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Interviews Features, Guides, and more

  • Raw meat and potatoes.

    GamersInfo sits down with Rick Simmons, Chief Technology Officer for Horizons: Empire of Istaria. We learn that Rick prefers to eat "animal flesh whole" from teenage work experience in an abattoir (/shudder) and that Horizons might just find a competitive niche as a smaller MMO.

    I think the current environment favors the smaller product. When raising money, your chances of success are higher to pitch a niche product with 10k to 20k subscribers that has a low-cost product development design and a marketing approach that builds upon a tight community. Compare that to making a pitch where you're trying to raise money to compete for the same customer as some of the bigger names. Besides requiring a great design and a big development budget, an ultra superb $$$$ marketing effort is also required. I do think that each unique product to the market attracts new players, but there is still some shifting of players between products - everyone wants to try what's new. All of the big players in the MMP space are not going to stand idle while some new-comer tries to corner in on their space.

    Read more from Horizons CTO Rick Simmons interview.

    Other links you might enjoy:

    Features, Interviews
    Tue, Oct 25, 2005
    Ethec
  • Spellborn? Story-born, more like.

    Gamona poses some questions for Spellborn Community Manager "Corwynn" (apparently they're roleplayers). If you were wondering what makes Spellborn different from the gaggle of fantasy MMOs already on the market, you might find a roundabout answer here, maybe. I think it has something to do with being totally story-driven, but I'm still confused. Perplexed is my natural state, though!

    Whats the difference between Spellborn and other MMORPGs?

    As I said above, it's a bit complex at times to explain given our design. Our setting is very different in terms of the opportunities it gives people for play. While other games allow you to perhaps mold the course of events, we link the exploration of the past with the struggle in the present. The two combined determine the course of the future. Within Spellborn you will see differences between the various servers based upon the conduct of the players.

    Read up on Spellborn via the Community Manager interview at Gamona.
    (In English, however there's a German translation if you want to try out your akzent).

    Other links you might enjoy:

    Features, Interviews
    Mon, Oct 24, 2005
    Ethec
  • Build your destiny in Atriarch, literally.
    World Fusion has posted a developer diary discussing the player structures and buildings that will be available in Atriarch.

    " When talking about Atriarch, we mention a lot about player structures and buildings. The simple reason is because we think it is really cool the way we've designed it. Okay, okay, I know that is not the most subjective statement in the world, but then again if I did not think what we are making was worthwhile, then I'd do something else. I am a gamer afterall and want to play Atriarch with everyone :-) Anyway, back to player-buildings... mentioned in previous posts, player buildings require the placement of a foundation. Atriarch's engine differentiates between types of foundations. The following paragraph addresses some questions that were posted about this. "

    You can read the entire Atriarch Developer Diary at the Official Site.
    Related Links:

    Features, Interviews
    Fri, Oct 21, 2005
    Boomjack
  • Zeb tells all, details at, well, right now.
    MMORPG.com has posted their final interview in the series with City of Villains designer David "Zeb" Cook. The interview touches on PvP and sidekicks. Adam West denied that there was any sexual tension between himself and Robin, before switching to this:

    "Here in the final part Q&A with David "Zeb" Cook of Cryptic Studios, Neil Thompson wraps up the interview with a few more questions. City of Villains is due out on Halloween. " 

    You can read the entire City of Villains Interview at MMORPG.com.
    Related Links:

    Features, Interviews
    Thu, Oct 20, 2005
    Boomjack
  • It's late night, with Age of Conan.
    MMORPG has posted an Age of Conan interview featuring Game Director, Gaute Godager. Conan O'Brien would not reply to numerous questions, but we did hear him say this:

    "
    In the second part of a two part interview, Gaute Godager takes over
    the answers. In this article he discusses rogues, crafting and
    reassures players that the first twenty levels - meant to be single
    player - do not carry a subscription fee." 

