With ten days left in their Kickstarter Campaign, Atom Universe has already reached beyond its original goal. However, we will not fully know if the project is funded until the Kickstarter ends. For now, they have updated their project by releasing their latest demo to the public.
In Atom Universe Demo #6, Atom Republic gives us a taste of a feature Home Bodies have been clamoring for. That feature is cars that people can drive in space with the capability to have another avatar in the passenger seat. The free roaming vehicles resemble a 57 Chevy Bel-Aire mounted to a futuristic, hovercraft style chassis. You can enter a car by holding down the left mouse button and targeting it. When it highlights in red, press enter and your avatar will be in he driver’s seat. To driving around is done using the arrow keys. Up drives forward, down operates the brake and puts it in reverse and left and right steers the car. Driving up to another avatar, and hold down the left mouse button. When they highlight in red, press enter to let them get in the passenger seat. If they happen to annoy you, you can conveniently kick them out by pressing backspace. Because of its floaty, hovercraft-like nature, driving around can take a little getting use to. However, the game is still in its pre-beta phase and Atom Republic is still working on the mechanics. Regardless, it was a blast being able to try out this proof of concept.
After I dropped off my passenger, I got out of the driver’s seat of my 57 Chevy Hovercraft to get behind the wheel of a Dune Buggy in the Motor Stunts ride. Motor Stunts reminds me of an old arcade game that was also released on the Sega Genesis called Hard Drivin. In that game, you drove a Ferrari and there was a 360 Degree loop in the middle of the road, which was always difficult to get over. However, in Motor Stunts, through the sheer power of modern day computing and Unreal Engine 4, getting up and around these loops is a much easier task (Side Note: Thank God for modern day frame rates and 3D Accelerators :-)). Driving though the section was fun and it certainly has a good sense of gravity in it’s physics. As I was speeding through loops and jumping off of ramps, I also noticed that there were either points or multipliers on the track. Currently, they do not do anything yet but it looks like they are obviously setting it up for a scoring system. I also enjoyed driving through the giant Bowling Pins I found at the end of the track. They actually reminded me of a scene in the first episode of that new TV Show, The Last Man On Earth. One thing I think this game needs is a button or a way to reset your Dune Buggy to the center of the track for situations when your ride flips upside down and lands on its roof. Otherwise, this mini-game was certainly adrenaline pumping. I just can’t wait to be playing it on an actual control pad :-).
The future is looking bright as far as Social Gaming Networks are concerned. As long as Atom Republic continues on this path, I can see this starting at a humble theme park and growing into something new and amazing. Only time will tell. I’m just glad that they keep releasing these demos to share their journey and struggle with us.
Finally, for all of reading this with Gaming PCs, feel free to download their demo at http://atomuniverse.net/AU/index.php?/topic/368-kickstarter-demo-6/.