Blossom & Decay is a title in development for both browsers and mobile devices with the goal of creating an emergent narrative in a massive, retro-style MMORPG. They see it as a game world that is constantly shaped by its citizens, and all of the game’s mechanics will serve the idea that the players build and determine everything. This means from respawn points, buildings, cities, networks and quests, even down to laws. The world starts in an empty, vast wilderness with no main quest or ‘Gandalf’ NPCs to guide them. Instead of scripted story-lines, players create their own narratives through a wide set of social mechanics and external pressure from dynamic PvE. Monsters spawn everywhere and drift in higher amounts toward settlements. Monster groups can also be intercepted, diverged and lured. Players must fight as allies to figure out ways to protect their treasures and lands.
There are many levels of play, from being a hermit farmer, being in a mercenary gang, or running a trade clan. The pace will be enhanced by the AI that runs things while players go offline, allowing configuration of their avatar’s tasks and behavior. So you can go from highly involved action combat on PC to asynchronous management of crafting and trade processes with your phone. From active to casual so that time-investment doesn’t become a total advantage. If you enjoy this concept, we encourage you to vote for it on the Square-Enix collective, where it will be promoted for the next ten days. Blossom & Decay can be found here.
“We wanted to develop a title founded on this vision of emergent narrative for years –like a mix that brought together the best of EVE and Ultima, but accessible and playable for a larger user base– and we were astonished how little the topic was addressed in AAA titles. We came from playing pen & paper games and wondered why digital games can not have the same level of “making your own story”? Often, the classic film-like cutscene-narrative as well as the theme park character of large MMOGs seemed to get in the way.”