We're so overwhelmed by the huge interest and amazing feedback that we've received so far for Seed. Now, it's about time that we give you an update on where we're at with development! I sat down with Klang's Chief Creative Officer, Ívar Emilsson, to chat about how the project is looking, and what he's excited about the most. So Ívar, what’s the current status of Seed?
“We started building a prototype of Seed last October. During that building phase, which lasted about 3 months, we dove head first into the project to discover potential problems down the line. We touched very roughly on many parts of the project, which not only gave us a bunch of valuable findings but also content to show at GDC earlier this year. You can see the video footage of this early prototype here.
We've completely reset since then, starting with a clean slate to build solid foundation systems. Stuff like a type system, an art pipeline, world generation, player grouping, etc. Foundation systems aren't really that exciting to talk about, though. Currently, gameplay-wise, you start with two characters (Seedlings) and can choose to create or join a colony. Your characters have very basic needs, that you need to fulfill. Your characters follow a schedule that you set but are also influenced by their needs. You can harvest resources from the environment. You can create crop fields. You can build objects that have various functions; an ore refinery, a wood processor, a bed, a stove, etc. You can also design and furnish single-floor houses that the characters build. Though, the project is still very early; we've got a huge roadmap ahead.” What features are being worked on right now? “So far in this milestone, we've wrapped up the first iteration of house building, introduced basic chat, made some major improvements in the object building and placement experience, we improved the character navigation, we added character priorities, and did a lot of minor AI improvements.
Right now, we're mostly working on something we internally call "actionable objects", which will greatly improve our AI, and at the same time, allow players to directly command their characters to do stuff.”
What features are next in the roadmap?
“The next upcoming features on the roadmap are the actionable objects. Once that's done, we'll be exploring character feelings and health.”
What feature or mechanic in Seed fascinates you the most?
“Actually, character feelings and relationships really fascinate me - from both a design perspective and as a player. I can’t wait to see characters interacting with one another organically, and witnessing all of the narratives that begin to emerge. I've been thinking about this a lot.”
“As every character has their own preferences, background, skills and attributes, and perspective, they will interact and react differently with one another. This will be super interesting to follow.”
Do we have a possible date for inviting external players into the game?
“Currently, we don't have an exact date. But, we're looking at letting in external players sometime around summer 2018.”
What do you feel makes Seed unique to other MMOs?
“All of the characters exist persistently and are driven forward by AI. No other MMO has done this before.
Plus, the project is based on a single planet that can be traveled seamlessly, by foot, by plane, or by boat. It's one giant world that can be explored like none other.
The way Seed is designed allows for many possibilities down the road, so we can take it in any direction. It's open-ended. Whereas, with most MMOs, it's difficult to envision them expanding their world or the gameplay. With Seed, there are so many possibilities to explore new planets, add new tech, and introduce new life forms. The project has a lot of potential to go anywhere.” This is the first of many updates and interviews with the team about the development of Seed. Stay tuned for more in the future. Do you have any comments? We'd love to read them below.