Friday, March 12, 2010

The passing of Gatheryn, a Steampunk MMORPG


The last airship leaving Gatheryn...

In late 2008, Mindfuse games announced plans for the first Steampunk-specific MMORPG, which was to include a series of mini-games, adventures, social interaction options, and a variety of other unspecified Steampunk activities.  Alas, after the end of their Beta trials (in the fall of 2009), it appears that Gatheryn (and Mindfuse.com) have passed along into the great beyond.


A view of the seaport, near the edge of the Beta map

I admit to being disappointed in seeing its demise, but having played it, can see that it had a number of huge hurdles to overcome.  The main coin to obtain items in Gatheryn were obtained by completing mini-games - which would require a good amount of time to collect even enough to purchase a "Steampunk" hat (sigh).  Seriously, with limitations of the ability to personalize one's avatar after the initial av design, a lack of in-world build options (unlike Second Life), and perhaps the most damning of all, the lack of participants (in spite of extensive media coverage in the MMORPG blogs and magazines), it didn't stand much of a chance against other established Steampunk online communities (again, most notably being SL, but Neo-Steam and a few other sub-communites (e.g. in the now-defunct There.com)).  The last bit of information (via Massively.com) was that the company "ran out of funding", and sounds like it fell victim to difficult economic times.


A docking bay in Gathryn, which is sparsely occupied, as one can see

So, it was a noble effort, but excellent screen captures cannot make up for the shortcomings that plagued Gatheryn.  A visit to the Mindfuze website produces the dreaded "Link is Broken" display, essentially placing a period at the end of the adventure for Gatheryn.

4 comments:

Edward Pearse said...

I think I spent a total of about 4 hours in Gatheryn. I wasn't really impressed for most of the reasons you've already cited.

Perhaps something better will rise from its ashes.

Rhianon Jameson said...

It's too bad, but I spent about the same amount of time as Mr. Pearse, and had roughly the same reactions as the two of you. RIP.

Dr. Rafael Fabre said...

@ Mr. Pearse & Miss Jameson- Agreed, I think I spent only a couple hours there, and after "exploring" it, became board with the games required to make money. It would appear that SL is still the main virtual venue for Steampunk.

Nobody said...

I was logged into the game in the last month or so of its existence. I chanced upon a character (normally I was the only one in there) who told me that his son worked on the game but had been killed in a motor bike accident recently.

The gentlemen was taking a last look at the game his son worked on.

This may be the real reason why the game has gone. Very sad.