Of this there is no doubt: The Dark and Light team is getting very little sleep this week.
The reworked fantasy sandbox released on Steam Early Access yesterday, and it went as these things typically do. There were a lot of players crowding onto the servers to see what the deal was (5,508 people at one point), and the hardware took a clobbering.
The team thanked players for their patience and said that it is adjusting to the influx of population: “It’s been quite a launch day! We’re still adding servers and working on alleviating issues in higher-population servers, as well as supporting additional regions.”
Dark and Light’s promised “wyvern-sized” announcement has come to pass, and it’s a doozy for fans who have been anticipating this sandbox reboot. Snail Games is launching the game tomorrow, July 20th, on Steam early access.
“It’s been a long time coming, but we’re finally almost at the starting line,” the studio said. “Get ready to tame a horde of wild beasts, craft dozens of powerful magical spells, build an impenetrable fortress, and compete for domination of the planet Archos!”
Get pumped for the release with the early access trailer below!
Indie MMORPG Project Gorgon has a new Kickstarter post up detailing how far it’s come since its successful Kickstarter two years ago.
“Since the Project: Gorgon Kickstarter Campaign ended, we have implemented: New Website and Forums; Multiple new zones; A completely new tutorial experience; Dozens of new skills; Increased skill levels; Complete overhaul of the power system; Complete overhaul of equipment bonuses; New Animal Forms; New Animal items; Created and implemented an Animal Town; Created new quest systems; Created New NPCS; Added Guilds; Added Guild Missions; Added Player Vendors; Added dispensers; Added Work Orders; Added the ability to drown; Updated many game systems and functions; Implemented and Updated the in-game day/night cycle.
It bears repeating that Elder Game is a tiny studio consisting of two people: Asheron’s Call studio vets Eric Heimburg and Sandra Powers.
“We are currently in the process of overhauling the game graphics systems, effects, textures, lighting, and camera functionality. We have implemented such changes in the zone known as ‘Serbule’,” they write. “We are also in the process of internally testing a completely redesigned and coded User Interface.””
This will come as a bummer to anyone excited about getting his or her hands on Rend this summer: Frostkeep Studios announced yesterday that it is delaying the early access launch for the survival sandbox due to an “amazing opportunity” for the game’s development that was not specified.
“The excitement around the game has brought our studio an amazing opportunity to take Rend to the next level,” the studio said. “With this new support, we are re-evaluating current development plans and exploring ways in which we can deliver an even more robust in-game experience at launch.”
So what’s the new Steam early access release window? Frostkeep is now aiming for later this year to incorporate additional features and mechanics. The studio said that the delay will result in making Rend “an even better game than originally envisioned.”
Snail Games has released a fresh Dark and Light trailer at this week’s E3, demonstrating the company’s NVIDIA Ansel tech. “With NVIDIA Ansel, players can take staggering 360° screenshots, as well as studio-quality 2D screenshots, as they make their way through Dark and Light’s world,” Snail says. “The technology works with supported GeForce GTX graphics cards, and will be available to use in Dark and Light upon its Steam Early Access release.”
While the company has not confirmed the unlikely rumors that Dark and Light is launching alongside the Steam summer sale later this month, it did open closed beta sign-ups last week. We do know the game, the graphics-intensive revival of an abandoned mid-aughts sandbox, is slotted for early access at some point this year.
The E3 trailer is down below!
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?
So here’s a new one to our games list today: Indie developer D.W.S’s “all the things” ARPG Prevent the Fall. It’s one of those dungeon crawlers that supports everything from singleplayer offline to fully online multiplayer mode, and it boasts VR support too.
“The major features are all in place, and you can rise to level 20. The game features optional virtual reality support, but it is not required. It can be played with gamepad, vive motion controllers, or keyboard and mouse. Oculus Touch will be officially supported in the future, but Oculus users can currently participate using gamepads. The Action RPG gameplay revolves around generated quests with a mixture of generated and static dungeon elements. You can play entirely in single player, or can host or join multiplayer co-op sessions. Co-op sessions can mix and match VR and non-VR players.”
D.W.S cautions would-be players that the game is “very much a work in progress” with the usual assortment of early access bugs. The game is expected to move out of early access by the end of 2017. As of press time, the EA version of the game is just under $13.
Check out the pics and the early access video – oddly hazy, right?
