Goblinworks Blog: Time Keeps On Slipping, Slipping, Slipping into the Future!

Pathfinder Online

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Goblin Squad Member

Just throwing some ideas out there:



Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Dwarf Fortress does something like this rather nicely in its world generation, where worlds automatically progress from the "Age of Myth" to the "Age of Legends" and to the "Age of Heroes" as various milestones are met. There are also a bunch of other ages there that may or may not be reached depending on what exactly happens in the world. The fact that player actions can force the progression from one age to another is a very nice piece of interactivity. Imagine how you'd feel if founding your settlement tipped over the criteria and the whole world (of Golarion) was informed in game that the "Frontier Age" or whatever was now upon us?

This way you could have multiple phases with appropriate titles, and the game could actually move back and forth between them. Players would also be able to get an idea of the current state of play from what the game is describing itself as.

Maybe it'd start off in "The Frontier Era" when unclaimed land was over 90% of the map, and move into "The Era of Settlement" or "The Era of Colonisation" when a certain number of player settlements had been created?

Goblinworks Founder

I think it should be progressive in order of:

Goblin Squad Member

How about the 'The game is by no means finished, and we need open minded people with lots of patience to help us create a starting point for our game world' launch?

Must so you don't get a bunch of people complaining and rage quitting.

Make everyone that is part of this phase go through 10 documents and 5 quizes stating that the game is in an unfinished state, and players are needed to shape the world.

Other suggestions:

World Building Phase
Population Phase
Inhabitation Phase
Establishment Phase (My favorite)

Goblinworks Founder

Quest Completed - Loading Launch

Launch of the Goblin Delta Squad >:)

hehe Nihimon :)

Goblinworks Founder

Hmm Valkenr

Goblin Bandage Phase
Goblin Finishing Touch Phase

Chris Lambertz wrote:
Added thread for new Goblinworks Blog: Time Keeps On Slipping, Slipping, Slipping into the Future!.

Alternate Reality Sculpting ?

Cyber-Ether Seeding ?

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Catalyst tester. Catalysis testing.

Agent/Agency tester.
Activation tester.
Pulse tester.

Goblin Squad Member


Pre-release construction?

Setting the scene?

Pre-release iterations?

Interactive Feedback Phase?

Goblin Squad Member

I'm a big fan of Delta Launch/Phase or Field Test... both excellent uses of language.

Goblin Squad Member

Hmmm.... How about something like Founders March or Trek, or Settlers March or Trek, or Explorers March or Trek?

We are Founders/Settlers/Explorers that make a trek, march, or journey into the wilderness to cultivate a new kingdom.

Just a thought,
Richard Keen

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Pathfinder Online: Origin "From our humble beginnings we rise"
Pathfinder Online: Vanguard "Lead the way"
Pathfinder Online: Odyssey "Start your epic journey today!"

~ Mark

Goblinworks Founder

Trial Run - Delta

Uses Nihimon's word for change and sets up which stage this would be of development, and trial run would still mean it's a test phase with the Delta wording for more emphasis

Dark Archive

The 'Delta launch' thing does sound kind of cool. I am going to toss my hat in with the others who also suggested.

Also, I am so sad I didn't join in the kickstarter now. I will be eternally kicking myself.

I also want one of those shirts. XD

Goblin Squad Member

I really like the "Genesis Launch" it conveys the idea of an early, world-building period though I with the religious connotations there may be a concern about public perception, etc.

The religious far-right already views RPG's with suspicion and - in some cases - outright hostility. Co-opting a word from the Bible, despite its ubiquitousness might expose Paizo/Goblinworks to unwanted attention.

Since you're kind of crowd-sourcing the world, what about some play on the word "Source" for the launch phase?

Goblin Squad Member

Kingdom Building

Sczarni Goblin Squad Member

since it is a sandbox, and we have the goblin squad, how about the Great Goblin Desert? there could be oasis's of apparent safety, a series of forts like the old french foreign legion (pathfinders society strongholds) established waypoints, and the great unknown.

Liberty's Edge


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Ryan Dancey wrote:
We don't want a Pathfinder specific term. We want a process specific term. Someone who doesn't know anything about Pathfinder but does know about MMOs should be able to grok what we're doing when they hear the term.

How about Crowd Source Construction.

I like CSC as an acronym

Could also do Limited Launch or Soft Launch

Goblin Squad Member

I wouldn't go for an xxx launch name. Because well, It's not a launch.

