Automaton is a UK-based developer that’s looking at the current flavour of the moment, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and believing it can do it all much bigger. PUBG is known for its 100-player Battle Royale mode gameplay set on an 8km x 8km map. Automaton wants to up the ante further with its mysterious survival shooter Project X, which is aiming for 400 players on an even bigger map. 12km x 12km to be precise.
Project X can actually host 1000-players in a single world (or server), but it has a game mode that will inevitably draw comparisons with the Early Access hit PUBG. This mode is a last-man standing PvP battle royale mode, where not 100, but up to 400 players will compete to take the prize.
Automaton has said that players should expect the Project X game world to feature roaming wildlife, dynamic weather, destruction, blood trails, fire and water. The game will also include an in-depth character progression, social hubs and much more. Managing all these elements in a game mode which features 400-players is a heck of a feat to achieve technically, never mind practically.
The developer reckons it may have this sorted though, and this is with the implementation of SpatialOS, a cloud-based technology built by London games company Improbable. By offsetting the actual game processing to the cloud, the developer can harness the remaining resources to focus on other aspects of the game. In theory at least.
PUBG isn’t the first game to have large scale battles, PlanetSide 2 holds a Guinness World Record for 1100+ players in a single map at the same time. PlanetSide 2 never really caught on though. The PS3 had it’s own massive action game, called... you guessed it, Massive Action Game, or MAG for short. MAG could host up to 256 players in a single game, but there’d rarely be large scale battles featuring all 256-players at one time. Sadly MAG didn’t live up to its promise and dwindled away, with its servers finally being switched off a few years ago.
Project X is currently due for release in 2018, with the first playable content slated for the Spring.