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Official site: ROKH

The Survivalist: Massively OP's guide to multiplayer survival sandboxes

Welcome to The Survivalist! Ya'll might have noticed that I have gravitated a bit from my happy home of deep, immersive virtual worlds (possible due to the lack of them!) and have been tinkering about and enjoying time in various survival games. This isn't as odd as you might think! One thing I love about sandbox worlds is the ability for your actions to matter in terms of shaping the world and carving out your place in it. Survival games have been allowing me just that with opportunities to build the world, from the society on it to structures in it to the even the physical world itself. And decisions definitely matter, bringing satisfaction and reward or disappointment and destruction.

I'm not alone in this appreciation of the survival genre, either. Many MMO gamers have joined mainstreamers by flocking to it lately as seen by the explosion of the available games. Those of you not on board yet might be wonder just what is so alluring about a genre that has many elements of MMOs but on smaller -- and oft times privately managed -- scale. As the weeks and months wear on, The Survivalist is going to explore all the nooks and crannies of the survival sandbox genre (and likely die many, many times in the process!), but today, we're going to look at what players can jump into to test their survival skills. So here's a guide to many options in the newest genre to take over our gaming sphere.
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Make My MMO: Elyria's funding and Osiris' console plans (October 1, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Chronicles of Elyria caused an unintentional stir this week when Soulbound Studios posted that it still needed up to $3 million to completely finish the game. While it wasn't exactly a secret, the revelation was still a surprise to many players as it wasn't expressly stated in the Kickstarter earlier this year. Compounding the consternation was Soulbound's simultaneous notice that it would not be granting refunds for Kickstarter donations. Studio boss Jeromy Walsh told Massively OP in a lengthy interview that the money raised through Kickstarter and pre-Kickstarter investment from friends and family is being used to create a minimal viable product and that while the company does plan to crowdfund using its website store, most of the remaining money will be raised through investors or publishers, not players.

Meanwhile, we offered up a checklist for how to approach MMO Kickstarting from the player end, Shroud of the Avatar launched release 34, Albion Online released its Elaine patch, HEX published three new signature decks, and on the planetary survival sandbox front, ROKH delayed its early access to next year, while Osiris: New Dawn swooped into early access and announced console launches for 2017.

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!

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Betawatch: Chronicles of Elyria begins the search for more money (September 30, 2016)

Good news, fans of Chronicles of Elyria! You can now give the developers more of your money via the game's web store, which is good for them, as they need another cool three million to finish the game. No refunds. The negative reaction to this was apparently quite surprising to studio founder Jeromy Walsh.

But hey, that's just a game that will hope to one day be in beta, right? Let's move on to other beta news.

  • Looking for some action involving hacking and slashing? It's always hacking and slashing, never cutting and stabbing or smashing and crushing. That's a bit odd, isn't it? Sign up for the MU Legends beta and you can discuss that whilst violent-verbing and synonymous-violent-verbing your way through things.
  • Survival sandbox ROKH has delayed its testing plans slightly to January 2017 instead of this year, citing the unusual depth of the game's systems making development slower than expected. Maybe that's exactly it! We're not testing it, so we don't know.
  • Osiris: New Dawn is in early access right now, so if you can content yourself with a survival sandbox that's set on an alien world instead of Mars, you can probably deal with the loss.
  • What's the deal with the world behind The Exiled? Who was even exiled? Was it you? You'll find out, as the game now has a lore team hired on to help guide its development.
  • Oh, and that Amazon game announcement happened, and it was pretty awesome. That's something to note.

Hark! There are more games down in the test list below. Have some of them gone into open beta with a functional cash shop without telling us? Why, let us know about those scamps, we don't let them stay on the list. Games with non-functional cash shops are another story.

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Mars survival sandbox ROKH delays early access to January 2017

Fans of Mars-themed survival sandbox ROKH, I have good news and slightly bad news.

Developer Darewise originally pitched a $114,803 US Kickstarter campaign back in May to hasten production of the game but canceled it with just over 20% pulled in by early June. At the time, Darewise said its campaign "lacked visibility" but that it was still on track for a September early access release on Steam.

But that date has now been pushed back. In a newsletter sent to followers today, the studio said it's postponing early access to January 2017 "to ensure that the game delivers on the initial vision of the experience, universe and gameplay."

"ROKH is our first project and we do not lack of ambition," write the devs. "The game systems are so deep and connected that we want to take the time needed to ensure the entire experience and mechanics work as intended. It was not an easy decision but we believe it’s the best one for the game as well as the players."

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Survival sandbox Osiris: New Dawn launches into Steam early access on September 28 [Updated]

We've updated this story with the new statement from the team about the Steam launch below!

The folks behind Osiris: New Dawn have been teasing a big announcement for today... and it's not happening. Last night developer Fenix Fire admitted that the planned announcement has been delayed for unspecified reasons. "In the meantime, writes the studio, "do know that the game is coming along great with working multiplayer!"

Osiris: New Dawn is a multiplayer survival sandbox (yes, another one) set on a dusty distant planet (yes, another one). Not to be confused with ROKH, which is set on Mars and looks quite similar, Osiris was revealed just a few weeks back and is expected to launch on Steam before the end of this very month, which might just be what the delay is all about.

"After crash-landing on an unknown planet you must survive hostile alien conditions through ingenuity and technology... Introducing Osiris: New Dawn, a 3D space survival adventure that highlights the beauty and horror of exploring a foreign, yet gorgeous alien system - an experience that's neither safe nor for the timid."

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Make My MMO: Chronicles of Elyria's Kickstarter bid ends in triumph (June 4, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Chronicles of Elyria's Kickstarter successfully funded at just over $1.36 million following its SpatialOS integration announcement and tech preview video. Massively OP’s own Andrew Ross explored the game’s anticipated features and mused on its many challenges in a long-form piece earlier this week. Those missed out on the Kickstarter will be able to participate in further crowdfunding efforts on the game's official site.