The point is to gather a base of external worker who will really test all the feature of the game, report bugs and misconception, ... So we're really at a development phase more than launch.

I think I would go for something like :

- Mutual development paradigm (You want to tease people no ? :D)
- CoCreation process

If you really want to keep the phase notion :

- Genesis Era/Phase
- World Rising Phase

Or you could go for earth actual development era like paleolithic, ...

My 2 cents ^^

Shadow Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
We'd like your help in naming this kind of release.

Delta Launch:

  • Conjures the relation to Beta;
  • Denotes a changing situation;
  • Clarifies that it is a real Launch.

What about Delta Flow? After all, this is the RIVER Kingdoms, and sums up perfectly the process of slowly introducing players and mechanics continuously through the launch, I feel.

If GoblinWorks likes this one, I think you should get Goblin Squad status too.

Goblin Squad Member

Cluster Formations is what I suggest calling it

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Okay since I really like the Delta launch idea here is another take on it.

Demographically Expanding Launch for Thorough Assessment. D.E.L.T.A.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

My suggestion is Incorporation Phase or Incorporation Launch since the name is suggestive of both the corporation of the player base as well as the purpose behind this phase: to incorporate the input and experiences of said players into the development process.

Goblin Squad Member

My suggestions would be "Progressive Launch", or "Player Assisted Development"

I came here thinking of "Rolling Release" as it will be released to another 5000 players each month,
but I seeing the Delta Launch suggestion, I immediately preferred that.

Goblin Squad Member

What about the Dawning? Or the Dawn Phase?

Goblin Squad Member

Beta testing is supposed to be done on largely feature-complete code.

This will get called an alpha test, whether you pick some gimmick term for it or not.

The Exchange Goblin Squad Member

Hmmm... If the intention is to develop a term that would be used for similar concepts in the future, I'd go with

Formative Stage or
Seeding Phase

or combinations thereof.

"I'm really excited about game XYZ. They're in Seeding Phase right now and should be open for everyone in three months."

Goblin Squad Member

How about:

First Wave

(Actually, I quite like the Genesis suggestion)

Goblin Squad Member

It will be largely feature complete code, and there will be alpha and beta tests that proceed the start of the live game, so I think only the stubborn and the malicious will call it either.

Goblin Squad Member

I like the 'Soft Launch' idea, reminds me of stores doing a 'Soft Open' before the Grand Opening.

Goblin Squad Member

Beta Development

"Beta" to draw about connotations of early access, but replacing "testing" (stress testing, dress-rehearsal, end of test wipe) with "development" (ongoing, iterative, and contributory).

You're going to need to make use of the "given-new" contract in language use--using existing knowledge as a bridge to novel information. "Beta" is a meaningful given term that can bridge MMO players to the idea of developing, vice testing, the world.

Goblin Squad Member

(Long post incoming. The blog post and the messages I read made me want to write a lot! Sorry!)

Hmm... Genesis is good! We are in a way building and seeding this new world with them, I would say that would be an amazing title if we can't find a better one! Maybe in a sense instead of being first though, Goblinworks could also focus upon the idea that they're making it with us. It kind of in a way is like Player Character progression in an RPG.

As everyone reading my post probably knows, our characters in the P&P or any RPG in general have some form of character progression where you become stronger over time. In tabletop games you are playing alongside other players, helping to shape the world you are in through the adventures you have in the RPG world. It's much harder to survive alone in games like Pathfinder sometimes, and so players join together to become better than they were when they first met.

In a way, I see our relationship as prospective players of PFO and the Goblinworks team like this. We both want to see an amazing game that can embody the vision we have, so we can step foot in Golarion and be proud of what we see. Goblinworks is doing a lot of work on this, and Dancey, your statement in the blog of us "co-developing" the game with your team says to me you consider that we are moving towards that goal with you. So, a part of me wants to call all of this in a way Cooperative Development, because of the fact that you say that you said that line.

Either way, we're with you. We'll be here when you need us. When you ask us for our opinion, we'll give it gladly. This is our Call to Adventure. Just like developing this game is for Goblinworks!


Actually, would Call of Adventure sound good for a first phase of PFO? The next phase of players entering the game after a few are let in to begin building the game could be called The "Adventure Begins!" or something like that. Either way, this is an quest for both players and developers interested in the game being a success, so we're both needed to make this work!

