Imagine for a moment you are one of the simplest creatures on the planet, an Ant.
What would you do?
On your own, you couldn't do much. You probably wouldn't survive. But with the help of the other ants in your colony, you could work wonders. You could search for and find food, traverse raging streams, conquer other colonies and achieve massive feats of engineering. 'The Ant Experiment' will be the first MMO to allow you, the player, to experience the incredible potential of the ant.
Amazing Ant Facts
Did you know?
Ants are one of the strongest creatures on earth, some able to lift as much as 100x their own weight.
- Ants can live up to 30 years.
- Ants and humans are the only beings on earth that farm other creatures.
- Ants can survive up to 24 hours under water.
- And that is only scratching the surface.
If you still aren't convinced ants are incredible you should watch this:
Our team - with a few missing
BlackCherry started in 2004 creating interactive content. Over the years we`ve focused more and more on games. We love Mobile Games, Virtual Worlds and Interactive Experiences. We create games for entertainment and games for education. For every game we create we follow a few simple rules: make it fun, make it fun, make it fun.
Virtual Safety Village - BlackCherry 2012
Producers Dane Allan Smith, John Mark Seck and Alberto Garcia have over 50 years combined experience in games, visual FX and interactive content production.
Where did this idea come from?
At BlackCherry, we were brainstorming what the simplest possible MMO could be and we thought, “an Ant MMO, nothing could be simpler than that”. It probably also had something to do with the ongoing ant problems we've had at home. No matter what we do, we just can't seem to defeat the plucky creatures. Of course, when we thought more about this idea we realized, it sounds simple but, ants are very complex creatures in terms of their behaviour so the game has the potential to be incredibly deep.
Ok, but so what? What makes this a cool MMO?
Most 3D MMO's are fantasy-based but essentially, you are a human, or a least human in form. We want to see what can happen if we limit the tools and abilities of the players but create an open world where you can do whatever your imagination and skills allow. That's why we describe this game as Minecraft meets Warcraft. What we expect will 'emerge' is a social experience of working together to conquer obstacles but we don't know exactly what will come out of the game, hence, 'The Ant Experiment'.
Why fund this MMO through kickstarter?
As an independent game studio, we can think of no better way to fund and develop a game than to let you, our audience, decide whether the game should be made or not.
How will the MMO work?
A lot of the decisions about the game will be made during the production process, but this we know: We want the experience to be as authentically ant-like as possible. This isn't an MMO where you will be a human in an ant's body. We want players to have an ant experience that challenges them to work cooperatively and socially to solve problems, build a colony, and grow their colony's influence. As the game grows, we'll listen to the feedback of our players and use that feedback to shape the Ant Experiment into the ultimate Ant Experience.
Where will the MMO be available?
The game will first be distributed online through web download and on iOS and Android. Our approach is multi-platform, so as time goes by, and depending on the level of funding we are able to raise, we'll make it available on other platforms.
What will the game look like?
We love great looking games. Stills of other games we've created, included in this post, will give you an idea of our range of style and art. That said, game art is always closely tied to the game mechanics. The art style will be determined as we get farther into the mechanics of the ant world.
Tell me about the gameplay?
Think about what ants can do and you'll get an idea of where we are going. You won't be able to talk, but you will be able to communicate in an ant-like manner. You'll choose a class of ant and from there enter the ant world. As you invite more and more of your friends your colony will grow. You'll have to dig and build to create your ant nest. The game mechanic will be open-ended with a creation toolset that you can use to modify the world. Many of the tasks will be social in nature such as building and foraging for food. You will be able to customize your ant with a personal and tribal tattoo. As the game grows we'll introduce other cool customizations.
Who are you kidding, we are humans, not ants?
That's true. So you may choose to build the Taj Mahal of ant nests, or you may choose to ignore your fellow ants, lie around and take it easy while others do the heavy lifting. Sooner or later though, that kind of thinking will come back to bite you in your little ant butt. Maybe it will be a natural disaster, a change in the environment or an attack by a rival colony. You're an ant, so don't think it's going to be easy.
Any Technical Stuff You Can Share?
The game will be built using Unity3D and it will be a 3D immersive game. That said, we want to give you, the ant-players, the tools to shape the world.
pathoftheelders.com BlackCherry 2010
Why Should I Believe You Can Pull This Off?
We have been building games with Unity3D and FLASH for over four years. We know the potential and the limitations of the platform intimately. We are also independent game developers who know how to stretch a buck and create a great experience on a tight budget. We'll start with a small team to create the initial version of the game and see how things grow from there.
$300,000 is a lot of money. Why is the budget so high?
When it comes to creating an MMO, it's a pretty small budget. That said, we can do a lot with this budget based on all the technology and know-how we've developed for our other projects. Once the game launches we hope to see it grow so we can help you build an incredible ant-experience.
What if you receive more money than your goal amount?
If we are privileged enough to earn more than our funding goal, we'll put that extra money into making the game available to more people, in more places and on more platforms.
Your video is fun, who made it?
The video was directed by Anthony Seck (Feist: Honey Honey, Look At What The Light Did Now). Always helps to have an award winning Director/DOP as a brother of one of the key team members. We were also privileged to have actor James Clarkson play the role of the Professor.
When will the game be released?
Our goal will be to launch the game by December of 2012.