If you’ve been missing meaty dev blogs from the Project Gorgon team, then turn that frown upside-down: There’s a massive new article up about your favorite indie MMO. Lead Developer Eric Heimburg wrote up a huge article detailing some of the game projects that is making him excited.
So what are these? Heimburg acknowledges that poor framerate optimization and various types of lag are issues and that he will be tackling them step by step. These engine changes should eventually result in better performance, although it’s not going to happen overnight.
Aside from technical issues, Heimburg discussed the many changes to skills and treasure that are coming to keep the game balanced. Allowing players a wide range of skills has created a challenge to keep the game balanced: “There are more ways to boost damage than I originally planned, and the resulting big numbers are causing problems when making content. Those problems aren’t too bad right now; it’s a bit tough to create content that works for lots of builds, but it’s still doable. But it will become a severe problem by the time we reach level 125 content.”
While Project Gorgon is not going to implement a permadeath mode any time soon, the team has put in some tools to allow players to operate their own hardcore challenges.
In response to a discussion on the forums about permadeath, the team quickly added a new feature that will keep track of player activities in the game as a means of proof if someone wanted to show that, for example, they had not died yet or bought any items from the vendors.
“I spent a few hours adding a new command to the game. It’s undocumented right now, because it’s untested and pretty bare-bones — but if you’re interested in challenge contests, I’m hoping you can help test it and figure out how to improve it,” Eric Heimburg posted. “The idea is that after the challenge ends, you can take a screenshot of the output of this command, and post it on the forums as your ‘proof’ that you participated without breaking whatever rules the challenge had.”
After a solid run, Project Gorgon has closed out its Indiegogo campaign just shy of its $20,000 goal.
The fantasy MMO designed by Asheron’s Call alum raised $17,230 from 236 backers over the course of this campaign. The devs said that this fundraiser helped to cover ongoing development and server costs while providing some revenue to implement wanted features.
According to our recent interview with Eric Heimburg, the Steam early access launch is right around the corner: “Steam looks like it’ll happen in early February right now. We’re hoping to be out of beta and really launched by Christmas of 2017.”
Project Gorgon’s latest patch is live this week. Its centerpiece? A major expansion to the newbie dungeon, making it a good time to give the game a try as a newcomer.
“The small dungeon on Anagoge Island has been replaced with a new, much larger dungeon… and it’s only just getting started!” says Elder Game’s Sandra “srand” Powers. “More parts will come online in future updates. If you haven’t played the new-player experience recently, we could use your feedback about the dungeon. Please create a new character, go through the dungeon, and report things that were confusing, that didn’t work, or that were great. (It’s important to tell us what works, too, so we don’t accidentally rip out fun things!)”
Other additions this update include improvements to the shield skill, adjustments to NPCs that train skills, content improvements in Rahu, and… really, you just need to read patch notes like “Basic Ham Omelet and Bacon Lover’s Omelet recipes gave too much Cooking XP on repeats of the recipe” and “Zhao will not take your money to teach you Flower Arrangement if you have already learned Flower Arrangement” yourself.
Good news for Project Gorgon: The indie MMO has crossed the halfway point in its current Indiegogo campaign, raising over $10,000 toward its $20,000 goal. As a treat for the game’s supporters, the team has released a picture and a description of the upcoming Fairy (Fae) race. Is it just us, or do these Fae look quite similar to Guild Wars 2’s Sylvari?
“The Fae are an immortal race that originate from the realm of Fae,” the team wrote. “They have the ability to glide through the air with the use of their wings and levitation magic. Those Fae who truly embrace their heritage can master full flight. Their alien biology allows them to gain additional benefits from food and potions, but they are fragile and more vulnerable to injury when compared to some of the tougher races.”
In last week’s interview with Massively OP, project leader Eric Heimburg described the Fairies as “murderous little butterfly people” who use knives and ice magic to deadly effect. The Fae is slated to be the next playable race added to the game, followed by Orcs and Dwarves.
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, ArtCraft says over 9000 gamers have been invited to try to break the three alpha servers active during Crowfall’s “Big World” playtest. “We’ve shifted our development approach to be more like a live MMO,” says Creative Director and Co-Founder J. Todd Coleman. Still on the way “soon” are the new crafting skill trees, unique world maps, the necromancy system that serves as the foundation for avatar swapping, and the protype for the Eternal Kingdoms. The company also crossed the minimum threshold for its Indiegogo-based equity crowdfunding effort, though it has been thus far unwilling to answer questions about its now-public finances.
Meanwhile, Pantheon is plotting a stream on December 9th, Ship of Heroes became the fourth City of Heroes spiritual successor (and has crowdfunding on the way), Star Citizen began testing alpha 26, Richard Garriott donated an in-game skull to a tavern in Shroud of the Avatar, and The Exiled kicked off its closed alpha (for which we still have keys!).
