A new MMORPG is in development that takes place in 13th century Africa. The appropriately named Africa is being developed by Rapid Reality, and an official website is already up for any curious onlookers.
Africa touts itself as a game where a player can play any role from a lowly farmer and cattle herder, to becoming a mighty warrior, or even ruling a vast empire if so desired. The focus of Africa seems pinpointed on allowing gamers as much freedom as possible, with a wide variety of styles and game play to choose from. Players can perform dances or compose their own original music through an in-game library of movements and sounds. While character classes and skills have not been revealed yet, a player's choice of skills and class type is codependent on other players for experience, profit, and even survivability. Warriors seeking to protect against enemies are dependant on Crafters to make their weaponry, while Crafters depend on Gatherers to collect materials in order to make such weaponry, and so on.
The Artificial Intelligence in Africa will supposedly exist independently of players, featuring "hundreds of NPCs" that have individual personalities, interests, and routines, and run the gambit from townsfolk and merchants, to scribes and nomads. Entire cities and kingdoms will flourish and survive in the world of Africa, and enemies in the form of Tuareg raiders and rival rulers will gather to attack player-controlled kingdoms. Also included will be a "dreamscape" environment, perhaps accessed through mystic rituals or shamanistic magic, where players can communicate with their fallen ancestors, battle evil demons and Jinn, or receive quests and visions.
The quest engine in Africa will involve myths and legends drawn from the folklore of the African continent. Players will have access to as-yet undefined magical powers to succeed, or can choose the more-direct path of strength and power to move onward. Also, players will be able to create quests for other players, where merchants might hire warriors to protect them and their caravans, as the merchants themselves undertake the quest created by players who rule their own kingdoms.
Africa looks to distance itself from other MMORPGs with a real-world setting and historical theme. Stay tuned to RPGamer as more details come to light.