The indie side of the games industry is generally filled with a predictable gamut of stories: Failure, success, and horror of acquisitions that leave a once-rising company gutted. Once a game has been picked up by a larger publisher – whether or not that publisher makes good on changes and promises – it's rare that we ever hear of the developer being “indie” again. In the case of Desert Owl Games' Pox Nora, a title acquired by SOE in 2009, the game's creator was able to reacquire his title when it was under threat of being killed by SOE.

Pox Nora's story is an interesting one that grants insight to the industry's growth during an earlier time. The game shipped in 2006, but had been in development since roughly 2004, meaning it lived through the initial hesitance of digital distribution, the abuse of the free-to-play market, and the maturation of that market.

For those who followed our EverQuest Next: Landmark and EverQuest Next coverage two days ago, we mentioned the topic of another article pending publication for today. While at GDC 2014, Director of Development Dave Georgeson answered several community questions for us (re-embedded the video below for your convenience) and told us about upcoming events. The biggest – Landmark’s closed beta initiates on March 26th, next week.

eqnl-gdc-2

Georgeson explained that a complete server wipe is in store for beta, but was quick to note that creations won’t be lost. By templating and saving your creations, you’ll be able to pop them back down in beta after collecting the appropriate materials. We were told that the very last day of alpha will be March 23rd, so you’ve still got some time to back up data.

After the typically groggy-Monday start, San Francisco’s Game Developers Conference enjoyed its most bustling day on Tuesday, March 18th. We met with Paradox, Obsidian, and Sony Online Entertainment for the day, with SOE stealing the show on the topic of their impending EverQuest Next and EverQuest Next: Landmark titles.

eq1-concept-artThe original EverQuest from 99 had impressive concept art. It is also home to my favorite game soundtrack of all time.

I previously posted a quick EQNL specifications and requirements article, but aside from that, our coverage of Landmark has been pretty thin. This post should very quickly get you up to speed on the basics and provide some interesting developer commentary for existing fans. In taking with Dave Georgeson, Director of Development for the EQ Franchise at SOE, we covered several fan-requested topics within EverQuest Next: Landmark (EQNL) and the far-future EverQuest Next (EQN) launch.

A couple key discussion points addressed in the video interview below include client-server I/O optimization, modding support, water and accompanying static vs. dynamic physics, griefing countermeasures, the future of EQNL, NPCs, and a bit more.

You should also check back on Thursday for another EQNL article from us.

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