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Сould you tell us a little more about your company?
We are based in Calgary Alberta, Canada. Our company develops MMO games as well as the middleware to create them. Atavism is our leading middleware that allows developers to create a MMO prototype within a few weeks. Neos Land is our current MMO we are working on alongside our middleware.
Atavism is a very ambitious tool, that encourages developers to “build your own MMO”. How does that really work?
Basically we supply our the server side system as well as client side system that uses Unity as a client. In Unity we have a editor which allows you to create and setup most systems that a MMO has: mobs, Items and so forth. Its designed in a way that makes it super easy and fast to get a lot of content into your game at a rapid speed. Cutting down on development time and size of your team needed to complete your project.
Who is this product for? Who will benefit from the use of this tool?
I guess Atavism is great for everyone who wants to build a massive multiplayer project. We have game developers using it for games and other projects. For instance there are a few developers who are making an online museum applications where collectors will display their collectibles in a virtual environment. Basically Atavism is good for any type of project that requires a big amount of people to interact in a virtual world.
What are the biggest challenges of making a MMOG?
The biggest challenge a company faces when making a MMO is developing the server system for it. Usually it takes years to develop and a huge amount of resources. With Atavism this is already done for you. On top of that the company still has to develop their base systems like inventory, chat and so forth. It would take months for a developer before he can see his first character in game. With Atavism all the base systems are already developed and in fact you can be in game running around within a hour which is a huge saving on resources and for indie developers a massive boost in team moral which is very important.
MMOG are probably the most complex games out there. How do you combine all those different systems in your product? Tell us more about various plugins of Atavism.
We currently have over 18 plugins and their number is still growing. Our plugin system is designed in a way that it allows as much freedom as possible for developers to create a very unique design specific to their game.
The plugins are also super easy to use as you choose the necessary utility from dropdown menu. Now if you do not want to use a specific plugin you can always code your own plugin thus making it a very versatile system and as more developers code their own systems they can easily make it available to others thus increasing the variety of systems Atavism offers even more.
What about in-game economy? Does Atavism provide help with the financial aspects of MMOG?
There are two sides to this. One is real world currency and the other is in game items. We have the in-game items covered with merchant systems and loot tables. Later this year we will also have plugins available to cover real world currency allowing players to buy items directly in game with real cash thus opening it up for developers to monetize their game as they wish. We also have some developers working on a web portal system for purchasing in game items.
Atavism works with Unity. What are the main advantages of this engine? Why do you think this product is so popular among developers?
The biggest reason we moved to use Unity for our client side is because it is very flexible and is a very high quality product. Freedom to port to many platforms is a huge advantage too. Atavism can be ported to all platforms Unity can be ported to. The ease of use of Unity goes hand in hand with the ease of use of Atavism thus making it a perfect match.
How do you sell your tools? Why did you chose Steam as the basic platform? What about other ways of distributing game development tools?
We sell Atavism on Unity Asset Store as well as on our own store. We want to make sure as many developers as possible have access to our products. When we originally started our company our main goal was to create a MMO game, but being a small indie team we did not have many options to do this in regards to software so we started developing our own. As we understand the frustration and complexity of developing a MMO game yourself we decided to make Atavism available for everybody. With our licensing system we wanted to make it affordable for developers to get into it at a low cost and not have to pay the full price of the software until they have the player base and thus the income to do so.
Do you think online became an integral part of modern games? Do you think the single game are slowly vanishing and online game are going to prevail in the future?
We have seen a decrease in players in online multiplayer games as the industry has become stagnated. We are hoping that the introduction of Atavism will allow more developers, especially small indie teams, to be more creative as the cost for failure is decreased so much thus allowing a huge amount of unique MMO games to come out and revitalize the MMO market.
You can purchase Atavism through Steam for $30.
Author: Michael Kim