We're not asking you to help us to make our MMO, we're asking you to help us enable you to make yours!
"We're not asking you to help us to make our MMO, we're asking you to help us enable you to make yours!" --Jeff Kesselman
What is it?
Most people who have played an MMORPG like WOW have, at some point, thought "if I made this game, I'd do this instead..." MyWorld brings you that chance to create your own massively multi-player roleplay game on the web.
It leverages Facebook and the RedDwarf back-end technologies to allow an unlimited number of users to create and play in an unlimited number of worlds. You can just invite your friends to play, or open your game to the world.
Although the initial version will be based on tiles and objects provided by WorldWizards, a future upload and market functionality will allow wizards with art skills to create their own content and offer it to other wizards.
What sort of game can I make?
WorldWizards and Playmatics will be providing example scripts that implement a standard MMORPG type game. However, MyWorld is almost limitlessly customizable.
Want to create "PeaceCraft", a game without combat where all game play is through negotiation and compromise? Go for it!
Want to create a harsh world with perma-death where monsters are obstacles to be avoided not destinations to be hunted? Make it happen!
Want to create a game that requires math-skills, or teaches spiritual concepts? Do it!
What your world will be is in your hands.
Can we do it?
MyWorld is no pipe-dream. It is being created by leaders in the online game space:
Jeff Kesselman, CTO and principal of WorldWizards, has been a leader in the online game programming space for almost 20 years. He has been a regular speaker at the Game Developer's Conference - Online, and was the creator of the Darkstar/RedDwarf server system used in massivley multi-player games around the world. He has contributed to many commercial games both online and offline including Duke Nukem3D, Total Annihilation, GEX, Blazing Dragons, The Horde and Dark Sun Online.
Margaret Wallace, Chief Executive Officer of Playmatics, has a long and illustrious career in the game industry and has been the successful CEO of multiple start-up game companies such as Skunk Studios and Rebel Monkey.
You can see a video preview of the working world editor functionality here, just click on the image at the top of the page.
Is MyWorld just for fantasy games?
At initial release, the tile and object sets will be for a fantasy environment. We intend to release other environments over time. Some settings under consideration include:
- Science Fiction
- Modern Day
The designer's circle members will be consulted as to exactly what we do and when.
What is the Backer's Store?
All backers of MyWorld get access to the backer's store. This is an in-game store with exclusive cosmetic player items. (Note that a given wizard may chose to disallow the display of any cosmetic items that don't fit their world.)
What is the Designer's Circle?
The Designer's Circle is reserved for the most serious backers of MyWorld. They get special credit and serve as an advisory board on game features. Their requests are non-binding but will be seriously considered.
In recognition of their investment in the product, they also get membership in a code escrow such that, should the service cease to function for 90 days or more, they will have the option of downloading the code and running and/or modifying it for their own use.
How will my money be used?
This is an important question and you have a right to an answer. This is our high-level development budget:
- $200,000 for technical development. That includes programmers' saleries, tools and equipment.
- $200,000 for art and design. Creating a system that has enough options that you can really build the world you imagine is no small task.
- $100,000 for marketing. We want MyWorld to last a long time and to do that we need to ensure that the word gets out to everyone who might like to play
- $100,000 for taxes and fund-raising fees. Yes, that might seem like a lot, but that's the cost of doing business. We will need to pay %15 of every dollar we bring in to our funding partners Kickstart and Amazon Payments. The government will also want their share. As far as they are concerned, your pledge to this project is income for the project itself.
Any money raised in excess to the above budget will be used to extend and improve the product in a similar (though not necessarily identical) spending ratio.
How will I know you are working on it?
Once the project begins, we will start a developer's blog that will have an update posted at least once a week.
From time to time we will also post screen shots and/or videos of work in progress. We do want to do the best possible job for you in the time alotted, however, and we ask your undestanding that stopping to do demos too often will impact what we can deliver at the end. For this reason we will not have a fixed delivery schedule for those demos but will do them as appropriate places in the development cycle are reached.
Members of the Designer's Circle will be receiving regular status emails asking for input on design decisions.
As explained in the project video, the artwork you see currently is purely for technical development and may not be the art shipped with the final product. Having said that, our content pipeline is open and allows for the import of third-party data. We are exploring licensing as one of a number of ways of getting the maximum bang for our development dollars.
One reason we don't discuss this above is because we don't want to wed ourselves to a financial model too prematurely, but yes, we are expecting to charge a nominal fee, which is where the "value" of the higher level contributions comes in.
All entertainment charges, thats a given. The only question is how.
By charging a fair fee up front that covers the costs of equipment and future expansion, we avoid having to turn the game into a "gamevertisement" that constantly bugs you to buy things for real cash. Its more honest, in my book, and we do believe that most people are willing to pay a fair price for a fair value in entertainment.
At the moment we are working on an assumption that players will pay a $5 a month fee which will gain them access to all public worlds and any private world they are invited into. World builders (Wizards) will pay a $10/month fee. The higher fee is because there is more work on our end to support those users. We also want to give Wizards a certain number of 'free passes' per month that they can give to new players so that they can try out the Wizard's world.
To put this in perspective, renting a minimal server from Amazon EC2 suitable for running this sort of game on your own is over $100 a month, and thats before you figure in communication bandwidth charges.
We'd love to offer a permenant discount to backers, but Kickstarter rules forbid that. So instead we've bundled access thats worth more then the backer-pledge in with many pledges. Should the financial model change, we will make sure that the value is still at least as much as stated in the backer rewards.
Our development plan is for 12 months, with game release in August 2013. By then we expect to accomplish the following:
* Finish and polish the world editor
* Put in place an event driven scripting system
* License and/or create a complete set of tiles for towns, cities, forests, building interiors and caves
* Have a large assortment of objects and creatures for placement in the game world (eg chests, bags, other furniture, weapons, armor and so on). Some will be animated (eg chests)
* Have a graphic avatar creation system that includes figure-warping and animation
* Implement a set of modifiable sample scripts for a basic mmorpg including character creation, object interaction, monster AI, combat, inventory management, etc
* Be integrated with the Facebook social graph for player invites, world updates and so forth
In some ways, yes. In some ways, no. Minecraft is a construction game. It has set rules for construction of the world, combat and so on. In a general sense it falls into the same class of games as "world games" like SimCity but at a finer granularity. In Minecraft, construction is gameplay and you can fail.
MyWorld is a MMORPG game building system. World construction is done by Wizards who have total control over their world. They define the game that players of the world will play. You can't "die" building your world, or otherwise fail other then just not completing your projects or having bugs in your scripts.
Although we will provide sample scripts for combat rules, monster AI, and so forth, it is all configurable/changeable by the Wizard who owns that world. MyWorld is like your Dungeon Master's guide, monster manuals and miniature figures for a table-top game. It gives you the pieces to build a game, but what that game will be is up to you. It is, quite literally, your world.
Another difference is that you do not need to run your own server or download anything to either be a Wizard or to play in a Wizard's world. (Assuming you already have Flash installed. Most people do.) We will operate the servers that the games run on.
Finally, Minecraft is based on stacking lego-like blocks. This gives you a great deal of flexibility in some ways, but makes the world look like Lego-land. MyWorld is based on 3D terrain tiles that are faster to assemble and end up looking more like the real world and not like a lego construct.
You can see a video preview of the current world editor functionality here, just click on the image at the top of the page.
This is something we are investigating right now. We'd like to enable such use. If your world can command an additional fee over the $5/month player fee, we think you should be able to do that. We do however need to make sure that its all done properly and legally. Which will likely involve some lawyer fees. Thats not something we mind doing but we do need to wait til we're funded to do it.
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