MMORPG: How did the October 24th build go? What lessons did you learn about your combat system?
Tim: It went great! Our server improvements went exactly as planned, our basic combat worked as intended, although there was a fun little bug that allowed for some open PVP. That’s right folks, Saga of Lucimia is now changing its stance and becoming a PVP title. Just kidding!
We still have some graphical issues to get out of the way, but we haven’t done any optimization yet and we’re a long way off from optimizing for graphics, so that’s to be expected. Next round will be adding some combat animations and spell effects, expanding the chat functionality, and building up bit by bit. And there’s always ongoing server coding and network stability as we start stacking iterations.
MMORPG: Are you concerned that letting people see videos of early builds of the game will put them off from what the game will turn into?
Tim: Honestly, no. The whole reason we’ve gotten to where we are today, the reason our community is so involved and passionate about what we’re doing, is because of our transparency. Our whole goal with this is to show people the exact process, and to document everything, so that we can prove that a passionate group of people with absolutely no development experience can make their dreams a reality through sheer passion, dedication, and tenacity.
We absolutely will face negativity from individuals who only care about polished gameplay videos. We’ve already seen it from a few people who complain that our videos aren’t of a good enough quality, that we don’t have any proof of a game since only 50 to 100 people are logging in at the present stage of alpha, that our screenshots aren’t up to par, and that we should go away for another year or two until we have something polished.
But that’s not who we are. We want people to see us progress from the ugly stage. We want people to see us coming up against bugs and finding ways around them. We want people to see us learning the tools and getting better in using them. It’s a gradual progress, and there’s no reason to hide behind a wall of secrecy.
We have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of in terms of our “lack of experience” or our progress. We’re happy with where we are, how far we’ve come, and our community is happy and growing every day. What more could we ask for?
That being said, for folks who need polished, AAA-style videos of gameplay and features before they can make a decision about a game…come back later. We aren’t there yet, and there’s no reason for you to waste your time on a bunch of hobbyists building up a game in their spare time, learning as they go.
MMORPG: You've said you are a shooting to be a sub-based game only, are you going to sprinkle in micro transactions too?
Tim: We are absolutely against any sort of pay-to-win environment, and we will be actively monitoring and banning gold sellers and the like from our game. We can say for sure that there won’t be any sort of pay-to-win store in the game. Ever. We would rather sunset our game than allow micro-transactions for access to content or affect gameplay and mechanics (like experience potions or mounts or weapons and the like).
However, as we stated our FAQs page, we’ve talked about the idea of some form of a vanity store, along the lines of what Path of Exile has where you can pay for additional spell effects, for example. Things that don’t affect the gameplay, but allow you to customize your own personal experience.
We’ve also talked about a vanity store for appearance armor, but that the fine line to walk, because while I personally don’t consider them the items to be game breaking, others on the team (and in the community) consider even vanity items to be game breaking in the sense that if they’ve gone out and earned Armor Set A so that they can look a certain way, how is it fair that someone can pay for Armor Set B? Regardless that Set B doesn’t have any stats on it, and is purely for vanity’s sake.
So we’ll see. Whatever we come up with, it will be unique to us and for our community.
MMORPG: You've written some pretty expansive developer diaries for the game on MMORPG.com over the past month, if you could ensure that players take away at least one thing from those diaries what would that one thing be?
Tim: That we are dedicated to the pursuit of creating a game that we ourselves want to play alongside everyone else, and that we have nothing to hide, even our lack of experience in the industry. We hope that our transparency continues to be the most talked-about thing when it comes to our game development, because for us, that’s everything.
This is our passion, our dream, and we aren’t doing this for the fame or the money. Hell, we’re self-funded, and nobody on the team has made a dime since we started, and yet our team has grown from six to 18, and we’ve got (as of this writing) another half dozen in the wings I’m currently working on interviewing. That passion is shared, and it’s an amazing thing.
It’s what has grown us to where we are today, with nearly 40,000,000 views on our content in the last year across the Internet, more than 2,000 users registered at our website, newsletter, and forums, and the trust of our community despite the fact that we’ve never released anything before.
We don’t want to only show people a polished game. We want to show them the entire journey, and all the pitfalls along the way, because it’s important for us that we don’t have a reputation as being game developers who are above everyone else and hiding behind corporate doublespeak and dreams of tens of millions of dollar profits while we scalp the gamers for every dime they have.
Because at the end of the day, were not. We’re just gamers building something in our spare time as a hobby. It just so happens that there’s a lot of people out there who share our dream. And that’s a pretty epic fact to wake up to every day.