kickstarter

Massively OP Podcast Episode 123: Ashes of Creation’s Steven Sharif

On this week’s show, Justin sits down with Ashes of Creation’s Steven Sharif to talk about the game’s successful Kickstarter, handling a wild community, and the next steps for this up-and-coming sandbox MMORPG.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Cloud Imperium rejects wild claim that Star Citizen is ‘owned by a bank’

The Star Citizen subreddit is aflame this weekend after bloggers on multiple sites and social media platforms, seemingly spurred on by a certain self-proclaimed Internet Warlord, have held up recently disclosed Cloud Imperium loan documents as “proof” that the company is close to failure and in danger of losing game assets allegedly put up as collateral.

Redditors have sought to counter that narrative, arguing that it’s part of a multi-year FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) campaign by Star Citizen detractors. They point out that securing a line of credit is not even remotely uncommon (and is in fact wise) for a large corporation with strongholds in multiple countries, given current interest rates. Others suggest that the “bank” is actually a wealth management company known for investment and that no bank of this caliber would loan a large sum of money if it had little expectation of remuneration, collateral or not.

We reached out to CIG’s PR firm for clarity; turns out the company lawyer just responded on the official forums with the official statement:

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen sells 14K concept ships in 24 hours (June 24, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen followers once again proved their game’s dominance by purchasing 14,000 of its new Nox concept ships in less than 24 hours, bringing the game’s UEE Fleet up to 1.3 million ships total. The cheap version is $35, if you’re wondering.

Meanwhile, Ashes of Creation began its summer crowdfunding drive, Mark Kern’s Em-8ER funded again on Indiegogo, Dogma Eternal Night has a new test site, Chronicles of Elyria players created a handy race map, ROKH deployed a new crafting UI, The Exiled posted a state-of-the-game missive, Exile Online is running a GoFundMe, AQ3D is taking the grind out of its leveling curve, and Elite Dangerous players are staging an event to put pressure on Frontier for bug fixes. Plus, over in Crowfall, devs talked up their cell size changes and planned out their influencer program.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

(Thanks, fastcart, Francis, and Stuart G!)

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City of Titans demos animations in new video

City of Titans has this week posted a new video dubbed “Animation while Holding Objects,” which kinda sounds boring, but it’s a superhero MMO — you’re not gonna get far without some sweet spinning melee moves, right?

“What to Look For: It’s a big sword attack animation, but he’s holding a bow in his other hand,” says Missing Worlds Media. “Proving we can do this opens new possibilities for chaining attacks using different weapons/props. Also, the changing FX – as we explained in our powers update, YOU’RE going to be able to pick which one you get.”

On the other hand, MWM says to ignore “almost everything else. Animations, FX, and props are ours but all else is placeholder/test environment.”

Take a peek — it’s progress!

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Eminence: Xander’s Tale brings a hybrid CCG/MMO to the beta fields

It seems like some sort of specific and oft-mentioned geek dream game to combine collectible card battlers with MMOs, although actual examples are few and far between. Soon there’s about to be another, however, as Eminence: Xander’s Tale is bearing down the stretch toward release.

This hybrid game, which was funded via Kickstarter back in 2014, entered beta testing this past May. In Eminence, players can explore and interact in a stylized world while battling against opponents by using (of course) cards. You’ll want to be careful how you play because Eminence uses old-school Magic: The Gathering rules — if you lose a match, your foe gets to take one of your cards for keepsies.

Eminence is being developed for mobile, tablets, PC, and PlayStation 4, so chances are you have something (or many somethings) that will play it. We’ve got the beta trailer after the break that shows a bit of the card battling action, so give it a looksee and let us know what you think.

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Ashes of Creation’s post-Kickstarter pledge store is live

Wallets at the ready, peeps: As promised, Ashes of Creation is following up its massive Kickstarter run with a more local, homegrown crowdfunding effort on its own website, live now.

“We’ve been hearing from the community that many couldn’t participate due to the payment limitations of Kickstarter,” writes Intrepid Studios. “In response to this, we came up with a campaign that benefits both new backers and those from the Kickstarter! This campaign will have new backer goals achievable by previous Kickstarter backers and new backers as they are unlocked.”

Pledges begin at $25 and run up to over $5000, with a whole ladder of rewards for all backers depending on how many gamers jump in. There’s even a trailer to talk you into the deal.

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City of Titans on endgame, alting, PvP, business models, lockboxes, and whales

The first and most-backed City of Heroes successor City of Titans has a couple of dev pieces out this month answering questions posed to Missing Worlds Media this past spring. The Q&A itself is relatively brief, letting players know that powerset interactive effects (like team combos) are not on the table, minions will be customizable, the team is working on ways to thwart gold spammers and bots, PvP has a Rock Paper Scissors design goal, and the game is alt-centric but “won’t be ignoring endgame content.”

“Not only will there be content released for the entire level range throughout its lifetime, but we’ve designed several systems, both content centric and others, to enhance the experience of alting,” says the studio.

