This week in MMO crowdfunding, we did a retrospective on why crowdfunded MMOARPG Hero's Song failed. It's almost as if Justin knew (cue spooky music) because two days later, Hero's Song's John Smedley and most of the Pixelmage team showed up at Amazon, announcing a new studio and a new game for the shopping giant's games division. In other words, don't expect Smed back on Kickstarter any time soon.
Meanwhile, Star Citizen's alpha 2.6.1 went live, we poked around TUG's status, Elite Dangerous demoed its upcoming "Holo-Me" character creator, The Exiled prepped for next week's launch, Ruin of the Reckless entered its backer test phase, and Camelot Unchained hinted at beta.
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.
When you first step into the wasteland of Edengrad, you'll be treated to the classic post-apocalyptic experience of trekking through a dry and mostly abandoned American southwest desert. That isn't to say that it will be devoid of interesting sights and locales, however.
The devs shared some pictures from the Lost Highway and talked about how they worked to make this beginner zone more interesting than dull: "The Lost Highway is the first location seen by players after leaving the vaults. The desert, mostly based on Arizona’s Monument Valley, is in many places interlaced with rock formations [...] On the one hand, we did our best to present Arizona’s climate as realistically as possible. On the other hand, we wanted to fill the world with interesting locations so the player wouldn’t get bored while wandering through endless grasslands."
Check out some of the vistas you'll be seeing on the Lost Highway below:
This week in MMO crowfunding was... well, it was a big week for gaming in general, and Kickstarted games rose to the challenge! In fact, we could barely pump out the news fast enough. Here's what went on this week:
- Camelot Unchained continued work on "big ticket" development issues, like animation and effects and abilities for bots.
- Mekria Online, which we introduced only last week, has already canceled its Kickstarter; the studio vows to return with more to show players next round.
- Ashes of Creation released its first gameplay video, a "movie-like" version that'll see a UI-laden edition next week.
- Gloria Victis introduced its new Glory system as well as the ability to burn down ALL THE THINGS. Seriously.
- TUG's latest Kickstarter update tells backers that the team is working on gameplay prototyping and touted its recent investor presentation.
- Ship of Heroes previewed one of its signature heroes, Dr. Ellen Strikewell.
- Shards Online is prepping for its Steam launch with an impending wipe and NDA drop.
- Valiance Online posted four new videos of the alpha client! We've tucked one down below.
- Crowfall canceled its weekend playtest over studio concerns that the current version of the build isn't up to snuff.
- Grim Dawn rolled out a massive new patch.
- and Shroud of the Avatar rounds out my super-long list with a post-mortem Q&A -- video and text versions -- on its latest release.
I told you it was busy, and there's more down below! 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.
Even in a post-apocalyptic setting like Edengrad, it's important for NPCs to fill out the world and make it feel more alive. However, that also involves a fine balancing act as well, as players need to feel like the NPCs are actually interacting with the world rather than just standing there. The game's newest update adds the first iteration of new NPC mechanics starting with NPCs paying attention to characters around them.
Previously, NPCs would ignore players unless players specifically did something to draw attention. Now, NPCs will watch the characters move, react to players approaching, and so forth. It's all part of the underlying system that will give NPCs full schedules and lists of activities to perform, adding in some additional verisimilitude when you walk through the world.
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, ArtCraft says over 9000 gamers have been invited to try to break the three alpha servers active during Crowfall's "Big World" playtest. "We’ve shifted our development approach to be more like a live MMO," says Creative Director and Co-Founder J. Todd Coleman. Still on the way "soon" are the new crafting skill trees, unique world maps, the necromancy system that serves as the foundation for avatar swapping, and the protype for the Eternal Kingdoms. The company also crossed the minimum threshold for its Indiegogo-based equity crowdfunding effort, though it has been thus far unwilling to answer questions about its now-public finances.
