out perform // outlast // out work
Surprised to see a video game picture?
With the overwhelming amount of musicians popping up on Out of the Woodwork over the past year, you might be tempted to think that this is an “Indie Music” blog. Believe it or not, it never has been. Since this site was established, I have maintained that Out of the Woodwork is, above all, here to promote people- people in the entertainment industry that are making a powerful, positive impact on those they serve. Alongside their musician counterparts, we’ve interviewed dancers, photographers, graphic designers, and models. Why not video game artists? Over the past thirty years or so, video games have risen to rival film and music as the first choice in recreational activity. We shouldn’t be surprised. Video games incorporate many of the things we love about movies, music, and even books in one convenient place.
Today’s article grew unintentionally from my own personal down-time. My wife and I play a decent amount of video games in our spare time, and our favorites are always those in which we can put our creativity into action, likely inspired by our fond childhood memories of Legos and Lincoln Logs. Somehow, I managed to stumble upon the very beginnings of what promised to be everything I wanted from a video game: Trove. With only a few thousand participants at the time, Trove was actively recruiting anyone and everyone to join them in building the game itself. Teams provided tools to the public for creating in-game weapons, locations, classes, and characters. Developers posted major decisions to Reddit for interested players to give their voices on. From its very beginning, Trove was the most democratic video game scene that I had ever witnessed. I couldn’t resist. I downloaded the recommended software and set to work designing a few weapons of my own. After several edits and direct communication with the game artists, three of my submissions were approved and are now commonly seen in the world of Trove (they even have my name in the description!).
In my experience, Trove has been so much more than a video game. It’s a community that encourages collaboration and teamwork, a powerful force of creative inspiration. Isn’t that the kind of experience we’ve been trying to promote here on OOTWW? I think so. I managed to get ahold of Brian Clarke, the lead artist for Trove, and asked him a few questions about the game.
The best thing about Trove, in my opinion, is that it is truly based around community input. How did Trove come to be this way?
It’s my favorite thing too! It was born out of necessity honestly. We are a very small team and we didn’t want to be making a game that is meant to be fun for everyone in a vacuum; that’s just not smart. So we started getting others involved very early on in two ways. We wanted people to give feedback honestly and often, but we also wanted people to have influence physically in the game so we started asking for items as well. We started within the office by just asking other devs from different projects to try out making items or simply play the game, and tell us how it is. I’ve been taking player created items since before we were even known to the public, and we pushed insanely hard to get feedback. Once the game became playable in alpha, it just grew organically into what it is now. We love our community and their opinions are golden. You play the game, so we want you to be happy.
Why should people choose to play Trove?
I feel like we have a good deal to offer in not just the sandbox game space but the MMO space as well. There are a lot of voxel games out there right now and most of them focus on one specific aspect like building or adventuring and leaving other mechanics a little light. Each of these games are great in their own way but it can be easy to find yourself wanting something more from them. Most of those games tend to be single player or with limited multiplayer. Trove is trying to provide something for everyone that loves these kinds of games as well as introduce MMO players to something a bit different. We have a lot of adventuring, classes, professions, and other things you know from MMO game play while combining what so many players love about sandbox games like procedurally generated worlds, dungeons and lairs, being able to destroy and rebuild landscapes and owning your own little bit of the world. We are still adding tons of stuff all the time but it’s shaping up to be a really great game. The best thing about Trove, in my opinion, is that it is truly based around community input.
What’s your favorite thing about this game?
The game is awesome. I love building, and I enjoy every class for their own reasons. Adventuring in dungeons and shadow arenas is always awesome. It’s also just a fun game to jump into for a bit and get lost in. Our design team is creepily talented. However, my personal favorite thing is the community we have. There’s a reason we get asked about community a lot: it’s because the developer-to-player interaction is to a level I have never previously experienced in my entire career. It’s a lot of fun talking to players and seeing what they really want from us. Sometimes, they bring a littler hater-aid with them to the forums but it’s part of how it all works and it’s often just because they are so passionate about the game that they don’t want to see it go down the wrong path. We still love you.
What equipment is your character currently wearing?
Turkey helm with turkey mount. All turkey all the time. I don’t get to level very often though so all my actual gear is rather depressing and I would be embarrassed to share…
Do you think Trion will continue to rely on its Trove community indefinitely?
Oh yes. Trove is designed around it in a lot of ways. Obviously player creation of items, dungeons, and lairs are priceless to us. We love seeing what the community makes and it allows us to keep giving the players something new at the cost of maintaining a small community. More importantly though, is the feedback we get. The entire team is on reddit, our forums, twitter, facebook, as well as email, reading player feedback. We can’t always respond because we don’t want to fall into a rabbit hole of constantly being on the internet. My boss would be very very upset with me and we also have a game to make. The constant feedback and ideas are amazingly important though and often shape so much of what Trove is. We plan to be guiding the game in the direction of players’ interests forever.
If you happen to have some spare time on your hands, I definitely recommend checking into Trove! It’s a fun, creative online game that won’t cost you a dime to play. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for my designs, and above all have some fun!
Until next time, I’m Chancy Johnson. Here to bring them~
Out of the Woodwork.