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Author Topic: [Interview] Bill Roper on Hellgate: London  (Read 2559 times)
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Knightshade Dragon
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« on: September 11, 2007, 06:09:29 PM »

If you hit the front page you'll see a nice big demon to greet you for our Hellgate: London interview with Bill Roper.  For those of you unfamiliar with the man, he was Vice President of Blizzard North and Director of Blizzard Entertainment from 1994 to 2003.  He oversaw such hits as Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, Warcraft II and III and their expansions, Diablo, Diablo II, and more before departing to co-found Flagship Studios.  Hellgate: London is their first title and it looks to be a winner.  We sat down with Bill for almost an hour to see the character creation and the first hour of the game.  It looks like it'll be a winner and it is headed into closed beta very shortly.  Don't miss out on this interview, and make sure you hit the last page for all the cinematic goodness - locally hosted of course.  Enjoy!

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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2007, 06:17:52 PM »

That...is some interview. And it had to take forever to transcribe.
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Knightshade Dragon
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2007, 06:32:24 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on September 11, 2007, 06:17:52 PM

That...is some interview. And it had to take forever to transcribe.

True that!  Thanks for the help on that BTW.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2007, 06:36:51 PM by Knightshade Dragon » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2007, 07:13:14 PM »

hopefully with the release of beta they bust open the NDA so I can talk about it.
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2007, 09:17:19 PM »

Quote
BR: Some rare runic fragments, and some regular runic fragments. So how these get use is, let me go grab my focus item, which because it’s the starter item, it may not work – let me see… So here, here’s the Mana Forge. If I have 2 pieces of scrap and 2 pieces of runic fragments, which I happen to have, so I can put these resources in here and I can upgrade my items. So if you look right here, 21 damage, item level 1, I can upgrade and now…

GT: Item level 3…

BR: 25 damage, item level 3. If I wanted to upgrade again, it would cost 6 scrap and 6 runic, which I don’t have right now, but the idea behind this is if I find an item I really liked, let’s say I found a cool focus item that looked bitchin’, and maybe had a ton of mod slots, I can actually grow that item with my character. So even if this is a level 1 item when I started, now I have a level 3 item on my character. And I can continue to…

That's cool. I haven't followed this game at all. This "interview" is the first thing I've read about it and I'm kinda jazzed for it now. Nothing personal but it is a bit of a boring read, with him talking about fairly simple UI and game mechanics that aren't really new. The stuff that I was able to pick out that was interesting and new was good though.
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2007, 12:24:18 AM »

Quote from: coopasonic on September 11, 2007, 09:17:19 PM

Quote
BR: Some rare runic fragments, and some regular runic fragments. So how these get use is, let me go grab my focus item, which because it’s the starter item, it may not work – let me see… So here, here’s the Mana Forge. If I have 2 pieces of scrap and 2 pieces of runic fragments, which I happen to have, so I can put these resources in here and I can upgrade my items. So if you look right here, 21 damage, item level 1, I can upgrade and now…

GT: Item level 3…

BR: 25 damage, item level 3. If I wanted to upgrade again, it would cost 6 scrap and 6 runic, which I don’t have right now, but the idea behind this is if I find an item I really liked, let’s say I found a cool focus item that looked bitchin’, and maybe had a ton of mod slots, I can actually grow that item with my character. So even if this is a level 1 item when I started, now I have a level 3 item on my character. And I can continue to…

That's cool. I haven't followed this game at all. This "interview" is the first thing I've read about it and I'm kinda jazzed for it now. Nothing personal but it is a bit of a boring read, with him talking about fairly simple UI and game mechanics that aren't really new. The stuff that I was able to pick out that was interesting and new was good though.
*nod*  I'd have loved to have taken footage...alas.
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2007, 02:48:24 AM »

At the risk of sounding all fanboyish, I want this game soooooo badly...
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2007, 03:08:23 AM »

Bill Roper says "Right" a lot......

 icon_wink
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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2007, 04:04:12 AM »

Quote from: Ralph-Wiggum on September 12, 2007, 03:08:23 AM

Bill Roper says "Right" a lot......

 icon_wink

Heh, don't have to tell me!
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« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2007, 06:05:05 AM »

Just wanted to let you know that all the Hellgate: London info is all so awesome. Thanks, KD! smile

On a side note, the video for the Evoker is broken. Any chance to get that fixed?
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« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2007, 12:36:04 PM »

Quote from: namatoki on September 12, 2007, 06:05:05 AM

Just wanted to let you know that all the Hellgate: London info is all so awesome. Thanks, KD! smile

On a side note, the video for the Evoker is broken. Any chance to get that fixed?

Of course! 

Not sure why it came out black screen like that, but it is fixed and verified working now. 
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« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2007, 01:28:27 PM »

Thanks for the interview, just read through the whole thing.  It was very reassuring to read this part:

Quote
BR: ...But the min specs fall back to machines that are about five to six years old, all the way back to DX8. I think we found a… you know what the min specs are? I can’t remember the megs on the video card. It’s like… it’s low. Yeah, like GeForce 3 with 64MB.

GT: So if you’ve got like a $100 6800GT you’re gonna be sitting just fine.

