I got the chance to sit down and talk with Tony Hilliam CEO of Auran, and Adam Carpenter the Lead Designer of Fury at PAX recently. For those that don't know much about Fury, its genre is a bit hard to nail down. It has elements of an MMO, such as levels, persistent characters, acquiring items and money, with a very fast paced melee and magical battle that is much closer to a first person shooter.
Answers by Tony Hilliam (CEO) and Adam Carpenter (Lead Designer)
Questions by Matt Lowery
WarCry: Fury is centered around very fast paced combat. How many players will you have in combat at one time?
Auran: I believe the largest battles will be 24 players to start. However we will be increasing this to as high as 32 vs. 32.
WarCry: The game play is very fast. While not quite as fast as a FPS you have to react very quickly in Fury, is this the speed of combat you want to have at release?
Auran: Absolutely. We wanted to take an RPG and give you a rush while playing it. A rush you normally can't get in RPGs. So the combat is very fast, you can't watch TV or eat something while in combat in Fury.
WarCry: Can you explain how levels will work in Fury? Do you have them, and how does that fit in with the combat system?
Auran: We do have levels; however they work a bit differently than in most games. We have these abilities; there are over 300 in total that allow you to do different things. We don't have classes in the game, so everyone can be whatever they want. You basically choose your abilities you want to use right now, and head out. Any time in-between battles you can swap them out for others. So basically you can have different sets depending on what your group needs right now. The levels in the game are really just to introduce you to all these abilities. So you can start out with say 25 abilities to check out, instead of overwhelming you with 300. You can reach the top level within about 25 hours of game play, or 50 if you are really slow. So it's not that a certain level guy is so much higher than a lower level guy, it's just a way for us to introduce you to all the abilities over time without overwhelming you.
WarCry: How long do battles usually take in Fury?
Auran: Well there is a 20 minute time limit, most finish earlier than that though depending on the victory conditions. We added a 20 minute time limit, because we have seen in some game that while most games would end before this, occasionally one would drag on for 80 or 90 minutes. We thought that was too long, so 20 minutes is the limit right now.
WarCry: In between battles, what is the lobby or waiting area like? The place where I wait for another battle to start.
Auran: Well it's actually like a little city. It's where you get to run around and buy your stuff for your missions, talk with your friends and that kind of thing. That area will support, I believe its 200 people or so. I could be wrong, but it's around there. So you will hang out there, buy your supplies, and then jump into one of the battle instances.
WarCry: When I go into one of the battles, who am I fighting? Is it the guy that was just sitting next to me? Where are you getting the players I am fighting against?
Auran: It's actually server vs. server. So let's say you are on the red server, you would be fighting battles of red server vs. green server, and red server vs. blue. The idea is to try and bring everyone on your server together. You are a team working together against the other servers. So if there is a reward given for the red server that just fought the green server, everyone on the red server gets the reward. You fight for your server.
WarCry: The art style has an almost Japanese animated look to it. Why did you decide to use this style with Fury?
Auran: Yes it does. We wanted to have an art style that would appeal to a broad audience. So the art has just a bit of an almost Final Fantasy art style. We found that it seems to go over well with North America, Europe and Asia. It looks great; the artists have done a great job on it. Actually the build you are seeing here is about 5 months old. I actually don't like looking at this build, because it looks so much better now than what you see in this demo.
WarCry: So are we locked in for a release date yet?
Auran: October 9th is the release date. Everything is looking good for us to make that date.
WarCry: You have a big event coming up in your beta; care to tell us about that?
Auran: Yes we do. We are giving away 1 million dollars worth of prizes during a competition being held the weekends of September 15th, 22nd and 29th to our beta players! The weekend of the 15th is a warm up weekend, with the last 2 weekends being the actual competition. We had money left over in our marketing budget, and we could have spent it on banner ads, and the like, but we thought, let's take that money and give it out to the players in a competition during beta, to draw people and show them what it will be like after release as well. The competition is based on your ladder standing during those weekends, and it's not just total points. We didn't want someone that only has a couple of hours to play to be knocked out by someone that is in all weekend, so the ladder system ranks you by your best 10 matches. So it doesn't matter if you play all weekend, or just for a few hours, your best 10 matches are ranked.
WarCry: Will there be a monthly subscription fee to play Fury?
Auran: We have a couple of different ways to play. One is that Fury is free to play forever after you buy the game. So you can buy it, and never pay again and play away. You also have a choice to sign up for a subscription. What a subscription gives you are things like, fast travel around the city, so you can hit the shops and all quicker, as well as an extra roll on the loot tables. So if after a battle everyone gets 2 rolls for loot, subscribers get 3, and for every coin subscribers earn we match it, so they get 2. So someone playing for free can still every the most powerful items in the game, still get everything subscribers do, subscribers just get a little leg up. Basically we think if you are just going to play an hour or two a week, you won't be subscribing, and that's fine, you can still jump in for free, and play and get everything in the game, but for those that are really devoting time to Fury, much like an MMO, playing 20 or 30 hours a week, those players will probably want to subscribe.
Comments? Let's hear them on the forums.