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MMOFPS | Genre:Historical | Status:Final  (rel 06/04/01)  | Pub:Matrix Games
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Battleground Europe - Exclusive Internal Q&A With the Producer

Dana Baldwin, the Producer of Battleground Europe, brings our anniversary celebrations to a close with this internal Q&A.

Battleground Europe first launched in 2001 to great anticipation and excitement. Seven years later, you can still find that excitement on the virtual battlefields of Western Europe. The creators of the game, Cornered Rat Software, have planned a week long celebration to mark the 7th anniversary of one of the first MMOs to hit the gaming scene. Senior Producer Dana “Gophur” Baldwin was happy to field some questions about first impressions, longevity, and the community.

Question:

What is your role at Cornered Rat Software and how long have you been with the company?

Answer:

Our anniversary marks my seventh year as a rat which seems like a long time but almost everyone here has been here as long or longer than I have! I started with the company fresh outta art school as a terrain monkey, hence my nickname (thanks SNAIL). My current title is Senior Producer. That's pretty vague but then the job of a producer is often described as "everything but code and art" and that sums it up pretty nicely. My duties for WWIIOL revolve primarily around design for the future of the game and coordinating the tasks of the art, code and production teams and I occasionally actually get to do some, you know, work.

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Question:

What was your first impression of WWIIOL:Battleground Europe? What grabbed you and made you say "This is something I really want to be a part of"?

Answer:

The scale of the game was what initially made me interested. The whole concept that you were playing this giant game of risk where the pieces would actually be real players just spoke to me on a "I want to conquer the world" sort of level. I had always been a bit of a war and history nut and I'd seen what these guys could do with a flight sim before so the whole package was very appealing but the real hook didn't come until the first time I climbed into a Char and fired the 75. I was literally giddy.

Question:

Battleground Europe has been going for 7 years, what do you feel is a major factor in keeping players interested?

Answer:

Some people see the historic nature of the game, the realistic ballistics and physics or the competitive sport of pure PvP as the sum of WWIIOL and I think those are all excellent draws for the game but in the end it is the passion and camaraderie of our community of players and developers as much as the adrenaline fueled, heart stopping action that keep our players coming back again and again.

Question:

Developers, producers, even the president of Playnet are constantly interacting with the community, even participating in heated debates with players. Do you feel this benefits the game?

Answer:

Absolutely. Since the inception of the game we have been friends with our community. This is really grounded, as we are, in the old days of the Internet. Most of our developers and many of our day one players had been flying flight sims online across the Internet before there even was a world wide web. That camaraderie just naturally carried over into how we interact day by day.

Question:

Why is the huge gameworld important to WWIIOL and how does it compare to other MMOs on the market?

Answer:

Everyone likes to think their world is big. Ours actually is. That's in large part to do with the need to incorporate and air sim into the game. We're up to about 37,000 square kilometers I think and that only accounts for the one-sixth of the game world that is developed. I don't know of anyone that compares with that.

Question:

What planned feature are you most looking forward to implementing?

Answer:

ARGH! There is so much that we've added and yet still so much we want to do. Naval play comes readily to mind but then so does Persistent Groups and then there is... But, if I had to pick one, I'd have to say that getting a new Terrain would be what I would most like to see. Naturally, it's probably the biggest and hardest thing on the list, and it's a big list! I guess that is really no surprise though. This project has always been about conquering the world.

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