Interview with Earthrise CEO


The WarCry Network
September 15, 2008

Please introduce yourself and explain your role at Masthead.

I’m Atanas Atanasov, CEO of Masthead Studios

With several space-themed MMOs on the horizon, how do you feel Earthrise will set itself apart from the others?

Earthrise has its own unique setting – a hybrid between a post-apocalyptic and technological sci-fi environment. It is a skill-based sandbox game with emphasis on PvP, crafting and player-run economics. The game will offer great deal of freedom, skill and item customizations, not seen in other MMOs so far. For example, players can switch affiliation by exercising certain actions. They can also go wherever they want in the world as long as they are not criminals. Players can attack other players even from their own faction. The skill customization will give thousands of options to everyone who wants to design the perfect ability template. The same goes with the item customization. Crafters can design items with numerous characteristics, which means that it will be very uncommon to see items that have the same characteristics.


What are Earthrise‘s most unique features?

Part of the answer was given in the previous questions. In addition I will add the territory conquest, which will be an epic battle for control of the island. Guilds will be able to conquer territories and build their own headquarters. The offline gameplay is another unique feature. It will give the possibility for players to generate income while their character is offline.

What have been the highlights in development?

The greatest highlight so far is the development of our own engine. Our level and game designers are finding it very easy to use and it is already paying its investment in time and resources. The rendering part of the engine is also a great achievement.

What have been the greatest challenges and how have those been overcome?

The greatest challenge so far was putting together all of the ideas and concepts that we have developed in the past 3 years without sacrificing content. Once we begin beta testing we will see the true effects of those decisions. We can’t wait for it.

Your website indicates that Earthrise will have a player controlled economy. How involved will Masthead be if the economy seems imbalanced?

No economy can be considered in permanent balance, but if there’s evidence of discrepancies in the economy, our team will be monitoring closely and analyzing development of the in-game market and will intervene to avoid critical situations.

Is Earthrise intended to be a primarily PvP or PvE world or some sort of hybrid?

Earthrise was developed as a title that is focused on Player vs. Player gameplay first, making PvP accessible and common spread in a world living under the constant threat of conflict. Players will be able to involve in personal PvP with the possibility of looting their opponents early on, and as they progress they will be introduced to territory conquest and siege gameplay. Still, PvE is there and will provide players with an engaging story to involve in a world made of many factions and organizations each with their own agenda and conflicting interests. It is safe to say that while PvE will offer countless hours of gameplay and it is second to the PvP experience, we will try to polish it to perfection.

Would you consider Earthrise to be a hardcore or a casual game or are there elements of both? What provisions have you made for hardcore players? And for casual players?

Unlike many MMO games on the market today, Earthrise strives to capture the growing audience of seasoned, hardcore players. Features such as looting your opponents, the extensive and complex crafting system, territory conquest on a massive scale, and a player-driven economy that poses problems for the player to solve will bring in players that are looking for more in an MMO. Still, involvement in all of those elements is not required to enjoy the game and casual players can simply become involved in the game’s solo-friendly storyline or enjoy casual, consensual PvP duels that serve as training ground for the extensive combinational combat system.

How is it a character can continue to progress even when logged out?

Like a citizen of a developed society, player’s character will be able to have a daily job and earn a steady income, even if the player is not logged on and actively playing the game. This income goes to support a portion of the character’s adventuring expenses and make it impossible for characters to go broke as long as the player finds a suitable job for their character that fits their expertise. Characters will be able to research and study different skills and professions, and use that knowledge to unlock different jobs. Each job earns Career Experience that goes towards unlocking Achievements with different rewards. The total career experience the player accumulates unlocks new and even more rewarding jobs further on.

What type of vehicles will be included?

Players will be able to buy or craft their own vehicle in the game, ranging from personal gliders to larger hovercrafts. These vehicles will be intended for transportation only. For combat purposes, players will be able to pilot mecha exoskeletons that are capable of dealing an incredible amount of destruction upon the enemy but require expensive fuel to be effective on the battlefield.

Can peripherals be used in Earthrise?

Yes, we will provide flexible key binding and game controllers can be bound to different game actions.

Will there be a beta for Earthrise?

Yes, we plan to start beta testing sometime in Fall this year

When do you anticipate beginning sign ups?

It is too early to tell. Before we begin with the sign ups, we want to make sure that the infrastructure is ready and the game is ready to be tested by people outside of our team.

How long will the beta last?

That will really depend on how long we will need to fix bugs and any issues with the game.

Please add any other tidbits/teasers.

The players will meet a lot of history during the game that dates back to the time before World War 3 until the emergence of the pioneers on the island of Enterra.

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