Minions of Mirth Interview, Part #1
Move over EQ, step aside UO, there's a new kid on the block- MoM. Ever wanted to take an online RPG and be able to play it single player? Have you ever thought how great it would be to host a living online persistent world and add your own custom content whenever you felt the need? Well soon you'll be able to, when Minions of Mirth a massively single and multiplayer RPG from Prairie Games is released on December 15.
Currently in Beta testing, this exciting project has a production team of only three people and is the brainchild of Josh Ritter who has been gracious enough to give up some of his very precious time to answer a few questions about the game. What's really exciting too, is that Josh actually plays the game online regularly and is there to help out newcomers. The advice he's given me has saved my life several times.
So, what sort of gaming experience do you enjoy? Do you like playing just one character? Do you prefer a party? Is your preference for first or third person perspective? All of these options are available to you, along with a multitude of classes and different races that are very customisable. Josh has gone out of his way to cater to as many tastes as possible while creating a fun experience in a vibrant world. I've certainly been enjoying both the single player and multiplayer experience, so it was a real pleasure for me to be able to spend some time with Josh discussing the game.
RPGDot: Josh, could we please have some background information on you, what you have done previously and why you decided to create MoM.
JR: I began programming games at the age of 9. I knew that I would be a game programmer after playing Ultima IV. I have 12 retail games and a few game engines to my credit. A few years ago, I decided to own an independent game studio and create games I wanted to play. MoM is the culmination of several years researching and prototyping. My responsibilities on MoM include: Producer, Technical Director, (Sole) Programmer, and Game Designer.
RPGDot: What particular games, if any, have been an influence on you and the direction you have chosen to take MoM?
JR: I'd have to say, Diablo, Everquest, Daggerfall/Morrowind, Neverwinter Nights, and Wizardry.
RPGDot: You advertise the game as being 'Massively Single Player'. Could you please elaborate on what you mean by this term.
JR: "Massively Single Player" in the sense that the game features a huge persistent world. You can create new characters at any time and swap them in and out of your 1-6 character party. We also provide access to global chat from inside the single player game. This allows players to trade tips and strategies while playing in their own world!
RPGDot: It's also an online Multiplayer game. How does this work and what sets it apart from other online games such as EQ?
Players can host their own worlds and mod the game's content and source code. When you host your own world, you can log into the game world as an Immortal. This gives you access to all sorts of special commands like controlling time, weather, monster spawns, etc. You can also setup other players as Immortals and Guardians to help administer your world. We provide the dedicated world server, full source to the game's RPG logic, and full source to the game's RPG database with a compiler, as a free download.
RPGDot: One of the novel things I've noticed with MoM, is the live update feature. Could you comment on this and your reasoning behind it.
JR: The live update feature allows us to patch new content, fixes, and other enhancements into the game at regular intervals. The game will continue to expand and be improved post launch via the live updating system.
RPGDot: Does the game have an interesting, or even epic storyline, or is it primarily a Hack and Slash exploration game?
JR: The game features "The Fellowship of Light" and "The Minions of Darkness" realms. The realms will each have a main storyline. Furthermore, there are class specific epic quests and many side quests. There is also PLENTY of hacking and slashing to be found.
RPGDot: I've noticed several quests are available very early on to the player and some can be attempted more than once. Could you please explain your design decisions with regard to these quests.
JR: There are some quests that can be repeated. We wanted to provide consistent opportunities to gain XP and political faction standing, especially at lower levels. This is important when starting the game over with perhaps a new character build and wanting to power level yourself up a bit.
RPGDot: Many of our readers are very interested in the technical aspects of a game, poly counts, resolutions, min specs etc. Perhaps you could give us a rundown on this in terms even a neophyte could follow.
JR: MoM runs on Windows and OSX. The game supports resolutions of 1024x768 and higher. We provide a number of graphics options to scale the game's system requirements. There are people playing the game on some pretty old gear. I would recommend downloading the demo and trying out different settings. As for a recommended system, a 1.6 ghz machine with 512+ megs of ram and at least a GForce3 should run the game quite well.
RPGDot: The music available in the game is superb. Would you tell us a little about what the players can expect. Feel free to drop in any other sound related information while you're at it.
JR: The game features 2 hours of original music composed by Ronald van Deurzen. The music is quite varied and really adds to the immersiveness of the game. We're very happy with the game's score.
RPGDot: One thing I've found very helpful, is the Global Chat option in both SP and MP. Will there ever be any option to add voice to this?
JR: I would like to see voice support added. We'll need to look at our options post launch. It would certainly require a stellar filtering system.
Stay tuned for Part #2, coming soon...