Fury Interview

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Fury is a new MMO in development at Auran Games and set to be published by newly founded publisher Gamecock Media Group. The title is set to mix some of the best elements of MMO’s and FPS’ in order to create a fast and furious player versus player based game. While Fury is still a little ways off (at this point in time Auran seems to be shooting for a release by the end of the year), we had the chance to chat with Adam Carpenter, the lead designer of the game.

 

First off, tell us a little about yourself and what your role is for Fury.

My name is Adam Carpenter; I’m the Lead Designer of Fury at Auran Games. I’m the key visionary for Fury’s gameplay and direction. Essentially I oversee the development team, to ensure that everything we do is tied in with the game’s short, medium and long term goals.

What previous games have the team at Auran worked on, and how will they apply the lessons learned from those titles to Fury?

We’ve worked mainly on simulation games, like the Trainz series, but we’re also a publisher here in Australia, so we’ve actually worked on/with quite a few games. Additionally, the team we’ve built boasts experience from a very diverse array of games. Some of the titles include Star Wars: Galaxies, Earth and Beyond, Command and Conquer, Magic and Mayhem, SSX and many more. Additionally, most of the team are hardcore gamers which gives us “real life” experiences that simply can’t be taught.

As far as development goes, we really leverage all our first hand experiences playing all MMOs. Having gone through the problems experienced by players in other games is an invaluable aid in helping to avoid the same pitfalls.

You recently signed an agreement with Gamecock Media Group to release the game in North America at the end of the year. Why did you pick Gamecock over other publishers, and will the game be distributed via retail and online?

When we first met with the Gamecock guys, we knew we had to go with them. Mike and Harry are two industry legends who truly believe in what they’re doing and the direction that they want to go. The whole vibe over there is putting games first and that’s something we really like about them. They run a tight ship, give us all the support in the world and above all else, believe in the game. I don’t think there’s anything else we could ask for as a developer. These guys know where it’s at and we’re glad they’re a part of this project. Retail is definitely planned, but we’re not at the point where we’re discussing online yet, however it’s definitely an option.

Did the team members look to any movies/games/books for inspiration in the creation of Fury? If so, which ones, and what elements did you apply to the game?

I don’t think I can put my finger on a specific influence – we really drew from a wide variety of media and games to create Fury. To give you an idea, at least one of the design team has played every single serious MMO and FPS on the market. Now this isn’t a case of playing a bit, getting to level 14 and “understanding” the game. This is end game raiding, end game PVP and many months /played. Some of the most influential games have definitely been DAOC, WOW, GW, Unreal Tournament and Battlefield 2. All are excellent games and the lessons from them have influenced Fury’s direction and pacing.

On the aesthetic side, we looked to a lot of old martial arts movies to get the idea of how fighting should look – even some wrestling moves that we’ve seen are in there. We wanted a real mixture of Asian design, but at the same time some of the more traditional armor and weapons of western civilizations as well, so you’ll see a real mixture overall. As for the world, it’s all very fantastic and grandiose; we wanted to make something that was visually stunning as well as functional. There’s so much packed into the game from an influence standpoint that I think anyone will be able to enjoy the experience no matter what they fancy.

Other than the gameplay, one of the most important elements of any MMO is its back-story. Tell us some of the history behind the game world, and some of the main events that will lead the player into the main game.

When you start the game and create your character, you are essentially one of the “Chosen.” The Chosen are great leaders and warriors who were once the lords of the battlefield in the ancient world. However, anarchy has come again and you are needed once more – resurrected – you must fight to gain “Essence” the magical power which can ultimately save the world. Reborn into this new body, you must battle to jar your old memories and reclaim your ancient powers. You must fight for the future while revealing your past.

Fury is a PVP focused game. What are the advantages of this kind of MMO game? How will the game be balanced to make sure that new players aren’t instantly slaughtered by veterans?

This is really the heart of what we’re trying to accomplish, there are way too many PvP games where slaughter and frustration lie around every corner. Ganking being the main way players describe it. In Fury there are NPC’s called Astralists – basically the gateway into the matchmaking system that ensures well balanced matches so that the players can have some fun rather than getting schooled by some other guy that’s been playing weeks or month more than you.

What this really means is that we have programming in place that matches players of equal skill and abilities together such that you go into battle you are fighting in a team of other players at the same skill level as you and against an enemy team of equal skill. This is great all around, as it ensures that pro clans fight other pro clans and pick up groups fight other pick up groups.

