|GamesDomain has conducted an interview with Artifact's Steve Escalante about his company's fantasy MMORPG Horizons.
Here's the opening Q and its A:
Games Domain: Horizons has been in development for a LONG time - how has your overall vision for the game changed since its conception?
Steve Escalante: Artifact Entertainment was started in October of 1999, that makes the company only three years old. The first funding was received in August of 2000. Prior to that no technology had been developed. So, the technology to build the world of Horizons (and other worlds) has been in development for two years. The technology reached the critical state that allowed production to begin in the summer of 2002. Contrast that with the five years that Turbine took to bring AC to market and the three plus years that Verant took for Everquest and I would say that LONG is subjective!
The founders of the company wrote down many ideas for a product called Horizons. Many of these ideas were very good and remain in the product today: diverse races, many roles to play, seamless world, interactive world, many methods for achieving goals, non-treadmill advancement, support for tradeskills, epic story with significant player involvement, player owned and managed communities, grand quests, and a huge world. The single biggest change has been the removal of non-consensual player killing. We will be approaching that gameplay element in a project that will be released after Horizons. A significant addition is the extent to which players can impact the world, not just other characters. A player can own their own property and then determine exactly what they would like to do with it.