This week’s live Q&A had special guest Gordon Walton, co-founder of ArtCraft, on the stream to answer questions about the business side of Crowfall’s development. I’ll paraphrase the more interesting notes from the live stream since most questions aren’t all that interesting. But if you’re interested in jokes about EA loot boxes and a behind the scenes look at bug fixing, you can watch the video below.
Gordon mentioned that, even after last week’s announced delay, funding is still set to cover the full run of development. In what is now fairly typical with crowdfunded projects, they do not expect to run out of money before the game is finished. J. Todd Coleman is pretty strict with the budget. Gordon explains that Crowfall won’t be on any showroom floors at gaming conventions due to cost. Thousands spent going to a convention are instead reserved for development. This could change post launch when (and if) Crowfall has a positive rate of income and we might see Crowfall showing up on convention floors more regularly.
Fans of Crowfall will begin to see a shift in the company, moving from crowdfunding mode to pre release mode. Giant packages from the store will begin to disappear, which follows their annual retirement of packages. But expect to see the biggest one disappear. Gordon also said that there will be no Open Beta and was very assertive that any Free to Play design was far away from any consideration, including free weekends.
The team is about to begin outsourcing more art to ramp up production of in game art assets.
As an aside, Blair and Gordon talked about NPCs inhabiting Eternal Kingdoms. Godron was quick to assert that these are a planned feature, but they were mum on the role those NPCs would play, their abilities, or how to acquire them. That’s awesome news, and hopefully these NPCs can fulfill a variety of roles within an Eternal Kingdom, even if it is just making the kingdom feel alive. I wouldn’t be adverse to seeing these as purchasable assets, either with game currency or actual cash. I think it would be fun to be able to craft these NPCs with the planned necromancy skill.
Last week, Action Harvesting was the word of pretty much every day. Blair posted another developer blog detailing those upcoming harvesting changes, the most important of which is energetic harvesting. You can read it here.
The pip based combo system runs similarly to their combat and are harvesting buffs when used. The develop blog is easier to follow along than the video stream that described the action harvest powers. Blair also posted the completed harvesting disciplines in full in the blog. With crafting 2.0 coming up (Blair said potentially after the next big milestone beyond 5.3), Crowfall is looking like a deja vu dream of Star War Galaxies. That’s a good dream for those of you who don’t get the SWG reference. A very good dream.