The first public play test of ChronoForge is set for 21st October 2023 and registration is open. ChronoForge is a radical action RPG from Minted Loot Studios, in which the collective decisions of all players literally make or break the world.
Players gear up with 12 combat classes to battle exotic foes through time – from dinosaurs to space raiders. Raiding and open world harvesting mini-games produce materials to upgrade community-governed airships known as ‘trading companies’ which provide top tier crafting facilities and quest lines.
However, the familiar ‘greed is good’ RPG progression path quickly spins into an epic twist that the Minted Loot team describe as an ‘MMO-scale social experiment and prisoner’s dilemma’. In an analogy for the global carbon emissions crisis, communities upgrade their trading company airships, smelt the best gear and access end-game zones using a harmful power source known as a chronoforge. If too many chronoforges are active at once, a planetary fracture occurs which wipes out everyone’s airships.
Players vote weekly to decide whether their trading company risks it all by activating their chronoforge, attacks a rival or votes for an unlikely global prohibition of chronotech. The developers also expect the community to engage in a range of cooperative, disruptive and covert strategies to swing trading company votes in their favour.
How this community-driven dilemma resolves alongside the main questline is a well kept secret, however what is certain is that each week hordes players will return to scheme and vote on the fate of their world. This cycle both increases player retention and creates a grand spectacle perfect for streaming audiences. It is this community-driven recipe for the unknown that the ChronoForge team believe will make the game a viral success.
The Art & NFTs
Despite the high-stakes game mechanics and story, Minted Loot wanted an art style that clearly distinguished itself from the darker, angstier vibes of recent RPG behemoths. ChronoForge is a colourful, stylised adventure led by a menagerie of fluffy creatures that could have been plucked from Disney’s Zootopia as much as World of Warcraft.
There are a whopping 12 races available at launch, 10 of which are available exclusively as part of ChronoForge’s genesis NFT collection (available on Opensea https://opensea.io/collection/chronoforge). Although the genesis collection launched in animated pixel art form, a switchover to 3D renders is imminent – with no expense spared to ensure every piece of gear equipped in the artwork is available in-game as an item with meaningful stats.
Each NFT race has different base stats and passive buffs which are designed to alter rather than overpower play styles. Players can also mint gear, mounts and pets obtained during gameplay by earning an in-game currency through raiding.
Chronos and Prospecting Deed NFTs (land)
A final bonus for genesis holders is the generation of an exclusive utility token that can unlock one of 500 ‘prospecting deed’ NFTs. Prospecting deeds are in essence titles to land and grant the owner the right to tax resource gathering by other players within the specific deed area, in addition to obtaining a handy 50 extra votes in trading company votes and a snazzy ‘Prospecting Baron’ title.
The team at Minted Loot are acutely aware that their ambition gameplay vision requires a web2-scale player base and from day zero have explicitly kept all web3 aspects of the game ‘opt-in’. The game is free to play in its entirety without use of crypto. For those that want the full web3 experience or NFT-exclusive assets they can enjoy gasless minting, trading and support both custodial and non-custodial wallets on the Immutable X protocol.
Although not yet fully-funded, the team has also developed Mind Tome AI – a system for generating AI personalities and game mechanics for every playable character in ChronoForge. These characters will keep secrets, respond to flattery and interrogation and auto-generate their own unique missions and backstory that evolve with the player’s achievements. “Mind Tome will transform millions of ChronoForge characters into providers of novel quests and conversational puzzles with real gameplay consequence” – Lachlan Craigie, CEO and lead AI engineer at Minted Loot.
Minted Loot plans to make this tooling available to other developers as a way to help scale the process of crafting AI characters in the millions.
The first public play test of ChronoForge is set for 21st October 2023. You will be able to try out all races and six of the game’s twelve combat classes in a complete dungeon run. The team is aiming to complete first pass development this quarter along with an early access build, with a fully polished experience by Q1 2024. You can jump into the community discord now and delve into the #sneak-peeks channel to see new art and gameplay features in development. The ChronoForge Genesis collection consists of 7,500 unique Adventurers characters which will all be upgraded to high quality 3D characters soon.