to know how much you’ll be able to use from Unreal Tournament in
Dark Sector, from tools to engine or whatever.
Eekels: We can almost take anything. Like
all of our tools that we have, which is basically the Unreal Editor
and some of the modeling tools, and we can take those with us and
use them as a base for Dark Sector.
the engine as well?
you building a new engine from scratch?
No! But we will be coding a new renderer.
enhancements and features.
Ewing: Everything that we will need to keep
Unreal state-of-the-art. We already have a bunch of ideas. There
will be lots to do to it I’m sure.
that will significantly cut down on development time then.
Ewing: Yes. Oh yeah.
idea on what kind of release date we’re looking at?
Eekels: No. <laughs>
Ewing: Nope! <laughs>
you knew I had ask right?
Ewing: It’s just that you get asked that
so many times, even if you just make a guess at something, it always
turns out to be: “It’s going to be released at this time!” and
when we just meant hopefully, so we decided it’s a better policy
just to say –
Eekels: “When it’s done” is one of the
best lines ever.
Ewing: Oh yeah.
Eekels: In the games industry.
Ewing: It sucks to get everybody’s hopes
up. We’re like that when we’re looking at other games to come out.
Delayed again! It’s just so much better this way.
know what gaming network you’ll be using to support the infrastructure
for Dark Sector?
Eekels: At this point we won’t have an
answer until we actually signed with someone.
you looked at it yet?
Ewing: Yep. That’s one of the big things.
looking at it, then you must be guessing at how many people you
could potentially have world-wide connected to the game at any one
Eekels: Right now we’re looking at the
current games --
Ewing: -- like Asheron’s Call and Everquest
and what kind of numbers they’re getting. We’ll generally setup,
we’re pretty sure, the same sort of style that they’re doing. Where
they have a bunch of servers worldwide.
Eekels: Several universes of the game.
probably a really good way of doing it, because if you get overloaded
you just pop in another server right?
Ewing: Yeah you can pop in another server
but I think we’ll do it the same way as in Asheron’s Call, where
your account will work on any world, but you can’t bring your character.
We’re still not sure but we’re still working on it.
universes. In games like Asheron’s Call you have people online
all the time who are support people, who help others, watch for
problems, etc. Are you thinking about something like that?
Ewing: Yeah I would kind of like to see
that because I’ve been helped out several times by support people.
Eekels: Again that’s something we have
to look at in the future. It’s one of the many things on the list
that we are looking at.
still in the design phase, I understand, so a lot of this stuff
is still on the board to be talked about. Are you still working
on the design doc right now?
Eekels: Yeah we have the overall design
doc done, but of course there’s going to be tweaks.
Ewing: And added to.
Eekels: And taken off.
Ewing: If there’s one thing
we found from development of both UT and Unreal, things change.
When you’re designing a game, especially with the open concept that
we have, things change so often, not drastically, but there’s so
many changes and shifts, minor shifts, and even some major shifts
in direction that go on. Having a hugely detailed design doc before
you even start is sometimes a waste of time. That’s how a game
gets to be, and it really helps the game to be able to change with
Eekels: The design doc is designed to give
the team a direction, and how you get there is not important. It’s
a starting point. The major elements in the game that dictate gameplay,
you can think that out beforehand, but along the way you’re going
to have to tweak and massage that. In the end you’ll have a nice
game that you will have fun playing. You don’t want to have something
in the design doc that turns out to be an annoyance factor in the
game. You want to be able to redirect that.