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GDC Interview: Emergent Game Technologies: Gamebryo Engine

At GDC, Garrett Fuller sat down to talk with Geoffery Selzer from Emergent Game Technologies to talk about that company's role in Dark Age of Camelot and the upcoming WAR from EA Mythic.

GDC Talk With Emergent
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Emergent Game Technologies is a company that gamers may not have heard of while playing MMOs. However, I am sure you have played an MMO that was built from an Emergent game engine. These are the guys who write the platforms for gamers to design to best graphics, most unique features, and endless virtual landscapes in which we all play. Emergent's Gamebryo Engine has become very popular within the MMO market. That is not good enough for these guys. They plan to continue innovation and bring MMO development to new levels over the next few years.

I was able to sit down with Geoffrey Selzer while at GDC despite his busy schedule. Geoffrey began by happily talking about Emergent's role in Dark Age of Camelot as well as the advances we will see in EA Mythic's upcoming Warhammer Online. He was also quick to note that seven MMOs in Korea are also using the Gamebryo engine. Those were all well and good, but Geoffrey truly wanted to talk about the future of MMOs and where he sees the technology going into the next decade.

Geoffrey views the MMO market as the cornerstone for what the video game market will really become. He expects future games to have a lot of new ideas and features for players to explore. Episodic gaming was a term that we heard a lot at GDC and it seems to be more of a reality. Companies like Emergent hope to help game designers put together content that can be delivered on a regular basis. Players would actually take their characters through episodes similar to a TV series.

The biggest area that Emergent is trying to work in is customization, allowing their game engines to be customized by developers to create very unique looking games. They want to keep as much flexibility in the market of engines as possible. So developers and continue to build very different worlds. "An Emergent game will never look like an Emergent game," said Geoffrey. This is a statement to the diversity these guys are trying to bring to the MMO marketplace. Also they try to work with their respective clients to provide as much support as possible. This gives companies the chance to auto test and auto build their games. In the MMO world, you have to take steps which will help you test and manage your game on a tight schedule. Emergent is trying to provide these services to companies to cut down on long development cycles.

When speaking to Geoffrey he expects there will be a Renaissance in game design over the next five years. That right now games are in a chaotic evolution of creativity. Emergent is certainly trying to pave the ground for the future of games across consoles, platforms, and hardware. He does feel it will eventually lead to a full on evolvement of our culture as we know it.

So many people will have access to games as players and developers alike, to the point where some people may be designing their own games for friends or family to play. Every single media in the world has been impacted by the Internet. It is only a matter of time before we see entertainment change to a more interactive format. I want to thank Geoffrey for spending time with us discussing the broad landscape that will eventually be MMO game design. In five years, who knows how strong the market will be, at least companies like Emergent are driving the strength in the right direction.