There was, for a while, a theory that implosion of the high-end MMOs was inevitable but boutique online games would fill the resulant void. The trend towards big MMOs switching to free to play has at least delayed that collapse (and quite possibly extended it indefinitely), and sadly we haven’t really seen as dramatic a rise of smaller, more esoteric and/or indie MMOs as hoped. There are a few for sure – e.g. Wurm, Darkfall, Love, Darkwind – but really the expected explosion of alterna-virtual worlds seems to have centred around Facebook games, digi-playparks for kids and, abstractly, Minecraft multiplayer. So it’s good to see an MMO in the relatively classic sense approached by what appears to be a resolutely indie developer.
The Missing Ink, whose open alpha is expected next month, has an especially charming art style – paper cut-out adventurers tally-hoing through a distorted 3D world – and the added bonus of a personal sandbox construction sub-world for each player. I don’t entirely grasp how all this works in practice, but it looks both lovely and ambitious.
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