Recently, Managing Editor Jon Wood caught up with Hilmar Petursson, the CEO of CCP. During the interview, the two talked about EVE Online, the new office in Atlanta and the future of the company.
While 2008 Game Developer's Conference I had the opportunity to talk to Hilmar Petursson, the CEO of Crowd Control Productions, better known to the world as CCP, the makers of EVE Online. While Keith and Laura each had interviews on specific aspects of EVE Online, I took this opportunity to ask the tall, red-haired CEO about the company in general while my colleagues talked to others about specific aspects of EVE.
For those who might not know, CCP is currently running three offices: one in Iceland, one in Shanghai, China and one in Georgia here in the United States. The most recent addition is the American branch, opened after the MMO company merged with White Wolf, the company behind such games as Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Awakening and other games set in the proprietary World of Darkness. I had hoped that this GDC would be the show where someone from CCP could be coaxed into talking a little bit about the upcoming (though still officially unannounced) MMO based in that universe. Unfortunately, San Francisco in February is still not the place, and even though many of the CCP devs were walking around in World of Darkness shirts, nobody was talking, including the CEO.
With the subject of the Atlanta office already on the table, I asked how the company had fared in integrating the new office into their international family. Hilmar told me that while they (CCP) had been expecting and bracing for a difficult assimilation, the process went very smoothly for which Petursson credits the "strong people and managers" that joined the company with the White Wolf merger.
Read it all here.
MMORPG.com is sad to report the passing of RPG pioneer Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons and the man widely credited as the father of role-playing games.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Gary Gygax, who co-created the fantasy game Dungeons & Dragons and helped start the role-playing phenomenon, died Tuesday morning at his home in Lake Geneva. He was 69.
He had been suffering from health problems for several years, including an abdominal aneurysm, said his wife, Gail Gygax.
Gygax and Dave Arneson developed Dungeons & Dragons in 1974 using medieval characters and mythical creatures. The game known for its oddly shaped dice became a hit, particularly among teenage boys, and eventually was turned into video games, books and movies.
Gygax always enjoyed hearing from the game's legion of devoted fans, many of whom would stop by the family's home in Lake Geneva, about 55 miles southwest of Milwaukee, his wife said. Despite his declining health, he hosted weekly games of Dungeons & Dragons as recently as January, she said.
Read more here.
Masthead Studios has answer the latest question of the week on their forums, this week describing Earthrise's crafting system.
Any info on the types of crafting available? Will it be the standard breakdown of armour/weapons/accessories or will there be a few more specializations, maybe like weapon upgrades or armour mods or vehicle creation (multi-discipline required, eg engines, transmissions, armour etc).
This week we would like to focus on crafting and answer Triox’ question. As we mentioned before, every item in Earthrise will be crafted by its players. This includes not only the usual fare of weapons, armor and devices but everything from mixing their own drugs and medicine to cooperative construction of buildings and vehicles, including mechanized exoskeletons. Crafting in Earthrise is a complex process that is easy to understand but ultimately difficult to master. The basic rule of crafting is that every item is made of components and every item can be broken down to its composites. Some components are used for specific items, others are used in a wide array of items – for example, a hand gun grip can be used in the creation of various hand guns, while electronic chipsets can be used to create specific devices. Players often will break down items to their components in order to combine some of them with other components to produce new, different items.
Read more here.
Flying Lab has posted part 2 of a dev journal which details the revamping of Pointe-a-Pitre, France’s regional capital in Pirates of the Burning Sea.
In part 1 of this devlog dedicated to the revamp of France’s regional capital, Pointe-a-Pitre, we looked at the development of the new city and some (if not all) of the inspiration for some of the features, places, and characters you’ll meet there. This time out, we’ll be looking at specific storylines, locations, and NPCs that will make “Point with Clown” an entertaining and rewarding destination for players of every nation.
Dude, Where’s My Fire Monster?
In addition to new art and layout, the revamp of the town gave us an opportunity to explore different ways to construct missions that didn’t necessarily put all the outcome on combat. Not that Pointe-a-Pitre visitors won’t have plenty of opportunity to smash their enemies beneath their stocking’d feet. Even in mission chains where combat is not the primary focus, fighting will come into play at key moments. Making missions that aren’t all about combat helps us flesh out the world and make it more believable, and this isn’t the last town that will see such innovations. We hope you dig ‘em like treasure.
What we haven’t included, upon further reflection, is the infamous Point with Clown fire monster. Turns out that was a myth based on shoddy Wikipedia translation. I know, who knew?
