Bossa Studios launches Worlds Adrift, the first game built on Improbable’s SpatialOS

Bossa Studios launches Worlds Adrift, the first game built on Improbable’s SpatialOS

Bossa Studios, the London gaming startup backed by Atomico and behind popular titles ‘Surgeon Simulator’ and ‘I am Bread’, is embarking on its biggest and most ambitious project yet. The new game, which has been three years in the making and was born out of a Bossa Studios “game jam,” akin to the kinds of internal ‘hackathons’ many startups routinely hold, is attempting to pull off a number of firsts. For starters (and probably most noteworthy to TechCrunch readers), it is the debut game to be built on top of Improbable’s SpacialOS, the cloud-based platform for creating games and other virtual environments that need to go beyond the limitations of traditional server architectures. Improbable raised a whopping $502 million last May from Softbank and existing investors at a $1 billion-plus valuation, and so — inadvertently, at least — likely has quite a lot riding on Worlds Adrift. Improbable’s tech isn’t exactly proven and, in comparison, Bossa Studios is a smaller and much less well-funded startup attempting to punch way above its weight, even if the team has a lot of gaming industry pedigree. A chance meeting with Improbable some time later — where I’m told the two young companies were introduced somewhat serendipitously through having the same PR agency — it became clear that it might just be possible. The other first, explained Lucca and Olifiers, is the sheer open-ended, community-driven and ‘persistent’ scale of the game. Tapping into the ‘makers’ trend, early testers of Worlds Adrift have shaped the game itself via Bossa’s Island Creator tool. Related to this and enabled by the scalable nature of SpacialOS, every aspect of Worlds Adrift is ‘persistent,’ meaning that an object’s current physical status persists in realtime, relative to how or when it was last interacted with, either by a player or the game’s own persistent physics. However, Bossa have kindly invited me to their next game jam and to spend some time up close with Worlds Adrift and its makers.

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Bossa Studios, the London gaming startup backed by Atomico and behind popular titles ‘Surgeon Simulator’ and ‘I am Bread’, is embarking on its biggest and most ambitious project yet.

Described as a “Community-Crafted MMO,” where players have literally co-built the game’s environment and will continue to do so, Worlds Adrift sees its wider public outing today via the Steam Early Access program.

The new game, which has been three years in the making and was born out of a Bossa Studios “game jam,” akin to the kinds of internal ‘hackathons’ many startups routinely hold, is attempting to pull off a number of firsts.

For starters (and probably most noteworthy to TechCrunch readers), it is the debut game to be built on top of Improbable’s SpacialOS, the cloud-based platform for creating games and other virtual environments that need to go beyond the limitations of traditional server architectures.

Improbable raised a whopping $502 million last May from Softbank and existing investors at a $1 billion-plus valuation, and so — inadvertently, at least — likely has quite a lot riding on Worlds Adrift.

For the Bossa Studios team, the stakes are even higher. Improbable’s tech isn’t exactly proven and, in comparison, Bossa Studios is a smaller and much less well-funded startup attempting to punch way above its weight, even if the team has a lot of gaming industry pedigree.

In a video call with two of its founders, Roberta Lucca and Henrique Olifiers, they were visibly excited by the launch but conceded a large amount of pre-launch nerves. When the Worlds Adrift concept was first conceived during that soon-to-be infamous game jam several years ago, it was indefinitely put on hold due to being far too ambitious per the size of the company.

A chance meeting with Improbable some time later — where I’m told the two young companies…

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