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Portalus Games | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Historical | Status:Final  (rel 01/22/08)  | Pub:Portalus Games
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New Dev Log Looks At 1000 Missions

Posted by on Feb 05, 2007  | Comments

New Dev Log Looks At 1000 Missions -

Pirates of the Burning Sea serves up a new Dev Log from Jess Lebow entitles 1000 Missions.

What does the number 1000 mean to you?

To me, it's the Mount Everest of numbers. It's the top of the heap, the pie in the sky, the finish line, the goal we have been shooting at for what seems an eternity now but in reality is more like a year.

It haunts me, the number 1000. I wake up in the middle of the night sometimes thinking about 1000. Why? Because that's how many missions we plan to ship with. The number of missions that EVEN IF IT KILLS ME WE ARE GOING TO SHIP WITH.

Did everyone hear that?

And I'm not counting missions that simply send you to the bartender to talk about what's going on in town. I'm not talking about "Why don't you try out this ship" missions. I'm only counting missions with meat on their bones--ones that require a little strategy, a little pizzazz, maybe even a little blood, sweat and tears to complete.

It's not going to be easy. I know that. ConCo knows that.

But the truth is it takes us a lot longer to make a mission than it does to play one. Why? Well, there are a lot of moving parts. But that's another dev log entirely--one for another time.

So, why 1000?

Simple. Because I don't want you to run out of stuff to do while we're putting together the first content patch and expansion.

Okay, so I know there will be some hardcore players who will blow through everything we do in an ungodly short amount of time. But for the average player, I figure the content we're putting out will be good for 300 to 600 hours of play (without playing the economy or PVP).

That seems like a pretty good deal, doesn't it? 300 to 600 hours of play in the initial box?

Okay, so there is a second reason I want 1000 missions.

Because I don't want any two people to have exactly the same experience. I want your choices to change the way you experience the world we've created.

Sure, two people could play the exact same missions, in the exact same order, but I figure the chances of that are a lot lower if there are simply too many missions to choose from. And I suppose someone could play ALL the missions. But if someone did play them all, then I guess having more to play is a good thing, right?

Maybe I'm obsessing over nothing. Maybe the number of missions means nothing. But I don't think so. We in ConCo just want to give you a good game with lots of stuff to do. I'm a firm believer in the idea of biting off more than you think you can chew. I mean, at the end of the day, we're never going to make a great game if we don't push ourselves a little.

Okay, so maybe that's the real reason behind 1000 missions. The reason why I lose sleep at night. Because deep down maybe I don't really think we can make it. Maybe that target it just a little too pie in the sky.

Talking about this, I'm reminded of a story of when I was a kid and I had just gotten my first bicycle. The other kids on my block and I would build jumps out of leftover plywood, rocks, turned-over buckets...whatever we could lay our hands on that would help us catch more air.

Slowly the jumps grew larger and larger, and so did my anxiety. Each time the ramp raised, I wondered silently to myself if I could make it over the jump and if I would survive the landing.

I guess my point is that anything worth doing is worth being a little scared about. If the risk isn't there, then neither is the reward. So, we're taking a risk. We're going to ride up to the edge of that jump just as fast as we can, hoping that we don't catch our shoelace in the spokes and fly over the handlebars to land on our collective chins.

It's a risk we take because we think we can rise to the challenge. The threat of crashing head-first into the ground is what keeps us sharp--keeps us working late into the night and pushing the tools we have built for ourselves to do more than we ever thought we could get from them.

It's a risk we take because when we hit that jump at just the right spot, at just the right speed, we'll go sailing off to catch some rad air--and that moment will be so very sweet. So very sweet indeed.

Read more here.

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