The Obsolete Gamer Show: John Robert Matz


We’re talking video game music with award-winning composer, John Robert Matz. He recently earned at GANG award for the indie game, FOSSIL ECHO and has worked on a number of games such as Artemis and Gunpoint. A lover of games both modern and classic, we personal enjoyed discussing his work on Final Fantasy Tactics.

John Getty: Exato Game Studios

exato game studios logo

Name: John Getty

Company: Exato Game Studios

Profession: Executive Producer & Lead Game Designer

Favorite Classic Game: Final Fantasy Tactics

Quote: “It’s all about the game.” – Ernie Calhoun, Video Game High School

Bio: As an entrepreneur and gamer by nature, I always wanted to create video games. It started very early in middle school as I modded games like Starcraft and Command and Conquer: Red Alert, then dabbled a little in RPG Maker and flash. When I got to college, I met a good friend who shared a similar interest and with very little deliberation (we were both very excited), we started Exato Game Studios.

guncraft

Project: Guncraft

Project Info: Guncraft is a voxel-based first person shooter that boasts fully destructible environments, the ability to construct individual blocks or full structures in a single click, tons of killstreak rewards such as helicopters, tanks, jetpacks, bunker buster missiles, drones, and turrets, and a fully featured map creation tool that also features a voxel map importing function (using the Substrate C# engine). Play traditional modes like Deathmatch and CTF, or totally unique modes like Lava Survival, Siege Mode, and the coop-enabled Onslaught Mode. On top of that, there are standalone servers, peer hosted servers, clan support and friends lists, in and out of game chat, leaderboards, and much, much more.

Fallen Earth Q&A

Fallen Earth logo

Fallen Earth Q&A

Tired of swords and sorcery, of level and faction grinds, of dragons and dungeons, well welcome to the apocalypse. Fallen earth combines the depth of a role-playing game with the action of a first-person shooter all set against a post-apocalyptic earth in the year 2156. This online game brings you all the things you like about MMO’s like player advancement, gear and weapons, crafting and clans and kept out the things people hate like grinding for gear and long boring raids.

Recently Fallen Earth released their state of the game address discussing such issues as PVP, new contact and end game raids. Obsolete Gamer had a chance to talk with Marie Croall, Senior Game Designer on Fallen Earth about the game and the coming changes.

Let’s begin with the basics for those who may not be familiar with Fallen Earth. The game is a hybrid of First Person Shooters and Role Playing Games, can you tell us about this combined dynamic?

 

Marie Croall: All of our weapons use a reticle that you need to have on your target in order to hit them, once you hit them we resolve damage based on stats, skills and resists.

 

 

So in a nutshell, the Shiva virus began to spread across the world and nuclear war broke out leaving a wasteland, sounds like the perfect setting for a story. Can you tell us about the world players will find themselves in?

 

Marie Croall: Fallen Earth takes place 150 years in the future; humanity has just gotten to the point where they are starting to rebuild when clones (players) start showing up. To some, the clones are the solution to all their problems, but to others the clones represent something to be feared or worse – exploited.

 

There are factions the players can join, each one showing how different mindsets handle the fall of civilization: There are the CHOTA—wasteland barbarians dedicated to returning to the “old ways,”  Enforcers—descendants of military and police forces trying to keep up  traditions, Techs—scientists, scholars and engineers, Lightbearers – spiritual healers trying to calm the warring world, Travelers—racketeers and con men out for their own profit and the Vista—guerilla warriors bent on stopping the exploitation of  the healing Earth.

 

Each faction has its own allies and enemies, but there is no guarantee that any member will be friendly. Clones have to watch their backs pretty closely in FE.

 

 

Now some fans liken the world to Fallout. We know post-apocalyptic lands are not owned by any one game, but were there any influences on Fallen Earth from Fallout or other post-apocalyptic games?

 

Marie Croall: We’re all huge fans of the Fallout games, but most of our inspiration came from post-apoc and dystopian books and films.  It’s a genre we’re all very much into and favorites range from “A Boy and His Dog” and “Road Warrior” to “Six String Samurai.”  We’re also pretty addicted to the Post-apoc shows on the History and Discovery channels.  “Life After People” and “The Colony” are two of the more entertaining ones.

 

 

 

Can you give us a breakdown of customization and progression in Fallen Earth?

 

Marie Croall: We are a classless system. As the player gains experience they gain AP which they can put into any of the attributes or skills.  At level 15, players can select a faction, start participating in Conflict towns and begin to develop mutation lines if they choose.

We have a fairly extensive crafting system—about 95% of items are crafted. Scavenging and exploration are large parts of the world and the player experience.

 

Now the world is open and as far as PVP, there are arenas or you can flag yourself PVP and fight other flagged players, is that correct?

 

Marie Croall: There are actually three different ways you can participate in PvP. You can flag yourself for world PVP at all times, you can enter Blood Sports or you can enter an open PvP zone out in the world.  The open world PvP zones are usually found with conflict towns (settlements players can fight to control for their faction), or Faction Control Points. Taking a town generates merchants and questors specific to the controlling faction, gaining control of the Faction Control Points gives a buff to faction members.

 

What would you say is the learning curve to play Fallen Earth; do you have to be a MMO or FPS pro?

 

Marie Croall: There is a bit of a learning curve, but we’ve worked very hard to make sure that the game is challenging rather than frustrating.  Our player base has MMO players, FPS players and those who are new to both genres.

 

Fallen Earth - Gameplay Screenshot

Can you tell us a little about Terminal Woods?

 

Marie Croall: Terminal Woods is a bit of a bridge between Kaibab and Alpha County. It’s got quite a bit of mission content and introduces players to the Scavenger Bosses—group encounters that players will be able to craft a lure for the Boss. Rewards from the bosses can be used to upgrade existing gear.