Read more here.
Stargate Worlds Forum members have been weighing in on how many character slots a player should get per server.
The number can mean the difference between a lot of comfy space on a server to being forced to choose which characters to delete to make more. Since the airing of the Stargate Worlds trailer in January (story), the forums here at StargateWorlds.com have grown immensely. New members have been resurrecting older threads to add their two cents. This thread asks the question: How many character slots should exist on a single server?
While some online players don't mind expanding to other servers to add new characters and seek out new friends, a large number of people will resort to deleting max-level characters in order to create room for new ones -- mainly because the server they reside in contains all of their in-game buddies.
What are your thoughts? Vote in the poll and let your voice be heard!
Read more here.
The Dungeon Runners dev team has spewed forth another expansion for their popular hack and slash dungeon game. This expansion however is just a mini expansion, and is too small to bear the usual 'Chunk' title, thus it has been dubbed 'Heave'. Heave hurls 51 new quests, new armor, and new gear into the fray, as well as offering improvements to the user interface and the waypoints system, and also horks up a few new characters.
NCsoft’s Dungeon Runners team is keeping things cool for its players by launching a new content update that provides some frosty surprises including snowmen, a new dungeon, new items and improvements to the waypoint system.
The content update, which is considered more of a “Heave” than a full-blown expansion “Chunk,” introduces a new dungeon called Balzack’s Burrow for player levels 55 and up. Balzack’s Burrow is loaded with loot, monsters and a final boss-battle that will require more than just mind-numbing violence in order to claim victory.
Chill Bill, a formidable snowman and the first NPC that players can summon in Dungeon Runners, is available at level 30 and can help players fight enemies. He has several specialized moves, such as the head butt, where Bill removes his head and bashes an opponent. Chill Bill is a low maintenance snowman that can be healed by hitting him with ice projectile spells.
Read more here.
In celebration of EverQuest's 9th year, the EverQuest team is holding a video contest where participants can win prizes like a camcorder, a digital camera, in-game titles, and more.
From Monday, March 3, 2008, (12:01 am, US Pacific Time) through Wednesday, April 3, 2008 at (11:59 pm, US Pacific Time), the EverQuest Team will be hosting "You're in Our World Now" video contest.Using in game imagery, sounds and their special skills, EverQuest community movie-makers have this opportunity to show us why they enjoying playing EverQuest by participating in this official EverQuest contest. Create a video that highlights the best of EverQuest! When filming the video, please keep the following in mind:
- Include a wide variety of zones, NPCs, and gameplay features.
- The video should display adventuring as well as highlight the community aspect of the game. (i.e. groups, guilds, raids)
- This video is to highlight the game, not individual achievement.
- Make sure you have PC names off. NPC name off is optional.
- If you add text to the video, be sure to check the spell and grammar.
Get all the details here.
NCsoft has posted the Weekend Wrap-up, which looks at the events in Tabula Rasa over the past weekend.
AFS Soldiers Social Network Created
Sniper HauntShade created a new social network site just for AFS Solders at http://www.afs-soldiers.com/. Create your own blog, groups or even upload pictures, it's a great place to connect with other troops.
General British Sighting!
General British was spotted on the Centaurus server this weekend. This PlanetTR thread has all the details. GB has been known to appear on all of the servers so keep your noses clean and your boots shined in case he stops by!
Live Fire Sports League
Looking for some PvP action? Live Fire Sports League has what you are looking for with PvP Ladders, Tournaments and event reports on matches such as Friday Night Fights so you never miss a bit of the action.
From the site: Live Fire Sports is active to promote hearty competition between AFS Soldiers and to keep combat skills sharp for those battles with the Bane. Live Fire Sports will maintain combat statistics for Clan, Squad, Duel, and any other forms of AFS Wargame Exercises. Get it on!
Read more here.
IGG has announced two events to help get new players into Angels Online. One involves GMs showing new players the ropes, the other involves giving new players a discount on items.
Event 1: Angel Tutoring in the Lyceum
Beginning players can often feel overwhelmed by all the terminology, systems, customs, items and quests they need to know to be successful in game. The Angels Online team wants all their players to feel comfortable about playing, so the AO GMs are going to tutor these beginning players.
9:00pm~10:00pm EST (GMT-5) Mar 6th Haniel(1)
9:00pm~10:00pm EST (GMT-5) Mar 6th Nisroc
Event Location: All servers
Read more about Angel Tutoring in the Lyceum here.
Read more about Cheap, Cheap, Cheap! here.
Lee "Torsion" Nagar, a programmer for Star Wars Galaxies talks about changes to the the game's buff interface in a new dev journal.
Dev Diary - Buff Interface
Hi everyone, this is Lee "Torsion" Nagar, a programmer on Star Wars Galaxies. For my first dev diary, I am going to discuss my work on the player buffs interface.
One of the first things I noticed in SWG was a somewhat limited buff interface. So when the lead designer brought me into his office to discuss a buff UI revamp, I was very eager to participate.
The very first task was to allow for more than two rows of displayed buffs. What is the purpose of showing the player what buffs are on them if they aren't visible?
Read more here.
Game Tribe has announced that the item shop in Infinity Online will open on March 6th.
Have you enjoyed the fight against your enemies? Soon you’ll have new ways to beat them all…
As of March 6th Infinity Online will launch its new item shop! Get your favorite Aterion warrior, choose between pure strength and agility, destructive axes and swords or ranged spears!
GameTribe has prepared wide offer of skills, characters, weapons for you and the list will be always updated with new releases to provide you the best entertainment!
It’s time for action!!! Infinity is waiting for you…
Read more about Infinity here.
While at the Game Developer's Conference, Jon Wood, Keith Cross and Laura Genender had the opportunity to record this new episode of the MMORPG.com podcast featuring Cabal Online.
In a special episode of MMORPG.com's podcast, regular co-hosts Jon Wood and Keith Cross are joined by Community Manager Laura Genender as they interview David Hoffman, the Executive Producer at OGPlanet about their release of the North American version of Cabal Online. This interview took place at this year's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Check out the show here.
At the Game Developer's Conference, we talk to all kinds of companies, form game developers to AI engineering companies. Today, Larua Genender files her editoial report on Javien, a payment company.
During the Game Developer’s Conference I had the pleasure of meeting with Leslie Poole (Chief Executive Officer) and Linda Hagopian (Vice President of Marketing and Communications) from Javien, specialists in digital payment solutions. While the Javien team is well versed in subscription style games, our focus today was their industry expertise in the MMO payment plan of the future: micropayments.
I came to our meeting with some uncertainty; I’m not a big supporter of the micropayment model, and I’m more willing to spend 15$ a month on subscriptions than 5$ a month on random items. The reason behind my prejudice? I like an even playing field, where everyone has the same tools and skills to start with. If another user is able to level or make money faster than me, fine, but if they’re able to buy their way up the ladder I start feeling uncomfortable. Hell, I feel uncomfortable “buying my way up the ladder” myself; I feel guilty at the thought of buying a sword, even if that’s the only way to obtain it.
Check it out here.
Recently, News Manager Keith Cross had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Tony Hilliam, the CEO of Auran and Lead Designer on their game, Fury. As you may or may not recall, after Fury's launch, Auran announced that they would be pulling back significantly on staff and resources for the PvP game. Today, Keith talks to Tony about the progress that has been made since then.
While at the 2008 Game Developer’s Conference I had the opportunity to talk to Auran CEO and Fury Lead Designer, Tony Hilliam. During the interview we discussed what happened at Fury’s launch, their subsequent business model change and the Age of the Chosen expansion in the months after launch, as well as the future course for the game.
When Fury launched back in October it was billed as the MMO for PvP fanatics. The PvP fans came out to play, but to Australian developer Auran’s disappointment, not enough of them stuck around. Early users ran into a number of problems which helped drive players away from the game. Many players complained they had a hard time getting the game to run with the high level of graphical quality of which the game was capable, even on high-end machines. Because the game was PvP focused, any choppiness could be a death sentence, thus some players who could run the game on its higher settings would be forced to opt for lower quality visuals as well. Tony informed me of one particular bug that caused a lot of headaches in the first few weeks after launch. Apparently there was a sound bug that could cut the game’s frame rate in half. After a few weeks they solved the problem, but the damage had already been done. In the business of MMOs, the first few weeks are critical, and can direct opinions about the game for years to come.
Read the whole article here.
Funcom is offering Conan fans in the UK the chance to attend a press event in London later in March. The winning fans will be the ones who best finish the sentence “I want to meet King Conan because…”
Eidos and Funcom have organized an exclusive Age of Conan GM tour for the press in a cinema in central London next week (Thursday, 13 March 2008).
