End of Nations Interview: “RTS Games Can Be Really Fun. Try It Out.”
GF: I noticed elements reminiscent of Dawn of War; was that an influence in End of Nations?
“Well, I think we’ve been influenced by a lot of games; we love RTS games, we love games, so I’m sure there are influences from everywhere. But the design has really evolved over time. We can sit here all day and talk about how this or that feature is similar to Dawn of War, and I can show you how the idea started off as something else, but evolved that way out of necessity.
“We’re making a free-to-play game with a certain level of accessibility, which guided all these design choices, like not having intensive base building. Our influences go as far back as Shattered Galaxy, which really pioneered the idea of an MMORTS.”
GF: Why did you decide to go with a free-to-play business model?
“The number one thought was that we wanted a massive game; we really wanted to bring people in. Also, I feel as though RTS games, in particular, have gotten a little stale. A lot of people were into RTS games back when they were big, but have since fallen off that. There’s a high barrier to entry. PvP is very difficult — even humiliating at times — until you get good. So we wanted to create a situation where, ‘Hey, RTS games can be really fun. Try it out.’ And it wasn’t until recently that the western world has come to the conclusion that, ‘Oh, you can make a F2P game that is fair to the player and fun to play.’”
GF: What will a subscription or microtransactions give you access to?
“For the most part, it’s almost like buying an XP boost or something like that — a convenience item. A subscription may give you access to a certain amount of wealth every month, so that you won’t have to worry about every little microtransaction.”
GF: With your drop in and drop out feature, how will you prevent players on the losing team from just quitting prematurely?
“There’s a timer; only a certain amount of time to get into a given game. On the bigger maps, it’ll be much easier for people to drop in and out — it’ll be much more friendly with that. For the smaller maps, it’ll be just like any other competitive game where you get penalized for dropping out. And we reward people even for losing, as well, so we want to give that positive reinforcement. Carrot and stick.”
GF: Any closing remarks?
“We’re currently in alpha; we’re going to start closed beta very soon. We plan on launching toward the end of the year. Keep an eye out.”