Online three-way realm-war game Camelot Unchained finally has a beta date: 4th July. This is the crowdfunded MMO helmed by one of the people - Mark Jacobs - responsible for Dark Age of Camelot, and is very much a spiritual successor to it.
The beta, referred to as Beta 1, will be a closed beta, Jacobs told me. You will either need relevant backer privileges to play, or to buy the game first. However, this is not to be considered an early access release. "That would be abusing what Early Access on Steam is meant to be," he said.
Beta 1 will test a lot of the game's core mechanics - including building, crafting, character and world persistence, and unique classes and racial bonuses - across a variety of events. There will be the more closed arena Saturday Night Sieges as well as the more open-world Contested Islands. There will be small fights and big fights - big being what Camelot Unchained is really going for, with hundreds and possibly thousands of people fighting, and smoothly, at the same time.
When Camelot Unchained ran out of crowdfunding money, Mark Jacobs did something unusual by today's standards: he put his hand in his own pocket and paid for development himself. Camelot Unchained didn't begin offering houses or castles or spaceships (let's call them horses) for real money, didn't become an intoxicating shopping mall for pledging support. Being delayed was developer City State Entertainment's fault so why should the community foot the bill?
The first planned beta test for Camelot Unchained has been delayed. It was due in August but an unforeseen hiccup means it now may not arrive until next year.
That unforeseen hiccup was a senior programmer from Riot Games joining the small team at City State Entertainment, then leaving two days later. Apparently he was offered "a life-changing opportunity" elsewhere, a disappointed Mark Jacobs, CSE leader, explained.
To Massively Overpowered, he added: "Yes, there is a chance that it will be delayed till next year. When you are working with a small team, the loss of a couple of people can make a huge difference, so it would be foolish for me to say that nothing bad could possibly happen over the next few months. On the other hand, things are moving along nicely for the team size we have, and we are pretty confident that we can get an awful lot done before the end of the year."
A brand new video of Camelot Unchained has been published, which shows the Kickstarted MMO more and more resembling a complete game.
Crowd-funded 'fight each other not monsters' MMO Camelot Unchained opened for pre-alpha testing earlier this week and the results are encouraging.
The alpha test for MMO Camelot Unchained, expected in August, has been delayed. In a post on the game's website, company leader Mark Jacobs apologised and revealed a new target date of February 2015.
Player characters in MMO Warhammer Online were originally going to age. The idea was for veteran players to be visible at a glance.
Just the other day, Camelot Unchained developer City State Entertainment revealed that there will be a playable alpha build of the massively-multiplayer online game for backers in August.
Traditional MMOs have gone out of fashion lately. It used to be that every gaming brand had exciting untapped MMO potential and every publisher wanted an MMO in its stable, but the gold rush inspired by World of Warcraft yielded little precious metal, and a lot of publishers got burned in the process - especially Electronic Arts with Star Wars: The Old Republic - while the term "MMO" has become taboo when discussing a new breed of games that includes The Division and Destiny, even though in many respects they are both massively multiplayer and online.
Camelot Unchained marched comfortably past its $2 million funding goal on Kickstarter in the end - yesterday - having enjoyed something of a barnstorming finish.
I'm more excited about Camelot Unchained than any other MMO in development. Freeze the image that popped into your head when you read "MMO" - what did you think of? Did you picture an astronomically expensive game taking ages to make and desperately ticking boxes to satisfy an audience as large as World of Warcraft's? Throw that image away, because Camelot Unchained is quite the opposite.
UPDATE: Good news, everyone. Camelot Unchained has reached its $2 million goal with 19 hours left to go.
The Dark Age of Camelot-inspired MMO.
Nostalgic single-player games with modest budgets have prospered on Kickstarter. Can MMOs?
Camelot Unchained is a sequel to Dark Age of Camelot in all but name - and even that's quite close.
It's being made by City State Entertainment and the project is led by Mark Jacobs, one of the founders of Mythic Entertainment and one of the leaders of the Dark Age of Camelot MMO project.
Camelot Unchained features three factions/realms fighting each other: an Arthurian English realm, an Irish Tuatha Dé Danann realm and a Viking Scandinavian realm. That's almost exactly the same as Dark Age of Camelot, which was split into Albion (Arthurian mythology), Hibernia (Irish mythology) and Midgard (Norse mythology).