Product Manager Erling ‘Lord Orion’ Ellingsen and Community Manager Oliver ‘Tarib’ Kunz will be there to show the game and it turns out we have room for a few crazy Brits at this event.
To win one of the 9 spots, all you have to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “The King is coming to the UK!” In the email, you should finish the sentence:
“I want to meet King Conan because…”
The 9 best entries will get themselves one seat each for this exclusive presentation of the game.
Read more here.
CCP has publishe Vol.18 of the EVE Online Newsletter, which contains information about the Trinity 1.1 patch, the 5th Alliance Tournament, and more.
Patch 1.1: Better Stronger Faster
The EVE Universe quaked with the release of EVE Online: Trinity. Now, behold the might of Trinity Patch 1.1. The Amarr Empire has long boasted about its powerful ships and a fervent willingness to destroy all that opposes them. Finally, the Omen, Zealot and Apocalypse class ships are getting a boost to reflect that devastating potential. However, the ship improvements don't end here. In order to satisfy your lust for carnage, modifications have also come for the Eagle, Moa, Raptor and Ferox class vessels. Head to our download page and get the client of your choice.
EVE Voice gets a few vital improvements including Channel Prioritization, which allows fleet commanders priority when speaking to their fleet. The days of muffled voices drowning out each other while vital disseminated information is missed are over. When your commander speaks, all other voices are muted as to not miss anything important.
Read more here.
The Grab Bag returns this week to once again answer a myriad of miscellaneous questions from the Dark Age of Camelot community.
Q. With the increasing amount of no sell/trade items since Labyrinth was introduced, are there plans to increase Vault Keeper/House Vault space?
A. The Bearded Wonder was ready for this one: That is a very common feedback that we get. We're investigating the possibility, but no firm time frame yet.
Q. Maybe I missed something but a few patches ago the Warlock was going to be given the ability to chamber on the move. What is the current status of this ability?
A. I skipped over to the Balancinator who had this to say: Yes, we introduced the change and it was on Pendragon for a few weeks. It was amazing and fun, but not without some problems. For Example: You could move and load chambers as stated. The problem is that a person could not stop casting the spell once it started. You were stuck casting this long duration spell until it completed or another player interrupted the cast. We tried to find a quick fix for the issue, but our attempts were unsuccessful. We made a decision to, revert the changes and to look for a permanent fix to the issue. We are still working on a solution for this bug.
Read more here.
Turbine has indicated that there will be an event involving the Devils of Shavarath taking place next Saturday.
Hello Citizens. I am Veheer F'nord, Augur of the Twelve. I bring ill tidings to you this day.
This is definitely no time to party now that Sir Lawrence has gone missing. According to my research, it seems the devils of Shavarath have made up their mind to perform a counter-strike in retaliation of our thwarting their General. I will be making an appearance tonight around the same time that the graffiti first appeared, to try and get a better grasp of what clues may be derived from their markings. For devils are lawful, not chaotic like foul demons. Their regimented nature may prove to be their undoing. My initial findings seem to indicate that whatever it is the devils are planning, it will be revealed to us for days to come, and it seems to favor the time range of fifteen minutes prior to the 22nd hour (9:45 PM EST, -5 GMT). Perhaps they thought going off the hour would fool us and catch us unawares. However, while their mischief has already begun, I fear that the ultimate culmination of their evil, based on the infernal writings, is next Sar (Saturday), and more than likely at that same time. This will be when they try to twist the knife in our weak spot. Anyone who spots anything amiss throughout this week should continue to give us reports from the field, so we can work together to try and stop them!
Read more here.
Blizzard has announced that the Arena Tournament realm for World of Warcraft is now up on the Public Test Realm. They have also posted the Arena Tournament item list page, a complete list of all the items that will be available to players participating in the 2008 Arena Tournament.
The new Arena Tournament realm for World of Warcraft is available for testing on the Public Test Realm. Join your fellow players to be first to experience this exciting new form of PvP. Please also provide us any feedback at the Arena Tournament Forums. More information can be found at the Arena Tournament information page, item list, and FAQ.
Item List Page
We're glad to unveil the Arena Tournament item list page detailing the items that will be available to players participating in the 2008 Arena Tournament. Please keep in mind that the item list is not finalized and will most likely be changed based on feedback and testing. We wanted to give those interested a sneak preview of the items prior to the public testing phase. Visit our Arena Tournament information page for the latest information regarding the Arena Tournament.
Visit the item list page here.