It Lives: Indie MMO Golemizer

By Kieron Gillen on June 17th, 2009 at 10:48 am.

I did get past the tutorial. Unlike in Darkfall. Ah! Ah! Ah!

We get a lot of mails about indie games. How do we pick which ones to write about? Random chance. Random chance plus including a sentence like “Golemizer is a free MMORPG where players are set in the role of mad scientists creating strange creatures in a steampunk universe” in your mail. Even if it isn’t true, we’re going to look at your game. As practitioners of mad word-science, RPS generally consider ourselves exactly like that anyway, so it’s RPS the game in all but names. Including being 2D and not aesthetically pleasing. But fuck it! Full user crafting? Full User-quest generation? There’s a lot of things here to see. You’ll find a video explaining the game plus some more thoughts from my few minutes with it below…

What’s most immediately notable is how it’s taken a skill-system akin to Eve Online. That is, you earn skill points dependent on time, whether or not you play. You then choose what to spend them on, with a mixture of skills which allow you to make individual stuff (Chairs, Forges, Mechanical Bulls) and skills which open up categories of other skills (Engineering (Basic), Engineering (Advanced), Engin… oh, you get the idea). So the grind for ability is removed. Being a crafting based MMO, the grind is more in gathering the resources required to make your toys (or trading for them). But what toys they are! Biological golems are made from pieces of monsters which fall off when you kill them. Mechanical golems are formed from iron and good copper-piping, and can be further experimented on to increase their killing abilities. It appears very much a game which works on its concepts rather than the actual experience of playing – combat is just sitting back and letting people batter the living hell out of each other, for example. But if the idea of a game which leans so heavily on crafting, while not being a purely social game like A Tale In The Desert appeals, I suspect it may be worth investigating. While I didn’t get that far, there’s apparently over 2000 quests and 8000 dungeon created zones created by players.

I did craft a vicious clockwork gnome, however. Go play here.

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25 Comments »

  1. cullnean says:

    i have a blonde mullet and a tophat…..and in the game!

  2. Supraliminal says:

    Sounds cool, but what makes it amazing:…….!2D!

  3. Ben Abraham says:

    Going off the Alt Text of the image, does that mean that we can expect to see your review of Darkfall Online? Or is some AltText all we get?

  4. Ian says:

    Now I realise that this is all played online I shall have a peek at this during my lunch break.

  5. Ian says:

    Bah, I of course meant it’s played in your browser.

  6. MD says:

    Intriguing, I will give this a try for sure. I like the idea of skill points being accrued over real time regardless of play-time, and the whole thing looks like a nice break from MMO tradition, or at least from my disinterested outsider’s conception of MMO tradition. Even the graphics look rather charming to me (in the video at least), kind of Gameboy Colour Zelda-ish.

  7. Sam says:

    Now THAT’S a what I call a goddam trailer. “Here are some interesting things about my game. Yes, I know it is Comic Sans, don’t get too stressed out about it.”

  8. CakeAddict says:

    I played something similar only you could also use/make your own sprites I can’t remember what it was called though..
    I made the coolest shyguy ever he could do over a 100 different things since you could make your own / commands.

    Anyway, I might try this out in the weekend and see if I can get some buddy’s playing to.

  9. Andy says:

    It has Micropayments :(

  10. Andy says:

    Nuffin wrong with micropayments, doesn’t make it a bad game. Battleforge cost money *and* had micropayments to start with, but it was(still is) pretty good.

    Plus, we should be supporting independent developers like this! Yay!

    Not that I’ve played this yet, but I’ve been meaning to for a while though!

  11. El Stevo says:

    Can you use the title attribute rather than alt to create tooltips for your images? Most browsers only show the alt text when the image can’t be displayed.

  12. Dzamir says:

    IT’S OVER NINE THOUSAND!

  13. Redford says:

    A vicious clockwork gnome?

    Oh, lawd.

  14. Kieron Gillen says:

    Stevo: WordPress automatically sets it to ALT. We’re not going to write TEXT on every picture just to get a cheap gag.

    (i.e. It’s either ALT or no gags unless WordPress changes)

    There’s plugins for Firefox if you’re interested in the gags.

    KG

  15. Colthor says:

    And right-click-image->Properties, too.

  16. Ian says:

    Having tried a bit of the game, it seems awfully clunky to me, but in fairness part of that might have been the lag I was getting. I don’t see me playing much of it but it seems like a nice enough game.

  17. Jakson Breen says:

    Sorry, but the only thing that I like that has a skill training system, similar to EVE Online…is EVE Online…

    …Though, you can’t make Mechanical Golems in EVE, I’ll give it that…

  18. Jazmeister says:

    Nope, you can only host fleets of spaceships and build intergalactic empires, right? Go golems!

  19. psyk says:

    “There’s plugins for Firefox if you’re interested in the gags. ”

    Ah come on any clue to what its called.

  20. Graham says:

    Seems really clunky and a tad bit broken. It’s not particularly user friendly either, considering you have to enter a text command to do simple things.

    I’m sure it’ll get better eventually.

  21. Haruxpex says:

    Wow, what a really fun game! From what I could find, it seems that there is only one guy working on the game full-time. He has a bunch of volunteer GMs that help him out. But, this is a game someone made in their hobby time.

    I think it’s great! It is not the most polished game in the world, but if one guy can make something this cool, then think of what he could do with a real budget! Support him now and let him improve the game.

  22. Dave Toulouse says:

    Thanks Haruxpex!

    Indeed, I’m the only coder on this project but I’m receiving great help from the GMs for in-game stuff and from Brian Green that is coaching me on many aspects of running an MMO.

    Took about 1 year to build the framework (on nights and weekends) and the game is now released since September 2008.

    Seems really clunky and a tad bit broken.

    I’ll recognize that there’s room for improvement. On each update I try to improve things a bit while adding new stuff at the same time. Time is always a problem though (this thing called day job is really eating too much of it…).

    The tech used creates an additional challenge. Some are still under the impression the client is made with Flash but it’s really all Javascript. It was really just a matter of using something I was already familiar with when I started this project.

  23. sagethor says:

    Hehe… I remember most of the big updates. Like the gun update, island update, and yup – the GPS update. Love the game Dave!

  24. scyd says:

    I am a major player and it takes some time to leap in you just have to keep your pantys on