Shawn Schuster is the former Editor-in-Chief at Massively.com and founder of the indie gaming review site Shoost.co. Shawn has been writing professionally about video games since 2008 and podcasting about games since 2005. When he's not leveling yet another alt, he's running his organic farm with his wife and four kids.
The words "cash grab" get thrown around to represent how some feel that Crowfall might be set up to take all of our money without actually giving us anything real in return. This is a scary reality for many crowdfunded games, but it's always been a risk that developers have shouldered.
Gamerz for Gamerz is a brand new service that is set up to bolster online gaming communities. The idea is simple, yet exciting: bring gamers and devs together both in game and in person to build a stronger bond and share stories of their favorite hobby. This is not only done through a simple forum or Facebook page, but through an array of special tools that will make interaction much easier.
New York and San Diego Comic Con may garner most of the geek-dom attention from the mainstream press, but Dragon Con is a tradition that enjoys an identity all its own. The con offers informational panels, celebrity autograph sessions, extensive workshops, an enormous vendor hall, art galleries, table-top gaming tournaments, and, of course, the world's best cosplay.
I don't know about you, but when I hear about a new MMO announcement, my mind usually jumps straight to questions about the game's setting, character development, and long-term developer support. These are the big-ticket items that can make or break a new title for me, but the more specific game mechanics can sometimes be overlooked... until it's too late.
I know it's not possible, but right now, at this very moment, would probably be the absolute best time to launch Crowfall. Second to that, though, is right around summer of 2017. I know that seems like a long time from now (hint: it is), but the timing after WoW: Legion is crucial.
I've written both praise and skepticism about Crowfall in this column over the last few months, as I think it's only fair to see both sides of any ambitious new game project. Personally, I enjoy the portfolios of both J. Todd Coleman and Gordon Walton, so that combination, including the premise of Crowfall itself, is music to my ears. But different people may be excited (or not) about Crowfall for different reasons.
I'm a bit torn on the concept of a "ruinable" character in Crowfall. The folks at ArtCraft Entertainment have said a few times now that it is possible to build a character that is just outright broken from the start, but I'm not sure if everyone is quite ready for that yet.
Balance is a funny concept, both in games and all over real life. Nothing is really ever fair and true balance is not only impossible, but it's also boring. And in the past, even when game companies worked so diligently to balance every class against the others, there was still an illusion of imbalance.
Getting the latest information about Crowfall is easy if you follow ArtCraft Entertainment on Twitter and Facebook, but sometimes it's nice to get much deeper into the community. Fansites have always been a great way to get like-minded gamers together to further discuss their favorite game, and despite the fact that Crowfall has yet to even set a concrete launch date, eager fans are already creating blogs, podcasts, and guilds.
The campaign exceeded its $500,000 goal, but, unfortunately, was delayed for quite a bit longer than anticipated until last week finally saw the release of the newly christened Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown. Thanks to years of feedback from hardcore Shadowrun players who backed the game, Shadowrun Chronicles evolved into something that is a bit different from the original Shadowrun Online idea.
Luckily for eager fans, ArtCraft explained much more about both Campaign Worlds and Eternal Kingdoms in recent articles on the official Crowfall site. While Campaign Worlds are large, detailed areas where you play most of the game, Eternal Kingdoms can be considered a smaller version akin to player housing where you can spend your time crafting and socializing.
Crowfall may have been successfully funded on Kickstarter, but that $1.8 million raised is a drop in the bucket compared to what's needed to make a game these days. So what does ArtCraft have up its sleeve to still make a successful and polished MMO?
When Crowfall was first detailed during late February's Kickstarter launch, the game was described as "Game of Thrones meets EVE Online" as a way to show the basic premise by comparing two easily recognizable IPs. The "Game of Thrones" part is easy to discern for several reasons, but I can't help but wonder why every modern multiplayer online sandbox insists on comparing itself to EVE Online.
The founders of ArtCraft had a Reddit AMA session on Wednesday evening to celebrate the final hours of the successfully funded Kickstarter campaign, and they threw themselves out there for the potential playerbase to ask them... well, anything about CrowFall. With the hype of the game at an all-time high after the success of that campaign, it's time to get serious about what exactly J. Todd Coleman and Gordon Walton plan to do with CrowFall.