Can you give us a hint about some of the long-term projects you plan to add in Alpha County?

 

Marie Croall: We’ve got quite a few new features coming. Progress Towns, settlements that players can build and defend, World Events and a crafting augmentation system are some of the new features we will be adding.  We will also be expanding our skills set with two new skill lines for players to add to their builds.

How important has feedback from the community been to the Fallen Earth team?

 

Marie Croall: We work very hard at reaching out to our players, getting their feedback and incorporating it in a way that works for our design and for the benefit of the community as a whole.

 

Can you tell us about Blood Sports and the changes you are working on?

 

Marie Croall: The changes we are implementing for Blood Sports revolve around fixing stability and team creation bugs.

 

About raid content, in your state of the game address you talked about not wanting the have people grind raid instances for gear, what would be a raid style that you feel would fit with Fallen Earth?

Marie Croall: Although we want to maintain the strategic element to battles. we will be focusing on smaller team size  and goals that fit well with the existing Fallen Earth systems.  It’s important to provide compelling motivation.

 

Can you give us a bit more info on the large-scale instance you are working on to be release post Alpha County?

 

Marie Croall: I can show you some concept art, but further info gets a bit spoiler-y.

 

What are some of the classic games the Fallen Earth team likes to play?

 

Marie Croall: While not all of these may be classics in a traditional sense, our list includes: D&DDonkey Kong,  Final Fantasy Tactics,  Super Mario, Madden Football, Russian roulette, Planescape: Torment, Ultima games, Diablo, not to mention board game nights that include Dominion, Carcassone, Infinite City, Dungeon Lords, Cash & Guns, Civilization, and Castle Ravenloft.

There you have it. If you are looking for a new experience in the MMO world then Fallen Earth is right up your alley. You can pick up Fallen Earth using their Online Download for about twenty bucks. The subscription fee for Fallen Earth is $14.99 monthly.

Check out our Gamer Profiles on some of the Fallen Earth team members:

Jessica Harper

Marie Croall

 

 

POD: Crystal Defenders

Crystal Defenders Logo
Crystal Defenders Logo

Crystal Defenders is the tower defense game based on the Final Fantasy Tactics series from Square Enix. The game is very fun and easy to learn. In a nutshell, monsters will come in through one area and make their way down a set path. You job is to place characters along the side of the path to kill the monsters before they reach your crystal. You can place characters that do damage or slow the monsters among other things and you can pause the game in order to plan your defense.

The game itself has been on mobile phones for a few years now and was ported over to the PS3 and Xbox 360. Now the game is available for Android users. CRYSTAL DEFENDERS for Android will have two versions: W1, an introduction of the game, and W2, in which players can utilize the Power Crystal feature to play more strategically.

The cost of the game will be between seven and ten dollars. The pictures below are from the Ps3.

Obsolete Intros: Final Fantasy Tactics

Final Fantasy Tactics logo
Final Fantasy Tactics logo

A true fan favorite, FFT incorporates a battle system that is not found within the RPG. While the turn base battle system is still in place the world is a series of tiles where the player moves toward the enemy.  Your actions are based on your class and you can choose various roles from the Final Fantasy world including black and white mages, summoner’s and thieves.

Your story takes place in Ivalice after a long standing war with its two neighboring nations. Not only are you dealing with rebuilding, but economic and political issues as well. After the death of the king a regent is put into place splitting the kingdoms allegiance in two which leads to the Lion War. Your main character is Ramza Beoulve a highborn cadet who finds himself in the middle of the war.

Olivier Vermeille: Zallag

Zallag logo
Zallag logo

Name: Olivier Vermeille

 

Company: Zallag

 

Profession: Marketing & PR Manager

 

Favorite Classic Game: Final Fantasy Tactics (PlayStation)

 

Quote: The first game I remember playing was a game called “Sorcery+” on Amstrad CPC. I can’t quite grasp what it was like but I remember it as something amazing with beautiful graphics. It would be quite painful to look at it today so I’m not going to dwell on this and will rather talk about the two games that took me away for hours and hours: “Ultima VII” and “Might & Magic 4&5”. These amazing game made me love RPG but I only played on PC at that time so I only knew about “Western” RPG ; up until the PlayStation and the famous Final Fantasy VII. This was another revelation yet it’s not my “Favorite Classic Game”. I’ve kept this spot for “Final Fantasy Tactics”.

 

It came out around the same time as Final Fantasy VII yet it was completely different. As the name suggest it was a Tactical RPG and the graphics were mixing 3D elements (for the battleground) with 2D (characters’ sprites).

 

What I liked about this game was how mature it was (despite its “cute” character design with noseless characters and funny Chocobos). It was about politics, religion, betrayal, love, murder, friendship…all mixed perfectly with a near-perfect gameplay experience. I won’t go into detail about the mechanics but let’s just say that it was extremely motivating to level up your characters. All thanks to the “jobs” system which lets you change jobs and still keep some of the abilities you previously learned.

 

All in all “Final Fantasy Tactics” is one of the greatest game I’ve played from beginning to end with accessible yet challenging difficulty as you progress. The team members that will join you as the story develops are also particularly memorable (they even included “Cloud” from Final Fantasy VII and explained his presence in the game in a very clever way as well!).

 

I can’t wait for the iPhone version to come out (which will be the adaptation of the PSP version as far as we know).


 

Optional) Bio/Current Event:

1° We release in December 2010 the Minis version (Playstation Network) of the amazing iPhone game “SHIFT”. Called “SHIFT extended” and compatible with both PS3 and PSP, this version will offer twice the content from the original game.

 

2° We have just released Gods vs Humans for WiiWare and PC. A nice mix of a Tower Defense game and a God Game with adorable characters 😉