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The Repopulation

PAX East 2014: The Repopulation's Josh Hall on the future of the game

Betas, Sci-Fi, Interviews, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation

Are you not entertained?
If you're looking for Kickstarter success stories, The Repopulation definitely qualifies. While the game hasn't yet been released, it's managed to run not one but two successful campaigns looking to fans for funding, and it's managed its development carefully to keep itself on track for release. The game feels like a well-managed professional affair. And it's been a bit more quiet, but that comes down largely to the focus on getting the game out of its current alpha state and into its first beta.

At this year's PAX East, I sat down to talk with Josh Hall, one of the core team members on the project, about where the game is in development and what it's heading for in the next few months. While the final alpha stage has taken slightly longer than originally planned, the team is on track for launching the first beta phase at some point over the summer, and it's eyeing further release plans.

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Jukebox Heroes: Talking with The Repopulation's Steven Coltart

Sci-Fi, Interviews, Sandbox, Jukebox Heroes, Music, The Repopulation

The Repopulation
Massively: Even in the far distant future on alien worlds, we'll still need music. This is why it's great that Composer Steven Coltart is providing The Repopulation with an original soundtrack, because otherwise the silence would be too much to bear. So Steven, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Steven Coltart: I'm a full-time professional composer based in the UK and was commissioned to be lead composer on The Repopulation in 2013. Previous projects include Outer Empires, the first MMO of its kind created for iOS, which went on to sell over 200,000 copies and boasted the largest ever network of players online at that time. 2014 has seen me complete the soundtrack for a soon to be announced iOS game, and I'm currently putting the finishing touches to US-based sci-fi film Downward. I've worked incredibly hard to get to this point, but I'm lucky to have what I consider the best job in the world. Writing music for a living and getting to work with talented developers and producers, it doesn't get much better for me!

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The Repopulation adds adversarial camps, preps for Alpha 3

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, PvE, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, The Repopulation

Repopulation concept art
Above & Beyond has released its latest monthly status report on The Repopulation. In February, the design team added the adversarial camps stretch goal to its sci-fi sandbox, which will allow devs to "generate much of the game's content on the fly and help ensure that players do not have a static experience."

Additional work was done on the title's customizable XML-based UI, the harvesting mechanics, and a fitting system for robotic pets. February's "largest changes" came in the form of additional world content, as the dev team is looking forward to adding more testers for Alpha 3 "in a few weeks."

The Repopulation closes its second Kickstarter with triple funding

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation

Sit down and talk.  They're kind of a big deal.
The development team at Above and Beyond Technologies went back to Kickstarter to ask for a little extra funding to develop The Repopulation. The project's goal was set at a very reasonable $50,000. Now the campaign is over, and it turns out that the company's philosophy of starting low and using stretch goals worked out quite well. Funding for this campaign closed out at around $176,000, more than triple what was initially requested.

Despite that high number, not every stretch goal was hit, but that's what happens when the developers build a high ceiling. Still, it means that the game squeaked past the mark needed to unlock gladiatorial arenas in player-run cities. It's good news for the game's developers, backers, and even fans who elected not to back the second campaign.

The Repopulation delivers third alpha trailer, conquers another stretch goal

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, New Titles, PvP, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation

One great thing about The Repopulation's latest Kickstarter campaign (besides the chance to support an upcoming sandbox) is that it delivering regular doses of data to the public. And the latest tidbit to come through the pipeline is a third alpha trailer showing off a bit of the game. Experience a minute and a half of the in-game environments, mounts, and various battles with wildlife and other players in the clip below. Then, if you want to get in on supporting the game and helping it reach another stretch goal (it just secured the unique naming of items), you've got until Monday to do so.

[Source: Above & Beyond Technologies press release]

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The Repopulation will feature both standard and PvP servers

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, The Repopulation

The Repopulation PvP
The Repopulation's going to have two distinct server rulesets when it eventually launches. Option one will be a standard PvE-focused environment with optional PvP and associated flagging mechanics. "The standard ruleset should be suitable for most types of players. You have a full compliment of resources and PvE tiers available in protected areas," explains the latest Repopulation dev diary.

If that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, Above & Beyond Technologies is also hosting an open PvP ruleset with corpse looting, friendly fire, and EVE-like security sector mechanics. Some of the details are still being ironed out, but you should definitely read the lengthy new dev diary that lays out the particulars for each rule set.

The Repopulation details transportation options

Betas, Game Mechanics, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation

How do you like to move it, move it? The Repopulation is offering a variety of transportation methods for traversing its vast world to fit most any style and circumstance. Players can always hoof it to their destination, either by walking or running indefinitely, or sprinting until their endurance is depleted. If that seems too slow, there will also be pets for mounts and customizable vehicles. An even quicker method will involve underground stations that will let players take a subway train to specific locations; even large enough player cities can develop a connection to this system.

If all that is still just too slow for your liking, there's the instant travel option that lets players teleport back to their faction's capital city once every 30 minutes. Some players might even opt for the death express: Players can bind themselves to different cloning facilities and respawn at one after a death.

Here's a list of The Repopulation's weapon abilities

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Lore, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation

The Repopulation elephant thing
Guess what, Repopulation fans? It's time for another update, that's what. Above & Beyond has posted a list of alpha weapon abilities on the game's website. The post notes that "some weapon lines are still under construction and missing abilities," but it's nonetheless an extensive info dump that gives those of us outside of alpha testing a quick look at the sci-fi sandbox's combat particulars.

