We’ve been following the development of Welcome To The Future for quite some time, and while we wait for the game’s release to play, or when they start alpha testing with their demo, we went ahead and had a chat with Marc Fabricius, the founder of Moon Men Games, to ask a few questions about the game.
The focus of the game seems to revolve around making deliveries, although from the looks of it, you can have weapons attached to your space ship. The question here is, will there be missions in which weapons are used aside from self-defence?
Yes, being a delivery person in the year 2500 is not a walk in the park! You’ll face many dangers like aliens, evil sentient robots, cyborgs mobsters, space pirates and corrupt space police. So you wanna stock up on cool weapons to make sure you can get your delivery to the destination safely.
There will be missions where you have to use your weapons to defend others, but not “go kill this person for a reward” type of missions. That said you can be on the wrong side of the law if that’s your play style, however we try to keep the game from being violent.
Regarding the factions that will be in the game, will you start off being neutral with them, or will there be ones that will be hostile right from the get-go? Will you be able to have good relations with all factions, or will having good relations with one affect another negatively?
You start the game off by creating your (human) character and selecting your play style. There’s Neutral, Helper and Mercenary, that decides your starting relationships with each faction, and it decides which kind of missions you get in the beginning.
For example if you pick Helper, you’ll get missions that affect your karma and your relationships with those factions positively. However it’ll also affect your relationship with rival factions negatively, though how much will depend on each mission.
How big is the world your creating exactly? Are we talking one or two solar systems? A galaxy? or multiple galaxies?
For now we’re talking the whole of our own solar system, we have debated whether or not to include 1 or 2 more, but we wanna focus on filling our solar system with unique locations and fun things to do. We also feel our own solar system haven’t gotten as much love as it deserves in video games in general, it has so many awesome locations and we hope to show and teach people about it.
It’s mentioned on the your website that players will be able to “explore sections on all the planets and major moons in the solar system”. Can a whole planet be explored? And aside from checking out its cities and stations that hold most activities on a planet, is there anything to do or expect in the rest of the planet, like harvesting resources for example, or would it be just a beautiful landscape to look at?
To be honest that section of the website is a little outdated haha, thanks for the heads up.
We recently switched from a level system, where each planet had its own levels and space was its own level, to 1 seamless open world and all planets and moons can be explored fully and with no loading screens whatsoever. We did this because we realized we couldn’t be building a game that suited this gen, when next gen is around the corner. And also, we want to realize the “sci-fi dream” of flying through an atmosphere from space and land on an alien planet or moon.
Cities and outposts are a big part of planets and moons, but there’s also other unique locations like volcanos, ice plumes, lava pits, methane lakes and more. You can find valuables needed for deliveries at these spots, however mining is not in the plans atm.
Is there a story that we should expect? Or is the whole game about finishing various types of deliveries?
There’s a main story, as well as side stories, though we’re yet to reveal anything about that. The main focus of the game is growing and expanding your delivery company, through procedural missions, though we’re also not quite ready to reveal details on that just yet.
Is there other types of missions that we can expect aside from finishing up a delivery?
Yes, there’s 3 types of missions. Delivery, Help and Mercenary. Each of these affect karma, like touched upon before. Delivery focuses on you gathering one or more items, and delivering them to the destination, and making sure they arrive intact – the more damage it has taken, the less the reward will be, same goes with how time it takes you – these missions affect your karma slightly in the positive or negative.
Help focuses on kind actions like defending someone in need, helping someone with issues, etc. Mercenary focuses on illegal actions like destroying a rival factions space station or ships, stealing, etc.
In one of your videos, you were showcasing how a city would look like, and in it you were controlling a hover-car. So when you’re in a city, you traverse with a car? Do you have one by default? Would you rent or buy one? Will there be different types of cars, and can you customize them? Does this mean that you can’t fly your ship within the city?
The first thing you’ll buy after deciding to make a delivery company and selling your apartment and all your belongings, is a delivery hover truck. You can customize it like you can with a ship, so there’s different hover car companies you can select from and modules within that company, like engines, exhaust, etc. And that’s right, you cannot fly a ship inside a city.
I couldn’t find much about the game’s progression system, so can you provide more details about it?
The progression system focuses on your company, crew, reputation, and your relationships with factions and contacts, as well as your karma. After each mission, depending on the grade you’ll get, you will get rewards, first a money reward and sometimes faction specific items. Your relationship with a faction can also unlock buyable items such as specific ships or weapons, etc.
It seems like you control a freighter spaceship, one that would hold a smaller spaceship. Can you expand on what can be done with both of these types of ships, and their intended purpose?
Sure, the freighter spaceship we call it the “Mothership”, it’s the base of all operations for you, the hub of your company so to speak. You can control all company related stuff from here, such as crew, branding, mission handling, contacts and relationships, etc.
You can also use it to fly you to a location, if you rather want to deal other things such as company management or Mothership maintanance. However you need to stock up on warp fuel, which is not free – however you can buy an upgrade to your Mothership that can generate warp fuel slowly when not warping.
The smaller ship is meant to be used for approaching anything like space stations, cities, or any other locations like that. It’s also made to be used in combat, while the Mothership does have turrets you can install, it’s much more effective to take on enemies in the smaller ship. The Mothership is also meant more for long distance travel, while the smaller ship can warp, it’s not nearly as fast or effecient as the Mothership.
