Game development is a complex process that involves a variety of different teams working together in an effort to create an engaging and immersive experience for the players. The core of any title is its code base and the lead engineer of Dark Frontiers has been at the helm of this process, guiding the development of the game from concept to launch. In this interview, we sit down with the lead engineer of DF to discuss the production process, the challenges in creating a blockchain MMORPG experience, and what players can expect from the game. From exciting boss battles to hidden world mechanics, and the choices made. Let’s take a look behind-the-scenes at the development of Dark Frontiers.
Q. Can you talk about some of the challenges you faced while creating the game?
Maintaining a good performance with relevant graphics within Unity is hard by default. Requires a lot of custom solutions. Thankfully we have some very experienced developers within our team.
Multiplayer implementation is the hardest part of building any MMO game. Hence why we started from the very beginning with the online feature implementation. Not leaving it for later. Took a lot of development time to get most things right.
Q. How do you plan to incorporate blockchain technology into the game, and what benefits does it bring to the players?
Most player items are NFTs. Resources are not. DFCC (game currency), can be moved from the game to the blockchain back and forth.
NFT crafting won’t be as simple as purchasing NFT on the website using coins. To craft a fully usable NFT in the game you will need to collect various resources from within the game. Higher-tier NFTs will require you to defeat bosses and complete quests too. It won’t be that easy to get one.
The benefit of NFTs is that you own the assets and will be able to sell them if you will want to make some profit from the effort that went into skilling, questing/exploration, PvE, and PvP activities.
Q. How do you see the game evolving over time, with updates and new content?
We plan to have constant updates in small batches fixing bugs and minor things and adding quality-of-life features. Of course, we will also have larger updates that take a lot more time to develop but also bring more interesting content: world expansions, new characters, NFTs, items, bosses, new mechanics, events, and more as is the usual course with MMORPG games post-production cycle.
Q. What are some of the things you are most excited for players to discover and experience in the game?
I’m very excited about the bosses in the game that are being designed to be challenging and unique, providing a test of skills and strategies for even the most experienced players. The player versus player (PvP) aspect is also something that will be exciting for players to experience, allowing them to test their skills against each other in intense and competitive battles.
Furthermore, the game also has hidden mechanics and quests that will challenge players to think outside the box and use their problem-solving skills to uncover the secrets of the game world, adding an extra layer of depth and complexity to the game making it even more engaging and rewarding to explore.
The survival aspect is another fun feature that we are planning to add eventually. Overall, players will have a lot to discover and experience in the game, with a variety of elements to keep them engaged and challenged.
Q. Why did you choose Unity as the engine to build the game?
The iteration times can make the game much faster and we have some very, very experienced Unity developers within our team.
Q. What are some of the advantages of developing in Unity for an MMORPG game, especially for one that is built on blockchain technology?
No specific advantages, besides fast iteration times and being able to build the game fast. Which the crypto market wants. Most MMORPGs usually take 5 to 7 years to build and that’s not good for the NFT and token value as well as keeping a sustained community interest.
Q. How do you balance the needs of the players with the realities of running and operating a game on the blockchain?
Our focus has always been gameplay first, and blockchain second. Hence, why we have consistently aimed first at creating a fun and long-term sustainable gameplay experience that mirrors the best of what the standard MMORPG games on the market have to offer. With some creative and fun twists of the online multiplayer genre that were left on the sidelines in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the MMORPG genre (or one branch of it) that we know today developed and gained worldwide recognition.
In addition, we wanted to utilize blockchain technology with what it has to offer players opportunities to shape game development (DAO initiatives), ownership of digital goods (NFTs), and tokens.
One of our main goals with Dark Frontiers has always been aiming at creating a flagship title that merges the gap between traditional and emerging crypto-gaming audiences. Naturally developing quality MMORPG games takes time and we’re very happy with the progress we have managed to achieve thus far.
Q. Any additional things you want to say?
We appreciate the community and their support. The bear market is a perfect time for development, keeping an eye out on emerging tech, and working on making features of mainstream MMORPG games better, and more unique.