FireFall Interview


posted 12/3/2010 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
One Page Platforms: PC
We were intrigued with FireFall when it was first announced.   Then Sean got to play it at PAX earlier this year and interest turned into near obsession.  Luckily we were able to setup this interview which I think will help others understand why the game should be on your games to watch list.

Could you introduce yourself and talk about your role on the project? How long have you been in the game industry and why did you decide to make a career out of creating video games?
My name is Scott Youngblood and I’m the Lead Game Designer on Firefall. I’ve been in the industry since 1990 where I accidentally got hired at Dynamix (a Eugene Oregon Based game company) as a Network Technician. I worked my up through the ranks at Dynamix over the next 10 years before leaving to pursue other interests.

It took my parents about three years of asking me when I was going to get a real job before they realized that gaming was going to be my career. I’ve always been passionate about games and it’s a wonderful life experience to be able to craft entertainment for other people.

What’s the backstory on Firefall and how important is the story to the game? How did you come up with the name “Firefall”?
Firefall takes place on Earth in the year 2233. The planet has gone through a drastic change due to discovery and global overuse of a new clean energy source called Crystite. The overuse of this extremely efficient energy source has led to the disastrous arrival of a violent energy storm called The Melding. The Melding has transformed nearly all of Earth leaving only a small haven for humanity within the eye of the storm.

A mysterious and hostile race called The Chosen have recently appeared out of the Melding. We're not sure what the Chosen want, but it is very clear that they want humanity destroyed. Players must unite to fight against the Chosen and fend off the Melding from consuming Earth.

The event that preceded the arrival of the Melding is known as Firefall, thus the name of the game.

Why did you go the free to play route? With the proliferation of other free to play games, how do you make sure your game doesn’t get lost in the shuffle? How do you compare your game to other free to play online shooters like AVA and Combat Arms?
Red 5 Studios believes in this game and we want as many players as possible to experience Firefall. The industry landscape is changing, and we want gamers to try out the game – with no velvet ropes – and see for themselves how much fun Firefall is. We believe firmly in the quality of game and making it free to play ensures that as many people as possible will have a chance to see for themselves how much fun Firefall is.

Firefall is a competitive game. The more players there are to play against, the better. This also helps to decrease queue times for matches and allows the option for better, more accurate skill-based matchmaking.

AVA and Combat Arms are great games, but we feel that we have created the ultimate team-based, action shooter experience that combines a large co-op campaign with deep character progression and competitive multiplayer gameplay. We’re pleased with how many gamers commented at PAX and in our forums that this game has all the polish, and feel of a retail game. Free-to-play isn’t a bad thing, and we’re going to prove that.
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