by Garrett Fuller,
Industry Relations

The design of MMOGs has come a long way over the years. With more
instancing and small group play, sandbox style games are becoming
harder to find. Some of the ones out there are certainly successful.
But hope is not lost for those that love playing in the sandbox! A new
MMORPG is being developed in Bulgaria by an up-and-coming studio named
Masthead Studios, and they hope to go back to this sandbox style of

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title="Earthrise GDC - 01"> src="/image/view/27154/preview"

style="font-style: italic;">Earthrise hopes to
bring the sandbox style of play back into popularity.

The name of the game is Earthrise,
and the Ten Ton Hammer staff got a chance to speak with George Petrov
and Nikolay Stoyanov from Masthead who are working hard on the game.
For starters, the Masthead developers are creating a style of world we
can expect; players are safe only in cities. Once you enter into the
world players can become targets of monsters, villains, and - most
important of all - other players. The post-apocalyptic world is a
battle ground where players can fight it out, form their own groups or
guilds, and play in a game where they can create their own fun.

The game takes place on one of the last islands left on earth after the
events of World War III, a war which has devastated the world. Science
has developed an advanced stage of DNA technology that allows cloning.
Players will advance through story and quest lines that will take them
around the world and allow them to get a good sense of combat. However,
the real challenge to the game will be facing down other players in the
open world. As it goes in many of these style games, once the battle
lines are drawn the player created warfare can become some of the best
PvP play ever experienced.

In the post apocalyptic setting, technology still reigns and players
will have a chance to craft their own items. Once you get some
resources, you’ll be able to start crafting your gear. The
development team is working on the possibility of two forms of
crafting. The first phase would be the design portion of crafting,
where players can map out the designs of weapons and armor. Once the
design is complete, the second phase of crafting begins which is
manufacturing. Here players actually build the designs that other
players have worked up. The system is not fully in place yet, but the
team continues to work out ideas. One thing that George explained was
that the best items in the game will come from player crafting.

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title="Earthrise GDC - 02"> src="/image/view/27153/preview"

style="font-style: italic;">The upcoming MMOG
is heading towards the alpha phase of development.

When it comes to combat the team is looking to build very dynamic
battles for players. The view of the game is set in third person and
works to give players a good view of the field of combat. They really
want to enhance skill-based battles. Players should be on an equal
field as far as all things go; it is the skill of a player that will
make the biggest difference. One thing that will not happen is killing
players within the safe haven cities. Players who break these rules
will become criminals and not be able to enter these safe zones. This
system works similar to the old system used in Ultima Online. Player
killers were not allowed near the towns and were hunted as criminals
when they got close. Earthrise looks to keep this same style of play to
keep players safe within the cities.

is definitely a game to keep on the radar. With fast combat
and a skill based system, it will have a lot of options for players.
The game is nearing its alpha phase of development and the team is
shooting for a 2009 release in the U.S. and Europe. Though it is early
yet, games that use a sandbox model are always exciting to see.

looks to give players a great chance to build their own fun.
Looking at the longevity of games such as style="font-style: italic;"> Ultima Online and style="font-style: italic;">EvE Online
shows that this style of game still works very well. One thing that
George and Nikolay wanted to tell fans is that they are working hard to
make a game that they would want to play. As hardcore players
themselves they want gamers to know that they are truly putting their
hearts in to make a fun and exciting game. Post-apocalypse futuristic
combat, open world dangers, a skill based system, and crafting that
matters, it seems like Earthrise
is certainly a game to watch in the
coming months of development. Thanks again to George and Nikolay for
taking time to discuss their game and we certainly look forward at what
is to come.

Do you look forward to a
sci-fi, PvP, sandbox style MMOG? Or will the game simply be lost in the
crowd? href="">Let
us know on the forums!

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Earthrise Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016