Occupy White Walls is a new type of MMO currently in development by StikiPixels. Instead of grouping up with friends to take down enemies and save cities, players can curate their own art exhibits. Although currently still in early development, we had the opportunity to speak with StikiPixels CEO Yarden Yaroshevski about the future of the game.
I know you’re adding new art in the future, but is it all going to be two dimensional, or will we eventually start to see sculptures? If so, what formats might be supported if a user wants to upload their own artwork?
For the foreseeable future, we are going to keep the user uploaded artwork 2D (when we launch this functionality). It’s much easier to mess up digitization of a 3D object than a 2D image (although you’d be surprised…). Quality and visual fidelity are very important to us. We may revisit this in the future.
Do you have plans to add additional avatars to the game? Will users be allowed to look more ‘human’ if they choose?
New customization options are being added all the time, be it avatars or accessories, humans will not be a part of that. We feel it doesn’t fit with the aesthetics of the game and it definitely helps with tone we’re trying to set – one of our slogans is ‘be who you aren’t’ and we mean it. Lastly, human avatars are common in just about any other game.
What plans do you have for galleries? Right now they’re pretty awesome, not going to lie, but are we going to see custom music or more interactive exhibits?
Thanks, we think they’re pretty awesome too. What some people have built so far is beyond what we imagined possible in the game – and we are blown away (and LOVE it!). We have a ton of ideas on how to keep developing the galleries and empowering our players to be even more creative, nothing specific to report just yet but soon. Custom music is on our roadmap too, but it can take a while (you can guess why…).
As the game evolves, how will D.A.I.S.Y be adjusted to make sure that users are able to see new art and not back themselves into a sort of corner with their preferences, so to speak?
We could talk about Daisy for hours. But the player will never back themselves into a corner. Because she doesn’t just show you things based on what you like. It will doubt what you tell it and give you new things, things that you might not have seen before. It’s quite the complicated system, cutting edge AI. Bear in mind that every time you visit another players gallery you are exposed to a lot of artworks that DAISY didn’t choose for you and if you look closely or indeed buy a copy, DAISY uses this information to further enhance your recommendations, which themselves constantly evolve, with new artworks we keep adding and better recommendations in general. What’s so awesome (and a little scary) about her is that every choice a player does, helps DAISY improve the recommendations for every other player. When multiplied by thousands of players and thousands of artwork…
Are we going to see any kind of paid content to support the game? Or is it always going to be free?
No game is truly free, we have 15 people working on this title and servers to pay for, all those things cost money. For as long as we’re in alpha the game will be 100% free, eventually we will move to a ‘free to play’ model – to help us to cover these costs. But we do promise that we will be completely fair in this. Nobody likes it when their gameplay experience is ruined because they couldn’t spend money on it. And definitely no loot boxes!
When players are eventually allowed to upload their own content, what will the approval process be like?
We are going to try to be as hands off as possible because what is art for us might be completely different than what is art for someone else. There will be a few guidelines to follow for the obvious things like protecting minors. But if there is ever a real dispute we will bring it up inside the community for their opinion on the matter. Since this is Art we are talking about and the game is designed for adults we’d like to think it’ll be quite relaxed…
Do you have any plans for implementing virtual reality? Like the HTC Vive or the Occulus Rift?
That’s the eventual goal yes. We think that an experience like ours is just the perfect fit for VR. Getting up close to a painting. Walking through these elaborate structures people have built. It will definitely open up the game to an entirely new way of playing. However, if we are honest the current state of VR can’t really support a game like OWW in all its glorious detail and we are likely to wait until VR can do it real justice. On a side note a Mac version will probably come out before the VR one.
This game seems like a perfect candidate for consoles, do you see that happening in the future?
That’s too far off, let us focus first on the PC release before thinking about potentially releasing on other platforms.
What’s the biggest feature you plan to implement before the final release?
I think that depends on who you ask, for my personally it’s collaborative building. We’ve been testing it and users think it’s really fun. To some artists it might be the art uploads. It’s too much of an individual question. We’d also like to keep a few surprises up our sleeve.
Do you plan to improve the social options at all?
Definitely! Starting with collaborative building and a sort of “guild” type structure to support it together with a social space are all in the works. And that’s just a taste of what’s to come.Related: Interview, MMO, Occupy White Walls, PC, StikiPixels