Introduction

Hey Reddit! I'm Sean Egan, lead developer for the small indie game studio "Lurid Spectre Games". For the last seven years, we've been creating the First-Person Voxel Action-RPG "Lost Existence" in Java. We launched the game on Steam in Early Access on November 21st.

You can view the store page, trailers, and more information about the game here:

STORE/TRAILERS/INFO


What is Lost Existence?

Lost Existence is a game about exploring an ancient planet full of ruins and secrets, fighting for survival, and forging your own unique character class. It also features incredibly smooth multiplayer, optional pvp teams, and support for player-made dungeons.

Lost Existence is run in its own original engine based in Java and supported by LWJGL. All code and engines are new, it is not a mod.


About Us

I've been working alongside Scott Rogers, who made all of the graphical assets, and Sam Gossner, who created all of the sound. I also have to thank our dozen or so alpha testers, we couldn't have done it without them.

My work consists of all of the game design and coding, as well as creating the background systems to support the content. For the entire duration of development, and even up to this day, I've been working full time refining the engine and fixing bugs; it's an endless job.

PROOF


Links

Social media: Discord, Subreddit, Twitter

Other Links: Homepage, Steam, Keymailer


Ask me anything about "Lost Existence" gameplay, development cycle, engine, inspiration, etc!

Edit3: Signing off for now. I'll be revisiting any further questions if they come up within the next few days.

Comments: 667 • Responses: 75  • Date: 

Naughty_Kobold731 karma

So what exactly distinguishes this from the literally hundreds of other minecraft clones that exist?

blainicus414 karma

There are numerous features distinguishing Lost Existence from other voxel games!

  1. Deep character customization and RPG experience with multi-classing.
  2. No emphasis on the survival genre, instead shifting to RPG gameplay.
  3. The ability to have fantasy siege battles, or build your own dungeons and populate them with monsters.
  4. Rather than always having to build block-by-block, you can utilize our massively useful building tools like Cuboid, Room, Sphere, etc, to build thousands of block at once.
  5. You can mod your game using human-readable files, or enjoy up to 5 challenge modes at once.
  6. No inventory clutter or crafting.
  7. Significantly better performance than most Early Access titles.

All of this and much more too!

Thanks for the question!

drowninginthedarknes293 karma

The first word that appears in your trailer is survive...

blainicus211 karma

Fair point! Bad choice of wording to be honest!

QuiteAffable92 karma

It's also prominent in your description in this thread:

Lost Existence is a game about exploring an ancient planet full of ruins and secrets, fighting for survival [emphasis added], and forging your own unique character class. It also features incredibly smooth multiplayer, optional pvp teams, and support for player-made dungeons.

  • Exploration
  • Survival
  • RPG

blainicus90 karma

Yea, you're right. I hadn't thought about the baggage the word carries, I meant it a bit more metaphorically.

QuiteAffable80 karma

I don't mean to be negative. It's really great that you've got your game launched on Steam. Congratulations!

blainicus51 karma

Thank you!

Spank8624 karma

I mean, a game where you dont have to survive would be a little odd.

Exploration Die Stay dead.

blainicus5 karma

I laughed hard.

space0watch54 karma

Sounds cool as an rpg but is literally nothing like Minecraft no offence. I'm still interested in checking it out though.

blainicus23 karma

Thanks! We borrowed elements from many games, it's not really meant to be a Minecraft 2 :)

WazWaz63 karma

So why claim it's a "spiritual successor"? Other than perhaps because you want to get sued by Microsoft...

blainicus46 karma

Simply because the world structure is nearly the same. You can still knock down trees and build a dirt hut. Things of that nature. We wanted to take the terrain design of Minecraft, but expand upon the gameplay in a different direction.

The_Ironhand39 karma

But you said no crafting earlier? So how do you build buildings?

