Fractured plans its Kickstarter for June while showing off its pre-alpha

Those looking forward to Fractured will have a chance to put their money where their mouths are in June, because that’s when the game is kicking off its Kickstarter campaign. The game will be aiming for at least $250,000 in funding to add to its $100,000 from investor funding, so we’ll see how well it does once it actually hits the crowdfunding circuit.

But what will you actually be funding? A game or some concept art? You can answer that question by checking out the 17-minute video just below, showing off a sizable chunk of pre-alpha footage and including exploration, combat, and the overall art direction. You can check it out just below; while it’s definitely in the early development stage, you can get a sense of what the overall goal of the game’s design will be even from that. And if you like what you see there, well, just get ready for the hit to your wallet in June.

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City of Titans restructures its development approach thanks to Unreal’s plugins

Due to the scattered locations of City of Titans’ team members, the devs have long since attempted a modular approach to building the superhero MMORPG. However, this format started to “break down,” and the team stepped back to look for a different approach.

This came in the form of Unreal Engine 4.18, which finally allowed its users to attach plugins to other plugins. After that version came out, the City of Titans team had a path forward and spent a few months restructuring the project to function within this new framework. Thanks to the change, the team said that the pace of development should be much better.

“Now that plugins can work with other plugins, all of the various game components can be plugins,” the devs said. “This means that interdependency and modularity are no longer mutually exclusive — they can be both at once […] Because everything is in the same place, everything — to the extent anything this complicated ever does mind you — just works.”


EVE Fanfest 2018: Andrew Groen on the sequel to his popular EVE Online history book

One of the most common comments you’ll see in articles about big events in EVE Online is that it’s a lot more entertaining to read about than to play, and that’s certainly true if what you’re reading is Empires of EVE. Written by EVE Historian Andrew Groen back in 2015 and published thanks to the support of over 3,000 players through a crowdfunding campaign, Empires of EVE tells the story of some of EVE‘s earliest and most deadly wars and political schisms.

Cutting through all of the propaganda and player self-motivations in a political sandbox like EVE is no small task, and it’s complicated by over a decade of shifting loyalties, misinformation, propaganda, and misremembered events. Andrew is uniquely equipped to cut through many of those issues, collecting as accurate historical records as possible and delivering it all as a coherent, deeply compelling narrative that even plenty of non-players have thoroughly enjoyed. Andrew recently announced that Empires of EVE had broken the 15,000 sales mark, and at EVE Fanfest 2018 he announced a sequel is now in the works.

I caught up with Andrew at Fanfest to find out how the first book’s success has affected him and what the future holds for Empires of EVE: Volume II.

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Saga of Lucimia defends Star Citizen’s slow progress, Shroud of the Avatar’s transparency

One of the challenges for indie and crowdfunded MMORPGs is surely the nature of their development: plugging along without much fanfare, with players seeing only one part of the equation. Saga of Lucimia has a piece out meant to show what that behind-the-scenes iteration looks like in the construction of an in-game asset as it travels from art concept to 3-D model to textured asset to something that’s added to the world by a different team entirely. But then what might be a mundane art blog takes a sharp turn to talk about other MMORPGs and their communities and expectations.

“There’s a major disconnect with some players when it comes to the misconceptions regarding iterations over the course of the game’s development,” argues Lucimia Creative Director Tim “Renfail” Anderson. “We see a lot of anger around the ‘net in regards to how things change over time with almost every MMORPG’s development, with many claiming the developers lied about how something was going to work, or how something was perceived as being a certain way, and then when it doesn’t work out quite the way players perceived, they claim that the developers deceived them, and that the launched product isn’t anything like what was initially discussed during the development process. The perfect example of this is Star Citizen/Squadron 42.”

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Make My MMO: PAX’s hands-on, Star Citizen’s free-fly, and Camelot’s weekend tests (April 14, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen is running a free-fly this weekend, as teased yesterday. The game’s currently testing alpha 3.1.2, which also rolled out last night. (Thanks DK!)

At last weekend’s PAX East, we got hands-on with several crowdfunded MMORPGs, including Pantheon and Ashes of Creation, whose demos our writer thought were solid indeed. We also spoke with Ship of Heroes’ Casey McGeever to catch up with its progress!

