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Storm United MMO FPS To Support Linux With Interview & Exclusive Screen-Shot

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A small indie studio has created Storm United a First Person Shooter MMO that looks very, very promising.

It already looks promising to the point of remind me a little of Planetside 2 a massively popular MMOFPS for Windows, if you look at the sneak preview below it already looks pretty damn playable.

Linux does have a fair few FPS games now, but this game could easily fit right in.

Sneak preview
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The developers speak very highly of Linux as well which is really great to see.

What is interesting is a lot of weapons seem to be player-made in the game, through crafting:
QuoteIn Storm United everything from weapons, to gear, to vehicles has to be crafted, bought or traded. 
Be part of a clan producing components and equipment, build large production facilities and conquer areas rich in materials you need. 
Get your hands dirty on the battlefield and play with 4 classes a FPS crafted to provide sensations and new friendships.


I had a chance to ask the developer a few questions about the game for your enjoyment:
Q: First of all please introduce yourself and Storm United

QuoteMy name is David Hanson, I'm a 30 year old Belgian guy. I'm what people call a serial entrepreneur; My first company was a computer store when I was 18, since then I've grown and sold multiple companies until about two years ago where I finally could follow my dream by starting PixelBeam, the studio that works on Storm United.
I'm a huge FPS fan and have a lot of 'expertise' in it (my mom couldn't deny it) so it was quite obvious I would go that way.

Storm United is I believe the next natural evolution of FPS games, the first of its kind.
At first there where simple multiplayer fps games, Wolfenstein -> doom -> quake3 etc then counterstrike introduced the "buying guns" menu and a couple of years later games such as modern warfare, battlefield and co started to add some RPG elements; when you play you gain XP and when you level up you unlock stuff. Nowadays most FPS games work pretty much these ways with very few exceptions.
In Storm United we introduce a whole new dimension to the FPS genre, an actual persistent universe where clans thrive.

When you log in Storm United you'll land on what we call the clanmap, a sort of starcraft 2 styled map where clan members build and enhance the clan's infrastructures. It's all about acquiring technologies and producing them to assemble new weapons, vehicles and items usable in the FPS.
You get the tech through war, spies and research and you craft them with materials gathered on remote lands. The lands rich in materials are scarce so you'll first have to fight for its control and then mine the available resources.

Oh and speaking of clanmap, here's a picture we've never shown to the public so it's a GamingOnLinux exclusive first-look. The terrain on this picture is outdated now because we're working on something similar to the Starcraft 2 map editor (though in Storm United players can edit right in-game :D).
image

On it you can see the clan's mothership, a couple of player class A ships with some personal transport pods (they will fly automatically around showing everybody what building you are interacting with), two power stations, a mine and a rocket launch pad that allows your clan to shoot various payloads on orbit including; spy satellites, recon probes, military stuff, research material and more.  A series of players will be in control of the launch procedure of rockets, if they are not careful the rocket may explode so it's all about patience and taking the right decisions when problems occur. Building a rocket takes time and lot of teamwork so there's going to be some tension when it comes to not fuck it up. A real countdown will happen before blast off but at any time the guys in mission control might have to abort the launch for technical issues. If all the conditions are right and everyone did their job correctly rockets go on orbit safely. Each successful launch will further increase the clan's powers and will certainly be celebrated. I personally can't wait to see them take off!

Here is another look at the clan-base although this image below has been shared elsewhere:
image

Wars are played in the most popular FPS game modes, CTF, TDM, DM, DE, etc but also some old school stuff like the amazing freezetag. Of course we'll introduce our own game modes but I don't want to spoil the mystery around them just yet :D

Storm United will also innovate with cross platform interaction; we'll propose an iOS and Android client that gives you access to the entire game universe and features except for the FPS games. This means you'll have access to the clanmap and universe map, be able to trade, build, craft, sabotage rival clans, declare wars or arrange alliances all through your mobile wherever you go. In the evening when you go back home you'll enjoy your new weapons and meet your friends for the clan match you subscribed to.

In short with Storm United I want to create a social FPS, not just a FPS where you frag until you're tired of it. In Storm United you can play as much as you want, but you'll also have the opportunity to stop for a moment, socialize, grow your equipment, improve your looks, ranking and reputation.


Q: What engine is it developed with? How do you find that engine's performance in such a fast paced game like an FPS?

QuoteWe use Unity3D. I'm happy with what we achieved at this time but we need to be very careful with everything. Unlike Unreal or Source engine where everything is pre-tuned and well adapted to FPS games, making one with Unity means pretty much making everything yourself from scratch. This of course leaves a lot of space for un-optimized code and bad implementations. Fortunately we've been past most of the major technical difficulties and are now enjoying the full control over our project.


