File this under “Best news I’ve heard so far this year" – the massive open-world interplanetary exploration and combat game Prevail, which was originally announced nearly 4 years ago and had gone deadly silent for the past 18 months, is amazingly enough not dead and in fact it’s (supposedly) coming out sometime this year. (Headexplode.gif) Now, gather ’round children as I tell you the tale of Prevail…
To back up just a bit, Johnny Two Shoes is the two-brother development team responsible for the absolutely fantastic pirate action game Plunderland (Free). A little more than a year after Plunderland’s release, Johnny Two Shoes unveiled the initial trailer for the incredibly ambitious sounding Prevail. It was a side-scrolling game in a similar vein to Plunderland, but with a massive scope.
The idea is that you would be able to explore a planet, then hop into one of the many vehicle types in the game, and then blast off into space and fly around until you discovered more and more planets, each one a full, rich environment that you could land on and explore with new species, items, and much more. If you’re thinking that sounds a lot like No Man’s Sky, that’s exactly what I thought too, except in reverse. Prevail has been in development longer, and the first time I saw No Man’s Sky, I immediately thought “Prevail but in 3D!"
Anyhoo, as I said the game was ambitious. In early 2012 a new Prevail trailer was released which showed that ambition. As you explored a planet, you could zoom out to a larger galaxy map, set a waypoint on another planet, and literally hop in a ship and blast into orbit and go visit that planet all in seamless real-time. Each planet showcased multiple vehicle types, deformable terrain and multiple NPCs to interact with.
A second trailer in the fall of that year showcased even more complexity, like working machines and hunting indigenous animals. Prevail was seriously massive. Being that Johnny Two Shoes was more or less a two-man operation meant that it was maybe a bit too massive, and eventually they ran out of money to continue working on Prevail. Taking on contract jobs to pay the bills in the meantime, Prevail was put on the back burner. Inject in some additional personal issues and one of the Johnny Two Shoes brothers taking a hiatus from game development for two years, and Prevail just faded into the wind. I figured it was dead a long time ago.
However, late last week one half of Johnny Two Shoes, Joshua Scott-Slade, posted an update to the Prevail forum thread. Basically, when Josh took a hiatus from making games the other half of Johnny Two Shoes, Max, went on to form a different company. Recently Josh wanted to get back into making games, so he’s picked up Prevail and is planning on finishing it solo. I know, I know, if the game was too big for two people, how can one person possibly finish it? Well, Josh had tooled around and created a random galaxy generator, and so that’s the form Prevail has taken on.
Rather than having an entire galaxy of hand-crafted planets (which was an insane idea when you really think about it) now the game will simply randomly generate everything for you. If the game generates a particularly cool galaxy, you’ll be able to share that galaxy with friends so they can experience the same one. Kind of like seeds in Minecraft. It sounds really cool! Here’s the newest Prevail trailer, and keep in mind everything in it has been procedurally generated using the new system.
While the randomized nature of the game probably kills the hope of any sort of a cohesive story element in Prevail, I’m confident that the gameplay itself will be quite fun and true to the original vision, with the side bonus of being infinitely replayable. Josh, who has been playing Prevail literally for years, states that he has a ton of fun playing the game in its current state, which is a good sign for sure. I’m extremely happy to see a project I was so excited for and assumed was as dead as a doornail is actually alive and well.
According to Josh, he thinks he’ll be able to have Prevail wrapped up and released at some point this year. While I’m not exactly holding my breath it does sound like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for Prevail, and if you’re as excited as I am be sure you’re following along in the game’s forum thread.