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 Post subject: Q&A with EA Game Designers!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:06 pm 
Frostguard
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GAME DESIGN TALKS: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS WITH EMPOREA GAME DESIGNERS

Read in:Slovensky,Polski

Who is asking? Alliances and players of Emporea!

Who is answering? Emporea developers: Emporea producer Dexter (D), our game designers Ondrej (O) and Viktor (V) and Emporea data analyst Peter (P).

When were these questions asked? Players were encouraged to send their inquiries to brevayova@pixelfederation.com from 13th of March, 2015 until four days later.

This is what they asked!

Q: How many people play Emporea? (Honza)

P: Hi Honza! On average, there are approximately 10000 players playing Emporea every day and about 60000 every month. :)

Q: Can you put back the option to build towers into the walls directly? It would add individuality to the cities again! (RevengeAngel)

O: Well, we know old players miss it! We do, too. With all honesty - it was indeed a cool feature. It was not taken away intentionally, the simple truth is that we did not have enough time to finish the preparations, and when the deadline for releasing version 4 came, we were only midway through the process. It is a simple looking feature, but it requires a lot of time to be prepared... So, we keep it in mind, but I need to confess we do not plan to work on it in the near future.

Q: Would it be possible to add zoom to the main map, and be able to bookmark visited battle locations? (SpiritFighters, Hephaestus)

O: Greetings, SpiritFighters! Of course, world map zoom would be a nice addition... To tell you the truth, we are working on it for a long long time already. We cannot promise you any release dates, but yes - we want to go on with this, and implement it to the game itself as soon as possible. We do not want to rush it though, since world map glitches is the last thing we would want to risk, so we are taking our time, but... It is being cooked!

V: As for the bookmarks... We are pursuing a different path which should be helpful in the map orientation, and it concerns the spawning of the camps - the closer to the temple, the higher the level. On the borders of the provinces, there will be the lower level camps. Combining this with the map zooming, I really hope it will be a good step forward!

Q: Could we have a purely alliance based arena? Either separate or alongside the normal arena? (The Jelly Tots, Chione)

O: Hello Jellies! Actually, this sounds like a pretty interesting idea, and also as one which is not too complicated to design and implement. I was already considering a slight rework of the entire alliance and this might be one of the features. However, I do not dare to guess the timeframe for a release... But we have added this to the TO-DO list already!

Q: After fighting other alliances for 14 weeks, with multiple deals, alliances and battles occurring, do you not think it's pure 'B-movie' for an alien to suddenly beam down from outer space and become the focus of the game? (Imagine watching the whole "Lord of The Rings" Trilogy and in the final battle martians turn up and everyone has to fight them to survive.... would it add to the film or feel like you just wasted 12 hours of your life with the whole previous plot?) (The Raiders)

O: We love B movies! Have you seen “Braindead” by Peter Jackson?

V: I don´t think so... Anyway: The thing is the servers tended to last around 60 days only, and we were getting a lot of feedback that the game is simply too short. We thus decided to make the worlds last longer and for the exact period of time, so our players would be able to plan the game from its beginning to the end in advance - make some kind of time schedule. What we wanted to achieve with the boss is to create some additional tension while still keep the concentration on the altar - altars are of vital importance, but still, the winner is not necessarily decided until the very last day. Xoggoth should serve also as an occasion to make use of everything you earned during the server - all the resources, each and every soldier, potions,...; and to show the strength the player has achieved in the world.

Q: Why do you not get tears for PVP battles? We fought against everyone the whole server and were beaten to the number two spot by an alliance who effectively hid for the whole 14 weeks. Do you not feel you've killed the PVP aspect of this game? (Technically two questions. :) But no-one will notice.) (The Raiders)

D: Well, the main idea was to move the player vs. player confrontations to other targets than the individual cities, so it would not be one player loss, but more intense alliance vs. alliance confrontations. We also wanted to evade abuses of lower level players which happened quite regularly in the version 3. If we do not feel we have killed the PvP..? Well, we certainly changed it. And yes, we definitely did not help it grow. PvP is a very sensitive topic, anything you do, changes the game completely, and there will be always a group of players unhappy about the change. It depends on your gaming preferences. We wanted to move the game away from attacking weak players to bigger alliance battles, where you are defending the common targets and fight for the common goal. If we succeeded or not, that is up to our players to judge. :) Many people prefer the current version, even though PvP was a bigger thing in the version 3...

Q: Do you consider adding race specific decorations to Emporea? (RevengeAngel)

O: Well, yes, it is being planned, but not in the near future. It is more of a long term vision I would like to pursue when we are finished with other features we are currently working on. :)

Q: Would it be possible to allow artifacts that go into the same slot to be crafted? Ex. lvl 3 Boots of Steel crafted with lvl 3 Green wings to form Lvl 3 Steel Wings(Dmg 15%,HP15%,Cold Resist15%,Regen5% and Fire Resist15%) or some variation thereof. (The Jelly Tots, Chione)

O: Personally, I would love it, it would be fun! However, it is technically way too complicated and the production would be time consuming and the impact on the game quite unpredictable, so we are not really eager to take this road. It may look like a small change, but in terms of our code, it changes a lot, and I mean, A LOT. Programmers would hate me, and I am not sure players would not follow their lead...

