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.
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.
Development has been slow, but the Mars survival game ROKH now has a new build available. That makes it a good time for Massively OP’s MJ to poke in and see how things are doing. She’s especially interested in seeing the new crafting tree. Tune in live at 5:00 p.m. for another look at life in…
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 5:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018
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.
Survival sandbox fans will be pleased to know that ROKH hasn’t been abandoned. The game’s given the appearance of struggling over the past couple of years; it canceled a flagging Kickstarter in 2016 and plowed on through several delays to hit early access not quite a year ago. Since then, as we reported at the time, it was bogged down in a “legal dispute” that set the game back even further in its development, though that’s apparently been settled.
So this week’s patch will be a welcome relief. Darewise says it’s wiped the servers to patch in the new crafting system and that it’s “still working on what will be the future of ROKH” – it appears the company is in discussions for a “co-publishing” partnership.
Readers will recall that Darewise popped up in the news earlier this month in conjunction with another game: Project C, a brand-new sci-fi MMO. Apparently, Darewise has already collected a big team to work on that, including big names from the Thief and Half-Life series. The company has addressed that move to ROKH players as well, promising that ROKH is “a priority.”
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained devs say they’re getting really close to finalizing the date for beta one. This week, in addition to fiddling with the beta calendar, CSE says it’s been working on poses, rocks, casting and UI animations, new armor and weapon textures, container permissions, and performance for buildings, as well as training up the new tech producer.
Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar pushed out R50, Elite kicked off the beta for its next big update, we continued our tour of Project Gorgon, Dual Universe teased new concept art, War of Rights got a wee patch, ROKH patched up (devs say they’re still “looking for the best way to make [their] come-back,” and Fragmented admitted it’s essentially in maintenance mode.
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’re following.
Another four-week silence from the ROKH development team has been broken by the latest update on the state of the game. The last lengthy silence was apparently the result of a legal dispute, but this one was just a matter of identifying and hopefully fixing a variety of bugs and issues within the game. Both teams involved with the game have been picking through the code and identifying issues, trying to compile build times, understand some of the tangled mess within the code, and make the whole thing work better.
Among the main issues explored are freezing problems when players would attempt to alt-tab to another window and crashes while exploring the map, both of which could be… well, rather serious long-term problems. The current plan is to roll out an improvement patch in December for NDA testers, so if you’re still eager to see what this Mars-based survivalbox has to offer, you’ll need to wait a little bit longer.
It’s been a few weeks since ROKH’s last developer update, but there’s a reason for that: a legal dispute.
“Two teams were investigating the source code of ROKH to establish a fixing roadmap,” the devs explain on Steam. “It turned out that the project we had access to was incomplete. We had to enter in a legal dispute with our former development partner to get the latest version of the project source code as well as all available material of the project (engine, assets, documentation).”
That put Darewise “very much behind” on getting the new version out the testers, but in the meantime, the team is hard at work “refactoring the project to have it in a more stable state for development and fixing,” while a second goal is to “dig deeper into the gameplay bugs and optimization.”
ROKH, you’ll recall, is a Mars-themed survival sandbox that we’ve been watching since 2015. A canceled Kickstarter in 2016 saw the game delay a few times but ultimately launch into early access last May.
ROHK rocks! The survival sandbox set on Mars turned out to be quite interesting when Massively OP’s MJ first checked it out. With the latest patch wiping all servers, she’ll need to do plenty more scavenging through the abandoned outpost and recover as many meteor supply drops as she can in order to build a little safe structure and begin life anew. Join us live at 2:00 p.m. to return to life — and death — on the red planet.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, July 18th, 2017
ARK and Conan aren’t the only survivalboxes in town — in fact, several of the modern contenders in the subgenre have updates and videos this week demonstrating their progress.
Let’s start with ROKH. The Mars-themed exploration sandbox has this week launched a “huge” update on Steam, focusing heavily on crafter streamlining, both in terms of how accessible it is for newbs and vets to how the crafting window actually looks and functions in-game.
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!)
After some ups and downs this afternoon — everybody loves the “try again later” message, right? — Valve’s summer Steam sale is finally underway and stable. Here’s what we’re looking at in our corner of the gaming world.
There are a number of survival games out there, but only one that let’s Massively OP’s MJ live out a dream of living on Mars! ROKH recently entered early access and she is ready to carve out a life from the harsh environment. What all will she encounter? Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. to see how long she lasts on the red planet.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, June 12th, 2017