ArtCraft says ‘the purpose of Crowfall is to destroy’ the themepark model

Crowfall’s J. Todd Coleman on beta and the MMO genre


Crowfall is in beta. If that statement reads a bit reverently, that is perhaps one’s cynicism that a crowdfunded anything can reach a finish line, let alone a milestone, and it’s an event that has caused creative director J. Todd Coleman to wax poetic and philosophical about the game’s latest step forward.

“The process is terrifying and exhilarating in equal parts,” writes Coleman in the blog. “It is a leap of faith. Faith that you’ll find the resources you need along the way, faith that your team will stick with you, faith that the technology you are banking on will solidify in time, faith that your idea will be fun. And, most of all, faith that the game will find an audience.”

With that faith in reaching an audience in mind, Coleman also goes on to opine for a return to the earlier days of MMO gaming as many others have, with a sense of heels digging in to make Crowfall a niche title that speaks to very specific sensibilities.

“A player recently asked me, ‘Now that you are nearing release, will you change the vision of Crowfall to appeal to a broader audience?’ Hell, no, I told him. That would defeat the entire purpose.

“Have you ever considered why they call them Theme Park games? It is because a theme park never changes. This is the central conceit of Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland: in this place, nothing changes. This world is a bubble in time; a curated and homogeneous experience for the masses. Each ride is designed to provide exactly 5.4 units of fun per customer (no more and no less!) and it will reset for the next visitor as soon as you are done. The audience is not permitted to affect the world – by design – to protect the experience of the next person in line.

“The purpose of Crowfall is to destroy this model. To obliterate it. The world is not the point; the world has never been the point. YOU are the point. These worlds exist only for you, as a canvas to paint on. As a lump of clay to mold and shape as you see fit.”

For anyone looking for more thoughts and details on Crowfall’s big step, make sure to check out our discussion with ArtCraft about the game, the beta, and a whole lot more.

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