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Post-Chapters: Would you support a TLJ Online Kickstarter?


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Poll: Online Game Kickstarter Poll (72 member(s) have cast votes)

Would you support a Kickstarter for a TLJ Online Game?

  1. Yes. (9 votes [12.50%])

    Percentage of vote: 12.50%

  2. No. (43 votes [59.72%])

    Percentage of vote: 59.72%

  3. What about the welding?! (20 votes [27.78%])

    Percentage of vote: 27.78%

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#1 Cyberbard

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Posted 12 March 2015 - 23:23

Okay, okay. I can hear the wailing and the gnashing of teeth already. But hear me out!

 

The following is not an idea that I'm presenting or anything; it is just a collection of stray thoughts regarding this topic, to get the discussion started. I haven't spent any considerable time on any of these points - although I have been wishing for an online game set in this universe for a while.

 

The Secret World is probably inspired by TLJ to some degree, but I feel like there is room for a 'real' TLJ Online Game, still.

 

'Shifter'

 

 

Thoughts:

 

  • Picture an MMORPG without raids, dungeons, PvP, gear treadmills, and all of the things you don't want to associate with this franchise.
  • Instead, imagine an online game about adventure, exploration, story, and people. Let's call it an MMOAG instead (Massively Multiplayer Online Adventure Game)!
  • Remember all those strange, exotic, and wonderful places you've heard about in TLJ, DF, or CH? The Southlands? Ayrede? The Border Mountains? SPACE? Remember Alais? This would be the game for those locations and all of their quirky inhabitants, where they are allowed to shine at long last.
  • A persistent online game needs things for you to do to stay appealing; tangible ways to spend your time. There can be character-progression just like in other MMORPGs, only it doesn't have to use the same old model. Instead of gaining "Strength" or "Dexterity" to use with your "Ancient Chain-mail of the Toxic Tears of Doom", you could gain speech-craft, mercantile prowess, cartography skills, astronomic knowledge, lore-mastery, seamanship, attunement with the Balance and so on. 
  • The game could see regular content patches, like Guild Wars 2's "living world", where new pieces of a story are patched in every few weeks. This ensures there is always new lore to enjoy, even when you've seen it all.
  • At character-creation, players could choose between Stark and Arcadia, and then between one of the humanoid races present on each world. Unique starting-experiences could lead into a great journey, in the midst of which you'll perform your very first Shift!
  • There also needs to be a point to the game; something we strive towards achieving in the long run, which connects all the little stories into one meta-narrative. Perhaps a war on Chaos? Maybe this takes place during the Divide? Or is it perhaps the great story of the re-unification of the worlds?

 

 

Anyhow, feel free to vote in the poll and speak your mind on the issue of a TLJ Online game, regardless of the genre. :) 


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#2 Edreamer Jamil

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 01:36

I didn't think I would on clicking, but I do like your idea. Yes I would definately play it. Whether or not something like this could ever become a reality ...

 

 

And of course I'd still want TLJH before any of that ^^^



#3 The_Blind_Guardian

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 01:48

I'm with the previous poster. I wouldn't support a kickstarter for something like this. I'm not even sure I'd be interested in playing it, simply because I've never found the idea of Online games appealing from a narrative perspective. That said, The Secret World is the only MMO which made me think twice about that position. I too like some of the ideas you have. There's a lot of unused world to explore. I'd be willing to entertain the idea at least, and that's saying a lot considering my stance on MMO. I do like the idea of an MMOAG, and I was amused by the Chainmail of the Toxic tears of doom.



#4 Ikon

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 02:00

I would support a KS for a remake of TLJ, but not an online game.


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#5 Anouk

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 03:09

No, i hate online gaming. doesn,t matter what kind or game it is. so sorry about that i guess.


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#6 khh

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 04:16

I don't think this would work. Not that there's anything wrong with the idea itself, but an online game like this would require a massive budget. Much more than you can get from kickstarter, you'd be talking about tens of millions of dollars to make this possible. And I don't think there's that much money in the franchise, unfortunately. 

 

I trust RTG and I would seriously consider backing anything they took to kickstarter, but I don't think they'd try to make something like this. 


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#7 Senter

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 04:37

An story driven game that has a beginning and ending can not be an online game and maintain itself. The only reason people play online games is that there is always ways to improve what you own. Wether this is a character, ship, tank, vessel, whatever. Don't get me wrong, I do like my online games, but I don't play them for a story. It's all about the gameplay. Gaining loot, getting stronger, finding new stuff. A story always has a beginning and an ending. If an online game has an ending, what's the point of continuing to play if you beat the story? Unless you are thinking of a Soap game. Where every month or so you will play more story but it will never end. 

 

That could be an idea, but it is very costly in resources and I think people will need to pay a subscription for it to work otherwise the company goes bankrupt. Unless you make it free with micro transactions to unlock more story/lore, which is unfair to begin with. 



#8 Aj17

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 04:53

No, hate online gaming,,don't see it working in the slightest. The Longest Journey Home is where all efforts should be after Chapters.


