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Monday, May 20, 2002

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Shadowbane Interview & E3 Plans
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

IGN PC recently sat down with Todd Coleman, Vice President of Marketing at Wolfpack Studios, and conducted a short interview with him. Unlike previous interviews, this one focused mainly on the long, convoluted development cycle of their upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Shadowbane, a title that many gamers have been waiting on for quite some time.

The bulk of the questions amount to pretty much the same thing: why has Shadowbane taken so long, and what effects have its long development cycle had on it? In one instance, Coleman notes that what was originally thought of as a mad idea has now become the standard:

IGNPC: Do you guys still feel like the black sheep of the gaming industry?

Coleman: I don't know. We've always tried not to take the critics and naysayers too seriously. After all, the audience loves to boo and hiss as much as they love to applaud and cheer.

It is sort of surprising, though, how many of the more recent game announcements have included PvP to some degree or another. One of the reasons we chose PvP was because it was the pariah of the market — as a small company up against EA, Sony and Microsoft, we thought the best strategy would be to pick a niche that (a) we enjoyed, and (b) no one else wanted to touch.

Somehow the concept of a dynamic, player-driven world went from being "a naive idea that will never work" to the "holy grail of MMOG development." The key difference between this perception isn't actually a technology or design revelation, but a recognition of a marketing truth — regardless of how well Shadowbane does, we were right about one thing: players certainly seem to want more control over the fate of their online worlds.

In other news, a recent post at the official Shadowbane web site notes their plans for the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), including the introduction of several new regions:

  • A new forest zone that comes to life, immersing the player with detailed trees, rivers, and lakes with swinging rope bridges and topped off with plenty of bandits to keep you company.

  • The City of Nightbridge, a fallen metropolis under a desperate siege. Experience flaming trebuchet rounds floating over the walls, see buildings burn and crumble! Draw your sword and jump into the fray with armies of combatants struggling to the last man against the oncoming hordes of the enemy.

  • And last, but defiantly not least: an Undead Wasteland complete with a menacing Vampyre Keep, surrounded by a menacing chasm, and filled with a deadly army of lifeless surprises waiting to meet you.

Players interested in either Coleman's thoughts on Shadowbane's development history or Wolfpack's upcoming E3 plans can find more information at IGN PC and the Shadowbane web site.

IGN PC: Shadowbane Interview
Shadowbane: E3 Plans
Wolfpack Studios

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