Goblin Squad Member

Alpha release/launch/test has worked for at least Mojang and Wolfire games which both have pushed their respective works out in the open in states far from complete aiming for something similar that is sought here (in vague terms, of course).

To me this type of releasing seems not unlike some form of crowd-sourcing; The game with its flaws and design decisions gets iterated by both developers and the intended audience. Some of the design work and testing is subtly being crowd-sourced by the community.

- Crowd iteration release
(Rather boring :)

I enjoy the trailblazing, frontier-y terminology some of you all have been putting out there, but I especially agree with D'Syndri's "Vanguard" naming because:

1. Using Greek letters/names in no way really differentiates PFO's initial phase as it really should. To most up-to-date PC gamers, naming it PFO Beta or PFO Delta sounds very similar to the nomenclature of every other testing phase every other developer has put out. Naming the Phase after a Greek letter doesn't serve justice to what it sounds like Goblin Works is really trying to do, which is to differentiate whatever GW ends up calling this Phase from what other developers usually call their [Insert Greek Letter] Testing.

2. Using frontier-y language makes it seem like the land is unpeopled, which technically it is, but Lore-wise there are people who have already settled ahead of us and live there who exist in the form of NPCs. Calling it PFO: Genesis or PFO: Frontiers calls up images that we truly are the first, which is somewhat disingenuous (but also somewhat fits I agree, but more on that later).

My support is behind something like "Vanguard Release" as it differentiates the Phase enough from terms like Alpha/Beta Testing and since we're literally invading a virtual space Goblin Works has created. We aren't people who've been retconned into the basic setting from the very beginning but rather the first in a (hopefully) long line of people who'll come to this game, hence we are the Vanguard.

I am in no way trying to bash other's ideas (I know I may come off that way), but basing my ideas off of what you all have written thus far.

Goblin Squad Member

Alexander_Damocles wrote:

Good to see things rolling along!

I like Delta Launch, but that still rings too close to Beta for me to be entirely sold on it.

Foundation Period, or something to that effect?

I think the relation to Beta is a good thing. This will be a semi-beta type launch. Delta Launch is a really good title for this thing.

I like the word Founding/Foundation/Founder though. That is what we will be doing. Many games use the word Founder to denote a game's original population and it has some truth to it. Most MMOs are simply not fully functional on release. The launch of the game is like the last stage of beta testing almost.

This is simply stressed to a new level in Pathfinder Online, in that the only people getting in will be active and contributing members of the Pathfinder Online community.

Because of this I like the title "Founder's Release." It's simple but effective. Remember this is a technical title to draw interest from outside, not to sound cool to Golarion role players. We want something that quickly conveys the point of what this release is. That title implies that the release is purely for founders. And to me founder implies more than just being there at release. It takes effort to found something. This is a release for people who are truly interested in establishing a better PFO both for them to enjoy in the future, and for all PFO players who join after them. I think Founder's Release will be more quickly understood and digested than Delta Launch even though they are both great titles.

And I think it will really help justify something we are going to be saying A LOT during the founders release to the snot-noses who slip through the cracks. "This is not the full game. We are the first settlers in a world that is being built around us, based largely off our input. If you don't like it then give your slot to someone who is more interested in helping found this game."

Goblin Squad Member

Vector testing stage...

Definition of Vector:

Direction, Magnitude and Speed simultaneously!

Goblin Squad Member

I really like the "Genesis Phase" and related suggestions.

I think "Founder's Release" may conjure images of a "Founder's Weekend" that most games have when they let the Founders in early. I think it might also sound exclusive, in that new players might think they don't qualify, since they aren't already Founders...

Goblinworks Executive Founder

I think that there is confusion about what the phase is. I gathered that it was after the beta test patches were applied, and was not a test and patch type of phase.

Alpha test: not yet feature complete
Beta test: feature complete but not yet finished

Gamma phase: finished (no patches expected until the content update), but not live
Delta launch: live, but with limited participation

Goblin Squad Member

I like the "Rolling release" idear

@Ryan thx again for the picture with my daughter after the GenCon session for PFO, she thought that was so cool :)

Dark Archive Goblinworks Executive Founder

For something with role playing flavor: Discovery Age.

Then you can change the age with major functional release (assuming you go that way).

For something of a more technical nature: First Iteration.

Doesn't imply that the game is unfinished but does imply that there is more to come.