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#9 Cyberbard

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 08:54

I completely understand the scepticism over an online game set in the TLJ universe. :)

 

Once you involve other players and the requirement for persistence and repeatable game mechanics, things often take a turn for the worse.

 

Personally, though, I think it could be done well. The problem is just that few developers are bold enough. Most just follow the existing patterns, afraid that they won't otherwise gain a revenue. 

When I picture an online TLJ game, I basically imagine one of the offline games, but with a massive world and plenty of adventures to experience. As long as I don't have to go "raiding", or watch the story take a plunge, I'm fine with not being the focus of the plot. Great storytelling doesn't require an immediate beginning or ending; there's environmental storytelling (simply travelling the world can be a story), there's dialogue to be had and shorter stories to be experienced. Imagine boarding the White Dragon ship and sailing off to the Southlands, or one of the islands in the Sea of Songs. What an adventure! :)

 

Also, Crowfall the MMORPG is doing quite well on Kickstarter right now - crowd-funding an MMO is possible, as long as you have your priorities set and don't squander resources just to get the old trite MMORPG-mechanics in there. Some projects, like Kingdom Come: Deliverance also find funding from private investors, which could also work so long as the developer retains all rights over the direction of the game.


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#10 Cyberbard

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 08:54

No, hate online gaming,,don't see it working in the slightest. The Longest Journey Home is where all efforts should be after Chapters.

 

Agreed 110% - TLJH is what they should be doing next. :)



#11 blaster

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 09:05

No, I won't support MMO, but I will support any other kind of TLJ games, especially if someday we get a proper VR tech and some TLJ for it :)


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#12 Stormwhisper

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 09:58

First post on the forums, so hello everyone!

I read very carefully what you said, just from the title I was very worried: the longest journey saga, ONLINE! I started to play the first tLJ in the same period I started Ultima Online, so in a way I understand the thoughts behind it, as about 15 years have passed since then (half of a lifetime for me).

 

TLJ has been a very intimate gaming experience for me, and many Others, as I've read in all those long years, and shared discussions with had some similar, lovingly feeling. As for online GAMING, well it degenerates faster.

 

I agree the exploration of Arcadia is a great part of the experience, but it is a journey of mind and body, as you explore new places your character (April, Kian, Zoey...) changes in some way, matures, that would be very difficult to share in an online game. Also it should be very story driven, but that would mean to sacrifice a part of the intimacy that made you love the experience so much to have caressed the thought of uniting it with the possibility to share it in such way.

 

I oftenly look at the scratch map of arcadia that was posted a long time ago, and would too explore it, maybe having a pause at westhouse's shack, or in the lovely Inn with Benrime, but that's more of a fantasy than something I would really appreciate playing, because it would sacrifice the very soul of the setting.

 

I think that the internet, the forums where we share our thoughts and experiences is somewhat the "storytime" of this wannabe Online Longest Journey, our Fantasies are Arcadia and our life is somewhat Stark, mixing the elements through the sharing in a good way helps to face the mazy web of events that surrounds us.

 

So an Online Game would be a waste of time and resources, as the only ones who should play it and would play it properly are the people who already loved the setting so that they would respect it without immersing them in powerplayerishes ways that would ruin the game for anyone (and i f one has played just a little bit some Online game, one knows for certain that there is a lot of peple who plays that way). So as the same people that could make the best of it, don't feel the need of it (as I sense, maybe I'm mistaken) I can't see the purpose ofsuch a waste of time and resources where as the outcome of it wouldn't be nearly as satisfying (and profitable) as the share of the good adventures we are getting used to await for long years by the fire of the cradle where it all began.

 

The metaphors the game uses and used to describe real issues should make us think, but that's my opinion of course, of what should we do about it, after considering it exploring it and experiencing it, immerse ourselves and get involved, willingly or not in what life is.

 

I agree with Others that TLJH should be next, but I first want to playthrough Chapters, I waited 9 years to see it go futher, as it helped me a lot in little moments, in, as I already said, a very intimate and mature way.

 

Hope I did answer your thoughts, and avoided being boring, it's difficult to express it all, but I tried.

Have a Long Journey :)


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#13 Sarph

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 10:33

The universe of The Secret World is basically the same as that of TLJ. There are so many similarities - if the Dreamers wake, what is won't be, etc. (Some of) the servers are even named Arcadia and Stark. Not a big surprise, seeing Ragnar was (one of) the mastermind(s) behind it.

 

If you look for an online multiplayer game with a TLJ setting, TSW is the closest you're gonna get, and in my opinion is absolutely worth digging into.


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#14 WorldsReunited

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 10:41

I agree with what most of what has been said here already. Not only have they looked at a TLJ MMO and decided it wasn't a good thing to do, it would also be too big for RTG and Kickstarter.

