Masthead CEO Interview On `Earthrise`
Our French sister site has been lucky enough to do an interview with the Bulgarian based“I, myself, am an economist”developers, Masthead. With ‘Earthrise’ being their first MMO, we ask how the concept was formed, developed and what technology was used to create this MMO.
To read this in French please click here.
‘Earthrise’ is set in post-apocalyptic earth where we see the ruminants of the human race battle to stay alive and build a future all over again. Although the race has evolved, there is still that thing we call “human nature” that just seems to want to destroy us.
To talk to us more about the game and its development Atanas Atanasov, Masthead CEO answers our questions.
First, please tell us a bit about Masthead and who works there. Is the crew international, or do you have mainly people from Bulgaria?
Masthead Studios was founded in 2005 in Sofia, Bulgaria. It is an independent game development studio focusing on innovative, next-generation MMORPGs. The development team is mainly Bulgarian. We have a lot of talented artists and programmers, who are very enthusiastic about our first title – ‘Earthrise’.
It is the first time we hear of an MMO coming from your country. Is the Bulgarian government trying to develop the game industry or are you by yourself to build up your business?
That is correct – ‘Earthrise’ is the first MMO to come from Bulgarian developers. Many experts say that the MMO industry is still in its infancy stages and there is a lot of room for development. I will not be surprised if more and more MMOs start to come out from more “exotic” locations. It is the independent and original ideas that will drive the online gaming industry forward. Although ‘Earthrise’ is the first MMO title, coming from this region, it will not be the last. We are currently making plans for our second game, which will start to be developed by the time ‘Earthrise’ launches.
What are your plans regarding the publishing of ‘Earthrise’, in the US and in Europe? Any localisation planned? Are you going on the Asian market?
It is too early to talk about publishing and localization. What I can say for the time being is that ‘Earthrise’ will launch in the US and Europe and that we are technically preparing the game for localisation.
Concerning the technology, I’m not sure I understood how your servers will be set up. Are they many servers holding 3000 to 5000 players each, or do you go for something similar to ‘EVE’, allowing all of the players to log into a single world?
Number of servers and number of players per server will be decided during the beta stages of the game. The technology will be able to support thousands of online players, but there are other issues such as time zones, localisation and customer support.
I want to know because you don’t create a free-trading economy the same way with 5,000 people and 50,000 people. Do you have, or do you plan to have one or more economist working in your team?
I, myself, am an economist and personally spend a lot of time on the game design as a whole, including the ‘Earthrise’ economy. Once the game launches we will be looking for all types of employees to make the gaming experience as positive as possible. A full time economist is being considered though.