State of Decay 2 is out, and I know, I know, it’s not an MMO, but it does have online multiplayer in a shared world, as long as someone’s hosting. And I’ve been thoroughly sucked in.
Here’s the thing: It’s survival, it’s got a bit of a story, and you can immediately deal with griefers in the post-apocalypse and never have to see them again. I had great experiences with friends and foes alike, and I think some of you might feel the same if you give it a whirl.
In retrospect, it was probably not the brightest of ideas to settle in an abandoned village in the middle of a dark forest full of monsters. But what’s done is done, and now it’s up to you and 29 friends to try to make it work.
This is the premise of Grimmwood, a social multiplayer RPG that works in elements of survival titles, roguelikes, and city builders. It’s not a free-roaming 3-D title but rather a menu-driven experience that plays out a bit like a tabletop RPG. There are choices to be made during the day, including going on expeditions, crafting up tools, and re-enforcing the village. This is all necessary, because every night the monsters come and assail your small outpost.
There’s a really neat alternative 16th century vibe running through this title, and the fact that players have to manage limited action points, their characters’ sanity levels, and actions that could result in permadeath should make for tough choices.
Grimmwood is currently in open beta and can be played for free on Steam.
What began as a general vision statement for BioWare quickly turned into a treatise on how the studio is going to handle Anthem’s multiplayer mode.
General Manager Casey Hudson returned for another dev blog in which he attempted to reconcile the studio’s focus on players being the “hero of your story” while participating in Anthem’s multiplayer environment.
“We’re taking this problem head-on and structuring the entire game design to provide a specific solution for this,” Hudson wrote without going into detail on said solution. “We think it creates a unique experience where you have control over your own story, but your story is set in an ever-changing multiplayer world. And yes, even though Anthem is meant to bring out the best parts of playing as part of an online community, you can choose to play through the story with only your friends, or even on your own.”
Hudson said that BioWare has other teams working on envisioning future games and different experiences. He also confirmed that Anthem will be shown live before an audience at EA Play (June 9th through 11th).
If the survival genre is any indication, Early Access is a nigh indestructable beast! Time and time again we’ve seen where so many have failed to defeat this end boss. But that all changed when one mighty barbarian came along and did just that. Conan Exiles strangled the last breath out of the Early Access beast with its bare hands and cast it aside, then strode straight into the waiting arms of launch this week.
Now there is lots to say about this launch, and a good chunk of it is pretty glowing. However, no launch is without some troubles. And sadly, there is also a despicable element as well. Here’s my look at the good, the bad, and the barbaric of the first couple of days of Conan Exiles’ launch.
Well that didn’t take long! There are a plethora of survival sandboxes out there for fans to play (as you can see from our multiple guides!), enough that there might be some worry that the market for this genre is getting pretty saturated. Perhaps there is room still, but anyone entering that crowded market needs to have a good hook and be able to deliver a worthwhile experience in order to attract and keep players. Sadly, this isn’t always (often?) the case. Even when you want games to not just survive but thrive, there are a host of factors that work against that.
I have found that I enjoy the survival sandbox genre, and I play a number of the games. A couple get the lion’s share of my attention and game time while others are visited occasionally. Some of these titles have a chance to move into a favored position in my heart and my gaming line up. Others, however, have lost their chance completely. Here are seven survival sandboxes that I want to love, but don’t — at least not yet.
With word that Stardew Valley’s multiplayer update is almost upon us, we only have one question: Which of you peasants will toil the rich fields of Massively Overpowered and bring us the harvest of turnips that we so desire?
For those who have been eager to play this farming/life simulator with friends, you can get a preview of it thanks to the debut of the beta. Steam users can jump into the open beta of the patch right now, with GOG players expected to gain access in the coming days.
In the multiplayer edition, up to four players can farm and adventure on the same server. Players can invite friends from their Steam or GOG lists, or else they may choose to send out invite codes to populate their little fiefdoms. The multiplayer FAQ answers some other questions, such as how marriage and festivals work among multiple players, but there still is no official word as to when this patch will go live.
When Jagex first announced its Transformers game, it was an MMORPG. Then it got its MMORPG elements stripped and became a MOBA, and then it got cancelled before launch. It is, however, indicative of a usual trend wherein it’s far more common for a game to go from a more open experience to a more closed one. Scaling down is easier.
