Well, finalizing that content schedule took longer than we expected, but now that we have, expect more consistent updates leading to early access launch and beyond! For this specific post, to make sure that we start off on the right foot again, I’m going to look at Rend from a high level, as well as answer a few questions I’ve seen pop up on social media and other places.
So, let’s talk about Rend. How did we come up with this game for our first game as a new studio? Well, we wanted to make a game we were all excited about, and since we had all been playing survival games before we started the company, it seemed like a logical step. Similar to how Mat, Jeremy, and Solomon approached the MMO genre back when they were helping create World of Warcraft, we took a hard look at why survival games were so much fun, and where they lost their luster. Here’s a few things that we found:
Survival games promise a great war. Everyone builds their base after starting from nothing, and slowly increase in power until they can knock off a neighbor (whether by alliance or destruction) until they’re the biggest baddest tribe on the server. Unfortunately, what ends up happening is you and a couple of buddies build up a base, make sure it’s fortified, and log off for the night. At 4:00 in the morning, another tribe logs in, sees your undefended base, and proceeds to break it open and take all your hard earned loot. When we raided other tribes like that, we left unsatisfied. When we got raided like that, we didn’t feel like starting the grind all over again. We all tasted that tantalizing battle, but only experienced it very rarely. We knew we had to design to provide that war to the player.
The only way to prevent your base from being destroyed while you are offline is to join the biggest baddest guild on the server. No one would dare raid your base now! Well that’s true, instead everyone that isn’t in the biggest baddest guild ends up leaving the server causing you to be stuck there with no one to fight. We knew we had to design balance into the game.
An example base made by some of our friends and family testers
To solve the second one first, we decided to have the player choose a faction when they create a character on a server for the first time. By only allowing a maximum number of players (currently 20, but will be a server setting) per faction online at a time, we could guarantee that the factions would be equal. When you login, you’ll be joining your faction’s community immediately. You’re not trying to survive alone with no guidance. You’re trying to survive with and for each other.
But we still hadn’t solved the first discovery. While we were trying to solve that, we played a great game called Kingdom: New Lands (or Kingdom: Classic). In it, you play as a princess who must collect resources to grow her kingdom to survive demon hordes. The idea was perfect for a faction survival game like ours. Every week at a set time (or more often depending on the server), monsters could attack the base that the faction had created. Well, why didn’t we just use that for attacking players too? And thus our idea for the Reckoning was born. The Reckoning is a set time where every faction’s protected shields drop and waves of lost ones attack each base attempting to destroy the Divinity Stone, i.e. the source of the faction’s power. The waves will only last a percentage of the total length of the Reckoning. Your shields will stay down after the Lost Ones are driven back, and what you do with your time during that is up to you. Everyone’s base is unprotected, which means the great war is possible and is happening.
With those three core game designs (survival, factions, The Reckoning), we were excited about building a game around them. Suddenly possibilities for expanding the game came flooding into the office from all of us. “Why don’t we add a skill system? You know, like Ultima Online!” So, we built a skill system. Every task that a player does will help them get better at said tasks. So if you enjoy mining, you’ll get better at mining. If you enjoy PvP, you’ll get better at PvP. If you like deep dives, you’ll get better at
… I’m being told that I’m spending too much time on a system we’ll have a blogpost for later. I just wanted to give you all a taste on our process and how Rend came about.
On a final note, I want to discuss a little bit about why we decided to launch in early access. Ultimately, it was because we wanted the community and the players to have a say in what Rend will be. We built this company so that the best idea wins out, and that means it doesn’t matter where it comes from. We’ve already gotten suggestions for new systems from the Rend fan discord and on the Rend fan forums. We’ve even already implemented systems that answer those suggestions! As the saying goes, thousands of heads are better than five. So come join us in this wild adventure. It’ll be fantastic.