Below is the X-fire chat log. Not sure if this is a bad place to post it, so feel free to move it...
[Xfire] Chatteox: Hello! We are very pleased to welcome everyone to the Hellgate: London Chat! Please welcome our special guests from Flagship Studios who will now introduce themselves and start taking your questions! We ask for your patience as we get through our technical difficulties. Thank you! If you lose your connection click on the servers tab and come back into the rooms!
[Flagship] Kaiser: Hey, I'm Kaiser, good to see all of you!
[Flagship] Guy Somberg: Hi! My name's Guy. I'm the audio and gameplay programmer here at Flagship.
[Flagship] Ether: Hi Guys! Aletheia Simonson, Flagship's Art producer here. You can call me Ether :)
[Flagship] Amir: Welcome everbody! Amir Ebrahimi here. I'm a graphics programmer here at Flagship Studios.
[Flagship] trish: Hello! I am Trish- Director of PR and Marketing
dsteinwedel: Hi everybody, I'm Dave, lead audio designer for Flagship.
[Flagship] Taylor Balbi: Sup! I'm Taylor, Junior Community Manager!
[Flagship] Jordan: Hey Folks, I'm Jordan, Assistant Sound Designer
[Flagship] Bill Manegold: I'm Bill Manegold...I'm a programmer/design intern here at Flagship
gamona]Thomas: Question: Many players did no react very positive after playing the demo. Do you think it was an mistake to release it?
Answer: Bill Roper: Yes and no.
Bill Roper: The demo was designed to be justa taste of the game
Bill Roper: Thomas: Many players did no react very positive after playing the demo. Do you think it was an mistake to release it?
Bill Roper: Yes and no.
Bill Roper: The demo was designed to be just a smal taste of the game.
Bill Roper: With a gamethat has as much content and depth and complexity and replayability as Hellgate: London, we can't do a demo that can properly express that.
Bill Roper: On the other hand, we had a lot of fizes - especially to DX1 - that we couldn't get in.
[Flagship] Guy Somberg: Bill means DX10 :)
Bill Roper: Which is why the demo was DX9 only - I think this confused a lot of people.
Bill Roper: So I think that we may have been better served waiting a bit, but we actually got as much good eresponse as we did bad - just no one goes onto forums to say things are great or that they enjoy them.
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: [gamona]Thomas: What will happen to characters located in slots 4 to 12 (subscribers only) if subscription runs out or is terminated? And we also see similars problems for items located in the extra part of the stash...
Answer: *We'll save your characters and items. If you re-subscribe, you'll have access to everything like nothing happened
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: [gamona]Thomas: Certain character classes (evoker, i.e.) are much harder to play during the first levels than others. Is this what you intended or are you going to make balance changes to address this?
Answer: *We've spent a LOT of time balancing the game. We check so many different stats to make sure the game levels out for everyone. That said, we'll constantly be be monitoring our stats and make adjustments as needed.
Bill Roper: Question: Thomas: Many players complain about the enviroments/levels of HGL not being very diverse. What's your opinion about this and is it going to change with some of the upcoming patches?
Answer: Bill Roper: Believe it or not, there are more diverse areas in Hellgate: London than there were in Diablo II.
Bill Roper: Think about the second Act in D2. Sand. Lots of Sand. And a star chamber. An then some undergorund sand.
Bill Roper: We do al lot more to diversify our acts, and the patch that is available on day one (well, today) goes a long way to theming acts better so that you can get a better feel for that diversity.
[Flagship] Amir: Question: [gamona]Thomas: Many players complain about the enviroments/levels of HGL not being very diverse. What's your opinion about this and is it going to change with some of the upcoming patches?
Answer: Thomas, HGL's dynamic level technology was built with the idea that we'd be extending well into the future. As with any big-budget game today, building environments are costly in terms of man-hours. We've yet to tap the flexibility of our DRLG technology and you'll see more in the future. As we add more areas and tilesets, our designers will be able to mix and match to create new environments for your enjoyment.
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: [gamona]Thomas: What are your plans to integrate guilds and guilding feature into
Answer: We have lots of different things planned for the game. Guilds were introduced with Patch 0 (which is now live), and we'll be adding more and more functionality to it as time moves on. We have a lot of our own ideas, but we'll definitely be listening to all of your comments as well, and incorporate whatever works best for the game.
[Flagship] Guy Somberg: Question: [gamona]Thomas: What will happen to characters located in slots 4 to 12 (subscribers only) if subscription runs out or is terminated? And we also see similars problems for items located in the extra part of the stash...
Answer: If you cancel your subscription, then those characters will become unavailable. They'll still be saved on our servers, so if you should get your subscription back, your characters will be waiting for you. Similar situation with the extra stash space.
Bill Roper: Question: Thomas: What are you planning to do to keep both subscribers and standard players happy?
Answer: Bill Roper: We have a LTO of things there for our free players that are so far beyond what we've done in the past.
Bill Roper: In fact, we opened up some areas to our free standard players that are more than they get in single player and were also going to orignially just be for subscribers.
Bill Roper: Our Elite Difficulty mode is a great example of that, as is making PvP available to everyone. Dave Brevik was also a champion for gettinf Achievements into the game for th dya one patch and making them available to everyone.