I have no dog in this fight, I just want to give you practice dealing with customers now that you're interacting as a developer lololol

blainicus19 karma

Buildings can be made using the "Build" spell in survival mode to spend universal currency called "Build gems", which make anything. Or, you can build by flying around survival mode placing blocks, or using the Build Tools.

Kalel231924 karma

survival

There's that word again.

Seriously, though wishing you the best of luck.

blainicus6 karma

Appreciate it!

The_Ironhand23 karma

Nor what I expected, might be a little to simple for me personally though. Good luck with it. Youre going to get a lot of criticism - good and bad.

Take all feedback but dont change your vision for whiners. There's gonna be a lot. Just realize the haters are there for your game too, ironically enough lol.

blainicus12 karma

You might be surprised man! Even during private alpha we've improved the game a lot from deriving useful improvements from constructive criticism.

AdminInDisguise11 karma

When any developer says “gems” this is all I can think of now.

Free Mobile version: 1 build gem $.99 8 build gems $4.99 20 build gems $9.99 100 build gems $19.99 500 build gems $49.99 5000 build gems + 1 week of premium $99.99

blainicus17 karma

Nothing like that, we have no microtransactions or DLC. It's just an in-game currency set.

pnt51013 karma

You don’t really know what spiritual successor means. It means that the game could be a sequel, but it isn’t, often due to rights issues. Like how Bioshock follows System Shock 2 or Xenosaga followed Xenogears.

blainicus7 karma

I understand. I'll try to think of something better to call it in the future!

fireshaper3 karma

With all the great character models for the monsters, why did you decide to keep the player characters Steve-like with boxy arms and such?

blainicus8 karma

Two main reasons. The biggest one is nostalgia. You can mod your game to use your Minecraft skins. Secondly, it's much much easier for me to animate that, I have to do the animations with code. Lost Existence doesn't have a model-rigging engine with bones and mesh to fall back on.

JavierLoustaunau4 karma

Is survival an option? I always mod survival (hunger, thirst, etc) into pretty much any RPG I play.

blainicus12 karma

We haven't done that yet, but we might add that as a bonus mode if enough people ask for it. We're going to be monitoring community feedback very closely and adding content that's in demand.

It's a bit more like something Diablo right now, the resource struggle is mostly about dying less and having to recover the distance you made. (You don't lose anything on death, you just respawn in a lower level area.) Playing on Diabolical difficulty might appeal to you, it basically turns everything into a boss, so you will be struggling hard to make any headway.

SpiritGas314 karma

Don't you think it's pretty gauche to call your "small indie game" the "spiritual successor" to what's probably the game of the decade and the most successful genre of video games in existence?

Hi, I'm SpiritGas, catch my new small indie album "Ghost Farts", the spiritual successor to the Beatles and the entire genre of rock'n'roll!

blainicus18 karma

I think I agree! Too late to change the title now though.

grinr141 karma

Is it possible to play without ever having PvP happen ever under any circumstances? Sorry to be so heavy handed, but a lot of people think a little PvP, or PvP in certain zones, or PvP at certain times of day is ok - my group won't play any game that doesn't have the option to play 100% PvE.

Also, great job, a major accomplishment! Congratulations!

blainicus145 karma

Yes, absolutely. By default, the game is single-player. If you host a multiplayer server or join the official public one, by default, only Team PvP is on.

You can disable ALL PvP in your server options.

Team PvP is an opt-in system where you can join a team number, and are only able to harm or be harmed by non-neutral players. Sort of like starting a duel intentionally. The server can also be set to make everyone hostile to each other (except the same team), but that is not enabled by default.

Thanks for the question!

blackachulol17 karma

How is this a spiritual successor to an MMORPG if its default is single-player?

blainicus20 karma

The RPG elements are adapted from MMORPG ideas, and it has classes resembling those found in MMOs (deliberately). Also, to be clear, it can be played single-player, but also online multiplayer with any number of players.

nyaaaa12 karma

The RPG elements are adapted from MMORPG ideas

So, which would that be, that would not be from a RPG?

blainicus12 karma

Class trifectas are the big one, as well as talent points and monster level comparison scaling. (Red level=you take tons of damage)

The_Master_Of_SUCC91 karma

Is there/ will there be modding support?

blainicus119 karma

Big yes. We've even made the server settings/spells/damage/properties/etc into readable files you can edit everything with no tech knowledge. All the art is stored as basic files for easy swapping.

