|December 28th, 2006|
Furcadia is ten years old this month. It still flies under the radar of most of the MMORPG community, in part because the hardcore gamers aren’t interested in yiffing, and in part because it’s like so many other of the niche MMOs: isometric, low-end graphics, and far deeper design than most want to give it credit for.
I guess I’ve known Dr. Cat for just about as long. That is, in person; because the first time I ever saw his name, it was actually as a credit on an Atari 8-bit game Origin had published… The first day I met him, he was wearing a plush hat with a dragon on it. He hasn’t changed much. If you ever visit the house where where he and Katie live, you’ll be surrounded by plush of every variety, some of it large enough to sit on.
Furcadia gets 60,000 uniques playing each month, and sustains itself profitably off of microtransactions — in fact, it has successfully been using that model since launch, just about. Instead of dinging your repeatedly for tiny things, Cat & the others ding you a largish amount for something really special — like adding wings to your avatar. Everything is still cosmetic, as far as I know.
Furcadia has also been at the user content game a lot longer than many realize. It has a full coding language designed for end-users called “DragonSpeak,” and users can build their own zones called “dreams.” It not only preceded UO to market, but its predecessor, “Dragonspires,” preceded just about everyone in the mid-90s boom.
I remember being a guest at a panel at the VR Worldcon in maybe 1997 or 1998… held in Furcadia.
Congrats on this milestone, Cat!