RPGDot Network    

Display full image
Pic of the moment
pics from the gallery

Site Navigation


   Games Database
   Top 100
   Release List
   Support Files



   Staff Members
   Privacy Statement


The Evolvers Interview

by Wouter 'Hyrrix' Ryckbosch, 2003-02-05

The Evolvers is a truly unique project, combining a tv series with a massive multiplayer online RPG. The game will be launched using a modular strategy with new modules being introduced to coincide with quarterly "TV Sweeps" period (November, February, May, and July). Today we had the opportunity to ask some questions to Neal Wiser, president of UltraPrime.

RPGDot: Could you tell us a bit more about the background setting of The Evolvers?

Neal Wiser: The Evolvers takes place in a really cool environment, a post-Singularity universe where the distinction between reality and virtual reality is blurred. The Singularity part refers to the Technological Singularity as proposed by Vernor Vinge. Vinge speculated that the rate of technological change will continue to accelerate until it exceeds our comprehension and ability to control. When you apply Artificial Intelligence and nanotechnology, things get really weird. In The Evolvers, you're going to have two groups; one who possesses technology they can't control and another who doesn't possess significant technology, and these two sides are going to come into conflict. Then, toss the whole enchilada into space and what you get is The Matrix meets Star Wars.

RPGDot: Who are "The Evolvers"?

Neal Wiser: Everyone is an Evolver; the characters in the TV show, characters in the game, the game players themselves, everyone watching the show and everyone who doesn't watch the show... Evolvers refers to the evolution, i.e. the growth, of everyone and everything. It's a big metaphor. However, in the context of the show and the game, it refers to the evolution, physical, spiritual and personal, of both the main characters of the game and TV series and the players themselves.

RPGDot: Will the game be level- or skill-based? Could you give us some examples of possible skills and/or profession classes that will be in the game?

Neal Wiser: It's going to be skill-based with, but with a unique character hierarchy which will change the popular notion of character class and governs how characters are created and played. Aside from the usual character line-up, you're also going to have many unique characters and a few specific professions which you'll only find in The Evolvers.

Display full image Display full image Display full image
RPGDot: Is the focus of the gameplay going to be solely on combat situations, or will there also be forms of other activities (like crafting, building, resource gathering, etc.)?

Neal Wiser: I'm a little limited by what I can tell you, but there's going to be a lot of interesting things to do in this game. That's one of the things that I'm really focused on because I want the game to be fun and digging holes in the ground for so-called precious metals or traveling forever across a lonely landscape isn't necessarily fun. Although there is going to be considerable need for combat, building a player's power base, which is the sum total of the player's experience, skills, wealth, etc., and their character's growth is more the focus.

RPGDot: What will the gameplay be like? Will it be more a traditional mmorpg or rather a space-combat mmog?

Neal Wiser: We're going to have both, but most of the game is going to be character-based RPG. We're certainly going to have starship battles, and although I love a good starship, I think that players enjoy games more when they can get into the character's skin, so to speak.

RPGDot: How do you plan on handling the PvP combat?

Neal Wiser: There's going to be a couple of different types of PvP combat. Some of this will include features which are designed to limit malicious player killing and will help to ensure that PvP combat is not too one sided. It's not going to so much level the playing field as just smooth it out. We're also going to have mechanisms in place which will protect players who don't want to be bothered by grief players. I think it's fairly innovative.

RPGDot: You mentioned before that players can actually play the role of a character from the series. How will that work? What if the actions of that player do not fit into the role of the character from the series?

Neal Wiser: I've developed a special mechanism that will allow the game player to play as a character from the TV show in any fashion that they choose. This means that they can play their character as the hero or the villain and it won't contradict anything in the TV series. It's pretty revolutionary.

Display full image Display full image Display full image
RPGDot: Making a television series costs a lot of time, so is it even possible to let the game have real impact on the series in a short period of time, or is there always going to be a delay in the interaction between the both? Will the players have to follow the storyline of the series, or can they directly control that storyline? If so, how could they achieve that?

Neal Wiser: The players and the fans are going to have multiple opportunities to participate through a series of strategies that I've developed. These strategies are going to enable participation at many different levels, so there're going to be plenty of opportunities to get involved. The ultimate expression of this is a mechanism which will indeed allow the players of the game to participate in the show in real time and their actions will become part of the story and the history of the series.

RPGDot: Is there a specific part of the project you consider to be the most difficult to overcome?

Neal Wiser: Aside from the whole thing...? ;) Actually, the whole project has been and will continue to be a wonderful challenge. Sure there are aspects that are or will be more of a challenge than other parts, such as getting the show on the air, but everyone has been amazingly receptive to the whole idea and we've always had strong forward momentum.

RPGDot: Could you tell us a little more about the team that will be developing the game?

Neal Wiser: Since we're an entertainment company, we're not going to be building the game ourselves. We've been evaluating developers who will build and manage the game and we're are actually close to selecting the final candidate. Check out our website at www.ultraprime.com for news on the developer selection.

Display full image Display full image Display full image
RPGDot: What will happen with the game when the television series end?

Neal Wiser: The best way to think of the relationship between the game and the TV series is that the game forms the core of the franchise and the TV series offers a brief window into that franchise. What you're going to see through this window is a story which will both drive and reflect events in the game. However, neither the game nor the TV series are dependant on the other and both can sustain themselves as stand-alone products. So regardless what happens to the TV series, the game will continue.

RPGDot: What are the chances that the game and series will be released outside North-America?

Neal Wiser: The game will definitely be available world-wide. It's too early to say what's going to happen to the TV series, but that will receive some sort of international syndication. There may be some issues regarding linking the game to the TV series internationally, but that's due to the different television infrastructures being employed all over the world.

RPGDot: Which part of this project is considered the most important for you personally: the series or the game?

Neal Wiser: That's like asking which of your children you love the most. Really, it's the whole thing. Although we're working on each of the major elements separately, that's just a function of project management. It's all inseparable to me.

All original content of this site is copyrighted by RPGWatch. Copying or reproducing of any part of this site is strictly prohibited. Taking anything from this site without authorisation will be considered stealing and we'll be forced to visit you and jump on your legs until you give it back.