Reflections on Warhammer On-line: Age of Reckoning
Carrie Gouskos, Producer
I used to be first launched to Warhammer On-line, when it was added final minute to GameSpot.com’s E3 2006 stage present. As one of many hosts of the present, my accountability was to analysis the sport and the franchise, collect questions from the viewers, and provides a considerate informative interview with whomever had been despatched over from the event staff.
I by no means might have anticipated what occurred subsequent. Jeff Hickman (Govt Producer) and Paul Barnett (Artistic Director) gave probably the most memorable interviews in my profession – and all of the sudden I used to be thrown into their universe. The net chat channel soliciting questions from the viewing public was spammed with directives like “No extra questions, simply allow them to hold speaking” – which isn’t stunning for those who’re in any respect aware of Jeff Hickman’s indefatigable charisma and Paul Barnett’s passionate humor. The tone, candor, and refreshing high quality of how they spoke about this recreation that they so clearly cared about made you simply wish to be part of it. What was extra stunning, nevertheless, was what adopted – a big group of builders, maybe delirious after three days of continuous recreation demos, partly exhilarated by the optimistic response to the sport, confirmed up on the GameSpot sales space and invited me to their studio E3 get together. I declined, as a result of they scared me slightly bit, however on reflection it’s not laborious to think about how I ended up – three months later as a designer working at Mythic on Warhammer.
I made an offhanded remark the opposite day to somebody on the Warhammer staff that I spent six of the final seven years of my life engaged on Warhammer. There have been breaks in there, however most of them nonetheless associated to Warhammer in a roundabout way. Some facets of those efforts by no means noticed the sunshine of day. For instance, we accomplished, handed assessment, and in the end opted to not launch an iPhone companion utility that will enable gamers to watch the realm battle and their guild standing – three entire years earlier than the studio determined to take cell by its horns. We additionally spent over a yr on a model aimed on the Asian markets that will convert the complete recreation free-to-play. The Vampire themed Blood Hunt growth would have been a marvel. And in below a yr we produced a spin-off product Wrath of Heroes, a MOBA-style recreation that used largely Warhammer belongings – which regardless of being an amazing studying expertise, by no means made it out of Beta. There are a lot of reminiscences like this, ones that I really feel snug sharing now – together with the truth that we do have two of the 4 remaining absolutely constructed cities (Karaz-A-Karak and Karak Eight Peaks that are really really lovely however would take months and months of optimization earlier than they may match the modifications we made to the sport alongside the best way). And one of many biggest classes I ever realized because the younger unpolished Tome of Data designer “By no means put something within the recreation that isn’t finished but and trace that it’s coming quickly – see: The Playing cards system”. There have been some lovely concepts that had been left on the chopping room flooring. And so they signify solely a fraction of how a lot coronary heart went into the sport.
Most all the pieces else made it, and Warhammer regardless of its flaws was a valiant effort into the MMO area. I don’t suppose any of its critics would ever name it boring. It struck out boldly, and a few of the recreation’s novel options at the moment are thought of trade commonplace for MMOs. The credit score goes to far too many to checklist it out right here, and it’s nearly irrelevant. The purpose is that a few of the most gifted individuals in gaming made Warhammer attainable. They labored insanely lengthy hours, they usually put their coronary heart and soul into attempting to make this lovely IP a dwelling and respiratory universe. World class artists. Genius engineers. Designers and content material implementers who would put in 100 hours every week and never complain. Exhausting-ass producers who you’ll observe into battle anyplace. Writers that really transported you. QA that wouldn’t allow us to get away with a factor. And so many others. For these which are nonetheless with Mythic and people who have since moved on, we couldn’t have requested for a extra pushed staff devoted to bringing this wonderful franchise to life.
And at last, the gamers. If I had been to checklist out the entire nice experiences I’ve had with you, this is able to be a novel, so I wish to say thanks from all of us to all of you for sticking with us so lengthy. Even once you didn’t just like the modifications, even for those who thought we made errors. The group made this recreation attainable. And a particular shout out to Pink for Tink – which was really the measure of a group coming collectively to do one thing proper.
Video games Workshop has cultivated a world class IP. We had been fortunate sufficient to play of their universe for practically a decade, with 5 nice lengthy years dwell. Nonetheless, like all issues – our contract has come to an finish. Each Video games Workshop and Mythic agreed to half methods, regardless of how laborious it’s emotionally on us to let the sport go. It has been an amazing honor to work with Video games Workshop and regardless that we could also be parting methods, our relationship with them stays sturdy. And now, hopefully, as a result of this can be the very last thing I ever write about Warhammer, I’ll be allowed to acknowledge the existence of Chaos Dwarves. Or possibly not.
We stay up for seeing you on the battlefield… no less than till the battle is over… and as soon as once more, we thanks humbly for 5 wonderful years.