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Bleedout Interview

Garrett Fuller Posted:
Interviews 0


Give us a general idea on what Bleedout means to players?

Vogster Entertainment:

We set out to create a cohesive and compelling universe that made sense and flowed in a logical way. When the game first launched it didn’t deliver a cohesive vision that made sense. The Players and Reviewers let us know this in no uncertain terms. The new production team hired writers and artists from the comic industry to help flesh out the universe in a logical and meaningful way. We wanted to deliver a new vision of the game, which meant that basically we needed to re-art direct the entire game from the lobbies, to stores, to the clothes and the all the little ads and billboards which can be seen throughout Sunrise City. Everything now supports that core vision and there is a clearer and more cohesive look and feel to the game. Things make sense now.

The world we created is a world which was on the brink of collapse due to a massive economic crisis caused by the world’s oil resources running out. This was known as the Bleedout event. There were civil wars and the complete breakdown of society worldwide... and just at it teetered on the edge, various individuals started putting things back together again to form their own city governments – It was a New Age of Ruin. On one side you have the federal government trying to re-establish what it once had, on the other side you have crime families and gangs who have pulled together to rebuild their own cities and form a walled defense against any and all external forces. Sunrise City is such a place. In between you have nomadic tribes known as the Rogues who are a constant threat to everyone. The Bleedout campaign tells the story of how Sunrise City was formed and the fragile alliance of 6 different crime families and their struggle to maintain power equity amongst themselves. Of course all these individuals have their own ambitions and plans for Sunrise City and that’s where the narrative gets really interesting for the Player. It’s a bit of the Sopranos mixed with Mad Max.


How are you implementing the Free to Play model?

Vogster Entertainment:

Our Free to Play model is a hybrid of subscription and micro-transaction. We have a Deluxe subscription for $4.99/month that gives you access to the Bleedout episodes, as well as double XP, loot and in-game cash gains (and a few Gold Bars for micro-transactions) and we have a $9.99 Premium Subscription that includes the same benefits of the Deluxe version with an additional 120 Gold Bars ($6) for players that want to make more use of the Black Market item shop.

Our core philosophy around our business model is to avoid the "Pay to Win" trap that lots of other F2P games (specifically shooters) fall into. The best items in the game cannot be bought; they must be earned either through loot drops or crafting. All the items we sell can be earned through gameplay, we are only offering a convenience factor of bypassing the player economy (Auction House) or bypassing getting the item yourself through normal gameplay. Basically it's a tradeoff of time vs. money.


Talk about the episodic content for players, how does this play into the MMO aspect of the game?

Vogster Entertainment:

The Bleedout Campaign starts with the premier of Episode 1 on December 4th at 7:00pm EST (Midnight GMT / Server time). The campaign runs for ten episodes and each episode delivers on average about 2.5 hours of PvE content. Player's can enjoy this content by themselves or with their friends as a co-op experience. Bleedout is a great experience for new players since it has an auto-difficulty tuning mechanic that adjusts based on Player skill. New players can practice their combat skills and prepare themselves for PvP gameplay against more seasoned Players. All players are given rewards during the Campaign as well as Reputation points. Reputation points will ultimately determine a player's status within the world and these points permeate every aspect of CrimeCraft online and off. As players progress through episodic they will gain experience, level up, learn about weapons and the History of the Bleedout and Sunrise City.


How will players get the episodes for Bleedout?

Vogster Entertainment:

All our subscribers will get the episodes for free. Subscribers get 1 episode per week as part of their subscription and if they join after the premier this Saturday they can purchase episodes to get caught up with the rest of the community for $2 each or continue to play on their own timeline without additional cost. Free players get the first episode for free and can purchase additional episodes for $2.


Crime Craft remains in play while other MMOs have fallen from expectations in this genre. Can you tell us how the game continues to listen to players and grow with its community?

Vogster Entertainment:

We felt that the game lacked good PvE content, which is why we delivered the Bleedout Campaign. If people like the episodic campaign we will deliver more. Bleedout is part 1 of a 3 part storyline. In addition to Bleedout, we are always trying to improve the game's balance and fun factor by focusing on the games strength: the PvP combat.

Our GMs do a great job of being there for the community, we thought we could compete against the big boys by providing better service to our players than they do. That single thought has always been a mantra for us. Provide the best service, make sure the game is fair and listen to the Players concerns. Our GMs work closely with our development team to make sure our players are heard by the people in the trenches working on the game. A lot of time is spent by the dev team implementing player requests. We read every post, create a list and then the Producer and Designers go through every request point by point and decide what we are going to fix and the priority of things we will fix. We have a modest team and while we can't fix everything at once, we do a pretty good job of addressing the key issues. Our community has a huge part in defining where this game is headed.


What is the one element of Bleedout that you are most excited to reveal to players?

Vogster Entertainment:

The episodic component - delivering a weekly story to the players complete with twists, surprises and cliff hangers is probably the biggest surprise for the players with this relaunch. Delivering episodic content is one of the hardest and riskiest things to develop successfully in the game industry which is why so few publishers attempt it. We're super excited about this, it certainly wasn't easy and it took us a while but we think it'll be well worth the wait. Players will learn about Sunrise City, it's unique history, how the Bleedout event happened along with all the dark twisted criminal agendas and global conspiracies that will reveal themselves over the next 10 weeks.

We brought together some of the finest talent in the comicbook industry to help us achieve this lofty goal, names like Ben Templesmith, Nathan Fox, Glenn Fabry, Tim Bradstreet, etc, and we are very proud of how things turned out.


What are the future plans for CrimeCraft in 2011?

Vogster Entertainment:

Over the next few months we will provide new instances and much more PvP customization for the Player's so they can set their matches up however they want, for instance 1 shot kill matches. We also want to bring down the initial installation size down to about 1.5 gigs so more players will be able to experience the game easily. We are always tuning, balancing and tweaking the core gameplay to get it as close to perfection as possible.

The longer term vision for CC is to create a living breathing, constantly changing environment where gangs can control sections of the city, so they can open up shops and services and generate wealth for themselves as well as the Municipality. Giving gangs the freedom to compete against each other for power and control of Sunrise City - this is the meta-game we are developing towards but that's going to take us some time. As we progress towards this we need to make the lobbies' fun places to spend time in. When Players need a break from combat there should be more interesting things to do and experience. The Players have requested mini-games like slot machines and casinos along with assassin type games (where Players can perform hits on other players within the lobbies). All of this is being worked on now. With the Release of Bleedout and Reputation we have set the stage for this to happen.

On the PvP Tournament side, we really would like to create a 6 to 8 week global world cup championships where the best Players from different countries can compete against each other in global competition, country vs. country. We just need our population to grow enough to justify a feature like that but for us, that would be the ultimate thrill, and separate us from the competition.

Of course we will continue to listen to our community and address their issues and feature requests along the way. We never lose sight of this and are always trying to balance that with the long term vision of the game. That's really what's so cool about persistent games; they evolve over time and take on different dimensions. Our community has the power to help shape the way the game is going to evolve.


Garrett Fuller

Garrett Fuller / Garrett Fuller has been playing MMOs since 1997 and writing about them since 2005. He joined MMORPG.com has a volunteer writer and now handles Industry Relations for the website. He has been gaming since 1979 when his cousin showed him a copy of Dungeons and Dragons. When not spending time with his family, Garrett also Larps and plays Airsoft in his spare time.