Last week, MWM told fans that City of Titans model will be a hybrid of a sub and free-to-play system, with an up-front cost that comes with complete access to the game and VIP status for a three months. It’ll also come with an optional subscription and a stipend of currency, dubbed Stars, for spending in the cash shop.

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Crowfall transitions testing into a live environment, updates Kickstarter rewards

Crowfall is about to take its next step into a larger world. The PvP MMO announced that it’s preparing to layer a live environment on top of test and internal servers as part of its move toward an eventual release. The live environment will feature a more refined and persistent build than what players are used to seeing on the more experimental test server. It will strive to stay up 24/7 as much as possible, be available to a wider pool of backers, be more stable, and be wiped only when absolutely necessary.

The team indicated that this server is a big deal for the development and testing, representing another major step forward: “The live environment will eventually become the live game. We will only wipe it when absolutely necessary and it will be up all the time (outside of normal maintenance). This deployment is one of many necessary transitions that will get us to launch.”

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Ashes of Creation will launch its web store next week

If you’re curious what was going on with Ashes of Creation’s promised web store to allow fans to donate even more money to its crowdfunding coffers following the game’s highly successful Kickstarter campaign, the short answer is that it is coming. Next week, in fact.

Intrepid Studios announced that the web store will go live on June 20th alongside internal email integration for current backers. The team also said that “exciting” announcements are coming during livestreams on June 16th and 30th.

Thanks to deeper pockets, Intrepid has been expanding its development team. Five new members were announced: Lead Economic Designer Rocco Scandizzo (Activision, Vivendi), Lead Technical Designer Akil Hooper (EverQuest II, Fallout New Vegas), Lead Programmer Kevin McPherson (PlanetSide 2, Shadowbane), Senior Character Artist Mat Broome (H1Z1, DCUO), and Programmer Alex (Amazon).

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Em-8er creates 20-page ‘pitch’ book to sell the game concept

Mark Kern’s Em-8er project has reached another internal milestone, with the team achieving a few small (and decidedly quirky) goals such as creating an art demo with the THMPR mech and 3-D printing some tiny THMPR models as backer rewards. The team also put together a 20-page full-color design vision pitch book to sell prospective gamers and publishers on what Em-8er is all about (other than revolutionary titling, of course).

The small team continues to grow and will head into its next fundraising phase next week with a focus on creating male and female models. Kern said that interest in Em-8er continues to grow, with 8,300 people on the game’s mailing list.

“All these milestones (we anticipate 3 more or so), will combine to create the ultimate playable mockup of the game,” Kern wrote. “The mockup will include a sample THMPR encounter with attacking Tsi-Hu shapeshifting aliens, gliding and jetting Omniframes with basic abilities, and a frenzy of sample ranged and melee combat. This demo will be used to promote our eventual Kickstarter and future funding of the game.”

Source: Em-8er

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Make My MMO: Broke Protocol launches early access after failed Kickstarter (June 10, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Minecraft-meets-GTAO MMO Broke Protocol’s Kickstarter ended unsuccessfully on Thursday, but the good news is that the game launched its early access program anyway. The better news is that early access is free. “The last few updates have seen the focus shift to enable more roleplaying opportunities,” writes the team. “Cylinder Studios has now pushed updates to Police, Paramedics, and in this latest update: Firefighters. Demolished vehicles now leave a burning inferno that has to be taken care of by the city’s loyal Fire Department.” Good times.

Meanwhile, Gloria Victis previewed its map expansion, Project Gorgon delayed part of the Serbule revamp, Albion Online launched its Hector update, ROKH rolled out a new build with salvaging and chat, and Elite Dangerous opened the 2.3.10 beta and prepped players for the PS4 debut later this month.

Finally, we spoke to Shroud of the Avatar’s Richard Garriott about his studio’s equity crowdfunding announcement.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Dual Universe on playtesting, the planetary map, and summer cons

Kickstarted indie sci-fi sandbox Dual Universe has posted its monthly update this week with a meaty dev vlog from Novaquark’s JC Baillie.

Baillie says that his team is moving away from introducing new features and toward polishing what’s already live and functional in the pre-alpha. That includes working with a third-party company for playtesting. Paid testers – crazy huh! While the studio won’t be at E3 next week, it is promising early alpha previews at the major cons (namely, Gamescom and PAX West) later this summer.

The rest of the video focuses on the game content itself, including moon take-offs, the planetary map (it’s pretty slick!), atmospheric effects, and new art assets.

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Massively Overthinking: MMO monetization run amok

Over the last couple of weeks, the monetization of unreleased games has become a pervasive and uncomfortable theme for the MMO genre. Just in brief:

The frustrating bit is I could go on, and this is just for games that aren’t even formally launched yet. So for this week’s Massively Overthinking, I want to take the temperature of alarm regarding these types of business models for unlaunched games. Is this all par for the course, in line with what we expect from the new MMO market? Have they gone too far yet? If not, what’s too far? How do we feel about this type of pre-launch monetization run amok?

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