It's also worth noting that the classes are so dynamic, setting up your character build FEELS like modding.

The_Master_Of_SUCC33 karma

I think I’m getting this game. Is there a subreddit yet?

blainicus46 karma

Yes. I'll link it down below. We're mostly active in discord because the community is very small, please join us on there too!

https://www.reddit.com/r/LostExistence/

Mohauk88 karma

Too be honest, I took a look and instantly felt bored just because it looks too much like Minecraft. Why did you choose to develop a completely new engine and code everything yourself, and not try to make it look your own? I get it, it's your own art assets, but to me it just look like a Minecraft texture pack. Despite that, I'm sure it's been a great learning experience, and congratulations on your first "release"(early access)!

blainicus52 karma

The main reason was because I'm very fond of the terrain design of Minecraft, but felt cripplingly limited by trying to work within modding it. The similarities to Minecraft are surface-level, the world design was the only thing deliberately copied and expanded upon. Sort of a genre-defining thing.

ExpatTeacher87 karma

Why Java?

blainicus127 karma

The main reason we chose Java was the for the automatic memory management. This allows us to completely bypass using any de-allocation code, which speeds up development time tremendously. In addition, Java was less prone to crashing than other engines at the start of development (2013). Third, there was at least one example of the platform working for the type of genre I wanted to make. And finally, that's where most of my programming experience is so I was able to start on it with better efficiency.

Thanks for the question!

ExpatTeacher37 karma

Anything in particular lessons that Minecraft learned the hard way that you also learned from?

blainicus55 karma

I think the main one has been to optimize the netcode and memory management before release. For quite a while it was a nightmare to keep a MC server running without lag or crashing.

HawkMan795 karma

You could have chosen a lot of different and better languages with garbage collection and memory management than Java. Some are even very similar to Java for syntax, like C#

blainicus4 karma

In 2013, C# and Unity were not yet mainstream. They weren't even considered. If I had started later on, I would've definitely used Unity.

lime-cake2 karma

Have you considered moving to other language? While java might seen like a good choice in 2013, it's basically garbage right now. The various modern game engine is much better and more efficient as of now

blainicus12 karma

While I agree engines have improved since then, we haven't considered switching because Java still suits our needs perfectly for other reasons, such as memory management. It would also require a complete re-code of the game, since our graphics library would not come with us.

Krzyniu46 karma

If you combine Minecraft and MMORPG, was the hypixel's skyblock an inspiration for you?

blainicus43 karma

While I am aware of Hypixel's work, I can't say it factored into the design. We started development a long time before Hypixel began his projects. Thanks for the question!

Meleagerr44 karma

A lot of great steam games end up staying with the pc platform.

Do you have any intention of moving to consoles, or are there barriers to porting that make non-AAA developers not persue consoles?

blainicus50 karma

Most ports require a complete re-coding of the game. Consoles use different languages and libraries that have big differences between source code. Minecraft Bedrock Edition for example, is a complete c++ remake, since the original is in Java.

In the case of the Lost Existence, since it's written in Java, it isn't portable at all. In addition, the game design is built around keyboard and mouse, aiming is necessary and there's a lot of quick movement.

Thanks for the question!

ExpatTeacher79 karma

Funny because portability was the reason for Java's birth.

blainicus52 karma

Yea, it's definitely ironic. I don't think they had video games in mind though!

Meleagerr11 karma

Interesting.

As someone that knows nothing about coding, I assumed there were dev kits or something to assist in porting over to consoles. So it didn't even occur to me that the different architecture would require recoding so much.

