crowfall

Official Site: Crowfall
Studio: ArtCraft Entertainment
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: “Throne War Simulator”
Business Model: Hybrid B2P (Optional Sub)
Platform: PC

Make My MMO: Project Gorgon's new shop, Crowfall's investor tally (January 21, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Project Gorgon opened up a brand-new web store. "Currently, we are listing four crowdfunding packages from our prior Indiegogo Campaign in order to continue to raise funds until we launch on Steam Early Access," Elder Game says. "This will give those who found out about us as our Indiegogo Campaign was closing to donate and get the awesome benefits that come with doing so. The three packages that are being offered are: The Horseback Explorer, Patron, and Duke. We will not be offering a standard Contributor package as we want to encourage all those interested in a standard Project: Gorgon key to purchase directly from Steam once they become available."

Meanwhile,

  • TUG resurfaced after raising millions and a year of rework to say it's now focusing on producing a "minimally viable product."
  • We chatted with the Ship of Heroes team about its development.
  • Descent: Underground's Tenebrae update introduced a brand-new map.
  • The Exiled announced a February 23rd Steam early access launch.
  • Crowdfund platform Fig revealed it has raised nearly $8M in a financing round for venture capitalists.
  • Crowfall's Indiegogo-based equity crowdfunding campaign drew to a close, raising over $668,000 from over 1200 investors.

Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on!

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Stitch together your own playable bodies in Crowfall

Do you have any qualms about playing with dead things in video games? How about playing a dead thing itself? Crowfall will offer both opportunities with its necromancy crafting profession.

"Crowfall's vision for necromancy is not the same as traditional fantasy RPGs, where you raise pets from the dead and force them to do your bidding," the team explained. "While that does sound pretty cool, necromancy in Crowfall is more about digging up desiccated body parts, restoring them, and combining them in such a way to make a playable character class."

Necromancers will assemble ingredients and harvest body parts to work on the assembly of a new "vessel" for their own or others' use. As it is the only way to jump into the skin of an archetype that has superior and customized stats than the default selection, the devs anticipate necromancy to be a profession in constant high demand.

Source: Crowfall

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Leaderboard: Did you participate in Crowfall's equity crowdfunding raise?

Finishing up today is Crowfall's Indiegogo-based equity crowdfunding campaign, one of the first games and MMORPGs to take advantage of new 2016 laws that allow regular people to invest in small indie companies online. As I write this, the studio has raised just over $600,000 with just over 1100 investors, solidly in the middle of its $159K-$1M goal range.

I'm curious, though, whether any of you were among the investors or plan to invest in other games in the future, now that actual investing (however limited and risky) is an option when once only donations were on the table.

That leads me to today's Leaderboard and the pair of polls below, where we're asking you both about your involvement in Crowfall's fundraising and your involvement in future equity crowdfunding ventures from other studios. Onward!

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Make My MMO: The Repopulation's new owner, Shards Online's alpha (January 14, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Above & Beyond announced that Hero Engine company Idea Fabrik has acquired all rights to its indie sci-fi sandbox MMORPG The Repopulation and will be relaunching the game -- in the Hero Engine -- with a new content patch sometime in Q1 2017. The game had originally raised $230,000 in Kickstarter funds in 2012 and 2014 and made it to early access in 2014, only to become entangled in a financial drama with Idea Fabrik over a year ago, which kept the game offline for a year while A&B built Fragmented with the goal of porting Repop to Unreal. The port will no longer be happening, but A&B is still working on Fragmented's console version. Definitely check out our whole article on what's up -- we've got an exclusive interview with A&B there as well.

Meanwhile,

Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on!

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Betawatch: Project Gorgon gears up with high-level content (January 13, 2017)

Is it fair to call Project Gorgon a spiritual successor to Asheron's Call? I'm going to go with yes, which means that this year is the year for the game to launch. And that's the goal, too; the game is adding in more levels and more high-level content for players to explore before the launch later this year. Let's go gaga for Gorgon, yes?

Of course, there's other beta news too. But that one deserved a header nod. Everyone else can sit here in list format, like so:

Did we get a list past the break? We did! It may contain a whole bunch of betas, or it might contain the ingredient list for almond-and-cranberry scones. If it's the betas, do let us know if something is missing or inaccurate down in the comments; if it's the scones thing, just cook some nice scones for your friends and family.

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Here's how Crowfall is tweaking resource harvesting for Big World

Crowfall Design Lead Thomas "Blixtev" Blair has a new dev blog out this afternoon on the resource harvesting slice of the big world testing going on right now. To understand how it's changing, you need to understand how the resource system was planned to work originally.

"The most important aspect of resources in Crowfall is that every resource type is important in the crafting system. We are not making a standard resource progression where copper is replaced by a higher tier material, thus turning copper into a low- end trash resource only useful for new players. [...] Crafters will combine multiple resources types in meaningful ways to produce crafting components or items with interesting stats."

Blair says that while the crafting design is working, the resource design wasn't -- chiefly because the models used for each don't match up and the progression of different materials vs. tools was opaque to players unless they had a chart sitting in front of them.

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Recapping Crowfall's equity investment Q&A

Early this afternoon, ArtCraft Entertainment's J. Todd Coleman and Gordon Walton answered investor questions about Crowfall's equity crowdfunding venture, which closes out on Monday. We've collected some of the highlights.

