Posts Tagged ‘Heatwave Interactive’

A (Difficult) Day In The Life Of An MMO Studio

By Dan Grill on May 3rd, 2011.


We recently catapulted our correspondent Dan Griliopoulos over the ocean to have a nose at upcoming Roman Empire-themed MMO Gods & Heroes; a preview on that itself is due very soon, but first let’s try something a little different. Dan was kindly granted an extraordinarily high level of access to Austin, Texas developer Heatwave Interactive (staff at which worked on some of the earliest and most legendary MMOs) as they worked on the game during its late stages – their meetings, their design and marketing dilemmas, their thoughts on competition, painful decisions about to delay or not to delay… It’s rare insight into the hard work and heart ache inherent in creating an MMO, games of (in)famously sprawling scale and complexity.

It’s 6am. All through Austin the iridescent grackles are beginning their morning chorus; all through Austin, people are thinking of ways to kill grackles. Community manager Donna Prior is already up, moderating the Gods & Heroes beta forums, but the rest of Heatwave Interactive is still abed, dreaming of Romans, MMOs and the end of crunch time. The studio, in the basement of an isolated tower block is quiet until 8.00am when content designer Todd and lead designer Tim let themselves in. Whoever you ask in Heatwave – from the CEO to the guy who builds the servers right over to the handyman – says that Todd is there when they arrive, when they leave, at weekends…
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