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EVO's fighting game gurus are trying something completely different

EVO co-founders Tom Cannon and Tony Cannon's newest endeavor, Stonehearth is a community-based city-building MMO in which players can create their own models and script new behaviors using Lua.
Twin brothers Tom Cannon and Tony Cannon rebuilt the modern fighting game scene almost brick by brick through organizations like EVO and the GGPO middleware. Now they are laying the foundation for their next big enterprise: Stonehearth, a building block-styled MMO geared toward cooperation and player-driven content. Gamasutra's sister site IndieGames previously covered the Cannon brothers' project, which was announced yesterday and already has over 1,300 backers on its Kickstarter. In addition to promising a rich, scopable series of systems intended to appeal to fans of RPGs and strategy titles, Stonehearth will also allow players to design their own assets and use Lua to script new behaviors and interactions. "The biggest factors were the feature-set (primarily lexical scoping and coroutines), ease of integration, LuaJIT, Decoda (really great Lua debugger. Check it out), and our guess is that lots of potential modders are comfortable in Lua because of World of Warcraft," Tom Cannon tells Gamasutra. "My biggest long-term concern is that the GC may start taking up a disproportionate amount of the frame time as we add more and more scripts, but it's looking like a good choice at the moment." Other building games have also experimented with Lua to allow players to script original content. ROBLOX, which first launched in 2005, organizes its design around primarily self-contained, player-owned places run off the game's servers. Stonehearth, on the other hand, will follow a Minecraft model. "It's not a single persistent world like WoW, but you can play single player in your own world, and eventually we'll add support for running a server so you can play cooperatives with your friends." Stonehearth is expected to ship on Windows in September 2014. Kickstarter backers who pledge at the $15 tier or above will receive a copy of the game at the time of release.

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