Ever since Massively first learned of Jagex's sci-fi follow up to RuneScape at GDC 2009, a project codenamed "MechScape" -- and that it will be more than "RuneScape in space" -- we've wondered what to expect from the game. Jagex has given us a few hints though: four distinct species; choice of alliances which affect player adventures; and the potential for cloning, player-built vehicles, perhaps even spaceship construction.
There's now more info out there about MechScape through a Eurogamer interview with the game's Chief Designer Henrique Olifiers. Eurogamer's Rob Purchese learned just how different a spin on MMOs MechScape might be. Olifiers said, "From the beginning we didn't want to make another RuneScape: it can't be another fantasy game, so no more elves... no more orcs, no more dragons." This sci-fi game will not share some of the standard MMO game mechanics we've come to expect.
Olifiers said, "We don't have XP, we don't have skills; it's all different." Perhaps more significant is that Jagex aims to remove the grind from MechScape. His comments also hinted that the game will be solo-friendly, with an emphasis on player housing (bases).
Purchese writes "MechScape is aimed at an older audience, combining an 'engrossing' and 'more adult' storyline with 'very complex' (but accessible to begin with) gameplay mechanics."
As to when the game will launch, Jagex isn't saying. They don't want to put a release date out there and be pressured to release the game before it's truly ready. Olifiers said this is to "avoid the pitfalls we see so many other MMOs going through by releasing a product they can only get right a year afterwards."
These are just a few highlights of what was revealed, but for more with Henrique Olifiers and Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard (and some MechScape concept art), check out the Jagex interview at Eurogamer.