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raven2134
02-07-2013, 12:00 PM
Hi guys, so I had the chance over the forums chat to chit-chat with Arnie :) from the Stoic team. I'll be posting the dialogue (edited) here. See the interview below :).

Some of the dialogue has been re-ordered so as to improve coherence. Also some dialogue has been omitted. My apologies to anevilyak for omitting your comments in the interview below, was just to reduce clutter.

raven2134
02-07-2013, 12:01 PM
Interview (Feb 7-8,2013)
Part 1

23:06 Arnie: Morning all.

23:06 Arnie: Maybe we need to get raven a blue font. ;p

[he was responding to another person in chat asking about ID colors-grey for registered user, green for backer, blue for community manager, yellow for dev]

23:07 raven2134: morning

23:08 Arnie: Making an effort to keep our community while we expand.

23:19 raven2134: mm, i think im more valuable to the community as a player/backer ...i dont know tho. I mean its not like i havent thought about volunteering

23:21 raven2134: im curious about stelly , what/who is she exactly , i dont see her around too often though shes a CM [community manager], and she doesnt mod like Sean does

[Stelly is a blue ID community member who's on some of the older forums posts and areas :), blue as some may know is for community managers]

23:24 Arnie
Stelly doesn't do much these days. He's a backer from England who showed a great interest in helping to moderate, so we made him a moderator. That's the whole story in a nutshell.

23:25 raven2134: ah i see

23:25 Arnie
I think you're doing better as a player talking to players as well. Makes my life answering questions unquestionably easier.

23:26 raven2134: ;)

23:39 raven2134: quite happy with things as they are too

23:39 Arnie: Awesome, once again, thanks for the help!

23:40 raven2134: thank u for the game i dont have enough thumbs to thumbs up enough

23:42 Arnie: :)


23:43 Arnie: Yeah we're cranking to get it done by the 18th. Next build willprobably be huge. We should have pushed one yesterday, there was enough, but we didn't want to chance it going into the weekend.

23:43 raven2134: i agree with u, if john's out

23:44 raven2134: who knows what mess the rabbits, and steams, and the internets could happen while hes out

23:45 Arnie: exactly. we have a stable build right now, no reason to ruin peoples weekend play.

23:45 raven2134: ho ho, that makes me so glad, d3 really stressed me out when i wanted to play on weekends and BOOM. emergency maintenance and whatnot
07-02, 23:46 Arnie: :)


23:46 raven2134: hows mumm and drew?

23:47 Arnie: Mumm kicks ass. He sits right across from me about 5 feet away. Drew sits half a world away in Australia.

[other members of the stoic team that I've seen on the forums before]

23:48 raven2134: HI MUMM (wave). now drew is gonna be a problem ), if hes aussie, we're close in timezone, shame hes busy (i wud think, since its been ages seen iv seen him)

23:49 Arnie: Drew is taking a break from the Banner Saga until we get some more cashola hopefully from Factions. He's a great guy to work with. We worked with him for a long time at Bioware

23:51 raven2134: oh wow, so he was a writer?

23:51 Arnie: He does QA and also writes.

23:52 Arnie: He came to Bioware to be a writer, but had to start in QA.
He wrote a lot of the Events for the Saga and we want him to write more.

23:52 raven2134: thats really neat

23:53 Arnie: yeah, wish I could share them with you. makes the world/fiction a lot deeper.

23:53 raven2134: il wait, il be glad enough when i get to play it. and again. and again

23:54 Arnie: Hope you like it. Fans of story based RPG's should.

23:54 Arnie: To be honest, Alex is the story guy. I like competitive games and usually hit spacebar through the story.

[The stoic founders are Arnie, art director, Alex, creative director, and John, Technical director]

23:55 raven2134: hahaha, i go both ways, competitive and story, if factions hasnt made the competitive part apparent

23:57 Arnie: Cool. So the interesting thing is about this game. It was the story that got me into it.

23:59 raven2134: howd that start out?

23:59 raven2134: alex pitched it to u back in ur bioware days?

