Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Once More To The Well: Project:Gorgon

Just a quick heads-up to say that Project:Gorgon is up to bat at Kickstarter yet again. This will be developer Eric Heimburg's third attempt to gain some funding traction for his excellent old-new-school hybrid sandpark-themebox MMORPG.

The last two Kickstarters failed to fund. This time around Eric is asking for a very modest $20k, which is less than he got in pledges last time round so I'm hoping along with Wilhelm that third time's the charm.

I've written about Project:Gorgon a few times before. Unlike almost all other would-be MMORPGs trying to get you to open your wallet, this one is already fully playable. Eric describes the version currently up and running as "an early alpha" but that undersells it. Underselling is one of Eric's things I think.

Did you hear something howl?

I first tried P:G back in December 2013 and it was already enjoyably playable even then. I've dipped in and out ever since, building my one character up slowly but steadily. Every time I take another look there are patch notes and updates galore. The game grows and changes and progresses and develops constantly, becoming larger and more intricate by the month.

I logged in this morning to take some screenshots for this post and, as usual, ended up playing for a lot longer than I intended. This time it occurred to me that I'd never explored further than the starting zone so I set out to explore.

My timing could have been better.  Last update saw the first iteration of the Day/Night cycle and when I arrived it was 3am. Boy, was it dark, but the moon looked beautiful through the trees. I saw explosions of light bloom in the distance, briefly lighting up the night, and I had a momentary flashback to my very earliest days in East Commonlands, when I stood in awe as the distant spell effects of other players bloomed in the near-pitch blackness of the Norrathian night.

It's getting lighter. I can see my hand in front of my face. Oh, wait, that's not my hand...come to think of it, that's not my face either...

P:G really does have those old-school feels. There are a lot of individuals and teams beavering away on various projects, claiming they're going to Bring Back The Magic that was supposedly lost somewhere along the way. It's something Brad McQuaid just made a very good case for, explaining rather movingly why it would be a good thing to do. If anyone's actually going to make it happen, though, I don't think it will be Brad but I do think it could be Eric Heimburg, his wife Sandra Powers and their team.

I base that faith on the very simple fact that they're already doing it. I saw the evidence again this morning and it's convincing.

After a lot of wandering around, surviving a revenge attack by Old Snouty while I was fiddling with settings, almost taking a boat trip to Sun Vale, which I'm pretty sure would have turned out badly, eventually I found the portal to the next zone. Eltibule.

I have a bad feeling about this.

I'd expected to be shredded by wildlife on arrival and the forest of player-tombstones that greeted me as I portaled in did nothing to calm my apprehensions. As it turned out, though, my time bumbling about in the newbie zone and one of its several dungeons hadn't been wasted. My gear, skills and level allowed me to travel safely to the first Keep I saw, speak to several of the citizens there, acquire a bunch of "favors", which is, I think, the preferred P:G term for quests.

What's more I was tough enough, or "sturdy" as the guy who refused to sell me new armor until I proved I could kill five panthers put it, to...well, to kill five panthers. And some feral cows. And even a feral bull, although the second bull did for me, as did the three tigers who came to help their panther pal on a spectacularly bad pull.

Why, yes I am. Thank-you for asking!

In other words, I was playing an MMORPG. A proper, working game that functions well in a lot more than just the basic respects. A game you could quite feasibly take up right now as your main MMO and expect to get stuck into for quite a while. Rough around the edges, sure. Unfinished, obviously. But fun already and only going to become more so.

I've backed it again and I very much hope Eric gets my money this time. If it funds, backers get to keep playing for free, until launch. Not sure if that means he'll be closing the door to non-backers but just in case he does I recommend taking a look sooner rather than later if you haven't already.

Don't be put off by the annoying cave beginning. Get past that and there's a big world out there. One well worth exploring. And backing, too.

5 comments:

  1. Here is how pessimistic I am. The Kickstarter Campaign has 26 days left to run, it is almost 70% funded, and I am still worried it won't make it. If this had been any other campaign I would have likely counted it as being nearly as good as done. But there is a history here.

    I'd like to see it make a good deal more, but I will be happy if it just hits the mark this time.

    I keep telling myself I will log on and get through the newbie cave and explore the world, but then there is EQ2 and Minecraft and EVE and a couple co-workers want me to play Diablo III with them...

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    1. $20k seems such a small amount for a project like this you have to wonder if hitting the Kickstarter target will make any difference to whether it launches or not. I'm guessing it will happen whatever - I hope so anyway, even though I also can't imagine ever having the time to play it "properly".

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  2. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I was a backer of the first failed Kickstarter, was completely unaware of the 2nd one, but now I've backed again. And I think I may have even gotten alpha access as part of that first Kickstarter campaign. I'll have to delve into my old emails to see if I'm imagining that bit....

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    1. You're very welcome. My $25 pledge isn't going to help much so I'm trying to chip in with a bit of free publicity. Very pleased to hear it sent at least one person Eric's way!

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  3. I backed it (again); not based on your post, but I do like having my decision to back the game validated. I agree, this game is interesting and is worth backing, downloading, and exploring. Here's to a successful kickstarter campaign. Cheers!

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