Latest Image From Mystery Carbine MMO

Carbine’s art director Matt Mocarski has posted an early image from the game (above, click for full), as well as a statement of intent for his visual style, which he describes as “hand-crafted” and “magical”: “We knew we were a future fantasy game – players will see both fantasy and sci-fi elements in our world and our gameplay. We also knew we’d need to be able to tell a huge variety of stories, everything from intense drama to mind-blowing action to humorous tales. There were a few influences that we really focused on. Animated films such as Atlantis, The Secret of Nimh, and Princess Mononoke really nailed the overall look of the style. We know that our game was for adults so we studied shows like Naruto and Full Metal Alchemist to see how they balanced a unique visual style with stories that had both humor and drama. Lastly we looked at comics such as Hellboy, Battle Chasers, and Tank Girl to influence our balance of technology and fantasy.”

The game is set to be revealed by NCSoft later this month, and we’re mildly excited. Here’s why.


  1. McDan says:

    This is the first I’ve heard of this game and it is indeed exciting. I mean, this sounds excellent, using princess mononoke as an inspiration for the style and hellboy and tank girl as well! Plus it’s NCSoft. Yay.

  2. Inigo says:

    we studied shows like Naruto

    Oh dear.

    • KauhuK says:

      But Naruto is full of Quality®

    • Anthile says:

      I don’t really see the problem with Naruto’s art style.

    • Imperialles says:

      Nothing particularly wrong with Naruto. It’s for kids, sure, but it’s pretty good for what it is.

    • arienette says:

      Full Metal Alchemist on the other hand, is a brilliant anime. One of my favourites anyway.

    • Tuco says:

      @arienette: actually when it comes to art direction, I find Naruto more interesting than FMA.

    • Kollega says:

      A note: as i understand it, the authors researched Naruto and Full Metal Alchemist not for their art style, but for their ability to balance comedy and drama. I have watched neither, though, so i wouldn’t be able to say if those are good references.

    • JackShandy says:

      The sentence “We know that our game was for adults so we studied shows like Naruto” is still fairly hilarious. Personally, I find it a bit offputting that they’re discussing their inspirations instead of what they’re doing that’s original.

    • RF says:

      Naruto balances comedy and drama in the same way I balance a love of sports with my obsession with ballet. ie. Just no.

      Why not Firefly or Buffy the Vampire Slayer or anything that Joss Whedon does? THERE’S how you balance comedy and drama.

    • Memphis-Ahn says:

      As a weeaboo, I find the treatment of Naruto as something to take inspiration from to be insulting.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      THERE’S how you balance comedy and drama.

      Or if Whedon isn’t your style, The West Wing, Babylon 5, Due South, certain episodes of Futurama…there are plenty of good examples that aren’t anime.

    • The Magic says:

      I enjoyed Naruto until the fillers. I thought it had some rather good drama… comedy though? I’m more a Tank Girl person myself.

    • Nesetalis says:

      B5 and tank girl for sure! :D and i did love firefly’s balance too… never cared much for buffy or angel on the other hand.

    • Felixader says:

      @JackShandy: Jack, as long as you are not dead you are ALWAYS influenced by SOMENTHING, and if it is just how your mother spanked you as a kid.

      Anyway, i think you confuse studying the writing of those shows with ripping of their jokes and storys.

  3. Orija says:

    /puke at the references. Looking at them, I’d say that the setting and storyline are going to be another one of those generic ‘good vs evil’ thingies.

    • Imperialles says:

      Which of the referenced franchises have generic good vs. evil plots?

    • Askeladd says:

      Tank Girl, clearly.

    • Xercies says:

      All those references are bloody great at both style and plot!

    • Orija says:

      Oh wait, my bad, that was a knee-jerk reaction from seeing those anime names. From an artistic standpoint, yea, those are good sources to take inspiration from though personally they don’t appeal to me .

  4. JackShandy says:

    Check, check, cross, check, interest gained.

  5. manveruppd says:

    Later this month???? :o Is that a typo, or has this been the secretiest MMO development in history?

    • paterah says:

      The game will be unveiled at Gamescom.

    • manveruppd says:

      Oh REVEALED! Misread that as released! :)

    • lumenadducere says:

      It really has been fairly secretive. They’ve been working on this for a few years now and they’ve said almost nothing other than the fact that it’s a MMO. But I read an interview that a few of the developers did a while ago and they seem to be very aware of problems in current MMOs and they seem to have good ideas as to how to address them. What exactly those ideas are is something that we’re going to have to wait a bit to see. I’m definitely interested though, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for more news.

    • Felixader says:

      The Battlesystem!

      All i want is a much more active any physical battlesystem, one that goes beyound what WoW and Consorts have been boring me with the last 7 or so years with.

      I guess what i basically want is a third person Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers (Gamecube) MMO. X-P

  6. Kollega says:

    Science fantasy? Yaaaaaaaay!

    I do wonder which part is going to be dominant, though – science fiction or fantasy. Or maybe there will be an even, almost 50/50 split. It’ll be intresting to see.

  7. razgon says:

    Might and Magic Science Fantasy? I kinda enjoyed that

  8. Nyst says:

    Look at the lower left of the screenshot. You can just make out a little spaceship thing.

  9. innociv says:

    This sounds bad.

    I love modern and future fantasy; space elves are awesome. However, how off the scale is in that top image makes me shiver. So does some of the things he saws.

  10. yurusei says:

    Check out the jobs listings on their website. Anyone up for the position “Battle Hardened Soldier”? Let me know so I can shoot all competition dead.

  11. roethle says:

    I don’t have high hopes for this. Anything that promises mind blowing action will never deliver. Also saying “We know that our game was for adults so we studded the same cartoons my 12 year old nephew watches” does not bode well.

  12. Binho says:

    Why is everyone so obsessed with anime art styles these days? It’s no longer really a ‘creative’ art style, I’d say it’s more overdone than anything.

    Sure, Miyazaki rocks, and there is a lot of imagination in anime, but there are different artists and art styles which are just as imaginative and interesting.

    Why did they look at Naruto at all things? If they are doing Sci-Fi, why not Ralph McQuarrie, Wayne Barlowe or Nemo Ramjet (of Snaiad fame)?

    Those are all interesting styles, and better accomplished artistically as well. Not to mention significantly more unique! (Except perhaps for McQuarrie, because of Star Wars)

  13. Solidstate89 says:

    You had my interest at Princess Mononoke. Anything that’s influenced by a Miyazaki film has damn good art direction.

  14. Wulf says:

    Mildly interested in this, it’ll be interesting to see where they go with it. NCSoft and Perfect World are definitely managing to hold my interest in regards to online RPG gameythings of late.

  15. maninahat says:

    What do the art styles of Myazaki, Naruto, Hellboy and Tank Girl have in common? Oh right, they don’t. They are just a bunch of vogue franchises with big fan bases. Don’t lie to me, game! I can see through your populist ruse.