Gaming archaeologists and historians have a term for the lost games which never saw the light of day, or worse yet, never began development. That term is “vaporware,” and Infinity: Battlescape was long thought to fall into that category before it began its long journey to creation.
Back in 2004, Flavien Brebion began work on a gaming engine revolutionary in its design and depth. This engine, the I-Novae engine, would allow hundreds of players to interact seamlessly in the same solar systems, a feat long sought in the MMORPG community at the time. Full planets, moons, and more were planned for the game which would utilize the I-Novae to create this dream.
However, Infinity: The Quest for Earth never started development. For years, rumors abounded that the game would never see release, that it was merely vaporware. Even after a combat prototype using the engine and a tech demo featuring its capabilities were released back in 2010, hopeful players despaired of ever playing Infinity. And the tech demo truly was ahead of its time. There were few, if any, games at the time that combined the level of graphics and depth the tech demo showed.
In fact, Infinity: The Quest for Earth has been put on hold indefinitely as the game developers look to gain the funding necessary for an immense MMO from a smaller scale, yet still massive, project focusing more on massive arena combat.
Stepping back a moment in time, why did The Quest for Earth get put on hold? Part of the plan Flavien had for the I-Novae engine was to license it out to other developers and thereby receive the funding needed to create the game. That failed to pan out. As such, the newly formed I-Novae Studios turned to a much more manageable project, Infinity: Battlescape.
Years later, Battlescape was fully funded. When the crowd-sourced funding campaign completed, the game received $361,105 from 302 backers according to funding site Indiegogo.com. The devs also plan to release the game on Steam once it is ready. The dream started to become reality.
Infinity: Battlescape intends to feature battles in a single solar system with hundreds of players competing for dominance. I-Novae describes their game as:
“Infinity: Battlescape is a multiplayer space sim involving hundreds of players split across three competing corporations of the Starfold Confederacy fighting for control of a procedurally generated, true to scale solar system filled with planets, moons, asteroid belts, and other celestial phenomenon. Seamless planetary transitions will bring combat from deep space to the surface of alien worlds. The primary goal will be to destroy your enemies and their infrastructure through orbital bombardment from capital ships and/or an array of smaller spacecraft including bombers, interceptors, and corvettes.”
No doubt part of the challenge Battlescape faces is the lack of awareness about the game. Elite: Dangerous, No Man’s Sky, and the upcoming Star Citizen all have fairly massive followings and receive significant media coverage from gaming sites. Battlescape, despite being potentially epic, is hardly well-known. Add to that fog almost a decade and a half of development, you get a soupy mix hardly the recipe for success the game needs to take off.
Another issue for Infinity: Battlescape is that its concept and execution capability are no longer unique. Dozens of games now offer Minecraft like experiences in space. Custom-built ships, planet exploration, and more are offered by many games. Seamless interaction is almost expected within a game anymore. Had Battlescape released even five years ago, it would have been special, unique. But the delays in development may cost this game its chance to really be something.
So who here has been following Infinity: The Quest for Earth in all its forms these past years? Tell us what you think in the comments section below!
[Featured Image by Infinity: Battlescape/I-Novae Studios]