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Paragon Studios
MMORPG | Genre:Super-Hero | Status:Cancelled  (est.rel 04/27/04)  | Pub:NCSoft
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City of Heroes Interviews: Q&A With Steve Siverling

By Mark Schembri on November 09, 2003

Recently, I had the opportunity to discuss EvilGamer's upcoming MMORPG title, Rage Kage Online, with Project Lead, Steve Siverling. Below are the questions that Iasked, followed by Steve's response.

General Questions

How did you and your team get started in the MMOG development field?

I answered a post on a forum. The team, most of them I knew from other teams I was on, or they either answered an ad on the forum.

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What influences, game industry-related or otherwise, have inspired you?

When I was kid, my family didn't have a Nintendo, like the other kids so I had to be creative. I read every game review mag, I could. I am especially fond of Next Generation, and Gamustra. I've also played Anarchy Online, and Asheron's Call (the expansion one), so I do draw from my experiences from there.

How did you come up with the idea for RKO?

Basically, the main idea is the Sir Kage's, not mine, although I have fleshed it out a bit.

How would you say development is going on RKO?

Better, it's picking up, and I think it'll even go faster the closer we get to releasing the game.

Talk about the technology being utilized in the game. How does it stack up with current MMOGs out there?

I don't like it when people say talk about this. But to answer your question, I think our engine 3d Gamestudio is quite good. We are also writing some of the code for the game in C++, so i think most people will be surprised.

Talk about the fictional background behind your game. What elements of the background do you feel will most engage the players?

I think the character Sir Kage, will be very interesting to players. He's the main character of the story, he's not necessarily a good guy by any means but you can see why he is the way he is.

The current push towards MMOG genre in the gaming industry is very high. What's going to make RKO different from your run-of-the-mill MMOG? How do you feel RKO will keep subscribers coming back?

I think our "get it right the first time" philosophy and allowing the players to change things [through outcomes of monthly events in which players will be involved] will put us over the top.

What would you say your greatest challenge in developing this game has been?

Getting people to work on the game. The problem is, since this is such a risky endeavor, [it's difficult to] find people who are willing devote the time to make it work.

What do you see as the biggest problem with MMOGs today and how does RKO address that problem?

Bugs, when your online all the time, and are played as much as mmogs are it's a lot harder to hide them. They'll get noticed. So you have to be extra careful about it. We plan to address this problem, by not rushing our coders, and allowing a long beta

Character Creation/Development

Talk about the character creation system. How customizable with the player avatar be?

The player avatar will be able to change clothes, weapons, armor, etc. Players will start out with characters with randomized stats. Players will have the option to buy characters with a better chance of having better stats.

Talk about the playable races in the game. How many are there and are there specific benefits/weaknesses to each race? If so, give a few examples.

Right now, humans, but who knows. We are planning to add more later on in development. Each race will have a city. Also, monster races.

Will there be player classes/professions?

Yes, players will define the classes [there will be no pre-set classes], as for professions players will be able to change professions later on in the game.

How will the character development/advancement system work? Will it be level or skill based, or a combination of both?

Skill based, we'll have schools where players can learn. Also players will get skill points by teaching other players.

Gameplay

Will there be PvP? If so, talk a little about the system that you are planning on putting in place.

Yes there will be PvP, but like the good book says, those that live by the sword, die by the sword. It will be easy for players to die.

Will there be death penalties? Safe zones? How will you address griefing?

When someone dies they will either go to heaven or hell. There will be no real safe zones except maybe schools. Most of the problem with griefing is because their a really high powered guy, that the players have no chance of killing. We think that even high-powered players can die, then the society will sort that out.

How will travel work in the game? Foot powered or will there be player or AI-controlled mounts or vehicles?

Initially, foot-powered, but were planning to add vehicles, and pets later on in the game.

Will player crafting be available in the game? If so, talk about the system you plan on implementing?

Well, for metals players will be able to mine ores. These ores will have different melting points, the higher the melting point, the stronger the metal. Players will be able to melt these ores into ignots, then pour them into molds. Players will be able to make molds, and also to take rods, and hammer it into things. The skill level will determine the quality of the item, and the speed of creation, and also what you can do with it.

Will there be any trading or other economic outlets available in the game? Will players be able to have vendors/merchants? Will there be a "bazaar" type interface to sell crafted wares?

Yes, I'm sure there will be whether we allow it or not. [Regarding merchant-type features] Right now we're trying to make the game playable and that's the focus.

What, in your opinion, is the coolest feature present in the game?

The three realms, with different settings I think is truly unique, and allow the player to play in the realm they want. Also, the players effecting things in the other realms should be cool.

Conclusion

When are you planning on releasing the game?

WHEN IT'S GOOD AND READY! We are hoping for 2005.



We would like to extend a big "Thank You" to Steve for taking the time to chat with us. It sounds like they have a longroad ahead of them and we hope they will be bringing us a great new MMORPG title!

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