Q: Have you come across any issues running the game on Linux?

QuoteRight now we haven't. We've run the game on Ubuntu flawlessly with a NVIDIA card. We haven't made our deep benchmark tool yet, but the game was reaching the 60FPS cap just like it does on windows ^^ so that's a good sign. More tests will follow during our next optimization secession.


Q: It's stated it will be a free to play game, how do you plan to keep the game afloat?

QuoteMany people told us to sell the game upfront, that the level of quality could allow it, but I still want to run the game free to play. Truth is, paid games die old, and mutliplayer games that don't have enough players sux.
Sure there's a potential to make money fast but I want to grow the content of the game for the next 5 years so making it free helps convincing players to give it a shot *gigle* , even if its old.

We're still working on how people will buy stuff but overall we look for solutions to avoid the pay to win path.


Q: So it's very much a social game, you first land in a sort of neutral area you call the "clanmap", where players can do all of the social interaction? Will these areas be able to be attacked or is the only fighting done directly in the game-modes?

QuoteThis is still a point we're actually actively discussing about and there's a high probability it will happen in one form or an other. We are considering an other option where the clanbase is basically safe but colonies are not. Colonies could be represented in a similar way as clanbases and would have the ability to be customised as well but they are so remote they become vulnerable to rival clans. Those colonies could be the result of a won clan war and could produce materials and provide other advantages such as storage facilities to help travel further into space to ultimately gather even more rare materials. Its like the nasa's plan to explore mars; they first need a base on the moon.


Q: What platforms will it be downloadable from, is it going to be Steam only?

QuoteWe're still undecided on where it will be available, ultimately its all about keeping control over our game and providing convenient ways to get it for our players. This said steam is a safe bet for the PC/MC clients and for the companion app you'll find it on the Appstore and Playstore for sure.
Also we haven't spoken to much about it but we've been working a lot on the game to make it run in a webpage :D. You just can't beat the convenience of that, just imagine how easy it would be to gather around with friends on that webpage and play the game without the need to download and install the full client. Or just take 5 minutes to login your clanmap and build some stuff from a random computer.
It's going to be the exact same game with all the features and post process effects with as only difference the size of the textures for the sake of fast access.


Q: Will the browser version be based on Unity's web-player, as that doesn't support Linux?

QuoteYes it's Unity's web plugin and I know unfortunately it's unsupported on Linux :(
This said, they have to change their plugin soon because most browsers won't support external plugins in the near future (about 18 months from now according to google chrome team)
Unity is aware of the deadline and said they are looking into various options. So right now unfortunately I don't think they'll develop a Linux  webplayer but the next solution likely will support the platform.
I personally bet it'll be some kind of launcher ala origin but it could be something more crazy like webGL or HTML5. Either ways any of those particular implementations would support Linux imho.

This is actually quite interesting to know and might finally kill a plugin that doesn't support Linux!

Q: Do you have an estimated date of when the first public version will be available?

QuoteOverall we have one path where we release early and update often and a second one where we spend more time to reach a more furnished game experience.
The first option just became kind of scary after we introduced the game on greenlight. Players have really high expectations with Storm United and I fear to disappoint them if they don't get right from the beginning access to entire storm united experience.
I'm fortunate to have some options to grow the team so I'm currently reevaluating the situation and will take a decision soon.


Thank you to David for taking quite a bit of time out to talk to me about this project and best of luck with it, sure has my vote, does it have yours?
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The comments on this article are closed.
AoC 4 January 2014 at 5:09 pm UTC
As much as I would love an MMO like EverQuest (I know you kids and your Wow) or Guild Wars this looks... How should I put this? Uhhh /drool.
Xpander 4 January 2014 at 5:13 pm UTC
got me interesed about it..

hope they can pull it off. greenlight vote given. 
(ps hope this game doesnt have those typical mouse issues as some unity3d games on linux)
scaine 4 January 2014 at 7:46 pm UTC
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I still have an active annual subscription to Planetside 2 which dropped me nearly £70 back in February 2013. I haven't logged it to it since June. I want to, but it's Windows only, and... yeah, I haven't logged into it since June. So an alternative like Storm Front - ideal. It doesn't look like it has the same depth, which is to be expected given the resources Sony have, but I'm still up for a Resistance 2 type of game and this is looking superb.

Fingers crossed!
Orkultus 4 January 2014 at 8:13 pm UTC
Yeah i cant wait to play this right here...i have wanted Planetside 2 to come to Linux so bad (which will most likely never happen), but this right here looks like it will satisfy that.
manny 5 January 2014 at 3:11 am UTC
has my vote too , update often is the way to go really (agile), keeps things interesting and people can try and give feedback sooner. Just don't try to do too much with the resources you currently have and you'll do good.
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