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
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
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.