Firefly Online (FFO) is in the works and will be a strategic online role playing game (RPG) based on the well loved TV show Firefly. Joss Whedon’s short lived cult classic television series has had fans crying for a virtual adaptation since its cancellation over 10 years ago. FFO is being independently developed to fill that void, and is currently being ambitiously designed for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android.
A deal has already been worked with Steam and FFO will have its own Steam Community. Talk of other platforms is on the table but nothing has been set in stone. Microsofts ID@Box would probably be the easiest to transition to as long as they can make the game controller based. FFO is being developed using Unity®Pro making it easier to transition to other platforms.
FFO is bringing the entire ‘Verse to you in real-time 3D. The characters, the environments, and the ships are all 3D models, rendered as you play. The flying is even three dimensional allowing you to go in any direction. All of the materials released so far shows actual game play, there have been no specially rendered scenes created for marketing purposes. Top A list developers should take note of this. Fancy cut scenes are great at boosting initial sales, but they plant false expectations and can hurt you in the long term.
Players will be the ship’s captain, which can be male or female. The plan of over 200 terra-formed worlds should leave no shortage captainy things that the players will have to do around the Verse. The first item on your agenda will be to make your captain and your first mate via the character creation system. Then you will take your starter ship out and get you a crew.
Where you go from there will be your choice. FFO will provide a peck of systems for players to flesh out their experience. As the ship’s captain you can, customize your ship inside and out, take jobs, and assign duties to crew all to your liking. For those who aim to misbehave you will have plenty of opportunity for both in space and planet-side. You will be able to play your game cross-platform, so that no matter where you go, well, there you are. The cross platform capabilities will be the same no matter what operating system you are running it on. Various social features will allow you to interact with others in the Verse as well.
If a fine business man such as yourself is interested in becoming a member of the solar frontier, you can access the Cortex for free. For now, this is just a way to preregister you account and to get your captains handle registered. In game the Cortex is the interplanetary communications network and will be your sources of information and communication. The Cortex is where you will go for finding trade and jobs.
Technically FFO will be a single player game with social features. Through the Cortex other players can be sent gifts or hailed for aid if your ship breaks down. You can also create your own jobs and publish them to the Cortex for others to play. More features are set to be added, but the complete social options list has not been finalized yet.
In FFO jobs are the same as quests in normal RPGs. They earn you experience which give you the opportunity to level your character, ship, and abilities. They are also your source of income. That you will need to pay your crew, keep your ship in repair, and keep food on the table. There are Story jobs and side jobs in the game. Side jobs let you explore more but also can be more risky. Other jobs can be offered by the before mentioned online community. Just remember when you create your own you have to pay whoever completes it.
The Verse can be a violent place, so expect combat to be an option when you get into a mess of trouble. The combat is a turn based strategic affair having you moving your crew about not cover and optimal firing and ability positions. The take will include experience and loot. Loot can be money or items. Items can be traded or even used to create your own goods to sell.
There are also ways to talk or plan your way out of situations. For those interested you can have a register companion on board to bring a respectful fancifulness to your crew of brigands. So plan your crew as you pick them up for what play style that you are going to go for.
A crafting system is being designed that offers other means of self sustenance. In crafting you can create things to help you on missions and equip your crew with. If you are of the entrepreneurial sort you can create an abundance of items and use them for trade. Crafting skills will have a range from gunsmith to cook so you should be able to find something that fits your fancy.
You will have to maintain your crew’s happiness. A happy crew is a loyal crew. Your decisions have to be made carefully as one decision may make one crew member shiny, and make another not so much. Disloyal crew members can spell trouble if you keep them around too long.
You will not have to worry about fuel for your ship, but you will have to have the resources to maintain it. The more you fly the more parts can potentially break down. The engine and the reactor are your primary concern because without those you are on the drift. Maybe someone will pass you by but maybe not. You can always try the Cortex to rustle up some help when you are in peril.
Customizing your ship is not limited to its appearance. Upgrades for your ship allow you to increase cargo, passenger, and crew space. Engines can be upgraded to be faster and decrease breakdowns so you can be a better leaf on the wind. There is even talk of buying real world items and getting a digital version in the game. Exact details have not been released on this aspect as of yet. Eventually you will level up enough that you will need a whole new ship. Expect to shell out a lot of platinum to make this happen.
Looking at the screenshots and looking at what all you have available to do, this game is obviously going for substance over style. The original crew from the TV show has already got some voice acting bits out of the way. The crew of the serenity will not be playable characters but they will have some cameos in the game and maybe a mission or two for you. For fans of the series this game could be half of what they are proposing and they would still buy it. With everything being included this game has the potential to anyone who is into science fiction or strategy. A release date has not been announced yet, but if you like what you have read so far then head over to keepflying.com and check out the full range of details.