Q) So what's this all about?
A) Dystopia is a team-based, objective-driven game modification of the Source engine, based on the cyberpunk literary (and aesthetic) genre. Team Dystopia's primary focus is creating a fun, fast and furious FPS which rewards intelligent and co-operative play as well as pure twitch reflexes, while playing up intense close combat situations.
Q) What is cyberpunk?
A) As taken from the cyberpunk entry in Wikipedia:
Cyberpunk (a portmanteau of cybernetics and punk) is a sub-genre of science fiction which focuses on computers or information technology. The plot of cyberpunk literature often revolves around the conflict between hackers, artificial intelligences, and megacorps. It is the result of a self-correction in the science fiction genre, which classically had ignored the importance of information technology.
Q) What does Dystopia mean? Where did the name come from?
A) dys-/dus- Latin/Greek roots: 'bad' or 'abnormal'
Greek root: 'place' = 'bad place'
dystopia n. an imaginary wretched place, the opposite of utopia
utopia n. a place or state of ideal perfection, the opposite of dystopia
To put it as plain and simply as possible, a dystopian depiction of the future can be described as a dark vision of the future. Dystopian fiction looks at totalitarian dictatorship as its prototype, a society that puts its whole population continuously on trial, a society that finds its essence in concentration camps, that is, in disenfranchising and enslaving entire classes of its own citizens, a society that, by glorifying and justifying violence by law, preys upon itself.
Q) Are there classes in Dystopia?
A) Yes. The player can select one of three different cybernetic augmentation levels. These are; light, medium and heavy augmentation levels. These augmentation levels are translated into classes (the Light, Medium and Heavy, respectively) which vary in size, movement speed, levels of health and armor, number of implant slots and the weapons available to them. For example, Light players have more implant slots, while Heavy players can take much more damage before dying.
Q) How does Dystopia's gameplay work?
A) Dystopia's maps are objective-based. The rounds are played attack vs. defence, with the attacking team attempting to complete a series of objectives to progress through the level and complete their final goal. Obviously, the defending team want to stop them from doing this and even attempt to push the attacking team back. This is similar to games such as Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Enemy Territory and Unreal Tournament's Assault mode. However, Dystopia's dual-layered gameplay means that many objectives are completable in either the realworld (or meatspace) or in cyberspace. Many final objectives require co-ordination between meatspace players and players in cyberspace.
Q) How does hacking work in Dystopia?
A) The cyberdeck implant comes in two variants (regular and Enhanced) and is available only to Light and Medium players; it allows the player to “jack-in” to various jack-in points around the maps. When jacked-in, the player's body stands inert in meatspace while the player's cyberspace avatar spawns into the 3D environment which represents Dystopia's computer networks. Movement through cyberspace's tunnel-like network is a unique gaming experience - the best explanation we can come up with so far is “fast-paced, low-friction movement in an Escher-esque environment.” The decker moves between nodes on the network and launches a variety of programs against enemy deckers and terminals which control meatspace objects such as doors, security systems, cameras, phone systems, lifts and PA systems.
Q) When is Dystopia going to be released?
A) Dystopia 1.2 has been out since the 6th of February 2009, and is available from the Steam store here.
Q) What will I need to play Dystopia? Is Dystopia a free mod?
A) Yes. Dystopia is a free modification for the Source engine. In order to play Dystopia, however, you will need a copy of a game that includes the Source SDK Base. A list of such games can be found here.
Q) What are you guys currently working on?
A) We're currently working on additional bug fixes and balance tweaks for Dystopia 1.2 – several content updates have already been released through Steam since February 2009, and we are continuing to support the mod in this fashion.
Q) Where are the dev team from?
A) Most of the original team were originally from Australia, but these founding members have by and large moved on. Nowadays, the dev team is mostly American, but includes people from all over the world.
Q) Does Dystopia have more than one game mode?
A) Since so much of our gameplay comes from the interaction between meatspace and cyberspace, it's very specialised towards the objective-based game type. As such we'll only be officially supporting that one game mode.
Our maps all step through a series of “phases,” setting the attacking team various goals to achieve while the defenders are attempting to stop them. There is a huge range of objectives our mappers can employ, so while we are focusing on only one game type, we do have a fair amount of variation in the types of objectives included in our maps.
(Additionally, there is a light-hearted ball-sport game mode called phistball, in which the objective is to deliver the ball to the enemy's goal cages. It's not particularly serious, but we do have several maps packaged with 1.2 that you can play. They're the ones with the pb_ prefix.)
Q) Are you going to use fictional or realistic weapons?
A) Some of our weapons may be influenced by present-time real-world weapons but you won't see any brand-name guns in Dystopia. Being about 60 years ahead of current day, our weapon loadout consists of a wide range of different-style weapons, some based off current technology, some not.
Q) What is the combat like? Very realistic, such as in Operation Flashpoint or Counter-Strike, or deathmatchy like Quake and Unreal Tournament?
A) Dystopia's weapons are all pretty powerful. Our Assault Rifle packs quite a punch - a few headshots are sure to lay over a Light – whereas the Laser Rifle can kill most things in one headshot. One shot from the Rocket Launcher will mess a whole crowd of enemies up, and a barrage of grenades also does a large amount of damage.
With that said, our player characters are big burly, cybernetically-enhanced humans, and won't just keel over at the first whiff of shrapnel. Dystopia is meant to be fast-paced - that means that you fight fast and die fast, but you'll be respawning equally fast.
Q) Does Dystopia support languages other than English?
A) Yes. Dystopia has been translated into all the languages supported by Steam. These are: English, German, French, Korean (Adult), Korean (Teen), Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Italian.