Enjoy this exclusive interview about the upcoming browser-based MMORPG Game of Thrones
,with the game executive producer Robb Ollett.
Thanks for giving us the opportunity to interview you about Game of Thrones.
Our pleasure, were very excited about this project.
First of all, could you introduce yourself to our readers?
Im Rob Ollett, the executive producer on this project for Bigpoint. I work out of our companys London office.
How would you describe Game of Thrones to someone who has never heard about it before?
Game of Thrones is one of the most popular pieces of epic fantasy fiction ever written and adapted for a television series, among many other mediums. George R.R. Martin is the original author who wrote, A Game of Thrones, which is the first book in A Song of Fire and Ice, a series of novels that combined has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. In addition to the novels, and hit HBO television series, the lore has spawned comic books, board games, card games, and several video games including the one Bigpoint is developing with Artplant.
Where in the storyline of the Game of Thrones saga will the game take place?
Bigpoint has licensed the rights to the HBO television series, so our initial game launch is targeting season one. Essentially, the King is dead and players must band together to bring order to a chaotic world. Our game wont be a scripted experience. Rather, Westeros will serve as an open, sandbox setting where players are free to explore.
How will the actions of players affect on the intense political background of the story?
Politics will be key to the free-to-play browser game were producing. It is essential for us to enable players the ability to attain power through politics. Those who wish to assert their power and attain glory through combat can of course do that as well. At launch, were planning to allow players to align with one of three houses: Stark, Lannister, or Baratheon. Of course, as is common in the lore, well give players and guilds the ability to switch alliances. We believe this will infuse our title with an additional level of gameplay unique to the F2P segment.
The story is all about twisted plots, spying and treachery. How did you turn this into gameplay?
Our challenge is not what to include, but what not to include. As were not building a linear, scripted experience, our designers are selecting epic moments from the television series to incorporate into the game. As our game will live online for many years, the real challenge will be to provide balance and meaning for players as they focus on the core gameplay mechanics within the experience.
How will the combat look like in the game?
Our combat system is just now taking shape. It will be a direct action system, however, where timing and distance matters. Our control system will be simple, but well over a sizable amount of customization to ensure players can string together their favorite attacks high, medium, low, and finishing sequences.
Between how many characters or classes are we going to be able to choose? What kind of character progression will offer Game of Thrones?
At launch, players will be able to choose or affiliate with one of three houses Stark, Lannister, or Baratheon. Each house will have its unique abilities and drawbacks, and players will be involved in deep character development, ultimately players will shape their own experience in the world. As the game develops further down the line, a total of nine houses will be represented in the game.
Which of the characters featured in the TV show will be playable?
We plan to have key characters and their likenesses featured in the game. Though players will not play directly as individuals from the show, they will be able to align with a household and find many supporting cast leveraged in ways other ways. HBO has also given us access to a variety of other assets in the series including 3D models, sound-effects, soundtrack, and the Emmy-award winning opening sequence of the show to adapt to our game.
How many characters a player will be able to control?
In the game, players will control a single character at a time, though we are likely to offer players the ability to create and manage multiple characters through a single account.
What about character customization? Are there many ways to equip and make each players character unique?
Players will definitely have the ability to evolve their character as they progress in the game, leveling up to 100 and beyond. This includes an open skill system, and the opportunity to load up their characters with several types of weapons, armor, and other collectable items. Various items and weapons will also be upgradeable.
What can you tell us about PVE and PVP? How is it going to work in Game of Thrones?
At launch, our Game of Thrones MMO will focus highly on PvP, Siege PvP, and the political facets of Westeros. There will be multiple objectives for solo players and guilds with the goal of capturing castles, forts, and keeps. PvP will be fast and furious, and players can expect epic encounters.
From your point of view, what makes this game more fun than others?
In terms of a free-to-play browser game, I think youll see that what were able to include, both in terms of visual fidelity and gameplay, will be far beyond whats currently possible in the medium. Are we creating entirely new systems? No. We are leveraging proven concepts and putting them into a package that can be enjoyed by the widest possible audience worldwide.
In what languages are you planning to launch Game of Thrones and do you already have an approximate date to communicate for an international version?
As with most of our titles, we will release the game in multiple languages. We do not currently have a final date set, but are targeting a closed beta launch for late fall this year. Localization of select languages will likely be available during the open beta release of the Game of Thrones MMO, with more languages to be added in development schedule after. Typically, our games get localized into 20-30 languages.
Would you like to add something?
The Game of Thrones MMO is an exciting project for us. The opportunity to extend this incredible IP into an online video game is something we knew we absolutely had to do. We are thrilled to be working with Artplant again as they are quite possibly the best Unity developers on the planet. HBO has been tremendously supportive. Our goal is to remain authentic to the lore and create an engaging gameplay experience for fans of the series and novels, and newcomers alike. The new MMORPG is still in early development but if readers would like to learn more or gain early access, they can sign-up here and follow us on Twitter @GOTMMO. We plan to release more information as development continues through the spring and summer.
Thank you for your time.