Written by ValH on September
Now that the final release date for Amazon’s Age of Exploration MMORPG New World seems to be right around the corner, we get this big VentureBeat interview with the game’s developers that primarily focuses on New World’s technical side, but also the role of player feedback in the game’s development, among some other things.
Here’s a couple of questions to give you an idea for what to expect:
GamesBeat: A lot of this is behind the scenes, but I wonder if you can describe what they should notice about the technological innovation here. What are some things that they might not even see?
Lawrence: You hit it on the last part there. Ideally, players won’t notice anything specifically. Things will just work the way we intend. They’ll be surprised, hopefully, by what they’re able to do or what they’re able to experience in the game. From a technology standpoint, I firmly believe that technology should be largely invisible, other than enabling a game. It should be there to acknowledge the gameplay. In a couple places we’ve done that with Lumberyard.
We have an interesting graphical system for an MMO. I’m proud to say that many players have recognized that it’s a graphically rich MMO. Typically MMOs have compromises they have to make there — how much you can see on the screen, how much is going on. We have very large battles. Not the largest in the industry, but high fidelity for what they are. We have 100 people in a very tense, spells-and-swords fight. That’s quite an experience. I think people will see that and be surprised by how much is going on in the game. But hopefully they won’t be distracted by it. Hopefully that’ll just be the game, what’s appropriate for the game.
GamesBeat: What kind of technology enables that, where you have so much happening on screen?
Lawrence: It’s a combination of the backend servers, which are on AWS. That serves all our computational needs. New World is a very computational game on the backend. But we don’t want the players to perceive that there are a bunch of servers working hard to make this happen. We just want them to see a huge battle with a ton of stuff going on. That’s the preferable experience.
From a client technology standpoint, there’s a lot going on graphically. We have extremely far view horizons, for instance, up to four kilometers in the game. That’s pretty unusual for the fidelity we’re delivering. Simultaneously with that, we’ll have these giant battles and great experiences in expeditions, the things you would traditionally expect to do in MMOs. When you’re fighting another player or fighting with a bunch of other players, everything should be consistent, high-grade, easy to understand, and not disrupted in any way by technology issues.