Archive for the ‘Earthrise’ Category

“Post-apocalyptic Parallels” or “Developmental Discretion”

October 20, 2009 1 comment

Fallen Earth and Earthrise are both set in a post-apocalyptic, dystopic future. Both games are being developed by indie studios (Icarus Studios and Masthead Studios respectively) with limited prior experience. Both titles have terra firma in their name and something to do with rise or fall. I think I have made my point regarding the obvious similarities.

If Fallen Earth was a person, Syp over at Bio Break would have been served a restraining order for obsessive interest. Fortunately Syp has the ability to maintain a balanced perspective, and despite his unhealthy indulgence in the game, he can objectively point out its flaws. I am myself a sucker for post-apocalyptic settings, and drool over the concept like a 3-year old does over candy. However, the steep learning curve in Fallen Earth and its unforgiving ambiance estranged me more than I would have liked. The apprehension with the game’s requirement for hitting the ground running has grown to the point that even Syp’s endless barrage of praise and in-game experiences can’t get me to try it again.

222222That being said, the post-apocalyptic setting is still very much my Achilles’ Heel. I have a feeling Earthrise will be to me what Fallen Earth is to Syp. The game looks vibrant, colorful and full of flavor. It also seems a little less… oh what’s the word… dreary than Fallen Earth. What excites me most about Earthrise is that it is shaping up to be a true player-driven sandbox experience. This could include territorial control, player espionage, and corporate warfare. For anyone who is familiar with the GHAC fiasco in EvE Online, this implies a completely open-world philosophy where player actions will have far-reaching and powerful repercussions instead of pre-determined outcomes. That’s pretty damn cool!

Masthead Studios is already well underway in its quest to incorporate player impact on the game world as early as the development stages. Their has been a lot of focus recently on incorporating player feedback and preferences into literally every facet of the game.

In the beginning of this month, the developers sought opinions and feedback on player-killing and how this activity should be rewarded. Most recently, they have asked players to chip in on the creation of alts, as this MMO-feature could have a fairly significant impact on player espionage and player specialization outside of the ‘main’ character’.

It all sounds very interesting, and incorporating player feedback goes a long way to show the developers are well in-tune with what the players want. This may shape up to be the penultimate, accessible player-driven experience that only EvE Online has been able to realize yet.