The Roadmap for 2023
Hey hey again!
I'm here again to talk about the future of the game! In the last post (The future of Kemoverse), I philosophized and thought a lot about the purpose, but with no concrete steps or design choices. Here I will tell you about the coming roadmap for the next year and what I will be doing.
Oh, yeah, and before then, let me just plug our ko-fi again. I have recently connected the ko-fi subscription to my game servers, so you are able to get a funder status in-game by donating (by typing /funder <email> in the chat)! I'm also planning way more benefits in the future tied to the subscription. Me and Lumi would be eternally grateful for your support, as our goal is to rely and work on this project, since we both struggle with real life jobs.
Anyways, let's begin.
The social game
As mentioned in the previous post, I finally know what Kemoverse Online is: it's a social game centered around players and hosting cool experiences. I thought about it a lot and managed to come up with a basic plan.
Looks interesting, doesn't it? Let me break it down.
The game is roughly divided in to two areas: solo and online. Solo play is referring to stuff that are done by yourself, for example, if you're in an odd timezone or you prefer to play alone but still in an online world. Online play is referring to stuff that are intended to be done with multiple people, so basically, group activities. Note that it isn't this clear-cut in the game, some tasks can be dependent on both solo and online play, although I have not planned that far yet.
Anyways, point is, when you play Kemoverse Online, there should be a variety of tasks to do that you can do either alone or with others. Let's go through the solo ones:
- Main story: This is the main, overarching story (yes, this game has one) that is happening in the Kemoverse, and includes for example the introduction cutscene where Sera rescues you. My wish is to create and add this plot/lore heavy content with cutscenes in to the game, but not on a rigid schedule - it's more a slowly evolving story that progresses over time. I would imagine something like 2-3 main story updates every year. And the cutscenes play and progress when you have gone to to enough lore events. More on that later.
- Food loop: This is basically busy-work you can do when logged in, so you don't just stand around having nothing to do. First of all, one upcoming game mechanic I added was cooking. So you can now take everything you farmed and cook it in to food. I want to tie it in to some sort of system that rewards you with stuff in return, for example, decorations you can place around campus, unlocking clothes or cloth patterns, or even your own room.
And so, these two give a basic tasks and context for gameplay - it (hopefully) conveys that you're not just a guest to the world, but a participant. To push this idea even further, I thought more and planned out the event systems.
- Community events: These are basically events that are "unofficial", in the sense that they aren't completely lore-accurate - but they exist for everyone to have a good time. It's a social game, damnit, of course we should enjoy ourselves! I think it would be motivating as well, farming and cooking to gather decorations and help prepare various areas together for upcoming events. The key here is that the events are mostly player led: my intention is to, in the future, allow other players to host their own events too. But of course, as seen in KemZrave 1, NPCs can also participate.
- Lore events: Now we're getting to the unique killer feature. Imagine a quest in a typical MMO game - you complete it alone, get your gear/exp/reward, and then wait for more content to drop. Or, imagine a DnD campaign where the DM lets the group roam around in town talking to various characters.
In the game, we'll have "lore events". Lore events are basically "coop quests", synchronized and scripted game events, and the key here is that these are led by NPCs themselves. The intention is for you to attend this together with other people (although for main story progression, these should be doable alone, too), so that you, together with others, will play through the story-driven quest together. The NPC speaks to you, or to all of you. In return, the more lore events you attend and complete, the further you can progress in the main storyline and unlock more cutscenes.
So that means, events are going to be a big part of the game. It's actually going to be a crucial part if you want to actually experience the game's world. Which is why I realized the next logical step is to add an event calendar in to the game:
To summarize, this lists all upcoming and current in-game events adjusted to your timezone. It fetches it from our discord server, so that people can plan and participate in events even if they don't want to be part of that community. The idea is that, in the future, both lore events and community events will be listed here and you will see who else is planning to join them too. And maybe also that funders can create their own events too.
There's also a billion other things I've added or planned to add, but that would make this post way too long.
So yeah, basically, I planned all of this to make the game feel more targeted towards online social gameplay. I want it to feel different and I want you to play it and feel like it's a fresh way to play an online game. Not running around and stressing over exp/levels or rushing through a bunch of irrelevant and time-wasting quests, but instead, you log in and play because you genuinely look forward to being online with others with the bonus of immersing in the world together.
The plan for 2023
Ambitious dreams are great and all, but how do I actually accomplish not just this, but all of this? I've already gotten so far. Can't hang up the towel now.
First step is to get the hell out of this hole I live at right now. It's a small town in Sweden - it is completely dead here. There is no future, no support, and no real opportunities here. So I will be moving to Tallinn, Estonia. My intention is to leave my previous experiences behind and start fresh in the big city. The plan is to take this project much more seriously and to start showing it off in real life, to real people. Networking. It's scary, but at this point, I need to do it.
Another concern is funding. We all are trying to survive in this capitalist world, aren't we? Hence why I tied the ko-fi subscription to the game; with the intention to as time goes on and content gets added, lock certain permissions or abilities behind a subscription. I genuinely wish I could just give the game out for free, but real life isn't that kind. Neither of us (me, Lumi) are capable of working in a normal, full time work environment, anyways, being neurodivergent types... but this is one of the things we can do. I've worked on this game for years, and I hope you value this sort of innovative game design just as much as me.
That leads me to marketing. Yeah, taking this seriously also means to start taking these difficult tasks seriously, too. I don't market the game yet right now, because it lacks the basic gameplay loop in the game, but my intention is to try and finish up the solo tasks such as making food, handing in for npc, getting rewards of various kinds, etc. as well as figuring out a way to guide new players, for example tutorials or new player meetups. And only then start posting screenshots and videos of this game online and try to show it off. First impression is always important.
So to summarize, the calendar for 2023 would be:
- Q1 2023: First community event, social expression tools, new race
- Q2 2023: Kitchen, cooking mechanic, event calendar <-- we are here
- Q3 2023: NPC rewards, own room, unlockables
- Q4 2023: Lore events, story progression
I hope the basic gameplay is up and running in July/August sometime, because as mentioned, I would want to start advertising and showing off the game to everyone by then. And it would be more comfortable having a system in place so new players aren't confused what to do. It's getting there! Oh man, it's so close to being playable (as in, interesting to play-playable). Just gotta work harder. Soon.
Stay tuned for some more announcements and information soon. Alpha 11 is very much in development and should be released in a bit.
Thank you for following.
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