As for Camelot Unchained, it’s been working on improving its tech and working on new assets, including “placeable decorations on a plot, new animations, and new scenario gameplay and environments.” Today and tomorrow, CSE is running player tests on the Dragon Fang map, so check those out if you’re a hardcore backer!

Meanwhile, Albion Online patched up its GvG mercenary system, Orbus is planning a free weekend next week, and the EVE Online sequel book has already funded. 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.

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Pantropy reboots its Kickstarter campaign a month after its last one

Give Pantropy credit for pluck: Less than a month after developer Brain Stone canceled the sci-fi shooter’s Kickstarter halfway through its campaign, the game is back up on the crowdfunding platform.

This time around the studio is attempting to raise a modest $24,633 for its vision of mechs, crafting, and base building. So far, it seems to be doing fairly well, with over $10,000 pledged by fans. The studio said that the community had grown by 50% since last month, which is another encouraging note.

Brain Stone encouraged fans last month by saying, “We have received multiple publishing and investment offers. We have decided to stay independent! Don’t worry we’ll continue to develop the game and it will be released on Steam early access this year.”

In the meanwhile, the team is busy working on flying bases, a tier 2 gatling gun and mining laser, map zoom, jetpacks, mech jumpjets, and additional concept art.

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The sequel to EVE Online’s Empires of EVE book has already funded on Kickstarter

If glossy coffee table books on MMORPGs are your thing, you’ll want to pay attention to Andrew Groen’s second Kickstarter effort: He’s seeking funding for Empires of EVE: Volume II, the sequel to the popular first book covering EVE Online’s community history.

“The historical narrative takes place during EVE Online’s most popular and populous era so far,” Groen explains. “Volume II will chart the rising and falling fortunes of massive and often devious alliances of thousands of players, introduce all-new iconic characters, and investigate the climactic battles that have come to define this era of EVE Online like the Supercap Slaughter at Uemon, the last stand of TEST at 6VDT-H, and the $300,000 Bloodbath at B-R5RB.”

As I type this, it’s more than doubled its $12,500 goal already with almost a month left to go (the first book raised seven times its goal), and the Kickstarter is loaded with sample pages, so yep, this one’s happening. Ten bucks will get you the ebook, on upward from there for the softcover and hardcover editions.

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Make My MMO: Camelot Unchained marches on; Albion players murder half a million bunnies (April 7, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained continues inching along toward its planned summer beta. According to the game’s latest update, CSE is running internal tests on a new server while tweaking tooltips, the banes and noom system, capture-the-flag mode, item placement, armor, environment assets, and animations, including new idles for each class.

Meanwhile, Crowfall released its 5.5 alpha, Ashes of Creation announced alpha one will land by the end of the year, Albion Online balance-patched armor and GvG while counting a million dead bunnies, Dual Universe released its April newsletter, and Dogma Eternal Night hit the skids.

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.

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Global Chat: RIFT Prime numbers

RIFT’s new Prime progression server certainly has recaptured or recruited many MMO bloggers to the game as of late, and it is all anyone seems to be talking about. So how’s the word out on the web?

Nerdy Bookahs observed that Trion “chose a perfect time” to release the progression server. The Ancient Gaming Noob initially felt conflicted but soon fell into a groove: “There was the feeling of life in the game, with lots of people around and public groups to join and things just happening everywhere.” And GamingSF said that he’s “coming along swimmingly” on the shard.

It wasn’t all kudos and praise. Endgame Variable hedged his outlook by saying that RIFT Prime was “fun, but I don’t think it will last very long.” Inventory Full felt disillusioned with the way the original game was handled and said, “RIFT simply doesn’t have the depth or breadth of content of either of the EverQuest games, nor the nostalgia factor.”

Read on for the MMO blogosphere’s thoughts on other topics, including inventory woes in Guild Wars 2, the classic multiplayer dogfight sim Air Warrior, and the early access release of Project Gorgon.

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Make My MMO: Shroud of the Avatar sheds its early access… shroud (March 31, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Shroud of the Avatar formally launched with the release of R52 this week, which might be confusing to gamers who’ve been playing the soft launch since mid-2016, but this one’s official. Richard Garriott-backed studio Portalarium has since published details for its first three post-launch updates.

