By Andrew Woodruff, Developer at Mechanist Games.
Hi everyone at GamingBolt, I’m Andrew Woodruff, one of the developers of City of Steam at Mechanist Games. Heard of us? Great! … Haven’t? Well, we’re still small, so I can’t say I blame you, but we’re growing. In the near future, with a bit of luck, you’ll be wondering how come you haven’t heard of us yet (or so we hope, anyway… we can dream too, can’t we?).
Back in August we wrapped up our Alpha test, and now we’re inching closer to the closed Beta release. But getting this far has been a very long journey.
We started off with just 4 guys. We had this idea, and the drive to make it happen. The evolving nature of the whole process was enlightening. You don’t just get a huge group of developers together and suddenly coordinate it all into making a game. You start small, piece by piece. The few of us took on a lot of roles as the game grew, as we had to learn new skills every step of the way to make it happen. And we were set up in this really crappy little apartment-office room…
But we had something. Our tech demo we presented attracted a lot of new talent we desperately needed to really make the game we envisioned. The setting was refreshing; a blend we ended up calling “industrial age fantasy”, where the entire world is rooted in technology (even the planet itself), with steamworks and clockworks, belching furnaces and airships. None of that overused high fantasy rubbish with elves living in trees or dragons flying around for no other reason than “it’s magic!”
But that was years ago. We’ve since grown to a team of just over 30 developers from around the world. Now here we are, on the brink of releasing Beta, and just short of squeeing like schoolgirls in anticipation. And did I mention it’s a browser game? It’s a browser game. With Unity3D and plenty of our own in-house tools, we’ve optimized City of Steam to keep it light, fast, very accessible, and still look, play and feel like a first-class MMO.
It’s one of our goals, really. To break the stigma that browser-based games have to be sub-par (we hear “Browser game? Pass…” a lot). Or that you have to still download gigs of data to play a decent one, kind of defeating the purpose of it being browser-based in the first place. We want to make a free-to-play, content-rich, highly accessible, and above all, fun game that we ourselves enjoy playing as much as our fans.
So with Closed Beta approaching, we invite readers to head on over to our site and sign up to our newsletter for a chance to receive a Beta key, check out our content-packed site and hit up our forum to interact with our already amazing interactive growing community. We value your feedback and routinely poll players for that extra polishing touch of community-driven development (yes, we do in fact listen!). So come check us out, see how we’ll change the face of browser gaming, and share your thoughts!
Before I sign off, I want to share a silly little video we made in the middle of our rush to get the game ready for Beta. The weirdest things come out of our writers’ minds when they are overworked… Power Steam Video: