Pumpkin Online: The MMO that the World Needs

Today’s guest column comes via LGG&F reader Brielle Pritchard. Brielle spends her days putting her English degree to use by crafting stories and comics with characters of color in main roles.


As someone who has dealt with her fair share of MMORPGs and games with player created avatars, I’ve noticed a huge lack of real representation in the choices of avatars. You want to create an online version of yourself? Okay. Pick either a girl or boy base, make your skin one of the 5-8 shades available, pick one of the various hairstyles to choose from (unless you have natural hair then your options are even more limited). But do you want wings, horns, plushies? Go for it! Have tons of them! But what about the people who want an avatar exactly like them, along with the fancy stuff? Pumpkin Online may just be the MMORPG that they—and the rest of the world!—have been waiting for.

PO bannerPumpkin Online is a project in progress by the up and coming indie gaming company Pumpkin Interactive. Led by creator Monique Blaize, the Pumpkin Interactive team is creating a new farming sim. Think of it as a mix of Minecraft, Skyrim, and Harvest Moon, but with a ton of more options for customization and more relaxing.

For one, the game is completely free of fighting and combat. You get to live a normal life without the threat of dying by monster hordes and having to start over. Characters live in villages on different islands and you have the choice to move to others. You get to pick a profession for your character and farm, fish, mine, cook, or raise livestock. You’re probably wondering what makes it so special, people could just do that in Minecraft’s peaceful mode. Well, in Pumpkin Online your work actively affects the economy of the game. You can only have one profession. So, say you’re a fisher: a character who chose to be a cook will need you for his business. A farmer character will have a close relationship with the characters that raise animals. If you don’t do your job, it doesn’t have an impact on just you. At this point in time, the staff is still working out the kinks in the game. The economies of many similar games tend to get pretty messed up and you’re left spending 1 mil in game currency for one item. I’m hoping they come up with something, as I think it has potential, but it might be easy to game the system if it’s the same.

(Credit: Pumpkin Online)

(Credit: Pumpkin Online)

Then, there is crafting, of course, and magic elements and pets. You also get your own home and farm to customize and invite friends and other players to. For gamers who like the questing elements of gaming, there will be quests. Examples of quests include running errands to crafting certain materials to solving puzzles and there is even a matchmaking quest. Players get to do all of this, without having to worry about enemies spawning, being killed, and having their inventory empty to start all over. I can see this game being great for people with anxiety because of that aspect. In my experience, the thought of that put me on edge whenever I had to fish or find shelter before I was in danger like in Minecraft, for instance.

One of the most innovative aspects of this game comes with the avatar creation. Your options will not be limited to girl or boy. You will be free to choose whichever gender you prefer; you can customize breasts, hips, etc. The clothing options can be worn by any character. Character bases are not uniform, allowing you to be able to customize your avatar’s body however you like. You can be chubby, there will be more skin tone and hair options (including vitiligo skin!), and while it seems to only be confined to NPCS at the moment (due to issues with character movement), some NPCs will have disabilities.

(Credit: Pumpkin Online)

(Credit: Pumpkin Online)

Religion in the Pumpkin Online world does not exist, but NPCs will be inspired by real life cultures. For example, an NPC with a headscarf is said to be included. During the Kickstarter, an anonymous donor donated a large sum to create an island of her own design. Since the stretch goal was met, the developers will be creating Spoonie Island, an island for players who have chronic illnesses in real life, and the donor will have input into the designs of the NPCs and special chronic illness awareness quests.

(Credit: Pumpkin Online)

(Credit: Pumpkin Online)

Pumpkin Online will have relationship options as well. You will be free to date and marry any NPC (except elderly and child NPCs and NPCs that are already married) and players regardless of gender. Being married brings the players various in-games benefits. At the moment, polyamorous relationships will not be included, as the Kickstarter didn’t reach the stretch goal. The staff hasn’t completely written out adding it eventually, but they have to find out how to make the in-game perks from being married work out fairly. If you’re married to more than one person, you’ll have a huge advantage over other players.

(Credit: Pumpkin Online)

(Credit: Pumpkin Online)

While it’s still in the beginning stages and there’s much work to be done, Pumpkin Online seems like a very promising new game and a step in the right direction for more diversity in gaming. As a genderfluid, pansexual spoonie myself, I can honestly say I can’t wait to experience it. The creators were inspired to create Pumpkin Online because they noticed how limited other MMOs were in terms of customization. They hope to create a game that gives people more diverse options in gameplay.

I’m definitely ready for a game like this. It’s incredibly inclusive and Pumpkin Interactive seems really determined to make it the best game it can be. They’re open to suggestions and they post progress of their work and keep you in the loop frequently, which raises my hope that there will be great player support. You can keep up with the Pumpkin Interactive team on their website, Facebook, and Tumblr.


Follow Lady Geek Girl and Friends on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook!