0
Posted February 24, 2015 by Peter in Announcements
 
 

Crowfall countdown finishes, Kickstarter begins

Crowfall logo
Crowfall logo

Crowfall, a proposed MMO in development looking to offer a twist on the standard formula, has had a countdown ticking away on its website for several weeks. Speculation was rife of what it was counting down to, but on reaching zero today it was revealed – the launch of a Kickstarter campaign to fund progress.

Crowfall‘s development team is being headed by industry veterans – Kickstarter seems to be a common approach for experienced teams looking to self-publish these days. Game credits include Ultima Online, Star Wars: Galaxies and The Old Republic, and Shadowbane, the latter being credited with being the accidental inspiration for one of the core concepts behind the game – fixed term game worlds. While not in the core game, the test servers for Shadowbane were regularly wiped; but instead of deterring players, each wipe led to a landgrab as players returned and claimed territory.

Crowfall Hunger concept art

Concept art showing “the Hunger” – a creature in each of the four seasons becoming more corrupted as time passes

Crowfall worlds are fixed term affairs – maybe a month, or three, or a year – progressing through seasons. But an effect referred to as “the Hunger” is also corrupting and destroying things, so early progress in exploring and claiming resources gives way to the inevitable end of the world… but while the worlds are destroyed, the player characters are constant, gaining experience and equipment that stays with them.

This juxtaposition of the short term and the indefinite – legacy play for characters, but avoiding the permanence of most MMOs – might give it an edge in standing out from the crowd. In principle, new players have a chance to make a mark as new worlds are formed, and the end game should keep changing even for experiences players.
Crowfall screen
The game is also looking to avoid some of the other standards of MMOs; it is looking to neither be subscription nor free-to-play, but is aiming for a “pay once” model like Guild Wars. The game worlds are also due to be built with voxels, meaning players can change the physical environment. “Blast holes in walls. Collapse towers on your opponent. Dig a tunnel beneath a castle wall, so that you can dig your way up into the courtyard and siege from within. Voxel technology gives the players the ability to (literally) move mountains” are some of the approaches the game’s website sees it being used for.

There does seem to be faith that this is what can be delivered – the Kickstarter campaign has already raised half of its $800,000 goal in less than a day. Hopefully time will reveal more of what is proposed and confirmed.


Peter

 
Peter can be described as an old, hairy gamer, a survivor of the console wars of the 1990s, and a part-time MMO addict. He has an especial fondness for retro gaming and observing the progressions in long running gaming series. When scandalously not caught gaming, he can also be found reading comics and fantasy fiction, or practising terrible photography.