Browser-based sandbox MMO ARPG

Article: game concept – Sep 4, 2018

Blossom & Decay is a full loot, sandbox MMO ARPG for web browsers and mobile platforms. Instead of scripted quest-lines in the game, players fashion their own narratives through a wide set of social mechanics and external PvE pressure.

The world’s story is constantly molded by its citizens. Shops and quest billboards are provided by fellow players, not NPCs, and the game's offline AI task system enables players to craft, trade, and defend when AFK. Everything is created and arranged by the players wherever they choose, from buildings and roads to respawn-points, quests, goods, trade and the laws of the land. Players will toil to imprint their history in this virgin world.

Story headline

“In a few decades, the great kingdoms of Claris will be history. Monsters appear in every nation in that old continent. No ruler reacts, absorbed in their own power lust. Now a small group led by influential clerics sets out to the edge, where new lands await. Many soldiers of fortune follow, but uncertainty rises as the old kingdoms stand idle. Will a future blossom as the past decays?”

The world starts as a vast wilderness where players will immediately need to make choices about where to find shelter and how to gather food. Individual storylines will advance based on players’ needs and how they meet them, all the while confronting an aggressive PvE that increases in difficulty as they advance in the world.

Tier 0: stone camp

There are myriad roles players can follow, from being a hermit farmer to running with a mercenary gang, or leading a large trader clan. The world is so large there will even be stories of discovery and cultural exchange. All will die on the vine or flourish dependent on grit, knowledge of nature, and awareness during social interactions.

Blossom & Decay's story is envisioned via emergent narrative like a mix that brings together the best of EVE and Ultima, but accessible and playable for a larger user base-- because we are hungry for this kind of game story.
We came from playing pen & paper games and wondered why digital games struggle with that same level of “making your own story”?
Between full-loot gankboxes and the classic film-like, cutscene-narrative of theme park MMOs, our goal is an in-between tale that players can enjoy and engage at their own choosing and pacing.

Gameplay headline

In the beginning, players arrive item-less near the southern coast of the map. They need to figure out how to identify and scavenge plant and animal resources, how to use them and how to compound them for higher values.
Enemies are weak and resources scarce near the southern coast, but players must move further inland to find better resources and build improved shelters, workshops and items.

Bossom & Decay: tier 1: copper Tier 2: bronze fort Tier 3: iron town Tier 4: mithril tonw's marketplace Tier 4: mithril tonw's entrance

As they advance in the map, the constant stream of enemies becomes more difficult and high-quality resources are more abundant.
Additionally, monster spawn points aren’t set, so they wander from fringe and northern regions to swarm the valleys, drifting in higher amounts toward settlements.
These drifting monster groups can also be intercepted, diverged and lured. Players must fight as allies to figure out ways to protect their treasures and lands.

Pacing is enhanced by an AI that takes over when players go offline, allowing configuration of their avatar’s tasks and behavior. So one can go from highly involved action combat on PC to asynchronous management of crafting and trade processes on a mobile device.
Instead of grinding and time-invest, progress in Blossom & Decay is based on training and practice of skills and items, understanding the environment's mechanics, and social interaction.
Players can venture into the wild, run a profitable trade, develop settlements, rise to the leadership of a large clan, or become a feared warrior. They can also choose the renegade lives of bandits or just settle down and work on their beloved slice of land. Their own motivations will be the fuel to experiment, create, compete and explore.

Possible game acivities and rolls in Blossom & Decay

Offline play

Players won't fall behind those able to make huge time investments because game mechanics benefit different play styles, balance factions, and transform “required playtime,” into, "I play how and when I choose."

When offline, players don't de-spawn. Instead, the offline AI scheduling executes whatever the player decides. Say they want to tend their crops, craft items or sell goods at their shop. Say they want to guard a buddy's house. All this can be done offline.
The players’ AI also defends when attacked, but the player won’t be invincible. Collaboration and communication for things like perimeter watch and assigning shifts will be additional layers that affect gameplay.

Bossom & Decay blacksmith workshop
Combat headline

Combat is skill-based as in classic action RPGs. The character can be controlled with a gamepad, touchscreen or keyboard and mouse. Timing and adapting to opponents’ behavior is key to succeeding in combat, especially in PvP situations.

The power-curve between items is flat, so combinations of skilled players can always defeat even the best equipped solo player. Strength in numbers and handling of skill combinations with precision replaces traditional mechanics, like finding rare equipment and XP progression.
The game emphasizes and rewards group-building and social interaction. Adventurers will need wit, training, and --often-- friends to win the battles of Blossom & Decay.

