If you dismissed Trove early on as an insignificant game or a thinly veiled Minecraft clone, then it might be time to take a second look. Trion Worlds’ colorful sandbox has been growing by leaps and bounds over the past year, incorporating new features such as sailing as well as hundreds of player-submitted designs. The result is a vibrant, silly, and creative world that’s starting to develop some strong word-of-mouth from its fans.
We sat down to talk about the future of Trove with Trion, asking about the game’s launch status, marketing, and how player creativity has helped the game’s potential explode.
Massively Overpowered: Trove is in a non-wipe open beta state and you’re accepting money from players. What’s holding you back from the official launch? Do you have an ETA to share?
Trion Worlds: The game is stable, fun, and selling some goods — so indeed, why not launch? Before we officially launch Trove, we want to make sure that we have all of the important key systems and gameplay elements in place. In our last two updates we’ve added things like flying and ships that aren’t just fun; they’re very much a part of the core vision we have for Trove. We’ve also steadily been adding classes, professions, and all sorts of new content. We’re making the move out of beta this year but aren’t quite there yet.
Can you give us some examples of player creativity in Trove?
The creativity of the Trove community has definitely blown us away! When we first started, we only allowed players to submit weapons and hats. Then we expanded the scope to accept face items, dungeons, and lairs. The list just keeps growing, and our players keep getting more creative every time we give them a new design opportunity!
One of the big reasons we’ve had such success in this area is that we embrace our player’s ability to change the visuals in the game through mods that they make for player characters and mounts. This allows them to tackle more ambitious projects, like reskinning a mount to an awesome new look that barely resembles the original. Some of our players have even started getting into VFX editing to make incredible creations that we couldn’t resist adding. A quick look at the costume pack we’ve recently released shows off some of the best and most creative player created content yet.
How many player-designed items are now in the game? Do you plan to continue taking submissions after launch?
We have introduced well over a thousand player creations into Trove to date! Player-made creations are a huge part of our game, so we absolutely plan on continuing past launch. We want to do everything we can to support their enthusiasm and skill. It’s our players who inspire us and keep us pushing to open new doors to allow them to contribute to the game.
If you were to try to explain Trove to a friend without using the word “Minecraft,” how would you convince him or her to give the game a try?
This is a discussion we have all the time at the office: How we distill everything that Trove is into a bite-sized phrase that’s easy to understand?
One of the things we keep coming back to is “Trove: It’s just fun!” It’s the kind of MMOG you can play without giving up the rest of your life. It incorporates the parts of online RPGs we like best, like leveling up, classes, monsters, loot, and hanging out with friends. Plus, it has creative building opportunities and community content contributions to get involved with. Finally, Trove is always welcoming and easy to pick up or return to after weeks away!
While Trove has some positive word-of-mouth, it seems as though it’s been lacking a strong marketing push. How will Trion be promoting it going forward?
Marketing and promoting games has changed massively over the last couple years. There are so many different avenues available to promote game worlds these days, and we’ve become a lot more diverse and grass-roots in our approach. We’ve got plenty of plans for launch, and what we really want to showcase in Trove is just how amazing the community is. We love working with streamers and video creators; that sort of straight-up, unvarnished approach appeals to us a lot… and it appeals to our target audience as well!
A big part of our “marketing” effort is put into empowering our core community, encouraging their efforts to share their love of Trove and what they love about the game experience. We’re working on a refer-a-friend program, and we’re going to increase the number of platforms we’re on, including Mac and Steam. We’re also going to continue to work with bloggers, youtubers, and streamers. And of course we’re going to have a traditional launch marketing campaign to spread the word even further.
There’s really no end to the places Trove can go, and places that players will be able to go in Trove. It’s been an incredible ride so far, and we can’t wait to see where it will take us next!
Thanks for sharing!