00:00 Arnie: We did a childrens book together called DinoBoy while we were at Bioware. We had fun but there's no money in childrens books.

00:00 Arnie: So Alex and I decided to try our hands at a game. He came up with the base idea that we then grew together.

00:01 raven2134: neat. its really the combination that hooked me into the game u know? i saw the KS, and watched the trailer. i wasnt expecting the gameplay we have right now, was thinking...ok so its FF tactics with vikings

00:03 raven2134: and it was really the vikings, and the story pitch, with that ART. which just spoke to me and said...THIS IS BIG

00:03 spinfuzz: yeah it is really brilliant

[another community member watching the chat pitches into the conversatio :)]

00:03 spinfuzz: i am loving it. i don't think of myself as gamer. more interested in watching LPs than playing myself but I've watched 10 hrs of streams and played 7 hours of game over last 2 days.

00:04 spinfuzz: you have me hooked

00:05 Arnie: Cool, I actually wish I had more time to play. I'm only sitting at about 150 games on live, but we also play on QA. Glad you guys like it!

00:05 Arnie: It's an amazing experience to work on a game that you want to work on and you don't have to answer to corporations with design decisions.

00:05 raven2134: i looked forward to the KS updates every step of the wayand was so psyched when i got in with the first batch of testers

00:06 spinfuzz: You guys are wonderfully open in those updates

00:06 Arnie: Raven: Spinfuzz, is a player that went 3 wins 4 losses in his first 7 games. That's pretty rare and it's because he watched a bunch of the streams and read your forums to learn./

00:07 raven2134: :D


00:07 Arnie: I hope the tutorial helps new players in a similar, yet smaller way. Tutorial may be in the next build as well. Just UI work to go I think.

00:08 raven2134: great.

00:08 spinfuzz: awesome.

raven2134
02-07-2013, 12:01 PM
Part 2


00:08 raven2134: so that is kinda funny that the story got u into this game, when ur a gameplay guy :)

00:09 Arnie: Yeah. I dig a good story as much as the next guy, I love to read, but games always seem like lame low-grade stuff so i never bother.

00:09 Arnie: Most games feel like they're written for kids to me. thats why we keep saying this is a mature storyline.

00:10 raven2134
its tough to come out with mature content, i mean if even movies can have fail screen plays, then what more games, a medium less dependent on story

00:11 spinfuzz : In terms of that, have you played Dishonored? what did you think of how it handled story and how that interacted with the emergent play?

00:11 Arnie: I have not played Dishonored. We had lunch with them before they shipped though. A few of them were backers and wanted us to give them their rewards in person. They gave us some really cool swag as well.

00:09 raven2134: howd u catch john? hes a prize catch

00:10 Arnie: John and I have been working together for over a decade. We've been friends for a while. In my estimation he's a wizard. Seriously the best programmer I have ever met.

00:11 raven2134: clearly, with that nasa background XD. but i mean, what, u just called him up, said "lets do vikings" and he just hopped on board

00:11 Arnie: This game would not be happening without John. I called him when we were both working at Bioware and said "Hey, have you ever thought about quitting and working at your own company?" He said "I'd quit yesterday to do my own company."

00:13 raven2134: XD awesome

00:13 Arnie: He and Alex actually left Bioware just before we shipped SWtoR. I left after. Wanted to finish.

00:15 raven2134: oh and btw, how did that work out, does that mean alex and john were setting up stoic even before u left bioware?

00:16 Arnie: Alex went to work next door at Kings Isle and John went freelance. Then about 3 or 4 weeks before I came on board they started setting up the company.

00:18 Arnie: We then took a few weeks to get a proof of concept for the game up and those assets became what was seen in the Kickstarter video.

00:18 raven2134: the TBSF "chess set"

[seen in some updates/KS videos, the stoic team play with solid pieces on a paper/board like layout]

00:18 Arnie: We play tested the combat on a board with chinese chess pieces, yeah. [But] we play test usually in-game. Sometimes on the board.

00:19 raven2134: ohhh so those were chinese. ahh now i see

00:19 Arnie: Yes. Hand carved, they're cool.

