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May 3rd, 2012, 23:52
Hi everyone, I'm Matt (Zeruel) from RealmSource. I'm the team leader of the RealmSource team and of Realm Explorer. I've been seeing discussions about Realm Explorer starting to pop up all over the place but I was alerted to this thread when someone mentioned what was brewing over here.

I wanted to stop by, answer any questions, dispel a few things and see where this thread goes.

Before I start responding to specific posts I wanted to express how impressed I am with the community here. In spite of some skepticism and even criticism I can see that you guys have at least attempted to take a critical look at what we've put out there so far.

I also wanted to share this Youtube video (which was posted on the KickStarter last week) showing some additional game functionality. You'll notice that the issue where a hit would register out of sync with the swing animations (what you see in the mining / digging demonstrated in the first KickStarter video) has been resolved. We're in pre-alpha (hence being on KickStarter) so there are still a lot of things that are being worked on all the time.

Realm Explorer: Preview 1 - Breaking Stuff

First I'll address a few specific comments and then clear up some misconceptions that I've seen.

Originally Posted by xSamhainx View Post
Yeah, no kidding. Lots of characters seen running with their swords drawn, with epic orchestral music playing. Awful "digging" animation which the character moves and the dirt disappears. "anything is possible" or something to that extent, as the character is shown in their little mud tunnel/room they just dug. Woah, exciting

If they want to get me excited, they need to show more Is possible than that. I love the minecraft formula, but I could make that trailer with a toolset and fraps!
We're presently working on a lot of additional content that will be coming out over the next week including:
-A single player demo to send to media sites / youtube channels
-Better mining/digging footage
-A demonstration of the depth of the character customization system (wearing a different boot on each foot or different glove on each hand if you so choose)
-A video explaining more about our goals with Realm Explorer and about our team

I understand some people don't find much appeal in the sandbox genre so if it isn't your cup of tea no offense is taken. Personally I really enjoyed playing both Oblivion and Skyrim and I'm a huge fan of the Dragon Quest (previously called Dragon Warrior) games. Deus Ex: Human Revolution was also a great action/FPS/RPG.

Part of the fun of sandbox games is being able to manipulate the world so something as "simple" as digging in the dirt (which not many games have) may be more appealing to those players.

Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Yeah, I missed the memo. I like Terraria but I can't play it for long, unfortunately. At least I get it - looking for new materials etc. I didn't see any of that in this video (unless I missed it) - it looked like digging just for the sake of changing the terrain, which isn't my thing.
You may recall a part in the video where the player is using a pickaxe to chop gold ore out of the stone. I'll be making this point more clearly in a future video (if the current video, description and screenshots aren't clear enough). You can dig to both change the terrain as well as to gather resources (various metal ores, gemstones, etc.).


Of course the purpose of all of that digging is to be able to craft things out of the resources you collect:

You will also be able to build structures.

Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
It beats the hell out of me how you get that vibe from a randomly generated gameworld with no mention of quests (that I saw).
You actually mentioned it in the post that started this thread.

Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Interact with friendly and hostile NPCs.
Participate in dynamically generated quests.
That being said there are always tradeoffs between a purely scripted, linear RPG and a procedurally generated game. A linear RPG is generally about telling a specific story. A procedurally generated game is about having an experience and sharing that experience with your friends.

Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
I was intrigued to figure out just whether or not it could polish the Minecraft formula by adding in more RPG elements… intrigued until I saw that trailer with some characters running around and flailing about with their weapons as some purported example of gameplay.

I'll stick with Minecraft until these guys at least know how to make a proper trailer.
A proper trailer like Minecraft?

Or perhaps a proper trailer like Skyrim?

These are two of the most successful games of the past 2 years. One shows an extremely basic tech demo and the other is a high res render of a stone wall with voice over work and no gameplay.

It's easy to think of how awesome a game is in hindsight, once it’s done, but a trailer, especially an initial trailer, can serve many purposes. Who even remembers that the only thing we had to look at for Skyrim was a stone wall for several months?

I wanted to try and show a mix of art content and working game functionality. I can understand if some people may not find this interesting; the big publishers have trained us well. We can look at carvings on a stone wall and get excited about Skyrim or watch a Modern Warfare / Call of Duty trailer showing completely pre-rendered cinematics and get so excited that we see those types of titles make $1 billion+ in sales. (Right after everyone buys a copy we then see all of the fans complain about the game for the next year until they release yet another sequel that everyone runs out to buy).

I know this post is getting long so I'll try to wrap it up. I'll also try to respond to any other questions or comments and see what I can do about being more active in this community in general.

What I wanted to address were some comments about our development team, RealmSource, and another game project we've been working on, Gnostaria. Our team is made entirely of professional software developers. I've been programming professionally for over 10 years and overall for about 15 years. Our artists are all full time modelers / animators / texture artists who work full time in the gaming industry. I've commented on the connection between Gnostaria and Realm Explorer on the KickStarter page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/…lorer/comments

So far we've spent upwards of six figures of our own funds towards our game development; that's not including the thousands of hours of programming work over the past few years.

Gnostaria is a project that we are still working on; it's been on hold since we've been working on Realm Explorer. In some ways Realm Explorer is a non-MMO version of Gnostaria. Gnostaria ran into several problems over the years which greatly delayed its progress. One problem we had with Gnostaria was that we started with the Torque 3D engine. We developed our own custom server and persistence technology so that any work we did on the game wouldn't be tied to a specific game engine. This ended up being an important decision since Garage Games, the creator of the Torque engine, went out of business for several months (they are now back in business). At around that time we started looking into the Unity engine which, while about 10x more expensive per license, was at least 10x better as an engine. What would take weeks to do in Torque we could do in a few days with Unity.

Another issue we had is that we had some problems with publishers. We talked with several publishers over the years but their requirements were constantly changing. Sometimes we were asking for too little money; sometimes too much. Sometimes they wanted to see more content; other times more gameplay. With one publisher in particular we spent 6 months talking to, preparing project documentation, budget estimates, preparing playable demos, videos and more and they simply stopped talking to us after saying they liked our project and would get back to us. The same company ended up contacting us again a year later but again nothing ever came of it. It appears that they have finally gone out of business although they did have a few titles from big IPs.

A combination of investing a lot of time in an antiquated engine (made by a company that ultimately went under) and being jerked around by publishers for 2 years greatly delayed and disrupted the development of Gnostaria.

Having learned those lessons we're doing things different with Realm Explorer. The game is a lot more focused and it leverages a lot of the work we already spent years developing for Gnostaria. The Unity game engine and not being an MMO also vastly improves the speed at which we're able to develop things.

If you made it to the end of this post you have my thanks. I'm happy to answer any questions or comments anyone might have.
RSZeruel is offline




Join Date: May 2012
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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