Thanks for the reply and best of luck on your release!

blainicus14 karma

It does depend on the original language used for the game. Unity for example, should be significantly more portable than Java, as it was designed with consoles in mind.

Meleagerr6 karma

Follow up, what got you into this line of work? Was it always a passion?

Given how much time and energy goes into these projects, I can't imagine not being passionate about what you do.

blainicus27 karma

I've known I wanted to work on video game sinces I was 4 years old. I've been passionate about gaming as a hobby for my entire life, so much so that I can't see myself doing anything else. After high school, rather than going to college, I spent a few years playing WoW, Minecraft, etc, other typical games of the time.

I enjoyed them a ton, but certain areas felt lacking to me in each. I didn't like the rigid class structure of WoW. I got bored of Minecraft having no good combat. I hated tab targetting in MMOs when it could be so much more engaging if you had to aim.

After months of lucid dreaming voxel worlds, the idea occurred to me that I could make my own game pulling parts of each that I enjoyed, and create my own experience. So I did, and I didn't let anything stop me.

ChrisFromIT-5 karma

All you would need to do to run the game on xbox or PS4 is to port over a JVM. If you manage to do that, there should be no issue besides doing Java bindings for SDKs for the xbox and PS4.

blainicus2 karma

And controller support. And other complex stuff specific to the game and Windows. It can't be that simple unfortunately.

Mint-Plant-Lover1 karma

Did you make the game with OpenGl?

blainicus2 karma

Yes, it's using LWJGL. Every OGL library is different to some degree, so switching it would require a near complete re-code, even while still within Java.

Mint-Plant-Lover1 karma

How did you learn LWJGL?

blainicus1 karma

Mostly trial and error, but some neon-helium tutorials were helpful.

Devonire17 karma

Have you considered doing free trials?

Given how today this market is extremely oversaturated and niche with similar games, I think it would be worth it to allow people to try the game and get them hooked.

For many, just another voxel game isn't worth 10 bucks, only to try it out.

On the other hand if its successful, your game will be cracked faster than you can blink, since as an indie small studio you cant afford to stack denuvo on top of three other vrms.

blainicus10 karma

We strongly considered making it free to play during early development. But, we didn't want to make people pay for microtransactions, as we saw the industry get more and more corrupt over our long private alpha. Eventually we decided just to go the normal route and sell the game. If people want to get it free, they can. We intend to do discount sales on Steam in the future as well, alongside any upcoming completed major update releases, to spark interest simultaneously.

Devonire8 karma

I'm talking about maybe a week trial, not the full game for free. Just give people a taster, to show them how this is different from every other game.

blainicus5 karma

Unfortunately Steam doesn't support anything like this, or we'd probably use it.

Verridae11 karma

Are there any mobs / mounts that aren't enemies in the game? I've always been fond of collecting pets in games like minecraft.

blainicus6 karma

Not yet, but we have many plans for including some in upcoming classes to aid in combat.

maen11 karma

To what extent can characters (players/enemies) modify the world while playing? Are there aspects with varying degrees of destructibility, modification, restoration, degradation, or anything of that sort? Why cuboid voxel based? Is it only for the creative user experience or does the voxel system have a meaningful impact on gameplay?

Beyond characters having simple pathfinding and basic melee/ranged attacks with damage modifiers, how can players expect to be challenged while playing? Are the enemies particularly intelligent, numerous, durable, etc? What resource management can a player expect? How does modifying my character change the way I will play?

What limits should reasonably be expected for world size? Will there be any method to link seperately-run worlds together?

To what extent is the game randomized or predetermined?

I'd be happy to hear any information you can offer about any of the above questions as I am interested in your project for the same reasons I was interested in Minecraft. In your answers, please distinguish what is intended for the future and what is currently implemented.

blainicus15 karma

Blocks have a health value, represented by how much damage they can take from spells, and how long they take to dig. Tougher blocks take more hits and more time to collect. The entire world is completely destructible. This option can be disabled, but blocks can automatically heal themselves if damaged but not broken, over time. The intent with this is to further expand upon army sieging gameplay within the next quarter as we add the shrine defense content.

