Interviewed by Matthew_P
Can you explain who you are, and what part you play within the development of World of Pirates please?
I'm Hardy Winter, my job is client and web programming, also I'm responsible for the community support.
Who came up with the idea for the game?
On a evening in winter 1999 Uwe (the server programmer) and me talked about good ol' times with the Amiga (Commodore). We played often games like Pirates! and Civilization and other well known pearls. Since there was no really worthy follower for Pirates! available until this time, we decided to make one. It is just that simple like it sounds :-).
Why pirates? - its a strange choice of scenario, although pretty abused videogame-wise...
I had no clue that Pirates! is a abused scenario. We imagined that it would be funny to play a Pirates-Game with many players at the same time. Since our website is online, we got an overwhelmed response from the community. The most people are enthusiastic about the theme and can't wait to play. But our game is not only about Pirates, it is about the Caribbean in the 17th century. So you can be a simple merchant or a governor too, building and managing your own city.
Is there any plot behind the game? If so, can you summarize it a bit?
There's no general plot behind the game yet. It will be a living world, where the players decide in which direction it will be developed. After the release we will add a story support for the players character. Every single character can get his own story which he will live in the game with special quests etc. Therefore we include the possibility to add new stories/quests by the community itself.
What about the game world, how wide is it, how many towns it includes, are there NPC players and what else should our readers know about World of Pirates world?
The actual world map has a size of about 2000x1500 screens. It will take a very long time to sail over the whole map. There are about 100 towns available but since players can build own ones this count may increase over time. There are also NPC ships available which can be attacked or traded with. They also protect some important towns, e.g. where new players start.
How many players are currently supported?
The world is big enough for thousands of players. When more space is needed we simply increase the world maps size.
Have you got already a network of servers worldwide?
At the moment there is only the betatest server (located in Germany) available. We will adjust server power and internet connection depending on the count of players.
Which part of writing World of Pirates is the most fun?
Since game programming is already the best job I can image, I'm very happy with it. But the most interesting part for the whole team is to see how the game evolves and expands.
Who is the game aimed at?
The game will be simple to understand for players that already played Pirates!. But mainly the game is interesting for people that like the time of the 17th century with many adventures and not much law.
At which stage of the development process are you with World of Pirates?
Now we are in the second stage of the closed beta test. In the first stage we checked hardware/engine issues and now we implement all features that are needed for the release version. In the third stage we will balance the game (maybe as open beta test).
What are the future plans for World of Pirates?
We have many ideas to expand the game. But mainly the players should decide what is needed next. Therefore we have setup the idea database on our website where everyone can follow the further development progress after the release.
How does World of Pirates compare to other MMORPG like Ultima Online i.e.? Which features are unique to World of Pirates in the wide world of MMORPGS?
The scenario is the most unique feature, I think. There are no other MMOGs with this theme *running* at the moment. Building and managing own towns may also be unique. Additionally we will give clans the possibility to setup their own isles using our world editor. Together with story/quest creation the community has powerful "mod" possibilities for the game. But these are also future plans dated for after the release.