13 May, 2012
A quick update about Storybricks. You can play the current Alpha version of Storybricks. We have a contest going on. And, our Kickstarter project is still going.
And I'll make an impassioned plea for your support.
One of the advantages of using Unity is that we can do a browser version of our client. We stripped down the client and simplified it a bit, but you can get your hands on the alpha version of Storybricks.
Visit: http://play.storybricks.com/ You will need the Unity3D browser plugin to play, but it should be a painless process to install if you don't already have it.
You can share URLs for your stories, like this: http://play.storybricks.com/play.php?STORY=FD8E1447 This link will take you right into my story I wrote in 5 minutes. I'm sure you can do better, so feel free to show me up.
A storywriting contest!
We also have a contest. It's simple: write a story and share it with others. Twitter, Google+, Facebook, forums, whatever. As long as we can verify you posted it somewhere, you get entered into a drawing to win some prizes: a $50 Gamestop gift card, $25 Amazon.com gift certificates, or $25 in Facebook credits.
Currently we have no entries. So, enter anything and you could win all the prizes! We'll also feature some of the better stories for others to play. Full rules available on our forums.
Storybricks Kickstarter campaign
As you might know, Storybricks has a Kickstarter project: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/storybricks/storybricks-the-mmorpg-storytelling-toolset/
After about 2 weeks we are... 8% funded. I look at that and wonder what the problem is. Part of it lies with is with how we have presented the project: when you're doing something so new and different, it's hard to describe it easily. Are we a toolset, an MMO, a true role-playing game, a virtual building environment? We are all of these, but none of these exactly. We have had trouble finding a message that resonates with people. If you have ideas, please share them with me in the comments below.
I've listened to the MMO community talk about games for years now, and I've seen the creeping disappointment as people see MMOs fail to live up to their potential. I've invested myself into a project that I personally believe can help push MMOs forward. I'd love to say that Storybricks will have a glorious future no matter what happens. The truth is, we're a small company with limited resources. Without your support, Storybricks will wither and die. Maybe we will go bankrupt and find other jobs. Maybe we'll get bought by some company who would rather make browser games than MMOs. The reality is that we've already had to cut expenses to try to survive a few more months. People have expenses to pay and families to support and they we can't expect them to work for free.
Make no mistake, it's not just me and the Storybricks team watching this campaign. I know from talking to people that game developers from the largest companies in the industry are watching it. They're seeing if you really want innovation to the point you are willing to financially support it. Supporting Storybricks isn't just about supporting the alpha version we have online. It's not just about letting us make a cool MMO with user created stories and real role-playing. Supporting our Kickstarter project is supporting real innovation in MMOs. It's saying that you want more than games that are 90% the same with 10% layered on top to make you think might be doing more than just hammering hotkeys while fighting more and more rats with different shapes, sizes, models, and textures. It's demanding more than the same old treadmill grind with the same bog standard holy trinity classes with the same static world that tells you that you are a hero but doesn't actually react to your actions.
Ignore Storybricks and you tell MMO developers you want more of the same for the foreseeable future. You send the message that you're happy with MMOs as they are. You say that game developers should ignore MMOs and chase other trends, to start building social and mobile games instead of chasing the ever increasing budgets for themepark MMO games.
So, please go visit http://play.storybricks.com/ and build your own story. Share the URL with your friends on various social networks. If you've already backed our Kickstarter project: thank you so much, and help us get the word out so we can see success. If you haven't backed us yet, please visit our Kickstarter project page and donate even a little bit to keep our vision of MMO innovation alive.
It's up to you. Hopefully I've demonstrated that I want real MMO innovation. Don't you want the same?