There’s a lot to be said, but we’ll try to keep it brief for now. Every moment we waste writing manuals about how to save the world against an intergalactic chicken invasion is a moment we don’t spend actually saving the world from an intergalactic chicken invasion!
Nothing of what follows is set in stone. Some things may change for the better (yay!) or for the worse (boo!). Chicken Invaders Universe is our magnum opus – a much more complex game than anything we’ve attempted before, and it’s largely uncharted territory. We intend to explore it fully together with you (or die trying!).
WHAT IS CHICKEN INVADERS UNIVERSE?
Chicken Invaders Universe is the latest and greatest installment in the Chicken Invaders saga. It’s not part of the regular sequentially numbered episodes that have been release thus far – think of it as more of a spin-off taking place in the same… well… universe. We may or may not return to our regular episode numbering after this.
Chicken Invaders Universe combines the frantic chicken-fighting action that you know and love from previous episodes with a meta-layer that expands the experience beyond anything you’ve encountered before. You’ll take on the role of a new recruit fresh out of Heroes Academy, joining the ranks of the United Hero Force (UHF) to fight against the fowl Henpire forces. Epic.
Your adventure will take place in a persistent galaxy comprised of approximately 100 constellations, 2000 star systems and 10000 planets. You’ll be able to explore the entire galaxy, warp-travelling from star system to star system, freeing planets from invading chicken forces. You’ll be able to see and interact with other players in real time, as well as other galaxy inhabitants (NPCs). You’ll be able to purchase, upgrade and customize your spaceship fleet to suit your playing style. You’ll be able to form squadrons with other players and explore the galaxy together. There’ll be RPG elements. Missions will be procedurally generated and will be of several different types (chicken invasion, food collection, supernova, boss rush, etc.). You’ll be able to pin your favourite missions and stitch them together into your own challenges (which other players can play).
WHEN IS IT GOING TO BE RELEASED?
Chicken Invaders Universe is coming. The official release date is “when it’s done”. In concrete terms, we’d like to have a bare-bones early access stage sometime in September. We’ll use this to observe that how our technology behaves under real circumstances, collect data about how the game is being played, identify and fix weak points, exploits, do proper balancing, etc. During this phase we’ll also be adding the bulk content of the game. We hope to have something “final” in December. This game will never really be finished, however. Even after the official release, we’ll continue to add content and make modification according to your feedback, ideas, and suggestions.
Additional content may include: new spaceship makes and models, new customizations (backgrounds, paintjobs), new weapons, new power-ups, new enemies, new missions, new unlockables, new music.
TELL ME MORE ABOUT THIS EARLY ACCESS STAGE.
Early access will be Windows-only. It’s going to be open and free for everyone (no form applications). Progress may need to reset several times during this stage as incompatible tweaks are made to the universe. Early access progress may or may not carry into the official game. In the eventuality that we can’t migrate your progress as-is, we’ll do our best to start you off with a sum of keys corresponding to your early-access career.
IS THERE MULTIPLAYER?
Yes and no. The game will be massively multiplayer but not in the sense of previous episodes. There’ll be no in-mission “split-screen”-style or co-operative multiplayer. But you will be sharing the same universe as other players, be flying the same missions, participating in the same daily and weekly challenges, and globally ranked against them.
IS IT ALWAYS-ONLINE?
The initial version will be, yes. This hugely simplifies the design and, given how limited our effort and time is, it’s sadly the only realistic option we have. Still, we will revisit the issue when the game is in a more stable state, and see how we can relax the always-online requirement.
IS THE GAME FREE?
The game will be free to play. There are two kinds of accounts: guest and member. By default, you’ll start off as a guest, but you’ll be able to upgrade to a member account by purchasing a “Chicken Hunter License”. The cost of the license will be determined later, but we expect it to be near the $5 mark.
As a guest, you’re welcome to play the game for as long as you like. We will not collect any information from you at all – not even your name. The game will automatically assign you a random identifier. Your progress will be saved in between sessions, but the random identifier is only present in your local installation – if you lose that, then your account is lost forever. You cannot link different guest installations together – each one is completely separate.
A Chicken Hunter License makes you an official member of the UHF and we’ll now need your e-mail to identify you. At the simplest level, membership allows you to customize your hero’s name and your spaceship(s) name in-game. With an e-mail we can also store a permanent record of your career, so you’ll be able to recover your progress even if your local game copy is lost. You’ll also be able to link various installations together (so, for example, you can play from your desktop and then continue your game on your smartphone).
On any platforms where there is no “anonymous guest” concept (for instance, Steam), the Chicken Hunter License will be included for free in the initial purchasing cost.
The game’s currency is “keys” (as encountered in previous Chicken Invaders episodes). You can earn keys during the normal course of gameplay, or (optionally) be also able to purchase them. We do not know the cost of keys at this stage; it will be decided after balancing is finished.
SO, WHAT NOW?
Watch this space for updates as we approach the early access stage. Feel free to ask, comment, or suggest anything you like and we’ll do our best to address it.