Pre-alpha colony sim MMO Seed will grant players the tools to fight toxicity


Seed resurfaced this summer after intensive work by studio Klang Games building out the colony simulation MMO (plus a big influx of investor money), and this month, it’s put together a handy Q&A featuring questions from its community and fresh answers from the devs.

Notably, Klang says that players will be able to password-protect their colonies to invite friends as well as join colonies with open borders; there will be a whole-planet view; and your bank account will move with you if you move colonies (though objects need to move physically). The studio is also working with a Harvard law professor on government structures available to players, with the intent that players “be able to implement laws to fight against toxic behavior.”

“To make this game genuinely scalable, we have to give virtuous players just as many gameplay tools as delinquent players,” the studio explains.

“Frequently, games are just so unbalanced that the trolls always end up winning and ruin the fun for everybody. But with the government tool, players can themselves fight against the toxicity. If you compare this system to other online games, like, The Sims Online, players don’t have the correct tools to combat or prevent toxic behavior. This then allows toxicity to breed. If we embrace it and make it a part of the gameplay, players must be able to trust each other to build these systems efficiently. We want to allow for a level of freedom that is very broad, so we can see why things go right and why things go wrong. Not just as developers, but as humans. We want to build a world that is about experimentation, and by nerfing, the more flawed the experiment will become. Having said that, we won’t stand for anything that goes against our ethics as a studio and will draw the line at things that have nothing to do with this experiment. We’ll have the traditional report-player tools and will be working with the community on what is acceptable and what is not.”

As an example, Klang points to most games’ respawn mechanics, which basically remove serious consequences for griefing. Consequence is a big deal in Seed, however. “One of our slogans at Klang is, ‘present horrible things in a nice way,'” the devs write. “Much like any good story or film, there will be villains that present ideas that are immoral, but this also provides drama and creates community-driven stories, which is precisely what we want to see in the game.”

If you missed the game’s pre-alpha teaser last month, definitely give it a look-see to understand how this title differs from other MMO sandboxes in the genre:

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