Interviews Category

We ask tough questions. Whether the devs answer them truthfully — or at all — is on them! [Follow this category’s RSS feed]

E3 2015: Hands-on with Motiga’s ‘shooter MOBA’ Gigantic

As some of you recall, Gigantic is one of those games that looks like a MOBA and smells like a MOBA but — for a while, at least — was refusing to give in to the MOBA label. Unless you’re one of the big four MOBAs, the genre has a rep for doom (I’m probably one of the few people mourning Solstice Arena, but it was actually a clever little game.) But Motiga is now grudgingly calling Gigantic a “shooter MOBA” now, and at my demo at E3 yesterday, I did my best to peel back the labels to see the game for what it really is.

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E3 2015: David Braben on Elite: Dangerous

How does the guy who got motion sickness from Kirby’s Air Ride get assigned to the flight simulators every year? Yes, at this year’s E3, with my guns functioning and my ship mostly flying in an upright position, I checked out Elite: Dangerous with a few tips from the game’s director, David Braben.

Braben is interesting because he’s an old school developer from the times when PCs were certainly king and consoles were on the edge of disaster. He says he enjoys both platforms equally, though. In fact, he prefers using a controller to mouse and keyboard (at least for Elite). While you may play games in a slightly different way, Braben believes the type of game you play doesn’t change with the platform, which is precisely why he wanted to bring Elite to the Xbox One.

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Ark’s creative lead on realism vs. gameplay and more

What’s the big deal about Ark: Survival Evolved? Honestly, I don’t know. To me it looks like yet another in the endless horde of early access survival sandboxes on Steam these days, but it also seems to be really popular. Plus, dinosaurs.

Gamasutra recently interviewed creative director Jesse Rapczak, who had a hand in Microsoft’s Hololens development as well prior experience at various game development studios. It’s an interesting read if you’re into game design, as it details everything from realistic landscapes vs. gameplay to handmade environments vs. procedurally generated ones.

The piece also mentions that modding tools are coming to Ark with the 1.0 release.

Source: Gamasutra

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An exclusive chat with Path of Exile’s Chris Wilson

Massively: We’re here with Path of Exile Producer Chris Wilson to talk about the state and future of this ARPG. Thanks for joining us Chris! So, how is Path of Exile doing lately?

Chris Wilson: Really well. We’re five weeks into the closed beta of our largest expansion ever: The Awakening. We’ll be releasing it in early June, and it’s a big game changer for Path of Exile. In addition to the huge amount of Act Four content, we’ve also introduced a socketable passive skill tree that can be customised by craftable jewels. This expansion also introduces our newly rewritten networking code, which improves the experience for a lot of users.

In other news, we recently launched Path of Exile in Russia and various other CIS countries with the help of Garena Online.

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World of Warcraft acknowledges ’emotional response’ to flying controversy

The full story on Blizzard’s decision and subsequent reappraisal of grounding flying mounts in World of Warcraft is still being revealed. In a new interview, Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas denied that the move to institute Draenor flying was reluctantly done, although he did say that the topic’s been difficult from the start and grew worse when players revolted.

“We thought at the time that we had the right answer, but what we heard from the community is that once the word ‘never’ was out there, it changed the conversation a little bit,” Hazzikostas said. “There’s a certain terrible finality to the word ‘never.’ Before, people might have accepted not being able to fly in Draenor, but when they started to realise that, ‘Wow, I’ll never be able to use Invincible’s Reins or Mimiron’s Head’ or some other prized possession that they’ve worked for, suddenly that sparked an emotional response.”

He said that the team is happy with the proposed compromise and will continue to “do what’s right by the game as a whole and the majority of players” in the future.

Source: PC Gamer

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Defiance devs on the next season and the future of the game

The third season of the show Defiance starts up on June 12th, which is likely of particular interest to fans of Defiance the game. Sure, the two don’t always directly correspond, but there’s a connection between them – that was one of the big selling points of the game when it first launched, after all.

Now that the show is running to its third season, we sent a few questions off for producer Carble Cheung to see how the game is adapting to the changes on the series, how the integration has worked, and what adjustments are planned for players in the future. Jump on past the break for the answers.

