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Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Online Multiplayer
Developer: Midwinter Entertainment
Release Date: 2021

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'Scavengers' (ALL) Community Event Bring More Than 4000 Players Together in a Single Game World - Trailer

by Rainier on June 1, 2021 @ 2:02 p.m. PDT

Scavengers is a co-opetition shooter that puts players in the role of young survivors fighting in a not-so-distant future, where cataclysmic events have triggered a new ice age.

Scavengers puts players in the role of young explorers fighting in a not-so-distant future, where cataclysmic events have triggered a new ice age. The game will combine exploration, survival and combat elements, while maintaining a focus on teamwork and cooperative game mechanics. 

Players will begin each game by equipping their Explorer, venturing into the wilds, competing and allying with other human players to complete objectives, gathering resources and battling against AI-controlled enemy factions. Large and unpredictable AI populations, combined with the balance of co-operation and competition between the human players, will create rich, repeatable gameplay.

Scavengers will allow players to experience vast play spaces, densely populated with satisfying AI combatants and supported by rich simulation of the surrounding world, providing endless emergent gameplay possibilities resulting from the interplay of human competitors and AI adversaries within a large, dynamic world.

Scavengers will build on the game design principles that made Halo 5’s Warzone a revolutionary new mode for Halo players, by allowing teams of players to compete with one another while exploring a large game map populated with hundreds of free-roaming and highly sophisticated AI enemies, with distinct factions, weapons and behaviors.

Developer Midwinter Entertainment successfully hosted a peak of 4,144 players in a single, dense world during a community event for fans of the studio’s new game, Scavengers on Saturday, May 29. This experimental live event, which represents a major step for large-scale shared virtual worlds, was made possible by technology from Midwinter’s parent company, Improbable.

ScavLab, the experimental sandbox testing platform and game mode built into Scavengers, successfully hosted the players in its first public, massive “Winter Sports” player event, taking place in a shared real-time environment with realistic game physics, 3D models, and smooth performance as players slid down mountain passes and fought crowds of AI-controlled monsters.

This was the first time ScavLab has been open to any player who has downloaded Scavengers – a previous test in April combined 1800 humans, including some invited Scavengers community members, with several thousand simulated players. 

Future ScavLab events will experiment with greater player numbers and player density, and introduce different gameplay elements for players to experience at scale.

This event marks not only a significant technological achievement, by providing a live game event – containing thousands of real players, joining across the world – with unprecedented density and fidelity, but is also a significant step forward in the development of the metaverse and virtual social spaces.

Creating dense, populated game worlds where every player can see and interact with every other player, with the quality and fidelity familiar to players from action games poses a unique series of challenges: because every player is visible to every other player, a tenfold increase in player numbers causes a significantly greater than tenfold increase in complexity. 

As a result, in order to deliver an experience like ScavLab, innovations need to be made across the entire stack of online games technology, from the networking itself, through rendering the huge numbers of characters on screen, simulating the game world and scaling the server infrastructure.

The technology behind ScavLab, and ScavLab itself, were created through a collaboration between Improbable’s innovative game technology and the creative and technical contribution of both Improbable’s UK game studio and Midwinter Entertainment, the makers of Scavengers.

The difficulty of hosting large numbers of connected users in a single space, providing density and intimacy, has been a barrier to recreating a range of social experiences online. The technology behind ScavLab, initially developed by Improbable as an experiment in creating a “virtual town hall” for Improbable during the COVID-19 lockdown,represents a major step towards resolving the issue of density and intimacy at scale, and towards new possibilities for experiences in online worlds.

“First and foremost, we’re excited by the ways the team at Midwinter Entertainment are taking this technology and using it to build unique experiences for the Scavengers community,” says Rob Whitehead, Chief Product Officer and co-founder of Improbable. 

“However, putting thousands of people together in a virtual world – truly together, rather than spread out over a huge map or distributed in smaller groups across many identical worlds – opens up exciting new possibilities not only for the future of multiplayer gaming, but for applications beyond current games.

“The density and sense of community that we take for granted at parties, musical performances or sports events is hugely challenging to recreate in a virtual world. We’re only starting to explore the technology and its possibilities, but ScavLab is a significant step along the path to a new range of ‘metaversal’ experiences.”

Scavengers is available as Early Access title through Steam and the Epic Games Store.

The multiplayer “co-opetition” survival shooter will be built with Unreal Engine and powered by Improbable’s SpatialOS game development platform. With these technologies, Scavengers will provide endless emergent gameplay possibilities resulting from the interplay of human competitors and AI adversaries within a large, living world.

By dividing the action between multiple servers in the cloud, all of which contribute to building and running a seamless and consistent world, SpatialOS allows more sophisticated artificial intelligence, more AI entities and players occupying a seamless, shared environment, and a larger, more detailed and more deeply simulated game world than can be supported by the traditional client-server architecture used in online gaming.

Scavengers is in development for PS4, Xbox One and PC (Steam and Epic Games Store), scheduled for 2021.

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