Set, Ra, and Horus - The Next Gods for Your Hero? - An Interview with Gods and Heroes' Chris "Binky" Launius

by Cody "Micajah" Bye

As I journeyed through the various booths at the Austin Game Developers
Conference, I stopped by the Perpetual booth to check in with one of
the more personable individuals in the entire video gaming industry. As
I stood at the booth, Chris" Binky" Launius, the community manager for
Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising, spotted me first and began heading my

The cheerful, enthusiastic, red-bearded man shook my hand with a bear's
grip and we instantly began talking about our convention schedules and
how things had been going over the last few weeks. In our conversation
we discussed what's been occurring at Perpetual since ComicCon, what
sort of progress Gods and Heroes had taken, and what would be happening
post launch with the game. Although mainly an update, Chris also
dropped an interesting hint as to what the next set of gods may be in
Gods and Heroes....

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The Perpetual
Entertainment booth at the Austin Game Developers Conference.

Ten Ton Hammer:
What have you been working on since we talked to you
last at ComicCon?

style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">Binky style="font-style: italic;">: Since ComicCon our biggest
project has been stability and the
scalability of the architecture. We've been doing lots of stress
testing. We've let in close to an additional 10,000 closed beta testers
since ComicCon. We worked all through all the cons and Labor Day
weekend, everyone's just been at home trying to crash all the servers
as many times as possible. Our beta team has done a great job and found
a ton of bugs for us, and we couldn't have done it without them. We're
getting to the final stages of closed beta and once we do a couple more
things we're going to open it up to the public and its a straight march
to launch.

Ten Ton Hammer:
To stress the servers, do you simply send out an
announcement to the community asking them to log-in to a certain area
on a certain day?

style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">Binky style="font-style: italic;">: That's exactly it. The normal
beta we've been running has been
open Wednesday through Sunday, leaving Monday and Tuesday open for
updating. What we've done is condensed the hours players can get online
to encourage individuals to hop on at certain times of the day. It's
hard because some people can't play at those times of the day, and as a
community manager it's hard telling those people that, "Well, we have
to do it because we want to stress test." But it is part of the process
of betas, and we're almost through with that phase. Then we can let
everyone in.

Ten Ton Hammer:
How many players would you like to let in by the end of
the beta?

style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">Binky style="font-style: italic;">: As many as we can. We don't
have a cap, because we really want
to test the limits of the servers and the scalability of those servers
- like if one server gets full then the next kicks on. That sort of
thing. We're looking to get as many people in and get as many people in
the game as possible.

We also want as many
people to get in the game as we can because we
want players to really get their hands on the new minion system. It's
hard to explain, but people really like it when they get their hands on
it. We want people to be able to get in their and experience that type
of gameplay.

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href=""> src=""

Here's a nice example
of some Gods and Heroes squad combat.

Ten Ton Hammer:
Are you finding that more people outside the game are
finally understanding what the minion system is all about?

style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">Binky style="font-style: italic;">: We are, and it's really
through the press sites, beta
experience, and the convention scene that's really making this happen.
The demos that we've been doing have really helped open people's eyes.
Like I said, it's hard to comprehend, but once you see it or play it,
the minion system clicks and I hear people saying, "Awesome!"

Ten Ton Hammer:
Where are Stieg and Chris, the "big name" guys? Why
haven't they been at the shows?

style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">Binky style="font-style: italic;">: They are busting humps, man.
They are nose-to-the-grindstone. I
get emails from them at 2 or 3 in the morning. They are on a march to
launch, and they want to get the game as solid and fun as possible.
We're still making some pretty significant changes to a few of the
systems, because we're getting feedback. We're actually evaluating
those ideas and doing some tests to see what the other players think. style="font-style: italic;">

We're changing systems
still, and that's going to continue throughout
the life of the game.

Ten Ton Hammer:
Do you have an example of something that recently got

style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">Binky style="font-style: italic;">: Absolutely! The whole feat
tree system. The feat trees were
originally really complex and convoluted. We've condensed them down
into a more familiar and more easily understood system. Instead of
making you buy every feat with your feat points when you earn them, we
actually give you a lot of the major combat feats as you progress.
You'll be spending your feat points mainly on passive, buff-type feats.
You see, some of the areas were designed with certain combat feats in
mind, and we don't want someone to not have a good experience because
they didn't choose the right feat paths. If you spend all that time
leveling up and you earn enough points to buy a feat, you shouldn't be

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