Darkfall: Developer Journals
Darkfall Dev Journal #17: Business Models & Clan Cities

Dana Massey | 9 Nov 2007 17:03
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We've got some more Darkfall for you today. Associate Producer Tasos Flambouras muses on potential publishing options and business models for Darkfall and then brings some brief descriptions of clan cities and what they're all about.



Darkfall Developer Journal: Business Models & Clan Cities
Article by Tasos Flambouras (Associate Producer, Darkfall)

New Screenshot
New Screenshot

I started pounding away at a development status report and again it looked the same as the last couple of journals. We've been through this, we're just grinding away as we have been. This is just as well because for the last couple of weeks I've also had to focus on some other-than-development matters.

A major concern right now is publishing. We're still looking at both options of self publishing and accepting one of a few specific publisher options. We have strong arguments for either scenario. We hoped we'd be done by now with a final decision and we're not, so to compensate we've been moving forward and working on setting things up as to not waste any time. We've actually come a long way and we should be able to settle on what's best very soon.

Asian publishers have always asked us to look at their preferred business model, which is giving the game away for free and making money from selling advertising, items, and services. This is how most MMOs operate in Asian markets. Darkfall of course with the full loot and the player crafted items doesn't lend itself well to this business model. We're starting to see more and more of this in the west as well, with several recent examples, and I can't help but wonder, and prompt a debate if possible, how western audiences view this. I'll add a strong disclaimer as to avoid any misunderstandings: This is NOT to say that we're even considering this for the N. America and Europe, or for Asia for this matter, so please don't start speculating, or worrying that we are. Something I read about a very large publisher wanting to experiment with this in the west made me want to ask for some feedback about where you see the market going in the near future.

New Screenshot
New Screenshot

Getting back to some Darkfall update material, I've noticed that a lot of people in the community have been asking about clan cities so during the process of testing, we built one, got some screenshots of it, and BT Oren wrote a brief presentation to give you a feel on what clan cities are all about:

Dayar Rock
This city was carved out of the rock of a lonely mountain which rises from the wind-blasted wasteland plains of Cairn, one of Agon's less fashionable continents. It is the ideal stronghold for a clan who value privacy and security, and who don't mind the obscure and unstrategic location, or the relative lack of nearby resources.

Strength in Stone
If defended by a well-organized clan, Dayar Rock will present a formidable challenge for any invader. Four mounted cannons and two guard towers overlook the sole entrance into the city, and an invading force that makes past these defenses, will then be faced with two further lines of wall, both presumably bristling with defenders. Inside the main cavern, any last stands will be greatly aided by two intruder-blasting guard towers.

In addition to its defensive strength, Dayar Rock has a stern, rock-hewn beauty that is worth fighting for. A waterfall tumbles into a dark pool in the center of the main cavern, which is adjoined by a labyrinthine network of tunnels that could serve as a hiding place during times of crisis.

New Screenshot
New Screenshot

Buildings and features
Dayar Rock features six residential houses, which means that its potential population is slightly above average for a clan city. In its present incarnation, the town also possesses a mage guild, a fighter's guild, a farm, a church, a barracks, a workshop, a smithy, a post office, a general store and a bank. Several of these buildings feature vendors and other NPC's that are controlled by the clan leadership. Given the size and strength of Dayar Rock, it is unsurprising that its clan keep is fully expanded and at maximum strength.

Dragons and Minotaurs
Dayar Rock lies in the region of Northeastern Dayar, which is a barren and lonely place. In fact, the city's only neighbors are a semi-nomadic hobgoblin standard who are in the process of establishing a fort on the outskirts of the region. Some way to the east lies a large minotaur citadel, while a tribe of extremely belligerent Cairn Giants live to the north. More spectacularly, the region to the west is dominated by a Fire Dragon called Oathbreaker, who is one of the most powerful creatures on the continent of Cairn.

Thanks for reading,

Tasos Flambouras

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