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MEET THE DEV IN THIS WEEKS UPDATE HERE!

City of Titans: A Primer

We’ve had a lot of new folks join our social media pages and forums recently. Whether you’re new here or you’ve been with us a while, welcome! One of the most daunting things about following a project is getting up to speed on the things you need—and want—to know. We figured that now would be a good time to recap some information about us and our project.

Who are we? You might have heard us called both Missing Worlds Media and City of Titans. Both are correct, but there is a difference. Missing Worlds Media is an employee owned corporation currently staffed by an all-volunteer team working to build the game City of Titans.

Are we part of the Titan Network? No, but some of our earliest ideas about City of Titans were posted there. The name City of Titans was adopted out of respect for that early support.

What is City of Titans? City of Titans is an MMORPG based in a world where superhumans have existed for most of human history.

How can I follow the development process? There’s several ways! The first is to keep an eye on the front page of CityofTitans.com, we’ll be posting our regular, big updates there. You can also follow any of our social media channels where we also post smaller tidbits. Screenshots, animations, and other minor previews to help whet your appetite for the final game! Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

In addition, the City of Titans forums are a great place to learn more from developers, as well as discuss updates with other fans. Some of our artists will occasionally post videos of their progress, as well!

So, what is the “city” in City of Titans? The game will take place in and around Titan City, a fictional location along the Massachusetts coastline, taking cues from Boston and other nearby cities for its design. Players will take on the role of heroes or villains (or something in-between) in the neighborhoods of Titan City. For an overview of each of the neighborhoods, follow the Titan City link at the top of the main website page.

So that’s it? Black and white, hero or villain, no shades of grey? Definitely not. In addition to choosing whether you are a hero, villain or other, City of Titans will feature a 3 axis alignment system, to allow your choices to add depth and nuance to the meaning of your chosen title. Decisions made in missions will affect how lawful or unlawful, violent or non-violent, honorable or dishonorable you are perceived by the NPCs of the city, which will affect who approves of you and who does not. This allows you to be a villain respected for keeping your word and avoiding unnecessary casualties, or a hero despised for excessive violence and a disregard for the law. More info on that can be found here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/missingworldsmedia/the-phoenix-project-city-of-titans/posts/629385

Who will we meet in City of Titans? We have written literally hundreds of NPC's to populate Titan City, including the premier hero team, the Paragons, villain teams like the Tarot and the Deadly 7, and of course some that are in-between. It'll be up to the player to decide how they fit in and what missions and tasks to accept. For a look at some of the different groups players will meet, follow the Cape Chasers link at the top of the forum page.

What kind of characters will we be able to play? Players will have a wide choice of options for creating their characters. At launch, they will be able to choose from five different Archetypes https://cityoftitans.com/archetype , five different categories of powers https://cityoftitans.com/content/power-sets , and multiple options for each powerset https://cityoftitans.com/content/mastery-sets .
Players will also have a wide range of options for creating the look of their character, using our Avatar Builder. https://cityoftitans.com/content/where-we-stand-avatar-builder

I heard something about “Aesthetic Decoupling”, what is that? That’s our term for how we’re handling the connection of abilities to their visuals. In other games, if you wanted a character that specialized in slowing opponents down, you would likely need to choose some ice-based powers. The effects or themes of the power set (Slows, holds, etc) were connected to the visual theme (Ice). In City of Titans, you’ll be able to choose your power sets and connect them to whatever visuals you want. Maybe they’re slowing people down with ice, maybe they’re slowing them down with throwing knives, or maybe even bees. In City of Titans, the choice is yours!

What will the game run on? The game is being designed to run on 64-bit Windows, OS X, and Linux machines. A Windows 7 (or equivalent) machine with 8Gb ram, and a dual-core processor will most likely be the minimum. These specifications are not yet finalized, however.

