the Junkyard: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself, and your role at GarageGames?
Rick Overman: My name is Rick Overman - I am a programmer by trade and an entrepreneur at heart. I spent quite a few years at Dynamix before getting together with Jeff Tunnell, Tim Gift and Mark Frohnmayer to found GarageGames. Jeff Tunnell founded Dynamix back in 1984 and Tim, Mark and I were senior engineers on many of the prominent games that emerged from Dynamix - most recently Starsiege, Tribes and Tribes2. Those were some great years - "Make Games, Have Fun" was the motto back then. In June 2000 the four of us launched GarageGames - revolutionary online publishing, game development community and resource center, keeping independent and professional developers connected to their peers, the industry and cutting edge information, tools and code. Each of us has our specialty but in a startup you jump in wherever you're needed.
tJY: What's been going on over at GarageGames since the release of the Realm Wars Test Build? Excitement? Confusion? Celebration?
RickO: Much excitement and celebration! As you know this is just the first of many test releases. ...and not bad for a first test release if I say so myself, fully playable multiplayer deathmatch. We have been happily inundated by requests for more information about Realm Wars since it's launch and by community members anxious to get started on the project. Internally, we have been working hard at finishing the web based project builder and completing Milestone Zero.
tJY: The community "job" positions for Realm Wars seem to be similar to the positions one would see while viewing the credits for a published game, was this GarageGame's idea or did everybody just seem to fall into one category or another automatically?
RickO: Realm Wars has similar skill/position requirements as a traditionally built game, it just seemed like the proper way to give people credit.
tJY: Other than purchasing a Torque license and being a great coder/artist/writer, how does someone join the Realm Wars dev team? Are there any openings?
RickO: Their will always be openings. You only need to purchase the Torque if you wish to contribute code to the project. We are actively working on a task list that will be viewable by the community. If you feel you have the skills to take on a particular task, sign up for it and when you are finished submit it. It's that simple. All submissions will be reviewed and if they meet the quality requirements they will be accepted and incorporated into Realm Wars and you will receive credit for that task.
tJY: We're stunned by the quality of this first release, it seems that GG has put quite a bit of work into stomping all the bugs in the Torque engine. How long did it take for you guys prepare Torque to be used by the public?
RickO: We have been working on the Torque engine since the day we received it from Sierra. We always knew the core engine was solid, so we have really not been beating ourselves up to get this release ready. We have actually spent as much time documenting the Torque engine as working on the code base. To be honest we only had one to two people working on Realm Wars over the past 6-8 weeks, it's a great example of the power of the Torque Game Engine.
tJY: Can you tell us about any future plans for vehicles, weapons, or other gameplay elements for Realm Wars?
RickO: The development roadmap will always be publicly available on the Realm Wars Community Project site. We are currently working on Milestone Zero, which is primarily the launch of Realm Wars and the web based project builder. Milestone One, includes work on the Realm Wars logo, base game types, design of hand-to-hand and magic systems, character model specifications, initial environmental sound effects, etc. Visit the site frequently and sign up for the mailing list for breaking news.
tJY: Does the RW dev team have any particularly-outstanding story writers? What kinds of storyline ideas is the project recieving? How will the team incorporate those ideas into Realm Wars?
RickO: Jeff has an incredible imagination and a great sense for what is fun. We have a rough story for Realm Wars and plan on treating the story similar to other Realm Wars tasks. We will likely compile the best ideas from the community and hire a professional writer to pull it all together. There are several exceptional writers in town who we have worked with in the past that will do an outstanding job.
tJY: Will there be a single-player "campaign", perhaps like Diablo/Diablo 2?
RickO: There will be single player training. As far as a campaign, well that is in part up to the community. We don't want the game taking forever to make like Diablo 2, but if the community can design an achievable campaign then I don't see any reason why not.
tJY: Thanks for your input and insight into Realm Wars, would you like to leave a final note?
RickO: Thank you Lark, always fun chatting to you guys at the Junkyard.
The Junkyard is Looking forward to many new developments to come from Realm Wars, and we will be here to cover them all!