Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

13 August, 2013

The Standard Disclaimer
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 2:20 AM

As you might have heard, there was a little announcement last weekend about a game called EverQuest Next. They’re doing some particularly exciting things, and one of those things is emergent AI. There’s a little company called Storybricks who is working on that emergent AI. You might have heard of the company. (Protip: I work at Storybricks.)

On the bright side, it’s very exciting to be working on a groundbreaking title. On the other hand, I know from experience that I’m going to be watched a lot more closely and people will try to read into my words. An offhand phrase is interpreted as a solemn vow. (You old-school MMO people will remember the hilarity around Necromancy in Ultima Online.) So, let me post this disclaimer:

The opinions and points of view expressed in the posts on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer or any company I am working with.

Further, unless I explicitly state so, nothing I post should be construed as a hint about EverQuest Next‘s design or content. (I don’t get the privilege of saying “just kidding” after making a controversial statement.) So, if I write an article supporting permadeath in Storybricks development, you should already know that EQN won’t have permadeath in it.

I know most of you are reasonable people, but I’m just trying to avoid any uncomfortable situations involving my words and a very talented team trying to blaze new territory. They already have a hard job, so I don’t want someone taking my words and making that job even harder.

Just stay tuned for something that will continue to amaze you.

As an added bonus, feel free to ask me any question not related to EverQuest Next in the comments and I’ll answer as I can.

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  1. It is for sure a lot of fun to work on EQN! :) Gag orders can be annoying, but given the hype for EQN (the tasty features announced raised expectations extremely high) it will become even more difficult for you. The moments of self-censorship before you dare to say or write anything in future will not be a pleasure for sure.

    Comment by Longasc — 13 August, 2013 @ 3:31 AM

  2. Glad you’re seeing some success with Storybricks! I do not know the Necromancy story, have to go track that one down now (I started MMO’s in 2003 with EQOA)…

    Comment by HarbingerZero — 13 August, 2013 @ 8:01 AM

  3. You kids these days.

    The Necromancy kerfuffle was a tale of warning about how players have long memories about what they perceive as promises. Necromancy was a system in Ultima 8 that worked a bit differently than other magics; you had to collect items and put them into a bag, stuff like bones, etc.

    So, some UO developer in a published interview (or chat, don’t remember) said that the team was working on Necromancy. Now, a lot of times developers will work on stuff that never sees the light of day because, well, it just doesn’t work out with the technology, or it’s just not fun, or stuff like that. So, the team initially decided not to implement Necromancy. But, some players fixated on this and got upset when Necromancy didn’t appear in UO. It was a running gag for years.

    Eventually they did put it into the game, but the general consensus at the time was that it was a pretty lackluster system. But, as I said, it became a warning to other developers to be very careful what you say, and try to avoid talking about any systems that you’re not 110% sure will end up in the game.

    Comment by Psychochild — 13 August, 2013 @ 10:51 AM

  4. So, wait, you mean to say you’re telling us secret stuff about EQN? AWESOME!

    Comment by unwesen — 15 August, 2013 @ 1:35 AM

  5. Having had so much fun with Animal Crossing NL of late, I was reminded of the power that lies in great AI. there’s a lot of potential and fun in well written and smart NPCs, it’s an untapped goldmine really.
    I wasn’t too blown away by the EQN’s revelations lately but the fact that Storybricks is in the mix is what currently keeps this MMO on my prio list. I really can’t wait to hear more about how exactly this will be implemented and what EQnext’s NPCs will be able to do (or the player will be able to do with them)! :) that said, we need more info nao! ;)

    Comment by Syl — 15 August, 2013 @ 11:04 AM

  6. Congratulations Brian! With the addition of Storybricks, I think the EQ Next team will have a valuable ally in helping to make their MMORPG come to life. Also, top marks for using the word “groundbreaking” which really is what a lot of players will be doing with the voxel environment. *grins*

    Comment by Wolfshead — 15 August, 2013 @ 11:15 PM

  7. The emergent AI has to be at the top of my eager to see list, hold nothing back, i want you to knock my voxel based socks off and then make them explode into a million pieces.

    Comment by Lionaeron — 26 August, 2013 @ 4:28 AM

  8. hey Brian,

    My first post on your blog. I’m not an MMO player myself, but I can’t help but get excited by the promise offered by Everquest Next, especially given it integrates two middle technologies whose development that I’ve following most avidly, Storybricks and Voxelfarm.

    I was really disappointed in the failure of your Kickstarter, but really pleased that SOE decided to license it for their game. I once played WoW with friends for 5 minutes and was totally bored. I logged out and never set foot in another MMO. The exciting reveal of the next iteration of Everquest on SOE Live! compels me to give it a try once Landmark is released later this year.

    On the topic of Storybricks, is there likely to be an update to the website, because at this time there is literally NOTHING meaningful on there. I’ve signed up for the newsletter but have yet to hear anything. I really hope that you guys haven’t entered into an exclusive agreement with SOE and that other developers will be able to leverage the potential offered by emergent A.I. for their games.

    Is Storybriks sufficiently generalized that it could be employed by developers in genres beyond just RPGs such as Open World Action Adventure, God Games, or City Builders?

    When I first heard about Storybricks I was eagerly anticipating the revival of intimate multiplayer connected storytelling featured in Neverwinter Nights.

    All the best with the various projects you’re working on.

    Comment by James — 2 September, 2013 @ 4:39 AM

  9. John Smedley is Playing With Me

    [...] Psychochild, who speaks only for himself on permadeath, midterm exams and hair loss. (He isn’t losing hair, it’s simply [...]

    Pingback by Toldain Talks — 3 September, 2013 @ 4:23 PM

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