As some of my friends know, I’ve always been a game geek and the love of all kinds of games pulled me into a couple of game ventures. The first was The Games Network, a cable television venture involving interactive computer gaming in the early 1980s, perhaps a bit before its time. Later, in the early 2000s I took on the task of developing an online multi-player strategy/role-playing game that had been burning a hole in my brain since the earlier experience. The company was Intelligent Life Games, and Imperial Wars was the game.
During the years of trying to pull together enough resources to develop this project I met some absolutely wonderful people. None stand higher in my esteem than Gordon Walton, who was the Executive Producer of Ultima Online (my first MMO and one I playtested), The Sims Online (when I first met him), Star Wars Galaxies, and Star Wars: the Old Republic. Now he’s got his own game company, ArtCraft Entertainment, and they’re readying their first game for release, Crowfall. As usual, it looks like Gordon is working on another winner, and there’s lots to like about it.
I love the game structure which uses some of the unique principles we were trying to implement in Imperial Wars – zero-sum games (worlds) so that there are actual winners, and so actions will have consequences; game worlds (universes in our case) that can have different game conditions; persistent, modifiable avatars that exist outside of the play worlds; and other great looking game balancing designs. On his team are Raph Koster, one of the big brains behind Everquest, and an excellent developer/engineer, Mike McShaffrey, two guys I have admired for years.
So, if you’re a game geek, like me, and you’re looking for a great looking new MMO, give Crowfall a try. Though their kickstarter funding has been completed, there’s always benefits for ‘stretch’ funding so you may want to check that out, too. I wish all the folks at ArcCraft the best of luck!