March 11th 2015
Last week, I shared the Kickstarter for Underworld. I’m happy to report that Paul Neurath and his team met their goal and even hit several stretch goals. Thanks to the efforts of the crowd, including your own interest, we can look forward to another excellent game from another battle-hardened Origin veteran. This week, there are another two projects from talented old friends that I’d like to share. I try not to write too many of these notes, as there are always more deserving crowd funded projects than I have the bandwidth to support or even learn about… but these are two more that really have my attention, and I believe that Star Citizen backers might also like to learn about.
If you’ve already heard of Crowfall, I wouldn’t be surprised! With over $1 million raised so far, they’ve already made quite a noise!
Crowfall is exactly what I was hoping Star Citizen might help enable crowd funding to create. It’s an AAA-quality game that shakes up traditional MMORPGs by trying something new. Crowfall is the brainchild of J. Todd Coleman and Gordon Walton, industry veterans par excellence. In fact, if there’s an award for most impressive MMO pedigree, these two may have a lock on it. Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies, The Sims Online, The Old Republic… they were even working on massively multiplayer titles before anyone coined the phrase, with games like Air Warrior and Battletech! These are two developers who could walk into managing any MMO in the industry… and it’s all the more impressive to me that they’ve chosen to build something different with the crowd instead.
Crowfall is something entirely new: the blending of an MMO with a large-scale strategy game… all within a distinctive setting that will feel right at home alongside Britannia and Azeroth. It claims to be an “MMO you can win,” which is an absolutely fascinating concept… and one that they’re backing up, like Star Citizen, by revealing their game design decisions early. Crowfall may not take place in the 29th century, but at its core it’s a game after our own hearts all the same. Check out their trailer, embedded below, or visit their site to see if it’s something you’re interested in.
Eric “Wingman” Peterson was an integral part of building our Austin studio up, from the end of Star Citizen’s initial campaign live stream, to finding a small basement we could set up shop for our first proper development office, to his legendary show “Wingman’s Hangar”, Eric was a constant part of the Star Citizen team.
The headline today is: Wingman’s back! Eric and his team at Descendant Studios, which includes quite a few Star Citizen veterans, have been working on something extremely cool: a relaunch of the famous Descent series. Descent was sometimes described as ‘Wing Commander in tunnels,’ which doesn’t quite do the concept justice. All of the Descent games were pulse-pounding action experiences that focused on visceral gameplay, giving the player full control of a spacecraft as it battled robots and rescued crewmen within space stations and asteroids. They were at their best when presented as multiplayer death matches. I know that myself, Eric and a few other folks working on Wing Commander 4, spent a fair amount of time screaming at each other in heated battles back in my old Origin days! It looks like Eric and company have a great plan for bringing that to modern audiences.
You can check out the presentation for Descent: Underground below and can find out more about backing the project here. They’re using the Unreal engine and already have some demo footage available, which harkens back to the old days. I wish him and his team all the luck in the world; those early days of the Star Citizen crowd funding campaign were a constant, exhausting thrill ride of ideas and discovery. I’m envious of anyone setting off on that adventure again, and I’m happy to share their project with the Star Citizen community that may have similar fond feelings about the series. Even if you don’t remember Descent, I imagine you will agree that it’s great to see another high quality space game in the making!