Monday, 21 June 2010

VG247 Interviews Daniel Erickson

VG247 has a two-part interview up with Daniel Erickson (part 1, part 2). Here's an excerpt:

VG247: So, for the second year in a row, you decided to show a CG trailer during E3. And it was totally rad and basically amazing. But why not show us some gameplay or combat after all this time? Is the game really still that early in development?

Daniel Erickson: No, not at all. The interesting thing about the show is that – assuming you got to go in and see it [behind closed doors] – we’ve got the whole thing running. We didn’t have to bring a demo this year. It’s just the MMO up live and playable. People get a half hour to 45 minutes and they can sit down and do whatever they want.

The problem with the way the show’s sort of developed is that anything you put down on the floor, people play with, people mess with. You get people video recording it and trying to get places that, you know, can’t be done. It’s really hard to monitor and really hard to control. So, unfortunately, because we’re not that close to coming out, we decided to put it behind closed doors. But now – because I know how many shirts we’ve run through – we’ve had at least 700 or 800 people play hands-on for a half hour to 45 minutes. Each how ever they wanted, whatever they wanted.

As for the trailers, one of the things that’s really complicated about doing an RPG is that RPGs do not show well in five minutes. It’s very akin to telling your buddy, “Hey, this is the best book I’ve ever read,” and them responding, “Great! Show me which sentence would prove that to me!” [laughs]. So that’s why we really pushed to have 30 or 45 minutes for people to play. Because you’ve gotta sit down and, you know, what I always think of great RPGs is “Give me two hours, and I’ve got you.” Give me five minutes and it doesn’t show the way, you know, a Call of Duty would – where you’re like “Wow! Look at how impressive that is!”
Next to that Angry Joe (from the Angry Joe Show) has a video interview with James Ohlen:

With E3 now finished fansite TOR-Aid has a list of links to videos and articles as well as a list of things learned in their "E3 Round-Up of SW:tOR". Here's one of their points:

“Instanced” Quest Areas Did not Require a Loading Screen – Rather, you were placed in a “soft” instance that faded out the players in the world around you, and made everything specifically for you. Also, it’s been said that certain areas (specifically areas involving class quests) of every world will change Physically and/or on an emotional level (NPC interaction) based on your decisions. More an interesting use of Phasing than instancing at all. Red Barriers indicate that you aren’t able to enter the “instance”, Green indicate you ARE able to enter, and blue tell you that you have a party member of whom has a quest within, and you may enter to join him/her.
Finally, there are also a couple of dev quotes on the forums. Here's a post by Brian Arndt on player ships (replying to a quote where he supposedly said that you save your game in your player ships):
Think i was a little miss-quoted on that one. The player ships are a base of operations (simliar to the Normandy in ME) where you companions will hang out and you can talk to them. It is a place to bring your friends and do a few other things that we aren't quite ready to talk about just yet! Saving is definitely not something you would do in our MMO.

As far as companions, I think the best part is that if you don't have an interest in them you don't have to take them with you. Companions, however, have their own stories that will involve you even more in the game and I think when people actually play with them it will all make a lot more sense and they will want to keep them with them!

Just wanted to clarify this with you all!
And here's another post by Brian Arndt about companions:
You can still go out and group up with your friends and have your companions out or leave them behind if you wish. There will be a lot of MM in the game for sure! Once we are ready to talk more about companions I think this will all make a little more sense. Sorry we can't say more just yet but we want to make sure this is a polished experience before we talk any more about it.
Then there's this post by Sean Dahlberg in reply to medpacks supposedly auto-casting:
I am unsure why Seraphina thought so but Medpacs do not automatically inject when you are near low life. It may have been on her hotbar and she clicked it (we usually set them up in the #9 slot) but medpacs do not currently go off on their own and there is no discussion of making them do such a thing.

If it did that, some of the demo teams probably wouldn't have wiped during our live multiplayer demos
And finally this post by Sean Dahlberg clearing up something (not) being said about space combat in the Angry Joe interview:
I'll clear this up for everyone really fast. James neither confirmed nor denied anything about space combat. If you watch the video, there is not a single time James states anything about it. Joe brings up something in his dialogue about it but the question that James was asked (and answered) is "what functions do starships serve?". But, as James did say after that, there are other things we haven't talked about pertaining to player ships that we will reveal at a later date.

I imagine you all will debate more as to what that means but the "debate" on what James did or didn't say was getting a little out of hand so hopefully this helps.
And there we go.

[link] to interview with Daniel Erickson part 1 at VG247.
[link] to interview with Daniel Erickson part 2 at VG247.
[link] to video interview with James Ohlen at AngryJoeShow.
[link] to E3 roundup article at TOR-Aid.

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