Meanwhile, Fragmented reintroduced the Jabberbull and polished up the vehicle system, Project Gorgon patched its last patch, Vigor Roads was Greenlit on Steam, and Elite: Dangerous' Horizons season launched for Xbone players. Post-apoc survival sandbox Edengrad is new-come to our list, but frustratingly, Mars-themed survival sandbox ROKH was forced to cancel its flagging Kickstarter, citing a lack of visibility. The developers say they are still planning the early access launch in September; founder packs with bonuses akin to those from the Kickstarter will be available.

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Make My MMO: Chronicles of Elyria has been Greenlit on Steam (May 28, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Chronicles of Elyria's bid for Steam Greenlight status was successful (though the team won't commit to launching on Steam), Fragmented got a new patch, and Richard Garriott hinted at future projects for Portalarium past Shroud of the Avatar.

Over on Kickstarter itself, it looks as if Midair is going to fund next week, but ROKH seems to have a long way to go in a week to duplicate that feat. Victus Game is new to our watch list too; it's more of an MMORTS, and it's asking for only about $15,000.

But if you're sick of Kickstarters, there's always Goat Simulator: Waste of Space, which takes a few swipes at a certain notorious crowdfunded space MMO:

"Visit space today or get old waiting for that other space game that you already paid for! Crowdfund a space colony and get other people to pay for it and do all the work! Endless space full of planets to visit. But seriously it would take forever to go there so why bother? There is one planet nearby though. Go to that one. Fly and shoot stuff in space, because nobody makes games about flying and shooting in space anymore!"

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!

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Make My MMO: Chronicles of Elyria might be the biggest MMO Kickstarter we'll see all year (May 7, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, the story-driven MMORPG Chronicles of Elyria stormed Kickstarter Keep and is still going strong. It raised a third of its goal in its first day; as I write this, it stands at $588,390 pledged of its $900,000 goal with 26 days left to go. The MMO is promising relatively unusual mechanics like character aging, offline leveling, and a death system that is uniquely tied to the business model. Soulbound Studios' most recent update explains to players that the game's three-month story-development phase -- the devs are calling it "Exposition" -- will itself be divided into three phases: one with no ganking, one with ganking but no siege equipment, and one where "the gloves come off."

Meanwhile, Mars-themed survivalbox ROKH launched its own Kickstarter, hoping to raise $114,803 US (€100,000) to speed up and enhance production of the game. “We hope to get your support to add more resources to the project and ship it with a larger feature set,” studio Darewise says.

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!

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Mars-themed survival sandbox ROKH launches Kickstarter campaign

Darewise Entertainment has officially launched the Kickstarter for survival sandbox ROKH today. The game allows players a freeform sandbox experience survivng on an eerily accurate Mars thanks to NASA data, with base construction, a programming system, crafting, trade, and death by sandstorms.

Darewise says it seeks $114,803 US (€100,000) in crowdfunding to "immediately put more resources on the development and ensure a bigger scope for the Early Access release" as well as to "convince game industry partners to join."

"We hope to get your support to add more resources to the project and ship it with a larger feature set," it writes. The studio currently stands at 17 people; it toted its demo to PAX East.

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Make My MMO: Camelot Unchained's beta delay (April 23, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Camelot Unchained's devs revealed that they will not make their planned target for beta. The beta phase has been postponed while the game's ability code is refactored to properly handle what the design team is throwing at it.

Meanwhile, Fragmented dropped its NDA and prepped for its early access launch next week, Star Citizen invoked "minimal viable product" verbiage, and Origins of Malu put its development on hold indefinitely while it attempts to secure other funding.

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!

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PAX East 2016: Mars survival game ROKH delivers demo, preps Kickstarter

The next week may be crucial to the future of ROKH, a persistent survival sandbox that happens to be set on Mars. Darewise Entertainment announced yesterday that it will be demoing the game at PAX East this weekend in the Kickstarter Arcade room. The demo will thrust a team of two into a a 155-square mile map of the Red Planet with the challenge to survive as long as possible.

Speaking of Kickstarter, Darewise is prepping a Kickstarter campaign for ROKH that will commence in early May. Will the exposure from PAX East help build momentum for the crowdfunding effort? We'll see soon, but until then you can check out ROKH's Kickstarter teaser video below.

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Make My MMO: Grim Dawn and Descent Underground (February 27, 2016)

Grim Dawn is the toast of our Make My MMO crowdfunding column this weekend as the crowdfunded multiplayer action RPG has made it through the early access phase to official launch.

Meanwhile, The Repopulation began taking tester signups for Fragmented, Camelot Unchained announced a hard crunch ahead of beta 1, and Descent: Underground posted a major VR update and trailer.

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!

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Rokh makes the planet Mars come alive

There are so many multiplayer survival games swirling about these days that you might be forgiven for overlooking one or two. We haven't heard much about Rokh, a title that tasks groups of players to survive as astronauts on Mars, for a couple of months now, but development has been progressing to the point that the map is being fleshed out.

In a new dev diary, the team talks about how it's making its Mars landscape and what players might expect when they crash land on this harsh territory. The biggest issue that the devs had to tackle was the potentially dull nature of the planet: "If Mars represents a dreamy environment to recreate in a persistent video game, we’ve received a clear community concern after our announcement: The barren nature of Mars means it can be perceived as a 'dead' environment."

Fortunately, it looks as though this version of Mars will be quite exciting to explore. The map will span 155 square miles of territory, with lots of verticality, lower gravity, and interesting landmarks to investigate.

Source: Dev diary

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