| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more


MMO Mechanics: Procedural generation is the future

City of Heroes, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, RuneScape, Love, EverQuest Next, Sandbox, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Trove, MMO Mechanics

MMO Mechanics title image
MMOs are infamous for the exorbitant amount of both time and money that is required to make a fantastic end product. Much of this effort and expenditure goes into producing very specific content such as leveling zones, quest chains, and dungeons. The classic themepark MMO in which all the rides are carefully engineered and maintained is compelling for a time, but the content therein tends to take longer to create than it does to exhaust. This invariably leads to redundant content that ends up on the scrapheap once it has been enjoyed for a time.

Procedural generation corrects much of this redundancy by providing essentially limitless variations of content, adding replayability and variety to the usual MMO repertoire. It also opens up some unique mechanics, like Elite: Dangerous' planned procedurally generated galaxy that is a full-scale replica of the Milky Way.

In this week's MMO Mechanics, I will look at how the genre is evolving because of how accessible procedural generation techniques have become to developers. I'll also explore how this might affect the future of MMOs by examining the mechanics that upcoming titles will incorporate.

Continue Reading

Free LOVE for all!

Fantasy, Business Models, Free-to-Play, Love

Free LOVE for all!
Eskil Steenberg's solo MMO project is taking the next step of its journey, as LOVE is dropping all costs and going completely free. "After countless iterations, innovations, and experiments I think I have created something special," he wrote on LOVE's website. "LOVE has become a game unlike any other. Now I really think you should play it."

Steenberg developed LOVE under his own steam and without funding, and he admits that both the creation of the game and its operation are costing him. To help cover the costs of this now-free title, he's asking fans to consider donations in exchange for a perked-up character.

More than anything, he just hopes that players will give his creation a try: "If you take the time and have an open mind, you will find out why this is a labour of love."

Eskil Steenberg talks LOVE, progression, and making indie MMOs

Fantasy, Culture, Interviews, News Items, Love

Eskil Steenberg's LOVE has been flying well under the radar of late, even more so than is usual for an indie MMORPG. A little phenomenon called Minecraft happened over the past year since LOVE's launch, and while both games hail from Sweden, that's about where the similarities end. In fact, comparing LOVE to any other game is rather challenging (but also instructive), as evidenced by a new Eurogamer interview.

Steenberg is literally a one-man development show, and the piece covers a lot of fascinating ground including everything from how you measure the title against more traditional fare to how players react when confronted with LOVE's open-ended paradigm shift. Gamers will "play a game like mine... and they'll go back and play something scripted and say 'oh my God this is so archaic.' It's like if you play Dragon's Lair today. I'm not controlling it, it's all fake," Steenberg says.

The interview also touches on why Steenberg opted for a non-traditional approach to massive development, or put another way, why he didn't fall into lockstep behind World of Warcraft (and EverQuest before it) as the vast majority of the industry has done. "I'm trying to do something completely different," Steenberg says. "What they're doing is limiting what you do. You follow, you grind upwards. [Progression] is something you should do if you want to make money because you get that hook. But I was never interested in making my players addicts."

Friday Livestream: Eskil Steenberg's LOVE

Video, Events (In-Game), Massively Meta, MMOFPS, Love

Hey everyone, it's your favorite day -- Friday! The weekend is fast approaching, so let's kick it off by checking out a brand-new game!

This week's topic of the livestream is LOVE, the single-man MMO created by Eskil Steenberg. LOVE is a surreal fantasy where players fortify their settlements against waves of hostile computer-controlled tribes. However, LOVE doesn't stop the players at creating just fortifications alone! Players can terraform the environment, lay down power lines to defensive weaponry, construct buildings, and more!

So please, hit the play button above to watch the livestream narrated by Seraphina Brennan, or double-click the video to be taken to our Livestream page, where you can chat with other Massively users in real time, talk with Sera, and learn more about LOVE or the MMO industry at large!

Update: Thanks everyone for coming! The stream may be over, but you can catch a re-run of it by pressing the play button above! Enjoy!

Free Love for the holiday weekend

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), News Items, Love

Those who lament that nothing innovative and interesting is being done in the field of MMOs are probably unfamiliar with LOVE, a project seeking to redefine pretty much any core assumptions about the genre. Players build and create, levels are based upon relationships with other players, and the entire world is a surrealistic masterpiece of a landscape. Oh, and the entire project is the work of one man, Eskil Steenberg. It's the sort of thing that would be well worth checking out, and during the holiday weekend, you can do precisely that.