Bill Roper: For subscribers, we've already started themed events and special content, and we'l be rolling out a lot of stuff in December.
Bill Roper: The goal is to strike a great balance so that people who want to get more content can do so eaily and contantly while still providing an incredible online experience for no extra charge.
[Flagship] LeeDot: In regards to Evoker Balance - One of the interesting things about HG is that each of the classes offers a distinct play experience from one another and the Evoker is at the extreme end of one of those play styles. We ill be trying to continually balance any areas that seem out of whack but I would expect that each class will always have some areas of the game that they struggle with more or less based on their nature.
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: [gamona]Thomas: Can you tell us anything about servers not being live until Halloween although sales of HGL started on Oct 30th already, which also has been the official release date for Germany?
Answer: Y'know, due to the time difference, the sheer scope of getting the game launched around the world, and all that jazz, we really wanted to do as much testing as possible. There was bound to be a hiccup or two along the way, so we apologize if anyone had to wait too long. We want everyone online as soon as possible! ^_^
[Flagship] Guy Somberg: Question: BOU [SLH]: What Game Engine are you using?
Answer: We've actually built our own graphics engine from the ground up. It's really neat, because we've been able to optimize it for all of our randomized environments. There are a lot of nifty challenges involved with that, which most static-geometry engines don't have to deal with./
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: gamesmaniac: What inspired you to choose the name for the game? It could be Hellgate: New York or other cities.
Answer: London is a perfect city for Hellgate. It has such a unique history, with a great variety of architechture, a subway system, etc. There was just so much to pull from that could be used in the game in cool and clever ways. Plus, it just sounds cool.
[Flagship] Bill Manegold: Question: medievaldragon: The Hardcore Mode tooltip at the character creation page says that a character can't resurrect or be ghosted. Death is permanent. Could you explain? How can you play again?
Answer: Once a character dies in hardcore mode, they can only walk around the various stations that they've reached. In this way, you can still prove to people how far you got in Hardcore mode, but you can't get any farther. If you want to use that slot to play more, you have to delete the character and create a new one.
Bill Roper: Question: Klaak: LaReece: With games like Tabula Rasa releasing the same time as Hellgate, are you confident that HGL will strive and prosper against the competiton?
Answer: We believe that Hellgate: London is really unlike any other MMo around. The fact that it can be played as a stand-alone game, has free online gameply, and then also has a way for players to get a steady stream of content - not to MENTION how different the game play is - makes it stand out. We aren't really thinking of how we're 'going up against' other games. If it's fun - people will play.
[Flagship] Taylor Balbi: Question: For Taylor Balbi: Since you are such a new addition to the Flagship Studios team. What is it like starting out in the industry at a company that has such a vast range of experience and talent?
Answer: Well, It's amazing. I always wanted to get a job in the industry, never thought it would be with such a great company. At first it was a little bit intimidating, wondering if I was going to live up to their expectations, but now it's just tons of fun. Everyone here is great and has an awesome sense of humor. I don't think I can work anywhere else and be as satisfied as I am now. People here work and act like family, which I am definitely not used to. Then again, seeing how skilled everyone is, I feel like a permanent noobie :)
[Flagship] Jordan: Question: daniz0rz: The game's trailer makes the game appear like a FPS but it's advertised as an RPG. Is combat gonna be more like an FPS or more like KOTOR (which was sorta turn based but realtime)?
Answer: The game can be played in first person few using the ranged character classes. You can also choose to pull the camera back and play from an behind the shoulder perspective...It is not like KOTOR because everything is very much in real-time
[Flagship] Amir: Question: b8y: Do you have any people with Physics or Math backgrounds on your team? Also do you have dedicated people that handle just A.I. ,random map layouts, etc?
Answer: We have people here with a variety of backgrounds. I don't know everyone's educational background at the company here. However, I can say that we have a programmer who used to work for NASA and one who specialized in written and spoken languages. Not all the programmers here received a CS degree, however, all are very talented. Many of the programmers worked on Diablo, so that is where we have the experience to create a game that never plays the same each time through.
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: NightmareXX: Will there be any plans to make this available via Steam? I find it an extremely useful way of being able to get my games
Answer: We all love Steam here, but we don't have any current plans to offer Hellgate through the service. Because our game isn't a standalone title and requires different forms of authentication for security and such, integrating it into a 3rd party app would be very difficult. A nice idea, though. ^_^
Bill Roper: Question: PilotMadnick: What made you guys make a futuristic RPG, instead of the good ol' fantasy ones?
Answer: After working on the Warcrafyt and Diablo universes, we really wanted to do something very different in setting. We wanted to be able to mix in some sci-fi with our magic and monsters. Also, the idea of setting the game in a twisted version of our own worlkd was really compelling.
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: medievaldragon: The Hardcore Mode tooltip at the character creation page says that a character can't resurrect or be ghosted. Death is permanent. Could you explain? How can you play again?
Answer: What you say is true. It's the whole point of Hardcore. Risk everything! If you can beat the game on Hardcore mode, what better bragging rights could you ask for? Sounds impossible, but you'd be surprised just how good some of the players are!
[Flagship] Taylor Balbi: Question: Source|Eorlas: What do you guys like to do in your spare time?