Coleman says investors are "making a bet" that there's an "eventual win" in terms of an IPO or buyout or some other way. In the gaming business, he says, most companies that have a win, "get acquired." He wouldn't say that's even remotely in the works, but it's a possibility for companies like ArtCraft and is one way investors might profit from their investment.

When asked whether the raise was initiated because the company needed money, Walton explained that the company didn't realize they'd be able to do a raise like this (because it was enabled by a brand-new law last fall); in fact, ArtCraft ended a different raise to open this one and had run one prior to the Kickstarter as well.

"Do [we] need more money? Yes, we do," Coleman says, but he stressed that every company needs and wants more money. He said he now believes the game will cost in the $11M-12M range, up from the original $8M estimate, thanks to mistakes, new features, design changes, and the Travian localization partnership, among other things.

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MMOs Chronicles of Elyria, Dual Universe, and AQ3D were among top crowdfunded games of 2016

Fig, the gaming crowdfunding platform that surged in popularity in 2016 thanks to successful Wasteland 3 and Psychonauts 2 campaigns, has released a list of the top 10 biggest gaming crowdfunds of last year -- and it includes three MMOs.

Fig is touting the games that raised cash on its own platform, of course, but the data also include three MMORPGs in the top 10, backed off Fig: Soulbound's PvP sandbox, Chronicles of ElyriaNovaquark's builder-centric sci-fi sandbox, Dual Universe; and Artix's cutesy cross-platform MMO, AdventureQuest 3D. All three were funded through Kickstarter.

Fig, like the Indiegogo/Microventures platform Crowfall has used for its latest investment round, takes advantage of relatively new U.S. laws that allow non-accredited investors to invest in startups online, making some of these crowdfunds true investment, not just donations, though they come with plenty of restrictions and caveats. Check out the full infographic below.

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Make My MMO: Refunds for Hero's Song (January 7, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, refunds continue for Hero's Song, which was canceled the day after Christmas with the promise to reimburse all those who backed the game through Indiegogo or on Steam early access. A new Indiegogo announcement from John Smedley yesterday says that Pixelmage has finished processing all pending requests -- manually -- and will soon begin mailing checks. "On the PayPal front we're awaiting having our PayPal account authorized to do this," he writes, suggesting that will be resolved early next week.

Meanwhile, take note, future MMO devs: If our readers are any indication, Kickstarter is probably not going to be your ticket to cash in 2017.

Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on!

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Betawatch: Crowfall claims 2017 (January 6, 2017)

Here we are, in 2017! It seems a lot like 2016 and things are still kind of awful. On the bright side, David Bowie hasn't died again. Also, Crowfall has proudly proclaimed that this will be its year. So far, the year has consisted of answering player questions and passing a crowdfunding goal, but it probably will include more than that. The year is young.

Other beta news? Yes, there's been a little bit while developers get back from the holidays.

Of course, there's a list down below. Same list as last year, really, we haven't had enough time for any huge shakeups. If something is on there which ought not to be, though, please do let us know down in the comments.

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Massively Overthinking: Hopes and wishes for MMORPGs in the new year

One of the frustrating bits about our end-of-the-year content rollouts is that sometimes predictions and story roundups can come across as negative. It's way too easy to assume that if someone is predicting game X will flop, she wants it to happen and is gleefully steepling her fingers and cackling madly over its future demise. Which is just not so! I never steeple my fingers.

But all the same, for tonight's Massively Overthinking, we'd like to take a moment to set aside our fears and expectations and just talk about our hopes and wishes for 2017 in an MMORPG context. That was what we think will happen. This is a summary of our most optimistic daydreams.

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Crowfall reaches a funding stretch goal and aims for one last target

Back in November, Crowfall studio ArtCraft joined Indiegogo's fledgling equity crowdfunding platform, which makes use of brand-new laws that allow non-accredited investors to invest in start-ups online. This is indeed investment, unlike the donation-based, Kickstarter-esque crowdfunding you're probably used to as a gamer, though investors are purchasing preferred shares, which are relatively restricted in benefit and transfer power, and there's no guarantee whatsoever investors will see a return.

Still, it's ahead of the game's persistent state, funding for ArtCraft is apparently doing fairly well at. The game has just managed to hit the 35% mark for how much can legally be raised under its newest crowdfunding push. Now the team is getting ready for one final push to 50%, with one last stretch goal for players.

Investors who back the company through this equity crowdfunding venture will receive a special land parcel that will never be available through any other means, allowing you to make a villa in the shadow of a collapsed statue. It's definitely a conversation starter, and it's available for everyone who invests if the 50% mark is passed, while backers who don't invest will still receive some freebies. If that sounds like something you just can't live without, perhaps you might want to invest a little money in the studio after all.

Source: Official Site; thanks to David for the tip!

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Crowfall answers player questions on server size and QA work

What ever happened to Crowfall's stretch goal for a QA lead? The answer is nothing happened to it; it's still a goal for the future, but at the moment the studio's finances are just such that the bug-tracking needs to be handed off to people already working on the game, including J. Todd Coleman himself. The work of tracking down bugs and issues is still being done, and hiring someone to lead the hunt is still in the cards for the future. But you needn't take our word for it, since you can watch the latest community Q&A in video form just below.

Many of this round's questions cover more general QA or technical issues; the game is still planned to allow 1000 people per campaign world as a bare minimum, but major optimization work has not yet been done on the server structure. There's also more information about how bugs are tracked internally and what's next for the game's milestone updates; check out the whole thing past the break.

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