You don’t see too many indie developers that have released not just one, but two MMOs, but Machine 22 has in fact done so.
Star Corsairs is a space based game. It has crafting, space stations, capital ships, and alien attackers. Dave’s goal for the game is partly inspired by Eve Online, and while he freely admits it cannot be Eve, he’s just one guy after all, he’s designed it to be an improvement on earlier games of that type.
I played it a few weeks ago when it was in alpha or beta, can’t quite remember, and enjoyed my time tooling around in the galaxy. If it wasn’t that I was extremely busy building an ecommerce site, I would have spent a lot more time playing it.
One of the things I like about indie game developers is that they aren’t locked into any particular model. Where the big game producers seem to take hold of a successful game concept and never vary the formula, the little guys can experiment and take risks.
There’s a lot of criticism of the MMORPG industry at the moment. Most commentators seem to consider it to be stale, and even highly anticipated releases like SWTOR have been giving out the “been there, done that” feeling. Some even consider the genre to be on the way out. Personally, I’m not in that camp, but I do think that if there is to be any hope of innovation in MMO gaming it will come from the independant game developers, not from the AAA studios.
Why don’t you head over to Star Corsairs, and help the MMO industry by supporting your local indie developer?
You can find his blog here.