-based studio Wonderstruck, drew significant interest from gamers after the tech trailer’s unveiling. Described by some as a fusion ofMinecraft and the upcoming infinitely-generated sci-fi game No Man’s Sky, Oort Online has the player visiting various planets, which – like No Man’s Sky – feature unique appearances with each play-through. The worlds are built with voxels, just like Minecraft.

So, with the exciting tech trailer unveiled, what do we know so far about Oort Online?

The Developers Are Experienced

Although Wonderstruck is a new gaming studio, it consists of a veteran lineup with many employees having experience at Lionhead and EA. For such an ambitious project, that experience is good to have. The developer’s introduction came via a July 30th blog post, which announced: “We’re Wonderstruck, and it’s launch day for our new crowdfunding project, Oort Online. This is just the first step in a journey that will hopefully lead to the creation of a new universe that millions of players will enjoy for years to come.”

Oort Online Is a Crowdfunded Project

Whereas many game developers opt to use Kickstarter when trying to crowdfund, Oort Online offers several packages directly via their web site. The options range from free (which offers wallpapers, screenshots, videos and other multimedia, in addition to an entry to win instant access to the game) to a $5,000 package, which lets you play the game today among other perks (like having your name in the credits, crafting an exclusive weapon, and the ability to design a world and item – plus a monthly Skype session with the developer team).

The game has already raised thousands and is in the midst of attracting more attention, propelled by the exciting tech trailer.

The Tech Trailer Shows Big Promise

The tech trailer does enough to show that Oort Online has the potential to gain a huge following. Could it attain cult-like status like Minecraft? It’s too early to tell, but the tech trailer has people buzzing.

The landscapes shown throughout the three-minute video are stunning. Rain falls in a tropical forest with alien-looking trees, snow swirls along a gorgeous coast, and a mysterious cave and a sunset, accompanied by chirping crickets, are a few of the sights offered. The graphics look superb as well, shown prominently about a minute into the video when trees reflect flawlessly over clear blue water. It’s one of the best-looking voxel-based games I’ve ever seen.

A Player’s Actions Defines Their Reputation

Oort Online‘s self-description of how player behavior impacts their gaming experience sounds exciting: “Claim a source for loot or rare resources and players will flock from across the universe to trade with you. Gather wealth, land, resources and share them with new or needy players and the universe will learn of your good deeds. Form a guild for profit and claim strategic locations and travel routes to dominate your world, but watch your back…”

These types of scenarios, combined with ever-expanding worlds, makes for seemingly endless gameplay possibilities. Whether you want to be a greedy oil investor or charitable land-giver is up to you. The concept would be fun enough in single-player, but knowing that Oort Online will feature an online universe of real players makes it sound exceptionally entertaining.

Procedural Generation Is No Longer Ugly

In the early days of procedural generation in video games, there were extreme limits as to the graphical abilities, as displayed by earlier games like RoboBlitz and .kkrieger. However, with the emergence of games like Minecraft, No Man’s Sky, and Oort Online, it’s clear that today’s gaming technology – both on console and PC – is capable of handling beautifully generated worlds with top-notch graphics. Powered by the Beautiful Voxel Engine for Windows, Mac, and Linux, Oort Online is the most recent example of this gaming technological advance.

If you want to learn more about Oort Online, head over to the game’s helpful FAQ page. The game is available to play now via several of the crowdfunded packages and will likely see a Steam release in 2015. All users who purchase Oort Online now though their site will receive a Steam key for the game when it’s available.

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