Enemies in Lost Existence are numerous and intelligent. Ranged monsters lead their shots, melee monsters block your projectiles, and many other surprises. Hitboxes are precise and can be manipulated through player skill by dodging at precisely the right time. Characters can be heavily customized to suit your playstyle; if you like sniping you can do that, or if you like wildly swinging you can set up your masteries to support that.

The world has a soft limit of 1 million blocks from spawn, but that can be changed. There's no cross-world support.

The entire gameworld is procedurally generated. You can expect to see patterns repeating, but each seed is unique with the minor details, including locations for treasure and caves. When we add shrine objectives soon, they will spawn at static coordinates so they can be found on any seed.

Thanks for the questions!

Electronoooob11 karma

How did you form your team?

I'm mainly wondering if it was one of those rev-share type of deals or did you pay for help to make this etc?

but also curious how you found team members etc.

blainicus28 karma

I found Sam by looking for someone to do the music on the newgrounds forums. He offered to help for free. Later when I realized we needed an artist, he also happened to know Scott from elsewhere. After we put it together, we agreed revenue share would be the way to go. Scott has done ALL of the art and models for the game, he deserves it. And the project would've never come together without Sam. We're all very happy with how things turned out :)

EyeballKid1439238 karma

How have the feedback/reviews been for you so far?

Either way, looks really cool, good luck with it pal!

blainicus11 karma

Our feedback and reviews, some of which were direct messages, have been extremely positive. We definitely could use more steam reviews for exposure though!

jeandarcer7 karma

Dude, I've been saying for years I want a game that's like Minecraft but with RPG elements and magic. This is actually my dream game!

But I'm curious, have you any plans to implement moddability? It'd be a big thing for a small studio I know, but that would be enough to give this game a long survival among a loyal community in the genres it blends, I feel.

blainicus7 karma

It is already moddable! You can change tons of game elements simply by editing human-readable files in your world save folder. We will definitely be making sure to have Steam workshop compatibility as well.

Bruhbruhbruhistaken7 karma

How was the whole making of the game experience, the people you worked with, where there any tough times you felt that the game couldn't go on?

blainicus14 karma

The entire ride has been great fun. Our small team is full of really supportive individuals that believe in the vision of where we want to take the game in the future.

At no point have I considered stopping the project. I've wanted to do nothing else with my life other than make video games, ever since I was a child. There's definitely been occasions, extended ones even, where my motivation was down and not much progress was made. But not once did I consider giving up.

Offline-AFK7 karma

How much did you spend on making this game?

What will you do if it flops?

What will you expect from it?

blainicus9 karma

$0.

Continue to improve it until it gains attention again.

I do this out of passion for the genre; my main goal is bring a unique experience to people and form a community of people to enjoy the world together.

PhoenyxStar6 karma

Probably a little late to the party, but...

How does it hold up against the apparent giant in the playground, Hytale?

blainicus3 karma

Hytale isn't going to be released until 2021 at the soonest from what I saw. They also seem to be targetting a very different gameplay style.

Bucktabulous5 karma

I'd be much more inclined to purchase and play this game if it offered controller support. Are there any plans to develop that?

blainicus4 karma

There aren't, but using a default Steam controller setup has been reported to work. The game has been designed first and foremost as a fast-paced first-person game with heavy aiming, so the experience won't be optimal on controller.

megustareddito5 karma

How in depth is the RPG part of the game? If we can get a Terraria style of RPG into a Minecraft setting, I'd be 100% sold.

blainicus4 karma

I would say very in-depth, but very forgiving too. The depth lies in hundreds of different talent combinations with playstyle altering effects, including ones that are only active with a combination of talents, called "fusions". In the current build there are over 50 logical build setups to experiment with, more if you count less viable setups.

