A few months ago I was blessed to meet Dean Clark, who reviewed my Silent Hill: Betrayal novel for GameTyrant shortly after it was reviewed by Andi Hodgetts (unfortunately the site with this review no longer exists). We got to chatting and discussing writing when I discovered that he is the lead writer for an upcoming fantasy MMORPG called Antreya Chronicles. As my luck would have it, they were looking for an assistant writer and I managed to audition my talent and got the part. It has been an amazing experience so far writing with this team, and it is without bias that I bring you some interviews with the team as they continue to develop the online game.
Antreya Chronicles is brought to you by Antreya Studios. It will be a role-playing game like Skyrim but set in a fantasy, steampunk, post-apocalyptic setting. For the first interview, we speak to the founder, manager, lead game developer and producer of the game: Raymond van Beek.
INTERVIEW WITH RAYMOND VAN BEEK
1. Tell us a bit about the world of Antreya Chronicles and what potential players should expect?
The general setting of the world Antreya is a mix of fantasy, medieval, and mystical with steampunk inspired elements. There will also be magical elements, which are called Oprinom. Players can expect a wide variety of vistas, styles, and settings. Several different styles will be added to these, based on some of the other races and creatures which inhabit Antreya, such as the spirit beasts and their forests.
Furthermore, the world currently is in a post-apocalyptic setting, which means that players are faced with shortages, ruins and other gameplay elements which you can expect in a more survival/post-apoc game setting. The world is dynamic, both in weather, day-night cycles as well as how regions look and feel.
Antreya is built up mostly out of player run cities where trade and other forms of interaction dictate the state and growth of these cities. Fantasy creatures roam the lands as these were indigenous, but players will also find places which are non-indigenous to Antreya. Part of the storylines and gameplay will be finding out what is happening and where the spirit beasts and other creatures come from.
2. Where did the inspiration for Antreya come from?
The inspiration for Antreya comes from quite a few sources. Existing stories, as well as mythical earth based legends and standard fantasy aspects as seen in movies such as Lord of the Rings and others.
3. How long has it been in development?
Antreya has been in development for nearly two years and for about 8 months with the team’s size as it currently is.
4. How large is the Antreya team?
Currently the team is around 20 people. We are always looking for talents who would like to contribute.
5. What is the storyline like? Will it be linear or will there be side stories?
The standard storyline is non linear with many side quests. These storylines are the personal or general storylines. Antreya also has world storylines which are run both as part of the general storylines, but also through in-game events by our live DM teams. These live DM teams also get themselves involved with players and player cities directly. In short, the live DM-teams give us the ability to custom tailor quests and give diversity to players in various ways, be it through a simple quest offered to a player, or through in-depth roleplay with players, guilds, cities and more.
6. Describe the consequence system described on the website, where each action will have consequences?
Actions, not only taken through quests but also more general actions as simple as cutting down a tree will have an effect on the world of Antreya. On one side it can affect the world story lines and development of the Antreyan world, while on the other side it can affect the environment and overall look and feel of a region. An example here would be player actions which lower the karma of a region, giving it a more somber look and feel or downright evil.
Other actions can affect how NPCs react to a player or how a spirit beast bonded to its partner views this partner. Social aspects are fueled among other things by karma and many things can affect karma. The gods have their own preferences and they can change their views of a player based on these actions or just simply on their whim.
7. You have quite a detailed selection of races, factions and gods. This looks like it will be a huge world to roam?
The initial world of Antreya is indeed large and diverse. Over time more land will be added, both through story lines as well as through player run cities. How large the world really is, is for the players to discover.
8. What game engine are you using for development, and do you feel it fulfills the requirement for everything you want to accomplish for Antreya?
Antreya is built using the Unreal 4 engine. It is capable of bringing our vision of Antreya to life with amazing detail and performance. It enables us to quickly prototype game systems and its visual scripting gives even those on the team who don’t have programming experience the ability to quickly test out new content.
9. Can we expect any sort of merchandising? Like mugs, tshirts, fan art, etc
We have plans to include merchandise. Things like a collector’s edition equivalent will be part of the pledge rewards through public funding campaign and after that through our website store. We are also looking for other merchandise options, such as shirts, mugs and 3D printed items based on the Antrean world.
10. Is Antreya Chronicles a one time thing, or can we expect more?
Antreya chronicles online itself will consist of different ages. Each age will bring new content and gameplay options to the player. You can think of these as expansions. The world storylines drive the ages.
11. Do you have any other games planned post-Antreya?
We have plans for other games and even 3D movies based on the lore and history of Antreya. One of our plans includes using these to usher in a new era in Antreya. Games and movies like these also give us the ability to play out parts of the history of Antreya and give the ability to let the audiences see different views and experiences of lore, history and personal events from within Antreya.
12. What social options does Antreya offer?
Social Options in Antreya take on the form of player cities, housing and other systems. Social interaction is important in the world of Antreya. Player cities will need to work together in order to develop. Players can achieve much on their own, but the larger efforts will need many players cooperating. Live DM teams will also play a significant role in the social aspects of the game. The karma system is an intricate part of this.
13. Can you tell me about the combat and skills in Antreya?
Combat is done in real-time, uses free targeting and is position based. Skills and abilities are based on gods, spirit beasts, and other aspects. Skills and abilities are trained, both through usage and in a classroom (time-based skill training). As such player characters don’t have levels but instead train individual skills and abilities in different ways. This enables players to mix and match based on the weapons and armor they have equipped. Combat uses key combinations during play to initiate abilities. Hotkeys can still be used if a player prefers, but most abilities can be activated by mouse and key combinations or through other means. The goal is to provide a system which veers away from the standard point and click experience.
We will be following up this interview when we talk with the Lead Writer, the 2d Graphic Design Lead, and the 3D Graphic Development Lead.