Anthymn is a Musical Massively Multiplayer Online RPG. A Massively Musical Online RPG? Musical Multiplayer RPG? Whatever it is, it’s awesome, and I’ve got an interview all about it.
I’ll admit, when I first saw Anthymn on Kickstarter, I was incredibly confused. The concept was so bizarre it took me a little while to process. I took a nice walk on the beach, skipped some rocks on a pond, and thought long and hard about what Anthymn really was.
Once I was released from prison for trespassing on my neighbor’s pond, I truly collected my thoughts about Anthymn into one single word: Awesome.
Music is probably our third favorite thing here at 91.8 The Fan (first is a tie between anime and t-shirts), so Anthymn hit a chord with me. Ha. Chord. It’s a music pun.
Get it? See, a chord is a combination of multiple musical notes that– Nevermind, I’ll see myself out.
Basically, Anthymn is a game where players fight with their music. Not like a battle of the bands. Think more along the lines of someone saying “I am going to murder you with a waltz.” And then actually doing it. To ensure this musical combat is full of variety, there are four classes to choose from in Anthymn: Windweavers, who wield woodwind instruments and specialize in buffing and debuffing other players; Strivingers, wielding string instruments that can easily combat a crowd of enemies; Percussionists, whose striking instruments can be used for buffs and defense; and Brassians, specializing in one-on-one combat with their brass instruments.
I want all of my readers to understand one thing. I was a band nerd in high school who loved RPGs. This is my dream game. That is, it’s my dream game if they let me wield my MIGHTY SOUSAPHONE INTO WAR.
The story of Anthymn revolves around Tiarnen, a maestro who aims to write a national anthem to unite his home nation, Chora, which is on the brink of a civil war. This is the kind of grandiose story that really draws me in as a player in a way that MMOs have failed to in the past. It’s important in an MMO to make the player feel powerful and meaningful in a world full of people that equal the player in power. This plot of aiding in ending (or starting) a civil war may be just what players like myself need to be drawn in to this world.
The feature that makes me really want to see Anthymn become a reality is the creation of War Songs, which are actual songs, composed by the players, which can be used in battle. Players can collaborate among classes to compose songs that are entirely their own to use and share with the Anthymn community. This will be a truly groundbreaking feature, and, if done correctly, can make this game continuously fun to play for years to come.
I got the chance to interview the Anthymn Developers and really get in-depth with the questions I wanted answered. Sadly, they would NOT teach me how to fight people with a recorder, but that won’t stop me from trying.
One day, these will be the harbingers of your destruction.
The idea of a music-based MMORPG is incredibly unique. What sparked the idea for Anthymn?
Riley’s (Creative Director) mother is a piano teacher, she would instruct my art teacher’s daughter in exchange for drawing lessons on weekends so music performance and education always accompanied visual arts throughout my entire childhood. Music is incredibly powerful unto itself, the emotional landscape it can create has really been the inspiration for Anthymn’s story, setting and design.
One of the most interesting aspects of Anthymn is the creation of War Songs. What exactly are War Songs? What role will players have in their creation? How do they function in gameplay?
War Songs are the most powerful musical compositions in Anthymn, they can be used for healing, defense and attack purposes depending on which class of Maestros are involved in their creation and performance. Only players can create War Songs; once the proper songbook has been acquired they can work together to compose a War Song in hopes of defeating a certain raid boss, defending campaign flag points or healing battle wounded guild-mates.
Players can level up their character via “Apprenticeships” where they learn music theory. What level of musical prowess are you expecting players to have when they start the game? Is being able to play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on a recorder going to be enough?
Every character class has an optional music apprenticeship. These are elective lessons players can take to learn more about music and in turn receive elite aesthetic changes to the way their musical abilities and wardrobe look. Though we have a very broad demographic, Anthymn’s design has always revolved around one thing, having fun together! From day one we knew every point of musical interaction both inside and out of combat had to be for the MMO player, not experienced musicians with a deep technical knowledge base. However, those who happen to have musical talent will be able to collaborate together and create powerful War Songs.
What role does rhythm play in gameplay? How deep is it involved in combat, and in what ways?
Rhythm’s function in Anthymn, much like in music, is there to help keep players gameplay in sync with each other. By keeping rhythm, each class will receive amps (buffs) which will increase the power of their healing and attack and defense abilities.
Anthymn is one of many gaming projects on Kickstarter using the Unity engine. What’s appealing about the Unity engine to developers? What benefits does it bring to players?
Unity’s support and pipeline versatility/scalability is very enticing to developers. The tool sets are not only robust but there is now a very open and experienced community who is working hard to push the engine in new directions. We’re very proud to become a part of it’s ongoing evolution.
The Kickstarter video mentions different regions for different musical genres. Will your selection of region have any major effect on gameplay?
Anthymn’s story unfolds across the continent of Chora which is divided into eight diverse musical provinces. Each provincial race certainly has their own specific abilities but the gameplay and combat features will remain consistent throughout every character class.
What drew the Anthymn team to go to Kickstarter to help get this game funded?
Our Kickstarter was always about bringing backers onboard early in development, to hear their voice and provide our community with gameplay, content creation and sharing features they really want! Reading our backers comments on a day to day basis couldn’t be more inspiring for the team, they’ve been incredibly vocal as to how badly they want the campaign to succeed.
Anything you’d like to tell prospective backers about your Kickstarter campaign? Is there a backer reward you’re particularly proud of? Those shirt designs look particularly awesome.
We’re definitely fans of the shirts too! One thing we’re all looking forward to is bringing all of our backers over to the community forums once the Kickstarter is wrapped and make them a part of Anthymn’s development. For those considering the higher tiers, designing an acoustical environment, instrument or weapon rewards will be a very rewarding experience.
Interested in Anthymn? So am I. Help the team at String Theory Entertainment get development into high gear by backing their project on Kickstarter. There are plenty of awesome backer rewards.