A Merry Christmas to All... but watch out for the Tannenbomb at the bottom.
But it’s also been a good year - despite the closure of the game, we’re all still here, one way or another. The good folks at the Titan Network are still home to many City of Heroes players, while others have reconnected across a myriad of different Facebook groups, Twitter and various other forms of social media.
We’re very lucky to be part of that still active community - our forums and social media sites are full of people reminiscing about City of Heroes, our Kickstarter felt less like a campaign and more like a reunion and we’re still having people getting in touch with us who have only just found out about City of Titans and want to know what they can do to get involved.
Talking of the Kickstarter - we wanted to lift the lid on some of the bits and pieces that were going on behind the scenes as we launched what we thought, so as a bit of Christmas fun, here’s a few things you might not have known about our 33-day-long campaign to help raise money to start making a crazy idea into reality:
1. PR lead Lauren “Rae” O’Neill got anxious whenever anyone suggested the Kickstarter could go into millions. Therefore, the word ‘million’ was referred to either as ‘the m word’, or, more frequently ‘Raellions’ by most people on the project.
2. Michele "QuantumHero" Alexander-Sichelle is hyphenated, because her first name and married name rhyme, badly. ;) She is brand new to twitter, having resisted all these years, until CoT became a real reason....but she sat down to learn hootsuite in a matter of days for this project. If you have not heard a ton from her during the Kickstarter, it is also because QH is reading all your tweets and comments looking for what our community wants in the future, working on setting up future convention appearances for MWM staff, keeping an eye on the gaming industry at large, and more....all while in the middle of moving.
3. The community hit the target amount so quickly that the PR team didn’t get the chance to implement the plans they thought they’d need to keep the community excited about the project. Lauren posted a picture of her Kickstarter plan ripped up on our Facebook account, just five days in.
4. Over 1,000 articles about City of Titans were published by the gaming media throughout the Kickstarter campaign. We’d initially hoped to share as many of them as possible with our community, but there were so many we were frightened of spamming. The campaign was covered by the biggest gaming sites in the US and UK, as well as gaming sites in Germany, Russia, China, Italy, Holland, Spain and Poland.
5. A number of City of Heroes developers pledged money to the Kickstarter, and we also had Twitter support from epic nerd-rockers, Kirby Krackle.
6. DC “Terwyn” James MacKay and Jonathan “Mentalshock” MacKay are twins respectively in charge of the business/marketing and human resources aspects of the project. There have been minor amusing glitches in communication specifically because they speak their own internal language, and have never *quite* mastered the english translation.
7. Everything about VDG is [redacted]. Everything. The reason why is [redacted]. FOIA filings have not yet been answered.
8. Lauren took an unexpected leave of absence about halfway through the Kickstarter because her father was involved in a serious traffic accident. The rest of the team stepped in to support her and take over her duties. He’s doing fine now, thankfully.
9. Screengrab of our internal chat room as the Kickstarter ticked down:
10. Nate “Doctor Tyche” Downes had to take several days off in the middle of the Kickstarter due to his wife having a planned-for surgery.
11. There are 74 active volunteers who put in more than 20 hours a week.
12. The Phoenix Statue used in the logo was originally created by VDG using a swallow for inspiration.
13. Warcabbit is neither a war nor a cabbit. Warc may, however, be some other form of lapinoid.
14. The girl in the video firing the laser beam is known as ‘Lucky’. She is a stock model from Mixamo which we used to validate animations against.
15. The video in the kickstarter was actually the fourth video produced for it. The first three were destroyed under mysterious circumstances. Well. Not so much mysterious as ‘don’t try to render 3D graphics in a Texas Summer with no AC’.
16. The UFO appearing in several Kickstarter updates is a historically accurate model. Anyone identify it yet?
17. At no point did anyone in the kickstarter spontaneously turn into a penguin.
18. Blockman has two PhDs and can speak eleven languages. Sadly, he has no mouth. It is yet unknown if he can scream.
19. There were 33 planned for easter eggs contained in the Kickstarter material. To date, only 12 have been publicly identified.
20. The Kickstarter video used was originally planned for inclusion on the day 20 update.
21. Work on the Kickstarter began in May. 22. Nate “Doctor Tyche” Downes promised to shave off his beard and send it off for scientific research if we reached the goal within the first week. He has so far been postponing the event. Shame on him.
23. The invisibility shot for the Kickstarter happened by a complete accident. It was originally to be a test of the armor-aura system, but in the setup, the control system was connected to the opaque instead of the texture channel, resulting in the player model vanishing. The result looked so good, they kept it, and used the fixed aura setup for the screenshot of the IFRIT.
24. Blockman has multiple skins available. None of them are of Gumby.
Yes, we know it’s not quite the same as the winter chalet in Pocket D and rescuing Baby New Year, but with things progressing as we are - who knows what we’ll be doing this time next year? Speaking of events, I know a bunch of you miss the old Winter Event, so we found a way to give you XTREME early access to City of Titans gameplay.
WHENCE COMES... THE TANNENBOMB?
Right below this blurb, you'll find a picture that's a link to a JPG. Take it, print it out on any printer - don't worry, the creature's black and white, so any printer will do - grab some tape, stick it to a tree, and huck a snowball at it! Presto! Winter event. For X8 gameplay, print out multiple copies.
Want a Boss challenge? Use Legal and stretch it! For world boss scale, I'm afraid you'll either need a really expensive printer, or use action figures to attack it. No snow? Well, shaved ice will do, and if you get green, you can pretend to be a Radiation Guardian!
And hey, if you feel you've done something impressive, take pictures and share it on the forum.
We may take the game seriously, but there's no reason we can't have fun along the way. Enjoy the holidays, everyone. Be safe, be healthy, and most of all, be heroic. Or villainous. Whatever fits best.