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Page 1 of 2Sony Online is gearing up to release their RTS/RPG hybrid, Lords of EverQuest, so we figured we'd get some more information about the game before it hits store shelves. Answering our questions is producer James S. Parker:
GB: When did you first decide to develop an RTS game based in the EverQuest universe?
James: Here's a little story about a man named jed...just kidding no one really knows his name. The truth be told there were some epic battles fought in the history of the known EverQuest universe and what better way to convey that message than actually telling it through the wars. So rather than do some time travel expansion we investigated this possibility and so far it has paid off in spades.
GB: Was this an idea you tossed around for quite some time before actually beginning development?
James: The idea itself was around for a little while (a few months), but we originally foresaw this game as a turn-based strategy game. Then after banging our heads around for a little while we decided that there were so many more things we wanted to try that would only work well in a real-time strategy, that we opted to try that instead.
GB: What were some of the most notable obstacles that you had to overcome to make this game happen? Do you foresee any additional obstacles that might keep you from making an early December release date?
James: Phew, ok this list can get long quick. First and foremost we knew we were going to be compared to any other fantasy based real-time strategy game out there, so we decided to take a look at all of the great ones and incorporate some things we thought worked well. Than we added our own little spin on the formula and hopefully with all of that said and done we delivered a fun game that people can jump right in and experience.
Lords is definitely going to be on shelves December 2.
GB: Tell us a bit about the engine you're using for the game. What is it capable of?
James: Well this is a custom engine we built for this game and it is capable of quite a lot, we use a height mapped terrain engine that helps with streamlined production for better frame rate. Broad card support that takes full advantage of latest hardware on the market using some of the latest shader technology. Last but, not least per pixel lighting to help with all the pretty shiny things. Everyone loves shiny things =).
GB: We've read that you're implementing quite a few RPG elements into the game, such as mini-quests. Can you elaborate on some of the RPG aspects you're implementing? Do you think the game will have a strong appeal to fans of the RPG genre?
James: There are several types of quests in the campaign such as the "save the princess", hunt for the magic item, and we actually have some small naval type quests on a mission or two. Some of the other RPG elements are the random loot dropping off of little critters, and even plat in multiplayer.
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