From 6 PM GMT on Friday until noon on Monday, LOVE will be having its first free weekend, giving players curious about the actual mechanics of the game a chance to log in and take a close look at how the game works. That runs the majority of the Labor Day weekend, a fine time to log in and get some serious construction going. Keep an eye on the official site or on GamingLove for more information on registration.

[Thanks to bartillo for the tip!]

Love's developer requesting player input for bug fixes

Fantasy, Bugs, Love

Eskil Steenberg is a busy man, but that's not stopping him from retaining his title as the world's only One Man Traveling MMO Development Studio. Hey, he should get that trademarked!

For those following the progress of Steenberg's Love MMO, you are fully aware that the man stays on top of constant improvements to the game. His Twitter followers are fed a regular dose of update notes and he's not shy about appearances in his own Teamspeak channel.

This week, as he returns to the states for Siggraph 2010, he asks his loyal fans for their input on bugs that need squashing. The compiled list will be addressed this weekend, with another aim at a Teamspeak visit as well. Check out his most recent forum post for all the details.

LOVE adding first major expansion

Fantasy, Expansions, News Items, Love

We've not heard a lot from Eskil Steenberg since his MMO LOVE launched last month, but it must be going well, as he has unveiled the first major expansion for the game yesterday. AVAIL will be a free expansion, bringing the welcome addition of character progression to the game: "Many players feel that while enjoyable the game is pointless. You build only to have it be destroyed, and they would like to see a more long term goal to pursue. AVAIL will add character progression but in a way that is very different from how other games implement it."

LOVE will continue its basic goal of player cooperation in that you "level up" by working with and gaining the respect of other players. The interesting thing here is that it's a constantly shifting design -- just because you have a good working relationship with player 1, that means nothing if player 1 logs out and you begin working with player 2. If you don't already have a good working relationship with player 2 you'll need to cultivate one as part of your progression. You can find all the details on the expansion on the LOVE site.

Eskil Steenberg: Why is LOVE so unusual?

Fantasy, Interviews, Love

Eskil Steenberg's LOVE stood out from the MMO crowd from the first time it was presented at GDC two years ago. It didn't fit neatly into any pre-determined genre and the game's appearance was different from anything we were used to.

Two years later, LOVE has launched, and Steenberg is thrilled to see his work reach this point. He spent some time recently chatting with Gamasutra about how the game developed the way it did, what its focus is, and what he hopes players will take away from it.

LOVE isn't only unusual because of its appearance, Steenberg says. It also stands out because the focus is somewhere completely different than your traditional MMO games. Players cooperate to develop and build the world, interacting with it as they see fit: "It becomes almost like playing a RTS but one where you're playing a peon in an army, and you can decide what to do -- you can stay at home and build, you can explore, you can do all kinds of things," Steenberg explained.

That's just the beginning of what makes LOVE so unusual, though. The full interview is an interesting look at the mind behind the game, and can be read at Gamasutra.

Love launch day roundup

Video, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Love

Eskil Steenberg's Love
Today is the day that Eskil Steenberg launches his indie procedurally-generated art-house MMO, Love. As if the idea of one man creating his very own MMO weren't ambitious enough, Steenberg also created a comprehensive set of tools to build the entire game from scratch. If you're curious for more information on this beautifully unique MMO, we've gathered up some highlights from our coverage of Love here for you to check out. Perhaps we'll see you in game!

Anti-Aliased: What is Love?
So what is love? That's certainly the metaphysical question of the ages, isn't it? ... That's why we're going to spend this week talking about Eskil Steenberg's indie-MMO, Love!
A first look at the Love alpha
The graphical style floats somewhere between impressionist and Abstract, with only the suggestions of people and things. Gone are the "customize your character heavily" moments of an MMO. You simply log in and your character is immediately created - an amorphous entity ready to take part in all that Love has to offer.
Two new videos bring the Love
Since we've heard about Eskil Steenberg's concept for a procedurally generated MMO, we've been craving a close look at Love. Luckily for those of us who have only heard about it through news sources, he's decided to publish a video presentation showing off just what gameplay is like in Love....

Continue Reading

One Shots: Home is where the Love is

Screenshots, One Shots, Love

With Eskil Steenberg's indie MMO, Love, set to launch in just a little over a month, he's been incredibly busy pushing out updates and refining the game further. The idea that one man has managed to bring a whole new form of MMO from idea, on through building all the tools, to creating the game, running the beta, fixing all issues, and soon -- publishing! Add to that how uniquely beautiful the procedurally-generated world of Love is, and you can see why we're glad to see players sending in One Shots from there.