Sandbox demo snapshot of PVP combat battle aganist the undead horde Sandbox demo snapshot of PVP combat Sandbox demo snapshot of PVE combat
Social headline

The game is centered around social interaction. Cooperation is rewarded and often necessary.
The world’s territories and cities will be dominated by clans. Any clan will be able to create its own laws and hierarchies, defining different roles along with member rights and duties. Anything from democracy to dictatorship can be established. Even “Duel-ocracies,” are possible, where disputes get resolved by the sword.
Clans likewise depend on their members and subjects. If they grow too big, they become vulnerable to poverty, spies and power struggles. If they are too repressive, their subjects might revolt or abandon them. Players must figure out how their clans benefit citizens. Be it protection, wealth of available resources, or equal rights.

Bossom & Decay:  Interface of in-game social coomunication system Bossom & Decay: Townboard interface
Economy headline

The sandbox economy is fully player-driven, so there are no NPC merchants in the game. All production and trade comes from players, even when they are offline, since the offline AI mode kicks into action with player-defined tasks.

Many resources are unique to specific regions, and certain plants or animals won't thrive in certain places. Goods have to be transported over vast distances and there is no easy fast-travel, like teleportation between cities. Transport routes will take days and lots of resources, so risk and other factors are important when players consider how to work together to move goods, as well as how they price them or where they engage in trade.

world resources flow chartworld production flow chart

Players advance from sticks and stones to mithril crafting through five tiers that involve resources and skill acquirement. Often trading with people above or below one’s tier can increase progress (to build better tools earlier or easily get resources).
All this opens the economy for crafty players to speculate and manipulate prices. Having information and connections at hand will be key to become a successful merchant.

Blossom & Decay also has a relaxed crafting side where one can build structures, grow crops and breed animals. This let’s players have a central role even if they choose not to invest as much time as a fighter, leader or trader.
By advancing and combining their discoveries, crafters link together the backbone of Blossom & Decay’s economy and social system, filling it’s town’s and roads with life along with the traders and warriors who return from the unknown.

about farming about catching animals about breeding animals about taming animals
Platforms headline

We are currently developing the game to run in web browsers. Next step will be to build the mobile client (iOS & Android) and then to evaluate porting to consoles (Switch, PSP).

Support Us headline

We are Konspiracy Games, our team consists of 2 Developers, 2 Designers, 1 Writer and 1 Musician. We are spread around the world, in Hong Kong, Frankfurt, New York and Boston.
Many of us are childhood friends, others we met along the way. We gathered over the years and talked a lot about the game idea of Blossom & Decay. Finally we decided to stop talking and start working on the game.
We’re children of the first gaming and digital generation and love to explore frontiers while honoring past legends, and we pursue new possibilities in gaming as we remember the joys of our favorite classics.
As Self-exiled professionals from the tech industry, we joined our talents to give unconventional concepts and mechanics a real chance.

Combat Demo: town's fireplace Combat Demo: fighting down the line Sandbox Demo v1: setting up camp Sandbox Demo v2: exploring the hills in fall Sandbox Demo v2: by the kitchen at little bronze village
Features headline

    No NPC quests, the games stories and events are all driven by players

    Your character can build, defend and craft while you are offline

    Supply created by artisans; Demand by things like hunger, or entropy and decay

    Procedurally generated world to explore and settle

    Hand-eye coordination and good reflexes make you a skilled fighter, rather than grinding levels & loot.

    Battles with hundreds of other players, no instances, no loading between maps

    Contracts and player-justice regulate social life

    Gamepad, mouse, touch-screen on phones, tablets and all computers
Blossom and Decay - emergent narrative banner
Apply as a tester Join the next phase of the sandbox demo,
currently working on it (not open yet).
Currently you can play on your PC

Initially, we published a rudimentary, combat demo to get a taste of fighting in the game, and we are currently testing a closed sandbox demo that introduces more complex mechanics like crafting, offline AI, procedural map generation, and others.

We aim for a Kickstarter campaign before release, so we would be thankful if you share this project.

If you are interested in trying the closed sandbox demo go to Blossom & Decay and apply.

If you have questions and want infos about the game, please join the conversation on twitter. All feedback is welcome and your commentaries are appreciated.

We are currently developing the game to run in web browsers. Next step will be to build the mobile client (iOS & Android) and then evaluating porting to consoles (Switch, PSP).

Check out our hypothetical player stories in our sandbox world, Part 1 - A new home. Thanks for joining us in this idea, one we hope will add a bit to the full potential of these beautiful interactive environments.

Accept cookies ?

For our website to work, it uses cookies and similar technologies, including functional cookies containing settings for the website or cookies identifying your login status.

We also use Google Analytics to learn about our players. For more information please check our Privacy Policy.