This week in MMO crowdfunding news, SOE fans banded together and attempted to Kickstart this year’s Fan Faire. You might recall that Columbus Nova cancelled the annual festivities after purchasing SOE, laying off a bunch of staff, and rebranding the firm as Daybreak.
Project Fan Faire seeks $35,000 in funding and has already secured hotel space in Las Vegas provided that 175 attendees are willing to confirm. You can view the rest of this week’s crowdfunding roundup after the cut.
While most of Crowfall’s playable area will be in temporary PvP campaign worlds, there will be a bastion of permanence in individual player housing zones, or as Crowfall is calling them, Eternal Kingdoms.
ArtCraft posted a lengthy FAQ today concerning how Eternal Kingdoms function. Basically, every player will receive an optional-use personal kingdom. Kingdoms start small in size but can be expanded via resources and then built upon using an interesting parcel system of pre-packaged landmarks that fit together like Tetris pieces. Additionally, groups and guilds can collaborate on a shared kingdom, and successful kingdoms may even bring in commerce and tax revenue for its owner.
[Source: Eternal Kingdoms FAQ
Bet you didn’t see this coming. As it ticks down its final Kickstarter campaign week, Crowfall has added a tantalizing stretch goal if the project passes 15,000: The team will add support for virtual reality to the game.
“Thanks to Unity 5’s native support of Oculus (and we’re hoping Vive at some point!) we are excited to say that the possibility is in our grasp,” the team posted this morning. Crowfall’s Kickstarter just recently passed 13,000 backers and has six days to go.
The team also posted a couple of videos showing early Knight animation and the creation of new Duelist art, both of which you can watch after the break.
Crowfall continues to add experienced industry veterans to its team, as ArtCraft announced today that it has hired Valerie Massey to be the new director of community management.
Massey is CCP’s former senior director of public relations and communication and is enthused about the new project. “When it came to MMOs, I felt like the magician’s assistant who has seen the lady get sawed in half too many times. The magic was gone. But when I heard about the concept for Crowfall, I saw something unique on the horizon at last. I had to be a part of it,” she said.
With eight days left in its Kickstarter campaign, Crowfall is pushing hard for last-minute stretch goal milestones. In addition to mounts and caravans if the project reaches $1.3M, the team will hand out a pig pack animal if the 14,500 backer mark is reached and add the God’s Reach ruleset and an artifact and relics system to the core module if $1.4M is donated.
A new dev blog attempts to explain why artifacts and relics are a worthy addition to the PvP title. These are items that are lootable in campaigns that can be brought back to a player’s permanent home and installed to bestow special benefits on that character and home world.
You can watch the devs, ahem, crow about having the 20th largest Kickstarter video game campaign of all time as well as cover the new stretch goals after the jump.
There’s no doubt at this point that Crowfall will be funded, but there is some question about how much extra stuff will be in the game when the funding period finishes. The project needs less than $100,000 to hit its next major stretch goal, unlocking mounts and caravans. With the goal so close, the team has decided to post an FAQ on mount mechanics a little early, detailing how your noble steed will work in the game and how Kickstarter backers can get a little edge.
Mounts in the game are creatures in the world, and mount figurines can be used to summon the mounts repeatedly, but those figurines can be lost, damaged, or otherwise made useless. Kickstarter backers will be able to reclaim the appearance of the special backer mounts, but that’s purely a cosmetic effect. As with all else in the game, nothing lasts forever. The team also posted two new behind-the-scenes videos, so you can check those out just past the break.
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, we learned about the Kickstarter for a “MOBA type of combat game” called Descent: Underground. Yes, it’s that Descent, and it even has Interplay’s blessing. It also boasts a few Star Citizen veterans on its dev team, and it earned an endorsement from Cloud Imperium’s Chris Roberts.
The rest of this week’s crowdfunding roundup is just past the cut.
Today Crowfall treated its fans to a whopper of a dev diary detailing the path of progression that a character will take from a mewing newbie to a seasoned veteran.
The process starts in character creation, where players
advantages and disadvantages (with disadvantages granting more points for additional advantages). Once the character has advanced enough, it can select an irreversable promotion class to further specialize. It’s also at this point that a player can make a one-time change of advantages and disadvantages.
Crowfall‘s Kickstarter campaign has crossed the 12,000 backer mark and hit yet another stretch goal. This means that the team will be giving an All-Father housing statue to everyone who backs the game. At 13,000 backers, ArtCraft will grant every backer a free month of VIP come launch.
The studio also updated its crafting FAQ to expain how crafting skills are acquired, how decay will benefit the economy, how “junk” crafted items will be disposed of in a vendorless world, and how alting will be discouraged. “We see crafters as a full-time playstyle,” write the devs. “They fill a valuable role as much as a tank or damage dealer does. In addition to being able to enjoy the “meta-game” of inter-World trading between Worlds, Crafters also have a specific niche role — every faction/guild will need to recruit them to turn resources into valuable equipment within the Campaigns.”
Star Citizen boss Chris Roberts has taken a moment to endorse a couple of fellow crowdfunded games. He has high praise for Crowfall head men J. Todd Coleman and Gordon Walton. “These are two developers who could walk into managing any MMO in the industry, and it’s all the more impressive to me that they’ve chosen to build something different with the crowd instead,” Roberts writes.
He also enthuses about Descent: Underground, which seems only natural given that the project is led by Star Citizen alum Eric “Wingman” Peterson and features “quite a few Star Citizen veterans.”
[Source: RSI website; thanks Cardboard!]
ArtCraft has raised over $1.1 million for Crowfall in 14 days. And that’s just on Kickstarter! The project has updated with a new video feature featuring J. Todd Coleman, who says that he expected the fundraising drive to come down to the last minute.
Instead, Crowfall “smashed through the goal within 72 hours,” Coleman says, and the project is currently sitting pretty with over 11,000 backers. He also says that there are a “few key pieces” of the project left to explain, so look for that over the Kickstarter’s final two weeks.
Don’t forget to click past the cut to watch the video.
Holding off on backing Crowfall, even though over a million dollars’ worth of players have contributed to the PvP title? J. Todd Coleman says that it’s OK, as following or contributing to any game in development is a “leap of faith.”
Coleman penned a short essay in which he said that the team has a vision but won’t be forcing itself to follow the design document to the letter. “We have a high-level architecture that is a fantastic foundation,” he wrote, “and a design architecture that lends itself to an unprecedented level of flexibility and iteration. We have collected a motley crew that has as much experience as any other team on the planet… but the details aren’t all in focus, yet.”
Sampling from the best of both worlds, Crowfall will allow both offline passive and online active skill training for characters.
In a dev update posted today, the team explained that players can pick up to three skills to learn while they are logged out of the game. The lore excuse here is that priests are praying for your hero to remember skills from a previous life. Offline training will be the main method of advancing your character’s abilities, although you can advance skills through active use as well. The team said that a skill slotted for primary training will rise to 100% in a month’s time, while a tertiary trained skill will take three times that.
The studio also posted a behind-the-scenes interview with Crowfall’s artists, so give that a watch after the jump.