Playable Worlds’ hiring page suggests Raph Koster’s upcoming MMO is a AAA sandbox

With a big ol' Unity-built world and destructible structures to boot

    
20
No screenshots yet, obviously.

We’re assuming that we’re destined to hear a lot more about Playable Worlds’ incoming MMORPG in the near future, what with Raph Koster’s promise to do just that this year on top of his “premanifesto” last week. But while we wait for the hype machine to start cranking back up, we can poke around in the company’s hiring pages to see what the game might offer.

We’ve done this before thanks to YouTuber Napyet’s musings on who’s already been hired, which all point to a full-fledged virtual world. But Playable World’s recently updated its career page, seeking everything from producers and artists to client and server engineers.

Notably, the associate producer and producer openings call the game a “sandbox MMO” and ask for passion for “MMOs and sandbox titles” – actually, the producer slot specifically says “MMOs, AAA, and sandbox titles.” The senior server engineer will “work to help connect modern AAA game engines to a custom multiplayer game server” and needs “experience with the Unity game engine,” while the concept artists will create an “immersive MMO play experience.” The environment artist position offers a fun clue as well, as it seeks candidates with “experience with advanced destructible housing and environment systems and pipelines” and “experience with massively multiplayer online games (MMO) with large world requirements.”

None of this will be a surprise given Koster’s background and writings to date, but it’s nice to see it in text.

More on Koster:

Advertisement

No posts to display

20
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
PanagiotisLial1

Destructable housing likely may mean (some) PVP focus by the way. Its a common desire on PVP sandboxes to be able to destroy each other’s buildings. That said, as long as he has a plan to avoid turning it to gankbox(lots tried many failed), its ok with me all gameplays in same “roof”.

MilitiaMasterV
Reader
MilitiaMasterV

There is no iteration of PvP which doesn’t end with someone getting sand in their eyes and being pissed and leaving. Thought this was going to lead to something ‘new’ and ‘innovative’ but it looks to be just ‘more of the same’ old philosophy…

Also, ‘including it under the same roof’ leads to attempts to force players who want nothing to do with it into it. Take for example ESO forcing you to go PvP if you want your mount sped up…

Reader
PanagiotisLial1

You do realise there is PVP for sportsmanship and fun too, right?

In the low sec EVE corp I was for years we would actually arrange PVP fights with nearby entities. As much as ganking is more common and more outlined, since its the one people get pissed off about, there are other forms too

MilitiaMasterV
Reader
MilitiaMasterV

Yes, enjoying others suffering is ‘fun’ to certain types…and ‘sportsmanship’ long since went the way of the dodo bird.

Alomar
Reader
Alomar

He’s just reciting the typical anti-pvp rhetoric as if all pvp’ing is ganking and the huge pvp population that these games cater to either don’t exist or are all toxic af. You can’t reason with them, just continue the good fight as we look for dynamic content that is created by players and not coded.

MilitiaMasterV
Reader
MilitiaMasterV

“I just want a challenge, so I’ll use all sorts of mechanics that allow me to gain an edge over someone, including any exploits I trip over to make sure I’m the one who walks away ‘the victor’.”

Yeah, sure. If you really wanted a challenge, you’d be fine with advanced AI that can think(And respond) FASTER than any human ever could. You just want people, so you can exploit a person’s weaknesses(Or parts of a game’s code/mechanics)…whereas AI’s quickly adapt and learn to thwart your ‘victory’. You don’t want a challenge. And your arrogance in thinking you ‘know better’ is ironic at best.

Reader
Robert Mann

Separate choice is all that can exist imho. I do think that a check point, with access between and a ‘dead zone’ where PvP states don’t change right away, are requirements there too in order to avoid using that split as a griefing spot.

Sadly, the common desires conflict because there’s never much reason to care, such as having things worth trading and limited enough character spots to promote that trade.

I still think that done correctly a server can thrive in both regards, but it needs the resources for both dealing with PvP balance and issues, and putting in good gameplay focused on other things (whether traditional PvE or more virtual society aspects).

Reader
Wilhelm Arcturus

If only “AAA” had some agreed upon meaning.

Reader
PanagiotisLial1

For laughs:

There was a long past time where AAA referred to an online browser game as people referred to Alien Adoption Agency (ancient browser game since like 1998) as AAA

Reader
boibluesadwowsad

Ralph has a history of leaving mmorpgs before they are done only to make up a story how it was “other” peoples fault and never his

Reader
Fisty

One day…

Reader
Katzvariak

experience with the Unity game engine

This is a red flag. NO AAA MMORPG should be done in Unity.
Even Valheim cant hold up with the FPS drops when there’s too much triangles to process.
I doubt UNITY Engine can hold thousands of players.

Reader
Fisty

I think Albion uses Unity. Tons of games run well on Unity. Seems like some mostly failed MMOs like Pathinder and Shroud have tried it. Just seems like a broad declaration.

Reader
Francis Baud

I think it’s very different because Albion has quite low poly models and the engine has only a very small area to render at any time, because of the isometric view, which means a low number of poly total. AO running smoothly is not indicative of how Unity games will render massive 3D worlds and large number of players on screen.

Reader
kjempff

You are aware that it is the gfx card that does all the work. Theoretically you could send exactly the same from Unity as from Unreal.
Unity has some buld in overhead, but a big mmo project will work around that (because they have experienced programmers) … So the playing field is a bit in favor of unreal but not as much as you might think.
I am no fan of entitity component design or how they railroad me as a programmer, but that is another discussion.

Reader
Vanquesse V

Both Pathfinder and SotA jumped on Unity because they didn’t really have a choice, and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if those two games have paved the way for someone else to make a good unity mmo.
Unity in the year 2021 is probably quite a bit more capable and scalable than the engine was back in 2014

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

Unity is plenty capable; Cities: Skylines uses it as the engine, for example.

The thing about Unity is that it’s cheap and easy enough to use that a lot of people without experience, or that want to spend as little as possible on development in order to cash on some fad or IP, are using it to make games; for the most part such games end up a shoddy mess, but this is because of the lack of experience and/or budget, not the engine.

Reader
boibluesadwowsad

thats a problem of your potato

Reader
Vanquesse V

I’m not sure a single engine exists that can handle thousands of players onscreen at the same time. And if they’re not onscreen at the same time, it has very little to do with unity anymore

Reader
Robert Mann

Unity is far more potent than Torque. LiFMMO managed to make Torque hold up with terraforming, seeing across server boundaries, and other things that push engine harshly.

It’s a matter of how much skill and effort goes into optimization with Unity, rather than just the engine itself. LOTRO has an engine problem where they can’t go much further, Unity has plenty of room.