By Nicole Hamlett
There's something to be said about a friendly smile first thing in the
morning. I got this as Dave greeted me at the door to the suite that Red 5
Studios was having their meetings. I'd met Dave before but Ed was a new face
with a familiar name. This is something that you will run into quite often with
the Red 5 team. Stellar names with unbelievable talent and backgrounds who are
humble, who would believe it? Well, I do now after spending a short amount of
time and left wanting more.
If you have been living in a cave for the last year, you may not know that Red 5
was started by the Blizzard core team. Wanting something more and different,
they've created a team made up of the who's who of gaming. Recently, they
announced the acquisition of the talented Scott Youngblood (surely you've heard
of Tribes) through their Golden Ticket Recruitment Initiative.
What is the Gold Ticket you ask? Let me tell you - a. I wish I had gotten a
golden ticket and b. I haven't gotten one because they looked at the top 100
developers and professionals in the industry ( with the exception of a few
select companies that they drew the line at poaching from.) and sent them an
unmarked FedEx package.
Think Mission Impossible meets a Russian babushka. The first box was decorated
with art and inside that box was yet another box with of course art. It went on
until you reached the last box which held the new iPod shuffle. The voice coming
through the earbuds was none other than CEO Mark Kearn, telling you what they
knew about you and why they wanted you to work for this incredible team.
Of the 100 packages that they sent, they have had a 25% call in rate. A secure
website was set up so that these candidates could find out more about the
company and decide if they wanted to work on this new top secret project.
So far, the team consists of 80 US members and 15 Shanghai employees. The small
company is very family oriented and insists upon providing a space the team can
have fun while working. They have two separate venture capital entities to not
only build the game but also ensure that the company is run correctly. "It
is important that we have a solid company that is run right so that we can make
this game successful," Ed imparted. They don't have the fear of running out
of money or time now. This is a company that has very few private offices, lots
of teambuilding and a team that does what it takes to get the job done because
roles aren't defined very strenuously.
So what do I know about the yet untitled property? Not much. The breaking
news here is that it will be solo friendly and that there will be no dwarves and
elves. Dave told us, "The past is both critically important and completely
irrelevant." Therefore, Red5 will be bringing out new material. The game is
not based on an existing IP and they will be knocking down the house and
rebuilding, with the intention of innovating old systems.
For instance, there will be bonus automation and great guild tools as well as a
system that will allow players who improve their character to also improve their
rank, faction and guild standing. "It's all about the community and
allowing the players to change the environment," said Dave. The company
wants to make this an ever changing world where there are definitive winners and
losers in the game. No more saving the princess and having her walk cheerfully
back into the dragon's lair. MMOs are supposed to be interactive games and Epic
changes will happen on a worldwide scale in this title.
Unfortunately that was all we got in terms of real information this time around,
but I can tell you that I'm terribly excited to see more of this game. It is not
hard to imagine how innovative and challenging this title is going to be with
the dream team standing behind it.
Comic by Linda Carlon, for more of here comics please visit http://www.thebrasse.com/game-comics/84.