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The Repopulation on expectations, SWG, and the Q4 launch

When Above & Beyond Technologies announced that its sci-fi MMO The Repopulation will launch before the end of 2015, sandbox fans simultaneously pumped their fists and arched their brows. MassivelyOP tracked down lead developer J.C. Smith and asked him about the ambitious release window as well as whether or not the dev team is feeling the pressure of expectations.

Read the full interview after the cut!

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Catching up with Shroud of the Avatar’s Starr Long

As Kickstarter projects successfully funded via the power of nostalgia have proven, gamer loyalty can burn strong even decades after experiencing titles that make such a profound impact. For a subset of players, the Ultima franchise will forever be one of the most influential RPG series in existence, which is why thousands of them have migrated over to Shroud of the Avatar to give it such an active following during its early access period.

Shroud of the Avatar isn’t merely a game being formed, but a community coming together to live in this virtual world. Massively Overpowered caught up with Portalarium executive producer Starr Long this week to get a status check on the project and to ask a few burning questions about how SOTA plans on being a worthy spiritual successor to Ultima.

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Shards’ project lead talks development, pay-for-mods, and more

What’s up with Shards Online this week? Well, quite a bit according to project lead and Ultima Online veteran Derek Brinkmann. MassivelyOP recently caught up with the Citadel Studios founder to ask him about the sandbox title’s development roadmap, some new additions to the dev team, and his opinion on the game industry’s recent pay-for-mods controversy.

The full interview is just past the break!

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BioWare’s analytics manager talks SWTOR stats and their effect on design

If you’ve ever been curious about how data analytics impacts MMO design decisions, a new interview at SWTOR Network is worth your time. Alex Tremblay, manager of analytics for BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic, talks about everything from architecture and the speed at which statistics can be retrieved to examples of engagement stats affecting design.

“Our regular monitoring of PvE content turned up a substantial discrepancy in usage between the Czerka and other tactical Flashpoints,” Tremblay explains. “Working with design and QA, we developed a hypothesis as to the cause, tested and verified its veracity, and ultimately increased the reward per time spent to align them more closely with similar content. It allowed us to give players a broader range of experiences in the game to reduce content fatigue and add enjoyment to the gameplay experience.”

Source: SWTOR Network; thanks Bob!

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Chaos Theory: The lowdown on The Secret World’s motorcycles

Ever since The Secret World’s debut dev livestream two weeks ago teased motorcycle mounts, players have been abuzz with anticipation. The desire for vehicles in the game stretches way back; more than two years ago I mounted a campaign to bring scooters, bicycles, and even motorcycles to the game. I just knew it could be done, and now it is happening! From the moment that first screenshot was shown in the last minutes of The Steaming Ones accompanied by the promise “This is coming to TSW,” speculation has run wild. Perhaps the mounts will be scenario-based. Maybe they will be time-based, with the motorcycles effectively running out of gas and stopping. Some suggested that the bikes will be nothing more than an advanced sprint.

Amid the excited conjecture, a number of fans have also voiced concerns about how the machines will affect the immersion and player-experience in the game. Will the scenery fly by at a rate that players can’t soak up the nuance? Will the ambiance be ruined by the revving of hundreds of engines on the streets?

Now, much of that conjecture — and hopefully the concerns — can be laid to rest. I spoke with Lead Designer Romain Amiel to learn more about these new mechanics, which aren’t actually mounts. Better yet, Amiel says that players will be able to experience the feature, currently dubbed the Custom Sprint system, for themselves next week.

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Turbine on the future of Dungeons & Dragons Online

Dungeons & Dragons Online is not one of the biggest titles on the market, but it was one of the first major subscription games in the west to make the switch to free-to-play. It’s also one of two games based on the original tabletop roleplaying franchise, which makes it a bit of an oddity in that few IPs have more than one licensed title active in the MMO space.

We had the opportunity to ask the design team behind the scenes at Turbine a few brief questions about where the game is and what it’s doing in the future, and we got answers from senior systems designer John Cataldo. Jump on down below for more information on the setting, the further development of the game, and what players can expect to see next.

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Linda ‘Brasse’ Carlson on ArcheAge, community management, and her new role at Trion

Linda “Brasse” Carlson is one of the MMO industry’s most beloved community specialists, and genre fans everywhere boggled just a bit when Daybreak laid her off along with a number of other high profile employees last February. Carlson landed on her feet at Trion, and Massively OP recently caught up with her to ask about the new gig as well as her plans for managing Trion’s rambunctious playerbase.

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