DUST 514 – JON LANDER - EXEC PRODUCER
Dust 514 is the first big console F2P game for the PS3. It also comes from the crazy guys at Eve online- so we sat down with Producer Jon to chat all things Dust.
Posted by PlayDevil.com Staff on Oct 12, 2012 11:18 (Oct 12, 2012 11:18)
PlayDevil sat down with the Exec Producer from CCP Games for their upcoming MMO "Dust 514", Jon Lander.
1. Hi Jon. Why did you guys decide to release a PS3 game?
Lander: Hi. You’d be surprised; we had an extraordinary amount of support from Sony, once we’d sold the idea to them – but it was a very different experience to working with the PC where we’re free to do as we please.
It took a while for Sony to get it, but once it clicked, they have been very supportive partners. That’s no surprise though, given our scope and links into a PC MMO.
2.That’s the most interesting part to me; how does a PS3 game integrate with a MMO?
Lander: The game’s mostly been developed from Shanghai with support from Newcastle, but everything is also done with support from the main team in Iceland and with support from Sony.
Micro transactions will be done through PSN, and we’re fully integrated with their ecosystem.
But, you’ll actually own pieces of territory on the planets you fight upon- it links in with Eve so you can ally together to capture territory.
Eve is about to launch its 18th expansion- and small changes can be applied almost instantly, but as you know, it’s very different on the console. What we’ve done is invented technologies to push out new content as quickly as possible given console constraints so that the players in Dust feel connected to the MMO as well.
3.Why a FPS?
Lander: It was simple to us really. A group of players loved the setting and universe, but found the MMO or space combat/ trading a turnoff, or even don't want a PC. We’re aiming to expose EVE to a bigger demographic, and the best way to do that was with a new game type. It’s a different experience, but in the same universe.
4.Some people were pretty annoyed they can only play on PS3. Will we see new platforms after launch?
Lander: Right now, our focus is 100% on PS3. We have a 5 year roadmap of Dust expansions planned, and 20 years of ideas! Our aim is for Dust to continue for 5-10 years, at least. Obviously that means we may need to look to new platforms in the future.
5.You’re having a big push in the US with Dust credits bundled in with new PS3s- anything similar planned over here?
Lander: Unfortunately not at the moment- Dust credits are currently just planned for USA.
6.What do you think about other big developers like Crytek going down the F2P route?
Lander: We take a different approach to the way we go about games. No one else is offering anything similar, even other developers like Crytek. Our expectation though is that most people who have a PS3 with access to the store will give the game a go purely because it is free to play. There’s a big potential audience to see all the stuff that can be done in our universe.
7.The Eve universe is known for crazy stuff- will this be possible with a FPS?
Lander: It's the meaning of what you go up against that is the differentiator- we candestabilise games and change things up. We’re definitely aiming for it to still be crazy. We have a great deal of respect for the players, and we just wait to see what happens. We just see ourselves as custodians of the games we make.
8.You mentioned ownership; how will this work with a limited number of maps? Games like Hybrid feel very shallow when they have systems like this but then you still fight on the same map.
Lander: Each planet in the EVE universe has districts, andthey’re all being assigned at the moment. The terrain system we have enables pieces to be slotted together,so every Eve planet is a potential Dust map.The persistence already exists so the number of maps can increase rapidly. You will show up on these systems in Dust and then physically own them.
Sounds awesome. Thanks again for your time Jon.
I then went over to have a play on Dust 514, with a quick multiplayer blast. It’s 32 players online, and we were on quite a large map but with a big choke point that focused the players into one central area.
It seemed like a fairly basic online shooter, but there was no access to most of the fun stuff like the customisation and money. The gunplay was solid though, and the gameplay was tight and engaging.
We’ll be reporting back from the beta at some point in the next few weeks when we’ve played the game more.