How is the game being made? The short answer is that an all-volunteer team spread across five continents is working together bring to Titan City to life. The game is being built using Epic’s Unreal 4 engine, a powerful game development platform used by a host of other modern games.

Much of the game is being built in-house. We don't intend City of Titans to be a generic MMO, in either style or mechanics, and that means to get what we want, we often have to do it ourselves. While this is challenging for a volunteer team, we feel it's worth the effort to have a game truly worth playing. https://cityoftitans.com/content/moguls-and-landmarks-revisiting-alexandria

We are using some purchased elements to help speed along production, which is typical for most modern game development projects. It’s often far more cost effective to buy an asset to revise than to make one from scratch.

When can I play it? Right now we’re testing and adjusting the loading/updating software we’ll need to move into our next phase, Issue 0. Issue 0 is an early version of Titan City we’ll be rolling out to those that backed our Kickstarter. The purpose of Issue 0 will be to test many of the systems and elements we’ve been working on for the past several years. That includes our Avatar Builder and various forms of character interaction, including the chat system and the User Interface. This isn’t quite beta, but it’s a massive, important step towards it!

Once Issue 0 has been released and testing has begun, we’ll roll out our second crowdfunder. The second chance funding campaign will allow us to bring more talent on board to help accelerate development. While Missing Worlds Media started out as an all volunteer organization, we have no intention of staying such and will need full-time developing staff to complete our final push towards releasing the full, and playable, game.

No, seriously, when can I play it? Unfortunately, that’s hard to say. The volunteer nature of our project means we’re all subject to the whims of jobs, families, and health. This makes planning a release schedule incredibly difficult.

As it stands, we've got logins tested and working on our Seattle servers, and a working launcher. Right now we're optimizing our internal build of Issue 0 in order to integrate network communication, updates, and zone transitions. As soon as this is done, backer testing can begin along with the second crowdfunder. With proper funding for full-time employees, our development process will be much more stable and easier to predict.

What’s going to be in Issue 0? Issue 0 will include the avatar builder, a starter zone we’re calling “The Island” & chat functionality with other players.

Why haven’t you shown off a tech demo of [thing] yet? I want to see [thing] in action! There’s really two answers to that. First, our current license with Epic prevents us from publicly releasing something other than a complete release. No playable demos with incomplete features, unfortunately. It’s also why we can’t just release the Avatar Builder for people to play with. That’s part of why Issue 0 is so important!

Second, a lot of what goes into game development is very un-sexy backend programming and organization. It’s mostly not fun to look at. And, as we’ve discovered, sometimes showing off something uninteresting to our audience can be worse than showing nothing at all. We’re committed to doing an excellent job and are hard at work putting together all the necessary components for City of Titans to truly come alive.

But I saw [someone else] do a tech demo of [thing], why can’t you do a tech demo of [thing]? We get that question a lot, and it’s difficult to answer. We can’t presume to answer questions about someone else’s development processes or how they’re handling ongoing demonstrations of their work.

We’ve spent a lot of time building very important, stable foundations for a development company and video game to stand on. There are legal challenges to be solved, physical hardware and software challenges to be addressed for a development team spread across the world. We’ve committed ourselves to ethical business models and ways of encouraging healthy player involvement. All of these very boring, but very important processes have taken time and effort to construct. And they’re hard to present as the stunning, action-packed videos we all want to watch.

Very little of game development is pretty to watch, unfortunately, and we’ve committed ourselves to building a world and a community that are going to last. We’re, all of us fans and volunteers, very excited to be bringing you this world. We look forward to seeing you on the streets of Titan City!

Support City of Titans at our Patreon and Read our Comic: https://www.patreon.com/HiJinx
Enjoy our Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/missingworldsmedia/
Why not buy us a Ko-Fi? https://ko-fi.com/Z8Z06NFG
We have a Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CityOfTitansmmo
And a Twitter: https://twitter.com/CityOfTitansMMO/

Comment on this update: https://cityoftitans.com/forum/discuss-city-titans-primer