Today is a a day of poignant reminiscing for myself and many of my friends. We met years ago in a very different world. A world in which creativity was celebrated. A world where strangers would share their trade secrets. A world where deep friendships developed across thousands of miles.
Two years ago today, that world came to an end.
Two years ago today, we said goodbye to the homes we’d built together. The towns and cities; modern, historical, silly, and fantastic. We said goodbye to factories and landmarks, to cars, trains, ships of sea, air, and space, and to crazy collections of silly creations. We said goodbye to the ability to build a scene or a world piece by piece, and make it come to life. It feels like we said goodbye to a piece of ourselves.
You’re probably wondering why a game shutting down is such a big deal. Well… Landmark was unique. Simplistically described, Landmark was a world-building game. It was like Minecraft on steroids. But I hate that analogy…
Imagine building with Lego, except you only get the cube brick with four dots on top and you can’t overlap the edges. That’s Minecraft.
Now, imagine building with Lego and having every Lego shape that exists, and on top of that putting one brick next to another can alter the shape of the bricks, and you have tools to smooth, flatten, and change the colors of the bricks. That was building in Landmark.
Not only was building so flexible, but at a time when destructible environments were almost unheard of, Landmark did it.
The possibilities were endless.
And that’s before mentioning the game mastering tools; interactive props such as levers, lights, and doors, and interactive logic tools that the builder could use to define a set of rules. The builder could create logic that the door remained locked unless the candle on the left and right were snuffed out but in the center remained on, or so that when a lever is pulled, the building erupts in flames. The builder could also add NPCs to their builds, make them aggressive or friendly, and make them interact and speak based upon the same type of interactive logic.
Sadly, Landmark lived a short life. After more than two years of closed beta, Landmark was live for seven months before being shut down on February 21, 2017.
The loss of Landmark left a hole for many of Landmark’s long time players. Some have taken up digital arts. Some have started to learn game building tools or gone to work for game developers. Some have found a renewed love for non-digital arts.
Even so, many of us are still looking for something to fill the creative hole left by Landmark. Something that will have the ease of use and flexibility that Landmark had, and encourage the type of community that Landmarkians fostered.
In the mean time, we have short films recorded in Landmark, screenshots (see below for SO MANY), our individual creativity, good friends to help pass the time.
Two years ago we said goodbye to the homes we’d built together.
The towns and cities; modern, historical, silly, and fantastic.
We said goodbye to factories and landmarks…
to cars, trains, ships of sea, air, and space…
and to crazy collections of silly creations.
Sadly, all things come to an end.