Make My MMO: February 21, 2015

    
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Welcome back to Make My MMO, a recurring column from Massively-that-was which covers crowdsourced MMOs of both the fully funded and the not-so-much variety. Each week we’ll round up the most relevant crowdfunding news stories in case you missed them, and we’ll also keep a running tab on active funding drives.

And speaking of that, for the next two weeks we get to write about ourselves in this space, as our Kickstarter is ongoing through March 6th and you lovely backers continue to stick it to the man while humbling us with your support.

Click past the cut for the rest of this week’s crowdfunding news. And don’t forget to tip us if you see something we missed (especially this week and next as we’re still scrambling to get our new house in order!).

Current Campaigns

Citadel of Sorcery (MMO Magic, Inc.): Open donations, no end date

– A vast, dynamic world
– “Nothing is set in stone; each player will experience the game in very different ways”

Contested Space (Zon): Kickstarter coming soon

– Player-design spaceships and stations
– Action-oriented combat, territory expansion and defense

Gloria Victis (Black Eye Games): Open donations, no end date
– Fantasy medieval setting with a classless system and unrestricted character development
– Realistic weather system
– Greenlit on Steam

Neo’s Land (NeoJac Entertainment): Open donations, no end date

– A voxel-based sandbox where the community decides development by roundtable discussions

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen (Visionary Realms): Open donations, no end date

– Old-school fantasy MMO with focus on group content
– The return of corpse runs
– Back in “full development mode”

Trials of Ascension (Forged Chaos): Kickstarter closes March 21st

– Skill-based sandbox MMORPG
– Dynamic spawning, permadeath, corpse-looting
– Player structures, settlements, kingdoms, playable dragons

Fully Funded

Camelot Unchained (City State): Recent news – Feature tease, alpha start
City of Titans (Missing Worlds Media)
Divergence Online (Ethan Casner)
Epic Space (EpicSpace.net)
Ever, Jane (3 Turn Productions): Recent news – Judy Tryer interview
Greed Monger (Greed Monger)
The Repopulation (Above & Beyond Technologies)
Novus AEterno (Taitale Studios)
Pathfinder Online (GoblinWorks): Recent news – Territory control design roadmap
Pumpkin Online (Monique)
Shards Online (Citadel Studios)
Shroud of the Avatar (Portalarium): Recent news – Long interview, Necropolis preview
Star Citizen (Cloud Imperium): Recent news – AC progression, REC feedback
The Stomping Land (Alex Fundora): Recent news – Project abandoned
TUG (Nerd Kingdom)

Launched

Elite: Dangerous (Frontier Developments): Recent news – Deadly trademark, Wings in 1.2
Guns of Icarus (Muse)

Kickstarter puts the the fate of fledgling MMOs in the hands of gamers. Which will live and which will die? Check the pulse of MMO crowdfunding with Massively’s Jef Reahard every Saturday in Make My MMO.
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Nyphur
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Nyphur

dirtyklingon Nyphur UtopianWarrior SomewhatEclectic Anarwen I wouldn’t expect this to ever go to court, but they do need to be careful. The Kickstarter has actually got a disclaimer on its main page now that says they have contacted Warner Bros and J.K. Rowling’s legal teams and they’re aware of the project and have given permission to develop a fan project. I hope both of those parties are aware of the Kickstarter and that there’s real money involved, and I hope that those agreements have been made in writing. Because if they aren’t, then a license to use the IP has not been granted and support could be withdrawn at any time.

Nyphur
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Nyphur

dirtyklingon UtopianWarrior SomewhatEclectic Anarwen That’s a common misconception with US copyright law. The principle of fair use has never allowed the use of someone else’s IP just because you don’t intend to make a profit. It protects your right to parody an IP without license, use it in a limited sense as part of education, or use small portions of copyrighted works in news and articles discussing them. For example, it protects the freedom of the press by preventing copyright holders from suing the games media for using a game’s logo, name and screenshots in a negative article.
Putting that aside, the Harry Potter MMO is by definition a for-profit enterprise if they’re asking for money on kickstarter or taking donations of any kind to fund it. Profit in this context doesn’t mean net profit after development costs, it means generating any revenue at all. They’re soliciting money from the public using the core parts of a world-famous IP they haven’t got permission to use commercially. Since they’ve admitted they don’t have the license, if the Kickstarter were successful it would be $100,000 of willful copyright infringement that would be indefensible if it got to court.
In my opinion, the most sensible course of action would be to strip out all the identifiable Harry Potter content and names from the project design and Kickstarter and instead focus on recreating the spirit of the Harry Potter universe. They could alternatively self-fund development of a gameplay prototype to pitch at the IP holder, but they can’t take donations or money toward it from the public.

SomewhatEclectic
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SomewhatEclectic

Skyewauker 
Are you talking about Golden_Girl? If so that’s a game called ‘Heroes and Villains’.

MagmaFist
Guest
MagmaFist

Skyewauker  No, that is Heroes and Villains you are thinking of. Please do not mix the two up.

Skyewauker
Guest
Skyewauker

I think that is the game GamerGirl is working on. I wouldn’t touch it with a 10′ pole

breetoplay
Guest
breetoplay

nachbarJack One of the things we are steadily working on is making those tag links count. Bigger games like Camelot Unchained already have it in; when you click on a tag link to it, it takes you to our content on it, with a big link to the official site at the top:
http://massivelyop.net/tag/camelot-unchained/

Smaller games don’t have it yet, but we’re working on it. :D

PandaSkulls
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PandaSkulls

dirtyklingon UtopianWarrior SomewhatEclectic Anarwen

Really, the more confusing issue is this: “Our $100,000 goal is not to fund the entire production from start to finish, but to produce a product that will draw interest from potential publishers and investors who will fund the rest of this development.”

What publisher in their right mind would bankroll a “non-profit”?

nachbarJack
Guest
nachbarJack

What really annoys me, is that when i click onto a link of a Game Name, i hope that i will be redirected to the Game Homepage but instead i get linked to a column. I don’t understand that.

All in all, thanks for the summary! <3

MagmaFist
Guest
MagmaFist

City of Titans also had a recent update that I considered significant. I’m one of those that despite knowing I’m looking further into the development process, I still have a habit of dismissing any updates that do not show ‘shinies’. e.g. Lore updates. Sorry, MWM, I know it is still important to get invested in the world via story. Anyways, that is not the case for this update.
http://cityoftitans.com/content/test-zone-developing-basics

I noticed you were putting some links to updates to certain projects, Jef, and thought this one was significant compared to updates of the last few months, at least to me.

MagmaFist
Guest
MagmaFist

Just wanted to add that I like the font and how well URL links look in the comments.