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World of Darkness development shown at EVE Fanfest 2013

Brendan Drain
Brendan Drain|@nyphur|April 26, 2013 9:00 AM
When the World of Darkness MMO was first announced in November 2006, it was just an idea and we knew that it wouldn't be released any time soon. The chance to play a sandbox game set in the Vampire: The Masquerade universe nevertheless made fans of the series go nuts, but now over six years later we haven't seen much progress on the game. At EVE Fanfest 2013 today, CCP laid the current state of development bare for all to see and showed some plans for the coming year. There are now 70 people on the WoD team, and they've spent the past week working on everything from art tools and server infrastructure to vampire powers and social options.

"You're a powerful, immortal lord of the night. You don't want to stitch a shirt."

Development plans for 2013 include working on out-of-game web-based social tools, clothing systems, and PvE game environments. There are also plans to work on item creation, but direct crafting is probably not on the cards. As the presenter put it, "You're a powerful, immortal lord of the night. You don't want to stitch a shirt." Though the game is still in the pre-production stage, CCP was keen to show off the tools it's made to speed up the development process. "Some of these videos are a bit dry and technical," joked the presenter, but it came across as more real and honest than another trailer or musings on theoretical gameplay.

CCP showed some interesting tools that it will use to rapidly develop procedural content like buildings and cityscapes. It's not the gameplay fans were eager to see, but it was an honest look at the state of the game and it shows that development really is still ongoing. We saw a building going through the entire development system from basic block shapes to the graphically impressive final results, with plenty of eye candy to go around. As an indie game developer who specialises in shader programming, I can say that the video they showed of shader tech was genuinely impressive. Whenever World of Darkness finally does release, it's going to look amazing.

Developers also showed video footage of their own internal visual targets running in the WoD engine but were adamant that we not film it since it's not actual gameplay footage and may give a false impression of how far along development is. The animations were clearly unfinished and much of the graphical detail was added in post-processing, but the video clearly showed the direction the game is heading and it looks like it'll be worth the wait.

Whether you're a die-hard fan of internet spaceships or just a gawker on the sidelines, EVE Fanfest is the EVE Online event of the year (and the key source of new DUST 514 and World of Darkness scoops!). Follow Massively's Brendan Drain as he reports back on this year's Fanfest starpower, scheming, and spoilers from exotic Reykjavik, Iceland.
World of Darkness development shown at EVE Fanfest 2013