Ever since I ran my first D&D adventure as a dungeon master, I dreamed of future where masses of players would somehow connect and build the dungeons, design the cities and play both the adventurers and npcs that inhabited this connected fantasy world.
I dreamed also of a fantasy game based on reality. I enjoyed fantasy worlds of orcs and elves but found there are so many real life histories, myths and legends that sparked my imagination more. I wanted a game that would educate and bring these legends back to life.
This became possible with the arrival of the MMO. I enjoyed a few MMOs but they weren't what I had dreamed of. You could be the adventurer, but not the "dungeon master". I wanted players that could be both.
Nearly 15 years ago I sat down and started designing Xsyon and almost 5 years ago I finally had the opportunity to make this dream a reality.
Xsyon is a massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG), an online community, a virtual world and an adventure.
Xsyon is designed as the ultimate sandbox game, where players create, shape, develop and control every aspect of the game world.
Imagine an online fantasy world. You enter the gates of a walled village in search of adventure. The walls were erected by players, the buildings constructed by players. You equip yourself with weapons and armor crafted by players. You load yourself with food grown and prepared by players. You set off on quests assigned by players seeking aid.
This is Xsyon!
Are you the adventurer or the crafter? Are you the builder or the town leader? It's your choice and it's your game.
When Xsyon is complete, players will be able to:
- Gather resource by foraging, fishing, scavenging and mining.
- Plant and chop down trees. Chop trees into logs and useable components.
- Plant, grow and harvest crops.
- Craft tools, components, weapons and armor in multiple steps.
- Dye and enhance crafted items.
- Build functional and decorative equipment and furniture.
- Cook custom recipes by choosing base ingredients and flavorings.
- Heal and protect each other.
- Build fires that provide warmth, comfort and boosts in power.
- Design custom tribal banners.
- Build carts for hauling large amounts of goods.
- Place signs and build totems for trade, quests, mail and announcements.
- Terraform the land to build terraces, trenches, moats and fantastic land sculptures.
- Lay roads that provide faster travel routes across the world.
- Construct towns using an extensive system of architectural components.
- Build carts to haul large amounts of goods.
- Use buildings as home locations, crafting stations, storage and protection from the elements.
- Erect bridges to cross rivers.
Combat and Creatures
- Fight creatures and each other with twitch based melee attacks and ranged weapons.
- Track, trap and hunt creatures.
- Tame, herd and breed animals. Raise them as pets, harvest them as a resource or ride them as mounts.
- Form tribes with a hierarchical member and rank system.
- Claim protected land as homestead (for solo players) or a tribal group.
- Set up quests for fellow adventures.
- Gain skill and experience through questing, not grinding.
- Quest to craft, gather goods, explore, protect or collect bounties.
- Gain achievements and show them off on town and world leader boards.
- Sell and rent buildings.
- Define currencies for use in local and worldwide trade.
- Participate in Guide run events and lead Player run events.
The environment of Xsyon is dynamic and alive. The game is designed as an ever changing immersive world.
When Xsyon is complete:
- Trees grow, decay and fall.
- Creatures breed, age, become stronger and mutate.
- Resources are depleted and renewed.
- Weather patterns affect crops, creatures and player comfort levels.
- Realistic day, night and seasonal cycles reflect the real life location.
- The sun, moon and constellations follow accurate paths in the night sky.
- Items decay with use and exposure to the elements.
- Players are affected by hunger, thirst, energy use and adrenaline boosts.
- Players age, gain and lose weight
The Xsyon series draws its inspiration from history, mythology, and the Biblical book of Revelation.
The Xsyon landscape is based on the Lake Tahoe basin and its surroundings. Lake Tahoe is an alpine lake nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountain range along the California and Nevada border. This location provides a wilderness setting with few traces of modern civilization as a clean slate for the first settlers of Xsyon to construct their world.
The society of the past, primarily the Washoe Indians and the early pioneers lives once more juxtaposed with the remnants of modern society. The new player is lost in his new life with open eyes to discover this changing virtual world.
Xsyon provides an Alternate Reality fantasy setting. Xsyon is unique as players learn about real life locations, names, flora, fauna, processes, history and legends.
It's not just entertaining, it's educational!
War has destroyed life as we know it. The Apocalypse is at hand!
Modern technology has consumed itself. War has ravaged the planet, opening a rift to another reality. The survivors of the grisly destruction rise from the ashes of ruin to encounter a world that has changed. A world that once existed only in the realm of mythology, legend and imagination has become concrete and very real. You have forgotten the past and are welcomed by a new primitive future.
You are a survivor. Your youth was spent lost in times of war. Your memories of the past with its machines, computers, bright lights and buildings reaching for the skies are vague and ever fading, a distant and unreal dream. You grow accustomed to ancient ways that now once again rule the world.
You know nothing. You’ve forgotten the past and have yet to learn the future. You are a lost soul in a strange barren world with little more than the shirt on your back. Little do you know that you are destined to become a hero.
Your path is one of choice. Will your actions help heal the planet or will you play a part in its ultimate doom? What will be the destiny of Xsyon, the Promised Land?
The future is in your hands.
Xsyon: Apocalypse will inhabit two separate worlds (servers).
On one server, players will develop a new world in relative peace without PvP combat.