Unlike Terraria, there's no inventory management to deal with or gear to craft. The emphasis is primarily on customizing your spells and attributes.

fa1afel4 karma

What would you say are the improvements you’ve made over Minecraft?

blainicus13 karma

Definitely the combat and class design overall. The combat gameplay was somewhat of an afterthought for Minecraft, but Lost Existence has been designed primarily as an RPG from the very beginning. We've also added an extensive building tool system to make it much quicker and easier to build large structures without having to place all the blocks one-by-one.

Skallagrim14 karma

I may have some constructive criticism, judging from what I've seen in the trailers at least... You say you've designed the game around combat, but what I see in the trailer is pure minecraft-style kiting of mobs, at least for non-melee player characters. You can have the most interesting character customisation and development, but it won't be fun if the enemies are that basic.

You can do like dark souls and have enemies with shields that also know how to use them. Or like RuneScape and have spells that freeze enemies in place. Of course I might be making a fool of myself here and you've already taken this into account. 😅

Nonetheless, good luck developing your game further! A lot of great games started small, so it's going to be interesting to see how this evolves!

blainicus4 karma

We have several plans for more complicated enemy types coming. A lot of the complexity comes from the movement and aiming involved, and the AI we have even for the basic mobs is very very smart.

Lost Knights do block with their shields!

ThatOtherGuy_CA4 karma

Not really my type of game, but from the videos I've seen it looks really well done.

What are some ongoing challenges you guys are trying to tackle?

blainicus4 karma

Marketing is definitely the biggest one right now. We need to get the community a bit larger than it is now, so we can get live feedback as we add content, and steer the direction towards what people want out of the game.

celticsoldier5662 karma

You may have already done this but just in case you should consider reaching out to gaming publishers/podcasts. 90% of the games I have bought in the past 3 years were from reviews/recommendations of the podcasts I listen too

blainicus2 karma

Thanks for the suggestion! We only recently started doing this, there was a lot of quality of life feedback to catch up on from the EA launch.

jeps9973 karma

When another player hosts a server is it peer to peer server?

blainicus3 karma

Yes, that's right. We also have a single public server available.

valfonso_6783 karma

“Mom can we get Hytale?”

“No, we have Hytale at home”

“Shit, it’s actually pretty good”

So, will it have workshop support?

blainicus3 karma

Yes, definitely. We will be supporting workshop content to the best of our ability.

19Riften993 karma

What has been the most difficult part of the process, and how have you worked through it? Thank you for doing this AMA, and best of Luck with "Lost Existence"!

blainicus8 karma

The hardest part was definitely the early stages, putting together the initial engines. It took months of frustrating work, from not a lot of prior experience. But I got through it by never giving up, and just coming back to it if I got too frustrated.

Thanks for the question!

Coelacanth883 karma

Hi there! I enjoy this type of game, and if I can get some friends to purchase with me I'll try to leave a really detailed review.

My question: Some of us are well known in the Halo community for badly breaking the game or manipulating it to do things it was never intended to do, so chances are we'll force some bugs you may not have considered. Do you have a place you'd like bug reports? As long as we're paying attention we can probably even detail repro steps. Most of us are just gamers, but I've been in software development for almost a decade and work on games for fun with friends in my spare time. (What little spare time I have.) So I know how helpful good reproduction steps can be to squashing bugs.

The only downside is that I'm seeing there isn't controller support. Since the game seems to be mod-able, I might sit and attempt to add in support myself. It's a personal thing, I know, but I sit with my hands at a keyboard all day at work. When I play a game, I usually want to let my hands sit in a different position, if that makes sense.

blainicus3 karma

You can post bug reports on the steam discussions, LE subreddit, or our discord bug report channel. Your help breaking the game would be much appreciated!

Yea, unfortunately we have no plans for controller support, but I think you'll find the mouse accuracy very necessary once you try it. Considering how much it's been mentioned we might add it in the future.

