Hello friends, this is Rudolf Kremers from team Eufloria, and director of micro indie studio Omni Systems Limited. (Purveyors of exotic indie media from various locales and alchemically tailored to the needs of the discerning game player). Eufloria is our wondrous space exploration and conquest game, arriving on PSN very soon. The game is a real labour of love, and we worked hard to make it something special.
Our core team is actually just two people: Alex May (Programming) and myself (Design), with music and audio by Brian Grainger, aka Milieu, and with additional help from some lovely people: Mike Ttoouli, Alex Ashby and Dugan Jackson, who are helping us to put the finishing touches on the game.
It is an indie effort through and through, and we don’t even have a central office. Nonetheless we are perfectionists and are really trying to get some serious quality into the game.
Dyson to Eufloria
Eufloria has a very interesting history. For one thing it used to be called Dyson, which led to many jokes and enquiries about vacuum cleaners, but the name actually comes from one of the game’s inspirations, which is the work of Freeman Dyson, a theoretical physicist. (More on that later, before you get bored)…
Anyway, Eufloria first saw life as a freeware entry into the TIGSource Procedural Game Competition, after which an expanded version became an IGF 2009 finalist, competing among other things for the festival’s grand prize and the Direct2Drive innovation award. Since then, the game has undergone extensive development which led to a new incarnation as “Eufloria”, which saw a successful commercial release on various PC platforms, including Valve’s Steam network.
Eufloria PSN isn’t really like other games. It has strategic gameplay, but no technology trees or complicated interface. It allows for exploration and expansion without being punished for small mistakes. It offers challenges that are fun, but in a style that can be described as “ambient gameplay”. There is conquest but there are no space marines in sight at all. Instead, all of Eufloria’s gameplay is based on growing your strategic and colonising life forms on asteroids that you conquer throughout the game. That is right: you are basically playing a game of intergalactic guerrilla gardening. Oh, and you engage in massive battles against enemy plant life.
We always wanted to do more with the game though, and when we got chance to do a PSN version we jumped to the opportunity. We have made sure that it is full of new content and features. As a result it is not a straight port, but a re-boot of the game with new mechanics, better visuals, rebalanced pacing and levels, and loads of other improvements across the board, much of which is exclusive to the PSN version. It is Eufloria++ really :-)
So, Freeman Dyson. Well, he came up with concepts so cool and so gamey that I always thought they needed to be presented in game form. He thought up Dyson Trees, which are planted on asteroids and mine its resources to terraform it for human needs. He also thought up the “Astro chicken” and the Dyson Sphere. Have a look and you will see that there are about a hundred more games that can be themed on his ideas. Anyway, that is one for our next PSN title I think. :-)