If you’ve read the devlog over the past few weeks you probably know that both Michi and myself have been working on the material and world editor for PU for quite some time now. Once this is finished, we’ll get started on preparing the final material tree for the game.
While the structure of this tree is something that will be guided by game design goals and validated in closed and public alpha tests, the naming of the products is something that falls firmly into the creative department.
The universe of the game is strictly based on “hard’ish sci-fi” and the setting is intended to be down-to-earth. That means we want to avoid arbitrary technobabble as much as possible. At the same time, this is a sci-fi game, so we will definitely have things that simply don’t exist in the real world and we also want to extrapolate from the status quo and come up with plausible products that might exist in a not-so-distant future.
A very good example for this dilemma are the needs of the populations (although it extends to other areas as well, of course):
- Should the products they consume just be something everyone knows and that makes sense (even in the future), like “meat”, “fruit”, “beer”, “clothing” etc.?
- Should the products be futuristic but still plausible, like “Nutritional Gel” or “In-Vitro Meat Replacement” (just some ideas off the top of my head)?
- Or should we even use artificial “brand names” that don’t necessarily have to hint at what the product actually is at all?
I know that Elite Dangerous uses the first approach, our current test data uses a mix of approach 2 and 3. But what do you think? What would feel right to you?