Written by BossSolidSnake; PSHG Editor and Team Writer
I recently sat down with a friend of mine, who has been in the gaming industry for a long time, to discuss the state of things as well as discuss his current project. Since he wishes to remain anonymous, we will simply refer to him as “Mr. White”.
Mr. White: Midway working on the original Mortal Kombat (can be seen in a crew pic of the Dev Team during the credits on the arcade machine version), Blizzard working on World of Warcraft, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) working on Star Wars Galaxies, worked on Thrones of Chaos (guild based MMO ie Guild Wars) before it got cancelled, and helped develop the XOX Engine (first FPS engine, sold to iD Software for use in Wolfenstein 3D).
Mr. White: Let me preface with this statement, I don’t play well with others. That being said, the company I disliked least was BioWare because the people were cool to hang out with and the environment was very relaxed. As far as the company I disliked the most, it is laundry list too long to go into but as an example, there was Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill where I had a supervisor that made it his personal mission to make my life hell while I worked there.
BossSolidSnake: What is the most interesting way that you were ever recruited for a job?
Mr. White: I received a call from Bill Gates in an attempt to get me to bring the project I was working on at the time to Microsoft, which I declined because I had a conscience and refused to ripoff the company I was working for.
BossSolidSnake: As someone that has been around the industry for a while, what are your top 5 favorite games?
Mr. White: Star Wars Galaxies, Final Fantasy XI, Dungeon Keeper 2, Startopia, and Burnout Paradise.
Mr. White: A contract through SOE doing different projects for the application, which led to later projects on other games.
BossSolidSnake: How did the sale of LucasArts to Disney effect your work with SWG?
Mr. White: It didn’t with my original work on it. When SWG started to go under, LucasArts had basically signed a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order on it which led to a group named SWG:EMU hosting clients since the main servers weren’t active anymore. When asked to stop, after the sale to Disney, they basically told LucasArts to take a flying leap since the loophole caused by the DNR made SWG exempt from the sale since it had basically been written off as non-existent.
BossSolidSnake: What led to the downfall of the original SWG?
Mr. White: Constant nerfing of skills and unannounced changes after release of Pub9 (Publish 9) and NGE (New Game Experience) such as making it where anybody could be a Jedi instead of having to work hard to earn it. They lost a majority of their players after the release and what can be best called money motivated bad choices.
Mr. White: Working with Star Wars Galaxies: A New Hope (SWG:ANH) on a server connection app that allows regular SWG clients to play on the server as well as building their website (SWGANH.com) and server registration site.
BossSolidSnake: How did SWG:ANH come about?
Mr. White: A couple of guys who used to be with SWG:EMU that left because of how EMU handled LucasArts and also because the server was a broken P.O.S that has been repeatedly patched to the point of being practically unusable.
BossSolidSnake: What stage is SWG:ANH at?
Mr. White: A beta server, working out any issues that may come up until everything is up and ready. We’re at Beta 1.6, Beta 2.0 should be available by February and we will start allowing select players on to help test.
Mr. White: If nothing happens to delay it, Summer 2013.
BossSolidSnake: What are the top 3 reasons someone should play SWG?
Mr. White: It has a true open world, a huge community, and because it’s friggin’ Star Wars.
BossSolidSnake: What are your thoughts on nerfing of games in general?
Mr. White: That it is done when it isn’t required and not done when it is required.
BossSolidSnake: What are your thoughts on the game industry today?
Mr. White: Games are too cookie cutter, no originality, games are based on greed not user’s ability to control the action. Too many people who have no business making games because they are relying on other people’s work to do it.
BossSolidSnake: Any final comments or shout-outs you’d like to make?
Mr. White: Advice to future developers – Don’t do it for the money, do it for the love of the game. Money is a by-product of a good game, it is not the by-product of a copied game.
I would like to thank Mr. White for his time and encourage anyone that enjoys Star Wars Galaxies to check out SWGANH.com and keep an eye on it because it sounds like it is going to really be something great when it is ready to go.