Meanwhile, Pantheon is plotting a stream on December 9th, Ship of Heroes became the fourth City of Heroes spiritual successor (and has crowdfunding on the way), Star Citizen began testing alpha 26, Richard Garriott donated an in-game skull to a tavern in Shroud of the Avatar, and The Exiled kicked off its closed alpha (for which we still have keys!).
Finally, we sat down with Project Gorgon's Eric Heimburg to chat about the state of the game and its graphics plans for 2017.
Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on!
Sometimes, stories are just so weird that you can't help but find them fascinating. Take the unexpected removal of Project Genom from the Steam store. The former lead programmer claimed that he was given no contracts and functionally scammed out of assets and work; the studio claimed he never signed a contract and turned out substandard work. It's one of those weird stories of conflicting hearsay that you know you'll never really know the truth about, even with the promise that the game will be getting back on Steam soon.
It's a quiet holiday week for most of us, but that doesn't mean other beta news didn't happen. For example:
- Wild Terra has opened up its testing to everyone for a few days, just so that people can see what the game is all about and give its test server a whirl. This coincides with some patches and improvements, as you like.
- Darkfall: New Dawn is also open to everyone for its stress test through the holidays. Whether or not that's a test of stress on the servers or a test of your stress is left as an exercise for the reader.
- The pre-alpha for Edengrad has started, which means that it's still light on some important features but also has the core of the game in place. At least, in theory. You'll have to test it to know if that's successful.
- Looking forward to Conan Exiles? It's arriving in early access on January 31st, 2017. That's a little ways away, but it's not that far.
- Why not try out some Master x Master Titan Ruins this weekend? The game's testing exactly that, so you can see how well it works out.
- Last but not least, Sea of Thieves is inviting people to become pirate insiders, which might be appealing if you have Windows 10 or an Xbox One. The rest of you can sit and stare in jealousy, or just wait for all of the information for insiders to be leaked. I mean, pirates.
While you're enjoying a plate of Thanksgiving leftovers, why not take the time to peruse our list of games just below? Lots of games are in testing, after all. Of course, some of them may have advanced to another testing stage without us noticing, so feel free to let us know about that down in the comments.
Soon, you will be exploring a shattered landscape rife with the bones of the fallen, awash in a sea of wrath and human misery. But if you want a break from dealing with shopping this Friday, you can get in on the Edengrad pre-alpha. Heck, you can get in on that right now, as the game has officially started its pre-alpha testing. Players who have access to this phase of testing will get a special lifelong Pioneer title, although achievements might need to be wiped due to bug fixes.
This early test build doesn't include constructing buildings, founding towns, or declaring wars; instead, it's focused on testing more basic mechanics. Subsequent test phases aren't being given firm dates just yet, as the developers want to see what sort of bugs are encountered and how much needs repairing before committing to further testing. Still, the test phase is starting out, and that means questing, PvP, PvE, and all the crafting you can shake a stick at. Assuming you can find a stick.
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Star Citizen has begun its pre-CitizenCon festivities with multi-hour streaming yesterday and today, culminating in a grand presentation by CIG's Chris Roberts tomorrow. The sale of the Polaris concept ship during the hoopla raised a million and a half bucks in less than a day, marking the second biggest crowdfunding day in the game's history.
We also have two big crowdfunding campaigns winding down this weekend. Hero's Song, the John Smedley-backed pixel sandbox, failed to make its $200,000 Indiegogo goal, but it did pull in $94,000, which the studio gets to keep. "While it's short of what we were looking for, it's helping us immensely," Smed wrote. In happier news, it does appear that sci-fi sandbox Dual Universe is going to fund; as I write this, the game's campaign has pushed past its $560,000 goal with just a few days to go.
Meanwhile, The Exiled (Das Tal) got a new community director, Crowfall flipped its pledge packages, Grim Dawn teased a large update, Valiance Online showed off gear designs ahead of its alpha, Shroud of the Avatar kicked off a housing deco contest, and Antraxx joined our Kickstarter list.
Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding this week and the roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on!
Over the last couple of weeks, we shared with you part one and part two of our guide to the best upcoming and current indie MMORPGs on the market. Naturally, there were always those titles that we overlooked or couldn't fit into the space, so we are back with the third and final part of this guide to make sure that all of your favorite games got mentioned.
As a side note, we won't be covering most of the survival sandbox and mere multiplayer titles, as that would be too much for the scope of this guide. And if you're interested in these games, then you'll definitely want to track our Make My MMO and Betawatch columns.
On with part three!
All wasteland adventurers must start somewhere, and if that somewhere is "beating up on giant mutant bugs," then so be it. Do your duty and count your blessings that you won't have half of your blood drained out during the night by a mondo mosquito.
Huge insects and spiders are only part of what post-apocalyptic Edengrad has been working on as of late. In a new developer diary, the team talks about the game's graphical improvements, simultaneous dialogue with multiple NPCs, additional quest lines, and a more fleshed-out skill tree.
Oh, and apparently there's now a war machine in the game: "We have started developing methods to wreak havoc. We have introduced the first war machine -- a turret that will be capable of destroying defensive walls and buildings. In order to control it efficiently, two players will be required -- one has to load shells and steer the barrel of the turret, while the second player takes care of shooting."
We've got a pair of new videos after the break that show Edengrad's recent battle tests. What do you think? Rough around the edges but shows promise?
Last week, we introduced the first part of our guide to the best upcoming, in-development indie MMORPGs -- yes, the list was so long that we had to split it lest our CMS explode! So this week we're back with the other half of our list, a quick and dirty guide to many of the indie MMORPGs in development and some of the key points about each. Hint: We're not asking whether they are a sandbox with open world PvP because of course they are. As a side note, we won't be covering most of the survival sandbox and mere multiplayer titles, as that would be too great for the scope of this guide. And if you're interested in these games, then you'll definitely want to track our Make My MMO and Betawatch columns.
On with part two!
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Star Citizen stole the show, first with a video showcasing its extraordinarily detailed character face tech, then rather unintentionally in a Kotaku piece that sought to investigate the game's controversial crowdfunded development process.
Meanwhile, Fragmented continued enhancements to housing and melee combat; Gloria Victis tidied up its new dynamic events system; Worlds Adrift prepped for its fifth alpha round; Hero's Song revealed abilities usable by the Paladin and Warrior classes and streamed an AMA on Twitch; and Edengrad offered a preview of its blocking mechanics, UI, and graphics upgrade.
We'd also like to express our condolences to the friends, guildies, and family of Shroud of the Avatar player Lacey, who passed away this week and was memorialized in-game using an in-progress system for craftable, customizable gravestones.
Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding this week and the roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on!
When you write for an MMORPG website that covers literally hundreds of games and could probably add in hundreds more that are extinct, are in operation only overseas, or are so incredibly niche that their creators' moms don't even know about them, you start devoting a large portion of your brain to trying to keep details about all of these games straight. This not only results in forgetting two of your kids' names (after all, space is limited), but it's nearly an impossible task. There's just too much out there.
And lately I've noticed that the staff and readers alike have started to become incredibly confused regarding all of the indie MMOs that are oozing through the development process in their 72 planned testing stages (the other week I could swear that I saw a game declare itself to be going into "state semi-regionals"). There are too many games, some of which look far too similar, and it's stressing us out.
Enhance your calm, citizen. Here's the first part of our quick and dirty guide to many of the indie MMORPGs in development and some of the key points about each. Hint: It's not asking whether they are a sandbox with open world PvP because of course they are. As a side note, I won't be covering most of the survival sandbox and mere multiplayer titles, as that would be too great for the scope of this guide. And if you're interested in these games, then you'll definitely want to track our Make My MMO and Betawatch columns. Then stay tuned next week for the second half of this list!