WGP_Senshi3 karma

You answered in a comment that this is your full-time job for the past seven years and you are well-off financially. How does the rest of the team get paid? Is it an on-the-side hobby or are they equally luckily funded as you?

What devops style did you use? Agile (Scrum or other)?
What devops tools did you use for code (git,svn,...) and project management (Kanban, Scrum Cycles, etc.)?
What did you learn about style and tools that you would change or adopt earlier in future projects? Were there any conflicts or setbacks caused by them?

blainicus3 karma

We are splitting revenue sharing between the team, since the team is small we all get a lot. We planned to do it that way from the beginning.

I'm not familiar with development styles, I mostly work by trial and error.

I've used eclipse, gimp, audacity, and SVN.

The main thing I learned quite early on is to avoid over-optimization. It makes everything un-necessarily complicated.

kc8kgu2 karma

I’m curious as to you got got started in game development. I’m a programmer with a CS degree and 25 years of experience, but never have written a game any more complicated that a pong or asteroids clone. Are there any good websites, tutorials, books, YouTube channels, etc., that helped you in the beginning?

blainicus5 karma

I started simply by using a few snippets from across stackoverflow to get the desired effect I was looking for. All of my learning/tutorials were from simple c++ study, then Java study, then minecraft modding. In your case I would HIGHLY recommend looking up some Unity tutorials. It uses C# and is VERY beginner friendly.

levji_kralj2 karma

why should I play this instead of Hytale?

blainicus6 karma

Because it's already released.

I can't really say more than that because nobody actually knows what Hytale is like yet!

Personally, I will be playing Hytale too when it comes out!

bmm1152 karma

You got mod support? I'd start thinking about that if you dont

blainicus3 karma

Yes.

Busterlimes2 karma

Why did you use the minecraft engine instead of something else? The game play looks like it is dynamic enough to benefit more from others out there.

blainicus5 karma

The engine is original, we didn't use Minecraft.

ExpatTeacher1 karma

What online materials do you use regularly to stay up to date in your field. Podcasts, web forums, subreddits?

blainicus1 karma

The main way I keep up with gaming trends is by playing them when I see them from youtube, reddit, etc. I dabble in everything interesting I see come out. I'm a gamer at heart, and I'm making a game I'd want to play.

__blackrabbit__1 karma

Hi, game looks interesting. Is there any building in survival mode integrated? Can i build my own base to hoard all treasures that i found or is building exclusively in creative mode?

blainicus2 karma

The game has fully-featured survival mode building, (and of course creative mode) with minimalistic inventory design so that you have much more freedom with what you can build, without needing to first FIND the block you want to build. Inventories are not lost on death and everything is infinitely stackable, so there's no need for storage space in the game world.

Alternatively, in creative mode, you not only have access to the classic block-by-block building, but also powerful build tools such as Cuboid, Room, Sphere, etc, that can be placed anywhere in just a few clicks, saving hours and hours of time.

Thanks for the question!

__blackrabbit__2 karma

Cool! So how does the resource management work? Do i need to gather something to build? I don‘t really understand the part where i don‘t need to find the blocks first.

blainicus1 karma

Everything converts into universal currency called "Build Gems" when destroyed or collected. Our main intention is to completely remove the classic inventory bloat many voxel games suffer from, and focus more on the gameplay instead. Some blocks are worth more than others (for example, you can hunt for crystals), but it generally scales with block toughness. You can either use your "Collect" skill to gather blocks, or destroy things with Pyromancy spells for half gem value, then build whatever you want from the gems collected.

Hafgezz1 karma

Other than with the comparisons made in your post, how would your elevator pitch go?

blainicus2 karma

I hadn't honestly thought about it. We've mostly been relying on the store page. For now I'd probably defer to reading that.

blackburn0091 karma

How did development for the game start? Did you set out with the idea that you'd make this big MMO style game or was it originally a smaller project that you felt needed to be expanded to get what you want from it?

