Crowfall, a new game announced by the producers of Ultima Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and other hit MMO experiences, have just surpassed their Kickstarter goal for the ambitious new project. This is particularly notable in a time when Kickstarter has become increasingly unpopular as a space for gamers. While many awesome projects have indeed come out of Kickstarter campaigns, the crowdfunding engine is essentially a huge gamble for people who wish to invest in big ideas, with no real guarantee that their backed project will ever see the light of day. There have been many failures and hiccups for some very high profile games. Crowfall will be on the radars of many moving forward, as the game has earned $1 million in funding after only half of its campaign.
So what is Crowfall, and is it worth the money? Surprisingly, the ideas behind the game seem not only exceptionally intriguing, but a whole lot of fun. The elevator pitch for the game is that it is a hybrid of an MMORPG with a strategy game.
In an MMO, players have the expectation that the world will be persistent – actually permanent. In a strategy game, the expectation is that the game is over when somebody wins… A strategy game inherently has to have a chance to restart, or the game doesn’t work. It stops being fun.
What sollution does Crowfall have cooked up? They entitle it: Eternal Heroes and Dying Worlds. The idea is that there will be overarching worlds for each character that exist much in the way we normally equate to an MMO. From here, players will enter new worlds which are structured like campaigns, similar to the scenarios you would find in Civilization V. Unlike a freeform game of Civilization V, these scenarios generally offer objectives and win/loss scenarios. In Crowfall, each world/campaign will feature its own set of win/loss scenarios. When character enter these worlds, they will align themselves with a different faction and proceed to guide their faction of choice as a player-collective toward that end-goal against the many other players in the game. Once the objective is reached, or the player dies, the world will be destroyed, and the player will be booted back to their persistent overworld. This can be equated to the nature of Battle Royale matches in H1Z1, which feature a thousand chaotic elements every single game, meaning each game is inherently different even though the goals are relatively the same every time.
Crowfall‘s idea is a lofty pitch, but it is definitely compelling, and will be challenging to create for the developers. The developers are likening it to a mix of EVE Online‘s territorial, back-stabby nature with the same political melodramatic qualities in Game of Thrones, all in a fantasy setting. Moreover, the game will also use voxel generation of terrain. Players will be able to create and then destroy terrain to their hearts content, making sieging of castles viable strategies, and can offer unique scenarios where players can end other player’s advancement in the game with an expertly time wall falling on someone’s head, or a bridge being destroyed under someone’s feet.
It’s definitely a lofty goal, but it’s hard to argue with the enthusiasm of the masses. Crowfall easily broke it’s Kickstarter goal, and the team behind Crowfall is dedicating to making their game independently, attempting to ensure that Crowfall does not have any outside influence from venture capitalists. Will you be investing in the Crowfall Kickstarter? Or is this another soon-to-be failure of the Kickstarter waste bin? Hash it out in the comments.