What brought our team together to develop this MMO? Find out below!
About 14 years ago, a completely unassuming isometric 2d MMORPG was created – a game by the name of Endless Online. The game itself was dull – it was grindy, the English was broken and weird at the best of times, there were barely any quests, the combat system was mindless (putting it nicely), money was hard to earn and the economy was awful, cheaters ran rampant, admin moderation was near-nonexistent, and there was barely any RPG element to the game at all, outside of increasing your flat damage output. Despite these incredibly glaring flaws, there was something uncanny happening... The game saw relatively moderate success, and in its hey day around the year 2007, it had a player base of around 2000 people. But what was it about EO that was so captivating?
The charm of the game came from a number of things; but probably the most prominent of all was the fact that EO was designed, whether intentionally or not, as a social MMORPG – perhaps even one of the first social MMORPG's. This was evident based primarily on one critical aspect of the game's design – your keyboard was “always on”; unlike most modern MMO's where you must press 'enter', then type your message, then press 'enter' again. This direct chat, with one less step, was oddly what led EO into basically being a glorified chatroom, where the “game” itself took a major backseat to the social aspects.
EO's charm can also be credited to the incredible amount of customization one could do with their character, combined with the anime-style 2d visuals that the game had on offer. It was a remarkable thing to be able to identify popular members of the community based on just their “look”, and of course, this tied in directly with the game being a social MMO. If you looked 'cool' enough or at least made your character look interesting, people would be much more inclined to 'break the ice' and talk with you, which could in turn lead to some legitimately life changing moments.
I can safely say, without EO, my life would be completely different. I met my partner through friends of friends of friends, in a massive chain of barely related events over the course of a few years. My girlfriend and I would not be together, and I wouldn't have left my home in America behind to move to Australia if it weren't for this weird little social MMO. Not only that, but I have made lifelong friendships from playing the game, and sometimes in very peculiar and interesting ways.
For instance, the lack of anything to really “do” in EO (at least by modern day standards) led to a plethora of community run events and creative ways of playing the game that the admins, perhaps, didn't anticipate. One of the most popular occurrences in EO, was player run events – sometimes races, sometimes trivia, sometimes other stuff completely. I met Danno, Re:Spite's co-creator and artist, at one such event – he was holding a trivia contest. After the contest he hosted was over, he and I stayed behind and chatted for a good long while, eventually parting ways, never to see each other again...
Until of course, a few years later – my partner introduced me to a friend of hers, “Danno” was his name... and I thought, “Wow, that name is oddly familiar.” Sure enough – the same Danno who held the trivia event years ago as a one-off encounter was quickly becoming one of my best friends. And as it turns out, he also met his now-wife on EO as well!
My point is, Endless Online was quite literally a life changing game. It formed so many relationships just in my life alone, that I can safely say I wouldn't be where I am right now without it. EO was quite honestly a bad game, but it was an absolutely irreplaceable experience, and with Re:Spite, we are aiming to capture that same experience, while also improving upon our old inspirations tenfold. We aim to bring you a game that is captivating not only for the social aspects, but for the gameplay, the story, and the fact that you can actually leave a real, tangible mark on the land of Altyn. Re:Spite is a spiritual successor to Endless Online – A world where the lazy can come home from work and have a nice rest, or the intrepid can discover the truth of the world that they're playing in...
or both. ☻
Nate captured my exact sentiments quite well, so I have little to add. I've been playing video games for as long as I can remember. Growing up with the NES, SNES, and Gameboy, I developed a strong appreciation for pixel art. It's been my dream to make video games ever since the year 2000. More specifically, it's been my dream to make a 2D isometric MMORPG since 2004. At the time, I didn't know the first thing about developing a game, but I went ahead and started making some graphics, anyway. In 2005, I discovered Endless Online, which I felt was pretty much the next best thing, so I scrapped my poorly drawn graphics and plans. Endless was terribly flawed, but it truly was an irreplaceable experience.
One of my favourite parts was how easy it was to talk to other players. For years, EO had no stats at all, making level ups completely meaningless. It was also fairly easy to get any piece of equipment in the game. That being the case, there was basically no reason for anyone to grind level ups or farm materials. Players had freedom to interact with each other and make the game what they wanted it to be, at least to some capacity. With this opportunity established, players could always be seen hanging out for a chat, occasionally going on adventures or killing monsters at their own pace. Of course, we intend for Re:Spite to have actual game content, but we also intend to ensure this social aspect remains strong. I want players to be able to focus on having fun and interacting with each other, not just mindlessly grinding or farming for rare items.
Playing a game so heavily focused on socializing, I built many lifetime friendships and also met the woman of my dreams. With everyone I encountered in the game, I was able to easily express myself with my appearance, manner of speech, personality, and views. I was able to get to know people on a very personal level; the way they portrayed themselves in the game usually turned out to be a very accurate reflection of what they were like in real life. There's just nothing quite like it. My life was changed in such positive ways that I feel this same type of experience should be available to everyone. EO's time has passed, though. It's time to start fresh with more detailed graphics, higher quality artwork, actual gameplay, an engaging story, and an active playerbase.