Answer: I love sitting at my desk and playing my Xbox 360, Skate is something I really enjoy as of late. When I'm not doing that, I'm rocking out on Guitar Hero or playing Halo 3 on live with my brother. When I'm not near my 360, I'm playing Guitar Hero at home or sleeping!
[Flagship] Taylor Balbi: Oh! and I play a LOT of Mythos :)
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: daniz0rz: The game's trailer makes the game appear like a FPS but it's advertised as an RPG. Is combat gonna be more like an FPS or more like KOTOR (which was sorta turn based but realtime)?
Answer: To add to Jordan's answer, Hellgate in a lot of ways creates its own genre. It covers so many gameplay styles, that's you can't pin it down really. Want to have an FPS-like experience? Play a Marksman. Want a more action-RPG 3rd-person game? Try an Evoker. Wnat to play single-player? Do it. Multiplayer online? Sure. Really, Hellgate is the game YOU want it to be.
Bill Roper: Question: Klaak: goldfish928: approximately how many hours long is the single player campaign, and can you take players back and fourth between single player and multiplayer like in titans quest?
Answer: We expect players to take between 30-40 hours to complete the storyline of the game. And., of course, this is just the first time through the game! You can continue on in Nightmare mode - basically taking another "lap" through the content at a harder difficulty level with your same character, raising their levels of experience and loot. Because of the random nature of the game, you can play with another character and have a VERY different experience - both in how the classes play and how the game progresses.
We do not allow characters to go between single and multi player because we have no idea what you’ve done with your character when it isn’t on our servers.
[Flagship] trish: Unfortunately EA Europe opted out from doing a Collector's Edition for UK
[Flagship] Guy Somberg: Question: Source|Eorlas: What do you guys like to do in your spare time?
Answer: I like this question :) I like to go climbing at the gym, go for walks, play the flute... Heh, this is sounding like a personals ad :) Lately, I've been spending a lot of time playing Portal, actually. That game is REALLY fun.
[Flagship] Amir: Question: EliteOps1: Some people complained about the graphics being sub par compared to other games of this generation, such as Crysis. What is your response to this?
Answer: Well, when we talk about comparing graphics of one game to another we have to level the playing field. What type of game is it? What are the constraints? What level of geometry is being pushed through the engine? Crysis is an FPS game with a specific storyline. They can do things that we're unable to do such as performing a static geometry visibility pass on their levels, since their levels are not dynamically generated. Crysis is a great looking game and I'd be more inclined to compare it with a Gears of War or Unreal Tournament 3. Crysis doesn't have all the dynamic character generation we have, so they didn't have to build an engine around that. For what we do, we do it well.
[Flagship] Amir: Question: daniz0rz: Will the game be ported to consoles in the future?
Answer: I can neither confirm nor deny this :)
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: Candy: how regulary are you gonna update the game?
Answer: We're constantly working on balance fixes, new features, etc. If there are gameplay-criticial fixes we need to make, they will be released as much as needed. Roughly, we plan on substantial updates every few months, with a number of special surprises between. You'll definitely have a lot of stuff to play with. :)
[Flagship] Ether: Question: Source|Eorlas: What do you guys like to do in your spare time?
Answer: Guitar Hero Tournaments, Panda Baiting (Brennan Plunkett response). Other than that, we usually spend a lot of time playing other games (for... research...)
[Flagship] trish: if we have spare time! Play the cello. I kinda like that Apples to Apples game! Bill got me playing those Cheap Ass Games www.cheapass.com
[Flagship] trish: Play WoW and Hellgate
[Flagship] Guy Somberg: Question: radu12345: What programming language did you use to code the game? C++?
Answer: Yes, C++ mostly. We actually write in a very C-like manner, but using a C++ compiler. A few pieces and parts here and there (mostly on the server-end) are written in C# or Powershell or JSP. I spend most of my days in front of Visual Studio writing C++ code, though. That, and Excel. A lot of Excel time, too.
[Flagship] DSteinwedel: Frosty-: When developing the sound effects for the game did you use classic zombie and monster sounds we hear a lot from movies and more, or is it an orignial score?
Answer: The sound effects are all custom designed for Hellgate using both commercial libraries and custom recordings made here. The musical score is completely new.
[Flagship] Amir: Question: radu12345: What game engines did you use for the game?
Answer: I think this question was already answered, however, I'll post again. Our engine is custom-built from from the ground up. We had to go this route to accomodate the dynamic levels and character generation for the game. Not many off-the-shelf engines support these things well.
[Flagship] Taylor Balbi: Question: Jolene: Flagship is working on Mythos as well.... I feel that Hellgate has too many similar traits. Do you feel Mythos is a game unique in itself?
Answer: They do share a lot of similar traits, but that's because those traits are awesome! Who doesn't like randomized loot :) Being the Mythos Community Manager, I find myself talking about this a lot. Mythos is more of a fast paced game. One you can get in for 15-30 minutes and accomplish a lot, or play for hours and accomplish a ton. It is definitely a game unique in itself just as much as Hellgate is. Sure they share similar traits, but they aren't identical. The settings in the games are very different also, and in the future you will see Hellgate and Mythos drift farther apart as more features go into Mythos and more into Hellgate. Deep down though, they will always be sybling games!
