|MMORPG.com speaks with Sigil's CEO Brad McQuaid about work on the company's forthcoming game Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.|
MMORPG.com: There is a lot of Lore the Vanguard website, how driven is the game by storyline and lore, and do quests have a dynamic effect on that lore?
Brad McQuaid: From the earliest conceptual stages, lore and back story has been a priority for us. Even our first low level design documents, written as far back as 2002, contain a lot of story about the setting and context of villages, cities, dungeons, regions and races. We also created a 40+ page document describing the history of the world which includes a chronology that goes back thousands of years.
From these initial documents, the design team added even more detail as they moved from mere concepts and initial design into actual population of the world. For example, a designer determines not only the layout and population of a dungeon, but also the storyline and theme behind the place and its inhabitants. We ask ourselves, why is this place here? Who originally built it? Who inhabits the area now and why? Who are their friends and enemies, and are they currently in conflict with another group? Faction also comes into play here. This information then influences the artists for concept and then creating the actual art assets. After that, it is built upon by those in the design team tasked with quests, diplomatic content and other spheres of gameplay.
In addition to the design work I just mentioned, we have a dedicated ‘lore team’. They work with the Design team and keep their eye on the original back story and setting documents. They’re the ones who write up stories that we put on our web site as we introduce the world and its history to players leading up to launch. This is done not only to give a sneak peak into the game world, but also to entice players to want to visit the places they’ve read about once they can actually play the game. It also provides additional context, especially with the more historical pieces that have been written. For example, why is there both a New and Old Targenor – what happened?
Ideally, we’ll continue this post-launch when the content being placed into the game is combined with what we release on web pages and becomes even more interleaved. We feel the right mixture of back story to read along with what’s happening in game, what you read through dialogs with NPCs, or the story behind the quest you are on, is very important.