Champions Online Interview

To celebrate the launch of Champions Online, Ten Ton Hammer has conjured up a four-page interview with the one-and-only Bill Roper.
Ten Ton Hammer: Speaking of moving forward then, how would you describe your long term strategy for things like content updates or possible expansions?

Bill Roper: You definitely have to start planning that stuff out in advance. We've already got an event planned for the end of October.

Ten Ton Hammer: Would that be the mysterious (Blood Moon) I just saw mentioned.

Bill Roper: In my latest state of the game discussion? *laughter* Yea, I did put that in there. We'll be putting something official up on the site about that hopefully by launch. One of the things we really want to be able to do is communicate to players, so even if they get the game on day one they'll already know we're working on the next content that they'll be getting. I think that's a really important thing to put out there. I know that as a player of MMOs I like knowing not only that devs are working on something, but that they're working on something they can tell me about.

So we've been getting some concept assets over to the marketing team so they can put together some pages that can get put up hopefully by the time the game goes live on the 1st. And that will talk about the Blood Moon event and what players are going to be getting. So that will be the first big free update that we do.

The upside is being able to get a good head start on that, especially with the art since the artists typically finish fist. By us having a longer beta period, that really allowed them to start working on new stuff in design and things like that. So the content guys, as we've been able to peel people off when their areas are done we've been able to move them over to do some different things. You always have to keep enough people on to fix the bugs and get corrections done, but as we were able to actually peel people off when they were completed and art is a good example since they're always the first done we can get them to start working on some new things.

It's a real balancing act, a lot of juggling where you'll look at things like, (this is what we'd like to get done, so how can we schedule that?) But you always have to work on what needs to get done first. And this is the hardest time, because not only are you trying to plan for the future so there's a good stream of content coming up for the players, but at the same time you're actually finishing the core game. As I've had to assure all the devs, it actually gets easier once the game is out. You're still always working and always making stuff, responding to players and fixing bugs but at the same time you're not (finishing) the core game.

But yes, there are definitely plans for updates and ways that we're going to expand the universe moving forward.