Resurrecting the Superhero MMO - City of Titans Q&A

Jonathan Bolding | 31 Oct 2013 16:15
Interviews - RSS 2.0

Your Kickstarter Page makes a big deal of community features, can you give us a detailed example of one feature that will work to build community?

Sara "Firefairy" Quinn, President: Teaming that isn't hard-restricted by levels. If you can team with your friends, include new players in your high-level party, and explore content at various levels through teaming without being limited in who you can team with by some hard-coded system in the game, you can make and maintain connections with other players that can last for years and even extend outside the game much more easily than if you have to fit into some arbitrary level window in order to work together as a team. This doesn't mean that a level 1 character in a level 50 party will be as effective as a true level 50, and depending on their powers, they might be a one-hit-wonder when they get pulled up that far, but that's practical considerations, not us deciding not to allow it. Simply not getting in the way of connections is a quiet way in which we can encourage community.

Chris "Warcabbit" Hare, Project Lead: I'll do better than that, I'll show you something that didn't. Champions Online gave people what they said they wanted. The ability to choose any power, rather than being restricted. They combined that with a weaker debuffing and control environment than CoH. This resulted in a population of offensive tank-mages, and no real interest in teaming. The Trinity is dead, but we're keeping team size at eight for a reason. We want people to play together.

Something that does work? Giving people a place to relax, online, and socialize, while making it easy to get to, and easy to get back to fighting things quickly. Further, making exceptionally good and easy to use looking for team systems. Let the players do the work for us, but give them opportunities to play together.

Nate "Doctor Tyche" Downes, Technical Director: The past decade has seen media revolutionized through social channels in a way few imagined. It would make sense to exploit the power of social media to enhance the online experience. Imagine being able to tweet your achievements or badges. Just visualize the idea of linking your account to Facebook and G+ to share your screenshots. And this is just scratching the surface of the potential here. Organizing raids through your Google Calendar, checking your friends list for who else plays, huge potential here for the players to improve their own game experience. And, all we have to do is give them the keys to doing it themselves. Ultimately, the player is in control.

You're aiming for a 2015 launch, why should people support now instead of waiting to pay at launch?

Sara Quinn: Because the earlier we get funding, the more will be in the game at launch. Also because we are hoping to find some very non-traditional investors who are interested in funding us more out of a desire to build community connections than purely out of a profit motive, and having people who are willing to contribute demonstrates a strong community connection to our project. That kind of investment will help us avoid some of the pitfalls of more traditional investment, and retain more control over the direction of the project, but we will have to show that we are a strong contender in order to get it.

Chris Hare: Now that we've made our minimum, every single backer, even if it's only a dollar, is a sign of commitment. We're going to need additional investment to launch, and every single backer we get is a sign to the banker, investor, or non-traditional funding source, that we have a market, and a fan base, that's worth investing in. Every backer gives us a stronger argument and gives us better terms when we go looking for the investment we need to launch the game. With the right investment, we can make the game bigger, and have more people work on it full time, all the way up to our goal of a starting level cap at 50, our pet class functional, and enough costumes to choke a horse.

Ian "Doctor Boston" Hawkins, Business Office Vizier: One of our interests, as a business, is to ensure that no outside interest can quash a functioning game. To do that, we must forgo the traditional influence Publishers and Venture Capitalists have over their investments. This means a heavy reliance on loans and similar - the kinds of sources that need reassurance there is a strong market for the product.

Nate Downes: Just because the full game is aiming for 2015 does not mean that there will be nothing coming out beforehand. An MMORPG of this design lends itself to a myriad of tie-in applications, which are needed for the finished product. Releasing them before the finished game gives the players a taste as well.

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