The interview with Carpenter, who also served as the lead designer on Fury, covers a wide range of topics, from the early days of Fury’s development to problems with the game’s beta program and the decision to use the Unreal Engine 3. Early reports of the layoffs at Auran, which indicated the company was facing financial trouble as a result of Fury’s failure to perform, are also discussed.
Speaking about the large number of users invited to the Fury beta test, Carpenter said, “Unfortunately, I think that the volume of players required has hurt us all along. In order to get players, we made alpha/beta keys available pretty freely. Players aren’t used to this, as anything free on the internet must suck. Hence a lot of people coming in were already negatively predisposed and when they saw the state of the game, they left with an absolutely horrid opinion.”
“Looking back and with “perfect knowledge,” I wouldn’t have done Fury Challenge as a competition/tournament for Fury’s open beta,” he continued, referring to the tournament that took place immediately prior to Fury’s launch that included a prize pool of over $1 million. “It really changed the mindset of a lot of players and, ultimately, I think it caused more problems than it was worth. A lot of uber-competitive and highly skilled players who wouldn’t have normally played Fury came in and they drove a lot more of the more casual players off.”
Among many other topics, Carpenter also addresses what he perceived as a lack of passion among some members of the Fury development team, and talks about some of the lessons he took away from the experience. The full text of the interview is available here.