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VirginWorlds MMORPG News
Host: Brent
VirginWorlds is a weekly news podcast covering Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) such as World of Warcraft, EverQuest, Guild Wars, City of Heroes, Eve Online, Vanguard, Lord of the Rings Online and many many more. The VirginWorlds MMORPG Podcast is the flagship podcast of the VirginWorlds MMO Podcast Collective found at http://www.virginworlds.com

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VirginWorlds Podcast #78
Mon, 23 Jul 2007 02:33:00 GMT [download/play]



Bioware.  Bioware Bioware Bioware.  More specifically, Bioware Austin.  It is a secret fortress protecting the identity of a future MMO that is in development there.  We have no clue what they're up to. All we know is that they're licensing every technology and tool under the sun to make this thing. 

SOE.  New EQ2 Game Update (#37).  Fan Faire! Block Party! New EQ2 Magazine! Vanguard server merges!

Will Exanimus, the zombie MMO in development, be a bigger deal than I initially thought?  Perhaps.

These are the topics of discussion this week.  Enjoy and thanks for the support.

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Episode 78 Discussion Thread

'Rooting for new games' by Akely
Submitted on 2007-07-23 15:06:19 CST
...not that I *need* a new game. EQ2 still rocks my world. But it is always fun with fresh ideas. So lets hope the PR gooblegook is true.

Bioware is a solid company. There sure is some talent there. But it sounds alarming if Brent's deduction/hypothesis about all these tools means no programmers. Can the tools really make them obsolete? I don't know, but I have a hunch programmers are needed for much of the behind-the-scenes stuff. Am I wrong?

Thanks for another great show. Excellent content, layout and sound. Kudos!



'Yar! Where's me manners?' by Akely
Submitted on 2007-07-23 15:31:07 CST
Enjoy the time off. And DO have a great time at the fan faire.

I must confess I am a bit jealous of you state-side people... Would cast me an arm and a leg to go to the fan faire. Hmmm... If I marry Brenlo, will SOE fly me there?



'No more programmers? Not likely' by Psyik
Submitted on 2007-07-24 00:11:56 CST
Unfortunately, I doubt any engine that anyone will ever license will fit them perfectly. Assuming that the engine Bioware licensed does even 99% of what they want, what happens if it doesn't handles quests the way they want? What if the UI isn't what they want? What if it's something serious, like inefficient logging of data or resource storage? What about bugs? As awesome as it would be if we could get past programmers and go right to the creative guys (actually, I want to be a programmer, so that might suck for me), it just isn't realistic. These engine building companies can't keep up with customers individual needs unless they dedicate staff to each of them. And if they do, is that any different from the actual customer hiring their own staff?

I like the idea of licensing engines, I really do. But no matter what they tell you, these companies are immediately limiting themselves by choosing to do this. Maybe that's not bad. Maybe the engine only has to do so much, and so why not license one that does that really well already.

The way I look at it is: imagine a sculptor wants to make a statue. He finds a pre-sculpted statue in roughly the pose he wants, but will almost no features or definition. Now he just has to chip the details in. And maybe it'll be just as good as if he'd done everything, and maybe not.

As per the movie analogy, I've actually been noticing the opposite. Sure, a director don't need someone to reinvent the camera for him each time, but more and more that director will have to start hiring specialized CG people to get the movie he wants without the limitations reality.

[/rant]



'Nice MxO Music' by QforQ
Submitted on 2007-07-24 00:27:01 CST
Nice MxO loading area music when you were talking about the EQ2 Magazine. I recognized it instantly!


'lots of dialogue' by hallower
Submitted on 2007-07-24 13:20:04 CST
I think one thing we can expect from the Bioware MMO is a lot of emphasis on dialogue. Bioware games are always story-oriented, and I'm sure they'll try to focus more gameplay on conversations than is common in MMOs. They might even include a feature similar to Mass Effect's dialogue system.

I'll be sending out resumes next month, limiting myself to companies within Texas or the South (I don't want to wander too far from family or my home culture). Bioware-Austin is almost certain to get a copy. Bioware makes great games, and they take storytelling more seriously than any other game developer.

I'll take a look at Exanimus when it's closer to release.

Tech licensing is a great thing. Creativity is inspired as much by constraints as by potential, and the expense cuts are a big deal.