Bill Roper: Question: Lachlann: Personally, the game reminds of the 1st release of City of Heroes. It was a lot of fun to play, but didn't have the depth to keep me interested in the long run. There are some obvious advantages with Hellgate London not requiring a monthly fee to play, but that lack of depth in an MMO is still an issue. (No PvP, crafting, guild bases/structures, limited character types, etc.) Are you planning on adding some of the more traditional MMO content (like the above) to the game?
Answer: Actually, some of the things you’ve mentioned are in the game, bnut if you haven’t played online with the live pday one patch, you may have missed them! We do have initial PvP - both Dueling and Free-for-all. I also am not sure if six classes with a lot of different builds counts as “limited” (WoW has “only” 9 for example).
Bill Roper: We have the core of our crafting system in with the Nanoforge and recipes, so expect to see more of this on the way. Our Guild system is an exciting area of growth, and we’ve got a lot of ideas on how to make this very fun for our players who want to be in a guild. No MMO is as complete on day one as it is 3 months or 6 months or a year or more down the line, and the fact that we aren’t a traditional MMORPG means we have a lot of things those games don’t.
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: radu12345: Have you thought of acquiring a protecting engine for your game, in order to block hacking programs such as the widely spread packet editors and the address editors?
Answer: We have our own security measures in place to deal with these types of issues. For obvious reasons we can't talk about them, but we take security VERY seriously. We've all seen games be ruined by cheaters, hacks, etc and we're doing everytihng we can think of to make sure Hellgate stays clean.
[Flagship] Amir: Question: ςЧЄЄpŶkins: You’ve made Flagship studios your business and Hellgate your item of sale so it’s all very official, but importantly did you have fun developing the game back at the studio?
Answer: Not at all (tongue-in-cheek). On the real, the guys here love to play games. In fact, early in development we were all "forced" to play the game for a block of time every Friday. I don't know many game company's that actually alot time for you to play the game you are developing.
[Flagship] Guy Somberg: Question: Garry: here is the one and only question from Garry :): I stopped playing WoW cuz of Hellgate. How old must I be to stop playing in general? Or will I still play when I'm 60?
Answer: Never stop playing. Ever. The moment you stop playing is the moment you become old.
[Flagship] trish: Anolimus- my previous answer was broken up.. sorry for the confusion
[Flagship] trish: :)
[Flagship] Jordan: Question: 'Frosty-: When developing the sound effects for the game did you use classic zombie and monster sounds we hear a lot from movies and more, or is it an orignial score?
Answer: For the zombies we had some folks in the office step into our recording booth and speak some zombie sounds, these were then edited and processed for the game. All of the monsters are custom made, using a varitey of sounds, from animals to motorrcycle sounds. The music is also all original, and was written by SonicMayhem.
[Flagship] Ether: Question: lionzub: Ok, you guys have to tell us now, I know everyone wants to know. Who is the best Guitar Hero player in the house?
Answer: Alan Hu. ;)
[Flagship] Amir: Question: Q: ≤FøC≥JustinSane: Are there any plans for PVP Arenas and Ladders?
Answer: I can neither confirm nor deny this :) Wait, take off PR hat. Speak up on the forums and you may just see it get in! PvP is very important to us, so you'll see developments in the future. We're a company devoted to fans, so what most fans want, they'll get.
[Flagship] Bill Manegold: Question: cG| PowMia: Will there be some sort of 'text' messages on the screen (or Journal that keeps track of your progress) to help those that have a hearing disadvantage to follow along and not miss out on 'important' information being giving or passed around?
Answer: You have a quest log that tracks quest progress throughout the game, both in terms of what quests you have, and your progress within them. There are ways to turn on constant progress readouts as well, so you don't have to constantly go back to your log. A number of the developers here play the game without any sound, since in a crowded office you can't really use speakers, and they don't seem to have problems...^_^
Bill Roper: Question: [gamona] Garry: here is the one and only question from Garry :): I stopped playing WoW cuz of Hellgate. How old must I be to stop playing in general? Or will I still play when I'm 60?
Answer: God, I hope not! I don’t plan on stopping ever. Games are for everyone of every age, and the wide diversity of genres and games means there is something for everyone. Interestingly, I stopped paying WoW for Hellgate, too ;)!
Bill Roper: And what I meant was i hope you never Stop, Garry!
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: Kaljin: The site of longdon seems to make it seem like this will take place in other countries and cities. Will you release expansions in other cities?
Answer: We have so much to add to Hellgate: London right now, it's hard for us to think that far out. That said, if Hellgate does well and all of you want more cities, there's nothing we want more than to make you guys happy.
[Flagship] Guy Somberg: Question: b8y: Have you implemented statistics gathering and analysis tools into the online component to figure out what players are doing and what to change/improve?
Answer: 1984. The Evil Eye is watching.
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: daniz0rz: MMO games with fast-paced action seem to suffer greatly from lag, many times making them unplayable. How hard was it to develop a system of fast-paced action that could work in moderate-heavy lag situations, given that not everyone has T3 internet?
Answer: We definitely didn't want lag to be a problem. Thankfully, our awesome programmers at Flagship and our awesome engineers at Ping0 have developed a system that's fast and efficient, even when dealing with massive amounts of data. I can't get into the technical aspects of this, but I did want to throw this out there. ^_^
[Flagship] Amir: Question: b8y: Have you implemented statistics gathering and analysis tools into the online component to figure out what players are doing and what to change/improve?