On one server, players will be able to fight over resources, attack cities and conquer tribes with full loot PvP combat.
This will accommodate different play styles and attract both players that enjoy building new worlds and those that enjoy conquering them.
Xsyon: Apocalypse will be the first full 'gold' installment of Xsyon and our goal for this project!
This will be Xsyon as originally designed with all features and systems outlined above.
We will reach out to a wider audience with a two world system and expand to more servers if necessary to support thousands of simultaneous players.
The terrain will expand to 9 times the current Prelude game world.
Mythological and legendary creatures will join the current cast of animals and mutants.
Religion and magic will be introduced to the game during this phase.
Players will uncover clues that lead into epic quests as the story of the Apocalypse unfolds.
Xsyon is currently live and in the Prelude phase. The Prelude was intended as a simplified version of the game which would evolve with its community as we add features and improve the game based on player feedback.
The Prelude takes place an unknown time after the year 2012. Survivors awake, lost in the Tahoe basin, sheltered from the apocalyptic events that continue to occur throughout the world.
Players in the Prelude began as hunters, gatherers and scavengers, claiming land, chopping down trees and building small structures with logs and terraformed earth. Over time we added architecture, tribal ranks and permissions, carts, player created quests and many other features. Players expanded their tribes and built extensive villages.
Our next focus is to generate a solid in game economy. Advanced crafting, trade totems using player defined currency, cooking and healing are in development. Xsyon continues to improve and evolve!
Please take a look at the Xsyon: Prelude here: www.xsyon.com
The Xsyon Gallery: www.xsyon.com/content.php/9-xsyon-sandbox-mmorpg-apocalypse-2012-gallery
Beyond the Apocalypse
Xsyon shall grow to gradually encompass the entire world as its playing field. Each continent, each region, will bring to life the gods, history, myths, customs, and artifacts of its past. Eventually the world of Xsyon shall be an incredibly diverse, exciting, and educational online universe.
We plan an expansion to a new region of the world every two to three years.
Xsyon's development began in 2008. In 2010 Xsyon was opened to the public as a pre-release. In March 2011 The Prelude was launched. Since then we've added many features and improvements. While reaching our current stage in less than 5 years is no small feat for a tiny development team, our goals are ambitious and we want to produce more and faster!
This is where Kickstarter and you come in!
Meeting our minimum goal will allow us to double the size of our development team and greatly increase the speed and quality of production. Our goal is to provide substantial content patches every three months and fully launching Xsyon: Apocalypse in November 2013.
Exceeding our goals will allow us to develop more fun and unique features, add special effects and improve environmental graphics.
Phase 1: Economy
- Crafting system improvements
- Resource distribution and gathering improvements
- Increased item decay
- Trade function at tribe totems
- Healing skill
Phase 2: Immersion
- Cooking skill
- Comfort levels
- Weather effects on players and creatures
- Ranged combat
Phase 3: Society
- Expansion territories
- Bridges and improved roads
- Contested territories (PvP Servers only)
- Real estate system for buying and selling buildings
- Improved quest system
Phase 4: Creatures
- Tracking skill
- Animal taming
- Animal breeding
Xsyon Apocalypse Launch:
- Land expansion to 9 times the Prelude size
- Full addition of PhysX physics system
- Improved graphics, particle systems and effects
- Bonfire building
- Furniture, signs and tribal banners
- Achievements and leader boards
If we exceed our goals we have many features designed for the future of Xsyon that we will start to include:
- Component crafting steps.
- Updated trees and terrain.
- Dance system
- Musical instrument system
- Hairstyling skill and Character appearance customization
- Mini games for gathering resources and performing tasks
- Gambling games
- Religion and magic
- Complete terrain system revision to allow for full 3D terraforming
- The ability to play monsters
- More content: Buildings, furniture, decorations, armor sets, weapons
- Creatures of myth and legend
- Improved graphics updated to DirectX 11
Let's make it happen!
Risks and challenges
When Xsyon's development began, nearly five years ago, I knew it would be a monumental endeavor. With a small team and a very limited budget everything needed to fall into place perfectly to launch the Prelude to Xsyon with a full set of planned features but in a limited, simplified state. This was a huge risk but I took it!
A multitude of unanticipated obstacles came our way - programmers moving on to other jobs at inopportune times, losing funds due to the stock market crash, team members experiencing disabling health problems, server instability and dealing with hackers and contentious players.
We learned to take these setbacks in stride and constantly move forward!
Xsyon is a game that responds to and evolves with its community. The Prelude was intended as a developmental phase where we would work with players and lead into a full Xsyon release. We found out early that players desired existing features to be fleshed out more than they longed for new features. Some Prelude game features, such as terraforming, architecture and tribal systems were developed further than originally planned. Other features, such as pets and mounts, had to be put aside for the future.
Development took a different, slower path. Kickstarter can give us the boost to speed up development and bring Xsyon to the next level.
Developing Xsyon has been full of challenges but we are up to the task. Our core team is more experienced and better prepared than when we first started development. Tools and systems are in place to deal with player hindrances that have affected us in the past. The Xsyon client and server engines are stable and ready for new features and for the game to reach a full development stage.
The biggest issue affecting development now is lack of funding. Kickstarter and you can supply us with the funds required to expand our team and bring Xsyon to a full featured release. Xsyon: Apocalypse!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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