Thanks to the fine folks over at MMORPG.com, I had the chance to sit down with Ken Hall, CEO/Creative Director and Ramin Shokrizade, Metagame Designer from 2Dogs Games. The duo were at PAX East to bring attention to their new game Destiny’s Sword. While not an MMO on the face of it, their concept and its potential to help gamers is enough to warrant attention.
Destiny’s Sword‘s premise is that you’re in the future and you play a squad commander who has to choose characters to be on their squad in a never-ending war based on their mental health more than anything else. As you do battle, your characters experience effects similar to PTSD, depression, or anxiety, especially if you keep using those same characters and don’t give them some downtime and use other characters in your squad for a time. Players won’t really be juggling their characters’ stats and abilities, but rather their mental state and injuries and working to ensure they’re treated and have the opportunity to recover.
Hall explained that Destiny’s Sword will be a free to play game with no pay to win mechanics. They’re big on ensuring an ethical monetization of their game with no gambling/loot boxes. They want to focus on their community as a community rather than consumers to get money from in the short term.
What makes this game different from some of the previous titles team members have worked on such as World of Tanks and APB is that they’re trying to delve into the psychological aspect of war and encourage players to help their squadmates recover from these effects. They said they were partnering with organizations such as Take This, a gaming charity seeking to raise awareness of mental health issues and reduce the stigma of mental illness, as well as a veteran’s group in Canada to help guide them through these issues in a positive way.
The basic story of Destiny’s Sword is an overarching narrative of a conflict between corporations and government operations seeking to control the planet’s world and its resources and players will begin questioning which side is right (if either one might be). The 2Dogs team had a prototype on-hand to look at, and they’re looking at releasing in approximately 18 months in late 2019.
Shokrizade pointed out that one of the things they wanted to avoid was the toxicity in certain gaming circles. Newer players will have certain advantages that will make them appealing to longer-term players to invite to guilds and otherwise interact with in-game. Systems will be designed to ensure lowering barriers to social interaction and prevent new players from feeling lost and disconnected from the higher-end players. The duo said they were still building up their core community and were going to be looking toward influencers soon and launch a Kickstarter in the next month or two.
Hall explained that their game’s name came about from a couple of different sources. Firstly, he said that there was the visual of Damocles’ sword, and also the notion of the two-edged sword, one that can damage the wielder as much as the intended target.
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