Carbine Studio Producer Interview
Some of you may know Eric DeMilt, others may not. But having a solid background in MMO’s, Eric talks to us about Carbine Studio, why he made the break and nothing about the awaited MMO in develepoment! Not even a name! It’s all a little hush-hush, but at least we get to know some of his favourite MMO’s.For those of you that don’t know him, we began by asking him about his credentials&h**ip;Thanks a lot for your time! Could you please introduce yourself to our audience? What’s role tasks at Carbine Studios and which companies have your worked for in the past?Eric DeMilt – Producer. In the past I worked at Interplay Productions in the Black Isle division on numerous projects including Stonekeep, Fallout 2 and Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance. In addition to many ex-Blizzard employees, Carbine has a number of people who got their start in the industry at Interplay. I had the pleasure of working with Tim Cain years ago at Interplay, it’s great to have the chance to work with him again.
Can you tell us something about Carbine Studios? When did you think of founding a new studio for the first time, how did things continue afterwards and how many people are working in Aliso Viejo right now?Our founders left Blizzard after completing World of Warcraft. At the time, having spent so much time on one project, they were looking for a change of pace and the chance to move on to something new. When they left many of them knew they would still like to work together if the chance came up, so the idea to put a team together and form a new company came out of that. In talking with various publishers, NCsoft really stood out as the best fit; for the team, for the game they wanted to make, and as a strong publisher who understands what it takes to make high quality MMO’s. Carbine initially started with 9 founders and has now grown to a current staff of 42.
As we can see on your website, Carbine is currently developing an MMO. Unfortunately, that’s all we know about your project. Can you give as any further information, i.e. if your game will focus on casual or hardcore players?We’re not ready to talk much about the game at this time.There is no other genre which is as highly competitive as the MMO market. Countless games are in development. Does mankind need even more MMO’s?I think it’s a really exciting time for MMO’s. Even though not all of the games in development will be triple A or even ship, it is great to have so many people trying out so many new ideas and looking at new game-play concepts. I think that we’ll see a lot of evolution in the genre over the next couple of years. Even if only a fraction are successful it will help expand the audience of people willing to pick up an MMO and make for better games across the board.
At NCsoft particularly you’ll have powerful in-house competitors. With titles like Lineage 2, Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, City of Heroes, Aion: The Tower of Eternity, Tabula Rasa – don’t you see the risk that players will have troubles to choose your game?I think the strong in-house competition is one of our greatest strengths. Having a catalog of strong titles helps our business. Not all of our eggs are in one basket when we have multiple titles and it gives us more freedom – no one game needs to suit all markets (you can make a super hero game like COH without anybody saying “Hey, don’t forget the fantasy fans…“). Also it makes us better developers as we share ideas and experiences across titles. It might be an issue if we all had the same launch window but I don’t think we’ll need to worry about that. Besides the market is growing and the more titles we have, the more we’ll be able to satisfy all the tastes for gaming out there.
What’s your favorite MMO right now? Do you prefer the mainstream games like World of Warcraft or do you play smaller “niche” MMO’s? Maybe you even have an insider tip for us?Personally WoW is my favourite right now, but I think there are a lot of interesting games out there. My personal opinion is that WoW has the best total package. I love the character creation in COH/COV. I return to that game from time to time just to see what sort of character I can make up, and recently I’ve been spending some time playing TR. Sorry – no insider tips!
Back to your project for the next question. On your company site users can already find wallpapers and a composition. Are these pieces connected to the game or are they only for showcase reasons?All of the art on the site is early concept work from the game. We didn’t put anything together just to show off the talent of the art team or to throw people off the scent. The same is true for the music. We think it’s a great piece. It may not even be in the shipping version of the game but we felt people would love to hear it and get an idea of where we were headed.
Closing we have naturally have to ask when we can expect further details or the official announcement of your game? You won’t let 2007 pass without us being enlightened, would you?You probably won’t hear too much more from us in 2008. We’ll release more information about the game when we think we’re ready.IncGamers would like to thank our German sister site, Gamona, for conducting the interview.