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Stick and Rudder: Oh yeah, Star Citizen is a game I'm following!

Sci-Fi, Culture, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen

I actually said the title of this piece out loud the other day. I was compelled to do so primarily because of a certain sandpark's launch as well as the fact that it's been dominating my game time for a solid month now.

And yeah, I left off the Stick and Rudder part when I said the title out loud because "Stick and Rudder: Oh yeah Star Citizen is a game I'm following!" would've sounded even stranger than "Oh yeah, Star Citizen is a game I'm following!"

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Make My MMO: September 28 - October 4, 2014

Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Crowdfunding, Make My MMO

This week in MMO crowdfunding, some analysts suggested that game development crowdsourcing might not be the wave of the future. Then Star Citizen topped $55 million in crowdfunding, which makes it not only the biggest game-based crowdfunding project of all time but the biggest crowdfunding project of all time, period.

Once you're done reconciling those two stories, don't forget to click past the cut for our weekly MMO crowdfunding news roundup.

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Elite: Dangerous launches Beta 2, Beta 3 coming later this month

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous

Elite: Dangerous is officially in Beta 2 as of today. Frontier says that the current build is a "major update to the game," which includes new outposts, a new starport, and ship wear and tear, to name just a few. What? You want to hear about a few more? OK, how about pre-flight control checks, new music, and SLI/Crossfire support?

You can view the full release -- and the full feature set -- after the cut.

Beta 3 is currently scheduled for October 28th.

[Source: Frontier press release]

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Analysts suggest video game Kickstarters are in decline

MMO Industry, News Items, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

People are less willing to put down money on these gambles for some reason.  In unrelated news, have an Embers of Caerus header.
If you're still holding out hope for Kickstarter as the new face of funding video game development, you may want to revise that projection. Analyst group ICO Partners has been tracking Kickstarter through 2014 and has observed a marked drop in successful projects, funds pledged, and overall scale of projects on the site. Based on projections, the group expects a 20% drop in successful projects by the end of the year -- not a collapse, but a definite shrink.

The downturn is attributed to a variety of factors, including the lack of several big-name projects to draw people to the service and a number of high-profile failures. ICO Partners analyst Thomas Bidaux also notes that the amount being received by successful projects is diminishing, which he attributes to fans being less willing to drop money on a potential game when some of their already funded games have yet to materialize. The full report has more data and is well worth a read for anyone interested in crowdfunding and its future.

Not So Massively: Patches for Destiny, Path of Exile, and Diablo III

Betas, Business Models, Game Mechanics, PvP, News Items, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, Dungeons, MOBA, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Path of Exile, E-sports, OARPG

Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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Make My MMO: September 21 - 27, 2014

Betas, Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding, Make My MMO

As usual in the Kickstarter corner of the MMO industry, this week saw ups and downs for hopeful MMOs. Trials of Ascension hit its $60,000 crowndfund goal, Star Citizen broke $54,000,000 (count those zeroes, folks!), and Camelot Unchained got a new website. Yay! But TUG laid off half its staff, Pathfinder Online's early enrollment has been delayed until almost Halloween, and Project Gorgon's Kickstarter campaign has fallen short of its $100,000 goal. Boo! Bringing balance to the universe is Shroud of the Avatar, which was successfully Steam greenlit but has resorted to enticing testers with digital hats.

Read on for our complete MMO crowdfunding roundup in this week's edition of Make My MMO.

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Trials of Ascension will include playable dragons

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Races, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

Pay attention, students: Trials of Ascension is coming up to the head of the class to give a progress report. Don't be timid, fledgling game. We're all listening.

First of all, Trials of Ascension has hit its $60,000 crowdfunding goal. This means that Forged Chaos will be including a playable dragon race at launch, so prepare your Dragonheart names now.

And in a new progress video, Trials of Ascension showed off its new dynamic spawning tech for mobs and plants, its resource gathering system, improvements to combat with full-body animations, items that persist when dropped in the game world, and a naming and chat system that won't automatically identify strangers. There's more to it than that, of course, so check out the full progress video after the break.

[Source: Forged Chaos press release; thanks to Azrile for the tip!]

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Star Citizen hits $54 million with a letter from Chris Roberts

Sci-Fi, Video, MMO Industry, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen

Your money helped us construct and then blow up this moon, because we really wanted to see what it looked like.  Development?  Oh, right, we'll release a module about it in a year.
Star Citizen's ongoing funding drive has put the game up to $54 million now, and that means another feature off of the stretch goal page and into the full game. Chris Roberts addressed the community in a letter following this most recent landmark and explained that this level of funding will allow the game to launch with advanced AI behavior from NPCs in planetside environments. He also showed off a new video highlighting the Retaliator bomber, demonstrating the level of detail inside the ship that players can anticipate.

Roberts went on to detail the cannon that will be awarded to every backer who joins before the game hits $55 million and offered another poll for players to determine what rewards they'd prefer for the next million-dollar increment. You can check out the Retaliator video just past the break.

[Thanks to Oliver for the tip!]

