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Gods & Heroes Dev Blog Q&A: Estates!

Fri 5/13/2011 at 6:00 pm - Danicia

Good day, Romans!

The Gods & Heroes Development Team is happy to share more information and a few screen shots regarding the work we’re doing on our Estates feature. We presented the first glimpses of the Estates feature at the Game Developers Conference and we are excited to share more information with you!

We have recently patched the game and added the Estates feature. We are excited to get Estates to the beta testers as their feedback will help lay the groundwork for the entire estates future. The current release of the Estates feature is in Alpha stages and we hope you enjoy testing it with us. Not only do we have the regular Dev Q&H for Friday, but also recorded a video interview with key members of the Development team. We hope you enjoy the Q&A and Video Session!

Q: What made the team decide to put in the Estate game?

A: The Estate game is a feature a lot of the people on the dev team have wanted to put into an MMO for quite some time. Awhile back when we were exploring game features that could make Gods & Heroes stand out in the marketplace and Estates seemed like a natural fit. We were ecstatic when we realized this – not only could we finally do Estates, they made great business sense! Even better, Gods & Heroes already had encampments, so some of the groundwork had already been laid down to support them.

Estates will help players connect with the game by giving them something with real world persistence they can bond with and keep improving on. Estates are also a natural starting off point for lots of features and content paths we want to explore. There’s so much potential in Estates to be and do so many interesting things that we’re really looking forward to getting them in the game.

Q: Is this just housing? What makes it special?

A: Estates are going to be a lot more than just housing. First of all, the literal scale of them is so much bigger – you won’t be trapped inside your little house in Gods & Heroes, you’ll have an entire valley all your own. This opens Estates up to even greater customization options and game mechanics than housing could ever provide. Additionally, we’re going to make Estates about features, not just a place to show off trophies and customize. Estates will have an ever growing array of activities that players can play with that will have a real impact on their game play experience.

Estates will also act as a master hub for pushing the player off into the world to do things. Our core game play isn’t changing from adventuring out and killing bad guys, but we want that game play to orbit around the player’s Estate as their central purpose. As story arcs come and go and as villains rise and fall, the players’ estates will continue to evolve. A veteran player’s estate will be a truly awe inspiring thing to see.

Q: What are the challenges in putting in the Estate Game to the old systems?

A: As with most of the features we’ve developed so far, the biggest challenge with developing the Estates has been in figuring out how all the involved systems work. Happily, we’re getting increasingly more comfortable with the technology we inherited and development is going increasingly better and faster. Between that and some great new additions to the dev team we’re starting to catch our stride.

Q: Are all the features for the Estate Game going to be in before launch?

A: Not even a little bit. We too many plans for the future of Estates to ever think they’ll be complete. At launch the Estate game is mostly going to be about rebuilding after the Telchines raze the place to the ground. This progression will parallel that of the player as they play through the game content up to the level cap. Shortly after launch, we are going to add a lot of customization options, some resource management, and more Estate centric quests. After that we’re going to work in new system mechanics like playing in Roman politics, inter-estate trade, and possibly managing your own ludis. This is just the tip of the iceberg, the Estates are going to keep getting new features to play with indefinitely.

Q: Will the Estates have features that offer benefits to Tribes?

A: To start with Estates are going to be pretty personal spaces. When we start adding some more of the meta features we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on making sure Estates are a social feature. Those systems are still in design flux, so I don’t have any specifics on this yet. You can count on there being some synergies between Estates you’ll want to take advantage of, though.

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