Indie developer ChaosNgn has announced their alternate history MMORPG, Equilibrium, and will be the next in the growing list of online games to take the Kickstarter Plunge this fall.
Science fiction can mean a lot of different things, though on the pop culture level we typically assume that the entire genre is about space ships, laser guns, and sexy green aliens. However, there have been some excellent tales woven over the years based on the simple premise of what might happen had key moments in history had an altogether different conclusion.
A personal favorite along those lines is "The Man in the High Castle" by the late, great Philip K. Dick. If youre not familiar with it (or Dicks paranoia-and-amphetamine induced volumes of work for that matter) do yourself a favor and check it out.
In a similar vein, indie developer ChaosNgn has recently announced their alternate history MMORPG, Equilibrium. While Dicks take on alternate history set the alternate timeline dial back to WW2, Equilibrium goes much further back.
As a result, by the time of the games setting in the 53rd century, time is said to be collapsing. Key events that have changed over the course of history include a triumphant South in the Civil War, the assassination of Adolph Hitler, the modern Roman Empire (The Empire Never Ended!), and of course, the A.I. Wars.
According to Project Manager Jocelyn Livingston Quinn, "The core of this game is built on alternate history. That being the case, some history buffs will pick it apart. We have to get it right, or we'd get torn apart. This means bringing in the big guns when it comes to historical accuracy, plot, and the effects that these changes in history would have."
Over on the Unity Community forums, the ChaosNgn team recently posted various positions for their eventual Kickstarter. Creative Director James Walsingham Weeks (previously of Trion Worlds) explained the project in a bit more detail:
As no one else is doing an MMO of this nature (and to our knowledge never has), it's a bit hush hush. It's definitely not your standard fantasy/sci-fi MMORPG. We are refraining from saying anything publicly until we can have something substantial to show the public. We are definitely playing this one close to the vest. All that I can say is that this game will likely touch every aspect of every genre, and therefore, if designed well, will have a good amount of appeal.
We will be starting out small, with one to two terrains, working first on the areas themselves, basic functionality (such as the questing system, etc.), animation, and assets. We hope to have one dungeon completed before the crowd funding begins. We hope that this will eventually be a paying position after the Kickstarter is successful, with those jumping in early receiving incentives.
We plan for the game to be as fan-driven as possible, with no goals whatsoever of being a "WoW-killer," however we do feel that the premise for the game is very, very unique.
From the official press release announcing Equilibrium, Weeks also notes that, "When you are dealing with alternate history and time travel, there really isn't anything we can't do. We're basically creating a game that fans of alternate history and show such as Doctor Who will love. In a nutshell, it's Doctor Who without the need for a TARDIS and the need for everyone to feel like they have to run around as The Doctor."
Color us intrigued. Gunslingers, Zen Assassins, Pyromaniacs, WWII Troopers, Cryomancers, and Crusaders are just a few of 27 classes mentioned in the official press release, so it seems Equilibrium will feature plenty of class diversity. No specific dates have been confirmed for the launch of the Equilibrium Kickstarter, but well be looking forward to learning more about the project this fall.