Seed: Runestone's CEO Lars Kroll sits down with The Escapist

Julianne Capps | 12 May 2006 18:55
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I had the opportunity to sit down with Lars Kroll, the CEO of Runestone, the people working on Seed. I went into this meeting, not knowing quite what to expect from people creating an MMOG with no combat. I mean, what does one do without battle?

Role-play. At least that's what the Seed developers were aiming for, says Kroll. Runestone created a world where players could where players can curry favor with NPCs, run for player-elected positions and potentially sabotage other players' activities. That last one is not something Runestone put in a specific mechanic to accomplish, but Kroll says with a sly smile that some players might be able to figure some ways to wreak havoc in the world.

The favor system works with a favor currency of nuggets. If you complete a task for an NPC, they give you a favor nugget, which you can trade in at a later time for a favor from that NPC. Of course, my mind starts running with the idea and I ask about trading these nuggets to other players, in effect becoming a power broker. I'm already planning out my rise to the top, becoming the first Godfather (mother?) of Seed, when Kroll tells me this is not yet possible, but may be, once they iron out the details. Glad to hear that, as this would be a ripe place for virtual property buyers/sellers to jump in and really control the game.

Along those lines, we asked Kroll his thoughts on virtual property. As the game is now, he doesn't see any way that buying virtual property would give an advantage in game. This makes sense, as the game isn't really about getting loot, but more about gaining social currency. And the only way to do that is through interaction and role-play - which is what they were going for in the first place.

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