Nov 112010

Lordhammer from Guild Umbra tipped us off  to Stephen Colfer’s Chronic Reload interview with Daniel Erickson about the difficulty of designing an MMO with complex, multiple storylines.  “Interactive, multi-thread storytelling…from a scripting perspective is the most complicated game development — on the game design side, I’m just going to say — in the industry.  Doing it as an MMO is just stupid,” Erickson joked.  He said one of the lead techs compared it to “trying to change out a motorcycle engine while you are going down the highway at fifty-five miles an hour.”

Erickson emphasized their use of instancing even on a small-scale ten-minute run.  Players will pick up their quests, enter an area and finish their tasks, and will not see other players doing the same thing.  “I don’t want you ever walking by some guy you killed,” he said.

Erickson also talked more about the Crew Skills crafting system.  Some important points:

  • Mission assignments will take anywhere from 5 minutes to twenty-three hours to complete.
  • Diplomacy missions are for earning either Light side or Dark side points.
  • Skills such as finding treasure will depend on a dice roll.  There is a possibility for a critical roll which will result in a much nicer treasure find.
  • While out and about in the world, you can radio back to your ship to assign more crafting tasks for your companions.

Thanks to Chronic Reload for this great interview.  Listen to the full audio interview here.

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