I Can See for Miles
This is our 26th dev blog. We have published them every two weeks for... an entire year.
It literally seems to me like it was just a few days ago that we made the announcement about Pathfinder Online, introduced Goblinworks, and opened the forum for discussions about the game. Time has gone by that fast.
In those twelve months, we've done some amazing things due in large measure to the support of the community.
Our biggest challenge is, and will be, time. If we had an infinite amount of time we could work on the game until it was huge, perfect, stable, and stuffed with content. But we don't have an infinite amount of time. In fact, we think that we have a very narrow window of time in which to make the game a success.
The theme park era of MMOs is nearly over. All the games that got pitched and funded after World of Warcraft, exposing just how big and rich a market exists for virtual worlds, have run their course. The last game to emerge from that period is likely Elder Scrolls Online; it's very hard to "hide" a AAA MMO development team and budget. We know that Blizzard is working on at least one new MMO, but they've played their cards close to the vest and nobody knows what they're working on, though my instinct is that it's not another theme park.
There's a gradual consensus building in the industry that sandbox is the wave of the future.
We have the advantage of moving early. It will take quite some time for those future sandbox MMOs to work their way through the various rounds of approvals and review they'll need to overcome inside those Huge Game Publishers. For now, the sandbox segment is wide open for newcomers and innovation. And that's why we're trying to move as fast as we possibly can. By the time those future sandbox MMOs arrive on the scene, we want to be well entrenched with a healthy and steadily growing player community—doing so will virtually ensure that we hit our long-term goals for the game.
If we reach the $1 million funding target, we'll be able to accelerate the project by a full year.