Stationeers, an upcoming multiplayer survival sim, marks Dean Hall’s (DayZ) third attempt to create a space station title. In a recent interview with PC Games N, Hall seems confident that this one will make it across the finish line.
“The other day we set a record of 28 players playing, with excellent bandwidth usage,” he says. “It was fantastic. It was the first time we’d run a playtest with a large number of players that had no major errors, so that’s putting us on the road to release.”
Hall talks about the features that are going into the game, the ones being adjusted, and the ones being left out due to resource limitations. He’s hoping that trading between stations will make its way into the game at some point, but Hall is more concerned with creating a “great core game loop” that was present in other successful early access titles like Prison Architect and Rimworld.
Stationeers is slated to come to Steam early access some time this year.
Here at Massively OP, there’s nothing we like to hear more than word that new, bold, and big MMORPGs are in development. Over the past week, Wild West Online rode in on a dusty horse out of a desert of MMO development, delivering the reveal of this western sandbox followed by a surprise announcement just this morning that full funding had been achieved and a launch was scheduled for later this year.
To dig more into these announcements, we sat down with Stephan Bugaj, Chief Creative Officer of 612 Games, to ask a few follow-up questions about this exciting project, its budget, its scope, and if only PvP gankers need apply.
Remember all of those plans that Wild West Online had for a Kickstarter campaign this month and a Steam early access release? Well, plans change — and sometimes for the better.
The studio has issued a press statement saying that the “overwhelming response” to the game’s initial announcement was enough to prompt its investors to dump more money into the game, thereby negating any need for crowdfunding whatsoever. This means that Wild West Online will eschew Kickstarter and early access in order to focus on developing the game for a full launch in 2017.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to have our initial investors step up and provide additional funding to make the game we wanted, without having to raise money via crowdfunding. Westerns are lacking on PC so we can’t wait to release the game to the public,” said 612 Games CCO Stephan Bugaj.
For those craving more Telsa coils and calculation engines than swords and spells, there’s the brand-new Steam Hammer that’s coming to Steam early access on Friday, May 12th.
Players begin by crash-landing their airship on an island in an industrial revolution-level world. Faced with rebuilding their society and technology, the community will craft their own weapons, buildings, and airships from materials around the island. It won’t be a cakewalk, due to the inherent conflict between the two factions vying for power.
Steam Hammer is a 64-player survival sandbox with lots of steampunk gadgets and weapons, including chain swords, airships, motorcycles, alchemistry, and Telsa generators. Also, there are turkey farms, because it isn’t just about nonstop killing.The game just had a wipe of its global servers two days ago to prepare for its big moment on Steam. In preparation for the early access release, you can check out the trailer after the break.
I’m always wary nowadays when a game bills itself as a massively multiplayer sandbox gaming world, especially one that says it’s akin to “old school RPG games with modern quality,” but Arcfall appears to deserve the label.
The new MMO is currently listed on Steam as an early access title still in pre-alpha, but it isn’t formally launched or buyable just yet. Developer Neojac says it’s a “social” game, with open world non-instanced housing, a player-driven economy, crafting and farming, mounts, banking, resource harvesting, a classless skill-based progression system, and an incomplete map. Guilds, factions, dungeons, ships, player islands, and PvP (to complement the full-loot death) are still on the way, though there are apparently PvE-only zones too.
Early access is expected to last “the better part of this year,” with beta by the end of 2017. Founder packs are available on the official site; Neojac says that early buyers can access the game through that portal while Steam’s rollout continues.
Neojac should sound familiar to hardcore MMO fans; that’s the studio building MMO Neo’s Land on the Atavism platform, also of its own design. Neo’s Land’s last public update was in December of last year.
Cast your mind back to February, during which we introduced you to a single-player RPG called Tanzia that was structured eerily similar to an MMO — just without all of the other players. Well, now Tanzia is preparing to move into a new stage in its testing as it targets April 27th for its debut on Steam early access.
Tanzia won’t be in early access for long, only about eight weeks as the team puts the final touches on the endgame chapters. The title is an open-world fantasy RPG with many elements familiar to MMO players, such as tab-targeting combat, hotbars, and the whole combat loot cycle. Much of the setting looks to take place on a tropical and jungle island, with the player controlling an odd-looking (but cute!) humanoid.
The team explained the move to early access at this junction: “We feel like at this point the first chapters of the game are nearly finished, the game runs well, streamers and testers are having fun with it, so we want to let you enjoy it early while we finish the later stages.”