(Discuss this on the forums.)
Welcome to the first ever “State of the Union address”-style post for
Shintolin. I’d like to do these roughly quarterly, so be on the lookout for the next one this October.
In this address I’m going to talk about where we’ve come from over the last couple of weeks, and where I think we’re going over the next two or three months.
I believe everyone currently playing the game knows that there was a prior version of the game (hosted at
shintolin.co.uk). For the annals of history I’d like to summarize what has come before us (feel free to skip this if you’d like):
Shintolinin Isaac’s stead
Shintolindevelopment briefly resumes, then stops again
Shintolinusing a new codebase
Shintolin; responsible for helping to quell a zerg problem that got out of hand
Shintolindevelopment (this time offering to buy it from Buttercup); Buttercup again rejects the offer
Thank you to all of you who have helped me resurrect
Shintolin. I wasn’t sure there was sufficient interest to make this worth doing, but decided to take a leap of faith - and you have all proven that there is at least a chance of bringing this game back to a being a thriving, relevant choice in the free, persistent browser-based MMO game space. You all get an extra special thank you for being so patient with me as you helped to identify the many bugs and missing features that were still to be found after launch.
As a thank you, all players that joined within the first two weeks of the
Shintolin relaunch (before July 16th at 23:59 GMT) will be granted the “Beta Tester” badge in the new Badges system, an early version of which will launch by the end of this week.
As the rush to fix the initial mega-bugs slowed down, my attention turned toward something of a pet-peeve of mine:
Classic Shintolin‘s horribly outdated user interface. That effort is now “complete” in that I’ve reached my original goal of updating all of the old screens to be something I considered usable/playable. I also spent extra attention to make sure the game played well on a smartphone or tablet. You’ll continue to see UI tweaks and perhaps whole overhauls as time goes on, but the focus can now finally shift over toward the actual gameplay mechanics - in other words, making Shintolin fun to play.
You’ve started to see a few new or modified gameplay features get rolled out. Just today longhouses and cottages gained the ability to store items like a stockpile. Last week the hunger system was revamped to act as an AP-recovery debuff instead of something that reduced your character’s health and could ultimately kill it. There is an innumerable list of such features that can be built and tweaked to help make the game more fun for all players, new and experienced. That said, you’re going to start to see a shift in how these features are discussed, considered, and implemented moving forward. Rather than consider every mechanic or every point of balance independently, as has been done in the past, I’m going to start taking a “top down” view of these mechanics and implement or tweak mechanics that move
Shintolin toward fun, cooperative, social gameplay mechanics.
In both the current iteration of
Shintolin and the
Classic Shintolin version there has been one overarching weakness to the game: there is no reason to play it. What makes it fun? What is the point? What is a player supposed to try and accomplish? Certainly some players (Achievers) would try to reach maximul level, some would sit in a hut or longhouse and roleplay (Socializers), and some would murder & pillage other settlements (Killers) but there wasn’t much gameplay to support any of those archetypes - and certainly nothing to encourage bringing players together. I want to fix that. Here is how I’m going to approach it.
Shintolin is a game about a land of primitive people, coming together to seek the favor of their spirits and start the first vestiges of their civilization. You can play the game as a lone wanderer if you wish, but to get the most out of the game you will want to start or join a settlement.
Shintolin will be balanced under the assumption that you are part of a health settlement. Lets learn a bit more about the favor of the spirits:
Shintolinwill support (and to a certain extent) encourage competition between settlements, but the primary means of progress will be via cooperation between the members of a settlement. This is not
Dealt In Leadand raiding/PvP is not the focus of the game. Raiding another settlement can harm their favor, but will never increase your own.
I’m still working out the individual mechanics that will drive this new style of gameplay, but the above should get your head pointed in the right direction. I hope to launch the first Cycle on August 1st. If you want to be well prepared for the first Cycle, here are some tips:
Once the above gameplay systems have been put in place and had some time to gel, I’d like to focus on the new player experience. I’d like to add a tutorial, easy ways for experienced players to mentor newer ones, and additional ways to contribute immediately to the success of a settlement. With some of these new experiences in place I will begin advertising the game elsewhere in ~October, and work to increase the population of
These are exciting times for
Shintolin. This land has a rich history already, but you all are present for the very first days of a new era. Thank you for coming along with me on this ride - I can’t wait to see what happens next.
(Discuss this on the forums.)