The development started out as a desire to create a fully realized sandbox, as most sandboxes end up making large concessions to appease, whoever. Most of the talent was volunteer based and this was just a side project or hobby for the team. I mean the project lead still has a day job setting up and running cyber security systems or something. It will be interesting to see how this transitions into a funded project through the kickstarter campaign.
Anyways, I hope they actually produce something as there are a lot of really ambitious and interesting ideas being thrown into this project. I am slightly concerned with the concept of manually adjusting some systems in response to player activity (Such as the dynamic ecology). I doubt that is going to produce consistent or timely responses from the game world. Much better to figure out how you would like someone to adjust for those events and then set the game to do it when necessary.