ZAM interviewed two Landmark producers earlier this week. Here's the highlights!
LockSixTime, and background commentator Cyliena, recently discussed Landmark with Sony Online Entertainment's Senior Producer Terry Michaels and Director of Development Dave Georgeson during our July 29th Twitch livestream. If you don't have time to check out the full hour-long recording, here's a recap and highlights of everything discussed!
0:22: What is Landmark? Answered by Dave Georgeson:
"Landmark takes all of the power and ability to realize worlds from the devs and gives it to the hands of the players. It lets them build whatever they want to that's in their imaginations across scores of persistent worlds, so that they can continue to customize and make their worlds their very own. You'll see so much more of that at SOE Live... teaser!"
1:23: The Scope of Landmark + "DaveRant" #1:
"Our scope is way bigger than that! What we plan to build is the world's first virtual reality!"
"You're going to be able to do everything. Nobody believes us when we say that stuff. Nobody believes that they're going to actually be able to set up the PvP and the PvE, be able to setup scenarios, spin their own worlds and their characters, create custom AI, any of that stuff. Nobody believes us when we tell them that!
"It's bigger than that! We're not done with that! We're gonna do VR and AR and all that other stuff, too. It's just that right now, it's a building game."
3:12: Landmark's link to EverQuest Next
(Georgeson) "That's what SOE Live is all about this year... is making sure that everybody understands that we have been building EverQuest Next, we've just been building it in front of you all year, it's just in the guise of Landmark.
"Between what we're doing for SOE Live and what we're doing now... uh, yeah, we won't be having these Minecraft comparisons for very long."
8:55: Terry Michaels responds to speculation on how players may work together in Landmark a year from now:
"The idea is that we want to give different types of players different ways to play the game, but as Dave was mentioning, at the core of it is them working together.
"What we really want to do is we want to bring those people together so they can both play the game they want to play... and do it together!"
"I expect guilds, in the long run, to become a sort of... a corporation of different people with different skills. You're going to want people who can do the different pieces of what we're allowing everybody to do so that, as a guild, you can do amazing things."
"...we're working together to do make something greater than any of us can do by ourselves."
14:23: Sandbox/Horizontal Progression; becoming skilled with Landmark's building tools
18:06: Another SOE Live tease from Georgeson:
"Landmark has the potential to do a lot of that stuff, and that's what we're aimed at. So, a piece at a time... we can only roll out the tools as they go, and the game will grow over time. It's not just a building game.
"Well, it is right now! It is right now, I'm not going to argue with anybody."
(Lock) "Well, the building tools are the things that are most fully implemented."
(Georgeson) "Exactly. So it's a fair [comparison] right now. It's just that in the future--in fact, the very near future--it's going to explode.
(Lock) "How will that be, Mr. Georgeson?"
(Georgeson) [laughs] "SOE Live! It's only two weeks!"
19:10: (viewer question) How big will this world be?
(Georgeson) "How big do you want it?"
(Terry) "Yeah, there's no real limit."
"The answer is different between EQN and Landmark also. EQN is designed to be a contiguous world... seamless world sort of thing. Landmark was never designed to be that way. Landmark is a series of mirror worlds, where the players can infinitely expand in all directions.
"There's lore behind that and we'll introduce that at [SOE Live] also, but it has to do with a meeting place between the dimensions, soft spots, and all that other stuff. We'll get to that at the show.
"But, yeah... the differences between Landmark and EQN is... Landmark is multi-dimensional pockets and designed for that, and EQN is a persistent, seamless world.
22:42: Landmark lore?! Yes, but a "light layer of lore" because they "want the players to be designing whatever they want to", so the lore will be "open to interpretation."
24:42: Georgeson drops a tantalizing teaser for SOE Live:
"I will tell you this one; this is my full-on teaser mode. We will be debuting something at SOE Live that we have never talked about publicly. It's not a small feature!"
27:50: (viewer question) Will caves phase 2 feature non-tunnel style caves?
(Terry) "That's something that we're talking about and we're trying to basically analyze what we can and can't do with the technology and what's feasible within the technological limits of the kinds of machines we want the game to run on.
(Georgeson) "Remember that we're trying to build EQN here at the same time, and one of the goals of EQN is to have some big ass caves that have stuff in them."
(Terry) "Yup! We have a bunch of ideas, and we're going to be experimenting with them to see what we can and can't do. I can't say yes and I can't say no because we don't know the answer to it yet.
(Georgeson) "But it is our goal."
28:33: Verticality and stacking claims; still undecided on how tall things will be
(Terry) "We have a really, really tight relationship with them. We're working with them very closely right now, and of course in the future, as they add stuff, we'll evaluate just like we do with all of the other partners that we have to see what makes sense to include and what doesn't, then pull in what we can. We always want to make sure that the game is getting better, and that's how we do it... at least one of the ways in which we do it."
(Georgeson) "It helps that we're their show pony. I mean, we're the place that they can show off all their bells and whistles, so they... we work together well, let's put it that way."
31:27: Lock mentions watching a Storybricks livestream (recaps on Reddit, video) during the recent Game/AI Conference. He criticized that it appears that "the types of scenarios that can be played out are fairly mundane."
(Terry) "I would say that, much like a lot of the things we're doing and the things that we've proven [we can do] over the last year... it's really hard to talk about some of the stuff we're doing and how it's going to work, because people immediately relate it to things they know. Then they're like, 'This sounds just like that!', and I can promise you, it's not. So, this is one of those cases where I think people are just sort of making that assumption that 'this sounds just like something they did in another game, and that was very mundane, so therefore this is going to be mundane as well'... and that's just completely not the truth."