Director Joan Pons talks about the present and future of the PS Home-esque virtual space.
PlayStation Home may be in the imminent process of shutting down on March 31st but its spirit still lives on. Project Nebula, developed by Kovok, is looking to bring the spirit and scale of the online virtual world to the PS4 and PC, boasting several different realms to explore and a strong post-launch support. While the success of PS Home could be called into question by many, there’s yet to be a persistent virtual world for the PS4 that functions on the level that Home did. It also helps that Kovok worked on Home and created hundreds of content pieces for it, thus ensuring a solid base to create Nebula.
GamingBolt spoke to Project Nebula director Joan Pons about Project Nebula, cross platform functionality between the PS4 and PC, the various free to play aspects of the social space (including details about micro-transactions) and development following the Kickstarter campaign.
"It is set on a cloud of space dust where the remains of ancient civilizations inform the game world. Different islands have different cities and will host different activities.
Rashid K. Sayed: You guys are apparently pushing Project Nebula as the new PlayStation Home for the PS4. What did Sony think about this idea when they certified it for the PlayStation 4?
Joan Pons: Project Nebula will only share the social side of PS Home. The world has a solid background, rather than being only a chat room with 3D avatars. For Sony it works like any other game, they are not against it.
Rashid K. Sayed: I saw a couple of videos of Project Nebula that showcases some of the mini-games and honestly I found them to be pretty intriguing. Racing against each other, the zombie mode and whatnot but how exactly do you plan to make them fit within the game’s context?
Joan Pons: We want these games to be more like fun activities to do inside the Nebula. All the mini-games are multiplayer to reinforce the social side of Project Nebula and all the games will be free to play!
Rashid K. Sayed: Can you let us know how the XP system works in Project Nebula?
Joan Pons: This is something we are still working on and will be subject to change. To summarize, all I can say is that players will earn XP by entering and interacting with the game and other players.
Rashid K. Sayed: Are there any plans to have in-game micro-transactions?
Joan Pons: Only for avatar aesthetics and extra content like personal spaces, pets, etc. Entering Nebula, interacting with others and playing the games will be 100% free of charge.
Rashid K. Sayed: Roughly speaking what is the world that you have envisioned for Project Nebula?
Joan Pons: It is set on a cloud of space dust where the remains of ancient civilizations inform the game world. Different islands have different cities and will host different activities.
"We are adapting the features of Project Nebula according to our funds which come from private investment and savings. There is a possibility to adjust and re-launch the campaign in the future.
Rashid K. Sayed: Was there any specific reason you didn’t have an Xbox One version planned for Project Nebula?
Joan Pons: We were PS Home developers and all our fans are PS3 owners. Releasing the game on PS4 is what feels more natural for us and it’s what our fans wanted.
Rashid K. Sayed: I find it interesting that there will be cross platform play between PC and PS4. Given that there are so many technical restrictions in place, how are you planning to achieve this?
Joan Pons: This is something that will require some time to happen. We are going to release Project Nebula first on PS4 and it will all depend on how well it’s received before we release it on other platforms. That wasn’t our initial intention but we’ve had to adjust the features of the game according to funding.
Rashid K. Sayed: I understand that adding Oculus Rift support is something that is a long ways off. But what kind of impact will it make to Project Nebula should it be added in the future?
Joan Pons: It will add a very immersive experience to the player, not only for Project Nebula but for any other game. I believe that Oculus Rift could be the beginning of a new era in video-game history.
Rashid K. Sayed: The Kickstarter funding did not meet its goal. How are you planning to tackle further development of Project Nebula? May be via a private investor?
Joan Pons: We are adapting the features of Project Nebula according to our funds which come from private investment and savings. There is a possibility to adjust and re-launch the campaign in the future.
Rashid K. Sayed: Will the original vision of Project Nebula be affected now that you guys have to look for other sources for funding?
Joan Pons: Yes, but we plan to add all of the features we proposed with time. We will constantly update the game with new content until we make it awesome!
Rashid K. Sayed: Is there anything else you want to tell us before we let you go?
Joan Pons: Of course! I invite everybody to follow us on our Facebook page and our Forums. Our fans are helping us to shape the game and you could be one of them. We do listen to the community!