From personal experience I know what kind of game Simutronics is capable
of creating. I played Dragonrealms, one of their most successful games for a
number of years. The game continually expanded in both world size, and quality
of game play. This is exactly what the aim seems to be for Heros Journey.
From what Ive read on this game they fully aim to develop a game which can
continually expand in every way. The game will have no maximum size, and each
day will be added upon by the army of Game Masters. Unlike other games these Game
Masters will be able to really work with the game, both creating new terrain and
working with the players to develop new and better things. Once again I refer to
Dragonrealms, where the world began at a very modest size. However over time new
cities and areas were opened up, and the game expanded into a giant world to role-play
Heres a quote from an interview on the Heros Journey vault
Interview, "Basically every single piece of terra firma, every
object, every single thing you see is dynamic in nature. A town, for instance,
could basically burn to the ground with the buildings crumbling around you and
leaving smoldering ruins in the fires wake. For example, even if a town
can burn down it would be foolish to let such a capability be easily obtainable
by a player. But, for instance, an invading horde might burn it down if the
players cannot rally an effective defense."
That right there is one of the best qualities a game can have. If enemies and
creatures are given the ability to destroy cities, and engage in warfare with the
players that can actually change the world, it can create scenarios that can
bring the populations together. Defending your home town, along with your fellow
adventurers, from creatures gives a better sense of community, and role playing,
rather then just walking into hunting areas when you feel like it to get some experience.
Invasions, creatures attacking cities, is a regular occurrence in Dragonrealms, and
can cause some important plot changes in the world. For a few weeks there was even
wars against a great enemy, which brought every race and guild together to project
the cities, something which otherwise never happens.
Heres another quote from the same interview, talking about the approach
to designing the game, "My approach is to drive an Open Design methodology.
Working with the Vault Network, we are going to be recruiting design teams from what
will be our future customer base. That is, online FRP players who want a strong say
in the kind of world they want to move to in the future."
Heros Journey will also be using the gamers as a resource in creating
this game, a great idea. The gamers know what kind of game they want, and by effectively
working with them to understand what will make a great game, HJ may very come up with
ideas that surpass the other major online multiplayer games, who take a different route
One last point to make Is the experience that Simutronics has. This company has
been around for over ten years, and knows what works and what doesnt in multi
player games. Simutronics seems confident that when they do release Heros Journey
that it will stand above the other online games which have already been released, and I
look forward to seeing what kind of product they turn out.