‘MMOPEG’ Codename Reality seeks half a million Kickstarter bucks to ‘redefine the MMO genre’

    
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If immersion and realism are what you crave in a new MMORPG, take a look at Codename Reality, another new game in our field of view this week. Europe-based studio Orode Productions just kicked off a Kickstarter for the game seeking $583,981 to build what it says is “the kind of project even the biggest game design companies wouldn’t dare undertake” – a “massively multiplayer online persistent entity game,” or MMOPEG for short. This one’s buy-to-play, with no sub.

Codename Reality is a realistic fantasy/medieval realm in which your actions shape the world,” the devs write in their pitch.

“In other words, we have provided you with the possibility to create its history. We have redesigned the NPC system to better integrate with the realistic feeling and along with this, the death mechanic is more aligned with permanent death than with the classical MMORPG death system. You define the storyline and as such your future is completely up to you. However, with great potential comes great risk. Players can be harsh, and the same goes for the Realm itself. Only those with the skills to predict the consequences of their actions will succeed. Can you rise to the occasion and thrive in the Realm, or will your actions lead to the demise of you and your allies?”

So yes, hardcore sandbox immersion with persistent dungeons, construction, ecology cycles, guilds, murder (no regulation of PvP is mentioned), simulated NPCs, city trade, and permadeath, though it sounds like you can avoid that fate with the proper precautions. Intriguingly, the doc says solo play is also possible – you’ll just be interacting with the simulated NPCs. Kickstarter stretch goals include mounts, emotes, a frontier expansion, a new class, a pirate expansion, better caves, improved army stewardship, and player companies and schools.

Orode has a detailed breakdown of its team, its anticipated audience, and its plans for using the funding, though the game’s website itself is sparse. “We are well aware that trying to revolutionize the MMO genre is no easy mission,” says the company. Closed alpha is expected one year from now, with a full release by the end of 2020.

“Another potential risk that we foresee, is that the research we have done towards the need for, or an appreciation of, a new type of MMO, turned out too small of a sample out of our target audience. This is where kickstarter provides us with the opportunity to create a community that we could not reach otherwise.”

Screenshots seem a bit hard to come by, but the Kickstarter does have a terrain video:

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athiev

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/173043241/codename-reality-the-first-ever-mmopeg/#chart-mini

I guess it’s probably safe to pledge whatever amount to this one, because there’s virtually no chance it will fund.

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Mush V. Peets

…Alright, so first of all, when I said I wanted immersion, I didn’t mean realism. Permadeath? Player-led armies? Full ecological cycles!? Wat?

Second of all, they’re going to have to prove that they’re capable of a little more than some pine trees and heightmap terrain (in Unity, without decent effects, from the looks of it) before I’d even consider giving them my money.

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Tizmah

Okay, I’m usually very nice. However, when it comes to people showing me what they want me to invest my money in…

The developers of this game look like they just got out of high school or just started college.

The art they’ve chosen to show off alone should tell you enough. Perspective is wonky, shading muddy, and no atmosphere lighting, bounce lighting..etc. They are simply a bunch of amateurs with their heads in the clouds. No video demonstrations. Just a landscape sprawl.

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imayb1

A landscape sprawl that says, “We’re super proud of our pine trees! Want to fly through ’em again?”

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Joey van Gangelen

We have been working on the backbone for the past two years, and are indeed not the greatest visually. We have the foundation built and are currently working on further implementing the actual gameplay. Showing this however requires 3D assets. So far we have been unable to find a 3D modeler and as such the models you’re seeing are indeed limited to foliage.

As for amateurs with our heads in the clouds. Yes, we’re recent graduates. Graduated at game development educations across the world with a shared dream.

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Tizmah

That’s fair and thanks for the reply. As it stands, I would not give money to back this project. I don’t think your ideas are bad and I do see your heart in it. (I love the scribe skill and map idea, reminds me of Ultima Online). That alone isn’t enough. There needs to be something significantly tangible and demonstrated. Proof of the npc’s being dynamic and affecting the world. Proof of combat, perma death, etc. I wouldn’t write you off as simply amateurs and college grads in that case.

I think the Kickstarter was too soon. And having stretch goals when you haven’t even met your initial goal I feel is rather presumptuous.

Sorry if you feel this is too scathing. Just being honest as to why I would not back it at this point.

