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Published on June 21st, 2008 | by simeon

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Auto Assault

To Celebrate the launch of the Hhot MMORPG Auto Assault, we have this new interview for you.

Recently I had the chance to talk with

NetDevil’s Ryan Seabury, Design Director, Auto Assault(r)® in a follow up interview

to celebrate the launch of the game

and learn what features have changes since the last interview we

did for the game. I wanted to thank Valerie Massey and Ryan for taking the time

to make this interview happen.

GVK: What are some of the new features that were added to the game as a

result of feedback from the beta testers?

RobinRyan: Weather effects, more dynamic combat experiences, better inventory

management and sorting, movable UI elements to name a few, and countless other

GVK: Will the game in time support Joysticks and other controls?

Robin:Ryan: The game presently supports joysticks and other controls. 🙂 If you

can configure it in Windows, it probably works with Auto Assault

already. Dual analog sticks, for example like the Xbox 360 controller,

play the game quite well.

There was talk that rear mounted weapons such as oil slicks and

flamethrowers would be coming, what is the latest on this please?

Ryan: Robin: There are well over 100 different rear weapons in the game now,

including options such as various types of landmines, caltrops and

spikes, “Seekers” (roaming balls of destruction that hunt down enemies),

flamers, smokers, contamination and oil droppers as examples.

GVK: With the emergence of the MMOPGMMORPG as a viable game format where do you see the genre

heading in the future and in what ways do you see Auto

Assault differing from others in the genre aside from the setting and

backstory?

Ryan:Robin: We’re going to see similar trends from gaming’s history appear in the

MMO space. As time goes on, there will be a lot of innovation occurring early,

but 10-20 years down the road I imagine licenses and sequels will start showing up

more prominently.

There are still numerous business and distribution models to explore as well, but

I think some kind of subscription with possibly micro-payments

will be the dominant form for some time to

come.

We hope Auto Assault changes your expectations of what an MMO can mean.

IIf you play a game without destructible environments after spinning

around in AA for a while, you’ll find you’re a little let down that you

can’t smash down everything in your way. We also think the very nature

of Auto Assault shows just traveling around can be fun, because you can

always pull off some wicked jumps or wreck something in a gleeful

fashion as you go. Then behind the visceral action and pacing is still

this deep, traditional role-playing game that will keep you coming back

for a long time.

GVK: How will Player VS Player be handled in the release?

Ryan: Robin: There are a number of ways to PvP in Auto Assault. There are contested

zzones such as Ground Zero that feature territory capturing metagames,

such as capturing Outposts and Obelisks. There are arena matches that

pit you or your team against other players of any race for rankings and

glory. There are also regularly scheduled tournaments that feature

in-game prizes for the winners, and hopefully someday actual sponsored

“real-life” prizes. Arenas and tournaments also cross server

boundaries, so you can find out who the best really is across servers.

Over time we plan on introducing more arena maps and gametypes, and

further contested zones as well.

GVK: In addition to changes suggested by the Beta Testers,

what are some of the other changes that Auto Assault went through during the

additional design time after the initial release date was changed?

Ryan: Robin: Our biggest focus was really making sure that every area you could

explore within a given highway or instance was a unique experience. We

took great pains to arrange AI and objects, weather, lighting and audio

to really build on mini-themes within the overall theme of the zone.

We also completely reworked tutorial zones for all 3 races to give a better grounding

to new players of who their character is and where they come from.

GVK: Has there been any thought to include Mega Weapons and if so, what

are some examples of what will be included?

Ryan: Robin: There are already some pretty awesome one-time use items like Molecular

Cohesion Fields, Lidar Bursts, and Micronukes. We will keep adding more fun

variations in the future.

GVK:With a backdrop as complex as Auto Assault, how have you attempted to handling the

writing and expansion of the game, as you have three

storylines that you have to create and maintain where as most games only have one

.

Ryan: Robin: I can’t comment too much on that specifically without revealing future

plot lines. It is difficult to manage the “true fiction” through three

separate perspectives, but it also makes the game highly replayable and

interesting and sort of parallels real life in an interesting way. If

you’ve ever lived in a different country than your home for a while,

you know things like the daily news can have some very different spins on the

same basic facts, and that’s always been an interesting facet of

human sociology for me.

GVK: In MMORPG the challenge is often to keep the game fresh for players

after the newness of the game has worn off.

How do you propose to introduce new content,

and keep the game evolving to meet the needs of players?

Ryan:Robin: We plan on introducing new content on a regular basis as free upgrades

for both PvE and PvP players. New areas to explore, new areas to

conquer, and new mini-game types to compete in the arenas with are

already in design and development.

GVK: Have s experienceXP points and Lleveling changed in any ways since the overhaul and if so how?

Ryan: Robin: Primarily we’ve been bringing the three races more in balance with

payouts for mission rewards and leveling curves, and we’ll continue to

add or adjust missions beyond launch to make sure everyone’s getting an

equal experience in that regard. You also can earn XP from PvP kills

now. Auto Assault still probably remains the most casual friendly game

out there in terms of reaching the level cap, because it wasn’t really

our focus as the ultimate goal of the game.

The ultimate goals for us were to get you immersed in this rich

post-apocalyptic universe, have lots of fun customizing endless vehicle

and gear combinations, breaking and smashing lots of stuff, and

hopefully to have lots of people try playing characters of different

races to get interesting alternative perspectives on the history and

current events in Auto Assault.

Thank you,


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