Thursday, March 08, 2007

Mark Jacobs Interview = awesome

I absolutely love it when this happens...I really do. Every once and a while, information comes out about something that makes me rethink my positions on a whole host of issues. This usually ranges from gaming, to politics, to music...you name it. So, what has got my juices flowing this time? Well, GDC of course. My main two sources for GDC information right now is of course Virgin Worlds and MOGArmy. These two sites are polar opposites of each other and yet they compliment each other very well.

Brent just put up show #57 and in it was lots of content, more than I've seen before (he scares me sometimes /wink). In the show, he has an awesome interview with Marc Jacobs. Now Marc is the man at EA Mythic, who is currently developing Warhammer Online. I've expressed some concern over the T for Teen ratings well as the death penalty...or lack thereof. Here's what Marc had to say about the rating:
  • the T for Teen "thing" is blown out of proportion.
  • if they go M they could do more, but he never really had the intention to go M
  • M brings with it a certain amount of controversy with it, which they really don't want to deal with (...given Hot Coffee and the general hyper sensitivity over bewbs in the non-gaming public, I don't blame him)
  • they do have some dark elements in Warhammer, but he doesn't think that arterial bleeding and decapitation necessarily brings a compelling and lasting element of game play. You don't need to have gore everywhere to make the game fun and interesting.
  • He relates gore in an MMO to long text in the MUD days. When you go through long text in a MUD 2, 3 or 4 times, you tend to skip through it and it just becomes background noise you need to move through. After seeing you 1000th decapitation, will it really still matter to you?
  • He wants to design and ship a game that can be played by the widest possible audience. He doesn't want to turn away people from his game just because a small group of fans want more gore.
  • Games Workshop has seen everything that has been done, and they seem to be very happy with what Mythic is doing with the IP.
He also addressed the overused Wow question:
  • all games are derivative
  • gendre breaking games are very rare, so yeah, there are similarities to WoW...just as there are similarities to UO , DAoC and EQ.
  • he believes in evolutionary steps within the MMO space (hey! That sounds familiar)
  • Warhammer IP was created 24 years before Blizzard. They are drawing on 24 years of Warhammer "stuff"...
He did not address the death penalty...and thats fine as I'm sure they will at some point. Yes, its still a sticking point for me given the nature of the game. With one of the pillars of my concerns addressed (yes...he convinced me that the T rating is the right move...thanks Marc and Brent), this game is now off of my semi-stink list. Yes, I'm sure Mythic is now breathing a sigh of relief.

Also, I expressed some concern about some of the level of hype coming from Mythic. The answers that Marc gave where very good, honest, every even keeled and factual. He got very passionate when asked about his favorite part of Warhammer, but not to the extent that turned me off...actually, it got me excited about the game.

Anyway...I've got a ton more ideas floating in my head right now that can probably fill 5 pages worth of blogging, but I'll let them stew for a bit.

D out.

1 comment:

Tipa said...

Re: 'T' rating for WAR...

I listened to the podcast as well. And he might as well have said, after you've seen Ironforge a couple of times, then it just gets in the way and should be replaced by a room with four doors reading AUCTION HOUSE, BANK, TRAM and EXIT.

You put those kinds of things in not because they serve a specific game purpose, but to give the game a sense of place and atmosphere.

I don't disagree with his decision to go for a 'T' rating. But I did not agree with his MUD metaphor.