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Disney Interactive Media Group
MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Cancelled  (est.rel 10/31/07)  | Pub:Disney Interactive Studios
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download | Retail Price:Free | Pay Type:Free | Monthly Fee:$09.95
System Req: PC Mac | ESRB:E10+Out of date info? Let us know!


Posted by Jon Wood on Jul 17, 2006  | Comments

Q&A -

Pirates of the Caribbean Online has released this new Q&A with Mike Goslin, the Vice President of VR Studio. The Q&A gives answers to a number ofquestions, from gameplay to the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow:

Inside the Captain’s Quarters

An Interview with Mike Goslin – Vice President, VR Studio

What is a normal day for a VR Studio developer? How much time spent in meetings? Brainstorms? Coding? Is it true you live on soda and pizza?

Thankfully, we don't have too many meetings... but we do spend a lot of time debating in the hallways! Since most people in our group work in an open space, we tend to "prairie-dog" a lot. For example, if a discussion is going on, someone might hear and pop their head up to chime in with suggestions.

How we spend our time also depends on where we are in the development cycle. Early stages are dominated by brainstorming and coming up with concepts and art. Later the focus is on prototyping and trying things out to see if they are fun. Eventually we build systems and start hooking things together. Finally, it's polishing, performance tuning, and bug-fixing. Occasionally, someone will eat a salad in addition to soda and pizza.

We really enjoy being able to mine the richness of the world of Pirates of the Caribbean. There's a ton of great material, history, and humor to draw from.

The huge success of the first film (Curse of the Black Pearl) makes it a real challenge to live up to people's expectations of what the game experience should be, but it's a challenge we are excited to take on. We know when to break the rules for fun's sake. For example, while developing the Pirates of the Caribbean virtual reality ride for DisneyQuest (Battle for Buccaneer Gold), we discovered that the real-world physics involved with steering a large ship doesn't exactly produce fun game play. As a solution, we amped up the physics to make the boats move and turn like high-speed yachts. When challenged with the need for thousands of Toontown players to interact together in the same world, we developed a new shard system that allows players to switch from one server to another on the fly - which I don't think anyone else was doing at the time. Because of our Imagineering background, we always look for creative solutions to any challenge.

What differentiates this game from other MMOs and pirate games?

The biggest difference between this game and other MMOs is that the pirate-themed world we are designing will feature some supernatural elements that are unique to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise: defending your ship from sea monsters, fighting skeleton pirates, and casting voodoo spells. We will also include the classic pirate activities: epic sea battles, searching for buried treasure, playing dice and cards, and carousing in towns.

What do you think fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise will like most about the virtual world?

I think they'll really enjoy the chance to become a pirate and live out their own adventures in an expanded version of the world from the films. Casting voodoo spells is a lot of fun, too.

[ expand article ]