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Joey van Gangelen

We are aware of it being soon, but there’s no harm in trying to do this in the most ideal way possible. Thank you for your interest and we hope to hear from you when we have more!

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

Sorry Codename Reality but SC took all my kickstarter money but even if I did have any to spend I would pass on what’s being offered.

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anarres

They say in the comments to the Kickstarter that they built a custom engine in the past few years. That is very different than the impression one may get from the Kickstarter presentation itself, which doesn’t talk or show much of what they have so far, and somehow feels like they’re just starting.

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Joey van Gangelen

Code isn’t really easy to show. We’ve been designing this for years. A shame that it feels that way…

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anarres

That’s the point, I would suggest, if this doesn’t work, to make the presentation include elements that give the right impression. Even if it doesn’t show stuff (but I’m sure it can be done), at least introduce in words, clearly, not only the dream, but also the foundation you already have.
Best of luck!

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Scott McCulloch

I like their philosophy, but how can we ship $500k to unknown developers, with no proof of concept, to produce the most ambitious, complex type of game possible?

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Joey van Gangelen

By increasing the amount that includes that “we”. Usually those highly ambitious complex types of games fail from Indies as they try it out of the blue and hope for the best. We’ve been working on this for several years, and I’ve personally been dreaming of it for over a decade. Dreams are big, but with enough support, they become reality.

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Scott McCulloch

I’m rooting for you, but, you simply have to have more of a game to show to have a chance. There’s been too many Kickstarters that have ended in total disaster. People aren’t investing on mere faith anymore.

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Diego Lindenmeyer

i bet in the end will be the same old mmorpg.

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Joey van Gangelen

I’d be up for that bet!

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harbinger_kyleran

No mas. Really weary of hearing unknown Devs promising to revolutionize the MMORPG and then asking for a pittance to make it all happen.

Show me a solid plan on where the $30 to $50M to build it is going to come from.

If they have it, no need for a paltry half a million.

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Joey van Gangelen

It was a trade-off between asking for more, and asking for an amount that we could hopefully achieve. We’re willing to move to third-world countries to cut down in required minimum wages and as such be able to keep more money available for outsourcing where needed and marketing. We’re doing this to realise our dream, only secondly hoping that we’ll make a living off of it.

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Avaera

Trying to circumvent fair wage laws by moving to a country without them isn’t a good thing, in my opinion. Your devs will deserve to be paid and valued for their work, and a responsible company isn’t going to cheat their livelihoods just to get a profitable product out.

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Joey van Gangelen

I’m afraid there has been a minor misscommunication here. It’s not that we don’t think our developers deserve to be paid. We are willing to move to a country that allows us to live on the same quality with less money. We’re also not talking about employees in this case, but about fellow team members that want to see Codename Reality be out there.

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Avaera

So a permadeath gankbox with no roleplay or narrative backdrop? Yeah, I think I’ll sit this one out.

I’d say they’re heading in the wrong direction… Technical cleverness doesn’t make an immersive world on its own, otherwise hundreds of previous attempts would have ‘redefined the genre’ already. And there are so many red flags for me – NPCs that operate with far less player dependence as a core feature of the game says volumes about the focus on actual player interaction, not one mention of ‘sandbox’ (you know, this genre you’re creating that already exists), nothing about identity construction, and weird references like wiping out a species will cause ‘no man’ to see them again (maybe bad translations, but why is that specifically gendered for no reason?).

Anyway, good luck to them, a new game isn’t a bad thing if they’re successful… But to hell with killing off roleplay for AI – no thanks to their new acronym!

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Utakata

Nor will it redefine the MMO genre, that’s already has done this to death. If it where so, we all would be playing Darkfall and Mortal Online instead of gravitating to WOW or FF XIV. Thusly, their idea of reality seems awfully “alternative”. o.O

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Joey van Gangelen

It’s reality in the sense that it’s a world that feels real. It’s not the reality that we live in. It’s a world where every action and every effect that ever happens, makes sense in such a way that it could be an alternative reality.

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Robert Mann

Gendered specifically, or just older English? Or maybe just not PC? After all, the idea of avoiding calling humanity ‘men’ is rather new…

A lot of the other things I agree are some red flags, although I think that the AI stuff and RP are nowhere near as mutually exclusive as you think. In fact, I would argue that a world where the shops close down, npcs move about, and things happen is more conductive to RP.

