Posts Tagged ‘Carbine Studios’

Wildstar Dev On Biz Model, Jumping Puzzle Pain & Sunsets

Yesterday, I caught up with Carbine Studio’s bossguy Jeremy Gaffney to see what’s been going on in their upcoming mega-MMO Wildstar. While he wasn’t quite ready to reveal how the game will make money, he did drop a few big hints about the payment scheme they’re looking at. We also tackled the jumping puzzles which made me see red last time I played the game, how they’re continually responding to player feedback, finding the sweet spot between too easy and too hard, and the one weird trick to cut down belly fat that apparently makes both Wildstar and WoW’s terrain so timeless.
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Rezzed: Look Directly At Wildstar


I tried to play Wildstar at Rezzed, which had the least pushy crowds of any convention I’ve been at. Nevertheless, I didn’t manage to get onto the bank of PCs. The players there were curled over the keyboards in the manner of a lion protecting a delicious carcass. I’d approach, there’d be a low growl that I first felt then heard, then my throat would be casually swiped from my neck and the player would return to Carbine’s world. Thankfully the Surgeon Simulator booth was pretty close, and a quick graft restored my larynx. But the Wildstar players did seem particularly engrossed. A less slashy environment to experience the game was the Rezzed developer session, which I’ve embedded below.
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Viewed Prior To Release: Wildstar


We sent Brendan to see Wildstar. This is his report.

A lot of good games have come from pitting the player against ‘the frontier’. (What is Minecraft, for instance, if not a blocky representation of a pre-civilisation?) On paper, the MMO genre seems perfectly suited to the frontier, since it could so easily harness real human nastiness to provide the sense of danger and lawlessness. Some MMOs, like EVE, embrace that interpretation of the wild, at the expense of giving new and inexperienced players an easy ride. On the other hand, WildStar – a new project by NCSOFT currently in beta – is shaping up to be a much more conventional, welcoming game world. A place where the frontier is a cartoon one.
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A Pair Of Wild(star) Videos Appear


I always felt that World of Warcraft didn’t get me as a player. All I ever wanted to do was wander the world and look at what had been made, but the gated realm that it offered made that tough. Not impossible, though: my first few weeks of WoW were slow-going, because I’d be impatient and run into leveled lands without the appropriate character. Then I’d die, return to my corpse to resurrect, and carry on. It was ridiculous, but I took my low-level character to places she was never meant to see by judging where best to run between higher-level NPCs. My desire for a tourist class in an MMO has yet to be fulfilled, but looking at Wildstar’s latest pair of videos it looks like Carbine has made the best attempt at it so far: Paths are Wildstar’s way of giving you more of the specific content you like, and the pair of videos below has already convinced me to try out as an Explorer.
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Paths of Glory: A Wildstar Preview

Recently I played several hours of NCSoft’s next big MMORPG, Wildstar. Developed by an MMO supergroup of sorts, with ex-Blizzard and Mythic folk staffing its highly experienced team, it aims to make this oddly static genre fresh again. WE SHALL SEE.
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Not Wildman: NCSoft’s MMO Wildstar Out This Year

NCSoft’s next big MMO, Wildstar, has been quiet for the best part of the year, and this is of course because it’s been on a fantastic voyage to the bottom of the sea, tutoring giant squid, blue whales and starfish in the ways of levelling up and crafting. Either that or they wanted to develop a load more of the game before showing it off again. I went to see and play Carbine Studios’ sci-fi/fantasy mash-up, which aims to be a deconstruction and then new reconstruction of MMORPG tropes, last week, and I’ll have a full report on that for you late next week.

In the meantime, today they’re telling the world about one of their two opposing, tri-race factions, and pledging to get the game out in 2013.
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Head In The Clouds: Wildstar’s Player-Owned Houses

Me, right now.
Carbine’s science fiction Wild West MMO Wildstar certainly has a lot of promise. The colourful, bold art style is lovely for a start, but then when you read up on some of the more esoteric aspects that have been announced for it, there’s some potential for it to be interesting. It’s not stepping out of the quest-based mould, granted, but it seems to have enough character to stand up as something singular in the MMO landscape. The new trailer detailing player-housing – plots of lands that can be turned into floating islands of player-erected buildings and furniture – does nothing to dispel that feeling. Go take a look, below.
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WildStar’s Group Combat Looks Sort Of Familiar

I wonder if creatures with needles for legs ever get needle phobias.

Many moons ago, I got the chance to play WildStar. It was kind of a surreal experience for me. I mean, I wanted to be delighted. There were gorgeous vistas and Han-Solo-esque gunmen and surprisingly dark references to the film Alien and brilliant tweaks to the traditional MMO formula. It was like a diligent student with purple hair and bunny ears for some reason that had trained under WoW – and then surpassed it. But, even with dodge-heavy multi-lane combat, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this cartoony sci-fi-fantasy galaxy far, far away was actually Azeroth’s next door neighbor. Group combat – tank-healer-DPS “holy trinity” and all – does look fairly exciting, though. Let it caress your giant, strangely out-of-character anime eyeballs after the break.

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The Paths To Glory: Wildstar

Admission: I’d forgotten that Wildstar existed until I watched a new video for the game today. I’m very glad to be reminded though because it looks like that rarest of things, an MMORPG that I might want to play for more than five minutes. The video shows giant monsters, death ray spewing robotfaces acting as an environmental hazard and demonstrates some of the capabilities for each possible ‘path’ players can follow. Read more about that concept in Alec’s interview or go right ahead and watch the video.

