Nathaniel the lead game developer for Earth2.io hopped in today sharing some updates on the development.
Key take-aways include:-
As E2 works on Phase 2/3 it is expanding its team. Work on Phase-3 already has started
Firm date on Phase-2 including EPL & Essence isn't available and depends on the 'massive opportunity' Shane is working on (referring to Shane's tweet about Essence)
New biomes are being worked upon
The game engine (which is built on top of Unity) optimization is on-going and would look 'much better' than what we saw in the latest terrain video
Re-confirming that underwater buildings could be a thing
Phase-3 terrain could be based on 'Aster Gdem 3'
Players/ objects would be inspired by 'Dual Universe' where many players can be together in 1 place
Settlements in-game could be seen in Phase-2 ! (that's some good news)
Timelines around phase-2 a question still - read E2.News take on this at the end of this article
Below is the transcript of the chat
Question: Hope you and the team are good
Nathaniel: Yes we're fine, working hard on phase 2/3 and expanding the team
Q: Phase 2 still due to launch before july?(edited)
N: Shane explained that one in his tweet (referring to - https://twitter.com/theshaneisaac/status/1383520190135095300)
Q: how much longer of a timeframe are we looking at before we hear more about Essence/EPL/Phase 2 - any idea?
N: I don't know exactly, depends on the massive opportunity Shane is working on.
Q: Any sort of anything u can give as too what ur working on ?
N: I'm working on Phase 3
Q: Any idea when can we expect new biomes demo ?
N: Not yet, but we're working on it, what we showed was just a prototype.
Q: But it was real time rendered? You have the engine finished yet?
N: Yes, but it still needs to be optimized more and will look much better, as this was just made by me.
Q: Do you think we are going to be' able to build underwater? And also dig tunnel
N: Yes we would like to have building underwater
Q: Will there be a brand new engine built by someone else then? Or improvements to the existing one?
N: We're building on top of Unity, it's one of the fastest engines to code in. Unity is making great progress with the C# Burst compiler which gives amazing performance on the CPU
Q:How often do you look at the actual game website ?
N: I check it a few times a week also the stats.
Updates on sources for Terrain & Mineral Sites
Q: What will happens with location like Niagara falls that look broken with the 3D map of Mapbox ?
N: For Phase 3, I downloaded the Aster GDEM 3 of the entire world, will be based on that.
E2.News comment: https://earthdata.nasa.gov/learn/articles/new-aster-gdem
Q: It's (Aster) a big elevation map from the looks of it
N: Yes it's the entire world in 30m resolution (30m per pixel)
E2.News comment: This seems like terrain would vary in units of 3x3 (30mx30m)
Q: So Mount Everest, Uluru all natural creations will be identical?
N: No that's just the heightmap, we'll have many biomes like Earth 1
Q: Have you decided what data source you'll use to identify mineral sites?
N: Not entirely, but MapBox has info on that we might use that
On the E2 multiverse design and scalability
Q: There's been speculation around server sizes, world instances, how many players, objects etc can fit in any given area. Are you able to provide info there?
N: We'd love to have it similar to Dual Universe where many players can be together in 1 place
Q: As in one multiverse or individual servers?
N: One multiverse
Q: How do you anticipate servers handling millions of people interacting with one another at one time when current servers can't handle a few hundred thousand mouse-clicks?
N: That will be done from scratch by the most skilled devs in the world.
Q: Are we building first settlements using the web in P2 or in-game in P3?
As much as this was an insightful chat with Nathaniel, The E2 community was seen seeking some answers on timelines which Nathaniel couldn't answer (referring to Shane's tweets). The gen-chat conversation that followed expressed disappointment on lack of updates pertaining to timelines.
E2.News take - While we want the dev team to get the 'massive opportunity' right, it will help if there is an update regarding timelines or even a broader roadmap - since it has almost been 4 weeks since we delayed P2 and with limited updates following that.
Looking at this objectively, while we remain one of the biggest supporters of the game - the fact is that E2 has this unenviable challenge to get the development going both fast and accurate. Accurate - because they'll get only one shot at this (essence/blockchain). Fast - because the space in which earth2.io finds itself, there is something new happening every 3 months and there are bigger names in the gaming industry who aggressively pursuing their own metaverses (Epic Games/Sony/Nvidia). We want earth2.io to WIN and WIN BIG !