Bungie's online-heavy "sci-fantasy action shooter" Destiny is rapidly becoming the new worst-kept secret in videogames. Pro nosey man Superannuation has unearthed a veritable Pharaoh's tomb of info (via Kotaku), much of it contained within a confidential blog post circulated by a member of Activision subsidiary Demonware.
Demonware is a provider of high end networking software, delivering "robust, scalable services to support hundreds of millions of users on large scale infrastructure". It "provides all of the matchmaking, game lobbies, leaderboards, social media, gameplay stats, and Big Data warehousing/analytics services for titles such as the Call of Duty and Guitar Hero series".
The blog post recounts a trip to Bungie's premises to see Destiny in action. Proceedings kicked off with "a few hours of presentations covering everything from game story, factions, art, engineering, tool chain, graphics, audio, player investment mechanisms, player progression, UI, and web and mobile apps." One of the highlights was "a live scene walk through demonstrating lots of atmospherics, huge amounts of trees and foliage (SpeedTree), particle effects, dynamic lighting and dynamic time of day ending in a sunset".
"This is not a dedicated server game," the author continues, "but there is some simulation and coordination running in their server infrastructure. The game was up and down a lot, playing in a team of three we did manage to experience entering a zone to find other players already taking on the bad guys, it's cooperative so we helped out (mostly [name removed], I just died) before both groups went their separate ways. Which is a pretty cool experience, making you feel you are part of a much larger populated world."
"At the end of the day I was excited about the game, I like the feel of being in a large world with different destinations and the interactions along the way," the post concludes. "It actually brought back a sense of exploration I recall from playing [Elite] many years ago, although there was no opportunity to shoot aliens in the face in Elite. I'm not fully sold on the appeal of being able to change the colour of a weapon, but I guess it works in China, and customization and individual identity is a big theme for the game."
In terms of over-aching feel, Destiny is apparently "quite like Halo" though "there is a lot of work still to be done". Just to recap, then: it's something in the region of an MMO with multiple factions, a day-night cycle, wildernesses, customisable guns, player unlockables and mechanics that encourage you to buy into the world (property, perhaps?).
More as we get it. Read Alice's Destiny write-up for more.