The team over at Spanish WildStar fansite WildStar-ESP recently scored an interview with Creative Director Matt Mocarski of Carbine. We've teamed up to transcribe the full interview for you here, while the Spanish translation is over at WildStar-ESP. Enjoy!
WILDSTAR-ESP: To start could you introduce yourself and explain to us what your role on Wildstar is?
MATT MOCARSKI: My name's Matt Mocarski, I'm the Art and Creative Director of Wildstar. My role is kind of twofold, number one I'm the art director, which means I oversee all of the creation of assets and set the look of the game and work with the art team. I have about 75 artists that report to me. I have about 10 leads under me that all have their different sub-departments. So basically I just oversee every asset that goes into the game. All the lighting, everything. Anything visual in the game has most likely been reviewed by me and my team. So I've been in that role for a very long time.
On the Creative Director side that's something I'm a little bit new to. I've been doing that for the past like two years. Basically, I guide the entire team to make sure that everything falls under the themes of Wildstar. Make sure things have high personality, make sure that everybody is following the general lore and the themes of the story. While a lot of teams will write back stories and write content for the game. I'm just trying to make sure that everything falls under this one theme. Part of that also includes all the marketing assets. One of the funnest things I do at my job is I actually get to co-write the Wildstar flicks. I help do like voice direction or when we do the recording sessions and everything. And that really helps set the tone of the game for the team.
WILDSTAR-ESP: Let's focus on the game. Why did you decide that Wildstar had to use a cartoon style when nowadays it seems that gamers prefer games with realistic graphics?
MATT MOCARSKI: Right, so this came down to... Wildstar started as a very different art style. It was a little more realistic, it was still stylized. But it was a little more Final Fantasy type look to it. But, that really didn't resonate well with the team. For some reason the team wasn't latched onto the game, they just didn't like it. It didn't appeal to them. So we tried another iteration of the style where it went a little more cartoony. We found that there were certain elements in that, that the team really liked. And the team really liked characters that had large expressions. We did one last iteration where we took that and just said let's take that and apply it to everything. And it all came down to the team and what they were passionate about. And that's really how we developed the style.
Once we announced the game, the support for the art style was amazing. We weren't expecting, we thought it was going to be one our biggest challenges. Actually it became one of the things that people celebrated and commented on, including the press. Saying, “Wow, this thing looks you know, unlike anything else.” Really it just came from what we really as developers liked. It's very important that you have a team that is passionate about what they're working on. Because you know that passion, you'll see it in the game and see that love come into every asset and every aspect of the game. And right now everybody at Carbine loves the visual style of the game. And our fans love it and it seems like the press like it too. And you know we're just really thankful for that.
It's also I think because it's so different, it stands out from the other realistic games. I think that people go realistic because when you advance technology, that's how you show that tech right? Because we know how things interact with the real world. I think once that technology's around for a little while, you see more people experimenting with it. Like you see games like Journey or you see games like Limbo where people are having fun with the style. Or you even look at games like Borderlands, Borderlands having a really fun style with it. And I think what you usually see the trend is, when a new console or technology comes into play, it starts out rendering reality and then slowly over time people start to push it in different ways and different styles and everything. You see more experimentation with it once people get familiar with it. So I think there's actually a broader appeal with that stylized stuff, it's just that people get really excited because the new technology always starts with realism.
WILDSTAR-ESP: On the other hand, the Medic class could have either the healer or DPS role. When talking about healing, what differences are among the three possible healer classes: Medic, Spellslinger and Esper?
MATT MOCARSKI: I'm going to try to focus on the Medic on that answer. The Medic is a short ranged healer, which means that they have to get in close to the combat. So we had to make them a little bit tougher, so he wears a higher level of armor. He wears medium armor, whereas our other two classes wear light armor. So if you like to be a little bit more hands on, you want to be a Medic. Like he's more mobile and you have to dash and stuff like that. Another interesting thing about the Medic, as opposed to the other ones, is that the Medic, his third resource that you need to trigger your abilities, it starts full. So you can actually use a lot of your consumer abilities right off the bat, whereas the other two I think you have to do more building before you use your consumer. So if you want to do instant healing right off the bat and damage right off the bat, you can do that with a Medic. The other thing that's unique to the Medic, he has abilities that both heal and cause damage. So you can do both at the same time as you kind of want to juggle that thing. So, he's very unique in that he's short ranged and he can take more of a beating than the other classes can.
In terms of the Spellslinger and Esper, I'm not 100 percent sure, but I think the Esper likes to kind of be more static and stay still. The Spellslinger you have to be extremely mobile, like the Spellslinger is really delicate and always running around. The Spellslinger is one of our more advanced classes for advanced players. So if you like to run around, jump around, change your direction and position and everything, you want to be a Spellslinger. If you like getting in the meat of the fight you want to be a Medic. If you want to kind of stand back and be safe, you want to be an Esper.
WILDSTAR-ESP: What about the tank role for the engineer? What difference will we find to tank between the Engineer, Warrior, and Stalker classes?
MATT MOCARSKI: The main difference with the Engineer on top of it has it's bots that can help you out. All its bots have different roles and you can actually have two bots out at the same time. Unlike most pet classes, you can actually trigger their abilities. So you can have mini sub-rolls with that depending on what bots you've summoned. But the main difference is that with the Engineer abilities, I think all but one Engineer ability is actually mobile. You can fire while you're moving, you're limited and slowed down a bit, but most of the tanks you have to stay still while you're doing your abilities and then dodge out of your way. So with the Engineer, you can actually kind of kite along enemies to get them into the position you want them to be in. So you can move all around the battlefield while you're actually dealing damage. And that's something that's very unique compared to the other classes.
Be sure to head over to WILDSTAR-ESP for all the latest info on the game, from the Spanish side of the world!