Battle royale fever is in full swing, folks. After the huge success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, developers everywhere are creating their own takes on the addictive gaming formula, but one of them is aiming far bigger than the rest.

Only known right now as ‘Project X‘, the ambitious game wants to take the survival shooter concept to a massive level, creating a world big enough to facilitate 1,000 concurrent players, decked out with weapons and vehicles for your killing pleasure.

If that sounds like a total lag-fest, you’d probably be right. One of the biggest shortfalls with massively multiplayer online (MMO) games is managing player connection, which, at its worst, results in frustrating rubber banding (being thrown back a few steps because your game is not in sync with the server).

Most online games work by installing its world onto your computer, but the UK company behind Project X, Automaton, are putting those files in the cloud, leaving your computer to simply provide a window into that world. By approaching it this way, the team reckons they can have up to 1,000 players running around the environment at the same time.

They also say this will increase what the world can do, not only graphically, but also in terms of interaction. Things like player footprints, dynamic fire, foliage displacement, and persistent destruction will all play a part in the game’s environment, allowing you to actually see where other users have been.

“Wildlife will react to players,” team member Lawrence Barnett told Polygon. “It will react dynamically. So, if you run through a bush you’ll scatter a deer to the right. If there’s another player to the right of you that you’ve yet to have seen and that deer runs into that player, it will then turn around and look really rather startled before finding an alternative route.”

“We’re trying to create this foundation that will lead on to empowering the player in many, many different ways. It’s a little bit like an RTS, where players actually end up using the map not just as a map. It means far more than that.”

In terms of world size, Automaton say it’s going to be bigger than Skyrim, which, if you’ll recall, was pretty fucking huge. While that level of play won’t come until 2019, a beta version of a 100-player battle royale game mode is planned for later this year. After that, they’ll up the ante to a 400-player squad version, and then to the 1,000-player madness.

The team made it clear to Polygon that creating an interesting world is paramount the the player experience. Rather than creating “Barren Russia 2.0,” they want to make a “living, breathing world.”

While multiplayer interactions accounts for a huge chunk of what Automaton has planned, there’ll also be RPG-style missions to run inside the world, along with other activities to keep things from going stale. Most importantly, you can play however the hell you want, so these missions won’t be forced down your throat if you just wanna hang out or whatever.

Apart from a few sparse screenshots, not much else is known about the game at this stage, but the company will be revealing more at the PC Gamer Weekender on February 17, so hopefully we’ll get a name, as well.

With a method like this, the biggest question is how will our average internet connections handle it? I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but hopefully they account for us poor saps in Australia.

Source: Polygon
Image: PUBG / Bluehole