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I am Derek Brinkmann, AKA Supreem, Lead Developer of Shards Online. Ask Me Anything!

Discussion in 'Legends of Aria General Discussion' started by Supreem, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. Supreem

    Supreem Founder, Citadel Studios
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    Hey everyone! I wanted to have an official place you guys can ask me questions directly.

    My name is Derek Brinkmann, many of you know me as Supreem. I've been working in the game industry since 2004 with 6+ of those years spent as the Lead Engineer of UO. I left EA to start Citadel Studios with my friend and colleague Tim Cotten, who many of you know as Draconi, former Lead Designer on UO.

    Citadel Studios was created with the vision of creating deep and immersive virtual worlds. We believe in fostering communities like Stratics and giving power to the players in an effort to make our worlds live and breathe. Our first game as you all probably know is Shards Online.

    Shards Online is not a spiritual successor to Ultima Online (we'll leave that to Lord British) BUT our game does re-create many of the systems and features that made Ultima Online such an amazing game. I've actually heard one of our players in-game say "I haven't had this much fun since UO beta!" To learn more about the game you can go here or here. Or you can pledge $40 or more to the project to get instant access to the 24/7 Pre-Alpha.

    Anyways, you can ask me anything you'd like in this thread. You can ask me about Shards Online or anything else, like my career, my time on UO, my favorite color etc. I look forward to answering your questions.
     
    whitesmith, Elenni, Mata and 5 others like this.
  2. Taylor

    Taylor Former Stratics CEO (2011-2014)
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    Love this, Derek! I have a question that connects with this community's historical investment in UO. You mentioned Shards Online echoes some systems and features that made UO amazing. Here's my (admittedly difficult) question:

    If you were forced to pick a top three, which are the top three systems/features you think UO players would find appealing in Shards Online?
     
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  3. Logrus

    Logrus UO Legend
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    1. Skill based/classless sandbox.
    2. Persistence of player activity in the world. (Non-instanced/on map housing etc)
    3. Player skill factoring into gameplay
     
  4. Elenni

    Elenni Stratics Sr. Leadership team member
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    So...how long before I can grow plants? ;-)
     
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  5. Supreem

    Supreem Founder, Citadel Studios
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    Hey Logrus! You hijacked my thread damn ye! I'll answer anyways.

    @Taylor - Logrus touched on it with number 2, but really what makes Ultima Online such an amazing game is the fact that it was a true persistent world. This is something that can be hard to explain but everyone who plays UO understands it. It basically comes down to a design philosophy that the simulation comes first and the game naturally flows from that. There are many examples of this, but one of the most simple ones is that every single object in the world has a physical representation and has the ability to be interacted with by other objects. Most MMOs, items you collect from killing monsters only exist as an icon in your backpack and you can't even put them on the ground. This is terrible! I don't even know how this came to be acceptable practice in MMO design. Things like this completely breaks the immersive feeling that you are living in and exploring an actual virtual world. When you design the world simply as a collection of objects and their interactions, awesome and unexpected things happen. This is what is called "emergent gameplay". Most of the stories players tell about their experiences in Ultima Online were things that the original game designers never even thought up when they created the system. This is also something we made sure we stayed true to in Shards Online and it has paid off in a big way. The other day I helped a player move when he was upgrading his house and moving to a new lot. I haven't done that in any other game besides Ultima Online and it felt so good!

    Sorry I just picked one and went crazy about it. Logrus pretty much got them right.

    @Elenni - Not sure when we will get that in but it's only a matter of time! I know for a fact one of the community servers was experimenting with doing it in a mod.
     
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  6. Elenni

    Elenni Stratics Sr. Leadership team member
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    One of the things I really like about UO is that I never HAD to be a fighter of some kind to have a full experience. The subsystems, housing customization, decorating and crafting, vendoring...I know it all sounds like "play house" but the reality is that UO supports all these playstyles and more. That's one of the things that I think engages such a broad user base who keep coming back again and again.

    I'm looking forward to checking out Shards Online and seeing just what you guys have been up to!
     
    Captn Norrington and Taylor like this.