Klang receives additional funding, strikes a deal with Harvard Law professor

Unity founder David Helgason among backers for studio behind SpatialOS-powered MMO Seed.

Berlin-based developer Klang has announced a flurry of updates and additions to its current project, including new funding and an unusual partnership.

Firstly, the studio has received "additional funding" of an undisclosed amount. Backers include Unity founder David Helgason, Reid Hoffman of Greylock Partners, and entrepreneurial investor Joi Ito. They join London Venture Partners and Riot Games' Adalsteinn Ottarson.

While the figures behind this finance have not been shared, Klang has said it is enough to "grow the studio and complete the development of the first internal release of Seed.

Seed is a simulation MMO build with Improbable's SpatialOS. The game challenges players to create a civilisation, much in the same vein as real-time strategy games, and help it to grow until it takes over an entire planet. The nature of SpatialOS means every decision or action has a persistent consequence, and the presence of other players on the planet further complicates their tasks.

To add an extra level of depth, Klang has teamed up with Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig to "construct the political framework" of Seed. The in-game political structure he helps to create is being positioned as "a defining moment in online multiplayer gaming."

The studio has also brought in 3D animator Eran Hilleli to lead the game's art direction.

"“We're building a virtual world filled with vast, player-created communities where every player-action has a repercussion in the game world," said CEO Mundi Vondi. For example, a player might chop down a tree, which affects the planet's ecosystem. This wood can then be sold on, which has an impact on the economy, and if the player chooses to, use the money to bribe another player, which affects the balance of power. We create and provide the tools and incentives to build these communities…the rest is up to the players.”

Klang was originally an Icelandic developer founded by ex-CCP devs drawing on their experience of persistent worlds from time spent working on Eve Online. The team hopes to release a playable version of Seed in early 2018.

Source: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-06-01-klang-receives-additional-funding-strikes-a-deal-with-harvard-law-professor

Klang, Spilt Milk in first wave of Improbable's Innovation Program

Improbable has revealed the first partners in the SpatialOS Games Innovation Program, including Spilt Milk Studios and the Berlin-based startup Klang Games.

The Innovation Program was announced in December last year, with Improbable stating its interest in what smaller dev teams might accomplish using its world-building technology. This is clear from the first round of selected partners, which were announced at GDC today.

  • Seed by Klang Games - A game of planetary settlement set in a shared, persistent world, created by a team including former employees of CCP Games.
     
  • Lazarus by Spilt Milk Studios - a multiplayer, top-down 2D shooter set in a huge galaxy populated by artificially intelligent alien factions locked in a war for territory.
     
  • Chronicles of Elyria by Soulbound Studios - an MMORPG built with the Unreal engine, running on SpatialOS and set in a world where characters age, die, and shape their legacy through multiple lifetimes as different characters.
     
  • Vanishing Stars: Colony Wars by Ninpo Game Studio - a new type of massively multiplayer real-time strategy game, played across thousands of star systems, each with their own planets to battle on.
     

    All developers selected for the Games Innovation Program, which is run in partnership with Google Cloud services, can use SpatialOS to create and test their games until commercial release at a "significantly reduced, and in many cases completely eliminated" cost. That includes the cloud computing fees that are essential to what SpatialOS is designed to achieve.

    "These are just the first of many innovative game projects we will be supporting through subsidised access to SpatialOS and cloud computing," said CEO Herman Narula. "We win by showing the many possibilities SpatialOS opens up to game developers, so we will be aggressively supporting innovative projects like these."

    Improbable is also using GDC as the platform to showcase integration with the Epic's Unreal Engine. A custom-built demo will be used at the show itself, which Nerula described as an "experimental" step on the way to an alpha-level SDK. "This is a huge step for our platform," he said.