Answer: We have this thing called the Evil Eye that sees all. It sits on the top of Mount Doom... Seriously though, we are collecting more stats about the game than any of the Diablo games would have hoped to collect. It can take 10s of hours to get back data from a previous day of gameplay.
Bill Roper: Question: b8y: Have you implemented statistics gathering and analysis tools into the online component to figure out what players are doing and what to change/improve?
Answer: We have a little program we have lovingly dubbed “The Evil Eye” that gets us a lot of game play data, including what classes are being played, what skills they use, what weapons are used, snapshots of equipped items every time a character levels, monster damage and death rate and a lot more. We use this as a big tool for making balance changes and is something we have never had before.
Bill Roper: Hahah
Bill Roper: Well, we all liked that question...
[Flagship] Guy Somberg: Question: colonelsanders64: Whats the cost diffence for you by using a (what I can only assume is a third party) server system, Ping0, as opposed to having your own server empire, like battle.net?
Answer: Actually, we started Ping0 about a year and a half ago, so effectively, it is a first-party system. The folks upstairs (who are currently in a hive of activity) have worked hard to make a backend server suite that's designed to accomodate both Mythos and Hellgate.
Bill Roper: Question: About what percentage of the original team continues to work on the game after its initial release?
Answer: Right now - just about EVEYRONE! Moving forward (when we feel we can break people away from it) a significant portion of the company will be working on continuing content. We’re also hiring right now to increase the size of the team to meet the demands of providing all the different types of content we want to make.
[Flagship] DSteinwedel: Question: Nix: How many cinematics are there in the game? and are they still viewable while playing Online?
Answer: There are 4 cinematics in game and they are viewable in MP.
[Flagship] Amir: Question: PilotMadnick: I experienced lots of lag while beta-testing, i had to run everything on low even though i have a high-end system, is it really optimized now?
Answer: Isn't that why we had you beta-test? All of our beta testers helped us tremendously for improving performance. In terms of the graphics engine, we've improved DX10 performance tremendously. Some of these changes made it back to our DX9 target to improve that as well.
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: 'Frosty-: How did you decide to add "elite content" for paying customers rather than just going with the classic Diablo style?
Answer: Think about Diablo for a minute. While people still love the game and are still playing, there weren't that many updates over the years. No people, no content. To put it lightly, a lot of people wanted more content. With Hellgate, we want to make those people happy by having a dedicated team here at Flagship continuously working on new content/features. In a lot of ways, we chose this model FOR the fans. Now, we can keep the game going as long as everyone wants. The reality is, it takes a lot of people to make a game these days, and it's hard to find amazing artists/programmers/etc that work for free. ^_^
[Flagship] Bill Manegold: Question: <|CF|>TeyRon: bungee employees often wore silly hats for humour and were given ice cream while developing to keep themselves sane, what did you do to stay sane
Answer: ...who says we're sane?
Bill Roper: Question: -=ŃںĶ=-ßüštèr ß. Túηâ: Is Hellgate London coming to the MAC if not are there plans to?
Answer: We would love to have a Mac-specific version of the game, but we just don’t have the manpower to tackle that. Hopefully we can find another developer or perhaps even Apple to find a way to get a Mac version done, but at least there is boot camp now! I have friends who have played on their Macs in the beta and said the experience was really good.
[Flagship] Taylor Balbi: Question: radu12345: 100. Do you think Xfire has done a good job inviting you here?
Answer: Of course! I love talking to the fans and answering questions. Xfire are some cool cats, especially the two that are in the office with us. Rock on guys!
[Flagship] Guy Somberg: Question: [SFBiH]=BFO=: Its my birthday answer me one quesstion: How hard was it to make a Hellgate, how much hour of work was spend there?
Answer: Happy Birthday! *insert copyrighted birthday music here*
Hellgate is easily the hardest game I've ever had to make. Of course, coming from Dora the Explorer: Super Star Adventures, that's not saying much :) That said, there have been some incredible challenges, and I've learned more in my tenure on this game that I learned in all of college, and all my previous jobs combined.
When we're not crunching, I work a pretty typical 40-hour week (or so). During crunch, that figure explodes to 80 or more.
[Flagship] Amir: Question: Q: [SFBiH]=BFO=: Its my birthday answer me one quesstion: How hard was it to make a Hellgate, how much hour of work was spend there?
Answer: Happy Birthday! It took us only three hours to build this game. Haven't you seen those commercials for getting into game development? You can tighten up the graphics on one level in a couple of hours and be designing your next game in the same day? Let's just say that we've all been crunching for 8 months now.
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: [Xfire] MasterRen: About what percentage of the original team continues to work on the game after its initial release?
Answer: Roughly half the company, though we're always growing so this percentage always changes. ^_^
[Flagship] DSteinwedel: Question: BRQ] SUBZ3R0: What fuel do you use to keep yourself awake when developing content?
Answer: Water works pretty well, as does sauteed mushrooms with garlic over roasted chicken. Some others here like redbull
[Flagship] Bill Manegold: Question: [BRQ] SUBZ3R0: What fuel do you use to keep yourself awake when developing content?
Answer: Lots and lots of caffeine
[Flagship] Amir: Question: [BRQ] SUBZ3R0: Is there a significant difference in image quality between the DX10 and the DX9 version?