BR: This is definitely so that people don’t have to go out and get a new machine. Obviously it’s not going to look this good. What we’re looking at in that regard is that we’ve got is the fact that we did low poly and low texture versions of every art asset in the game. So if you’re playing it on a five or six year old system that’s fine to be using. Stuff still looks really good. But we wanted to push every direction possible so we’ve got Vista, DX10 support for all the bleeding edge guys and then we push back five or six years for the low end guys.

My aging computer lives on!

I've been moaning about the subscription model for a while, but I have to admit it's looking like they might have enough of a hit here to get a lot of people to bite.  Those recent GHII DLC numbers make it clear that many people are much more willing to part with their money than I am.

Getting excited!
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« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2007, 04:56:12 PM »

Great read, thanks for getting the interview and thanks for TYPING THE WHOLE DAMN THING smile
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« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2007, 05:09:06 PM »

Quote from: VynlSol on September 12, 2007, 04:56:12 PM

Great read, thanks for getting the interview and thanks for TYPING THE WHOLE DAMN THING smile

Yeah, that was...fun. Imagine hearing Bill's voice, yet at 50% speed, and STILL having to replay sections over and over and over...just to figure out what he said.
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« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2007, 02:39:16 PM »

OMG, you got Bill Roper to do an interview? You rock!

Reading it now... 9 PAGES? Wow. Great job.  thumbsup
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« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2007, 03:09:17 PM »

Quote from: Orgull on September 14, 2007, 02:39:16 PM

OMG, you got Bill Roper to do an interview? You rock!

Reading it now... 9 PAGES? Wow. Great job.  thumbsup

Yup.  Was a cool interview for me as Bill is one of my heroes from this industry.  Everything he touches has been a great title for me, so getting to meet him in person and interview him was a treat.
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« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2008, 03:58:07 AM »

Since we have something like 193 old Hellgate threads (give or take a few dozen), I thought I'd post any Hellgate interviews I stumble on here for the sake of not contributing to any more Hellgate thread litter. smile I know this was originally a thread about a cool exclusive GT interview (little did anyone know what condition the game would launch in then) so I hope that's OK.

Q&A: Bill Roper opens up on Hellgate (as well as the Stonehenge content update)
http://www.gamespot.com/news/6184912.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=newstop&tag=newstop;title;1
Quote
BR: Honestly, we tried to do too much with the game. We created our own engine, tools, and online destination from scratch in just a few years [is that supposed to sound impressive? Does it usually take decades?  saywhat -BJ]. We are really proud of the work we did, however we were perhaps a bit too ambitious. [As far as quests go, how about a little *more* ambition, Bill!-BJ]

If we could have waited another three months to ship, we would have, but the challenges of an independent game studio are much, much different than what we had during our days at Blizzard or the guys at Arena.net face (since we often see comparisons with them and Guild Wars) as they were owned by NCsoft before they had to ship. [This is where Keavin Nealon's "Mr. Subliminal" on SNL would say "We released our half-baked game 3 months early and we knew it all along!"]
Sorry, even as a modest fan of the game, I couldn't resist throwing some brickabats at his comments.  Tongue

I think the problem is, if Flagship's dream is to get absorbed by another publisher, how is releasing a 3-month premature game awash in bugs, with virtually nothing rewarding to subscribers (until now with Stonehenge, fingers crossed), that's getting royally pounded in review (if I read them first, I wouldn't even have tried HG at all) after review after review... how is that in any way going to help Flagship achieve that? It's lucky I didn't interview Bill, because my questions would probably have ticked them off. Gamespot is of course more polite.  disgust icon_lol

I mean, you get one chance to impress gamers and publishers in this industry. I like HG, but I just don't see EA or Midway saying "Hey, gotta love Hellgate! We gotta keep Flagship in the stables!" The fact they didn't say "Hey, this is promising, but it needs 3 more months work, we believe in you, so do it" says volumes, imho.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2008, 04:06:18 AM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2008, 04:38:53 PM »

I think it would be funny (and cool) if Blactizzard absorbed Flagship, dismantled it, and redistributed it's members back into the Blizzard fold.  Vivendi might not like that, but it would be a nice move.
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« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2008, 08:42:27 PM »

Yeah, that would be an interesting move. smile
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« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2008, 05:33:07 PM »

Did anyone ever noticed EVERY game which ends up being a buggy mess suffers from the problem of being "too ambitious"?

That should be, like, game design 101: don't get excessively ambitious with your game.  Figure out what you want to do, and don't let yourself get pulled in a million different directions.

At the end of the day, you are judged on what you release, not on what you tried to do.
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« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2008, 06:17:06 PM »

Nah, you just have to interpret it correctly. 

"Too ambitious" = "We don't have the talent to code this properly, so we did it in a half-assed way".
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« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2008, 06:54:22 PM »

Yeah, that seems to be the case a lot too.  Like, with everything by Trioka.
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« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2008, 12:21:31 AM »

Im tempted a lot to take down Arcanum and reinstall it. then I recall the bugs and who made it and leave it on the shelf again.
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« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2008, 04:59:46 AM »

Quote from: Daehawk on January 22, 2008, 12:21:31 AM

Im tempted a lot to take down Arcanum and reinstall it. then I recall the bugs and who made it and leave it on the shelf again.

Which is why I'm glad to have contributed it to a landfill somewhere.
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