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  1. #1

    Xsyon: Q&A with Jooky of Notorious Games

    From my blog

    1) How would you like to be called? Is there any name that you wish to be known as?

    Jooky is alright.
    2) How did you get the name Jooky?

    It happened randomly. Many years ago when I was setting up my first email address I wanted to use my first name. That was taken so instead I chose the first thing that popped into my head that was similar to my name… for some reason that was ‘Jooky’ and it stuck.
    A few years later those Jooky soda commercials came out which made my nickname more recognizable and funny to people.

    3) What all do you do at Notorious Games?

    I am the sole designer, lead programmer, manager and primary art director. So basically I do too much!
    4) How or what made you want to make Xsyon?

    Ever since I played Dungeons and Dragons as a kid and first heard of computers I imagined in the future that players would connect to a online world where some players created and lived in the world while others adventured in it and most did a little of both.

    When Ultima Online came out I saw a glimpse of what I had imagined and I was inspired to put together the first documents for Apocalypse (the original title for Xsyon) with the help of one of my business partners back then.

    The opportunity to finally bring this game to life came 3 ½ years ago when I was able to get enough funding to start this project. With just enough to run a small team, I knew I had to keep things simple, so Xsyon Prelude is just the beginning.

    5) Has the making of Xsyon been every thing you thought it would be?

    Unfortunately, no. The biggest problem has been a struggle with programmers. For the first two years of development I primarily directed things and trusted that the code was stable and optimized thoroughly. On the surface it appeared to be so and features were getting implemented quickly. I put a lot of faith in the original team, which is necessary when working with such a small group.

    As I announced the launch nearly a year ago we suddenly realized that what appeared to working well on the surface was riddled with problems. The original programmers were replaced and the bulk of these past 9 months has been spent in rewriting major portions of the code with a revolving set of coders. Most of the programming this year has been handled by myself and one other programmer.

    6) When I first found Xsyon back in March (2010) you was wanting the launch of the game to be small, And for it to be more like a grassroots type of game. Do you still feel the same way now?

    Yes, I do. We are still planning a small official launch and a game that will respond to and evolve with the community. Xsyon Prelude is still the first step.
    On the Home page of the Xsyon website it says there will be many benevolent gods, The seven seals are about to be broken, The Four Horsemen loom over the land awaiting their chance to spread destruction and chaos. It goes on to say that Devils and angels vie for control of their earthly battlefield.

    7) How many gods are we talking about?

    In the Prelude, the God of the Bible and gods associated with the Washoe nation.
    8) How big of a part will the gods play in our day-to-day lives?

    This will depend on the player.
    9) With Xsyon sounding something like a hybrid between fantasy and apocalypse, Will Xsyon be a magic heavy game later?

    I am planning to evolve the world to be something like in Arcanum, where there is a balance of magic and technology, but keeping things primitive for a while.
    10) How far are you willing to push human technology in the game? War machines, Buildings, Agriculture.

    Again, probably to the level of Arcanum. Xsyon will remain more of a fantasy then a sci-fi world, though as things progress I would like to see if different areas of the world evolve in different ways, some focused on tech, others focused on spiritual magic, both equally powerful.

    A main goal with the game is to provide the tools and the setting, see what players do with them and evolve the world accordingly. We’ve already been doing that this year as the terraforming and tribe rank system and plan to do this soon with the combat system.

    11) Will Xsyon always be a seamless gaming world? Or will we see zoning(loading screens) when you start adding new lands from around the world to the game?

    Eventually there will be loading screens between some areas, though the world will be divided into large seamless zones such as the current Prelude Zone.
    12) What kind of mutant animals can we expect to see?

    The current in game creatures (bear, deer, coyotes, raccoons) have several mutant versions. We will be adding many creatures for launch and they will all eventually have mutant versions.
    13) With this being a game set in the apocalypse will there be zombies? And if so, Are they more animal or NPC?

    Yes, zombies will arise sometime during the Prelude. They will be NPC monsters with full visible loot (armor and weapons).
    14) Will we see boats in the game at some point? And if so, How big will you make them? Could a raiding party be able to be all in the same ship?

    They are planned, but a ways off. We’ll start with small rafts and canoes and then barges large enough for a small raiding party (10-20 players). Anything larger will be saved for much later when the world expands beyond the current Prelude area (the Prelude area is 40x40 km, most of which is currently covered by the deadly green mist.
    Thank you Jooky for your time and answers.

    -Alik Steel

  2. #2
    A main goal with the game is to provide the tools and the setting, see what players do with them and evolve the world accordingly. We’ve already been doing that this year as the terraforming and tribe rank system and plan to do this soon with the combat system.
    I know that Jooky has already stated that the dev team will revisit the combat system but it is nice to see it reaffirmed here. This is the type of determination that will keep the playebase faith alive.

    So many developers turn a blind eye to glaring deficiencies in MMO's but Jooky and his team clearly recognize what parts of the game are critical for it's success. They have really listened to the community on terraforming issues and tribal ranks so I'm looking forward to see what they can do with the combat system. Keep up the good work and communication Jooky and team!

  3. #3
    Very interesting read, thanks !

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