Today's image comes to us from Joshua P. who writes in to explain the scene: This is a screen shot taken just after Eskil sent out a graphics update. The Kadeshi Junction is one of the most beautiful places in the game. My character, Nathon (names are randomly generated), on Atlanta-1 server, had logged on and ran through legions of the genius AI to find a good spot for a settlement. I think this is it.

Why not join the fun and send in your own screenshots to be featured here on One Shots? We can always use more to pick from. Just email them to us here at oneshots AT massively DOT com along with your name, the game its from, and whatever other information you'd like to give us. We'll post it for everyone to enjoy and give you the credit.

Gallery: One Shots

Indie MMO Love set for March 25 launch

Launches, New Titles, News Items, Virtual Worlds, Love

Development of Eskil Steenberg's MMO Love has been proceeding quietly for a few years now, with the occasional story when alpha or beta milestones are reached. Back in October, we took a closer look at this gorgeous, unique game thanks to Krystalle and Seraphina.

The work of the one-man development studio and the patience of Love fans is about to pay off: Mr. Steenberg announced via Twitter that Love will launch March 25th, just over a month from now. If the game looks interesting to you and you haven't had the opportunity to check it out yet, the official site has some tips and suggestions for getting the game set up on your computer as well as some links to informational sites.

Take a look at the game, and we'll see you at launch!

[via Heartless Gamer]

One Shots: The glow of Love

Screenshots, One Shots, Love

When it comes to looking for new gaming ideas, there's no denying Eskil Steenberg's procedurally-generated art-house MMO, Love stands out. Now in beta, Eskil has been working hard at improving the game since the last time we looked at it. Today, we have a gorgeous One Shots from the beta to share with you. This came in with a report in from the front lines, courtesy of GamingLove's iamacyborg, who writes:

This is a screenshot of a player settlement in Eskil Steenberg's game, Love, on the UK1 server. We had the base set up on top of a few pillars, over a lake, with a force-field (that pink ball) protecting the important tokens. Here's a video someone took of the settlement a little while after the screenshot was taken, once we'd set up a perimeter defence with some blaster turrets.

Are you playing something we haven't seen before - or only see rarely? If so, why not take a moment and send some screenshots in? Just mail them to us at oneshots AT massively DOT com along with your name, the name of the game, and a quick description. We'll post it out here and give you the credit.

Gallery: One Shots

LOVE open beta is now live

Betas, Fantasy, New Titles, Love

It's been almost two years since we at Massively first laid eyes on Eskil Steenberg's MMO Love, and wondered if it would ever make it to production. The unique look and gameplay features of Love made it stand out immediately, and we (along with a good number of fans) remained anxious to see the game succeed as we watched production advance and open alpha approach.

Now one-man design studio Steenberg has crossed another hurdle. He's finished up a list of 26 things he wanted to add to the game, and beta launched today. The client is available for download at the site, and three euros will net you one month of gameplay. (Steenberg suggests that you download first and make sure the client will run on your computer before you pay for anything.)

If you're interested in checking out an MMO that's unlike pretty much anything currently out there, visit the Love page, read through what Steenberg has to say, and give the beta a try.

Love's beta launches on January 7th

Betas, Fantasy, News Items, Love

Eskil has done it! He has completed the "List of 26" and has shut off the "join Love" screen until January 7th, when the beta will officially open up to all new players.

However, if you've been with Eskil through the Alpha process, you have a small thank you gift in the form of the servers already open for you and patched up with the beta client. So, if you have had an active account this past month, log in and see some of the things Eskil has changed and/or added to the game. Things like sound -- glorious sound!

For the full run down of Eskil's 26 major additions to Love, you're going to have to check out his Twitter page. There's no formal patch notes as of yet, so this is the best you can do until Eskil gets it all down formally on paper or just lets us find out what he changed.

[Via Blue's News]

Love counts down to the launch of beta, account holders play free

Betas, News Items, Virtual Worlds, Love

While everyone's off enjoying the holidays, there's no rest for Eskil Steenberg. The one man of the one-man-MMO team is working hard though the holidays, putting together 26 major new features for the introduction of the Love beta test.

While the features are secret, Eskil is updating his Twitter account with information on the new features as he completes them. Once all 26 items are done, Eskil will be updating Love and sending the game into beta. Currently the features look quite interesting -- such as new specialized settlements, sound pathing for the game, letting the game's AI use teleporter guns, a new building type (prisons), and something that is only referred to as "armageddon." Whatever the heck armageddeon is, it sounds awesome.

Continue Reading

Breaking News

Breaking News


Featured Stories

Betawatch: January 24 - 30, 2015

Posted on Jan 30th 2015 8:00PM

The Stream Team: Drowning my sorrows in Landmark

Posted on Jan 30th 2015 6:00PM





WoW Insider