by Cody “Micajah” Bye, Managing Editor
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by Dylan Mayo (Development Manager for Digital Games at Wizards of the
Coast) and Ilja Rotelli (Director of Online Media for Wizards of the
For many MMORPG players, our first entry into the roleplaying game
arena was behind the kitchen table playing a game of Dungeons &
Dragons. Today, we finish off our interview with the developers of
Gleemax and Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition and we talk about
the character generator, third party games being produced for Gleemax,
and other novel ideas. However, make sure you’ve read through
the first part of our interview if you haven’t yet, then head
back here for the epic conclusion!
This is the way
D&D is currently played.
Ten Ton Hammer: What sort
of functionality will the D&D Insider have when creating your
character for an online game?
you’re a subscriber and have the full database,
you’ll be able to do things like dragging feats onto your
character. Let’s say you declare that you’re a
level 15 Tiefling Warlock, you can then look on the character generator
and see all the feats that are available to you based on your actual
skills and prerequisites that you have.
It’ll be bi-directional forth the character, so you can go
back and forth with the feats and skills you select.
Ten Ton Hammer: What
other character customization options are available to players when
they’re creating their D&D Insider mini?
it’s a bunch of preset armors, weapons, effects, and lighting
that are available to the players. For example, you can set a guy to
have a particular hair style, then set the color tone of the hair, the
highlights, and lots of other details.
Ten Ton Hammer: So will
your mini change when you get new equipment?
doesn’t link that way. The visualizer is a separate app to
build a mini.
But that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to
customize the mini the way you want to. Everything is on sliders,
it’s not just simple click through options. So when
you’re posing your character you’ll have a full
range of motions that you can go through.
Ten Ton Hammer:
It’s more like an action figure?
you can pose them however you want. When you get done you can save him
and when you get to the virtual table you can just
“pop” your mini down and he appears there on the
We have a bunch of pre-made monster sets that will be available when
you first sign up to make things a bit easier. There’ll be
things like kobolds, orcs, and goblins that you can just throw out on
the table. After that, we’ll have other sets that will be
made available to players, but we haven’t decided on a
business model on the additional sets.
Ten Ton Hammer: Is
D&D Insider going to be singularly designed for Dungeons and
Dragons, or will other games be able to make use of the client?
June, we are launching D&D Fourth Edition and D&D
Insider as a platform to play Dungeons and Dragons. That being said, we
are certainly considering using the same tools to support other games.
Gleemax hopes to
bring all of the WotC products into a digital realm.
Ten Ton Hammer: So if
someone from White Wolf wanted to create a version of Vampire: The
Requiem using the D&D Insider tool set-
certainly consider it. I’m awaiting a phone call from White
Those are some of the examples of first party games that we are
developing, and that’s not the only thing on our plate
either. We have a game called Uncivilized: The Goblin Game, which is in
development and is a game that explores a different way to enjoy a
To compare it with another game, it really has a lot of similarities
with fantasy football. We’re designing Uncivilized to be a
turn-based multiplayer game that you enjoy for around 15 minutes a day.
In the game, you’ll be giving instructions to your clan of
goblins, and then the next day you’ll show up and find out
what your goblins actually did.
Goblins – by their nature – are a little dumb, and
so you’re never sure whether they’ll actually
follow your orders exactly or not. The more they are trained; the more
intelligent they become, and the more they will follow your strategy.
Ten Ton Hammer: Will
players need to actually manage their goblins every day?
It’s like fantasy football, and the more you micro-manage,
the better you do. You’re certainly free to skip a day or two
though, if it’s necessary.
goblins has its own mission as well. If you’re the leader of
the Dragontamers, my job is to find a dragon egg, hatch it, train the
baby dragon, and make sure it learns that your goblins taste bad while
the enemy goblins taste good. At the end, when the dragon is ready, you
send him to eat all the other goblins and you win the game.
Each clan has its own strategy and tactics in the game, so you can keep
on exploring and playing different games to figure out the strategy
behind each clan. Uncivilized has an amazing amount of depth, like what
our customers are used to from WotC, and we’re really looking
forward to seeing how this new business model will perform when we
Ten Ton Hammer: What
about board games or other strategy games?
bringing a bunch of board games from our Avalon Hill team to the
Gleemax system. So players will finally be able to play 24/7
multiplayer games using Gleemax with titles like Axis & Allies,
Acquire, Robo Rally, and Vegas Showdown.
We’re also expanding the Magic IP, and we recently announced
two Magic-based games. They’ll have different game mechanics
than Magic itself, but they will be an expansion of the Magic IP and
the characters will be moving in the world of Magic. One of them is for
PC and the other is for Xbox Live.
This is what the
original Gleemax looked like in Magic: The Gathering..
Ten Ton Hammer: And third
third party games are concerned, we actually attended the Game
Developers Conference this year because we were sponsoring the
Independent Gaming Festival. There are a bunch of people out there that
are small developers and have great ideas for gameplay, but
don’t have the means to publish themselves. This is
especially true for fantasy gaming.
So what we want to do is find these people, provide them with marketing
support, have a page where people can download the game from, and
set-up an e-commerce infrastructure that helps them sell the game.
Ten Ton Hammer: How are
you trying to reach that target demographic that you’re
shooting for? These players may be occupying there time with a
massively multiplayer game or some other form of entertainment; how are
you going to get that player back into the WotC games?
We’re going to be using a broad range of marketing techniques
because on one hand we already have a strong thriving community for our
games, but there are still players out there – especially in
the video gaming community – that aren’t familiar
with the Gleemax / digital initiative project.
We’ll be teaching all of our existing consumers about the
existence of Gleemax through Wizards.com, and we have the entire
back-bone of Hasbro around to help support this project in the