Posted Thu, Feb 07, 2013 by Martuk
It’s not often that you see an MMORPG developer come out and say that they’re not looking to appeal to a mass audience, but Mark Jacobs pretty much declared his intention to take risks with , even if it means losing a few customers and simply hitting a successful niche audience. In his latest blog, Jacobs stated one declarative choice that is often lost on modern MMORPG developers and that is to target his game and not try to make a jack-of-all-trades title that tries to appeal to everyone and only ends up being mediocre.
I don’t really care if MMORPGs have been evolving in a certain direction whether over the last five years or fifteen years. All I and the team care about is what will make this game great and that will mean taking chances with the game’s design and again, be willing to piss some people off. And we are ready, willing and able to do that. We won’t include features just to gain a slightly larger market share. I won’t put (or allow anything to be put into the design by others) things that are there simply to gain more users at both the expense of other players and that are in conflict with the FPs. However, I may also put in some features that some people might not consider fun (like true day/night cycle, slower and different leveling systems, extremely limited fast travel, no PvE leveling/gear grind) because I believe that will make this a better game for our niche. It also means a willingness to take some chances with new design ideas as I’ve done in the past, even if it blows up in our face.
You have to give Jacobs one thing, making that declaration does take a hefty set of marbles in this day and age of PR spin and marketing shenanigans. I’m not sure if I will like what becomes Camelot Unchained or not, but it is refreshing to see a developer willing to take risks on making a game that is not simply trying to be the next run-of-the-mill "big thing." After all, the next big thing never really is, is it?
Jacobs will be revealing more about the Foundation Principles of Camelot Unchained leading up to the start of the Kickstarter campaign. The intention is to give players the solid principles that are etched in stone as far as the game is concerned. Although Jacobs does note that other aspects of the game are still being worked out, these principles are what will make up the core design.