It has been some time since we have given a status report on the state of affairs of the project and the reasoning has been two-fold. Some of this news is good news and some of this is bad news, to an extent. We will continue to develop this game, but we have a major announcement that needs to be made. So lets first start off with the good news.
To begin with, our coders have been bunkering down and turning out the code necessary to get the initial stages of testing ready. Though this has been moderately successful, and we’ve got the beginnings of a usable network code, we still have much optimization to go. This is far from being a playable game, but now that we can have a ‘live’ environment where internal testers can play around in the world we can start testing a variety of things that would not otherwise have been doable without a test client. This is still very early and purely testing, so there is still quite some time before we’ll have something to showcase for you.
The main announcement and the bad news, however, is that we are no longer making Sword Art Online. We have made the decision to shift our priorities from making a direct recreation of the Sword Art Online world to a game that is inspired from it. This new project, which we are calling Blades of Ascension, will attempt to create a spiritual successor that embodies the essence of SAO. The predominant reason for this change is largely legal; we simply do not have the resources necessary to properly license the game, and we came to the agreement that it would be better to create a finished product than to have the potential for us to make great progress only for the entire project to be shut down due to legal complications. On a positive note, however, because we are not attempting to adapt the original Sword Art Online mechanics, we can fine tune out a number of design oversights that were not included in the original source material to create what we hope to be a better, more enjoyable, experience.
What does this mean for the community? Well, we will understand if you decide that you would rather contribute toward an SAO-focused project and thank you for your time and attention. Those of you who wish to stay are more than welcome to stay and contribute toward the community – now more than ever we would love to hear from you about your thoughts and ideas about this transition as well as some of the things you would like to see. Now that we are not strictly bound by limiting ourselves to the source material, we have a greater opportunity to get the community involved. Although we are not currently taking direct submissions for art or resources, any ideas you have are welcomed and I am sure our developers would love the opportunity to speak with all of you to get a good back and forth going on both ideas and suggestions to integrate into the game.
Speaking of community feedback – we are soon going to be re-opening applications for alpha and beta testing, but on the stipulation that all previous applications will be dropped. Since the initial applicants were all for those anticipating an SAO fan game, we decided that it would be easier for those interested to opt into the new applications rather than for those disinterested to opt-out. When we reach closer toward the time that these applications are ready, we will make an announcement.
This starting plaza or arena has a renaissance or arabic flair to it, while the rest of the map looks Tudori-ish or medieval. I don't know if that was the same in the original, but the arena seems a bit out of place to me.
Did you watch the anime Sword Art Online? This video demo is pretty darn close to what the show looked like
No, I realize I lack knowledge of the original. It was just an observation.
I wish i will be one of beta-tester.
I am a beta tester ;D
I would play the hell out of this game! I'm looking forward to an alpha/beta announcement! I'd love to be a part of this.
Thank you for your support!
Where can we sign up to be alpha and beta testers?
We will announce our plans about this matter soon.
hello you, fan SAO, I came to offer you some idea as you provide in your presentation.
The system of group and team, ensence even of online gambling. (If you want a small optimization, made sistem in a tavern.) If you can subsequently make meuilleur ranked teams.
Bump the manga, his could insiter all fans.
it is a way to block the blows are given if our key Flaming Sword that of the person in front of us.
that can be as manga recover materials to create the Flaming Sword to a blacksmith.
If you can insert business so we can have money.
If there are players who become the person attacking players in duel out, their heads put a metter price.
excuse me for the former message
Hello, you SAO fan, I came to give you ideas.
System Group and Team, ensence even online gaming. (if you want a small optimization made the system in a tavern.) If you can then put ranking of the meuilleur teams ranked.
In the manga, metter les same bump SAO, all fans will be playing.
Trying to find a system, so that if, me Sword affects than her the adverser, no damage.
a system that allows as in the manga retrieve Materials to create the Sword, in a Forging.
If you can insert the job for can have money.
if There are Players who attack other players. Made a way for set their head has prices.
and if you need a tester. I would be the
Sad to hear they changed it but at the same time glad, I mean that really would have sucked to have waited so long for it to be released for it to be shut down. Keep up the good work. -Klein
I think it's wise to change the name and the game design. Licensing sure, but TV shows usually do not translate well to games.
The anime was an entertaining "story" that plays out the same each time you watch it. However, a game is a well defined set of rules (mechanics) with dynamic elements that change on each playthrough.
For example, the health bars in the anime would not be very visible or even obscured by the enemy model when in an intense melee combat scenario I think.
I envy you. I think mapping concepts and gameplay elements from the anime to an actual game would be a whole lot of fun.
You can still stay true to SAO by using a similar art style and re-imaging scenes and buildings we've all come to love. And of course VR support is a must :)
I admit I am surprised that you did not use a cell shader for the game.
@damianturnbull thank you for your support and your kind words.
We have an Oculus Rift here and are testing VR Support from the start, it will be tightly integrated later on.