Catching Up with the Team - Insights Into Development
We caught up with the Life is Feudal team to talk about the state of the game, where it's been and where it's headed as we steam into 2016. Find out what's in the works in our exclusive interview.
MMORPG: In its current state, who is your target audience with LIF:YO?
Vladimir Piskunov: Mature hardcore gamers. I'd call them gourmets of video gaming. Those who see the same old FPS concept behind myriads of "new" FPS releases. Those who see the same survival formulae in myriads of "new" survival games etc. They strive for original, complex and hardcore gameplay that is lacking in the modern video games industry.
MMORPG: You say that the game is a true sandbox and not just stuck with the sandbox label. Can you please elaborate on what you mean?
VP: Well, we have as much of the "sand molding" features as possible for MMO project. Terrain can be shaped, tunnels can be dug with complete three-dimensional freedom, with a skillcap and statcap features, so players can create their own unique classes. Freedom of modular building and objects construction gives additional freedom to players to shape the game world.
Global politics sandbox freedom let players create their own alliances and wage their own wars and intrigues. That is an opposite to pre-made factions/realms where players are forced to pick one of 2, 3, 4 or whatever sides of the conflict.
Basically, you can flatten some hills, deforest some areas, plant fields of crops, build your custom castle with walls on the perimeter, a moat and your own custom network of mining/dungeon tunnels. Create your own guild and decide who you want to ally with or who to wage war with.
MMORPG: How does crafting work? Besides building houses do we also create player gear, food, alchemy?
VP: Almost everything in our world can be created by players. Starting from weapons, outfits, tools, crafting devices, furniture, buildings and fortifications, and ending up with terrain features, moats, tunnels, trees and crop fields (that can be planted). Players can not create ore veins and solid rock, granite, marble resources, simply because it is not possible in real world ;) The rest must and is created by players.
Our challenge was to create an immersive and yet fun crafting system with some original twists of our own. For instance, alchemy that kind of works like Oblivion’s alchemy (combine reagents with unknown effects to discover their effects) but has our original twist - effects are UNIQUE for EACH new character. Combining red flower and blue flower in one hand will result in a stamina potion, in other hands will create a poison and in some other hands will create nothing. That system eliminates "wikipedia" alchemy cheaters and forces a player to actually discover recipes.
Cooking also has our own twist. While advancing his or her cooking skill, a player unlocks new recipes with various ingredients in one dish. Trick is, that in order to sustain yourself, a player can suffice with simple baked or fried food or even raw apples and edible taproots. BUT more advanced soups and dishes that contain a wider variety of ingredients (meat, vegetables, eggs, flavours, etc.) will increase a player’s Food Quality Meter. That meter provides multipliers to skill progression. So, a good cook can boost your skill raise rates up to x5! That makes cooks equally important as blacksmiths, builders, alchemists, farmers and warriors.
MMORPG: With the servers limited to 64 players do you see a lot of conflict over resources or do players pretty much avoid one another and stick to doing their own thing?
VP: It really depends on community of the server, its settings (Judgment Hour duration, skill progression rates, etc.) and gameplay rules (some server admins enforce their own gameplay rules). I’d say that mostly people tend to live peacefully with occasional raids and small PvP encounters.
MMORPG: How do you plan on turning this game from a multiplayer terraforming RPG into a full scale MMORPG?
VP: Actually we had developed MMORPG initially and even had Early-early alpha tests of it back in the first half of 2014. We had our 21x21 kms seamless map serving up to 200 Early-early alpha testers. For one of them it took approximately 3 hours to walk from south to north.