Steamboat Springs The stat is pretty telling.
Nick Nieuwoudt suspects he has spent 25 percent of his waking life on one project.
“Had I known it was going to be this much of an undertaking I’m not sure I would have continued,” he said.
But the race is coming down the stretch and Nieuwoudt can sort of see an end. Nieuwoudt, who used to live in Steamboat Springs, is in the process of putting the final touches on Novus AEterno, a multiplayer online real-time strategy game.
“We’ve created an endless universe where thousands and thousands of players can play together in the same universe,” he said. “Imagine the game of Risk with thousands of players that never ends.”
In a one-of-a-kind game, Nieuwoudt said he hopes to release the game in the first quarter of next year.
Right now, he said, he is in the process of putting the final touches on the game.
The PC science-fiction game will be available through Valve’s Steam digital distribution platform.
“A strategy game on this scale has never been created before,” he said. “We designed the game that every action a player makes can affect the entire universe. It’s so volatile. One player can do something and it can change the entire universe.”
Nieuwoudt, 22, lived in Steamboat Springs until he was 13. He said he loved the outdoors and always could be found skiing or playing hockey.
He moved to San Francisco with his mother and then to South Africa. When he was 16 years old, his family moved to Patmos, Greece.
The small island had a very small population. At 16, there wasn’t much to do nor many people his age.
He always was competitive and liked gaming. He started playing more and more games and got tired of the games he was playing and their limited spectrums. So at age 16, he started developing the game and created Taitale Studios.
He eventually moved to Costa Rica to pursue a degree in veterinary science, but a couple of years into developing the game he realized if done right, it would consume all his time.
“I spent three or four years developing the game and it was growing rapidly,” he said. “I had 10 to 15 people working for me, and I realized I didn’t have time to go to university.”
So he delved all his time into the product. He had recruited developers and designers from all across the world.
Currently, he has 25 people helping him design the game from 13 countries.
“We have some of the best in the industry, people that could work for any company they want, but they don’t want to move,” he said.
Currently he’s trying to raise $200,000 to help with expansions. He has a Kickstarter campaign going and people can donate by clicking here.
The game already has drawn big accolades. Novus AEterno won the best Real Time Strategy and Best Innovation at PAX Prime 2012, a gaming festival.
When the game does go live, people will be able to purchase the game, download the client and then connect to Tailtale Studio servers to play.
“We wanted to minimize all network traffic,” he said. “Living in a developed country people take Internet for granted. This allows us to reach out to many that couldn’t play online games.”
Now that the game is near completion and ready for public consumption, Nieuwoudt said he isn’t sure what’s next. He said he has spent half of the seven years in this alternate universe and is sure he’ll continue developing the game with add-ons and new features.
“It’s like I’m a cook and it’s taken seven years to complete my masterpiece,” he said. “I can’t wait to see their faces when they take the first bite.”
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229, email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @LukeGraham