|Interview with Max Gaming's Adrian Wright|
May 24, 2004 | Eddie Park
Adrian Wright is the head honcho of Max Gaming Technologies. Currently embroiled in the Dark Horizons project, the first iteration of the series, known as Lore, was recently reviewed here at IMG, and we thought it would be a good time to dig for some more information regarding the ambitious project.
Subsequently, we managed to pull Adrian away from his yard work for a bit (proving that the life of a developer is not just fine dining and piles of money) to answer a slew of questions regarding himself, his work, and his ideas for defeating certain folks in the Lore multiplayer community.
IMG: Tell us a little about yourself and your company.
Wright: Well, I am the founder of Max Gaming Technologies, which myself and a couple people started in 1998. I have over 15 years of experience in some form or another with online gaming since 1989, when I started beta testing Multiplayer Battletech EGA on the Genie network. I have run several MUDs, online clans, and resource leagues and ladders based on the Mechwarrior series of games.
We started Max Gaming with a plan to develop not only backend system for online games, but to integrate our systems into our own games.
Mostly we are sci-fi and RPG fans, who are building off an idea for a Sci-fi RPG that I came up with in the mid-nineties. We are very dedicated to bringing players a fun and expanding universe based on Dark Horizons
IMG: How did the concept for Dark Horizons come about?
Wright: The start of the Dark Horizons Universe was in the mid 90's, when I was looking at what we could do for a Sci-fi MUD. I originally wrote the time line, outlined the tech and the main universe.
It has only been in the last 2 years working with our now lead writer, Brian Hammack, that Dark Horizons has become a really in-depth universe, and its only getting bigger with each passing week.
IMG: How do you feel about Lore’s current status to date?
Wright: If you look at where we started Lore, which was a little over a year ago, I am very pleased and excited about where Lore is, and where we are going with the project. It is very cool to think that a team of 8 - 12 guys, working full-time jobs, were being able to bring something like this together from scratch in such a short time frame. Now with several of us being able to dedicate ourselves to the endeavor, I think players who purchased the Early Adopters version of the game will see much growth in the game over the coming months.
IMG: You mentioned earlier that Apple lent support to the project. Can you elaborate on this a bit?
Wright: Apple has been and continues to be a great support for Indies in general, but in specific terms to the project at hand, Apple has lent not only moral support to Max Gaming but also resources such as equipment (G4 testing machine to be specific), aided in putting our trailer together on the apple site, and has helped and continues to help address technical issues with the variety of Mac OSX installations. Without Apple and our contractors, we would not have been able to deliver Lore to what I think is a vibrant and growing gaming community.
IMG: What can we expect to see in the next update of Lore?
Wright: One area that we and many of the players feel we need to improve on is getting the Multiplayer and persistent world experience out in front of the new users, whether they be demo users or people who have purchased the game. Lore is really designed to be a multiplayer experience, there is more to that then just being a mecha FPS, and the next update will be a major change in the user interfaces surrounding the online experience.
When players join the game with the next release, they will be thrust in Multiplayer, and the information surrounding the Current Comcent system will be much easier to access and will really become part of the interface. We will also be redesigning the staging area, which will allow us to provide the players with more information on the mission at hand, more information on customization values of their MAV, and allow better communication between teams.
With this said, we are not forgetting about single player, and though it is not the main focus of the release, you will see a much better experience in how we handle SP starting this next release.
And of course there will be a lot more things to blow up. :) New maps, some new weapons, and progression of the persistent world.