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Fallen Earth | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Sci-Fi | Status:Final  (rel 09/22/09)  | Pub:GamersFirst
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download | Retail Price:n/a | Pay Type:Hybrid | Monthly Fee:n/a
System Req: PC | ESRB:MOut of date info? Let us know!

Interviews: Launch Interview

By Jon Wood on October 01, 2009

Launch Interview

Colin Dwan is the Project Manager for Fallen Earth. Just after the game's September 22nd launch, he spoke to Managing Editor Jon Wood about the game, it's launch, going up against Aion and much more. Find out what went right and what went wrong right from the team that brought this post-apocalyptic MMORPG to market.

Now that your game has launched, how has the game changed or evolved since the original alpha test?

Colin Dwan:

There have been upgrades to art, server performance, the new player experience and tutorial as well as a lot of polish. It’s phenomenal to see where we were a year ago and how much we’ve progressed.


How has being a smaller, independent studio affected the launch of Fallen Earth?

Colin Dwan:

We’ve always thought it was important to stay as connected to our community and pay attention to what they need. Being small, though it adds some difficulty in terms of managing resources and getting the word out, has benefited us in many ways. We have been able to be flexible and respond to things more quickly than we would if we were a larger company.

3. Are there any issues in the game that you feel wouldn’t have been there if Fallen Earth had had a major publishing studio behind the project?

Colin Dwan:

Having a large publisher would probably add convenience in terms of resources, but being independent helps us keep true to the vision we had for the game. It’s nice in a way because there’s more of a solid connection between the developers and the final product—there’s less filtering.

What, in your opinion, is the game’s biggest strength coming out of launch?

Colin Dwan:

We feel like we stand out from the other MMOs in the market. People may be polarized about their opinions of our game, but we feel that most people at least acknowledge that difference is there.


What, in your opinion, is the game’s biggest weakness coming out of launch?

Colin Dwan:

We have to learn to switch gears and learn to balance the limited resources and staff we have to create new content and address concerns of live game play, such as continued optimizations for stability. We also want to be able to reach as many new people as possible while we continue to reach out to existing players.

Fallen Earth launched on the same day as Aion, a game with a large studio and a lot of hype behind it. How, if at all, did that affect the launch of Fallen Earth?

Colin Dwan:

Some have asked if we consider Aion a competitor, and in short, we don’t. Their goals and game are very different than ours. It is really nice to see MMOs take more of a presence in the games industry. Aion has raised a lot of buzz, and it’s good to see more participation from the community.

One of the complaints that we have heard from some players is that water is currently inaccessible (invisible walled). Are there plans to change this in the future?

Colin Dwan:

Just like most other decisions that a small developer faces, we’ve got to balance issues. While we don’t want to trivialize our players’ desire to go skinny-dipping, we also have to balance this request against other things—things that may be larger priorities in terms of game play.

What is your strategy for maintaining and continuing to build a population within the game?

Colin Dwan:

Slow and steady wins the race. Continuing to work on the good base we’ve built. Fans are our largest proponents, and they’re awesome. Their blogs, positive word of mouth and support have been more powerful than any marketing campaign we could have hatched up.

Do you have anything to say to the game’s detractors who say that the graphics are a bit outdated?

Colin Dwan:

The graphics have come a long way. Some of the comments we’ve received are because people don’t necessarily go in to tweak their settings, and some default low. We will continue to make improvements. Some define an immersive game play experience by graphics, others by a rich storyline and game play. We probably leaned a bit more on creating storylines and a rich player experience, but we’re finding our balance.

What can players expect in terms of changes and updates from the developers in the near future?

Colin Dwan:

We want to keep to an aggressive pace as we continue to squash bugs, implement features that help with overall game play experience and as we round out some areas that people feel are lacking. We’d like to add more group play and continue to review the new player experience as we add content and new features for our existing players. For more on updates and such, just stay tuned to our web site.