Cliffhanger reveals first peek at Shadowrun Online

The first newsletter for the upcoming browser-based Shadowrun MMORPG by Cliffhanger just came in – and here it is:

Welcome to Cliffhanger Productions’ first ever newsletter for the upcoming Shadowrun Online game.

This being our first official newsletter I apologize in advance for the less than glossy appearance and the fact, that it took us a while to even get one out.

Here at Cliffhanger Central we have been busy sticking it to the megacorps and trying to go solo on developing the game. So far we have gained at least enough creds to go into pre-production and will kick off our development next month. That being said – if any of you can spare a Million or two, we are happy to help you spend it. But until the money comes raining down on us, here are some answers to the questions we get asked the most:

So, what will Shadowrun Online look like?

Well, it will have a perspective camera in a 3D setting, much like our Jagged Alliance Online game, which we are currently developing. (for a peak at that one, you can go to http://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/jagged-alliance-online-preview-a-classic-reborn-for-the-browser/ , who have the latest info from our gamescom version.) So, it will be a decent quality, but it won’t be what some call AAA. The reason for that is simple: We are doing a browser based game. This means anyone can access it at any time from their PC, no downloading, no hassle. But that also means we need to limit visuals. I hope you agree that gameplay is king, so we think the visuals are decent enough.

Here is a very early prototype (with even less visual quality) we did for Shadowrun to play around with camera angles…


What can you tell us about the game?

Well – not too much yet that is going to actually stay that way. Some of you may have followed the discussion we had over at the Dumpshock forum and we continue to get good input from fans. We have also secretly launched SHE – the Shadowrun High-Council of Elders, a group of current and previous editions writers and artists and Shadowrun alumni who have worked on the pen and paper game or had their hands in Shadowrun Mods or community work. They will make sure we don’t stray from the path of righteousness and continuity in adapting Shadowrun to the world of online games. We are going to work closely with Catalyst (American Shadowrun publisher) and Pegasus (German Shadowrun publisher) and may have some nifty surprises for you further down the line.

Enough already – what about the game?

The game will feature two major parts – the action map, where you (and your friends) do missions from stealthily infiltrating a secret Renraku research facility to punching the lights out of a major Aztechnology outpost with guns blazing. Hacking, magic and gunfights are all part of that and will be done simultaneously (so nobody needs to go for pizza while your hacker battles Black ICE for two hours).

The second part will be the legwork and mission preparation. This will happen on a city overview map, where you can try and use your contacts, skills or resources to gain info on the mission goal, acquire blueprints, bribe guards or prepare the right soft or spell for your endeavor. This will be closer to rolling the dice on an action and getting a short narrated outcome. Each of those actions will cost action points (and if you want to get better odds you may want to spend more action points on a specific objective).

So if you don’t have the time for an extended session, you may just want to spend a couple of AP to prepare and make sure you get the most out of your mission when you actually want to tackle it.

But I have a million more questions!

Of course there is much more to be said, but most of it is in a very early stage and we haven’t decided yet on how exactly we are going to do that. We are currently in full swing on our Jagged Alliance Online game, so thing are a little busy round here. But I promise we will give you more news as we progress.

In the meantime, why don’t you take a gander over to our Forum and ask questions there?
Until then, we will see each other in the shadows…
Primetide

WOD Online kommt mit Masquerade!

Wie bei MIDNIGHT DANCE nachzulesen ist, fand am vergangenen Wochenende das „Grand Masquerade“ Event von White Wolf in New Orleans statt. Und wer es sich nicht aufgrund des Eventnamens und ganz normalen Marketingerwägungen gedacht hat, erfuhr dort, dass White Wolf sich wieder deutlich zu Masquerade hinwendet – mindestens Online, und wenn sie auch nur ein Fünkchen was von Verkauf verstehen auch im Print.

Das neue Online-Rollenspiel „World of Darkness“ des White Wolf Eigner CCP Games, dessen erster Trailer auf der eingangs verlinkten Seite in abgefilmter Version zu sehen ist, wird also auf Masquerade-Basis sein und nicht auf Requiem beruhen. Da Letzteres im Print eigentlich „durch“ ist – alles, was für dieses Metaplotlose Spiel benötigt wird, ist längst erschienen – müssten die weißen Wölfe schon mit dem Klammerbeutel gepudert sein, um nicht vor oder spätestens zum Launch des „Vampire: The Masquerade Online Roleplaying Games“ eine Neuauflage von Masquerade rauszuhauen – basierend auf Requiem-Regeln natürlich, und vermutlich mit irgendeiner konstruierten Erklärung warum Gehenna dann doch ausgefallen ist oder nicht gar so schlimm war (übrigens sind schon für Oktober 2010 „Translation documents: Masquerade to Requiem and Requiem to Masquerade“ angekündigt).

