In the Seventh Quiz, Luke Discusses Setting, Disconnects and More!
Luke Carruthers has taken the time to answer four more questions about the upcoming Tactical MMORPG "Tactica Online". This unique title offers a blend of RPG and turn based PvP tactical combat for what promises to be interesting results.
Since most of Tactica’s content revolves around player vs. player encounters, how will you deal with issues like people quitting or timing out at key moments?
Disconnects are the bane of every online game, and that’s even more true for one that revolves around direct competition between players. You have to allow for them, because sometimes people do legitimately have network problems, but there’s no real way to distinguish between a legitimate disconnect and a player deliberately trying to avoid a loss.
The only real solution is to allow those who have been disconnected a few minutes in which they can reconnect without penalty. If they don’t reconnect within that time, then they automatically lose the match.
It has been mentioned in past interviews that the city of Tier is a fictionalized Milan. Why not just call it Milan?
We considered this, but at the end of the day, when it’s not a real city, you’re a lot less restricted in what you can do. While we wanted to base Tactica Online very closely on Renaissance history, the addition of magic to the game world, and the ability for players to push the flow of history in a new direction, meant that we needed a central environment with lots of flexibility. The only way to achieve that was by fictionalizing the city that players will spend much of their time in.
Often with a game that departs from the norm, players have a hard time getting their head around it and thus enjoying the game. What will you do in the first ten minutes to an hour in game to ensure that someone who has never played a tactical combat game will enjoy Tactica Online?
Your first experience of any game is enormously important, but particularly so when it’s one that it’s hard to categorize simply.
One of our goals being to avoid you having to hunt rats, your first experience with Tactica Online will plunge you straight into combat with a fully-formed squad at your disposal. Focusing on the basics of combat, with helpful tips explaining what’s going on at each point, it will step you through a typical mission.
This is followed by two more training missions, each more complex than the last, and each introducing new parts of the gameplay – modifying characters, combos, and tactical considerations like flanking. Of course, for those who don’t need the tutorials, everything is skippable.
You’ll come out of these first few missions with a full squad, enough experience to customize it, knowing most of the skills your characters can learn, and ready to take on all comers!
As the designer of Tactica Online, what about it finally made you believe it to be a wonderful idea and thus pursue it into production?
The initial decision on the setting and the general gameplay in Tactica Online was the result of a collaborative process between all the team leads. While we had the basic gameplay fairly early in pre-production, it took a long time for us to decide upon a setting. We went through several options, never quite being satisfied with any of them, until our programming lead, Tess Snider, put forward a sort of Renaissance clockwork-punk environment, which immediately resonated with everyone.
I think that resonance is a result of the fact that much of our modern world comes directly from the philosophies, conflicts, and discoveries that defined the Renaissance. The recent resurgence of interest in da Vinci and Templar mythology doesn’t hurt either!
Thank you again to Luke for taking the time to answer our questions.