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Pirates of the Burning Sea News Interview
Manveer 'Eidolon' Heir :: 03:00 AM @ August 14th, 2003 :: In-House: Interview
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Today we have an interview with Flying Lab Software's lead game designer Taylor Danes about their upcoming title "Pirates of the Burning Sea". Without further delay:

GameGossip: Pirates of the Burning Sea is a massively multiplayer game where you can sail the high seas during the 1700's. What made you decide to make a game based around pirates?
Taylor Daynes: We were kicking around ideas for online games, and the most obvious criteria was that it shouldn't be swords & sorcery. The last thing the world needs is yet another swords & sorcery MMORPG. There are plenty of good ones out there, and there's no way such a game from a small developer like us would get noticed.

Taylor Daynes, our lead designer, and Joe Ludwig, our lead developer, both began discussing a pirate game. We were all fans of Sid Meier's brilliant game Pirates!, as well as LucasArts' Monkey Island series, and it was clearly a genre that hadn't received much attention in recent years. At that time (around September of last year) we didn't really know about the various pirate movies coming out this year, though that has proved to be a very happy accident.

We have a love for history and adventure, and the pirate genre has both in spades.
GG: Instead of leveling up, Pirates boasts a skill system instead. Is this skill system similar in execution to the recently released Star Wars Galaxies? Also, what are some of the skills that you can train in?
TD: All skill-based systems are more similar to each other than they are to level-based systems. The skill system in Pirates of the Burning Sea is similar to the skill system in SWG in that they both encourage free-form character growth. If you're interested in a particular skill, you can learn it. If you later change your mind, you can give it up and learn something else in its place.

Beyond that similarity, however, the systems diverge significantly. The Pirates of the Burning Sea skill system is based on study and practice, and the structure of Techniques (the specific "actions" that are sub-entities of the skill itself) is far more organic and natural than the rigid "four levels in four tracks" of SWG. In addition, while your skills essentially define your character in SWG, in Pirates of the Burning Sea your actions and career are much better indicators of your character.
GG: What are some of the adventures you can engage in when playing Pirates?
TD: Right off the bat, you are captain of your own ship. You'll begin the game with a swift sloop, ready to make fast cargo runs, fight challenging sea battles, or prey on enemies during wartime. We don't have character classes. Instead, you can work through different careers, switching between them when you like. Join a trading company and compete against your rivals for riches and power. Enlist in the navy to guard ports, hunt down pirates, and wage war. Be a free trader, master of your own ship who both plies the trade lanes and takes out letters of marque as a privateer. Or sail the seas as a pirate, plotting with your comrades to sack merchant convoys and even face down the navy in a massive fleet battle.

There's an extensive mission system that ensures you always have cool stuff to do: transport convicts to the regional capitol, deliver supplies of medicine to plague towns, sink a famous naval captain who has hunted one pirate too many, and much more.
GG: Does the game take place completely on the seas? Or can players go to ports, talk inside taverns, and meet up in other places located on land?
TD: Pirates of the Burning Sea don't have on-screen player avatars in the first release, though we'll be adding that and other features over time. But even at the start you can visit different locations in ports. There are multiple kinds of merchants, many locations with their own unique mission lists, and chat rooms everywhere.
GG: What are some of the customizations you can make to your ship, and how will the whole customization aspect work?
TD: We have a couple dozen modifications you can make to your ship. They're all trade-offs between cargo space, ship handling, crew efficiency, and other factors. You can sacrifice cargo room to give your crew better quarters which increases their efficiency, add a ship's surgery to increase their healing rate, modify the rudder for faster turning, strengthen the hull with more planking to better resist damage, build an additional powder room to speed cannon reloading time, and so on. Each modification costs money and a little time. We treat your ship like it's another player character, so you can really finesse its stats and abilities.
If you're looking for more information about the game the official website is a solid place to start.

Latest Similar Story: Interview Round-Up (03/16/06)

#1 - murry2 - 08/14/03 @ 12:04 PM EST
So how do you make an MMORPG where everyone is pirates? You just keep robbing each other or what?
#2 - Eidolon - 08/14/03 @ 12:42 PM EST
Everything takes place on the seas - look at the screenshots at the website. You aren't all pirates also - you can join Spain, England and stuff I believe. but pirates are the most fun,
#3 - Houdini - 08/14/03 @ 01:47 PM EST
everyone would be a pirate..
Taylor Daynes? isnt she a 1980's pop star? just kiddnig.. i know.

i wouldnt mind playing this game.. or a game like this. especially after PotC. :) damn marketing genuises!
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