Hi, I'm Eric Heimburg, main developer of Project: Gorgon. This is a 3D fantasy MMORPG (massively-multiplayer online role-playing game) for PC, Mac, and eventually Linux. It has an unusual, original feel, freely mixing ideas from older and newer MMOs with a whole bunch of ideas never before seen in any MMO.
It's designed for players who want to explore a deep world with complex game systems and a tight-knit community that is friendly enough to actually chat while they group. I can talk about it for a long time, but why not just jump in? You can play a very early version of the game right now, completely free, and see for yourself if this is something you want to be a part of!
Hmm, you're still here? Okay... I can tell you more about it! (Or check out the video from our successful kickstarter!)
Emerging from an MMO Dark Age
"We already have plenty of MMOs," you may be thinking to yourself. "This is just another generic fantasy game. I've already played this."
No, you haven't. And unless you've been playing MMOs for over a decade, you may not even know what you're missing!
A decade ago, World of Warcraft came out and changed the MMO industry forever. It's an amazing game, and completely worthy of its success, but it had a nasty side effect on the MMO industry: other game companies saw the success this game had, and suddenly every business plan was to "be the next World of Warcraft." (I was there, making MMOs. It was a weird time.)
Each new MMO tried to copy as much of WoW as possible, assuming that was the secret to capturing the same audience. And now, a decade later, the term "MMO" is almost synonymous with this sort of directed MMO experience. Don't get me wrong, it's a fun experience! But it's only one possible kind of MMO.
If you've been playing MMOs for the better part of the last decade, you might be bored of them. You might naturally assume you'd seen everything there is to see in the genre. Fortunately for you, you couldn't be more wrong.
Go and Find Adventure
Originally, each new MMO found its own balance between the two extreme design ideas of "tight, directed game”, or “immersive, explorable world". After World of Warcraft, MMOs all seem to use the same answer. But we answer this basic dichotomy in a totally different way.
Project: Gorgon heavily rewards exploration. Go poke in corners and see what you find! Entire dungeons, hidden NPCs, all kinds of items, even entire skills and abilities... all waiting for you to discover.
Don't worry if that sounds intimidating! There'll be a solid tutorial, of course (and you can see an early version in the game right now). And to help get you started, we'll have "directed storylines" that are akin to classic MMO quest lines, and help tell the overarching story. But once you're comfortable, we hope you'll go exploring – because most of Project: Gorgon doesn't have signposts.
Immersive World Through Game Mechanics
When you play Project: Gorgon, we want you to feel like you're immersed in a whole new virtual world. Rather than try to manage this with just some pretty graphics and excessive backstory, though, we’ve designed the game with dozens of gameplay features that make you feel like you're really there, interacting with the world, such as:
- If you're on fire, you can jump in a lake to put it out. That kind of real world touch can have a subtle effect on your strategies – especially when you’re fighting a fire mage!
- 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 lure one of your friends into the woods.
- Shopkeepers really keep inventory, so you can buy the items other players sold them. Want to help out the newbies? Sell your cast-off uber weapons to the shopkeep in the newbie zone and watch them go to town.
- Each non-player character (NPC) you meet has their own goals and interests, and rewards players that choose to be their friend.
- You can inscribe messages on items, write books, even leave notes for other players. Make your name as an in-game poet, or just record your best kills on your sword.
And lots more subtle but very immersive stuff like that. These aren't the big features that make an MMO, but all of them combined make for a very unique world feel.
Lots of Weird Ideas
I've been making MMOs for a long time and I have a lot of crazy ideas I've always wanted to try out. A bunch of them are in this game:
- You can discover "words of power" and then say them in chat to activate their magic.
- Skills are all intertwined in interesting ways. Want to be the best swordsman ever? Practice your calligraphy to get better hand-eye coordination with the sword!
- A unique dual death-penalty system. Explore the world without fear of death, but when it comes time to fight boss monsters, you'd better take it seriously!
- Want a scarier game? Customize your death penalty. Why should a game only have one death penalty, anyway?!
- "Behavior badges" recognize what you do in game. Want to be a vegetarian? Okay, just don't eat meat! Pacifist? Fine. Refuse to wear helmets? Sure, okay. The game recognizes these things, and many others. Players can see it on your character sheet. You don't get anything special for it -- just recognition of your choices.
Plus we have lots of weird crafting ideas, fun new ways to let players create content for one another, and a lot more in the works.
Unique Combat Experience
A lot of the game is about killing monsters and taking their stuff, and you'll do that often. So we’ve designed Project: Gorgon to keep the experience fun and interesting. Our combat mechanics are fresh and we’re still trying out new ideas every week in development. Loot is randomly generated with a ton of variety; monsters each have unique abilities; and dungeons have puzzles, traps, and terrifying bosses!
And the combat skills! These are entirely free-form. You can learn as many combat skills as you want, and use any two of them at the same time to create your own personal "class". There are many skills already in the game, plus many more to come. Some of the current ones are:
- Battle Chemistry: Create huge explosions! Inject yourself with mysterious mutagens! Program a pet golem!
- Unarmed Combat: Grapple and control enemies using a situational-aware combo system that varies based on where you are and even 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 your army. No graveyard around? Well... there's always the corpses of your friends...
That's just a sample. There's also Sword Fighting, Combat Psychology, Staff Fighting, Sigil Scripting, Mentalism, and more.
Freedom To Make Major Life Decisions
You can learn as many skills as you can get your hands on... but sometimes, power comes with down sides.
You can become infected with lycanthropy and gain access to very powerful skill sets. Roam the world in a pack and wreak havoc! But come the three days surrounding the full moon (the real-world full moon!) you'll be stuck in your beast form. New opportunities come open, but others close. There is no cure for lycanthropy.
Becoming a druid gives you great power, but you have to vow to drop everything when there's a natural emergency, be it a forest fire, a monster invasion, even just an insect pest. And nature doesn't let you shirk your duties. Ever.
Summoning arch-demons also has a down side... well, you get the idea. Characters slowly become defined by the choices you make and responsibilities you accept.
Taking this idea to another level, you can unlock special playable races, each with their own pros and cons.
Not Just People: Community
We want to attract the friendliest community around, and we're planning features to help make that happen, like:
- Live events with story focus
- Mechanisms for player-created quest content
- Player housing (some landscape, some instanced)
- Player-managed shops and stalls
- In-game communication tools like bulletin boards
- Bookshelves where you can submit your own stories (and players can up vote them)
- Guilds that can set role-play and gameplay rules like "must use hardcore death penalty", "vegetarians only", or "only werewolves allowed"
We'll also be working with the alpha and beta communities to prioritize and plan other features that they recommend.
Okay. Enough talk. Please give the game a try now!