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March 6, 2012
GDC 2012: Exclusive Outspark Interview Discussing Fiesta Social
 

GDC Exclusive Interview: Fiesta Social, a Revolutionary Realtime 3D RPG Defining the Next-Generation of Facebook Games

by Jason Van Horn


MPOGD had a chance to catch up with the product team at Outspark this week during GDC as they prepare to launch their first Facebook game, Fiesta Social, a revolutionary realtime 3D RPG that combines true synchronous multiplayer gaming with stunning 360 3D motion graphics. Coupled with a lively calendar of scheduled in-game events, hosted by a cast of extremely entertaining Game Masters, Fiesta Social promises to deliver a social experience that will define the next generation of Facebook games.



How closely tied to the currently existing Fiesta is Fiesta Social? Are we looking at the exact same game though transformed into a social media, browser format?

Yes, it's the same game with the same thrilling content all the way through level 115, and includes our critically acclaimed expansion, Fiesta: Expedition To Adealia. Both games have full 360 3D motion with realtime synchronous play but Fiesta Social has the added bonus of social experiences unique to Facebook.

One could argue that a MMORPG is already a social gaming experience, as a big component to them is joining up with other players to form parties, form guilds and more. Why the decision to make a Facebook version of the game and how tied into the game is that social aspect since it's in the game's title? Are there social aspects of the game that can only be done through this version of the game and if so can you tell us what they are?

We totally agree, MMORPG is SOCIAL GAMING! We're launching Fiesta Social as a gamechanger to transform the monotonous 2D asynch, turn-based social gaming experience that current dominates Facebook into the deeply-engaging, truly interactive social experience that MMORPGs deliver. Realtime character interaction on Facebook means you flirt with a character and the response is really theirs…you rush in and save a friend from being faceplanted by a monster and they feel you really have their back. Soul-satisfying relationships develop, deep bonds form, the game is very much alive and addictive. Nothing gets you closer to your social circle than playing realtime together.

Can you go over the different ways players can interact and socialize with each other in the game?

Absolutely. We've created a super-fun calendar of launch events that include a high-adrenaline leveling race for awesome prizes, a largest guild challenge where players build empires with their friends, and a playtime event where just exploring the vast open world of Fiesta Social yields rich rewards. We're also hosting Monster-Bashing Beach Parties weekdays at 4pm PT all throughout Spring Break so players will have a chance to meet each other and get to know their Game Masters.



Will longtime Fiesta players have to create new characters or will they be able to play with currently existing characters in Fiesta?

Initially, Fiesta Social and Fiesta Online will reside on separate servers and existing players will need to create a level one character to play Fiesta Social. This will foster the building of a fresh new close-knit community. Ultimately, we'll be introducing interconnectivity and other exciting features to the game.

With Fiesta Social, you're really shooting for a fully realized 3D MMORPG made available on Facebook, which isn't an easy task as most MMOs on Facebook are pretty simplistic given the limitations of the medium. How hard was it to take Fiesta and transition it to Facebook? Are there any elements of Fiesta that had to be removed in order to get the game running?

The technical aspect was done in parallel to Web Fiesta which we launched earlier this year. We worked very closely with SpawnApps and our developer OnsOn Soft to help realize this, and it took a huge amount of work and testing to develop. It was our goal to retain virtually the entire look and feel of Fiesta on the Facebook version, and it's just a fantastic experience to play.

Fiesta has always been a free-to-play game where its revenue is earned through cash mall purchases. I imagine that a similar system will be used with Fiesta Social. How does Fiesta Social compare to Fiesta when it comes to its pricing model? Will items cost roughly the same between the two versions? Are there going to be items for purchase in Fiesta Social that will be unique to the game or either aren't needed for the regular Fiesta?

At launch, store inventory and pricing will be the same. This is good news as Fiesta has one of the most exciting arrays of items out there. Over time, as the needs of the Fiesta Social community evolve, we'll be evaluating offering items unique to Facebook and welcome suggestions on our Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/fiestasocial.

Strangely enough, one of the features being mentioned quite a bit it seems is that the game will have live GMs. Can you talk a little about the role of GMs in Fiesta Social and what they add to the game?

If you look at most Facbeook games, there isn't much interaction with GMs. One of Outspark's core beliefs has been and will continue to be is that we have human GMs you can interact with in the game itself, and not just auto-bots. Outspark's GMs will continue to support live events such as monster spawns, trivia nights, derby events, and even the classic Date-A-GM type events that are so popular with our existing users.



You recently stated: "Fiesta Social is destined to become the Match.com for RPG gamers." How important to the game is that relationship idea/mechanic? If Fiesta Social is being looked at as an interactive game where one might also find the love of their life, what kind of features and systems are there to help players make that love connection?

Fiesta was one of the first free-to-play MMORPGs to introduce in-game weddings and generations of players since then have fallen in love on our epic quests, gotten married both in-game and in real life, and lived happily ever after. We are always seeking to produce exciting in-game adventures and parties for players to meet each other. Upon launch, players will be able to checkout the events calendar on the Fiesta Social Facebook events page at http://www.facebook.com/fiestasocial and forward invites to their friends for in-game GM hosted events as well as live in-person fan meetups . With one in five couples meeting online, nearly a sixth of the world's population living on Facebook, and the rapid growth the Fiesta Facebook community has experienced (up 150,000 fans in just the past three months, 500,000 fans expected by month end, with nearly 10 million registered users on the Outspark platform), we believe Fiesta Social will become the go-to destination for RPG gamers meet their match.

I'd like to thank you for your time today. Is there anything else you'd like to add about the game that we perhaps didn't get to cover or some final words to leave readers with?

Yes! Please like our Fiesta Social Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/fiestasocial and watch for a post-GDC announcement of the Fiesta Social Closed Beta launch date. It's almost upon us and the First 1000 that rush in and play the game will have a once-in-a lifetime chance to get their name on our Wall of Fame Founders Video. You'll be getting in on the early days of something really big and there will be other super cool treats as well. GL HF!

 
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