City of Titans: A Spiritual Successor to City of Heroes
Everything comes to an end eventually. Whether it’s a job, a movie, or a beloved family pet, there comes a point when it can no longer carry on. Everyone handles such endings differently, no matter what the subject matter. This is even true for video games and especially MMOs. Over the years, a number of titles have had their last hurrah – Auto Assault, The Matrix Online, Tabula Rasa, and City of Heroes are all dead and gone.
Whenever this happens, the game community in question is quite obviously upset, hurt, and angered over the decision. Most of the time, those feelings come out in the form of emails, forum posts, website creations, and other outlets. Some players even toss legal concerns to the wind and work on creating emulators by mining the data of the game in question. Argue the legality of such projects all you want, but if a person or company doesn’t own the intellectual property rights, then they have no right to create an emulator, no matter how much they love a game.
In the past, these various forms of outcries have fallen on deaf ears and the game in question eventually becomes nothing more than a footnote in the annals of MMO history. Tales of glory and adventure still get told around the campfire late at night, but in the end, they’re nothing more than memories. Believe it or not though, this tale may have a different ending.
Rather than accept defeat, one group of enterprising individuals have gone a different route and created their own company called Missing Worlds Media. Their intent? To create a spiritual successor to the game they all loved so much, City of Heroes. It may seem like an impossible task, but their recent fund raising efforts say otherwise. In less than a single week, the company has met its initial fundraising goal of $320,000. In fact, as of the time of this writing, they’ve even surpassed their first stretch goal and are sitting at a whopping $386,000+ with 24 days still left to go.
With this kind of support being shown so quickly in a Kickstarter endeavor, we decided City of Titans deserved some digging into so we reached out and spoke with the game’s Project Lead, Chris Hare. Chris was there during the City of Heroes beta and stuck with the game until its untimely end. He’s seen the highs and he’s witnessed the lows first hand. It was the support of the game’s fans that initially prompted him and others to start work on City of Titans. The project hit some bumps along the road (as any volunteer-only workgroup will) and some involved members split off to pursue other projects.
Fast forward to today and the progress the team has made is clear. As they explain in their Kickstarter video, they’ve been busy testing different systems, different engines, and more. Once it was decided what would be needed to complete the project, it was time to start requesting funding. While they’ve broken down the costs of some things such as licensing costs for the graphics engine, there are still some areas that haven’t been disclosed yet. When asked about this, Chris said an update on the companies infrastructure needs will be coming in the future.
City of Heroes had a history of community involvement and Chris was quick to confirm that City of Titans would involve players in a similar fashion but even more so than its predecessor. In fact, there are quite a few interesting plans in the works Chris was kind enough to make us privy to, but that we can’t share until they’re publicly announced by Missing World Media themselves. Let’s just say that if they can be pulled off, former City of Heroes players are going to be very happy.
One of the more interesting pieces of the conversation we had involved the vision for the game. The initial goal is to allow players to have a traditional story-guided experience, all the way to level 50 if they so choose. Chris also stated, “I consider playing multiple characters to be part of the end game of City of Heroes – experiencing things through different perspectives and different missions.” He wants this concept to continue in City of Titans, but with all the bells and whistles attached that you can imagine. There are big plans for lots of possible storylines players will be able to play through from level 1 to 50.
Before I let Chris go, there was one topic in particular I had to bring up because let’s face it – a world of superheroes and supervillains naturally lends itself to PvP. I told Chris that I thought City of Heroes should have allowed some superheroes to try and mess up my bank job when I’m holding it up as a supervillain. The two sides should be actively working to screw the other side over. When I brought up my issues, he laughed excitedly and would only say, “Let’s just say PvP is a hot topic”.