Answer: Yes, significant in extra icing on the cake. The improvements won't affect gameplay, seeing as we wouldn't want to. In DX10 you've got motion blur, depth-of-field, better filtering, SLI support, soft-shadows to name a few... You get both in-box, so you can choose whichever one you want to play :)
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: <|CF|>TeyRon: bungee employees often wore silly hats for humour and were given ice cream while developing to keep themselves sane, what did you do to stay sane
Answer: I can only speak for myself, but I, um, played lots of videogames. Haha.
[Flagship] Taylor Balbi: Question: ghostfaceҲ: ROFLCOPTER? Yes or no?
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: Loco: I think I remember hearing about a guild system in HG, so will there be a sort of guild bank or maybe other things to make a guild feel more tight and unified?
Answer: Expect the guild system to expand greatly over time. We're just getting started!
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: [BRQ] SUBZ3R0: What fuel do you use to keep yourself awake when developing content?
Answer: Our fridge is filled with Coke, Diet Coke, Diet Coke with Splenda, Coke Zero, Cherry Coke Zero, Coke Plus, Diet Coke with Lime with Splenda, and this AWESOME drink called GoGirl (that's not a joke)
[Flagship] Ether: Question: <|CF|>TeyRon: bungee employees often wore silly hats for humour and were given ice cream while developing to keep themselves sane, what did you do to stay sane
Answer: Sane? Muahhaa . In seriousness… thankfully we have an amazingly fun and creative team. We have game nights (as Trish mentioned earlier), game tournaments, the occasional office party, and a fridge full of red bull.. They all play a part in keeping us (mostly) sane.
P.S. This should also answer the “Fuel” question. Red Bull!
[Flagship] LeeDot: Question: Ragnarok: where did you do you training for modeling art/animation?
Answer: Most of my training, and really most of the really good artists I know didn't go to school for it but to be honest 10 years ago there was nowhere near the amount of training facilities that there are these days. If you're disciplined enough to be able to work on your own I'd recommend going through the training dvd's at thegnomonworkshop.com. I'm constantly picking up new dvd's to keep my skills sharp even after doing this sort of thing professionally for years. The DVD route will also save you a huge amount of money on school fees since most art schools will suck you dry in a heart beat but like I said that route requires a lot more discipline because know one is going to be there to kick your ass out of bed.
Bill Roper: Question: [ cosi ]: What special Events are you going to add (or already been added) to the game Hellgate London? Will there be something like the World event in Diablo 2 for a annihilus ? Or will there be something like UBER bosses ? (Like Uber Diablo, Uber Mephisto, Uber Baal) ... And are there Fun levels like "Cow Level" ? :D And are you planing to bring out expansions, if yes, how many and how fast? Or will it be there be free "forever" ?
Answer: We are already running special events in the game for Halloween, and will have more in November. We’re also going to release a major content update for subscribers in December that is already being worked on. We’ll have all kinds of events for all different sorts of players over the coming months - some recurring and others for limited amounts of time. You’ll start seeing new types of levels next month, as well as some special bosses.
[Flagship] Guy Somberg: Question: <|CF|>TeyRon: Certain Games in the past have had content released on retail disk but locked, Final Fantasy 11 and Phantasy Star universe to name a few, Does Hellgate:London have Locked content stored on the retail DVD but will become availible over time?
Answer: Everything that is finished and ready to be played is on the DVD. Our ongoing content is going to include a lot of new stuff, which we will be patching to players over the Internet.
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: mعћnӘs§: Is it possible to LAN or VPN the game so you can play with your buddies?
Answer: We don't include LAN support for security reasons. We really thought a lot about this, and it just wasn't feasible w/o opening the game up to a lot of security holes. You could always have your friends over and just play together over the 'net. Sounds silly maybe, but it totally works!
[Flagship] Taylor Balbi: Question: Lintor: WIll there be any cosplay like items, like Cat Ears or a Fox Tail to wear ingame
Answer: Currently there are some specialty items. Right now, as far as armor is concerned, we have the All Hallow's Visage. This is a horned skull that is on fire; a rare drop for subscribers during our Halloween event. We also have candy that makes you a ghost, sets you on fire, and a pet called Zombot that follows you around. We also have others planned for future events!
Bill Roper: Question: Lachlann: Come on, sneak this one in right before we are done: "How do you get to the Cow level in Hellgate London?" =)
Answer: Well, I haven’t seen anyone post about the hidden gem activation yet, so I guess you haven’t looked hard enough…
[Flagship] Amir: Question: dcurry: If I come to San Francisco what are my chances I can visit Flagship Studios and come in and look around???
Answer: You'll have to find us first! Hey, it'll be fun; like a game. We move offices every other week to fend off the hordes :)
[Flagship] Jordan: Question: Music in a game is important.. I havent played the beta.. But what do you thing about the musik.. Did you spend alot of time on it or did you focus on the game..
Answer: We agrree that music is very important. It really helps with immersion. That is why the audio team worked with Guy, our audio programmer, to create a dynamic music system that repsonds to the level of action on screen. It's a very complex system that required lots of tweaking by Dave. We are very happy with how the music sounds, and are looking forward to making the music playback even better..
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: Spartan109: What age group do you hope to attract and do you think that HG:L will attract new people in too gaming?
