Otherland: the Game

Few science fiction sagas have achieved the level of critical acclaim — and best-selling popularity — as Tad Williams’s Otherland novels. A brilliant blend of science fiction, fantasy, and technothriller, Otherland is a rich, multilayered epic of future possibilities.

After several years in development, game studio RealU, dtp Entertainment, and gamigo are pleased to present Otherland, the Massive Multiplayer Online Game based on Tad’s epic series. The game is scheduled to be released in North America and Europe in 2012. Gamigo will handle online publishing, while dtp Entertainment will publish the retail version of this free-to-play MMORPG.

[wptabtitle]Making Of: 1[/wptabtitle]
Appearing in the video:

  • Andrew Carter – CEO RealU
  • Holger Liebnitz – Creative Director
  • Russel Comte – Art Director
  • Nic Cusworth – Lead Game Designer
  • Shawn Pitman – Lead Quest Designer

[wptabtitle]Making Of: 2[/wptabtitle]
[wptabtitle]Making Of: 3[/wptabtitle]

More About the Game from the Developers

“Tad has been very involved in the project from the beginning and provided lots of input to the development team on top of the source material. He is truly passionate about his vision being turned into a game,” Patrick Streppel — Co-CEO of gamigo AG — told MPOGD.com. “Since a game progresses in a different way than a novel, it was decided early on that it would be best to set the story of Otherland after the fourth book. Those who read it know that Otherland changed dramatically, and now it will be up to the players to get it fully back online. Over the lifecycle of the MMO, an endless amount of worlds will be rebuilt and repopulated, but of course the Grail brotherhood has a say in that as well…

“…at its core, players will find a solid MMORPG complete with interesting quests, XP-based character development, party and guild formation, individualized skills, upgradable or crafted items and most importantly, fun and engaging combat.”

“While Otherland has many innovative features and twists to the traditional MMORPG-gameplay, it very much is a role playing GAME and by no means a social space similar to Second Life. We were a bit surprised by that reaction because our aim with the first trailer was not so much to introduce the gameplay, but to introduce the unique scenario and stylish Unreal 3-powered graphics of Otherland as well as some innovations like the eDNA-system. Hanging out at bars and playing minigames is a cool addition, but at its core, players will find a solid MMORPG complete with interesting quests, XP-based character development, party and guild formation, individualized skills, upgradable or crafted items and most importantly, fun and engaging combat. We already talked about some innovations like the eDNA system and MyLand, but once we debut gameplay scenes, players will see why the action-based combat system is yet another step ahead of traditional MMOGs.”

Read more of the Multiplayer Online Games Directory interview with gamigo’s Patrick Streppel here.

“The player will travel to many rich, varied and fantastic worlds,” RealU’s Andrew Carter told IGN, “some that are are inspired by the Novels including Lambda Mall, 8 Squared, Mylands and many others. Each world in turn contains dozens of sub-locations. All these locations exist within a singular virtual space known as the Multi-Verse and are connected together by a vast array of programmable portals… All of the worlds are freely open to be explored by all players providing they have aquired the portal address needed to reach them via questing and leveling.

“Broadly the quest themes follow two threads, one connected to the local events taking place within each of the Otherland worlds where the inhabitants do not realise they are simulations. The other revolving around the larger events unfolding in Otherland and the true purpose of its existence. The quests play on both the virtual setting of Otherland and the illusion within each game world.”

Read more of IGN’s interview with gamigo’s Patrick Streppel and RealU’s Andrew Carter here.

About Tad’s Otherland series

“After all, is it not the way we humans shape the universe, shape time itself? Do we not take the raw stuff of chaos and impose a beginning, middle, and end on it, like the simplest and most profound of folktales, to reflect the shapes of our own tiny lives? And if the physicists are right, that the physical world changes as it is observed, and we are its only known observers, then might we not be bending the entire chaotic universe, the eternal, ever-active Now, to fit that familiar form?”
— Tad Williams, Otherland: Sea of Silver Light

Shrouded in secrecy, it is home to the wildest dreams and darkest nightmares.
Vast amounts of money have been lavished on it.
The best minds of two generations have labored to build it.
And somehow, bit by bit, it is claiming the Earth’s most valuable resource: its children.

Otherland. In many ways it is humankind’s most stunning achievement: a private, multidimensional universe built over two generations by the greatest minds of the twenty-first century. But this most exclusive of places is also one of the world’s best kept secrets, created and controlled by an organization made up of the world’s most powerful and ruthless individuals, a private cartel known — to those who know of their existence at all — as The Grail Brotherhood. Though their purpose in creating Otherland is still a mystery, it may not remain so for long. For they have exacted a terrible price from humanity in the process, and even their highly organized global conspiracy cannot hide the nature of their crimes forever.

In a not so distant future children across the globe are being lost to unexplainable comas. For South African college professor Renie Sulaweyo, whose baby brother Stephen is among those affected, the horror of this epidemic is all too real. Researching Stephen’s condition leads Renie to Otherland, the massively complex virtual reality network powered by a nearly sentient operating system known as the Other. In an attempt to save Stephen, Renie and her friend, !Xabbu, find a way into this exclusive network. Once inside, the pair discover others on similar quests… and one whose ambitions are the stuff of nightmares. Our adventurers soon learn that they are trapped in Otherland and, although the environments are simulated, the dangers are all too real.

Otherland: Where Anybody’s Imagination Can Kill You…

Tad Williams’s Otherland is not a series in the conventional sense, but a single story divided into four volumes:

Volume 1: Otherland: City of Golden Shadow
Volume 2: Otherland: River of Blue Fire
Volume 3: Otherland: Mountain of Black Glass
Volume 4: Otherland: Sea of Silver Light