This week in MMO crowdfunding, French website AFJV reported that Dual Universe studio Novaquark has snapped up one of the original EVE Online designers: Hrafnkell Oskarsson. The crowfunded sci-fi MMORPG recently opened up its own custom crowdfunding portal to continue development, which is currently still in pre-alpha. “Together, Novaquark and Oskarsson will be working on Dual Universe, the giant multi-planetary sandbox universe where potentially millions of people will be able to invent new stories for themselves, create new political systems, economies, cities, and empires,” says the company in its PR.
It was a big week for the larger Kickstarted MMORPGs: As promised, beloved crowdfunded indie Project Gorgon hit early access this week to cheering crowds on Steam in spite of its relatively high price, and Shroud of the Avatar pushed out new videos ahead of its formal launch this week.
Meanwhile, Pantropy canceled its Kickstarter and is planning a second go, ROKH got a substantial update and a promise that it’s not being abandoned, Crowfall obsessed over death, Ascent The Space Game readied an engine switchover, and Albion Online rolled out its Lancelot update.
The first round of open beta testing for TERA on consoles went well. (According to the developers, at least.) What can be done to extend that warm fuzzy feeling? Why, doing it all over again, obviously. Although you won’t be allowed into this particular second round if you weren’t in the first round, we’re sorry to say. It’s standing room only.
Meanwhile, the magnificently quirky Project Gorgon has entered early access, so you can go buy it now. Unless you have some deep-seated fear of being turned into a cow or something.
Elsewhere in the beta universe… war was beginning.
You know what? We’re dropping the war thing to just let you know that there’s a list of games in testing below and you can let us know if we missed one or two important phase changes. Sometimes that happens when we’re in the trenches. The war against the onrushing tide of titles is never-ending.
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin roll up their sleeves and take on projects left and right. It’s a look at the announcement of Project C and the imminent early access launch of Project Gorgon, among many other exciting developments this week!
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:
The time is here for brave Gorgoneers to suit up, face curses, and brave the lands of beta testing. Project Gorgon has officially gone into Steam early access as of today, bringing the game out of its years-long public alpha and into its next phase.
The MMO is 25% off through March 19th, meaning that you can pick up this buy-to-play title for $30. The website also received a facelift to mark the occasion. Early access is planned to run for about a year, at the end of which players will be able to retain their characters and skills, but items will be wiped for the launch.
For the uninitiated, Project Gorgon is “a fantasy MMORPG that features an immersive experience that allows the player to forge their own path through exploration and discovery. You won’t be guided through a world on rails, and as a result there are many hidden secrets awaiting discovery. Project Gorgon also features an ambitious skill-based leveling system that bucks the current trend of pre-determined classes, thus allowing the player to combine skills in order to create a truly unique playing experience.”
People, I am frustrated. But in a good way.
With the activation of RIFT Prime, the release of LOTRO’s Northern Mirkwood, and now this week’s launch of Project Gorgon on Steam early access, my MMO dance card is beyond full. Yet I cannot fathom ignoring Gorgon, as I’ve been waiting years for the game to get to a point where it is ready for full-fledged adventures. With this release, I think it is there.
So I will be playing with bells and whistles on, and I think Eliot might too, especially after his effusive praise of the game in his Choose My Adventure series. It’s such a quirky and fun title in the vein of Asheron’s Call that has a lot of us on staff rooting for its success.
But what about you? Now that the early access barrier has been breached, will you be trying out Project Gorgon to see if it’s worth the fuss?
Massively OP’s MJ may not be in town for tomorrow’s Project Gorgon Steam launch, but she’s excited about it just the same. She’ll just be celebrating a day early! MJ is back continuing her beginner island adventures with her newest character. What awaits behind that locked door she discovered last time? Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. to see.
What: Project Gorgon
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, March 12th, 2018
It’s happening! The official Project Gorgon early access date on Steam is Tuesday, March 13th, which means that owners will need to log in on Steam and new people will need to… well, buy the game on Steam to start playing. Hey, let’s be fair, you’ve had a lot of time to try the game’s free testing before now. If you’ve forgotten all of the long-term implications of these changes, the developers have offered a helpful outline of everything changing.