Meanwhile, Star Citizen’s alpha 3.1 went live, a former WoW designer is Kickstarting a huge coffee table book, Ship of Heroes talked engine upgrades, Dual Universe founder JC Baillie made the case for Ready Player One as reality, we chatted with the Legends of Aria team at GDC, Star Citizen dinged up to 2M accounts, Chronicles of Elyria showed off its character creation, Valiance Online teased auras, and Swedish crowdfunding platform FundedByMe passed half a billion SEK (about 60 million USD) in crowdfunding across all its projects.

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.

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Shroud of the Avatar lays out a roadmap for its next three updates

Now that Shroud of the Avatar is officially launched, what’s next? For the team, the pace of development and updates won’t change, with a patch scheduled for the end of each month. Portalarium treated us to a roadmap of the game’s second quarter, saying that it will be putting an emphasis on performance, localization, polish, better direction, improved AI, better rewards, and repeatable content.

So what’s coming? The roadmap in a nutshell is as follows:

  • April’s Release 53: More side quests to the main storylines, updated maps, improved frame rates, a looking for group tool, UI polish, and a pass on combat balance. It will also add the zones of Tenebris Harbor, Eastmarch, and Penmawr Island.
  • May’s Release 54: Yet more quests and performance improvements are on the docket, as well as the ability to brew alcohol and more chaos magic.
  • June’s Release 55: More quests, more performance improvement, castle defense scenarios, a Jingo seasonal creature, more localization for text and quest dialogue, and the regions of Norgard Fens, Bramble, and East Vauban Foothills. This month will also see the shipping of Kickstarter physical rewards, such as the game’s box and cloth map.


World of Warcraft’s first 3-D level designer is Kickstarting a massive behind-the-scenes book, and it’s already written

The Ancient Gaming Noob himself tipped us off today to a bizarre but intriguing Kickstarter that should appeal to that cross-section of our audience into World of Warcraft, coffee table books, and the history of coding. Wait, no, hear it out.

“The WoW Diary takes you inside one of the gaming industry’s most famous companies and follows the development of one of its most successful titles. […] I began The WoW Diary by interviewing my team members to build a broader understanding of how a computer game company works, and I logged monthly updates our progress over the next four years (until we launched). This book focuses on the highs and lows of making massively multiplayer online games, and because WoW is so familiar, it’s excellent common ground for covering both the basics and specifics of game development.”

All of that written by “WoW’s first 3D level designer” – John Staats – in a “a hardbound journal with over 95,000 words and 130 images across 336 varnished, full-color pages” that are already completely finished and just need funding for a printing run. In other words, you’re buying a $40 book detailed by the guy who built what appears to be a huge chunk of classic WoW: “Ahn’Qiraj Temple, Blackfathom Deeps, Blackwing Lair, Blackrock Mountain, Blackrock Depths, Booty Bay, Karazhan (w/Aaron Keller), Loch Modan Dam, Lower Blackrock Spire, Molten Core, Razorfen Downs, Razorfen Kraul, Scholomance, The Slag Pit, Upper Blackrock Spire, The Wailing Caverns, and Warsong Gulch.”

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Over 2,000,000 people have now registered accounts for Star Citizen

Star Citizen hit another milestone this week: It’s reached 2,000,000 citizens. Accounts, specifically.

The game has been in production since before its Kickstarter launched almost six years ago. According to the official funding stats, the game has raised over $181,000,000 in crowdfunds from donors and pre-order ship sales. It broke a million citizens back in 2015.

What might be behind the recent surge that’s making numerologists rejoice? It might be the new ship sale announced on Friday, which brings back a bunch of older concept ships – for the last time, they swear – at an inflated price, with the promise that they’re actually coming in the next update.

Or it could be the studio’s ruminations on a pivot to releasing a minimum viable – and playable – product; last week, CIG posted a backer-only poll inquiring about the critical features the studio ought to work on first.

Source: Official site, Reddit. We’ve amended the title to make it clear that these are registered accounts, not necessarily backers.


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