Friday, September 20, 2013

Fanterview: Nic

Nic W., our first fanterview
The one, the only: Nicholas
Name: Nicholas Whitewell aka Lucky Samurai

What do you for work in real life?
I am a student currently in my final year of a Bachelor of Education.

What is your favorite food? (the correct answer is “Bacon”) (Nutella is acceptable too)
I  would probably have to go with Nutella, though bacon is a close second.

Favorite movies?
This is such a tough question, I am probably going to nominate Cloverfield.

JJ Abrams did amazing work on maintaining an element of surprise of the monster and I felt that really took the monster genre in a new modern direction.

Any big events in your life this year you want to give a shout out about?
My boyfriend Jeff has been incredible this year and finishing this degree will be amazing! 4 weeks to go!

How did you first hear about Missing Worlds Media (MWM) and their first MMO project?
I think it was under a Google search of CoH which led me to an article about Missing Worlds and it just built on my interest from that point on.

What boundaries do you think MWM can push with their first MMO project?
I would love to see the roleplaying boundaries of the MMO genre pushed by MWM.

The community who is attracted to this project has always had an affable relationship with RP’ers and recent MMO’s have really let the RP’ing community down. Giving them lore support ( a way to work their super groups/ characters into official lore) or more meaningful ways for them to express their individuality and creativity would be awesome.

On the gameplay side I think many recent MMO’s have taken up a more direct and action focused gameplay style. A way to bring in more relaxed social elements and balance to MMO’s might be an area that MWM can push boundaries. Not to say I don’t want action I definitely want that!

Why do you think people should support the Kickstarter campaign for MWM’s first MMO project?
Honestly I feel that MMO’s over the past three or four years from major publishers and developers have really missed the mark. Combined with the relative sparseness of the superhero game genre I think MWM should be given an honest and decent shot left by the departure of other superhero MMO’s.

What is it that attracts you to the Superhero genre?
For me, my favorite heroes are those who are neither good nor evil, they exist in a kind of middle ground. I found quite early on that fantasy heroes are either good or bad and the same applies for sci-fi. Superheroes exist in worlds that demand good guys do bad things and bad guys do good things. Nobody is ever really one or the other. Heroes fall to the darker side of things and villains rise to the light...thats why I like superhero games. The superhero genre as such allows for players to explore moral issues that don’t get explored in other mediums.

What is your favorite super power and why?
It’s gotta be luck manipulation or probability manipulation ala Longshot from X-Men or Jinx from Teen Titans. Probability manipulation has this uncanny ability to turn situations in ways that not even the wielder can predict. While almost always in favor of the caster, it’s still up the casters own intelligence to use the result in a way that benefits them.

Have you witnessed or read about any acts of heroism lately that have inspired you?
Without a doubt reading the reports and memoirs of firefighters  from September 11 remain some of the most inspiring stories I have ever read. The kind of bravery and dedication it would require to be a firefighter is unimaginable. Also reading the reports about protesters in Russia at the moment as homosexuality is effectively turned into a crime I can’t help but feel they are in many ways displaying enormous heroism by fighting for equality.

Do you actively Role Play when playing video games, if you do what makes it an immersive experience for you?
Yes I do.

The most important thing for me when it comes to RP is connection to lore. Having the lore of the game available to read and easy to access makes creating a character that fits into the world so much easier. Once that character is established and has a believable place in the world then it’s really up to the ability of the RPer to craft an identity through storytelling.

Game mechanics are important as well though and can create or break the ability to immerse yourself into the RP. ie. Speech Bubbles are VITAL! SWTOR doesn’t have them and RP is virtually impossible. Runescape doesn’t have them and RP is virtually impossible. Character costumes that are unique and allow for RPers to craft exactly how they envision their character is the next thing that makes RP mechanics work. CoH had an unbelievable amount of costume options but it was still never enough to really get exactly what you wanted. Champions Online improved on this with asymmetry but still was missing something that prevented truly immersive RP.  

Lastly the wrapping on the package is supporting the community with RP servers where people can expect to find RP and just jump in. Having a RP community that is active and knows its supported is always the best way to foster more RP and create stories within the story of the game. CoH did this quite well with many novelty items directly aimed at RPers….the ‘walk’ toggle for example was brilliant for RP and the inclusion of Pocket D as well.

How important is an active online community in MMO’s and what do you think can be done to make them more involving?
So as I see it there are two obvious parts to an MMO’s community and each plays an important role in crafting an enjoyable MMO experience.

The ingame community being active is essential to the establishment of a world that is working, breathing and living. Activity from the ingame community creates an MMO at its most basic level and involving them in world bosses and raids builds the community into one that cares and enjoys each others company. A way to involve this community with itself and with an out of game community is official leader boards for accomplishments and regular dialog with developers. Both aspects encourage players to visit the forums and take that knowledge into the game. Also lore displayed ingame should be replicated and expanded out of game for players who want to more actively involve themselves in the story. Giving the community the ability to influence the story direction could also be a way to involve players both ingame and out of it (similar to defiance).

What makes a game “fun” for you?
Games are a mode of storytelling so for me I get the most enjoyment out of a being told a really good story. I want to know all about the world I am exploring but I don't want to be spoon fed it, I want to explore it for myself and be able to discover the story at my own pace. On  that note a contemporary story is vital, a story that is unpredictable that takes me on a journey I didn’t know I really needed until I’m halfway through it and I find myself being kept awake wondering what happens next. Fun comes when the characters I like experience events or feelings and I chose that experience for them and the consequences of my choices are felt three acts, missions, chapters later. The ability to influence the story creates fun for me in ways that movies and books and art can not.

What is your favorite quote and why? “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” - Thomas Jefferson “Listen, smile, agree and then do whatever the fuck you were going to do anyway.” by Robert Downey Jnr I guess the reason they both speak to me is because they both represent my view on life and how I approach my goals. I am unreservedly stubborn and will push on with what I want to do regardless of what I am told. Also though I believe in creating your own success and the harder you work the more likely you are to achieve your goals.


  1. Great answers! I agree about the protesters in Russia. I wish people would get a clue and worry about their own selves. Cloverfeild is a great movie. I look forward to possibly teaming with you in the future! :)