Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Community questions - Part 6

Here's the next batch of answers to the questions you sent us - can you believe there's still more to come? Who'd have thought you'd have so many? (Probably not the devs, when they promised to answer them ;) ) 

I can, at least, see the bottle of the pile now, so you don't have to endure our waffling for much longer.

Somehow, we seem to have been a bit more sensible this time around.

Anyway, as I don't have anything particularly witty or intelligent to say today, here's the next batch of answers for you, freshly baked.

Lauren 'Rae' O'Neill
Yes, I'm still here.
The Phoenix Project


1. Has the team reached out to any mainstream studios or we'll known game designers for assistance? Can we expect the game to more resemble an I2 or I20 build. For example things like ED, Def, and, Acc will portray what time frame of the game? Assuming you use a system like this.
Nathaniel Downes, Technical Director:  "It will be closer to I24 than I2. The specifics of Defense, Accuracy, or ED are still nothing I would talk about yet, only play-test will settle them. It is not identical to what we had in CoH, but a refined version based on the experience we all had in CoH."

Tentative clip-art alert!

2. When does the first expansion go live? :-p

Kaylan Lyndell-Lees, Lore Lead: "We can't really say when we'll have our first expansion when we haven't even reached the point of alpha testing, much less launch. Hopefully we'll be able to have two expansions a year, but that is extremely tentative."

Cameron Johnson, Studio Director:  "Taking what Kaylan said, however, I can assure you that the Lore and Story team have a lot of content "building blocks" ready to go, so the expansions, when they come, will be very satisfying.

"Two a year is, as she said, our current goal, so probably anticipate one every six to eight months after the game is launched. Again, no promises; until we get to pre-alpha, timetables on post-release stuff really can't be more than guessed at. Albeit a somewhat educated guess."

3. Mission Maps anyone? I think a map that looks like a gianttoy box would be epic.. and classic comic book (Mysterio, Toy Man... etc). There was a lot of design repetition in City of Heroes, and understandably so, but I always appreciated running into a unique mission map now and again. Even when it was a variation on a common map, transformed into something new. I hope MWM can adress the issue of map doors taking you into illogical locations... like an office door that takes you into a cave.. or a cave door that takes you to an office... etc.
Kaylan Lyndell-Lees, Lore Lead: "We intend to have a large variety of maps, and we plan on having the floor layouts of those mission maps make sense for the buildings that they're in.

"We are definitely planning to have office doors take you into offices, cave entrances take you into caves, and so on."

Nathaniel Downes, Technical Director:  "One of the things we are doing is the dual-purposing of tools. Instead of having a handful of fixed maps, we are building a map builder, which would also double as the base builder. As we enhance the tool for map making, our base tool would be improved along the way. As a result, making more interesting and unique maps will be easier."

Jessica Weaver (Yoko), Art Director:  "That has been something on the forefront of our minds when considering the world, how the player interacts with it and how to address instance maps. We hope that each map and mission will be a unique experience and help the player feel more immersed in our world"

4. there are older gamers who appreciate comics in the DC Vertigo vein and would like to see that represented in a game. I imagined having to provide proof of age, then being able to access either a Mature server or Mature zones, where the limits on what can be said/shown are more relaxed. So, the question would be, is that possible at all and is it something you guys would even consider?

Kaylan Lyndell-Lees, Lore Lead: "During the process of writing the game's lore and history, we've done a bit of research on what's required to maintain a T for Teen rating from the ESRB. Unfortunately, what you're suggesting would prevent a game from having that T for Teen rating.

"We feel that it's important for us to keep the T rating in the game, as many of the COH community played with their families. We want parents to be able to comfortably play with their children, both older and younger, and an M rating would make that much more difficult."

5. May we see any in-game city modeling?
Kaylan Lyndell-Lees, Lore Lead:  "We will certainly show you some teasers and previews of models when they are ready for public view."

Jessica Weaver (Yoko), Art Director:  "Since we are an all volunteer force, there are a number of our artists and modelers that are rusty, adjusting to new programs or still in school and therefore not moving at the pace we all would -like- to dedicate to the game.

"We're working to the point of making some content that will end up in the final game for you to see, and when that time comes, we will certainly be sharing it with the community that has been supporting us from day one. In the meantime we ask your patience as we turn our engine into a purring, well-tuned machine ;)" 

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