Last week, the Massively OP podcast hosted guest James Hicks, the developer behind impressive indie space sandbox MMO Ascent: The Space Game. You won’t be surprised to learn that the kind of insane dev who takes on a sandbox MMO solo — and prospers to grow his team and lead a successful Kickstarter — is also the kind of insane dev who has a deep understanding of the technical issues facing MMO developers, particularly of the internet spaceships variety.
In response to our community’s criticism of his comments on Star Citizen on the ‘cast, Hicks wanted the opportunity to expand his thoughts on Star Citizen beyond what we had space for on the podcast, so we are happy to publish today a dev blog penned by him on that very topic. Read on for some measured insight from a developer who considers both Chris Roberts and Derek Smart his personal heroes.
On today’s show we have a very special guest: the creator of Ascent: The Space Game, James Hicks. Hicks has been crafting an ambitious space sandbox and opens up to us on the show about the technical challenges and how this gives him insight into what else might be going on in the industry (Star Citizen, anyone?).
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Ascent: The Space Game is one of the MMO genre’s most ambitious titles. Whether it’s the seamless transitions between the vastness of space and the vastness of its planetary environments, or whether it’s the emergent gameplay made possible by Ascent’s NPC AI, this particular PvE sandbox is doing things that other games can’t (or won’t).
MassivelyOP recently interviewed Fluffy Kitten Studios founder James Hicks about that emergent AI and several related topics. Click past the cut to learn how this tiny indie studio is shaming its big-budget counterparts and assembling a feature-rich title on a shoestring budget.