The third and final installment in Matt Burch
's and Ambrosia Software
's widely acclaimed Escape Velocity
trilogy. The first EV game was released in 1996. It garnered a sizeable and extremely devoted fanbase (personal note: were it not for the whole online community surrounding EV
, I would never have discovered E2, nor a host other online venues that I now frequent. You could say that Escape Velocity
changed my life, though not really through the content of the game itself) which still exists in vivo to this day. Escape Velocity Override
was the sequel, released in 1998.
Nova, per series tradition, will have no relation whatsoever to previous installments. The primary difference between the games in the series is the scenario. Nova's scenario began life as a plug-in (user-designed expansion pack which adds on to the in-game scenario) designed by ATMOS Software Productions for EVO. Ambrosia expressed interest in releasing the plug-in (which would replace the entire stock universe anyway) as an official followup. Matt Burch agreed to do the programming modifications to the engine to suit the new scenario.
Even though it will be released in an age where 3D is the rule and not the exception, EV remains true to its roots. While the graphics engine has received a considerable facelift since EV and EVO, the game is still 2D, and the actual gameplay model has changed little. This is just what the fans expect, however, and it is expected that Ambrosia will deliver a final product designed to cater to the interests of the established fanbase (which is surprisingly large, given the Mac-only nature of the series). Nova will retain the same unique synergy of a space trading economics game, a 2D action shootemup game, and an in-depth nonlinear RPG that made it so successful 5 years ago. Atmos are expected to use a host of new tricks and features to provide a more fluid, involved gaming experience.
While the primary target platform for Nova is MacOS (both classic and carbon), Ambrosia has hinted that they "want to develop for Windows". On a personal note, I know Matt Burch, and I am 99.999% sure he won't be doing any of the Windows coding, should it come to that. Nova has no set release date. Ambrosia, however, has gone as far as to say "before 2002", but they're not really making any promises about that.