It would keep them occupied for years and even then the result would probably not be good enough. If you want a good story based MMO by Ragnar The Secret World is your best bet. ;)
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#15 ShadowNate

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 10:45

Nope™

The online element doesn't work well with adventure games, and the team would have to make some hybrid experimental thing (that's more likely to end up being a monstrosity). People would argue that the short-lived and multiple times resurrected (like iterations of Frankenstein's monster each one being no more viable than the previous one) online attempt for Myst (URU - aka Myst Online) was decent, but no, it was not. It was a horrible thing that barely worked, it forced bad puzzles (...) that required a group of users in order to be solved(in order to provide motivation and justification for the "online" part of the description), and most of the time only few users were (or could be due to server and net code limitations) present to witness the events that moved the story forward. URU had -and still has- a few things going for it, but ultimately it's a failed project and -which is the reason for my tangent- should be a "cautionary tale" for any other such venture by other teams.


There are also multiple reasons RTG wouldn't find such a project viable financially/resource -wise. Maintaining online content and the infrastructure requires too many resources working dedicated on that.

PS. I have no idea if The Secret World did ok, and whether it can be considered an online adventure game. I remember being interested in it, in its early promotional days, from teasers, but ultimately decided that it didn't look like my kind of thing.
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#16 WorldsReunited

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 10:54

I have no idea if The Secret World did ok, and whether it can be considered an online adventure game. I remember being interested in it, in its early promotional days, from teasers, but ultimately decided that it didn't look like my kind of thing.

The Secret World didn't do as well as it should have, but we still have a sizeable and dedicated community. It is not an online adventure game, but it is as close as we're going to get. The characters, story and world are as good as here.

There are also adventure game elements in with puzzle missions that require anything from knowledge about ancient languages and astronomy to Morse code. There is no online game with a world like it that is so realistic with anything from Twitter accounts and blogs for NPCs and websites for towns and companies.
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#17 Cyberbard

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 15:58

Thank you all so much for your interesting contributions, very much enjoyed reading them. :)

 

I'll just quickly mention again that I completely understand the opposition to the idea of a TLJ Online game, and I actually agree that it probably wouldn't be a good idea - at least for the time being. I knew this would be a tough idea to sell going in, but I still deem it worthy of a discussion every now and then, if only to see how the general consensus changes over time.

 

You see, I am an indie game developer, so I can't help but think about these things constantly. In my opinion, it would be fully possible to do TLJ justice in an online setting, but it would require some real out-of-the-box thinking. When most game developers (and gamers) approach the idea of an online game, it tends to take the form of a theme park MMO like World of Warcraft, where story has been made rather generic so that it may fit a million players and not alienate anyone. This obviously comes at the expense of the 'soul' of the story; there is very little room for real character-progression, and usually there are so many non-playable characters to keep track of that hardly any of them get to see any development.

 

That's about as far away from my vision of a TLJ Online game as can be. This is just my own belief, but I think that capable writing can take many forms, and convey emotions and character development though different means. It doesn't strictly have to occur from the point-of-view of one or two canon playable characters, and as Dreamfall Chapters shows, player agency over the direction of a character doesn't take anything away from the experience. Each play-through of Chapters is quite different from another because of the choices we make (heck, even personality traits and relationships change because of it), and it still works to convey the same story. In an Online game where we play our own created characters, as opposed to April, Zoë, or Kian, the same principles would probably apply. I.e., if I created a character named 'Elias Birchroot' and set out on my own journey through the twin worlds, RTG could still provide me with the right amount of guidance to create a coherent, heartfelt, and genuine story. I might not be the center of the universe, but I'd still be a real character who underwent real development. :)

 

Oh, and let's add some VR to the mix. Yum.  :wub:

 

Anyhow, I appreciate the discussion!


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#18 maDSaint

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 16:19

Your idea reminds me a little of Myst:URU, where there also should be an online mode, where players had  to solve puzzles together. Ithink the plug was pulled from this idea before it even released. (The whole online world was playable however, and that was a spooky but awesome experience, with one big desolated world to explore).

Maybe it's possible with programmers voluntarily do such a project, but again (like in Myst:Uru) the servers would be too expensive to maintain, I think. Lovely idea though!


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#19 Eveolene

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 18:12

I'd love to explore Arcadia, but I'd like to explore it alone. We don't need an MMO for this.

 

Edit: To elaborate a bit, RTG are all about the stories they tell. MMOs are rarely good vectors for stories, because your character gets forced into the category of "special, just like everyone else".


"This story, like all good stories, begins where it ends, in a tower, in a realm that is no more." - Lady Alvane

 

"I will stop doing this thing that I love and makes me feel happy and fulfilled to follow you to the next stop on our pointless, depressing journey." - Shitbot

 

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#20 Cyberbard

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 18:16

I'd love to explore Arcadia, but I'd like to explore it alone. We don't need an MMO for this.

 

 

I getcha. The sad reality with the offline-only thing is that we'll likely never get to see all of it, since single-player games generally only send you to a few specific locations with each new iteration of the game. An online game would put more pressure on developers to realise all of it.

 

But then again, there is a certain value is not getting to see all of it right away. I remember looking at the harbour of Marcuria back in TLJ, and how wonderful that was. Just watching the fantastical ships anchored after one another, increasing in size the further out to sea they lay, really got me thinking about what other lands there could be to see on Arcadia. Actually going there, however, might not be able to live up to that. :)


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