This week in MMO crowdfunding, Frontier launched Elite Dangerous for the PS4, complete with relevant adjustments for touchpad controls and a “fast headlook” mode for wireless controllers.
Meanwhile, we hosted a double round of podcast interviews with MMORPG developers, all running crowdfunded games: Ashes of Creation’s Steven Sharif and Shroud of the Avatar’s Richard Garriott and Starr Long.
Oh yeah, and there was that mess with Star Citizen fending off claims that it had been sold to a bank.
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.
On this week’s show, Justin sits down with Ashes of Creation’s Steven Sharif to talk about the game’s successful Kickstarter, handling a wild community, and the next steps for this up-and-coming sandbox MMORPG.
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Last weekend, we ran an article covering PC Gamer’s detailed investigation into Ashes of Creation’s pledge system. At the time, PC Gamer’s Steven Messner wrote that Kickstarter had told the author that AoC’s revenue and profit sharing systems ran afoul of Kickstarter’s rules and that consequently, Kickstarter had asked AoC’s Intrepid Studios to remove Kickstarter pledges from its referral program, which Kickstarter said Intrepid had done.
Ashes of Creation’s Steven Sharif disputed that, saying that while Kickstarter asked the studio to change the language of its referral program, Intrepid had not actually changed the program itself, meaning Kickstarter pledges were still included in the referral program, which Intrepid says it believe remains in compliance with Kickstarter’s rules.
In heated forum comments about the situation, Sharif also accused PC Gamer’s writer of issuing an “outright lie” and of having an “agenda” and “combative” demeanor. “We know that he wanted to ride the hype wave with the project with clickbait titles and an article that he riddles with reddit links? Really? lol,” he told the game’s official Discord channel.
Remember kids, only devs can prevent virtual forest fires! And it’s probably a good thing that they do because apparently there are some Ashes of Creation fans who actually want the ability to light acres of in-game property ablaze for… reasons.
The bizarre query to program in firebugs came out of a wild-and-woolly community Q&A session that Intrepid CEO Steven Sharif did yesterday. Sharif fielded all sorts of questions about the game including practical (nodes, progression) and goofy (metal band music, a troll class for trolling).
The session is a little difficult to follow, what with all of the Discord pings and rambling questions from the community, but there are some interesting nuggets of info in it concerning the weather system, wider possibilities for caravans, and the depth of the crafting system. Check it out for yourself below!
As I put this piece together Thursday morning, Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter has far exceeded its $750,000 goal, surging along toward stretch goals with a promise to launch what amounts to a full-scale MMORPG with sandboxy territory and PvP just a few short years from now. But since the launch of the Kickstarter a few days ago, would-be backers have dug into the history of the company and cast doubt on the validity of the campaign.
To set the record straight, we spoke again with Intrepid’s Creative Director and CEO Steven Sharif to get clarity on his business past, the nature of the game’s affiliate plans, the state of staffing, the scope of the budget, and even some details on the PvP system and business model. Read on.
After smashing expectations by completely funding its $750,000 Kickstarter campaign in the first 12 hours, Ashes of Creation wants to keep this crowdfunding momentum going for the next month. Enter stretch goals.
The first three stretch goals for the campaign have been posted, starting with tavern “games of chance” being included if a cool million is raised. At $1.25M, enhanced mounts with group functionality will be added, and even more naval content (additional ships and underwater environments) is possible if the $1.5M barrier is breached. Didn’t know the game had naval content? Neither did we — until now!
Today, Ashes of Creation takes a big plunge into an all-or-nothing Kickstarter campaign. Over the past few months, the MMO seemed to come out of nowhere to stun us with an ambitious design, well-crafted videos, and a team of experienced industry vets who seem passionate to make the next generation of online RPG.
For this occasion, we sat down with Intrepid Studios CEO Steven Sharif to talk about the Ashes of Creation’s crowdfunding campaign, the studio’s design philosophy, and the next steps for this upcoming MMORPG. Does this game deserve your support? Will it rope in widespread interest? Let’s see if Sharif can make the case.
MOP tipster Joel let us know about an absolute trove of info flowing in the Ashes of Creation Discord channel thanks to the candor of Creative Director Steven Sharif. Sharif has been on a tear explaining game systems to the players hanging out there. Here are a few of the more interesting bits!
- “Ashes will allow medium and small guilds to stay competitive. We have specifics systems in place to accomplish this.”
- “Playing alone is complete accepted, and feasible.”
- “High customization suite for character creation will allow for fat/skinny variants.”
- “I want to see players be able to enjoy the game together, and that includes new players being able to participate in activities with their experienced friends.”
- “While we do have classic leveling mechanics for the adventuring class, there are many ways to ‘level’ in Ashes. Not everything is put behind a linear progression. We want players who are casual to be able to participate in activities with players that have more time to play.”
Now that the cat is out of the bag on the existence of Ashes of Creation, the team is charging forward in sharing its vision and design of the game with potential players. In this effort, a 25-minute question-and-answer video was posted on the site today to give a better idea of what this MMO is all about.
This marks the first time that the community will see the faces of some of Intrepid Studios’ dev team, including Senior Designer Peter Pilone, Creative Director Steven Sharif, Lead Designer Jeffery Bard, and Senior Designer Matt Reynolds. The team fielded several questions that were sent in from the community, such as Ashes’ node system, character identity, world lore, guild features, player housing, the referral system, and the game’s rejection of factions.
Give the video a watch after the jump and learn more about Ashes of Creation from our December interview!
Indie outfit Intrepid Studios has an atmospheric new video out for its fledgling Ashes of Creation MMORPG — well, not so fledgling after all, as is obvious from the flyover shots, which are more than just a holiday greeting indeed.
“It shows a caravan entering one of our villages, in a winter environment,” Intrepid’s Steven Sharif told us. “We really want our players to be immersed in the game, and hope that these types of immersive environments will do that.”
We’ve tucked the whole video down below — it’s worth it just for the music, especially if you dig a creepy Christmas.
Yesterday we covered a tip about a new MMORPG in the making: Ashes of Creation. Apparently we caught wind of this title before it was fully ready for a world reveal, but when Intrepid Studios heard about our story, the team figured this was as good a time as any to talk about its project.
Lead Designer Jeffrey Bard sat down with us for a lengthy interview to introduce the game and its studio. In a nutshell, Ashes of Creation is an ambitious sandbox MMO that’s being crafted by industry veterans, including several from Daybreak, that will empower players to change and mold a game world instead of passively moving through it. The game is still in the early stage of development but has extensive plans laid out for its path forward.
Let’s dig into what Ashes of Creation has in store as it enters the MMORPG scene this month!