A browser-based sandbox MMO ARPG

Article: about the game – Jun 29, 2016

Lots of aspects in video games, like narrative, still offer untapped potential. At Konspiracy Games, we believe the inherent character of games as a medium that fosters interactive narratives -- not telling pre-scripted stories, but creating them through gameplay -- is one of those promising qualities.

Blossom & Decay is a browser-based, sandbox MMO ARPG that is set at the edge of a dying realm. It brings action combat together with crafting and survival mechanics, in an open world where players are able to develop their unique story experience.

Combat Demo town screen

The openness of Blossom & Decay's world fosters narrative by motivating players to act. The terrain is empty, without buildings at the beginning. All structures and cities that fill the world get created by players. Every building has a distinct player-related history.

Players testing the newly implemented hoe and grass-attrition/regrow mechanics

Players have to defend and conquer the land. Enemies are weak and resources sparse near the coast, where players arrive as settlers. As they move toward the realms of darkness, players face a constant stream of enemies and high-quality resources are abundant. Players must fight to slow or even stop enemies, figuring out ways to defend their lands.

Players figting mobs at the desert

Instead of leveling, combat prowess is defined by the players ' experience, as well as timing and handling of their special skills. The power-curve between items is flat, so a group of skilled players can always defeat even the best equipped solo player. Progress in Blossom & Decay is based on learning and social interaction rather than grinding and time-invest.

Combat Demo -  players fighting zombies

We made Blossom & Decay a fully-fledged sandbox simulation where players fight to defend their cities, develop secured territories and replenish resources. This will require farming and crafting as in titles like Minecraft, with an added support layer of asynchronous play which we 'll describe a little further.

A hamlet with a small farm and blacksmith

We dropped the concept of NPC traders all together, so the economy is fully player-driven. All goods are crafted, transported and sold by players. Similarly, quests are contracts between players, instead of repetitive NPC tasks. Players rely on collaboration for safety and efficiency. As others try to raid their possessions, group work becomes essential. Justice is defined and enforced by player-clans to keep people from wrongdoing, setting things like bounties on players who robbed them.

Town market, players chatting

The game mechanics require cooperation and open the door to competition and player conflicts. This allows for treason, espionage, feuds and alliances like in EVE online. A player can exploit market changes to make money trading. Another player might decide to rob them on their travels. Others may then be contracted by the trader to bring that thief to justice.

Combat Demo -  just respawned, killed by a zombie

We wanted players to play at their own pace without falling behind those able to make huge time-investments. Focus has been put into mechanics that benefit different playstyles, balance between factions, and reduction of required playtime. And as we mentioned earlier, player avatars can enter asynchronous play.

When players go offline, they don 't de-spawn. Instead, game AI executes instructions set by the player. Say you want to seed, harvest and water your crops. Say you want to open up a shop. Say you want to guard a buddy 's house. Live action gameplay as in WoW, combined with long term strategic gameplay as in Clash of Clans.

Key Features


    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. You can find out more about the video game in our 2018 article Blossom & Decay's game concept.

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.

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