Stargate Worlds: Podcast Interview Synopsis
Yesterday, MMORPG.com published a new podcast interview with the guys from Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment who talked about their upcoming MMORPG, Stargate Worlds. Today, for those of you who would rather read than listen, we present this synopsis of the interview.
On Monday, we published a new edition of the MMORPG.com podcast. In that episode, we spoke to the guys from Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment about their upcoming MMORPG, Stargate Worlds.
Joining me on the podcast interview were: CME Studio Head Dan Elggren, Creative Director Chris Klug, Technology Director Demetrius Comes, and Art Director Howard Lyon.
While at the Game Developer’s Conference, we were shown a new trailer for SGW. This new video featured a glimpse of a member of Stargate Command (The model looked suspiciously like Jack O’Neill) running through a number of different worlds. The purpose of the trailer, we were told, was to show potential players how different and diverse the planets can be.
For those who might not have followed the TV show (or the movie for the matter) too closely, I will explain a little bit about the game’s universe (and the SG universe in general). Essentially, humans travel to other worlds through a Stargate which establishes a stable wormhole between gates. As a result, Stargate Worlds will take place on a number of different planets that have to be different from one another.
“One of the things that we’re really trying to hit home on with the visuals,” said Elggren, “is that you are traveling to completely new worlds each time you travel through the gate.”
The Castle - The Castle is one of the Op-Corps starting areas. It is a prison planet and as such has been designed to look closed in and kind of “claustrophobic”, according to our developer friends. The outside landscape is dangerous and sharp. Essentially, the team wanted to give players the feeling that this isn’t the kind of place they would want to be.
Agnos - The Ancients (The first evolution of humanity. Long since dead and gone) built this world, complete with a supercomputer. The supercomputer took over the world after the Ancients were gone. The visuals on the planet are very mechanical. Technology plays a huge role here in the look and feel of the world.
Anima Vitrus - Almost completely opposite of Agnos is Anima Vitrus, a lush planet full of plant life. The Ancients ruled this world as well, but in this case “nature rebelled”, fighting back against the Ancients’ attempts to control it. The visuals here are “chaotic” with huge plants and animals.
Lucia - Lucia is a very hot and desolate planet. The developers have tried to give the feeling of a dry world. They used warm colors to make it look like everything has been out in the sun for too long. There are junkyards, slums and other undesirable elements peppering the landscape.
Lucia was an interesting choice to show in an early trailer. Again, for those who might not know, the Lucian Alliance is a faction from later seasons of SG-1. Basically, they’re humans who run themselves in a mob-like way. They’re smugglers, and murderers and the rest. Essentially, they’re a very classic style of villain. While the Lucian Alliance featured prominently in the series, we never got to see their home world. Stargate Worlds is providing us that opportunity.
This prompted me to ask how the developers were handling the existing lore and incorporating it with their own ideas.
“What we are doing is essentially filling in gaps,” Klug tells us. “When we met with the show’s creators, they more or less gave us carte blanche. I had created an analysis of what I thought would make the show work.”
In short, the Stargate creators liked what they saw, telling Klug that they hadn’t seen anyone from outside describe the show more in the terms in which they see it. This has led to Cheyenne being given permission to work with any area that the shows hadn’t focused in on. Klug went on to talk about the importance of broadening the Stargate universe by highlighting areas that never appeared in the TV series.
In talking about lore, Klug pointed out that the game is set so that while the SG-1 cast is off having their adventures that we saw each week on television, there are other things happening in the universe that the Stargate Worlds players will be dealing with. The game is set up in such a way as to be in synch with the game’s existing lore. “It will explain things that will probably never be explained otherwise.”
Brad Wright (Co-Creator of SG-1) has, according to Klug, told the team that their story is “just as much cannon as the show itself”.
In the show, the Asgard are a race of small grey aliens who are one of the dominant races in the galaxy. They are brilliant and so advanced that they reproduce using cloned bodies and transferring the existing consciousness of an Asgard into a new body (a fact that leads to their total annihilation near the end of the show’s run). They are also a playable class in Stargate Worlds.
The problem that a number of people have been having with the Asgard as a playable race is that in the show, they just looked so bloody fragile. Klug addressed that issue by talking about the limitations of television (where the Asgard are actually elaborate puppets) versus the game where no such limits exist. While the Asgard are still small and thin, they are much more mobile than fans of the show will remember. They are also aided with technology. When I asked Klug how they planned to address the fact that the Asgard, as a race, had days that were numbered, he told me that it was covered. While he couldn’t actually give us any details, he did say that it isn’t a concern. They have something in the works that he can’t tell us about. He did, however, say this:
“The show is still on the air. It’s television. Nothing is necessarily set in stone.”
The last item that I wanted to mention in this article is the game’s factions. This interview was the first time that the guys have talked to us about the game’s two factions (there will be a third, mysterious non-player faction as well, but we don’t know anything about them yet).
SGU - The Stargate Union: The good guys. This faction is led by the Humans and consists of Free Jaffa and Asgard.
Praxis: The bad guys. This faction is led by the Goa’uld. It also includes Op-Corps (human), and Loyal Jaffa.
The factions, we are told, will be fighting against each other in PvP battles, as well as against their “mutual PvE enemy”. Klug also told us that the factioning in this game will have more to do with currying favor with specific individuals than it will with the group as a whole. His example was that if you get good factions with Carter or O’Neil or the others, that this will unlock content for you.
All in all, it’s interesting to see how Stargate Worlds is coming along. As a long-time fan of the television series, it’s hard to keep from getting excited about running around in the Starate universe.
Remember, this is just an overview of the larger interview. If you would like to know more, or hear more of what the developers themselves had to say, click on this link to check out the podcast.