Similarly, how did you fund yourself during the development period?

blainicus3 karma

When I started developing games, I began with a minecraft mod (plugin) called Monster Apocalypse. Its purpose was to turn Minecraft into a survival RPG with progression and siege battles. You can still find videos of it on youtube. I ran my own server with that as a core feature for a couple of years until interest petered out. I just felt too limited in the content I could add within a modding context. Development for the game started after that, after some extensive soul searching and lucid dreaming.

Originally, I had intended on making a pseudo-MMO similar to large minecraft servers. As the project evolved, I realized it would be better to focus on smaller multiplayer and single-player experiences, which led to huge increases in experience gain, reduced monster spawns, etc.

Lost Existence has grown on a $0 budget between three people up to the present day. I did all of the programming myself, and all of the artwork and soundwork was done in exchange for future royalties.

Thanks for the question!

BigHurbert-11 karma

How do you feel about spending 5 years re-skinning Minecraft only to have the floor swept from under you by Mojang/Microsoft?

https://www.minecraft.net/en-us/about-dungeons

It will also be available on multi platforms and does basically what you tried to do, but with a whole team of people...

blainicus9 karma

Looks quite fun! Both games can exist at once, not worried about it ;)

saltann12-16 karma

How many sales are you expecting to make from this AMA?

blainicus18 karma

We are hoping it will improve our general exposure and get the word out.

Bear_The_Pup-16 karma

"Flawless multiplayer" says your steam trailer

Are you able to be 100% sure there isn't a single bug to be found? How exactly are you able to guarantee that your multiplayer system is completely flawless?

I ask because I've done advertising and marketing work and one of the most common mistakes I've seen from first time sellers is accidentally making exagerated claims that have bit them in the butt down the road.

blainicus5 karma

Lost Existence has been playtested for hundreds of hours internally before we released on early access. We launched with a heavily tested network engine, simply because we used our team as the guinea pigs for years fixing the experience. While some new bugs might be found, they are not likely to be multiplayer-specific or related to connection. When a bug is found (which is rare and usually not impactful), we usually fix it within a week.

Thank you for the question!

Bear_The_Pup-22 karma

It's one thing to say it's a great multiplayer system, it's another to make a claim of perfection.

blainicus9 karma

The intention behind the use of the word "flawless" is to indicate that there will never be connectivity issues. Many early access titles chew through bandwidth like candy and suffer from severe performance issues, which we have none of.

CommentsSectionOP-9 karma

How can you guarantee that there will never be connectivity issues? Do you own the datacenters hosting the servers and all the network infrastructure to the datacenters? If so, what makes your system better than AWS, Azure, and other giant IAAS providers who experience downtime?

I get the intent here, and I get that EA titles are crazy inefficient generally speaking. However, you're making some incredibly bold claims that you literally have zero control over. I get that your net code may be squeeky clean and you may have spent a tremendous amount of time QAing it, but the internet is not a singular entity which you can control.

As a gamer, I'd personally stray from any game making such wide, generalized statements. If I saw it stated that a game was "extremely well optimized for multiplayer", my interest would be piqued. However, stating that it's "fawless" or "there will never be connectivity issues" leads me to believe that the devs have zero clue how the internet works. I'm not saying you don't, I'm just saying that's the impression I'd get from such a massive generalization which is literally impossible to be true.

blainicus6 karma

Lost Existence is meant to be played self-hosted between players, so it's decentralized. While there is a public server, we don't intend it as the main option. For this reason, it's generally immune to power outages, DDOS attacks and other such nonsense. Or in other words, the GAME won't be the issue, if any do exist.

Thanks for the concerns!

Bear_The_Pup-12 karma

Were you aware that if you allow the sale of your game outside of the US there are a number of nations who have much stricter advertising regulations and making a claim of perfection or flawless operation on a product opens you up to potentially having to provide a refund outside of the standard steam system and may result in already recieved funds needing to be returned?

blainicus10 karma

I will investigate this, thank you for the advice.