What does the end-game look like? Having multiple maxed out faction reputation? Finishing up on the story (if there is one)? Having multiple fright ships and being the biggest company in the galaxy?
You pretty much said it, maxing out your relationships with ally factions, maxing out your karma depending on your play style (negative or positive), buying tons of great ships and weapons from all the companies, having a huge crew and automatized deliveries generating revenue, ranking number one company in the solar system, finished the story and side stories as well as having collected all collectibles.
Do you control only one freighter spaceship, or can you have multiple? Will you be able to manage their travel remotely? (Example: Putting it on autopilot and tell it to go to a specific location)
You can only have 1 main Mothership, but you can own multiple and select which you want to be your main. Same goes for ships, cars, weapons and companion bots. And to your second question, yes and no. You can call your Mothership to your location, but you can remotely tell it to go to a specific place.
However you can buy delivery outpost stations, that you can place where you want, that can automatize deliveries to specific locations. They can be upgraded to delivery specific stuff, be more effecient, have a better defense, etc. You can also put more or less crew at a delivery station, the more there is, the faster and better the deliveries will be executed.
Will there be survival mechanics / systems in the game, if so, to what extent?
Yes and no, like you wanna keep an eye on the temperature, if you get too close to the sun or are in a very cold place like shadowed areas far away from the sun you can take damage, how much depends on your shield and health stats. There’s also weather systems in space and on planets such as fire, ice and sand storms, acid rain, ice plumes and volcanos like mentioned earlier, as well as lightning nebula fields, asteroid fields with mines placed by space pirates lurking in the shadows, etc. However there’s not survival mechanics in the sense you have to keep hydrated and eat food, and stuff like that.
We’ve watched a very old video, so I’m reluctant to ask this but, there’ll be different types of apartments that you’ll be able to buy/rent in the game? If that’s still in the game, can you expand on where and how you’ll be able to buy one, what types are there, and what can you do in them? What’s their purpose?
Haha those videos are indeed very old, but all those assets are still in the game. You can buy an apartment in a city and or on a space station, you can have up to 3 at a time. These apartments doesn’t have much functionality that the Mothership doesn’t, however it can be an investment for the player as everything you buy in the game can go up or down in price, depending on how the company tied to what you bought are doing.
You can always keep an eye on company rankings, as well as your own company’s ranking. They can also act as a role-playing aspect of the game for the player.
Just how big is the game in terms of its diverse set of systems? Should fans be worried about you have a feature-creep towards the game? Because it seems to tap into a lot of different systems, which makes me think “This is GTA in space”, but about delivering packages rather than steeling cars.
The game has always been very ambitious, i wouldn’t say we’re feature creeping but it may look like it from the outside, because the game is so ambitious, especially for an indie game.
Welcome To The Future is very much our love letter to sci-fi, and we wanna realize a lot of the sci-fi dreams many sci-fi nerds, like myself, have.
It seems like the engine that you initially started with to develop the game is the Cry Engine 3. Why did you switch to Unreal Engine 4?
I first started doing graphics mods for GTA IV actually, which was what got me into game development. CryEngine 3 was then free and Unreal Engine 4 wasn’t, so i downloaded it and started messing around with the visuals, cause that was what i was into. However as i started to get more interested in doing gameplay, i realized that aspect of CryEngine 3 was pretty difficult to get started with, i struggled to learn C++ and get game mechanics going.
Then Unreal Engine 4 became free and i started looking into that as an option for the game, they have something called “Blueprints” which is a visual scripting tool you can use to basically code your game mechanics like you would in C++, but much more friendly towards artists, which is what i would’ve called myself back then.
I then later realized it also had a lot of other benefits such as a much bigger community, so if i was stuck, i could just do a google search and there would usually be an answer. It also had a lot more useful tools, for such things as animations, UI, particles, etc.
I have never regretted switching, nothing against CryEngine, and they’ve come a long way since then, but i would say the support you can get as a UE4 developer is greater and the engine is amazing.
For aspiring developers out there, who look at your game and get excited to make their own take on it, any advice, tips or tricks you can provide them to help them along their journey?
That’s a great question. I would probably say don’t let others tell you what you can and cannot do, and allow yourself to dream big. That said try to also be realistic, however don’t let it get in your way of your creativity. If you wanna make a larger scale 3d game, i can only recommend Unreal Engine 4, I’ve tried Cryengine and Unity, both are great engines, but in my opinion, UE4 aids you much more in your development, especially in the long run. The first thing i did when i knew i wanted to make a game, was writing a simple game design document and then get started learning 3d modeling in Blender, then go from there.
Do realize if you wanna make a larger scale game, you need to prepare for it to take a lot of time, especially if you’re new to game development. I would advise to maybe make some smaller projects alongside or before doing the larger project. Good luck!
That’s all the questions I have for now. Is there anything else that you’d like to share, a piece of info that fans of your game should look forward to within a few months or so?
First of all, thanks for the great questions and the opportunity! And yes, do look forward to big updates very soon, hopefully a few before the end of the year. Keep tuned to our social media or sign up to our newsletter on our website:
That’s the end of the interview! Thanks back to the developer for providing their time to answer our questions. If you had a question that wasn’t asked in this interview, head on over to the game’s Discord server to ask the developers about it, or send them a tweet over at their Twitter profile.