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Earthrise to be launched in Q2 2010

Klassa visits Masthead Studios before the launch of their first online game

  • Автор: klassa.bg
  • Date: 18.12.2009
  • Views: 3076112

Mihail Rangelov

The feeling of space is the first thing experienced by each player who enters the world of Earthrise – the debut game of Masthead Studios. One of the biggest advantages of the title is that the authors are not afraid to bring out the story into the open space. This favorable fact puts to a serious test the entire engine of the game made by the developers. It must be admitted that even before the optimisation is done, the game goes at almost 60-70 frames per second on the huge terrain for mass combats. Moreover, it is played on a two-year old computer.

"It is precisely our striving to achieve this effect, which was the reason to delay the schedule for the launch of our product," acknowledged Atanas Atanasov, CEO of Masthead. "In general, we are lagging behind by six months. But it was worth it because the game already looks much better," explained he while the figure of his hero was running around the 80-meter futuristic cannon. Atanasov does not hide that the software rewriting is mostly a result of the fans' reaction to the original in-game movies, shown by the company. "Despite the praises we received, there were a few quite disappointed fans. We had two choices - either to run the game in the original version, or to wait and make it much better," explained he.

More than a year has elapsed since our last visit to the Masthead office but the outcome is already clear - there is an almost finished product, which only needs fine-tuning. Attention has been paid to every detail, including the stalks of grass, swinging in the wind.

Date of release - Q2 - 2010

According to Atanasov, the actual release date for the game market is the second quarter of 2010. Before this, tests are at hand. The so-called "closed beta test (CBT)'' is expected to be held between February and March. Until then, the game will be tested and set by the team of the company. In one specific day each week, the entire team of the company gathers in the office and plays for a few hours. It is curious that even employees on leave also come to play but nobody wants to go home, even if the working hours are over.

The expectations of the Masthead team are to have about 70-80,000 initial subscribers to the game. These figures are commensurate with similar titles for the industry. Unlike others, however, all players will be located in one place. "At first, we plan to have only one server as the world of Enterra is really enormous. Possibly, we can open up another server to the USA because of the time difference," specified Atanasov.

The team players to win

The team game will play a significant role in Earthrise. If the players unite in guilds, it will bring them many bonuses - opportunities to participate in massive combats, sieges, conquering territories. Since the economy in the game will be entirely run by the players, the controlling of zones - sources of resources will carry a number of advantages to the relevant guilds. The zones themselves can be modeled by the leader of the controlling clan. He will be able to build different buildings and fortifications to protect it from assaults.

Profession game-designer

Even the virtual world must have a clear set of rules. The role of "God" in Earthrise is performed by Apostol Apostolov. He is the man who creates the mathematical models in the game, which are later implemented by programmers. Apostolov himself explained that, before he began to build the content of Earthrise, he was a journalist dealing with role playing games (RPG). The most important role in the project, however, is his. He must find the right balance of everything in Earthrise. "If we release the game and a serious imbalance is found - this is a bug, which is quite difficult to remove," explained Apostolov.

Economy – everybody's responsibility

Earthrise is a game in the so-called "sandbox mode". This means that each player has complete freedom of action and is not obliged to comply with any tasks set by the game designer. Actually, Masthead provides the players with a virtual world but the actual rules are determined by the relations between them. That is why it is very important to have a balanced economy. The manufacturing of weapons, armor and ammunition depends entirely on the participants themselves. According to Apostolov, it is completely normal for the problems of the real economy to be transferred to the virtual world. "My realistic expectations are of no inflation, even for a slight deflation to occur given the parameters we have set," explained he.

Shoot out

After a considerable lull, the company decided to reveal some of its secrets. In the last six months, only partial screenshots were released. Masthead officials have decided to make a PvP-movie using the game engine, which is expected to happen as early as next month. Klassa daily even received a special invitation to join the combat, footage of which will be used for the new video. And our victory over the creators of the game in fair combat would be a better advertisement than anything else.

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