Second Release from InnoGames: News about "The West"
Tribal Wars surely is one of the most successful PBBGs there is. Millions of players connect through the game and enjoy leading their own tribe. InnoGames is now working on a born-and-bred RPG as its successor. We have had the chance to speak with CEO Eike Klindworth and get some interesting new details...
Eike Klindworth: Hi! My name is Eike Klindworth. I am co-founder of InnoGames and responsible for everything related to graphics and design. I'm currently coordinating the development of our latest title "The West".
Galaxy-News: You currently presented the first information about your second game. The West is going to be a roll-playing game based in the Wild Wild West. You can say this is about the opposite of Tribal Wars, which could be called a classic strategy-PBBG. Why the change?
Eike Klindworth: The West is also adressed to new players who aren't interested in strategy games. I do play and love RPGs myself and it's a great challenge for us to create a thriving persistant RPG.
Galaxy-News: The classical RPG setting would be a fantasy world with dragons and wizards. Do you think the typical RPG-player is going to switch to being a gunslinger?
Eike Klindworth: Most important for a role-playing game is to present and offer a personality, that players can identify with. Instead of knights, wizards or thieves within a fantasy world, the wild west offers cowboys, Indians, trappers or cardshapers. Challenging other players to a duel is another aspect a fantasy world can not provide. Another factor is, that clothing is not hierarchically structured. But we were still able to implement more than 200 different items.
Eike Klindworth: The West obviously allows you to choose your own character, who can be trained and improve skills. Therefore your character has to work. The map is filled with possible jobs and activities. These can be activated through reaching certain goals within the game. E.g. At the beginning you can lumber wood, whereas later on you can attack stagecoaches.
Another possibility to get experience points, dollars and items is to use quests to develop character depth and reveal the world setting. Nevertheless activity will be rewarded.
Galaxy-News: What is your personal highlight within the game? What are you proud of?
Eike Klindworth: There are two things in particular: The first thing is the technical implementation of a completely scrollable map that even includes a live view on what the other players are doing. The second thing are towns. Players can ally and build a complete imfrastructure. There will be nine different buildings, each of them with a unique advantage for the allies. E.g. a bank allows you to save money from enemies. The cool thing is, that you aren't able to build up a town on your own. You will need a good teamwork to create a thriving city out of the small shanty town.
Galaxy-News: How are you going to bring all that in a browser? What technology are you using and why? When did you start working on "The West"?
Galaxy-News: How are you going to make money? Are you jumping on the item-sales bandwaggon or will you stick with the good old premium account?
Eike Klindworth: Our plan is to implement several possible premium accounts. These accounts will also give you certain small in-game advantages, which is different to our current strategy used within Tribal-Wars. We don't want the person spending the most money being ranked first, that is why we decided not to use item-selling.
There is no fixed date yet. We are currently playing an internal alpha. The gameplay is close to perfect and for the next month we are concentrating on bug fixing and balancing. The team is great anda launch in Januar 2008 is possible.
Galaxy-News: Thanks for the interview and good luck with your game!
Interview originally given for: Galaxy-News.de