The Repopulation's dev team has also released the sixth chapter of its Evening Star short story. You'll find both updates behind the links listed below.

The Repopulation discusses design goals after its second Kickstarter

Sci-Fi, Interviews, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation

The Rekickstareration.
Six days remain until the second Kickstarter for The Repopulation closes out, and it's already doubled its funding goal. That prompted an interview with Kickstarter Conversations regarding the game's design principles and its second successful funding run. The development team attributed the success to reasonable financial goals and to setting the bar low and expecting to exceed it rather than setting the bar high and struggling.

The interview also goes into more detail regarding the game's design goals and how progression will work. As stated before, the game is entirely skill-based, with older characters having a wider variety of skills rather than being inherently better. Grouping is meant to be painless and advantageous rather than mandatory so that there's no disincentive to grouping up with other people while taking on content. Take a look at the full interview for more details, and if it sounds like the sort of development you'd like to support, you still have six days to jump in and help fund the game.

The Repopulation passes $100K, eyes traveling vendors

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation

The Repopulation traveling vendor
Another day, another stretch goal accomplished by The Repopulation. This time, the sci-fi sandbox passed the $100,000 mark and ensured that cooperative structure placement will make it into the game.

Next up is the traveling vendors goal at $115,000. What's a traveling vendor? Well, it basically "allows players to mark themselves as a vendor at any time," Above & Beyond explains on its website. "While this flag is enabled, other players will be able to interact with them to browse and purchase goods which they have marked for sale without any player interaction necessary."

There's a lot more to traveling vendors, but you'll need to click through the links below for full details.

Another stretch goal hit for The Repopulation, another short story chapter posted

Betas, Sci-Fi, Lore, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation

Catering to the large portion of MMO players who see something large enough to accomodate their butt and immediately wish to ride it.
The second Kickstarter for The Repopulation is humming along at a decent clip at this point. It's already met its target goal, and now it's just a matter of smashing down stretch goals. The latest mark has funded the addition of calprate mounts to the game; they're the vaguely deer-goat-thing displayed in the header image, for the record. Except that one doesn't have a player-shaped bit of cargo on its back. Baby steps.

In addition to looking forward future stretch goals, the team is also posting chapters of a short story to the official website. Chapter 4 of "Evening Star" is available to read now, detailing more of the world and feel of The Repopulation for existing backers and potential future backers. Or just people in need of a science fiction story to read on a Friday afternoon -- they're welcome as well.

The Repopulation aiming to fill the MMO non-combat void

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, The Repopulation

The Repopulation
The Repopulation dev team took to Reddit yesterday to field a bunch of questions relating to the upcoming sci-fi title. While many of the queries came from people who are newly aware of the game, it still made for an interesting discussion if you like MMO sandboxes.

Above & Beyond was pretty open about the fact that it's modeling parts of The Repopulation after Star Wars: Galaxies, particularly the latter game's friendliness toward crafters and other non-combat types.

"If you aren't a combat person, you can make your living in trade skills. Advancing in trade skills is independent of combat and does not force you into a combat role. We have a complex trade skill system which allows for a high degree of customization by mixing and matching components. It also has a high degree of interdependency on others, which we feel is going to drive the economy," the team explained.

Also worth noting is the fact that The Repopulation won't "have caps to the number or mastery of skills, so you can invest in each skill line how you see fit."

The Repopulation begins lengthy lore series

Betas, Sci-Fi, Lore, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, The Repopulation

Lore junkies are getting nearly a week-long fix beginning today as The Repopulation starts its new lore series. Chapter one of the short story Evening Star, centered around the landing on Rhyldan, was posted today, and a new chapter will be added each day this week. If you are wondering why the story is broken up, it's because this is no snippet of story; Chapter 1: Green Lights alone comes in at over 4K words. So grab a chair, settle in, and meet Ralf Hound as he starts the adventures off.

As an added bonus for The Repopulation fans, Lead Developer J.C. Smith elaborated on a variety of topics in a recent interview, including siege system alerts, crafting mini-games, AI, and the ability to build underground. For more details, check out World Factory.

[Source: Above & Beyond Technologies press release]

The Repopulation knocks out another stretch goal

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation

The Repopulation
The Repopulation has met another Kickstarter stretch goal. Adversarial camps will now make it into the finished sci-fi sandbox title, and more importantly the way is clear for the next stretch goal: Points of Intrigue.

These points are an extension of the game's engagement system. The PvE versions of PoI will pop up randomly throughout the game world and they'll require anywhere from a few players to multiple groups. The PvP versions of PoI will involve capture points and Nation-based rewards. The ultimate goal of the entire system is "to provide an ever-changing list of opportunities which encourage players to work together under a common goal."

The Repopulation Greenlighted, meets first stretch goal

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation

The Repopulation's Rocharus mount
It's a pretty good week to be a fan of sci-fi indie sandbox The Repopulation. First off, the game is currently holding down the top stop in Massively's rotating game header. As if that weren't enough, Above & Beyond Technologies has also announced that it's reached the first stretch goal of its new Kickstarter campaign. This means that the Rocharus will be available at launch and will become the game's "first tamed mount."

The title also made quick work of its Greenlight campaign, though how and when The Repopulation will become available on Steam is still up in the air. Click through the links below for more details as well as a preview of the next stretch goal reward.

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