Finally, we sat down with Project Gorgon’s Eric Heimburg to chat about the state of the game and its graphics plans for 2017.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on!
As many of you are well aware, we here at Massively OP are pretty fascinated with the work being done by MMO industry veterans Eric Heimburg and Sandra Powers on Project Gorgon. This indie PvE MMO is long on creativity, quirks, and exploration, and after a long period in (open, playable) alpha, it looks like the game might be rounding the bend to launch within the next year or so.
This week we sat down with Heimburg to get an overview of Project Gorgon’s progress, the current Indiegogo campaign, how players can become Nature Cops, a timeline of the next year of game development, Steam early access, and the unavoidable question of graphics.
Elder Game’s Eric Heimburg and Sandra Powers have today posted a new Indiegogo campaign for the in-development alpha indie sandbox MMORPG Project Gorgon with a $20,000 flexible goal.
The game previously raised nearly $75,000 through Kickstarter in mid 2015, following two unsuccessful crowdfunding rounds, but the game has soldiered on for years. “Since that time, we’ve made significant progress in setting a solid foundation for Project: Gorgon,” Heimburg tells potential backers. “We’ve designed, developed and implemented three new zones along with an entirely unique new player experience. We have implemented dozens of new skills and have added a large number of new items. We’ve added a new animal-friendly town for those players who wish to play one of our unique animal experiences. We’ve completely overhauled our power system and equipment bonuses. We completely rewrote our camera system. We’ve made significant changes to the quest system, added NPCS, guilds, guild missions, player vendors, dispensers, work orders, drowning and a lot of other features. In addition, we’ve recently introduced the Knife skill which is a precursor to the Fairy race and we are currently in the process of a complete GUI overhaul! There are countless other changes, but this should give you a solid understanding of the progress we are making since our initial Kickstarter campaign.”
If you’re among the legions of Trekkies, then you are almost certainly aware of Cryptic Studios’ Star Trek Online. Since early 2010, players have boldly gone where no one has gone before in this MMO that blends spaceship battles, ground combat, and faithful tie-ins to the long-running franchise. Star Trek Online appears to be thriving following a free-to-play adaptation and two expansions, and some see it as the only official continuation of the TV series right now.
But what players encounter in Star Trek Online is not what it originally started out as. You may or may not know that STO began development under Perpetual Entertainment, which handled the game for several years until it went bankrupt and passed the license and art assets to Cryptic.
It’s another tantalizing historical “what if?” scenario to think about what this game would look like if Perpetual had taken it to launch and beyond. But what did this version of Star Trek Online look like? Let’s investigate.
Earlier this year, Project Gorgon said that it would be releasing on Steam early access by the end of 2015. This isn’t going to happen, however, and the team wrote a new Kickstarter update to explain the reason for the delay.
“The Steam early access launch is probably our last major opportunity to earn money to improve our art,” Lead Developer Eric Heimburg said. “The Kickstarter money is more than enough to get the game to the finish line, but $75,000 can only buy so much art, no matter how cleverly we spend it. So the Steam launch will help determine how good the game can look.”
It asked players for $20,000 to add better art and additional features, but what Project Gorgon ended up with was an impressive $74,781.
The indie fantasy MMO wrapped up a successful Kickstarter campaign last night after two failed attempts in the past. Over 1300 backers rallied to provide Project Gorgon with funds to beef up its graphics and feature set for its December 2016 launch. The campaign achieved several stretch goals, including a Bard skillset and the ability to become a vampire.
The team also posted a new community Q&A on the forums a couple of days ago. Amid discussing topics such as animal forms and incoming races (Fairies are next on the slate), Eric Heimburg said that he will be improving Steam functionality: “I’m going to kick the dirt off the implementation of the Steam interface and expect to get that up in a month or so.”
It seems like half the Massively staff has been playing Project Gorgon here lately, so we figured it was time to seek out the devs at Elder Game and ask them a few burning questions. Lead developer Eric Heimburg was gracious enough to field our queries, and by clicking past the cut you can read about his thoughts on everything from indie MMO development to improving the game’s aesthetics to future features including a demonologist skill that actually risks your character’s soul!
Virtual world MMO Project Gorgon is preparing for a third Kickstarter campaign, its creator tweeted this past week. Eric Heimburg confirmed that the team is finalizing plans to seek funding for current and future development of the game.
It remains to be seen how ambitious a fundraising goal that Heimburg will set this time around. Project Gorgon attempted to raise $100,000 last fall but only managed to get to the $23,500 mark. Since then, alpha development has continued with the occasional update.
Speaking of which, Project Gorgon has put out a few patches lately to beef up the game’s content. These include level cap increases, more werewolf fun, improvements to the newbie experience, and the first pass of the day-night cycle with the intent to eventually develop a full dynamic weather system. Oh, and if you’ve been traumatized by the Omegaspider in the past, you’ll be happy to know that it’s been nerfed to the ground.