Fallen Earth Interview - Colin Dwan, Project Manager
A: Fallen Earth is a huge point of attraction for fans interested in the post-Apocalyptic genre. Other games have successfully capitalized on this genre, but Fallen Earth does it in a unique way. Aside from utilizing the unique FPS/RPG combination, the game has a crafting system like few others. Added in the mix is the classless advancement system, so players who enjoy the sandbox feel will have a blast. And the game focuses almost equally on PvP and PvE, so players who enjoy one or the other or both will have a good time.
How far along the development process has the game progressed so far?
A: The game is currently in closed beta. We're hard at work fixing bugs and adding polish and interest objects to the game.
What was the most challenging aspect of working on Fallen Earth?
A: The sheer scope of Fallen Earth is very daunting. It was a real challenge to quickly and thoroughly build 70 towns with all their personalities, encounter areas, dungeons, monsters, and everything in between. I'm not going to say we got it right on our first try but we've worked hard to constantly evaluate our work and improve whenever possible.
What was most rewarding?
A: Seeing the testers in game not just play but really get immersed in the world has been extremely gratifying. As a game creator, the ultimate goal is to create a world where people can dive in and grab hold of our story. I think we've really set up a great place with Fallen Earth where people will do just that. There are endless possibilities for players to live out their post-apocalyptic dreams and nightmares.
How does the game mix the shooter and RPG genres?
A: We use the reticule from the FPS style games, so it's up to you to kill your target. That adds an extra challenge because whatever your reticule is on, you'll inflict damage upon. We use hit boxes, so we have different damage tallies depending on where you hit your enemy. We've also worked really hard to make sure that the weapons are accurately balanced and fun for players, no matter what their personal preference is.
What characteristics of the game set it apart the most from other games out there?
A: As I mentioned before, the classless advancement and crafting provide a lot of promise for players that enjoy those features. We also try to give players flexibility in as many ways as possible. For example, you learn about the factions and your process for joining one is progressive-which means you can change your mind if you want to be something else. That provides a lot more freedom than being forced to pick a race at the beginning of character creation when you're not sure what's going on.
Could you tell us about the player-vs-player portion of the game?
A: We worked to set up a system that would give PvP players their own places in the game (and if you're more into PvE, you get a warning that you're about to enter those areas). We have player conquerable towns, and if you join a faction, you can work with that faction to take over the area. We wanted it to stand out from killing for the sake of killing, so we provided the added incentive of new content if you unlock the town. Control of a town will provide players with new missions and access to trainers and questors so that they can further develop their characters. Many of the PvP areas are a huge amount of fun-the Dump, for instance, has thousands of objects that you can hide behind. Places like that give a more even playing field, and lower level characters have a good chance of one-upping the higher characters if they hide and do it well.
What is the in-game crafting system like?
A: The crafting system lets players make 95 percent of in game items. The best items that you have access to in the game are made. Everything from consumables, weapons, high end gear and vehicles can be made through scavenging and harvesting components and using recipes. We also have an auction house that supports the player economy. The cool thing about our crafting system is that you can add things to your crafting queue and leave it, allowing you to go off and do other missions or completely log off. It will keep crafting.
What is your favorite town out of the 70 available towns?
A: I really like Oilville. I think it embodies a lot of the Mad Max feel that people will be looking for. It has a great approach as you're winding through canyons and suddenly giant oil towers appear around a bend. You really get the tech/scavenger outpost feel in the middle of the desert. It's the first place you can start uncovering pieces for building vehicles and has some great personality with it's NPCs. There are other awesome towns throughout the rest of the game but I think Oilville is one of my favorites.
What types of weapons are in the arsenal?
A: The beautiful thing about a post-apocalyptic game is that you're in it for survival, and if someone needs to fight, almost anything becomes a weapon. We have the usual, high-end stuff you'd expect in an MMO, like rocket launchers and about every type of rifle you could expect. But we also have really cool weapons, like garden trowels, a baker's rolling pin, and a parking meter. Yes, you can hit someone with a parking meter. And you can actually wield a melee and a ranged weapon at the same time.