Where have a group of developers dispirited by "our soul-crushing, corporate jobs" looked for inspiration for a new kind of multiplayer role-playing game?
To Ultima Online - the grandfather of proper graphical MMOs that most of the team cut their teeth on, albeit later in the game's life (2005 onwards).
They've been through EA, through free-to-play, through MOBAs, mobile games, new business models, and they're fed up.
Cue the formation of Citadel Studios and the hotbed of concerns that led to Shards Online, an isometric "send-up of all the love we have for sandbox games of yesteryear, especially Ultima Online".
"We believe in creating dynamic content and letting the world itself change and grow," the developer wrote. "Inspired by games like Ultima Online, Dark Age of Camelot, and Minecraft, we want our players to have every chance to make their mark on the world and themselves.
"You can expect fun, simple combat with group or faction play, as well as a skill-based system to really test out non-XP based character development in the modern age of gaming.
"Plus, we'll be using some of the latest technology and beautiful artwork to make it run seamlessly on your usual hardware while still looking great. No incredible upgrades needed to get in and have fun!"
"Ultimately," added co-founder and CEO Derek Brinkman in a press release, "the community will dictate what Shards becomes, because we're not just providing a game but also a platform for players to express their creativity."
The game's been in development for six months and there's a teaser video (with no gameplay) and a smattering of concept art to look at.
It'll be built on Unity and released on PC.
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