taultunleashed logoWarCry Network with Travis Baldree : FPS / MMORPG / RTS Discussion
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WarCry Network with Travis Baldree : FPS / MMORPG / RTS Discussion

Posted: August 19th, 2008, 10:03 pm

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WarCry network has posted up a new interview with Runic Games founder, Travis Baldree. He talks of the new studio, talks a little bit about Diablo 3 which may be their direct competition later, the sorts of games they want to make as well as what payment systems they are thinking of doing.

What is the [...]

Author: Sp3tSnAz
Category: General Interviews diablo 3 runic games travis baldree WarCry Network
Publish Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2008 10:44:18 +0000

WarCry network has posted up a new interview with Runic Games founder, Travis Baldree. He talks of the new studio, talks a little bit about Diablo 3 which may be their direct competition later, the sorts of games they want to make as well as what payment systems they are thinking of doing.


What is the background for the name "Runic Games"?

I think like most company names, it was a tortuous process of elimination, where everyone had their favorites. A long process of thinking up fantastic names and discovering that someone else already had them resulted in a short list of finalists, and an elimination round determined the winner. I should really come up with a better story though!

When was the decision made to form Runic Games?

Immediately after the dissolution of Flagship Studios, we knew we wanted to get back to doing what we'd started with Mythos. We believe that there really isn't much in the market like what we were attempting to do - an Action-RPG with a large shared MMO world, and fast-paced randomized dungeon adventuring. Our entire Seattle team is really like a family, and we knew we wanted to stick together, and this seemed like the right thing to do. Maybe sooner than we expected to be doing it - but sometimes you just have to treat life's unexpected twists as an opportunity.



What type of games is Runic looking to develop?

We believe strongly in the idea behind Mythos - a fast paced Action-MMO that doesn't require enormous time commitment to play, and favors quick and visceral combat right alongside the social aspects of MMOs. That's really what we want to deliver, and we think the market could use that type of game right now.



At this point, and we realize this is very early on, does Runic have a business model for the games it develops? For instance, will games be subscription based or micro-transaction based?

It's hard to say just yet - we definitely believe in the free-to-play model that we were espousing with Mythos, but that doesn't mean that we'll be doing it with our first product for certain. I'll probably be able to answer this question a little more thoroughly in a few weeks.



What is your opinion of the "subscription vs microtransaction" debate?

I think there's value to both models - for a small group like ours, microtransactions have a lot of appeal. With an initial free-to-play release, the barrier to entry for players is seriously lowered, and individuals who might never have tried your game otherwise will actually give it a shot. I think it's also what makes the 20 dollar casual game market work - the scrappy underdog can make a go of it.

Just for fun, what do you think about the discussion swirling around the "tone and color" of Diablo 3?

Personally, I think what they've done with Diablo 3 is fantastic. It seems pretty obvious that the mandate was to make the game look like a concept painting brought to life, and I think they've succeeded pretty wildly. The contrast and use of color really works well for an Action-RPG, where there are hordes of monsters and spells, and separation of individual entities is required for satisfying play. I can't wait to play it! Blizzard is really second-to-none, and I have nothing but admiration for their work. I know a lot of people are lamenting what they see as a move away from the grim vibe of Diablo, but I think a lot of that gothic feel is really sold by a combination of sound, content and story, and the visceral nature of the game - and Blizzard certainly isn't skimping on the visceral if the videos are any indication. I also feel strongly that there's some pretty grim content they haven't bothered to show everyone just yet.

Please take a minute and "talk" to your fans, and they are many.

I'd like to say that I've never had such a fantastic experience with a community as we did with Mythos. It was an incredible time, and one that the entire team and myself would like to recreate. We learned a great deal in creating Mythos, and we're really looking forward to putting that knowledge to work to create something that surpasses it in every way we can. As with Mythos, one of the most important parts of that process is our interaction with you, and we look forward to working together with all of you to make something special. We hope to see you online again soon!

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