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Topia Online Kickstarter project will give players tools to build their own sandbox MMORPG

The development team for sandbox game Topia Online have settled on Kickstarter in their search for funding, asserting that the game is not just a massively-multiplayer online role-playing game but one that aims to give players the tools to build the in-game world and shape its rules themselves.

Josh Griffith and his team want to build a realistic ecosystem simulation and set players in charge. Topia Online will ask players to write their own scripts, create their own powers and essentially give them the freedom to become and build anything they want. Players can construct worlds with or without player-versus-player combat interactions, set up dungeons and trade routes and interact with creatures and NPCs each with a distinct personality and attributes.

On the project's Kickstarter page, Griffith cites 1990s release Ultima Online, Minecraft and Terraria as gameplay inspirations, while titles like Dwarf Fortress and Dungeon Keeper influenced Topia Online's design.

"Stacking blocks on one another and digging holes can be fun, but we don't feel that those games give the community enough credit," wrote Griffith. "Our belief is that the community is a powerful force that is capable of creating an unparalleled MMORPG simulation. We are starting this Kickstarter to urge the community to band together to help create an online game on a scale of unprecedented size and scope."

Griffith assures backers that players without experience scripting, or making game code, will not be left in the dust; Topia Online will include a "script marketplace" where community members can share and trade the scripts they have written.

The development team has set a funding goal of $50,000. As of this posting, funding is sitting just above $20,000 with 13 days remaining in the campaign. Check out the video posted above for a closer look at Topia Online.