Exploring the Gods and Heroes Interviews
by: Tony "RadarX" Jones
We've all been reading Gods and Heroes interviews with anticipation. Whether it's the battery of Steig Hedlund Q&A's or the beta specific interview with Binky here at Ten Ton Hammer, there are plenty to go around. Who should be interviewed, and what would everyone like to see more of? A more important question to me is, what choices do we have?
The first and most obvious choice, as I mentioned a moment ago, is Design Director Steig Hedlund. He is going to know the in's and outs of all the major mechanics going into the game right now. He'll have an understanding of what classes we'll see and what abilties they will have, what type of monsters we'll be fighting, and what the environments will look like. He'll know exactly what direction Perpetual wants Gods and Heroes to go, how it's going to get there, and just how successful everything is. He's also the guy who has to give the tour of the game at E3 350 times so he gets respect if nothing else for that.
The down side to Mr. Hedlund? Not too many I can think of, but there is an issue that he is management. He isn't down in the trenches coding, breaking stuff, and listening to players whine repeatedly that X should by Y, and Y shouldn't be in the game at all. This gives him a great look at the big picture, but sometimes you find a lot of insight in the details. The other downside, he's done like 50 interviews in the last 3 or 4 months. I admire him for being able to answer the same questions (phrased differently) over and over time and time again.
The next on my list would be Deodatus (I know he left, I'm getting to that). A Community Manager deals exclusively with the players of a game, takes their feedback, and passes vital information to the developers. They are the gatekeeper of a machine that makes all the changes to the game and are in a very visible position. They will know the pulse of the playerbase, what they like, what they don't like, and be very familiar with the forums.
The downsides to Deodatus, the most obvious being he kind of left. It was recent, so he'd still be very familiar with the projects going on at Perpetual but I'm not sure they'd want him talking. Another downside to interviewing a Community Manager, is they aren't developers. They don't deal with mechanics, environments, abilities, etc.. even if they are familiar with the people who do. They can't tell you why something isn't working, and get really annoyed if you ask them Why don't you know?
We next come to Chris Binky Launius another Community Manager. You can use most of the reasons I listed for Deodatus with a few additions. First, he actually gave us an interview so I already like him. He also seems to be intimately familiar with the beta selection process and would first hand understand how things are going in there. The downsides to Binky, are I'm going to inevitably misspell his last name at some point no matter how many times I type it.
High level producers and extremely visible community managers are always nice, but what about the developers? John Danza, who is the Quest Lead for Gods and Heroes, is an example of a great person to interview. Mr. Danza will have his hands in every piece of quest related content that we'll be snatching up at launch. Where quest items are, how events will be triggered, the stories surrounding the events will all be at his fingertips. If anyone should be writing a Prima guide right now, it should be him.
What won't he be able to tell us about? Well most stuff not related to quests of course. His focus is on a certain aspect of the game content, so why would he be concerned with other areas? You won't be able to ask him about combat, or if there will be crafting, or if there will be fast transportation. Not to say an interview with him wouldn't be fascinating, but it would be limited in scope.
This was just a few Perpetual employees that ironically Ten Ton Hammer has interviewed at one point, (look at how that worked out...) and would make great interviews in this writers opinion. While there are a number of key employees that will never even have the opportunity to speak with the press (luck them), it seems we still have plenty of options. Keep an eye on Gods and Heroes at Ten Ton Hammer for more interviews coming your way.