CEO of Artifact Entertainment
Interviewed by the_culture
David was nice enough to take time out from his busy schedule and quickly answer a few questions regarding their upcoming MMORPG Horizons.
1. You're the CEO of Artifact Entertainment, but what exactly do you do?
I'm not quite sure. My wife says I work too much. I think I run the company and give our products focus, but it's all such a blur...
2. I've read over your FAQ and not only are your goals impressive, but they sound like they can cause a good deal of stress for the designers. Were/Are there any problems inherent to the design process?
Heh -- wait until you see the next version! Actually, the problems are game related more than technology. Other games out there have focused so much on getting the perfect 3D engine, or perfect MP system, that they left out a good underlying play system. Since we are going to be licensing a not yet announced 3D and MP technology, we can focus all of our effort on the game and the game mechanics.
3. One of the features you plan is the various Empires controlling certain territories. When creating our character, will we be forced to "choose a side" or can we remain neutral, not wanting to get involved in the politics of the opposing Empires? Will character be able to "switch loyalties" between Empires?
Depending on which race you chose you would start in a city associated with that race, and be a member of the empire which it represents, but you can of course renounce your dedication...
4. You guys are adding an incredible amount of depth to this game. Have the features been "locked" or is there still more to come?
More to come and finalize. By the time we have the general features locked, HORIZONS will have more than 6 months of nothing but pure design behind it. THEN we start prototyping and throwing the world mechanics together, which means we spend another year finalizing what we originally came up with, then we test it for another 6 months, finalize it more, then release.
5. One of the most fascinating aspects of Horizons is the ability to choose your birthplace, parents, and history for the characters childhood, thus creating an instant and unique history for each character. Does this apply to all races?
6. Information has been lean in regards to the magic system. Is there anything new you can tell us?
Nope. We don't want others adopting our system before our game is released! (It's AWESOME)
7. What steps are being taken to curb anti-social role-playing (i.e. Player-killing, not playing in character, etc.)?
We're designing the game to immerse the character enough so that even if a player wants to act like "KoOl DoOD" they can only do so through action and what they say, not through name. Besides, if KOOL DOOD is a good RPGer, nobody will mind. If he's not, others will nail him all the time. Of course depending on somebody's god standing, they have extra protection from PKillers...
8. On the subject of building, characters can build a structure only within authorized government zones or suffer a penalty. Will there be neutral zones where the ruling Empire has no say?
9. One thing I noticed missing in MMORPGs is the lack of jobs. Will your character be employed (other than quests)?
Yes, you can join an organization, which can be a guild, shop, etc.
10. In your list of features, many are new to MMORPG. Which one are you most proud of?
The first is the true 3D world abilities we'll have. Dragons that can fly 2000' in the air and dive bomb players, and the fact that the entire underwater world can be explored just like above water, and we feature a true water-based character (the Lamurian). It will create a whole new gaming experience for the industry. Our magic system is pretty incredible, too...
11. When's the next update to the FAQ coming out? And latest word from you has Horizons seeing the light of day in 2001. Still true?
Soon. That's all I can say hehe. We're working VERY hard on things and will get it out as soon as we can. We won't have a REALLY good idea for release date until this winter.
Thanks again for taking the time, David. We at GameSurge.com wish you and the team the best and look forward to seeing Horizons! More information can be found at Artifact Entertainment.