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Photo Finish: Camelot Unchained Officially Funded

I was gonna use a more overtly 'epic' piece of concept art, but then I decided on this one because it's adorable.

Unlike a certain timelessly, soul-strokingly beautiful Mötley Crüe song, I’m quite sure that Kickstarter actually wants to stop my heart. All these near-hits and near-misses, each whizzing by like an 18-wheeler that decided, “Fuck you, I’m big, so I’m going to merge into your face.” Fortunately, Camelot Unchained landed on the joyful side of that particular coin, so it’s now officially official, pending, you know, its eventual completion in, like, five years. (Mark Jacobs and co are saying December 2015, but even that is a bit generous for an MMO.) For now, though, reach a gnarled hand past the break to pull words from the stone. Or the Internet, as it were.

With a hair under 20 hours left, City State’s impressively ambitious realm-vs-realm MMO crossed the $2 million mark. The rest, then, is gravy – that is, if gravy costed upward of $100,000.

As of writing, Camelot’s Kickstarter had already surged past $2.1 million as well, meaning that archers and one additional race per realm are absolutely, incontrovertibly in. Meanwhile, there’s still two remaining stretch goals and a few hours left in ye olde houre’glasse, so if you’re interested in donating, it’s now or never.

If you’re feeling doubtful of City State’s chances to actually deliver, you might also want to check out Jim’s interview with Mark Jacobs, which is full of refreshingly honest insight. For instance:

“People who really want RvR, however, and want an interesting housing system – build them, and then burn them down! – people who want something different, that is who we are pitching it. A game is different but still has a connect to that same lore. This is it.”

BUT ALSO.

“A lot of people want to play MMOs to be surrounded by people, but they don’t necessarily want to kill them or be killed by them. They want players without player interaction. But building a community is one of the ways out of that rut. It won’t be huge numbers – chasing WoW’s numbers is suicidally stupid. We know that. But there is a way out.”

That’s an intriguingly tough spot to be in. As Jacobs rightly points out, MMO players are a strange breed – and honestly, there are countless sub-breeds developers also have to take into account. It’s little wonder that the genre’s had so much trouble evolving. We’ve hit on a formula that kinda mostly works sometimes, and – even if that baby’s grown into a stinky, wrinkly old man – tossing it out with the bathwater still risks alienating certain breeds. The problem with one-size-fits-all, though, is that people eventually start outgrowing it. So I like Jacobs’ intentions, and I adore his honesty, but do I think he’s in a position to succeed? No idea. However, for the sake of a genre that badly needs more examples of innovation working, I certainly hope so.

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Nathan Grayson

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