Goblin Squad Member

It would be cool if we could try the launch back to the old D&D box sets. It's a pity that Basic Edition doesn't sound that great.

Pathfinder: Basic/Starter Edition
Pathfinder: Experts Edition
Pathfinder: Companions Edition
Pathfinder: Masters Edition
Pathfinder: Immortals

I suggested 'Kingdom Building' not because it's the most accurate relfection of what the initial launch is meant to encapulate. Rather from small beginnings the social structure and groups will eventually form into player kingdoms.

Another thought is Phoenix Rising. as in rising from the ashes of the current dead mmo market to creating a new era of sandbox MMO.

Goblin Squad Member

"Pathfinder: Reign of Madness" has a lovely ring to it.

Goblin Squad Member

OK, something more industry-based. What is being proposed is essentially a large-scale focus group, so how about Focus Test or Focus Launch.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

I think "Founder's Release" may conjure images of a "Founder's Weekend" that most games have when they let the Founders in early. I think it might also sound exclusive, in that new players might think they don't qualify, since they aren't already Founders...

It is kind of exclusive from my understanding. The first people in will be people who have contributed to the community or game in some respect. Anyone who hasn't contributed is going to be getting in line behind those who have.

I'm going to imagine all of the first 5000 will have contributed to the kickstarter or other projects, or will be active members of the PFO community or major chartered companies/settlements/kingdoms at least a few months before there is any sort of release. I would quite frankly be very put off if that isn't how it was done, and people could hop on the band wagon last minute to get into the original launch.

I think we should WANT people to feel it is somewhat exclusive. That way if they get in, they can appreciate what they are taking part in rather than whining that the game isn't complete. I have a feeling people just looking for a new MMO are going to be very put off by the lack of content and features in the first few releases of PFO. The people we want populating it are people who are here because they support what PFO can and will become if enough people get behind this project. The kind of people who are willing to put up with a game being built around them because they realize that once it's finished it will be like nothing else available on the MMO market.

Though, perhaps the best way to do it would be to call the overall process something along the lines of Rolling Release or Gradual Release and just call the first wave the Founder's Release.

Goblin Squad Member

I think what Nihimon is trying to get at is certain people would feel excluded or possibly get the wrong idea.

I'm not a "Founder" as I didn't donate $250 or more to the Kickstarter. There were a total of 4,212 backers.

That's why I went with Squad Launch. It still ties into the community that contributed to the game, but doesn't have the exclusivity feel.

Along with what Ryan said, they don't want something Pathfinder-related, but that doesn't mean it can't tie back to our community which is what I think you were going for Andius.

Personally, I would prefer something that does ties back to all of us as opposed to a status quo term like Delta Launch. I like it, it's catchy, but to me it just doesn't do the entirety of our journey justice. Everyone else seems to like it though which brings up an interesting question...

If Nihimon were to win, since he was already a member of the Goblin Squad, would someone get like honorable mention and still get to be part of the Squad?

Goblin Squad Member

Obakararuir wrote:

I think what Nihimon is trying to get at is certain people would feel excluded or possibly get the wrong idea.

I'm not a "Founder" as I didn't donate $250 or more to the Kickstarter. There were a total of 4,212 backers.

I suppose I see where you are going on that, though IMO the founders aren't going to just be the people who paid money to found the game, but the ones who set the tone and pushed the community into motion.

Maybe a better term with the same idea
"Foundation building launch"
or "Breaking ground release"

Goblin Squad Member

@Andius, those are all very good points. I think I was focusing on the fact that this phase will last for several months. I think there may be a decent chance that someone who hears about the "Delta Launch" or "Genesis Phase" after it starts may well get into it before the game is out of this phase. Heck, the game may well stay in this phase forever...

@Obakararuir, I agree with you that "Delta Launch" leaves something to be desired. I'm not sure if that's inherent, or just because it's a new coinage.

Goblin Squad Member

@Nihimon, it's definitely the perfect industry term as Gamma Launch just seems lacking. If that is what GW was trying to get out of this, then you hit the nail on the head.

It's just my personal preference that whatever the term, it holds more than a passive meaning but still "pops" when you say it. Cliche' with Depth I guess you could say.

@Onishi, I agree... it's just the Founder's term returned, "What level of donation from the Kickstarter granted Founder status?" upon my reading it. I believe we all know who are those that have significantly contributed to the community and would consider each other "founding members" of it.

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