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Bartle Banter: Wildstar’s Jeremy Gaffney

You *don't* want to be the big rock guy? What's wrong with you?

Back in July, NCSoft and Carbine Studios took the lid off their next big MMO, Wildstar. I know because I was there when they did. The talking point about Wildstar was how it plans to approach the tropes of the genre in a new way – primarily by asking you to pick a Path on top of the usual class and race choices. Are you an Explorer, a Soldier, an Achiever or a Builder? Or a waster who can’t be bothered to make even a simple decision like that? A little while back, I chatted to Carbine Studios bossman (and Turbine co-founder) Jeremy Gaffney about the path they’d chosen for the game, how it is (and isn’t) based around the theories of grandfather-of-MMOs Richard Bartle, what Exploring entails here, why they have a bunny-eared character, the problem of preconceptions about MMOs and secret slides.
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Betaing Around The Bush: Wildstar Sidles Up

Behold! A sign-up page!

Brriiiiiing! Briiiiiiing! Briii-
“Hello, Alec Meer speaking.”
“Hello, is that Alec Meer?”
“Yes, that’s why I said ‘Alec Meer speaking’. God, why do people always do that?”
“Sorry, yes, it annoys me too. Alec Meer here too – you said I should give you a call.”
“What?”
“You said you have so many half-forgotten interviews to transcribe that you needed to find some sort of fool-proof reminder system. This is it. When you sell RPS for $4 billion in 2027, you spent your share on a machine that could send phone calls back through time.”
“What?”
“So this is your reminder to transcribe the Wildstar interview you did back in August.”
“What? Wait, that’s actually really useful. Thanks.”
“Oh, and if you post that beta sign-ups for the new NCsoft MMO are now open, that’ll further help you to remember. Bye!”
“Oh, that’s a very sensible idea.”
“Oh, and don’t play Duke Nukem Forever, it’s rubbish.”
“Hang on, I thought you said you were from the future?”
“Er… Gotta go!”
[Click]

Eight Minutes Of Wildstar Footage


Earlier in the week we revealed that NCSoft will be publishing Carbine’s space MMO, Wildstar, and Alec delivered his impressions on that. Now eight minutes of footage has appeared (below), and holy crap there is a lot in that eight minutes: the player-character starting out getting revived by an NPC, exploring a valley and dodging avalanches, setting up and using bits of equipment, fighting some kind of space yeti, and appearance and destruction of some awesome spacecraft thing. The visual references are clear, and it’s certainly an MMO in the classic sense, but with some surprises. It does look like it might be entertaining.
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Wildstar: The First Trailer


UPDATE: New embed.
There’s the preview of NCsoft/Carbine’s ambitious new sci-fantasy MMO Wildstar, and here’s the first scene-setting video. Pre-rendered intro vid kinda stuff rather than in-game footage, but sets the scene, the tone and introduces the three playable races and some of the classes… Take a look. Now, I must run off to a giant German convention centre to go see many, many games.
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NCSoft Vs The World: Wildstar Preview

“Cool story, Gaffney.” So Wildstar lead Jeremy Gaffney, co-creator of Turbine and now heading up NCSoft’s MMO dev supergroup Carbine Studios, repeatedly mock-chastises himself when unveiling their first game to the media. He’s making promises we’ve heard so many times, about so many massively multiplayer games that ultimately didn’t live up to their wild hype: this is “the deepest, richest MMO ever,” it “lets players play how they want to play”, “this is something new.” You know how that song goes. Cool story, Gaffney. This guy though, right here and now, aims to back up his grandiose claims, right here and now. Carbine are finally ready to show off fantasy/sci-fi hybrid MMO Wildstar. It goes a little something like this.
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Latest Image From Mystery Carbine MMO


Carbine’s art director Matt Mocarski has posted an early image from the game (above, click for full), as well as a statement of intent for his visual style, which he describes as “hand-crafted” and “magical”: “We knew we were a future fantasy game – players will see both fantasy and sci-fi elements in our world and our gameplay. We also knew we’d need to be able to tell a huge variety of stories, everything from intense drama to mind-blowing action to humorous tales. There were a few influences that we really focused on. Animated films such as Atlantis, The Secret of Nimh, and Princess Mononoke really nailed the overall look of the style. We know that our game was for adults so we studied shows like Naruto and Full Metal Alchemist to see how they balanced a unique visual style with stories that had both humor and drama. Lastly we looked at comics such as Hellboy, Battle Chasers, and Tank Girl to influence our balance of technology and fantasy.”

The game is set to be revealed by NCSoft later this month, and we’re mildly excited. Here’s why.

NCSoft’s New Game Reveal Revealed

Sci-fantasy!

Revealed: a game will be revealed next month. However, this quasi-news is of note despite the lack of a name and a JPEG or two purely because it concerns the next MMO from NCsoft, and the impressive clutch of developers who are making it. It’s made by Carbine Studios, a sort of MMO dev supergroup headed up by Turbine co-founder and Asheron’s Call co-creator Jeremy Gaffney (who also worked on at least one of Ultima Online’s axed sequels), Fallout lead designer Tim Cain and Guild Wars’ world designer Jess Lebow – plus folk who’ve worked on the likes of World of Warcraft, Everquest 1 and 2, City of Heroes, Free Realms, Diablo II and StarCraft.

In other words, this is probably something we should sit up and pay attention to.
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