We certainly have no shortages of MMO projects in which fans and developers alike are seeking to return to Ye Olden Dayz of game design, and while Project_N can be easily lumped in with this trend, there are a few things that set apart this relatively new MMO.
First of all, its small team is led by Shawn Lord, a highly experienced MMORPG developer who was the lead content designer for EverQuest and DC Universe Online. Second, Lord says that this game emerged from a series of discussions about creating a “classic fantasy MMO” using modern-day tools that would be focused, compelling, and profitable. Third, among its visual inspiration are ’70s and ’80s rock album covers, which is an inspiration we haven’t heard a lot of in this space.
“We’re building an entirely new universe (and then some), that’s rooted in very traditional, tropey, western high fantasy,” Lord posted. “We’re putting our little twists and takes in, but overall, we want this world to be familiar and nostalgic. It’s both serious and charming; filled with mysterious ruins, familiar monsters, and the usual elves and squirrels and sh!t.”
The indie team hopes that by keeping costs down, it can afford to make a very niche MMO: “We’re making a game that’s not meant for everyone. And in staying narrowly focused, we’re hoping that it’s a game that we can continue to “bootstrap” the development of ourselves.”
Lord recently hosted Trion Worlds and SOE’s Scott Hartsman to talk about old times and new trends: