WC: Why did you decide not to include famous "goons" like Al Capone?
JJG: I think the reason we decided not to use historical figures from organized crime is simply because we felt that we could open the doors to the imagination much more. And when players play MMORPG's, they want to escape from reality, and throw themselves into a fantasy - and that is what we are providing, but with limited use of dragons and orcs!
ISA: From a creative point of view, populating the world with our own original characters felt much more satisfying. We could ensure that they suited the tone and atmosphere of the game, and make them just the way we wanted them.
Historical figures come with certain limitations, if you're going to really include them rather than just borrowing their names and slapping them on random NPCs. You have to make them act in certain ways, and do certain things. Otherwise there wouldn't be any point in putting them in the game at all.
JV: I would add that although we're creating a game that is inspired by the mafia era, we certainly don't want to put historical figures like Al Capone on a pedestal. We realize what horrible crimes they have committed, and we don't want to endorse that kind of behavior in the real world. Our game is meant to provide harmless fun, and although it was inspired by a period in history that was full of violence, we don't want to make people think that we're praising actual criminality. Crime isn't a joke when the victims are real.
SG: Simply put, it's Goon World. We want our vision to come to life and we do not want to take away from our vision by adding famous gangster names. When you go to purchase Goon World, you will be purchasing our vision and our story that you, the players, will help control.
CZ: The idea behind Goon World is for players to create their own mobsters, their own families, and their own legacy. Though some players may take enjoyment from playing as their favorite criminal, I believe most people would have a much more rich experience playing in our world as their own idealized criminal selves.
WC: What will be the naming protocol for player characters? Will they be able to name characters after famous gangsters?
JJG: In addition to the usual blocks on profane and 'leet' names, and those under copyright, players will be prevented from using the names of famous gangsters.
Obviously some players are going to get around the filter by using names of more obscure mobsters, or altering the names of famous ones. I expect to see people with names like Mal Hambone around sooner or later. But that kind of thing is more tolerable.