But recently I played Warframe, and that game has not only bucked the trend but gone hard in the other direction. It’s not quite up to what I’d consider a full MMORPG just yet, but it’s approaching the sort of thing I’d expect from a game in the vein of the original Guild Wars. It wouldn’t even be hard for it to reach that platform. And that, of course, just brings to mind whether or not other games could go that route.
Of course, we can’t say if any other titles could or will, but we can look at the crop of online games which are not MMORPGs and decide which ones should be. So what say you? Which non-MMORPGs would do well becoming full MMORPGs? And for bonus points, you can even lay out a path to making that happen.
As we explored last week, game development isn’t always an upward trajectory. Some things soar, and some things crash. Our last Survivalist conversation was about four ways that the ARK: Survival Evolved that launched was better than the early early access build and four ways that it was worse. Since launch, development has continued, some on the base game and quite a bit on expansions. Whether the overall game as it stands right now is better or worse depends in part on what aspects are more important to you and likely which expansion you play. (Let’s hear it for Aberration!)
Even with improvements made to the game since launch, there are areas that could really use some attention. Today, I’d like to focus on four things that I really want for the future of ARK!
Ready to go farm with, adventure alongside, and marry your friends? Stardew Valley’s multiplayer mode may be here before you know it. In fact, it could be coming as soon as May.
Lead Designer Eric Barone put out this statement on Twitter this week: “Update on Stardew Valley multiplayer: still making good progress on fixing bugs, if all goes well it should be ready in about a month.”
Back in March, we announced that beta testing and quality assurance had commenced for the multiplayer mode on this popular indie title. Stardew Valley puts players in the role of a young person who takes over an overgrown farm from his or her grandfather. While the land is worked, the player can interact with locals in the community, uncover secrets, and go on fighting expeditions in a mine.
When a game is being created, you usually expect that development to move the title in a positive direction and make it better, right? The state of the game when it launches should be much better than when it started. Well, sometimes that doesn’t quite happen. In ARK: Survival Evolved’s case, I think there are instances when it did just the opposite; certain aspects of the launched game were worse than the earlier versions. However, that’s not the case for everything: There were also a number of ways the game was definitely improved. Does one outweigh the other? Is the game better, or is it worse? It might depend on which features you feel are more important for the game and the side that they fall on.
While not exhaustive in either case, here’s a list of four ways that early early access ARK was better than the launch and four ways the launch version is better. Then tune in next week for four hopes for a better future.
Last fall, we heard word that one of Amazon Game Studios’ three announced online titles, Breakaway, was going into development hiatus. That didn’t bode well, and sure enough, the studio finally announced this week that the 4v4 brawler was officially cancelled.
“In spite of our efforts, we didn’t achieve the breakthrough that made the game what we all hoped it could be,” Amazon said. “After a lot of soul searching, the team decided to focus on new ideas. As a result, Breakaway is no longer in active development.”
Interestingly enough, the game studio said left the door open just a crack for a “thunderbolt of inspiration” that might “lead us back to Breakaway.” In the meanwhile, Amazon Game Studios said that it will be focusing on its other titles, such as New World, Crucible, and various unannounced projects.
By the time you read this dear reader, I’ll already be dead… dead tired, that is, from running around the Game Developer’s Conference talking to developers from such companies as Snail Games about upcoming games like ARK Park. Ahead of my meeting about the game, I was granted a review copy so I could get some time in with the real thing before my interview and end of the media embargo. As my Oculus Rift set-up isn’t exactly travel-friendly, and I can be prone to motion sickness, I only had enough time to jump into the game for a few scant hours. It was an interesting experience, since the game wasn’t simultaneously available to the public, and that meant I was probably missing out on the critical social factor for my impressions. Nevertheless, I think they’re worth hashing out. Let’s dig in.
If you only had one hour to live your entire life, what would you do?
This is the intriguing premise of the new multiplayer survival game One Hour One Life. Developed by Jason Rohrer, the game throws players into a the role of a baby who grows up, ages, and dies within an hour. During that time, players try to make advancements through crafting and growing a family so that these achievements can be passed down to the next generation.
It should be noted that babies have to be taken care of by other players, which means that you might end up babysitting gamers yourself when you’re an adult. Rohrer said that he will be trying to stay one step ahead of the playerbase by developing the next phase of the tech tree and dropping them into the game through weekly updates.
One Hour One Life’s persistent server starts out as a pristine wilderness that will slowly be transformed into civilization through the efforts of players over multiple generations. Check out the trailer and gameplay after the break and let us know what you think of this unique-looking title!