Build As You Go in ‘Planets³’

Role-playing games are always appealing — especially if there’s a lot to explore and even more to do. But construction games — being able to “build” things — is popular as well. So why not combine both? That’s what Planets³ does, and in first-person 3D to boot. To get a better idea of what kind of PC game Planets³ is (and maybe get a leg up on how to better play it), we turn to project director Michel Thomazeau.

Project director Michel Thomazeau courtesy of Cubical Drift

Project director Michel Thomazeau
courtesy of Cubical Drift

MCD: What’s the “mission statement” of Planets³? Michel Thomazeau: Planets³ is all about bringing RPG over a voxel world. As in any RPG there will a great notion of evolution that comes from the items the player can create and its statistics (life/force/stamina/athletics), also there will be a “true” story with all lots quests and texts. The story will be linear, but there will be a lot of randomly generated quests. Also Planets³ is a multiplayer game, when the story could be done in a “co-op” mode. The game in multi will be much more fun than in solo.

Weapons R Us

Weapons R Us
courtesy of Cubical Drift

MCD: What’s the definition of an “open world” as it relates to Planets³? MT: It means that you will be able to go everywhere you want to go, no walls, no limits, no borders. You will be constrained by your level though. Planets³ uses a first person view, like in FPS games. You can walk but you will go faster and farther with your handmade vehicle. You will be able to use a lot of armors and weapon, from rustic ones like swords to modern one like guns — it depend on your level and your choice to fight. MCD: The graphics in Planets³ don’t “look” like other games — why? MT: With our multiple block shapes and small size, Planets³ art will be really something else. Quest will ask you to build things (structure, vehicle). Vehicles are constructed inside the game, not with an external editor. MCD: What’s this “voxel-based” stuff that’s noted as being a part of the game? MT: Voxel is the same term as Pixel but for 3D. Our game is created only with small cubes. MCD: What else is different, from a technical point of view, about this game?

Quite a view, upped to 11

Quite a view, upped to 11
courtesy of Cubical Drift

MT: We have created an almost infinite view distance; you will be able to see all the planets wherever you are in space. MCD: What about combat? Where and when can you fight? And against who? MT: Planets³ will be full of enemies, you will need to fight them (or avoid them if you prefer) to accomplish quests and progress in the game. MCD: And the rewards? MT: Rewards will be items, the ones the enemy was wearing. It can be resources too.


Literally reinventing the wheel here.
courtesy of Cubical Drift

MCD: Tell us about the multiplayer aspect of the game. MT: You will be able to accomplish the storyline in co-op mode, with other players. In fact Planets³ will be delivered with a server application, each player can create his own “universe” and invite friends on it. [Also] you will be able to import 3D model communities that you have created, so the possibilities will be tremendous.


Even when it turns out everyone is wrong, Thomas Friedman finds a way to be even more wrong.
courtesy of Cubical Drift

MCD: Is there an “ending” to the game? MT: Yes the story will have an end. Planets³ is a RPG, so as in any RPG your objective will be to complete the story, alone or with friends. MCD: But there’s a lot to do before you reach that point, right? MT: There will be a lot to explore in Planets³, dungeons to clear, travel to space to land on other planets. But Planets³ will be also a construction game. You can choose the creative mode and not worry about the storyline. [Since the interview, it was revealed that the taming of certain wild animals, to become pets, would be added] Planets³ is foreseen as having a five-year schedule with the release of an extension within three years after the initial release, and its development continuing onto console and mobile platforms. It will run on any PC that can handle “the last 3D game”: i.e., a decent processor, decent amount RAM and a decent graphics card. You can learn more about Planets³ at its website and support it in the final week of its Kickstarter campaign.

Marshal Rosenthal is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture. Visit his website. Marshal interviewed Stan Lee and Rylan Grayston, inventor of the $100 Peachy Printer.

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