Answer: Well, our game is M-rated, so no one under 17 should be playing! ^_^ We want everyone to play the game. Diablo fans, console fans, non-gamers. I've had a lot of personal emails sent to me from people who weren't into games, but are intrigued by Hellgate. So far, looks like people are responding to the game on a variety of levels!
Bill Roper: Question: Q: 'cS.Innervision: will there be loads for guild to do together apart from just grouping for instances
Answer: We have a lot of things in the plans and works for guilds, and raid-level content is definitely on that list. We want people who enjoy the Guild experience to give us feedback on what they want so we can build this structure and game play around what they’re looking for in the way Hellgate: London plays.
[Flagship] Guy Somberg: Question: PilotMadnick: Will there be real books about Hellgate? Like Dan Abnett books or fantasy books
Answer: Yes! In fact, the first book (in what I believe is to be a trilogy) has already been released! Look out for "Hellgate: London Exodus" by Mel Odom at your local bookstore. (Listen to me: I sound like an ad!)
[Flagship] Amir: Question: Spartan-725: Will Hellgate take advantage of the Logitech G15's LCD screen like WoW does?
[Flagship] Guy Somberg: Question: Spartan-725: Will Hellgate take advantage of the Logitech G15's LCD screen like WoW does?
Answer: To provide more detail, yes. Right now it's just some basic stats info, but we're going to be looking at adding lots of fun new stuff in the future.
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: Dr@keen: Do you need the DVD in your drive to play or can you play without it ?
Answer: Not for multiplayer, but possibley for single-player. Haven't had a chance to use a retail copy yet! :P
[Flagship] Amir: Question: [BRQ] SUBZ3R0: What are the specs of the computers you are working on? Coding platforms, graphical workstations.... ?
Answer: I have two workstations: a Quad-core x64 Windows XP box with a 7900 and 3 GB RAM and a Vista x86 Dual-core box with an NVIDIA 8800 and an ATI 2900XT that gets interchanged.
[Flagship] Taylor Balbi: Question: [BRQ] SUBZ3R0: How old are you guys?
Answer: I'm the youngest at Flagship Studios and I just turned 21 on the 21st of October!
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: radu12345: There is also a bug where when you create your character and write with capital letters, you see your name exactly the opposite, lower-case. Are you able to fix it?
Answer: We noticed this, too. Expect a fix shortly.
Question: [BRQ] SUBZ3R0: How old are you guys?
Answers: [Flagship] Amir: 26
Bill Roper: I am 42
[Flagship] Kaiser: 28
[Flagship] LeeDot: I'm 30
[Flagship] Bill Manegold: I'm 23
[Flagship] Guy Somberg: 26.99
[Flagship] Jordan: I'm 25
[Flagship] Ether: 29 :)
Bill Roper: Question: <|CF|>TeyRon: Certain Games in the past have had content released on retail disk but locked, Final Fantasy 11 and Phantasy Star universe to name a few, Does Hellgate:London have Locked content stored on the retail DVD but will become availible over time? also, Trick or Treat
Answer: Treat, please!
We didn’t lock anyone out of any content with Hellgate: London. There are a couple of art and sound things on the disk that we were already working on for our first multiplayer patch when we went gold that we left on to reduce our initial patch size. We didn’t keep anything from our players, though - we strove to deliver a full experience to both our stand alone and free online players with the extra content being just that - extra.
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: Geezy: In all MMORPGS, bots/gold farmers eventually become a problem. What is your stance on bots and gold farmers, and how is the game set up to deal with them?
Answer: If we told you, we'd have to kill you. ^_^ We have ways to take care of these things.
[Flagship] Amir: Question: Source|Eorlas: For the devs that play on console, do you prefer 360, PS3, Wii?
[Flagship] Bill Manegold: ps3!
[Flagship] Guy Somberg: A: The mouse and keyboard is the only true controller
[Flagship] Taylor Balbi: A: Sega Saturn! lol jk, 360 probably for hte online community, Heavenly Sword makes me like the PS3 but I just haven't gotten around to buying one. And well, Wii for those awesome nights when you aren't "coherent" enough to play 360 or PS3 ^_^
[Flagship] Guy Somberg: Question: radu12345: There is also a bug where when you create your character and write with capital letters, you see your name exactly the opposite, lower-case. Are you able to fix it?
Answer: All things are possible.
Bill Roper: Question: DarkLegacy(DL): What kinds of ideas does that Flagship team have in mind in terms of new Classes? Are they arlready being worked on or is there braing storming still going on?
Answer: We’re throwing around a lot of ideas, which is really fun for us because a lot of people are getting involved. Some of them are pretty crazy, so it will be interesting to see what we can accomplish.
[Flagship] LeeDot: Question: cG| PowMia: Will there be player emotes in HGL ? What are they and how will they work ? Are they graphics (character movement), audio and written text in game. Eg "Time to die" numeric shortcut from D2 , or more /dance ?
Answer: We will be eventually adding player emotes in HGL in the form of player animations that respond to slash (/dance) or menu driven commands.
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: Spartan-725: What kind of content caused the ESRB to give you an M rating?
Answer: According to our seal, "Violence, Blood and Gore, and Mild Language." There's nothing insanely crazy in the game. ^_^
[Flagship] Amir: Question: b8y: Nerd question: Vi or Emacs?