Take note of the fact that this shift means that the game is moving from its alpha phase to its beta development, which means fleshing out, refining, and expanding the game more than introducing whole new ideas. Yes, that means probably slightly fewer crazy new transformations. We’ll all have to find ways to continue living. You should still check the game out when it’s live on Tuesday, especially since it’ll natively run in your operating system… whatever it is. (On desktop, we mean. We can’t help you with your phone.)
This week in MMO crowdfunding, it’s not looking great for Pantropy, whose Kickstarter is only just over half funded with only a few more days to go.
Meanwhile, Camelot Unchained is prepping for two scenario tests this weekend (the second is tomorrow, if you can catch it!), Dual Universe rolled out its new supporter packs, City of Titans took a look at character customization, Chronicles of Elyria posted a long lore piece, Elite Dangerous rolled out 3.0.2, OrbusVR previewed its talent system, Crowfall talked up its vendor system, and we streamed a first-hand look at Ship of Heroes. Plus, Project Gorgon hits Steam this coming week!
Finally, a troll informed me this week that Massively OP is nothing more than a pile of Kickstarter propaganda and some WoW and GW2 columns, so if you happened to read the 120 or editorials, streams, and articles we published this week that aren’t related to crowdfunding, good news, you imagined all that!
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.
Remember Wild West Online? The game made a lot of noise through early testing, but it went fairly quiet. Turns out the reason for that was a top-to-bottom revamp of the game’s client, so there have been a lot of changes in the current version of the game. Good news, though, that test version is almost ready for players to try.
More beta news? Sure thing, that’s what we usually do here. It’s a thing.
And yes, there is a list below with a whole lot of games in testing. Some of them might also be in “open beta” hiding no planned wipes and an open cash shop, and if you could let us know about that, we’d be grateful. You have to keep your eyes open for these things. They’re tricky.
Good news, Project Gorgon fans: The game’s early access launch on Steam draws ever closer. It is, in fact, astonishingly close right now. There are a few things that will need to happen first, though; the game needs another patch first to take care of some legal text and so forth that needs to be present for the game’s launch on Steam. That also means a few bug fixes as well.
After that’s taken care of this week, players can expect the title to be available on Steam early access at some point next week. So it’s not here quite yet, but it’s approaching ever faster, and it won’t be longer until you can enjoy the game polishing itself up in early access. That’s something to be happy about.
Want something to read in the meantime? We just visited Gorgon in our Choose My Adventure column last month.
It may not be a show-stealing spectacle, but optimization is a vital aspect of a game’s pre-launch preparations. So let not your eyes be led astray from Project Gorgon’s February 28th patch notes, because the bottom line here is that the game will play nicer with a faster framerate across the board.
To accomplish better performance and stability with the Gorgon client, the team has enabled basic occlusion culling in the outdoor region of Serbule and made an additional tweak that helps framerates out when there is a crowd of players or mobs on the screen at any one time.
Project Gorgon is also enabling the default setting to automatically adjust a quality level for a player’s computer: “This feature helps lower-end PCs find a quality level that gives good framerate, and is especially useful for computers that have good FPS in dungeons but bad FPS in outdoor areas. When your framerate is too low, it will reduce the graphics quality; if it’s high it’ll increase quality.”
Out of all the titles that I’ve played for Choose My Adventure, Project Gorgon is probably the earliest in its development cycle. It’s also, by a sizable margin, the best in show. If you’re looking for a quick ringtone-style clip to take away from this column, that would be the one.
That doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot of criticisms of the game, nor does it mean that this is a game which will delight and amaze everyone who plays it. I have a somewhat biased starting point anyway because I talk about this subgenre for a living, and thus I have certain tastes that not everyone is going to share. That isn’t meant as a brag; that’s meant as a self-admonishment because these are things no one should really care about all that much.
Still, here I am, here this game is, and I am happy to pronounce it the best of all the Choose My Adventure games that I’ve played for this feature so far – albeit with the slight caveat that it won’t be able to hold onto that title forever if it doesn’t actually address some of the issues that I noticed while playing.
It has been a long while since Massively OP’s MJ has played any Project Gorgon. That’s because this was one of those games she didn’t want to spoil before launch. But she just can’t wait any longer! So much has changed, and she wants to experience some of that. Join us live at 2:00 p.m. as MJ reenters this world.
What: Project Gorgon
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, February 20th, 2018