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Test Shroud of the Avatar, get a hat

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Housing, Crowdfunding, Shroud of the Avatar

Release 10 access for Richard Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar sandbox begins Thursday morning, according to an update on the Kickstarter portal. This release is primarily a polish patch, Portalarium says, but housing utility, PvP, and population density were addressed as well:
We also made changes to increase player population densities in the game because we observed players becoming more and more spread out as we added more scenes; especially scenes with player housing. Speaking of player housing, we also noticed many people claiming houses, but not actually using nor decorating them. To address both these issues, we reduced the number of scenes with player housing and we introduced costs to lot claiming and house deed purchases (deeds can be purchased from the bartender in Owl's Head). We also reduced the number of PVP arenas to only two. Hopefully this will concentrate the players in fewer areas, and increase the number of decorated buildings.
In far more important news, SOTA's devs admit that testing participation has been falling off with successive releases; to entice players to test, FREE HAT. No, really; you get a free special hat for completing a quest in each release.

SOTA was greenlit on Steam last weekend after just a few days of campaigning. The full release notes can be found on the official website.

Pathfinder Online's early enrollment is delayed yet again

Betas, Fantasy, Bugs, Business Models, News Items, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding, Subscription, Pathfinder Online, Buy-to-Play

Pathfinder Online has further delayed the start of its next testing phase, Goblinworks wrote on its blog yesterday in a post titled Early Enrollment Will Not Start This Week:
There are a lot of final pieces coming into place to turn Pathfinder Online into a Minimum Viable Product so all of our early adopters can play and have a great time. The Auction House didn't make it in for a build last week and that is a critical feature of our MVP. As always, Goblinworks is dedicated to making sure the players have a solid and fun game experience. As a result we are going to reschedule the start of Early Enrollment. The team is developing their roadmap and when we have a revised start date we will provide an updated blog to present that plan. We appreciate your continued patience.
Those of you playing along at home will recall that this is the third such delay. On September 3rd, early enrollment was shifted to September 22nd for bug fixing; a week later, it was set for September 25th to accommodate, Goblinworks said, its players' vocal "desire to have the whole early enrollment map ready for play on the first day of early enrollment." Early enrollment is the equivalent of paid early access for backers and incurs a subscription fee.

Choose My Adventure: Basically Han Solo in Elite: Dangerous

Betas, Sci-Fi, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous
When Frontier Developments' Elite: Dangerous eventually launches, I'm guessing there will be two primary types of pilots cruising its vast expanses: quiet, peaceful types who enjoy exploring and courier-ing, and destructive, violent types who prefer interacting with NPCs and other players via pulse lasers. Elite's loose structure has room for other archetypes, though, such as the savvy trader working the marketplace and the under-the-radar smuggler who lives on the wrong side of the law but avoids drawing attention to himself. Being peaceful doesn't mean you have to be lawful.

Last week's Choose My Adventure poll set me on the path of the smuggler, challenging me to secure illegal goods and to sneak those goods by the feds to net a healthy profit.

Results were mixed.

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The Stream Team: Adios, Elite: Dangerous

Betas, Sci-Fi, Video, PvE, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Frontier Developments
Frontier Developments' Elite: Dangerous has had a good four-week run in September's Choose My Adventure, but it's time to step out of the spaceship and into some heavy armor or a wizard's robe. Join Massively's Mike Foster as he adventures out into Elite's current beta one last time, with Twitch chat as his guide. It's not the end for Elite around here, but it's the last shot we'll get to see the game before Beta 2 launches on the 30th.

Tune in at 7:00 p.m. EDT for all the spacey action.

Game: Elite: Dangerous
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Kickstarter project aims to revamp galactic sandbox Chosen Space

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, Browser, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

Not every Kickstarter fundraiser is for a brand-new IP; some campaigns are launched in an effort to fund a more fully realized version of an existing property. And so it is with the browser-based galactic sandbox Chosen Space, which launched in 2006 and is now asking for funds to be reborn as a far better version.

Developer MMO Lab is attempting to secure £5,400 to finish the previously self-funded project. The new Chosen Space: Relaunched will feature improved graphics, new features, and additional features. "We've developed our own game engine called MMO Lab which will allow us to finally make the Chosen Space we've always imagined, and which the players have always deserved," the studio posted.

Chosen Space is a "living" sandbox that balances strategy and RPG elements as players customize ships, explore the galaxy, and engage in trading and conquest. The new version is preparing to go into alpha testing at the start of the new year.

We've got the crowdfunding pitch video after the break for your edification.

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Not So Massively: SOTA's greenlight campaign, LoL's free song, and Destiny's first raid

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Business Models, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Mobile, MMOFPS, World of Tanks, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warships, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous

Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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Shroud of the Avatar has already been greenlit on Steam

Betas, Fantasy, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Shroud of the Avatar, Buy-to-Play

Well, that was fast! After a brief campaign that began late last week, Shroud of the Avatar announced today that it has been successfully greenlit on Steam:
As you can see on the page your overwhelmingly positive support has resulted in an incredibly fast green lighting of Shroud! Thank you all so much for your support. Stay tuned as we now work with Valve to get Shroud in the Early Access section of Steam as soon as we can.
SOTA's successful 2013 Kickstarter campaign has to date brought in almost two million dollars. Early access is currently available with a $45 minimum pledge.

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