What character types will players be able to choose from, and what differences does each type have from the other?

We haven’t revealed the actual details on the incarnations yet, but I can give you a basic idea of what we’re going for. There will be a total of 8 archetypes that form the basis of an initial “template” for your character. The only time your choice of incarnations is really important is early on, since each one has some general skills to start with, but ultimately all paths and abilities are open to you. That is – the initial archetypes offer a starting point from which you can go in any direction.

You’re able to store up to 255 different configurations through these incarnations on a single avatar. Thanks to the 4 schools and the 8 incarnation types – there is a staggering 400 plus skills that are open to a character. The cool part is, you can actually learn all of them, so there is no way to “gimp” your character. Furthermore you can change incarnations between fights, so you can easily switch when you play different game types or run with different groups. 🙂

How big is the initial game world, and what sort of landscapes will the player be able to explore?

All characters start in a small Training Area. This is where you are first exposed to Fury’s key concepts and where you receive your first trials. From there you move into the Nexus and become acquainted with other players, form groups, buy weapons/armor and more. The Nexus provides access to the various war zones where all the fighting takes place. All in all the game’s different “biomes” cover a wide range of environments from castles, to caves, to open fields. There will be plenty of variation to keep you guys on your toes. 🙂

Will Fury be a free to play game, or will there be some sort of monthly fee?

Fury is a unique blend of the FPS and MMORPG genres. As such, we’re looking at a unique business model. The goal is that Fury is free to play once purchased. However, we are still working on finalizing the business model, so we can revisit this later.

What graphics engine does the game use, and is this a proprietary or licensed engine?

Fury is built on the Unreal Engine 3 for obvious reasons. This latest iteration of the Unreal Engine was developed for FPS games, but it really lends itself to a number of different genres. The spirit of Fury is all about speed and action, so the Unreal Engine 3 really fits exactly what we were looking for. Other than that – it’s great to work with and looks awesome!

I’m sure you’ll get this question a lot, but what will separate Fury from the other MMO’s out there and make people want to pick it up over anything else?

The action is really what’s going to pull people in. Fury has elements of every game genre from strategy to action/adventure games. Fury’s game mechanics are similar to most MMOs, however, Fury engages the player in their avatar’s development by allowing them to tailor their characters to with whichever abilities they prefer. For example, you want a healer character that uses mostly spells and therefore mostly ranged abilities. You don’t want to limit that character, so you equip a couple of melee attacks to make the character well-rounded.

The same applies for the contrary. You might have a character that is entirely melee and takes a lot of physical damage. You might want to equip a ranged ability to make it a little easier to chain attacks. We want gamers to be able to sit down, start the game and be right into the action, no running aimlessly for miles and miles fighting random pigs and wolves the whole time. This is straight up head-on battles with high energy and a lot of action.

Is there any possibility of seeing Fury on consoles someday? Also, do you think any of the current consoles are better suited for MMO’s than others?

It’s definitely a possibility, but right now we’re totally focused on making the best PC game we can, that sort of thing is down the road a bit.

How will the game be supported once it is released? Is Auran planning to provide a steady stream of new content and expansion packs further down the road?

We are all very committed to this game and hope to make it as enjoyable of an experience as possible for the players. We’re planning on pumping in some fresh content as often as possible, we’ve got some good ideas where we’d like to take the game in the future through free content updates and expansions. However, I don’t want to go into any of those now as our core focus is on making Fury the best competitive game at release. 🙂

Is there anything else you’d like to say about Fury or anything else we’ve discussed?

Everyone wants to feel they are getting their money’s worth when buying a videogame, that’s a given. But not everyone wants or has the time to invest in leveling characters the way most MMOs require you to in order to really experience all the game has to offer. Fury is meant to be enjoyed by both casual and serious gamers.

You aren’t forced to spend an absurd amount of time in order to really get the feel of Fury. You can meet up with friends, play, enjoy the game on your spare time, and then go about your day. For those who take their games more seriously, you can learn about all of the different abilities available and use them to customize your own unique, perfect character. That’s the heart and soul behind the game and we really hope gamers will see that and jump in the mix!

 

For more information on Fury, visit http://www.unleashthefury.com/.

For more information on Auran Games or Gamecock Media Group, visit their respective sites athttp://www.auran.com/ and http://www.gamecockmedia.com/.

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