Jon Spofford, of the Undead Lords guild, recently interviewed Danielle Vanderlip, the assistant community manager for Shadowbane. He decided to contribute the article to our site and we thank him for it. The article provides an interesting peek behind the scenes as Danielle gives her thoughts on a range of genre topics.
John Spofford: The lore was a huge part of Shadowbane, and on the newest game server limits who can group with who, and what classes can be in which guild. The other big aspect of lore was the Feature Character program, what can you tell me about this?
Danielle Vanderlip: The Feature Character program was a program in which we had a team of virtual actors that would run characters within the game world and create interactive events for the players. These events were loosely scripted to where we had the basic premise of the event and the backstory of the character we played, however the outcome wasn’t always perfectly scripted out. The end of an event was what the players made it. If they succeeded or failed it was on their own merit. If others came in to interrupt or take part, that was also a part of the event. There were no rules saying who could or could not participate and in that the events became different for each server even when the basis was the same.
Unfortunately with a program like this, it requires extra funds in order to keep a staff on hand to keep the events going. Eventually the staff was layed off or reshuffled and only a skeleton crew is able to do events relatively infrequently.
Support for player events however is still given as often as possible. We’ve always encouraged people to change the world they live in and whether for good or ill, that is exactly what we’ve gotten.
You can read the Q&A here.