Each week on Darkfall WarCry, Tasos Flambouras, Associate Producer of Darkfall, will be joining us with a journal, discussing and illuminating the development process and decisions along the road to completion. Today, we are proud to share with you the first of these journals, in which Tasos opens a window into Aventurine, the development studio behind the game.
I’ll use this journal to share a little information about our company, and about the project’s background:
While most of this information has been communicated in the past, Aventurine seems to remain a mystery and a point of discussion for some of the Darkfall community. It reminds me of an “America’s Army” developer who visited us at our offices and said something like “wow this looks like any other development studio in the US”. I’m not sure what he was expecting.
Aventurine was originally formed to fund and publish Darkfall. The development team was in Norway, at the time it was four developers working on design, concepting, and prototyping. While working with Razorwax to put the development team together we realized how high the operating costs, and the cost of living is in Norway. We decided to move our activities to Greece under Aventurine to get more game for our money. It took a while to organize and assemble the team and to get into full production which started about three and a half years ago. Aventurine was now developing the technology, the tools, and the game. At the time this project started there was no technology available that would allow us to do what we wanted, so everything had to be made from scratch.
Our unofficial tagline and battle cry for Darkfall development is “No compromise”. We’ve had vertical slices of the game before, and we considered moving towards a launch a couple of years ago. We didn’t go forward because, to put it simply, we all knew we could do so much better if we gave it more time, and we had the resources to do so. I believe that the resulting game can stand up to any MMO out there and it’s much more than the game we originally committed to making.
Aventurine currently employs 24 developers in-house and six professional contractors. The staff is international from Norway, Greece, Italy, the UK, the US, Denmark, and France. Its activities, other than Darkfall, are research into game and simulation technologies. We’ve also advised war-game simulation military projects in the past through other companies in our group, activities that have given us some valuable perspectives to be used in game development. The company also sponsors and supports sporting events, athletes, and competitive gaming tournaments. Aventurine is organized under the laws of Greece and the European Union as an S.A. Corporation.
Not wanting to sign off without any Darkfall current info, as you know from our last status update, we have Darkfall up on remote servers and we’re running a demo of it for prospective partners. What I can share at this time is that everyone who’s tried it out made a point of telling us how much fun they had playing it. We’re very happy to hear this, especially since we’re not looking to make the demo fun, rather to just demonstrate functionality. The closest I can dare to describe the current experience is that Darkfall plays like a massive fantasy “Battlefield”.
We’ll hopefully have a chance to talk more about the game itself in the next journal here on Warcry. Until then, have a good one.
Tasos Flambouras, Associate Producer – Darkfall
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