Foredination Interviewhl2c_articles - | Posted by the_s-man on Aug 21st 04 06:57 PM
S-Man: Let's start with a basic overview of the project, for those who haven't heard about it yet.
Frown: Foreordination is a technologically modern mmorpg with combat in the form of a first person shooter.
S-Man: The storyline on your website seems to outline a strong importance on Economy, can you elaborate on how this system will work?
Frown: In a player based economy players are the miners, manufacturers, and the consumers. Money is acquired through quests and looting corpses. Players then distribute that money as they see fit. Inflation is monitored and controlled via the admins.
For example: Joe the miner sells Bob the builder 5 kilos of iron ore. Bob the builder makes some object and sells it to Me the consumer for $150. Bob the builder pays Joe the miner $75 for his ore. Me the consumer earned that $150 dollars through a quest, which was to shoot up an enemy camp. The quests only paid him $100, but he found $50 more dollars in an enemy’s turban.
S-Man: Where did you come up with the Idea for Foreordination?
Frown: I came up with the idea for Foreordination by playing a variety of games such as Morrowind and Firearms. I really liked the skill system in Morrowind, and I really liked Firearms, so I figured I could merge the two concepts and create something that both the hardcore RPG players and the fps junkies will enjoy.
S-Man:On your site, you talk about a Player versus Player system, please elaborate on it for us.
Frown: Forced PvP means any one can attack you anywhere and you can attack other people anywhere. Forced PvP also creates ingame politics. In Foreordination PvP is forced, we have tried to fine tune forced PvP by the use of a bounty system, dueling center, and alignment.
In a bounty system players can place rewards on other players, if a player place a reward on a player that already has a bounty, then the bounties stack. The reward is taken from the player(s) at the time it’s placed.
A dueling center is a place where people can duel. In a duel death has no penalty, meaning you won’t lose exp, drop items or worry about alignment changes.
Having an Alignment system works like this, killing your own faction member will result in negative alignment, killing an opposing faction member will result in positive alignment. Killing in a village with guards present will result in negative alignment with the law. Your alignment with the law gets better the more time you spend in game without committing a crime.
S-Man: I\'ve always wanted to know how you are going to pull off the Massively Multiplayer aspect of this game. Please explain *how* you are going to link servers, store data, and host servers big enough for a MMG.
Server Linkage - A feature of the source engine gives you the ability to daisy chain servers; we will use that feature to help us link the servers to form a server cluster. To prevent any delays when crossing a server boundary, the surrounding maps will be pre-cached a head of time.
Data Storage - Each player will need to sign up for an account; they will use this account to login to our server cluster. This account will be kept in a designated server, which will store all data. When the player logs out or goes afk for a certain length of time his data will be uploaded to the designated server and then that player will be removed from the world until he or she logs back on.
Hosting Servers - Foreordination won’t be as massive as most of the other mmogs, but it will still support around 500 players per cluster. It’s already been stated by valve that mod makers will be able to change the max player limit to 64 for there modifications. Say we ignore the fact that it may possible to change the max player limit to 128 and go with the 64 max player limit. With a community that small spread across a bunch of different maps its unlikely that you’ll have 64 players concentrated in one map and if that happens and more people want to join that map, they’ll unfortunately have to wait.
S-Man: What experience do the coders on your team have with tuning net code to Massively Multiplayer?
Frown: Although we are still looking currently there’s only one coder among my team, which happens to be me. Fortunately I have been looking over various mmorpgs engines, but no I have never made a 3D mmorpg before.
S-Man: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Frown: I\'m 16 and I enjoy playing PC games particularly FPS’s and mmorpgs.
S-Man: How many people do you have working for you at this time, and what do they do?
Frown: Currently I have 13 people working for me at this time. They include: 5 mappers, 3 concept artists, 1 writer, 1 public relations person, 1 player modeler & animator, and 3 weapon modelers.
S-Man: At what stage of design are you, have you finalized your design documents?
Frown: I’ve basically finalized my design documents, there’s still a few minor tweaks they’ll be made as needed.
S-Man: Why did Foreordination choose the source engine?
Frown: I’ve come to the conclusion that it would be far harder to make a shooter with physics and all of the wonderful things that the source engine comes with, on an engine that designed for massively multiplayer then it would to make a mmo on a next generation shooter engine.
S-Man: Have the Half-Life 2 delays been a problem for your team, and have you considered switching engines at any time?
Frown: The delays really haven’t been a problem for the team, they just gave us time to finalize our design doc and get additional models done. I’ve considered switching engines, but believe it or not the source engine seems like the easiest way to get what we want done accomplished.
S-Man: Other than your own mod, which would you consider your favorite at this time?
Frown: I’m undecided; it’s between Firearms and Counter-Strike 1.5.
S-Man: Given the chance by Valve or another publisher, would you \"go retail”?
Frown: Yes we would so long as the team and I still have some control over it, so it doesn’t t ruin game ruined because it’s all about making money. Ex. SOE
S-Man: How would someone go about joining your team, and what positions are open?
Frown: If a person wants to join the team, all they have to do is contact me and show me an example of their work. Currently were seeking additional coders, weapon modelers, player modelers and animators.
Thank you very much for this interview, we hope to see some more of you in the near future.