00:20 Arnie: We'll be at Pax East in a couple weeks if anyone's going.

raven2134
02-07-2013, 12:02 PM
Part 3

00:20 raven2134: no pressure at all ok? but im just wondering u guys still are planning for the items and 2v2 mode down the road yes?

00:21 Arnie: Items will be for the Saga, yes. We bailed on them for Factions though, sorry. We simply could not find a way to balance and keep the game simple enough to understand with them.

00:21 raven2134: ah, still good to know

00:21 Arnie: Each one would basically add a passive to the unit, so now players would have to remember up to 12 abilities and 24 passives per battle. It was too much. They will be in the Single player mode though.

00:21 raven2134: i think the horn will fulfill that function nicely anywhow

00:22 Arnie: Yes, we agree. The horn and future horns you unlock will add a ton.

00:22 Arnie: 2v2 Mode is something we really want to do, yes. If Factions is going strong 2v2 will most likely be in. If it's not doing well then we need to push on to the Saga.

00:23 Arnie: Factions can be played beginning to end right now with all classes without having to spend any money. We're just hoping players will want to purchase stuff like variations and whatnot...but we'll see. None of us are in marketing or business.

00:24 Arnie: We just want to make a cool game and hope people support it. So far it's worked well.

00:22 raven2134: i see, thats reasonable

00:23 raven2134: though, i could imagine that a 2 player feature, could bode well too for the saga? [I'm not sure though], co-op campaigns [just] seem in vogue

00:24 Arnie: Co-op battles in the saga could be cool, yeah. We've thought about that too.


00:28 Rymdkejsaren: how's things in viking world? I ask, even though I live there

[A veteran scandinavian community member chimes in, we haven't heard from him in a while. He's going on a trip :)]

00:28 Arnie: Wow RK! How's your walk-about going? Thought you were going on a trip...no?

00:29 Rymdkejsaren: I leave on Monday Arnie

00:30 Arnie: Oh...ok

00:32 Rymdkejsaren: how are things with TBS, I have not been keeping up to date?

00:34 Arnie: TBS is going really well. Launching the 18th for beta backers, 25th for public. Wait till you see the next build The Marketplace will be in it.


00:37 raven2134: any final cryptic words u wana tease the masses with?
00:38 Rymdkejsaren: don't eat yellow snow?

00:38 raven2134: haha well u too RK, but i mean Arnie

00:39 raven2134: we had an informal interview that sorta just grew out of the chat, and il turn it into a thread over the weekend

00:44 Arnie: Hah! You're really going to do that? I thought you were kidding. You're welcome to though.

00:50 raven2134: of course im gonna do it

00:47 quartex: I agree with raven, this interview would make a great thread. I've been reading the chat archive really enjoyed Arnie's history of stoic and the updates on the current progress of Factions

[Another community member chimes :)]

00:47 quartex: I understand why items never got into Factions, and I know that in game development many features never make it to the final version.

00:48 quartex: I just hope that we can support Factions financially and help fund Stoic to keep writing more events and story for the single-player game (and a 2v2 mode would be awesome!)

00:49 quartex: As neat as the multi-player combat is, it's the detail of the single-player story and the fleshing out of the world TBS is set in that really excites me.

00:50 Arnie: I think many agree with you quartex. Also, the items will get in for the Saga.


08-02, 00:50 Arnie: All backers are interested in the Saga. We're happy that we've had the time to get the systems nailed down though. The Saga will be better for it.

08-02, 00:51 Arnie :)

raven2134
02-07-2013, 12:03 PM
Well...that's the end of the interview :D. Hope those that didn't have the chance to read it in the forums chat enjoyed it.

Arnie, if I there's anything I should be aware of regarding the interview and appropriate context, please just call my attention.


Hope I presented things well and fairly :).

Notes:

I forgot to ask about and mention Jeff Uriarte, who is also a part of the in-house team doing programming.

Also, this interview was done before I became a moderator :).

Will sticky for now and unsticky later on, so people can see the thread. If you guys want another interview...Let's compile your questions! And we'll have another :D