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Thread: Lunch with Scott Hartsman

  1. #46
    Ascendant Europe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Durnkrag View Post
    Firstly, Enjoy the meal!
    Secondly, keep on his good side so he slips you "secret sauce"over the next year that you can slip to us!
    :O scandalous
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    I mean, I guess it would just be a guy who you know, grabs bananas and runs. Or, um, a banana that grabs things. I donít know.
    Why would a banana grab another banana? I mean, those are the kind of questions I donít want to answer.

  2. #47
    Ascendant Elladar's Avatar
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    Seems like they are having a Looooooooong lunch... Which is good... It is always nice to enjoy the food and small talks... Im off. Hope tomorrow there will be some info on how Lunch went, and what was discussed.
    I don't need to "Get a life."! I'm a Gamer! I have loads of Lifes! - - - Necromancy - happiness is an army of unstoppable, loyal, killing machines.

  3. #48
    Sr. Community Manager Abigale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elladar View Post
    Seems like they are having a Looooooooong lunch... Which is good... It is always nice to enjoy the food and small talks... Im off. Hope tomorrow there will be some info on how Lunch went, and what was discussed.
    Nope... was a fairly short lunch. Scott is pretty busy. I've just been in a meeting for a while and hadn't finished getting it typed. Will be posting our chat in just a few minutes!

  4. #49
    Sr. Community Manager Abigale's Avatar
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    Default Scott's Responses

    Hello, All-

    At around noon today, I headed out to lunch with Scott. We went to a little place called Hobee’s that serves breakfast all day. We both decided that breakfast for lunch sounded like a good idea. And it was close. Scott’s time is pretty limited these days. I was really happy that he was able to take a few minutes to chat with us.

    As I mentioned before, I have known Scott for a long time. But I started our chat today by asking him about his start in the in game industry, as I had never before asked him about how that happened.

    I was surprised to learn that Scott started in the game industry when he was just 15 years old! He was playing a MUD called Scepter of Goth and was given the opportunity to write content for them. He was hooked at that point. He said he loved doing that so much that he decided to go to college and become an engineer so he would be able to program games.

    He continued to work on a number of titles. You can check out the list of games to which Scott has contributed on his blog.

    Ok, now to some of your questions. Remember, we didn’t have time to answer them all but we got to as many as we could in the time we had.

    From Thundaarr: What do you feel is the best
    way to retain subscribers for the long term?

    Scott
    : Make a good and engaging game. That sounds flip but it’s true. There are no shortcuts to quality. It’s such a huge part of both acquisition and retention. If you make a good game, people are proud to play it, and they’re proud to share that fact with their friends. That drives in-game community formation and growth, and you need both of those elements to impact retention. If you don’t do a great job, that chain can fall apart anywhere down the line.

    From Osho: What do you think about content (especially endgame content) that consists 80 % of grinding. Is this adequate to a modern Fantasy MMO?

    Scott: This speaks to a larger point. In games that are about handcrafted content, keeping the end game entertaining is a hard problem to solve, when people consume content so much faster than it can be made It’s on the developers to make the end game entertaining. No developer ever says, “Hey! Let’s make our endgame all about repetitive grinding!” This is one of the really challenging parts about making an MMO, and one of the things that we hope to be able to address in our use of ongoing content introduction.

    From Ciovala: What is it that you love about being in the MMO business?

    Scott: The same thing I have loved since the beginning. That we can create places and things to interactively entertain people, see their immediate reaction and hear their feedback and then make it even better. It’s like putting on a play, only without having to worry about where everyone lives. Then we all get to see how it turns out and improve it. I love being able to create and iterate on entertaining experiences in real time. When you’re working on something at 2 in the morning, and there’s the underlying passion pushing you forward – That’s always been the one for me.

    From Faelor: After you got picked up by Trion and saw what the team had created thus far, what were your initial thoughts as a MMO player and as a MMO producer?

    Scott: My first thought was, “Holy crap, there is a ton of potential here!” And not just in what I saw in the game but in the people working on it. Hal gave me my first demo of the game and he was so enthusiastic and likeable, you just wanted to cheer for the guy and hope it turns out well for him -- That was one of the first times I remember really wanting to know more about the people and the game.