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Joey van Gangelen

Indeed! Even though roleplaying isn’t our main focus, with the world being an as immersive experience as possible, roleplaying is something that very easily integrates into it. In fact, for the world to make sense, it would be very odd for a blacksmith with his own shop to randomly go and live in the suburbs of another city. Roleplaying adds realism and immersion, and we are certainly not forgetting about it.

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Joey van Gangelen

We never mentioned that there would be no roleplay. In fact, we still encourage it and several design elements exist purely for the sake of roleplay. A big part of being able to create the reality we seem is actually by using that roleplaying from both the players and the simulated characters to create a more immersive experience. It’s not our main focus, but it is certainly an element of the game. The narrative is designed through the actions players make before any given point in time.

It’s not just the technical cleverness that makes the Realm immersive. Every design choice we’ve made has been questioned and designed with ensuring that it would not break the world in any possible way.
“NPCs that operate with far less PLAYER dependence”, both the ‘NPCs’ and players actually have a lot of interaction between one another at any given point in time in the game. By removing the classical NPC from the game player interaction becomes one of the most important things that one can have. As such, we have allowed it to work without ever having to interact with a player to allow for solo play, but this is not the norm we’re going for.

The sandbox genre, although similar, isn’t the main design core of the game. And as such, it is merely an element of it and not what you will be primarily doing. As for the “no man” language choice, it’s a figure of speech. Women usually see more than men do though if you want to get pedantic about gender, so in that regard it upholds either way. I treat them as equals, and sometimes forget that other people don’t.

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Avaera

Okay, I do appreciate the reply – but bear in mind that the project lead arguing individually with any criticism across various forums isn’t the best use of your resources. If you want to see this project through, go for it, but accept that it isn’t going to appeal to every type of MMO player – especially if you’re targeting a very small (“hardcore”) niche. You don’t have to be a forum warrior to win here, just move on and prove us wrong with your actions and success.

Now, technically, you’re right – your Kickstarter has zero mentions of roleplaying identity, so you don’t specifically rule it out. But how important to the design can it be if it’s not mentioned at all, and is in fact deliberately deleted from the usual genre acronym? To be slightly facetious, there are no mentions of pay-to-win either, does that mean it could also be central to the design? The problem for me is that I kind of think identity construction and open ended roleplay is the unique selling point of persistent virtual world games – it is what has given them their magic and broad appeal since MUD days – and here it is a minor afterthought at best.

On the gendered language – look, maybe it’s a cultural thing, but my advice would be to avoid any ‘figures of speech’ or ‘traditions’ that imply you think the default player is a young, white, hetero male. Just don’t assume anything about the average player, and design a game that is just as appealing to women as men, to queer relationships and straight ones, and to different cultures and ethnicities. Medieval settings are particularly prone to ‘realism’ trumping an experience that everyone can enjoy equally, so just be careful in your design not to exclude or punish players who don’t fit the typical demographic. And please don’t try to use stereotypes like ‘women usually see more than men’s, because that doesn’t counter my concerns like you think it does.

As I said, I wish you luck, but I don’t think your design is mature or thoughtful enough for me to be interested personally. It’s a nice dream to have, all the same, and more choice for players is always a good thing if you do end up making a game some day. So go for it! :)

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Joey van Gangelen

I know it’s not the best of my resources with regards to the final product, but if I get so many negative comments in one place, ignoring it isn’t either.

There are a lot of things that are implied with creating an immersive and realistic world. We had to limit ourselves to what stands out in comparison to other games and as such had to leave out the details that already exist in current games. But true, not mentioning it doesn’t mean it’s still there.

Thanks!

moleverine
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moleverine

I’ve been burned too many times backing software projects on Kickstarter. In my opinion, Kickstarter is the new “No veture capital firm will help fund this” realm in terms of games; especially MMOs. $500K to “revolutionize” the MMO genre isn’t a realistic sum. Even if this does get funded, I expect them to be doing additional rounds of funding to even get the Frankenstein’s Monster, patchwork version of the original vision out the door once reality sets in.

Or, the slightly-less-pessimistic, but more cynical view: Maybe they’re using the Kickstarter to get work started and make it easier to get VC funding.

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Joey van Gangelen

Sorry to hear that. We went to Kickstarter first because we wanted to ensure we could create the game without loan sharks hunting at us to make the game easier to increase playercount, or to charge additional money through in-app purchases. We want to give the players the possibility to enjoy the game we are creating. If Kickstarter fails, we will still end up looking into additional options for private investors and the like.