For game publishers, developing a massively multiplayer online game is
almost like sticking cash into a $50 million href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slot_machines"
Once you've pulled the lever, all you can do is wait and watch as the
numbers start to line up. Of course, thousands of variables are
involved with MMO development, including the talent of the studio hired
to make the game and the commitment the publisher has in making that
game a success. Yet even with all of the talent in the world, you could
end up like the target="_blank">unfortunate Ed McMahon: old,
broke, and relying upon the charity of others to pay the bills.
In the case of NCsoft's
target="_blank">Guild Wars, the slot
machine rolled up with href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncDoBslvaIg"
target="_blank">three of those big red sevens
and millions of dollars came pouring back in to fill the coffers of the
Korean-based company. Luck had little to do with this jackpot, and the
quality of the content in Guild
- along with their "free-to-play" service - allowed them to sell over
five million copies in just a few years. Someone in Korea must have a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frGLMtGsotc"
target="_blank">vault like Scrooge McDuck's that
they use to swim around in vast piles of money.
Writing Team Lead
However, the champagne celebration is far from over at NCsoft and
ArenaNet. With the sequel to Guild
Wars - dubbed href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/183"
Wars 2 - solidly in the works, the development
already hard at work to create a title that will push the style="font-style: italic;">Guild Wars franchise
beyond the "one hit wonder" category and into the realm of epic
legacies like Ultima,
Command and Conquer,
Age of Empires,
and the Elder Scrolls.
Thanks to their incredibly talented development team, ArenaNet has another chance at striking MMO gold. It's been awhile
since the release of Eye
of the North
and the Bonus Mission Pack, so the Ten Ton Hammer staff decided it was
time to have a chat with one of the ArenaNet devs. Luckily, Bobby
Stein, ArenaNet's Writing Team Lead, was more than willing to take our
questions, and we grilled him over a number of topics, including the
future of the Guild Wars
According to Bobby, the entire ArenaNet team have been working their href="http://store.retrorebels.com/images/k/krebonedevreg.jpg"
target="_blank">fingers to the bone style="font-style: italic;"> since they
official released of Eye
of the North. "We’ve been running silent and
deep since we shipped the Eye
of the North
expansion making steady progress in several key areas. We’re
continually refining our development tools to streamline content
creation for writers and designers. Our engine team is busy as ever
implementing new graphical features and optimizing code. The combat,
dialogue, and gameplay systems are coming along nicely. So even though
you haven’t heard much from us, we’ve been cruising
Bobby said. "Our weekend and holiday events are as popular as ever, so
if you haven’t fired up Guild Wars lately, you should log in
check out what’s new."
Frankly, Bobby is one of the best and the brightest when it comes to
writing and the ongoing storyline that we've seen progress in style="font-style: italic;">Guild Wars and will
see in Guild Wars 2
has a lot to do with him and his team. But crafting a story for a
constantly changing MMOG is like trying to href="http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4415313083196714200"
target="_blank">find a needle in a haystack;
you may sift away all the clutter and still come up empty-handed. With
a story as immense as that in the Guild Wars series, we asked Bobby
what sort of problems he faced in adding additional content into the
world of Tyria.
The art of
telling stories is a subtractive art. You only keep the good stuff.
"Tyria, the world of Guild
is the brainchild of a large team of highly creative people," Bobby
answered, "It has evolved so much over the years that we’ve
ourselves lots of little loose ends to tie up. The Bonus Mission Pack
was especially challenging because it required us to closely examine
the existing stories of our iconic characters and fill in the blanks. style="font-style: italic;">Guild Wars 2
will introduce some new characters and races, but you might see a
familiar face or two. We’ll also expand the world story
the novel trilogy we mentioned at PAX."
"Anyone in the game and film industries will tell you that production
is a subtractive art," he continued. "You start out with a huge idea
and an overwhelming number of assets, but are forced to pare them down
to a manageable size. There are lots of stories and personalities on
the cutting room floor—too many to mention, in fact.
seeding the world with lots of little details so that interested
players can connect the dots."
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Guild Wars Game Page.