Stargate Worlds: Interview with Kevin Balentine

While at E for All Warcry had the chance to sit down with Kevin Balentine of Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment, to talk about Stargate Worlds (SGW). Stargate Worlds is Cheyenne’s upcoming Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG), based on the Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis TV series. With a huge fan base and a great show providing continuous content, we are getting excited to see where this Stargate takes us.

WarCry Interview: Stargate Worlds
Answers by Kevin Balentine (PR Manager, Cheyenne Mountain)
Questions by David Greene

Agnos (Exclusive Screen)

Agnos (Exclusive Screen)

Warcry: What are you trying to achieve for minimum system specs?

Kevin Balentine: We are heavily researching this to find out what are fan base has, and what will be the average machine our game will be played on. SGW is based on the Unreal engine, and is by design very scalable. We want to shoot for the widest variety of end user PCs.

Warcry: Everyone is very happy with the team’s decision to allow other playable races beyond humans. What can you tell us about some of the changes to the races that we might not have seen in the series?

Kevin Balentine: Those familiar with the series will know the Goa’uld. The Goa’uld are these parasites that enter into a host, have godlike tendencies, and even godlike powers. If you watched the series you know that late in season 9 there was an episode called Strong Hold where Baal is talking to Teal’c. Baal is on a tangent were he believes that the Goa’uld need to rethink the whole god portrayal. The Goa’uld of Stargate Worlds have followed this line of thinking. They are still megalomaniacs, and lust for power; they have just stopped pretending to be gods.

Jaffa Tent (Exclusive Screen)

Jaffa Tent (Exclusive Screen)

Warcry: We have started to see a lot of concept art showing tools. What can you tell us about the crafting system in Stargate Worlds?

Kevin Balentine: Crafting in SGW follows what you see in the TV series very closely. Crafting in SGW is about upgrading your weapons, computers, and other devices with alien technology. There will be multiple tech trees like human tech tree, Goa’uld tech tree, and Asgard tech tree. When you find technology that is from outside your tech tree you will be able to reverse engineer it, the item will be destroyed but you will gain the ability to use that type of tech in what you are developing.

Warcry: We know that the classic races will make an appearance, but can we expect to see such races as the Ori?

Kevin Balentine: When we launch the game we are focusing on the earlier episodes, and as such the Ori would not be part of that context. Most of what the player will be part of is a pre-Atlantis setting. There has been a lot of talk about making Atlantis our first expansion pack. The Ori don’t appear in the time period we have chosen, but that does not mean they won’t appear down the road. We want to be clear that we are not retelling the story of Stargate, we are giving the player a chance to make a new story.


Warcry: What kind of communication do you have with the writers and team that worked on the television series?

Kevin Balentine: We have Wright and Cooper’s thumbs up on everything we are doing. We send them what we are working on, and we are on the script distribution for the show.

Warcry: What can you tell us about PvP in SGW?

Kevin Balentine: PvP will be part of our world. PvP is something that has been growing over time but we are not ready to release any final details as of yet.

Warcry: Has there been any challenges to using the Unreal Engine?

Kevin Balentine: The Unreal engine was designed to handle 16 players, and small environments. I don’t want to say they are static but they are not MMO environments. One of the biggest hurdles was to marry that technology to BigWorld technology, which is our infrastructure. Getting the two to work together was a non-trivial task and something we are very proud of.

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Warcry: The big question on the lips of the fan base is, when can we see beta invites being to happen?

Kevin Balentine: We want to launch next year, so that in its self should give you an idea, but we are not announcing beta as of yet.

Warcry: How well does gate technology translate into an MMO?

Kevin Balentine: Gate technology seems almost made for MMO’s. In a standard MMO you might get a quest to kill ten wolves, you travel this great distance to kill the wolves only to find out that you have to go back there to kill something else. The gate compresses all that walking and can put the player nearly to where the action is. We are not limited by geography like some MMO’s, because we are not limited to continents on a single planet. When we want to add new content we can just add new gate addresses. The gate also gives us the ability to combine both instanced and persistent areas.

Warcry: What plans are in place for adding content after launch?

Kevin Balentine: We will have a very robust live team in place once we launch. Content and gate addresses will be added on a regular basis. Our hope is that a player will not have the same experience if they play to level cap, and then replay that same progression again. The worlds themselves will evolve with the player’s progression also. A world that is a paradise in one level range might be a wasteland in another, like the story of Tollana from the series.

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