KingsRoad Exclusive Interview

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KingsRoad is a medieval themed fantasy browser-based action RPG published by RumbleGames, and here at FreeMMOStation, we had the chance to sit down with Brett Bates, the Customer Experience Manager behind this fantastic browser experience.

Interview conducted by Matt aka Trilient

Trilient:
Who are you and what position do you have in Rumble Games?

Brett Bates:
My name is Brett Bates, I’m the Customer Experience Manager, so I handle community, and I also act as PR liaison between us and 47 Communications.

Trilient:
Alright, good to hear I’m speaking with someone handling the community. What are some of the goals RumbleGames has with KingsRoad?

Brett Bates:
So the goal with Rumble Games as a whole is to raise the bar on gaming on browser and mobile, KingsRoad is our first offering of that. A graphically rich, fully immersive action RPG with real-time co-op. We want our games to be played by mass audiences, and we think that by delivering in browsers and Facebook, we can do that. You don’t have to worry about whether you have a Mac or a PC or that you have a top-of-the line gaming rig, if you can run Flash 11 and Stage3D, you’ll be able to enjoy KingsRoad.

Trilient:
KingsRoad definitely delivers on those aspects, and it’s not at all intensive on my system.

Brett Bates:
I may be a little biased, but I still find it pretty spectacular that this is running in Facebook =)

Trilient:
I was actually surprised by that too, most facebook games I stay away from because I feel a lot of them are poorly written cash grabs. However, KingsRoad will have me coming back for some time.

So a lot of the game has microtransactions, and given that most communities aren’t fans of Pay to Win, do you guys have any plans to keep the game from becoming a Pay to Win?

Brett Bates:
With our games in general, we’re very conscious of making sure the game is fun for all players, free players are just as important as paying ones. They keep the game viral, and if they like the game enough to tell their friends about it, maybe one of those friends will spend money… So we’ve tried to make all of the purchases in our game augment the fun you’re already having, that’s why you see temporary boosts, chests, level unlock bypass etc. as purchases, but we don’t have any energy limits or anything like that. As for pay to win specifically, the easiest way we avoid that right now is by not having any PvP, since our multiplayer is strictly co-op, it’s actually to your benefit if you’re playing with a paying player, if he unlocks a chest, you get items too, if he’s used extra skill points on passive buffs, those buffs apply to you too.

Trilient:
You actually just answered my next question :)

Brett Bates:
Hehe, we have had a lot of players ask about PvP and it’s something we may consider in the future, but if we do, we’ll definitely be mindful to do it in a way that avoids “pay to win”.

Trilient:
Music to my ears, Pay to Win is becoming all too common, and to the casual players of the game it ruins the experience completely. I understand that companies have to make a profit, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of the consumers enjoyment.

Brett Bates:
Exactly.

Trilient:
With all of the games out there of the same (or similar) genre, what would you say makes KingsRoad stand out from the rest?

Brett Bates:
Our accessibility is a huge bonus. There’s no multi-gig download before you can play it. You don’t have to worry about system specs, or whether you have a PC or Mac, and because your data is hosted on our servers, it doesn’t even matter which computer you’re on. I can hop into KingsRoad for a bit here at lunch on my work computer, then dive right back into my game later that night on my home computer. Basically, with KingsRoad you’re getting everything you expect from your standard client-based action-RPG, except on Facebook =)

Trilient:
So accessibility is one of the major selling points. Which is always nice to not have to wait for a 2 hour download to finish when you want to play something.

Brett Bates:
Exactly. And we can also push updates more quickly too, you don’t have to download massive patches. We typically update once a week, and that allows us to quickly take action on player feedback.

Trilient:
Good deal. :) That’s what gaming communities like to hear.

Since the game does actually stand out from the crowd of action RPGs with it’s class system, what made you guys decide against a traditional class selection system and character creation?

Brett Bates:
We wanted to bring players into the game as quickly as possible and eliminate some of the barriers that prevent some people from getting into an RPG. The archer is pretty cheap at this point, so players can unlock him after just a few maps. That said, we may shift to allowing character selection at the start of the game if there’s enough feedback from players =)

Trilient:
And finally, when is the game available publicly?

Brett Bates:
We don’t have a set date yet, but it will be soon. We want to make sure that everything is running smoothly before we open the floodgates, we also want to get in the wizard =). But at this point, it is pretty easy to get into the game if you’re interested.

Conclusion:

It seemed like Brett Bates was very enthusiastic about the game, as well as polite. The game was definitely exciting for the limitations it has with multiplayer play. It has the elements of a dungeon crawler while having similar gameplay style to Diablo and Drakensang online. It’s an exciting experience and definitely shows a lot of promise.

KingsRoad (as stated above) does not have any set release date, but it will definitely be coming to monitors soon. So keep an eye out!

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