Updated Tue, Sep 17, 2013 by ricoxg
Ricoxg: I heard there was some confusion about land ownership with the Kickstarter campaign, what was that?
Jacques: Well, one of the rewards that we have in Kickstarter is that you can actually own land if you get involved early. If you buy it now, you get a specific number of grids that you own, but we have a system in the game where you can attack someone’s land and attempt to take it over. So then we had a problem because it wouldn’t be fair for someone to pay real money for something like land-ownership and then just have it taken away from them in-game.
So we went back to the community with it. It’s a crowd-designed game, this is a design question, so I said, “let’s see what they think.” So the community held a round-table and they came up with a solution I’ve never seen in a game. So you’re not going to buy land exactly, but rather buy protection for it.
When you run around in the world scanning for buildable grids of land, say you find some and you buy it and build on it with in-game money. Now at this point, you haven’t spent any real money on it and that land isn’t protected. Another player could come and attack it and maybe take it over. In addition to that though, you could pay to have the land flagged as protected. Players could still break into your house and maybe steal stuff from you, but they can’t take over the land.
Protecting land costs real money, but it stays protected once it’s been flagged. That attribute will follow the flagged grids even if you trade it, so that land now has greater in-game worth and you could maybe sell it for more if you decided to and the next player who buys it will get the advantage of buying land that’s been flagged as protected.
Ricoxg: How do you attack or take over land?
Jacques: We haven’t finalized it yet, but it’ll probably be something like where you have to attack it and spend time capturing it or something. We don’t want it to be quick. Also, one of the things we’re looking at doing with it is combining it with an API to notify you when you’re offline that something like this is happening. So maybe you get an email or a text to tell you someone is attempting to attack your land, and you’ll have time to go logon and defend it.
Ricoxg: I’ve also been reading that you’re going to have player-made dungeons. How does that work?
Jacques: We have designed dungeons as well, but we’re really excited about the ability for players to make their own. When you’ve built your house, you can get a blueprint for a trap-door that will create an instanced space under your house. We’ll allow you to set options on it to allow everyone in it, just your friends, or maybe just yourself. When you start off, you may not have anything there at all, except for a hole or something. Once down there, we have a voxel system for creating whatever you want.
You don’t have to, but say you decide you want to make that basement into a dungeon and you need monsters in there. Instead of just allowing players to spawn their own monsters down there, which would create problems with like gold farmers, you go harvest some item in the world. Say maybe some sort of hay that spawns ogres or something, but whatever it is doesn’t just attract ogres. Instead it might attract like a dragon, or something else. So there’s a small element of randomness to it as well.
Once you have your dungeon and it’s populated, if you open it up to other players, they can go down and try to fight the creatures in there. If they defeat them all and clear the dungeon, you have to go find more stuff to spawn new ones with, but what happens if they don’t win and all the players get killed? Well, as the monsters kill players, they get stronger and get more stuff. They also keep some of the loot from the players that died. The dungeon goes up in rank as players attempt to clear the dungeon and fail.
Ricoxg: Let’s say I’m not involved with the game yet, and I’m not sure whether I want to be involved with it now or wait until later in the development. What would you say to me to encourage me to get involved now?
Jacques: Players getting in now will help us build the game. It’s not like we’ll stop doing round-tables at some point, but right now is when you can have your hand right in the development of the game. And it’s not just generic mechanics and stuff like that. The world right now is a clean slate. Players will be deciding where they want to go, where to build, what the world looks like. There are some basic things in the game like some NPCs and maybe some buildings, but there are no towns or anything. Players will be deciding where the towns will be.
We’re not just using alpha and beta for testing. We’re using them to build the world with the community’s help. This is a crowd-designed game, and that means the players are who decide what goes where.
To learn more about about Neo's Land be sure to check out the currently running Kickstarter campaign. It's a great opportunity to help shape what could prove to be a very interesting sandbox MMOG experience from an early stage.