Answer: Vi, baby!
[Flagship] Guy Somberg: vi!
[Flagship] Guy Somberg: vi > *
[Flagship] Bill Manegold: vi!
[Flagship] Taylor Balbi: A: 6!
[Flagship] Guy Somberg: He's not here, but Tyler would favor vi over emacs, too.
[Flagship] Amir: Question: [RoS]Geoxer: Bloods or Crips?
Answer: Isn't it Bloods or Crypts?
[Flagship] Amir: Question: [BRQ] SUBZ3R0: Are you guys currently in the same room?
Answer: Yes, we've been putting all our money into our server equipment, so we're all packed in a single 10x10 room :)
[Flagship] Kaiser: Question: [KOR]_Revelator: How will classes help each other out in cooperative multiplayer?
Answer: Some are better at long range, others at short range. Some have healing skills, other more offensive. And so on and so on. This vast variety of character combinations and skills can lead to so many ways to play the game.
Bill Roper: Question: Kasanizo: Is there a way to download the game (buying it) and not by a box?
Answer: Yes - the game is available for digital download through EA’s online store. If you go to http://www.hellgatelondon.com/
and click on the Buy NoW link in the lower left, it takes you there.
[Flagship] Amir: Question: b8y: With the rise of multicore do you guys use some of the modern higher level multi threading options such as OpenMP, or things like Building Blocks from Intel?
Answer: We're making use of multi-threading already with our file loading, particles, and wardrobe code. I doubt we'll use OpenMP. I personally am interested in looking into IBB further to take a more general approach to our multi-threading.
[Flagship] trish: Dr@keen: Ether and I are going to be "The Shining" twins
Bill Roper: Question: Kasanizo: And, is there a reason to keep being suscriber if you ended all game modes?
Answer: We are going to be continually adding content, so if we’re making stuff you want to get, areas you want to explore, game modes you want to experience or having events and contest you want in on, the answer is yes. We’ll keep people up to date on what’s going on currently and also what’s in the queue.
Bill Roper: Question: Kasanizo: And another question, I can't play the beta cause of my video card, i'll get a new one on 15th november, should i be able to play the beta then or i'll HAVE to buy the game or not playing it?
Answer: By November 15th our grace period for Beta testers will have ended. I’m actually working on a big post to explain how this works, but basically Beta testers can keep playing on their client until November 7th.
[Flagship] Guy Somberg: Question: radu12345: Are you planning on implementing special events with prizes, like Halloween and New Year's Day events ingame?
Answer: Yes, we're planning on doing themed content! Halloween content runs for this week, and then we've got a fun set of activites for Guy Fawkes Day. Other stuff is still in the planning stages, but keep an eye out for fun side-quests and items that you can do (or get)!
(Incidentally, All Hallow's Visage ROCKS THE HOUSE! - /want)
[Flagship] Amir: Bill, does the digital download include the movies?
Bill Roper: Tat is an EXCELLENT question!
[Flagship] Taylor Balbi: Question: colonelsanders64: Hey, I saw some info in the EULA (Yeah, some people read that) about a Lifetime Subscription. Whats the deal with that?
Answer: The lifetime subscription is an offer for those that preordered their copy of Hellgate: London. Not all regions have this available, but it is a single payment for a lifetime subscription (the game's lifetime not yours).
[Flagship] Guy Somberg: Question: Geezy: With the release of Hellgate London, do you see a long extended vacation in your future? Or will you be too busy working on new content/expansions/games?
Answer: The two are not mutually exclusive :)
[Flagship] LeeDot: Question: RYÅN: were people ever afraid to walk into your studio because of the absolutely creepy things you were working on?
Answer: I don't know about anyone being afraid to enter the office but I know my Dad's exwife annointed their computer with holy water after I showed my Dad some screenshots of the thigns I was working on one year when I was home for Christmas. :)
[Flagship] Amir: Thanks everyone! You guys freaking rule. I'm spent. Goodnight.
[Flagship] Guy Somberg: Bye everyone! Thanks for the great questions.
[Flagship] trish: Happy Halloween everyone!
[Flagship] Bill Manegold: Night everyone! Have fun tonight!
[Flagship] trish: thanks for participating
[Xfire] Chatteox: Ok, that concludes the chat with Flagship Studios! Thank You Very Much to our special guests and thanks everyone for participiating. Now onto the prizes:
[Flagship] Taylor Balbi: Have a great Halloween everyone, I'm headed out also! Thanks for chiming in! Rock ON!
Bill Roper: Thanks for the GREAT questions everyone. I wish we could stay on for a few more hours, but we've got a new game to take care of and some trick or treating to do!
[Flagship] Kaiser: Thanks guys/gals! Sorry if we didn't get to answer your questions. Happy Halloween! Be safe tonight, and see you online!!!!!! ^_^
[Xfire] Chatteox: 2 Copies of Hellgate London for Botteox Room;
[Xfire] Chatteox: 5 Copies of Hellgate London:
1. #-(00 Tony Brier
2. Insane Marine
4. [br8] Subzero
[Xfire] Chatteox: Grand Prize: 1 Copy of Hellgate London and Hellgate London Statute:
1. Robin de Tolens
[Xfire] Chatteox: PM ME IF YOU WON!!!!!