    You can read the entire Age of Conan Interview at MMORPG.
    Related Links:

    Features, Interviews
    Mon, Oct 17, 2005
    Boomjack
  • LotRO Goes Canadian.
    The official Lord of the Rings Online site has posted a developer diary featuring Jill Harrington. Jill is the lead technical artist on the title. We called the Canadian embassy in Slovakia to see if they would comment on this story, but they were busy making pancakes and could only utter the following statement:

    You may have noticed an eerie Ringwraith or two lurking in some of our screenshots. While our talented modelers, texture artists and animators truly bring these creatures to life, I thought it might be interesting to give you a peek behind the scenes – or, rather, behind his robes – to talk about another important step in bringing characters to life: the character setup process.
    I am the lead technical artist on The Lord of the Rings Online and one of the most important parts of my job is to set up finished models so that they can be animated. Anything in the game that moves – whether it be a hobbit, a door, or a Ringwraith – has a skeleton built for it by a technical artist. We then attach the model to the skeleton (this is called "binding the skin"), and make sure that it deforms properly when the skeleton is posed (called "weighting" – as each point on a model has an amount of "weight" for each bone that affects it). We set up control boxes to make the animators' jobs easier, then pass the character on for animation. The software we use for this process is Maya, by a company called Alias." 

    You can read the entire Lord of the Rings Online Developer Diary at The Official Site.
    Related Links:

    Features, Interviews
    Mon, Oct 17, 2005
    Boomjack
  • "We're not ready to talk about <insert your broad category of interest here>. Stay tuned!"
    Turbine sits down with MMORPG in one interview perhaps more notable for what wasn't said. It sounds like there's a lot of work to be done on the concepts behind Middle Earth's MMO; either that, or the Turbine team is being extraordinarily tight-lipped.

    "MMORPG.com: Will our actions be able to change things in the world? Can we take over and occupy buildings, or towns? Perhaps drive the orcs from a town and reclaim it?
    Jeffrey Steefel: An interesting question indeed – stay tuned for answers…"

    MMORPG.com's interview with Lord of the Rings Online producer Jeff Steelfel - click here!
    Other links you might enjoy:

    Features, Interviews
    Fri, Oct 14, 2005
    Ethec
  • Strangely, David Bowman doesn't play an archer.
    GamersInfo.net has posted another great Horizons interview, featuring David Bowman. The interview focuses on Bowman's background. Legolas, who does play an archer in Horizons (Called Leegoolass) had this to say about that:

    "Often mistaken as the "owner" of Horizons or Tulga Games, David Bowman, like most of the developers of the MMO wears many hats. When asked to describe his job in 5 sentences he does just that: "I coordinate the team. I create new opportunities for the company. I am head cheerleader for Horizons. I manage investor relations. I set the goals for the growth of Horizons." After 10 years with such giants (though not at the time) as Bungie and Turbine before Tulga, time, age, wisdom and personal integrity has made him into a person well-respected by those know him and even more so by those who work with him. " 

    You can read the entire Horizons Interview at GamersInfo.net
    Related Links:

    Features, Interviews
    Fri, Oct 14, 2005
    Boomjack
  • Sci-Fi Talk Show.
    GameCloud has posted an Anarchy Online Interview, featuring Morten Byom and focusing on Lost Eden, the upcoming expansion. An MMOG that's free and more importantly fun to play.

    "Funcom's long running sci-fi MMORPG Anarchy Online has already had a number of expansion packs and yet another expansion, Anarchy Online: Lost Eden, is currently in the works. Gamecloud got a chance to chat with Anarchy Online Game Director Morten Byom to find out more about their plans for the expansion. " 

    You can read the entire Anarchy Online: Lost Eden Interview at GameCloud.
    Related Links:

    Features, Interviews
    Thu, Oct 13, 2005
    Boomjack
  • Evil-doer tells all.
    MMORPG has posted a City of Villains interview, featuring David "Zeb" Cook of Cryptic Studios. How long before some nitwit complains that their son or daughter robbed a bank because they played City of Villains?

    " Here in the second of our three part Q&A with David "Zeb" Cook of Cryptic Studios, our writer Neil Thompson asks him five more questions. " 

    You can read the entire City of Villains Interview at MMORPG.
    Related Links:

    Features, Interviews
    Thu, Oct 13, 2005
    Boomjack
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