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Managing the Unspeakable - One Year of Pre-Production for the Indie-MMORPG


Alexander Zacherl (Fairytale Distillery)
Sebastian Dorda (Fairytale Distillery)
Michail Mamaschew (Fairytale Distillery)

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<p>Log onto any game-dev forum on the net and check the "new projects" section - you are sure to find hundreds of posts by students and hobbyists trying to recruit about 20 artists and programmers for their revolutionary WoW-Killer-Sandbox-MMORPG. And you will find hundreds of developers mocking them for their blue-eyedness, their ignorance and general stupidity. And those critics are usually right in their scorn as these projects tend to have the life expectancy of a snowball in hell. But what if you really need to make that one game? That big, crazy sandbox MMO? There is a saying in the start-up scene that you should either “go big or go bust”. Have dreams so large that everybody will call you crazy – only then can you create something completely new and change the world. Sebastian and Alex are in the process of doing exactly that. The two-man-team has spent the last 12 months doing pre-production for their time-boxed PvP Sandbox-MMORPG “Das Tal”. They have spent their time interviewing prospective players and gauging their interest. They have created a multitude of prototypes ranging from combat to clans to character development. They did tons of technical evaluation - from scalability to network latency to experimenting with art styles and the game’s pipeline. Now – as they are going to embark on the next step of their games journey – they are going to include you in that ride. You will see the prototypes they made. You will hear about the things they learned. What went right, what went wrong and what can still break the project’s neck. Enjoy the ride.</p>
Audience adressed: 
Developers, designers and producers - ranging from students to junior and regular levels. We will not be able to tell experienced industry veterans "this is how it's done" but we might be able to give them a couple of impulses on what methods game studios can borrow from the startup space.

We expect our audience to leave the room with a lot of knowledge about the pre-production methods we used in a startup environment, about the technical problems we found and solved, about the middleware we evaluated and generally about how big the endeavour of even starting to work on an MMORPG is.

Session Type: 
Experience level adressed: 
R4 Bischkek (EG)

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