Dreaming big is what originally took man into space – now one man is using his imagination to take space into your home. Futurist-speaker-turned-game-developer Theo Priestley this month announced ‘Gateway’, the headline project for his newly-created dev studio Dopamine Games. Now, he’s looking to take his concept to a wider audience – and what better stage than Game Developers Conference 2018, hosted next March?
Currently Gateway is a concept MMO, styled as a blend between space-sims ‘EVE Online’, ‘Elite: Dangerous’ and fantasy RPG ‘Skyrim’. Theo chatted to DIGIT just after announcing the project, and told us that in the game players will confront an ever-evolving epic sandbox filled with stories, characters and ‘life’. To help build his ideas, Theo has spoken to professionals from a range of industries including astrophysicists from the University of St. Andrews, narrative designers from Heriot-Watt University and space researchers from international organisation Icarus Interstellar. Already working with Theo is Colin Price, a concept artist specialising in games and films.
Theo told DIGIT yesterday more about his hopes for mutual collaboration as rocket fuel for the project. He said: “Already the interest from third-parties to help out has been significant. I have three universities that have intimated that they want to help with the project, which is really exciting – bringing students closer to the games industry. There’s a gap between academia and the business world in all aspects of secondary education, so this is really exciting for me, and it’s really exciting for the universities to basically share the student pool and produce something at the end of it as part of their projects.
“We have several people working on bits and pieces for the demo and a trailer for Gateway already – the Crowdfunder is specifically to get us over the line for that final part of the development and to take some of the academic science from St. Andrews and build the galactic environment as a proof of concept to show investors. That way we can secure a round of funding to take the game to ‘alpha’ stage.
He continued: “GDC is an ideal forum to meet the people behind the project. You could go the same way by building a community online, but they don’t get a sense of who you are. I think it’s important when you go these venues for the audience and the community to get to meet and grill you in person, to ask you what the project is about and why they should be interested in the game.”
Theo announced the Crowdfunding campaign via Twitter, which will be used to fund the creation of a trailer and demo for the project. To give potential donators an insight into his ideas, he has completed the Crowdfunder page with concept art which he commissioned for Gateway.
“The main aspect is to keep the momentum going. This is a small Crowdfunder on purpose – we’ve seen big crowdfunding projects fail because they’ve been overly ambitious and we want to keep this as tight as possible.”
To get involved yourself, visit Dopamine’s Crowdfunder page for his concept MMO Gateway, here.