The day arrived earlier this week as Project: Gorgon, long in an alpha that you could play for free, finally moved to Steam. It is early access, to be sure, but it has arrived.
For a very small project that took three tries to get a Kickstarter funded, this is a pretty big deal.
Yes, I expected it would get there sooner. I’m pretty sure Eric Heimberg expected it to get there much sooner as well. After all, the post-Kickstarter plan was to get to Steam some time in October.
October of 2015.
Welcome to the problem with Kickstarting a beast as complicated as an MMORPG.
At least the promise was only to get onto Steam. Other ventures in which I have a minor stake, Shroud of the Avatar, Camelot Unchained, and Star Citizen, have all blown past their promised ship dates. Shroud of the Avatar might hit something that looks like a finished project by the end of this year, but Star Citizen continues to recede from the horizon while Camelot Unchained is shooting for a beta at some point this summer.
So the two people pretty much baking an MMO on their own project looks pretty good by comparison. Sure, it still doesn’t have a Wikipedia page yet (Project Gorgon there references an US Navy missile program) but there it is on Steam at least.
Of course, there are something like 35 games arriving on Steam every single day, threatening to bury us all in a bottomless pit of derivative crap that should never see the light of day, so getting there isn’t exactly the leap over the high bar it was once upon a time. But, woo hoo, go indie dreamers all the same I guess. (Just don’t quit your day jobs.)
I am in a mood to bitch, aren’t I? Well, I shall complain no more… or not as much… for this should be a happy thing, something to celebrate. You can actually find Project: Gorgon on Steam and read all about it. And, honestly, it sounds better than I remember. The bullet points are all good.
- Each non-player (NPC) you meet has their own goals and interest, and reward players that choose to be their friend.
- You can drop items on the ground, and other players can pick them up. What’s so great about that? Imagine laying down a trail of literal (virtual) breadcrumbs to guide your friends (or lure your enemies) into the woods.
- Shopkeepers keep inventory, so you can buy items that other players have sold to them. Want to help out new players? Sell your cast-off items to the shopkeeper in the new player zone and watch the new players go to town.
- If you are on fire, you can jump into a lake to put it out. This type of mechanic can have a subtle effect on your strategies, especially when you are fighting a fire mage!
- You can inscribe messages onto items, write books, and even leave notes for other players. Make your name as an in-game poet, or pronounce your greatness to the world!
Some of that sounds like classic MUD stuff that has gone missing in the more modern revisions of the genre. Likewise this batch sounds interesting.
- Battle Chemistry: Create huge explosions, inject yourself with mysterious mutagens or program a pet golem!
- Unarmed Combat: Grapple and control enemies using a situational-aware combo system that varies based on where you are and what day it is.
- Animal Handling: Tame animals and train them to become ferocious fighters. Then breed your best and sell their offspring to other players.
- Necromancy: Seek out corpses and graveyards to raise an undead army. No graveyard around? Well, there are always the corpses of your friends.
- Cow: Got turned into a cow by that boss? That sucks. But learn some kicks and how to stampede, and you’ll be right back out there kicking grass in no time!
- That’s just a few! There’s also Sword Fighting, Combat Psychology, Staff Fighting, Sigil Scripting, Mentalism, and more.
In addition, there is a reasonable list of goals to achieve before the game moves from Early Access to Live, like fleshing out the content, which currently runs up to level 70, to level 100.
All in all I am impressed. And if you act now, you can buy it on Steam for 25% off the normal $40 price. Or if you are like me and paid back in 2015, there is a Steam key waiting in your in your email. I got mine.
Project: Gorgon moving to Steam has long been my stated trigger point to start playing, and I am going to get right on that… once I am done with Rift Prime.
Okay, I’ll probably get Project: Gorgon loaded up on Steam and take a peek but, in my dotage, I have become mostly single threaded when it comes to fantasy MMORPGs. I kind of just want to play one at a time, enjoy myself as the world washes over me, then change up when I am starting to tire. And for the moment that world is Telara.