Q: Could we, please, have the two quests research units one for spell and one for upgrades side by side? (The Jelly Tots, Chione)

O: Greetings Jelly Tots! There is some work done in this direction, although in a slightly different form. What is planned is to have two separate research buildings, one for the unit upgrade and the other working exclusively on spells. To be honest, we started working on this quite a long time ago, we even have the visuals for the both buildings already :), but we had to concentrate on different things for a while there. But now, we are reopening the case and hope to solve it very soon!
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Work in progress as a piece of supporting evidence! It will be reworked, though, because our graphic artist does not like it. ;)

Q: Are there any plans to make the buildings evolve visually the way the palace does, for example? (RevengeAngel)

O: Hello, I am sorry to dissapoint you, but no, this is not planned, at least not any time soon... I hope it is not a deal breaker for you!

Q: Why do you not display a battle scene when armies clash? The whole little crossed swords thing is pretty lame. Even if it isn't too detailed and you have no control over it, watching little hoardes scrapping would be great... It might even convince you to stay in the battle longer than you would normally. (The Raiders)

O: Why? Because we seem to be unable to come up with a good idea! Something visually appealing and still technically bearable... This goal is already assigned to me as a designer, but it is very technically demanding for Emporea, and to come up with a moving animation which will not ruin the game for the many players who already have some performance issues even without it is quite a challenge! We welcome any suggestions, feel free to send your ideas, ideally with artworks attached to them. ;)

Q: An alliance based market/ swap shop for equal value/ level items and why it the lumber mine bigger than the other resource things? (The Jelly Tots, Chione)

V: Those are two questions. ;) Anyway:

As for the lumber mill size, that is a history thing, a survivor from the very first version of Emporea, where the city had its exact size and you had to place buildings in specific positions just right to make them fit and to maximize their production. Players were even drawing plans for the ideal placement, it was a bit hard core, a puzzle of sorts. :) Lumber mill simply had to be slightly bigger to make the picture complete. There is no such need anymore, but somehow... The lumber mill size has survived until this day.

Image

Image

O: As for the alliance based markets and all the other alternatives: It may sound easy but it is EXTREMELY difficult to design so it would not ruin the marketplace in general and still be a good deal within the alliance and, what we fear the most - so it would not open ten thousand easy ways to cheat easily for those who want to cheat. We have opened this question several times already, but shut it by the pure overload of numbers and the new ways to cheat that just kept popping to our mind.

Q: Suggestions: a non gem server so skill/ luck based only + bring back a few cities and naming them? (The Jelly Tots, Chione)

O: As for the several cities thing: we felt it was overwhelming and very repetitive to manage five cities at a time, it required a lot of time, and it was getting boring. Many players complained, too, so we felt it was the right move to concentrate all the work on one city only. But what we are planning and I started to work on it already, is the possibility to choose only one part of the army to defend your city. So it will not have to be “all in” anymore if you want to keep your defenses active. And you do not need other cities to hide your troops in. ;) As for the names - why not, I like the idea! I am already visualizing some kind of flag with the name. :D We will get back to it when there is a moment.

As for the non-gem server... Without money it will be one of the following: the Emporea production team will die from hunger, or the Emporea game will be left alone and die itself. And I do not like either of the scenarios...

Q: Hello Emporea! My question is: When will other races and units for the set races we have will be added to this game. This is something many players have wanted. Second question: Will you ever make a unit that deals magic damage? (Gustavo)

O: As for the adding a new race, this is the road we do not intend to take. It is a great commitment - to add a new race and balance it with all the others practically equals creating a new game, opening many possibilities to screw up. :) I prefer creating new events - you can play with new units there, too, you can create new stories, new items... Without having to design a whole new Emporea history. :)

V: As for the magic damage units... Well, that is an interesting idea! However, I am afraid many players do not understand the way the damage in Emporea works even without complicating the situation with damage immune to normal/cold/fire resists. But we will think about it.

Q: My question to you is.. and the most important question of all, there is no question bigger i'm afraid... But why don't they re-release the original Emporea game? Everyone has a right to know how it all began and what an incredible game it was? (Jester, I started playing in August 09 and have been a huge fan of emporea.. your biggest fan ! ha..)

D: Hi Jester! Thank you for the nicest message, it is great to see some old Emporeans around! But I have no good news for you - strictly speaking, you are playing Emporea 1 even now. Emporea has been always considered a living, evolving project, and it was basically overwritten with its new versions. If we were to run Emporea I, we would have to code it again... But, yes, some of us miss it, too. ;) But only as players, certainly not as developers! Version 1 was much more hard core, and let´s be honest here: it did not have many players, and it was a black hole for money, never returning the investitions. :D It was not able to survive in that form. But those few people who played it, did love it. And we are proud of it!

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