Omega Crafter’s engineer-heavy dev team discusses the origins of the open-world programming survival game
Developed by Japanese IT venture Preferred Networks, Omega Crafter is an open-world crafting survival game that incorporates programming into its gameplay. Open beta testing began on December 2 via Steam.
The story of Omega Crafter takes place in the world of a game that is still under development. The world is being attacked by a mysterious program that’s hindering development. To help complete the game, you need to build cities, explore and defeat bosses together with your programmable partner Grammi. By giving Grammi commands to execute, you can automate certain processes such as field work or material collection to progress more efficiently in the game.
As mentioned above, the creator of Omega Crafter is not a typical game studio. Preferred Networks is an IT business specializing in the research of deep learning and AI technology. As such, the development team consists almost entirely of engineers. Why did they decide to create a survival game, and how did they approach development? Our Japanese editorial spoke to the team to find out. The following article summarizes some of the highlights of the original interview.
Takuya Sato, the product manager and director of the project, explains that Preferred Networks had developed a children’s app that combines a programming course with elements of a crafting game back in 2020. The app was well-received, which made the team consider making a full game that can be enjoyed by older audiences too.
As to why Omega Crafter came to be a survival game that incorporates programming – it seems that the development team has quite a few survival game enthusiasts on board. Valheim is a particular favorite among the members, but they were also inspired by titles such as Minecraft, Stardew Valley, Satisfactory, Core Keeper, Necesse, and Craftopia.
The idea to incorporate programming into a survival game came from the notion that letting players automate certain in-game tasks and processes would make for a more interesting and unique experience. At the same time, the development team placed importance on following the basic premises of the genre, studying the mechanics and features of other survival/crafting games thoroughly.
Sato mentions both pros and cons when commenting on how it felt to develop a game despite not being a game company. The major advantage was that it gave them the opportunity to incorporate knowledge from various fields and exchange opinions with people in different areas of expertise. As the main drawback, Sato mentions how the team is having difficulty communicating the game’s content to potential users, as they have no publishing-related know-how.
As the whole team consists of engineers, they decided to assign responsibility based on a “everyone does what they love most system,” which has helped them stay motivated throughout the process and created an environment where it’s easy to suggest new ideas.
Commenting on the future of Omega Crafter and their goals for the Early Access release, Sato explains that one of their aims is to make the tutorial easy to understand even for those with no experience in survival games. They also plan to increase the variety of dungeons, enemies, items and buildings, as well as add new biomes to the world. They are also open to adding miscellaneous improvements and fun mechanics based on user feedback.
An Early Access release of Omega Crafter is planned for the PC (Steam). An open beta test is being held from December 2 to December 17.
Written by. Amber V based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2023-12-04 11:54 JST)