    From Hendel: What’s your favorite class to play in fantasy MMORPG’s?

    Scott: I am really just driven by who I want to be in a particular game and that changes from game to game. I usually don’t decide what type of class I want to play until I am doing my character creation. I enjoy playing all different types of classes. I have played melee classes, caster classes and ranged classes in a variety of games. I enjoy all kinds of roles. That’s a great play style for a developer. It’s important to understand the roles of all classes.

    From Hendel: Crafter or Adventurer…or both?

    Scott: I like to enjoy everything along the way in an MMO. I read all the quest text, I uncover all the maps and I take on whatever crafting abilities I can in any given game. I like to do everything there is to do along the way in a game. For me, it’s about the journey and not just the destination. It’s important to not force everyone to experience everything, but I’m glad that we’re still able to make worlds that have enough breadth to have lots of different kinds of experiences on the way up.

    I want to thank Scott for taking the time to chat with me today and answer a few of your questions. I can attest to the fact that he is swamped and working really hard to get this game launched. I know there are lots of days that he doesn’t even get to go to lunch. So I am really appreciative that he carved out some time for us.

    Oh, and for those of you in the "Pics or it didn't happen" crowd... check out the pic on Facebook!

  5. #50
    Rift Master Faelor's Avatar
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    Thanks for asking all the questions Abigale, and thanks to Scott for answering
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  6. #51
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    But... Did you give him a hug for me? /grin

  7. #52
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    Thanks Cindy. I love listening to anything Scott said. He has so much energy and he is always so positive he makes me really excited about Rifts. I can imagine the effect is likely increased 10 fold in person. You must be pretty hyped up after your lunch with Scott. What a great job you have. Grats again on the lunch and thanks again for the information.

  8. #53
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    Pancakes?

    BTW, I believe Scott gave a speech on MMO Retention at GDC this year.
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    I mean, I guess it would just be a guy who you know, grabs bananas and runs. Or, um, a banana that grabs things. I donít know.
    Why would a banana grab another banana? I mean, those are the kind of questions I donít want to answer.

  9. #54
    Plane Touched
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    Awesome. I'm glad you enjoyed your lunch. Denver omlette and hashbrowns ftw !

    Thanks for passing our questions along. And a big thank you to Scott for taking the time to answer our questions (hopefully without his mouth full)

    I like Scotts answer to my questions. Keep it in mind please Scott. You can make a great game, and if you build it, they will come ! Make a kick *** game and even some of the things that seem "against the grain" of modern MMO's can work for you. You will gain and keep subscribers, and you will find more immigrants to your game from every WoW clone out there.

  10. #55
    Official Rift Founding Fan Site Operator Arithion's Avatar
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    Cindy and Scott - Thank you both so much for taking time at lunch.

    We're counting down to E3
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  11. #56
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    Thanks again for taking the time for us!

    Great work, Abigale!

    Still lots of work to do!

    And yes, itís about the journey and not just the destination.

    Take care, Scott!

  12. #57
    Sword of Telara souper's Avatar
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    Thanks for the write-up Abigale. I sure got my fill of information for the night. I feel stuffed with knowledge. You sure quenched my desire for information. I'm gonna take a little time to digest it all now.

    See what I did thar? Those were... ah hell, nevermind. I'll just go now.

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by souper View Post
    Thanks for the write-up Abigale. I sure got my fill of information for the night. I feel stuffed with knowledge. You sure quenched my desire for information. I'm gonna take a little time to digest it all now.

    See what I did thar? Those were... ah hell, nevermind. I'll just go now.
    /giggles at souper

  14. #59
    Plane Touched mszv's Avatar
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    Thanks Abigale. Great post! And Hobees -- great choice for lunch.

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pharone View Post
    Hmmm... is that Suga from Vanguard's old RP server by chance?
    Yep, it's meeeee! Though, I'm on Seradon, moved there from Targonor server when we had the first merge.

    Thanks for the greets!

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