The transparency that comes with crowdfunded and indie MMORPGs is awesome – when everything is going to plan. But what about when it isn’t? That’s what Ship of Heroes has addressed in a new forum post today. Heroic Games’ Casey McGeever explains that the studio’s milestone schedule is an internal tool, helping the team figure out what to do next when it gets ahead or falls behind. And fortunately, he doesn’t think the players freak out when the schedule goes awry.
“We don’t feel a lot of negative feedback from the community when we miss a milestone,” he writes. “And of course, we try to set the milestones so that we can achieve them. But we have missed a few — We’re late right now on delivering a new powerset and our date for the login test is slipping into June because we have people who come into and out of the project. Our core is a group of unpaid volunteers, supplemented by committed contractors. But people, resources and technical issues arise in every project — even if a big firm like Google or Microsoft is doing the project. The point of our schedule is to communicate to you all of you, our community, what we are trying to do and to enable you to understand what is happening at any time. To show what we are focused on at the moment.”
With GDC 2018 in the bag, Casey McGeever is back from showing off Ship of Heroes and has a few reflections about the experience. Among many observations, McGeever talked up PopcornFX, which he said will be used to upgrade the visuals of Ship of Heroes’ effects.
He shared many takeaways from his meetings and panels, including “a move back toward subscriptions for MMOs,” a push back against toxicity in gaming, and efforts being done to put more players on the screen in online games.
And regarding his own project? “I did not see anything that suggests to me that a niche game like SoH will not succeed,” he said.
Of course, you could also get our take from meeting and talking with McGeever about this upcoming superhero MMORPG. We urged you to “keep your eyes” on this project and its scrappy team.
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Elite Dangerous players scoped out the dirty doings of the paid HCS voice pack plugin, which was apparently intentionally and maliciously sabotaging other programs and packs – whose makers happen to be embroiled in a legal dispute – to stop them from working together. The best part is the name of the function that has everyone up in arms: “wanker.” One of the coders ‘fessed up on Reddit and fell on his sword as patches undoing the mischief were rolled out, but the community is pretty miffed and talking chargebacks. Either way, maybe triple check the third-party mods you install on your system, yeah? (Thanks, Risen Aegis!)
Meanwhile, Star Citizen brought back a round of ship sales and opened alpha 3.2 features up to a vote, we reported on our trip to Shroud of the Avatar’s launch party, Pantheon teased its character modeling, City of Titans released more Scorpion lore, Albion Online tweaked its Lancelot update, and we chatted up Ship of Heroes’ devs at GDC 2018.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the weekly roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
Let me be upfront: I’ve never gotten into a superhero MMO. I love comics; outside of work, it’s probably the only fiction I willingly read these days. It’s just the people I play with never got into hero MMOs, even when some of us finally tried DC Universe Online.
But I read all about them. And I know you superhero MMORPG players have been kicked around.
Heroic Games President and CEO Casey McGeever’s passionate about the need for the genre because of that, and that’s precisely why MMO Ship of Heroes was conceived. We’ve got superheroes everywhere these days, but as hot as the Avengers are, we’re largely given steaming piles of brown from their gaming-ignorant parent companies. So I sat down with McGeever to talk MMOs, tech, and a ship full of heroes during GDC 2018.
Back in January, Massively OP’s MJ got to tour Ship of Heroes while chatting with Heroic Games’ Founder Casey McGeever and Lead Developer Matt Wilson. Since then she has been looking forward to getting in and running around herself. Today she gets to do just that! McGeever and Wilson are joining her again as she gets to man the controls. Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. for a another romp around the massive ship.
What: Ship of Heroes
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EST on Monday, March 5th, 2018
Ship of Heroes is super-jumping right into 2018 with two documents of note. The first is a retrospective of what the Heroic Games team learned from the community in the past year, including the fact that players want harvesting, crafting, and trading mechanics as well as crowd-control and pet mastery classes and Halloween. The team also says it understands the community’s desire for solid character creation and combat, details on character powers, and real gameplay video demonstrating development progress – particularly a mission video.
“A powerful character creator, and a positive community, are the two most important features of SoH, as judged by the voters in our polls,” writes the studio.
The second document, published here exlusively on Massively OP (not sponsored), is a reflection on the state of the MMORPG industry, particularly the superhero corner of it and how Ship of Heroes fits in, penned by Heroic Games’ Casey McGeever. We’ve included the whole piece below:
Quietly zipping along this fall is City of Heroes spiritual successor Ship of Heroes, which has been running a small external alpha test with backers focused on its character creator tool, the first such alpha wave for the game. Heroic Games now says that test has drawn to a close as a “resounding success.”
“Ship of Heroes has three current character models – a female, a male and a really big male. Each can be outfitted with civilian clothing or with hero costumes, and the items can be mixed and matched. Each article of clothing has primary and secondary colors that can be set using RGB values, giving enormous freedom to each player to design a unique character. In addition, over 300 morphs can currently be applied to each character, allowing even greater levels of customization. Every character in the game can be distinct and unique from other characters.”
Notably, the team says its feedback revolved around wanting more hero costumes, a wider variety of costumes, more skin tones and colors, and body morphs including height, all of which is still in progress.
Sometimes MMORPG players might get the feeling that game companies will let just about anything slide in order to keep the most revenue streaming in, but that’s not the case with one particular hopeful City of Heroes successor: Ship of Heroes. Studio Heroic Games is predicating the game on a positive atmosphere, which starts from the ground up.
At this year’s PAX West, I sat down with CEO Casey McGeever to talk about the game: where it’s coming from, where it is now, and where it’s going. We discussed funding, rivalries, community, and the wild backstory about the massive ship that heroes will be living on. After that, I attended the CoH successor panel to hear about the three largest superhero MMORPG games currently in development. Let’s suit up and dig in.
What happens when a group of dislodged City of Heroes fans attempt to bring back the spirit of their favorite MMO while marrying it to another favorite geek pastime (in this case, Star Trek)? You end up with Ship of Heroes, an in-development title that’s holding a torch for the popular superhero MMO… in space. We sat down with Heroic Games CEO Casey McGeever to find out more about this potential game.
Massively OP: For those a little unfamiliar with the project, can you give us your quick elevator pitch for what Ship of Heroes is?
Casey McGeever: Ship of Heroes is a new MMORPG in development, which is a spiritual successor to City of Heroes. We’re combining the best elements of hero and sci-fi games in a setting 500 years in the future.