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Linkrealms Interview

By Garrett Fuller on January 25, 2011 | Interviews | Comments

Linkrealms Interview

Tell us about Linkrealms. This may be the first time readers are reading about it.

Paul Witte:

Linkrealms is a free-to-play sandbox MMO using an isometric 3D engine. I know the actual meaning of the term “sandbox” is up for debate so I’ll clarify a bit. There are no character classes which limit your skills (you can fight, use magic, or both), no forced questing, no level requirements on dungeons (though a newbie may not survive long if he is out of his league), and realm owners are even able to explore their own ideas by customizing and scripting their own space in the game world.

There is more focus on player interaction, and players have the option to create their own realm which is a real part of the world, which stays active whether they are online or not.

Mythyn Interactive is a small team of independent developers who are very dedicated to the Linkrealms project. Being small does slow us down, but we strive for quality and we're hopeful that the game will be well received and grow for many years. We've had time to listen to our players and hopefully we can build the game that so many people seem to be looking for -- something different and outside of the typical theme-park MMO formula.


What types of skills are available to players? Is it an open skill system with no classes?

Paul Witte:

A few examples are cooking, tailoring, prospecting, melee skills (including bows), lock-picking, and sorcery.

It is an open skill system with no classes. There is an overall cap for skills, but which skills you choose to use, and in what combination, is up to you.

The game seems to capture the classic MMO feeling, was this part of your approach?

Paul Witte:

When the game was first conceived it was intended to be a browser-based game. At the time that fact, as well as a desire to keep the realm creation process as simple as possible, we decided on an isometric view. The game evolved into something much more than what we originally envisioned, but we are happy we stuck with the isometric design. We often hear from people who are not comfortable with a full 3D game perspective and we hope to help fill that niche. Anyone who has ever played Ultima Online will feel right at home with the user interface. I want to be clear, even though the perspective is isometric, the game engine itself is still 3D with fully animated 3D models and effects. To those who may prefer a fully 3D engine, we feel we make up for it with quality animations, effects, and attention to detail.

You have designated Dungeons in the game to explore, how do these dungeons differ?

Paul Witte:

Rather than just being a spawning ground for monsters and bosses, we design each of our dungeons with their own personality and goals. Most of them are linear with a series of puzzles and challenges. We’ve implemented an advanced AI to keep things interesting. Some of our dungeons allow unprovoked PvP and looting, while others provide a safe environment. Our goal, and we realize it is a difficult one, is to achieve a balance regarding PvP that appeals to both types of players. None of our dungeons are currently instanced, and we hope to keep it that way.

What types of weapons will be available to players?

Paul Witte:

There are a very wide variety of swords, mauling weapons, and bows. Each weapon has special tactics and attributes, and many weapons have a special tactic exclusive to that weapon. Our players find they like to keep an array of favorite weapons available depending on what they are up against, so I wouldn’t say there is a single “Ultimate Weapon”.

I have to also mention we have an extensive magic system in the form of Sorcery and Clairvoyance that come into play.

In your store you have the option for “Owning a Realm” can you tell us how this works?

Paul Witte:

A realm is similar to player-owned housing, but it is much more than that. You can build anything you want – castles, forts, houses and/or gardens. A realm can be used as storage, a place to grow and harvest crops, a place to build a house, to share resources with friends and/or guild members. Event modules can be used to create complex sequences of events in response to players. We are adding additional event modules all the time, including what is necessary to create your own dungeon environment for other players. A realm owner has wide control over permissions as well, including the option of enabling PvP.

Once a realm is purchased how do players work on the realm?

Paul Witte:

Realms are customized using a special editor that comes with the client install. Realms may be modified & updated in real-time as often as desired.

Besides offering realms to players will there be core servers that players can use?

Paul Witte:

Most of the world is made of realms which can be claimed by players, but only a portion of a realm is built-up and modified by the realm owner. Everything around it is still open to the public for travel and hunting etc. Many realm owners actually encourage other players to enter their realm space, and non-paying players can even enjoy full realm ownership benefits (such as farming crops, or storage) by befriending a realm owner. There are also many dungeons, towns, and public hunting grounds. We don't believe people who don't own a realm will feel crowded-out by realm owners.

What is your favorite part of developing Linkrealms?

Paul Witte:

Game development is in fact actually hard work. It is tedious and sometimes frustrating, but what rises from the effort is a sense of satisfaction with the end result. Especially rewarding is watching people enjoy the results of your work. There's nothing like it for entrepreneurs like us and following a dream what life is about.

The game is currently entering Beta, how can players get involved?

Paul Witte:

We expect to make a specific number of new accounts available directly from the New Account page each week. If there are no signup slots available when a user visits the website, they may create a forum account instead and will be included in future invitations.