Wundern braucht man sich jedenfalls nicht über die Wahl von Maskerade als Hintergrundsetting für das MMORPG. Wie ein Teilnehmer in den White Wolf Foren schreibt:

„While I prefer gaming with Requiem, Masquerade is a lot more blunt and thus easier to translate into an MMO. When you can give plain „We’re the Camarilla. We’re at war with the Sabbat.“ you can get the point of the setting across easier than „There are five major organizations uneasily co-existing.“ For the purposes of an MMO, Masquerade is a lot easier. Tabletop and LARP? Yeah, go Requiem there. You can manage the extra political complexity.“

Besser kann man es kaum ausdrücken. Man darf jedenfalls gespannt sein.

Technische Demo von CCP zur CARBON Animation für Haare und Kleidung beim WOD MMORPG

UPDATE 1

In den Diskussionen um das WOD MMORPG in den White Wolf Foren wird sich aktuell darauf eingeschossen, dass einer Aussage des Requiem Lead Developers sowohl WOD MMO als auch VtR BEIDE auf VtM beruhen würden, aber andere Bedürfnisse als Spiel hätten. Daraus und aus dem Fakt, dass WOD MMO (bisher) eben gerade NICHT VtM MMO heiße, wird geschlossen dass das WOD MMO möglicher weise nicht mehr Ähnlichkeit mit VtM haben wird als VtR, das ja ebenfalls auf VtM beruhe.

Außerdem postet User GrimDent im White Wolf Forum eine Reihe von Facts direkt aus den Händen der Developer, die in anderen Foren/Blogs aufgetaucht seien:

Direct MMO Stuff:

– the game has been in development for approximately 3 years.
– This has been slowed by keeping up with EVE
– Preparing to develop ‚Carbon technology‘ framework for what should provide state-of-the-art character customizations, unlike any seen in any game before, for the MMO.
– They are particularly psyched about the customization framework. They claim they have in fact, hired a fashion consultant, to help make the system more realistic and stylish.
– Another 1.5 years has been spent preparing the actual gameplay
– They have increased their staff by 6 times the previous head count
– They’ve put 629K man-hours into this MMO — so far.

Regarding Coffee House, Sandbox and Themeparks that we’ve discussed on the forum, Burgermeister writes; „From what they said, these three spheres should be closely tied and interconnected together, essentially running the economy of blood in the game. “

The four overall themes they intended to have in the game are:
– Mystery
– Romance
– Power
– Danger

„For concrete facts, we learned that the game will be ready, by earliest, 2012. The game will be based on Vampire: the Masquerade. Specifically, in the initial release of the game, there will only be vampires as supernatural, playable characters. There will however, be elements from Werewolf, Changeling, etc., likely in the form of environmental content, and NPCs.“

-One of their criterias for success is to make the game as accessible as possible. Specifically they want to get women involved in the game, as well as casual players. Also, they want to maximize the amount of human interaction that happens in the game.

-They confirmed that the game will not be combat intensive (unless you choose as such). Knowing, influencing the correct people is arguably more important than being the biggest brawler.

-They will not be catering to immaturity in the game, however, they would like to see these types of offenses policed by players, rather than in-game mechanics.

„I personally offered up one of the board’s suggestions of Permanent Death as a solution to controlling an otherwise glut of Kindred population within any one area. This was one of the suggestions that got applause from the audience. I also couldn’t help but notice two of the content developers smirking — I think permanent death is a serious possibility in the MMO. A lot of other fans made the same or similar suggestions. This remark also drew out a comment from the panel, suggesting that the game world would consist of one server rather than multiple servers, after someone else suggested that some servers offer this permanent death option while others did not. (His response „Servers? What servers?“) “

-They confirmed that factions and territories will almost certainly be a big part of the game.

-They confirmed that the game will definitely contain gay clubs. This is an excellent angle to cater to the gay and lesbian audience.

-They again, did confirm, that starting off there would only be Vampires, but one of the other developers also confirmed that there would be playable human classes — although nothing specific. I only can assume he means the likes of ghouls and hunters.

-The game will be fully PvP, i.e. there may be Elysium areas, but nothing like the flagging system, as seen in PvE WoW servers.

-In regards to the development cycles, some disciplines simply will not be included because they are way too complicate to implement well — specifically, Temporis.

Zwischenmeldung: Neues von White Wolf

Es tut sich was bei White Wolf. World of Darkness Online von CCP Games (den Machern von EVE Online) nimmt Gestalt an oder hat zumindest schonmal eine Facebook Group, auf dem diesjährigen „größten WoD Event aller Zeiten“ in New Orleans werden Enthüllungen zur Zukunft der World of Darkness angekündigt, der Camarilla Fanclub wird endgültig von White Wolf getrennt und startete vor Kurzem wieder mit einer begrenzten Vampire: The Masquerade Chronik (ohne mit der Hauptlinie Vampire: Requiem aufzuhören natürlich), Digitale WoD Community Tools befinden sich in der Entwicklung und-und.

Alle News dazu gibt’s hier.