VrtualTed : Hi everyone!
VrtualTed : Thanks for coming to our special chat tonight!
VrtualTed : We have a really special guest with us. Not only is he the executive producer on one of the
VrtualTed : most anticipated RPG titles of 1999, but he is also the co-founder of Westwood Studios!
VrtualTed : Hi Louis!
LouisC : Hello all! Thanks VT!
VrtualTed : We're going to run this as a MODERATED chat.
VrtualTed : That means, I'll be taking questions, and then letting you know
VrtualTed : when it's your turn to speak publicly.
VrtualTed : So....let's get started!
VrtualTed : If anyone has a question, just send it to me privately. I'll call on you when it's your turn.
VrtualTed : If I may start things off....
LouisC : LOL 3 is the culmination of the first Lands of Lore trilogy.
VrtualTed : Louis, can you tell us a little bit about Lands of Lore 3? Just maybe a general overview?
LouisC : It is about a half breed dracoid/human who has to save his soul and in doing so saves the lands
LouisC : We seem to be having a bit of a problem
VrtualTed : Hey, everyone. Seems we had a small hiccup in the service!
LouisC : Hey everybody, sorry about that. The guys are looking into what caused the slow down
VrtualTed : Okay, let's give this another shot...
LouisC : So, anyway, LOL 3 is about developing the character of Copper LeGrey and saving the lands from a strange curse
VrtualTed : If anyone has a question, please let me know (privately) and I'll let you know when it's your turn to speak.
LouisC : We concentrated on a few elements to make LOL 3 our best RPG to date.
LouisC : 1) An easier interface so that more people can get into the game, and so we could add more features
LouisC : 2) More RPG extensions, things we have wanted to see in RPG games for a while, but seemed too complicated
LouisC : 3) the sense of developing a character and working with multiple characters to solve goals
LouisC : 4) Extend the mythos of the Lands and build on a grwoing base of characters and places in the geme bible
VrtualTed : Coolness!
VrtualTed : I think Zombie has a question for ya.
ZombieWP : Will the game support or have any 3DFX graphics? ie Voodoo, d3d, glide, etc.
LouisC : Definately! In fact the graphics engine hsas been built around glide support but also supports D3D
LouisC : You can play in almost any resolution and we use many features unique to the Voodoo chip set
LouisC : It is still based on our basic RPG engine so we still have some limitations
LouisC : But we were able to add other great features like the voxel characters from Blade Runner
LouisC : Overall, it is a really unique engine with lots of special effects and eye candy
VrtualTed : Great. Vegeto79 is up next.
Vegeto79 : How long do you think (on an average) to be able to beat the game. in hours.
LouisC : It would depend on the type of player you are.
LouisC : If you want to develop your character and get the best weapons and spells before taking on the rift worlds
LouisC : then it is probably about 60 hours
LouisC : If you are a get in there and fight type of player you may shave it down to 30 or 40
VrtualTed : Thanks Vegeto. Remember, we're giving away free tee shirts for those with the most "interesting" questions,
VrtualTed : so let me know privately what your question is and I'll call on you when it's your turn. : )
VrtualTed : Rileywhit is up next!
rileywhit : What DirectX will it take to run it
rileywhit : ?
LouisC : 6.0
LouisC : That was EASY!
VrtualTed : Alright, Partypoop is up next....
Partypoop : how did u come up with the idea for this story line for this game?
LouisC : It is an extension of the bible we have for the Lands
LouisC : We actually have many sotries happening all the time in our minds
LouisC : We sit down together and try to find the game experinece we are looking to create
LouisC : Then we talk about the many characters and how they interact and tsee if we can find the right blend
LouisC : that will fit our game play and still be intriguing as a story
LouisC : The writers think along the lines of classic story structure and the game designers sweat the play patters
LouisC : in the end it is a top down process that keeps being revisited as the game develops
VrtualTed : Great! Thanks PP. Good question...
VrtualTed : Zero69 is up next...
VrtualTed : Err. Zero79!
Zero79 : Are there going to be any sub-quests?? If so how many??
LouisC : Many!
LouisC : In the game there is a journal that you use to keep track of all your questz
LouisC : the character class selection is actually part of game play as you join guilds and find out
LouisC : what they are all about
LouisC : because of that, you can have many quests from the 4 guilds as well as general quests related to the
LouisC : games main 2 story lines
LouisC : so it is like many linear stories happenig at once with lots of cross over
VrtualTed : Excellent. Next up, we have Tacache!
VrtualTed : <tacache> how long did it take louis to accomplish this out standing game??
LouisC : We have been working on LOL 3 since before LOL 2 was completed in 1997
LouisC : The story started way back in late 96 but programming and formal design started in January of 98
VrtualTed : You're up AJesusFrk!
VrtualTed : Hmm...maybe he's sleeping....
AJesusFrk : so will this game appeal to girls too, my sister likes puzzle type games
LouisC : Well, I know a lot of girls and they tend to like very different games
LouisC : But without being cute, the game has a good deal of combat with or without spells
LouisC : You tend to kill things alot and solve p[hysical puzzles as well as brain teasers
LouisC : It has alittle for everyone with each portal world having a game play focus
LouisC : The underworld is all about brain teasing puzzles with only a few difficult compbat areas
LouisC : but the Roloi home world has almost all combat
LouisC : So I guess if she does not mind the combat, her mental skills will make things much easier and she should
LouisC : like it, if she HATES combat, it is probably not for her
VrtualTed : Alright, MJPater has a question...
MJPater : Do you have to have played LOL I & II to be able to play III or can you pick up the game from there?
LouisC : Each of the LOL chapters stands alone but is also part of a bigger saga
LouisC : You don't have to play 1 or 2, or have completed them
LouisC : but if you have, 3 will be more fun since you'll have the inside track on the characters
LouisC : Most of the characters from LOL 1 return in LOL 3 since we go back to Gladstone
VrtualTed : Okay, Bluddyid is up next!
Bluddyid : How interactive is the environment? Can you manipulate items?
LouisC : The environement per se is no more interactive than most RPG /action games. That is, you can not break down any wall or burn down all the forests
LouisC : Items, on the other hand, are very flexible
LouisC : So there are places where you can cause floods of lava and such, but they are "set up"
LouisC : It is not an open environment. To build one of those you need physical simulation
LouisC : and computers are just now getting to the level where we can contiplate that
LouisC : It still begs the question of if simulation is relly what you want for a good story
LouisC : Maybe a little of both. Ceratainly more interactive environments than we have now
VrtualTed : Thanks Louis. Larotech has a question about the development of Lands of Lore 3
VrtualTed : <LAROTECH> how many people is involved in this game creation ( sorry for my english)
LouisC : No problem. There are about 25 people on the Lands of Lore 3 team
LouisC : We have been working on the game for 14 months so it has been a good deal of effort
VrtualTed : Okay! Klepacki is up next!
Klepacki : why did you choose a deserted nod-base as one of the locations in the game?
LouisC : BWHAHAHHA Actually, we didn't. We created the shattered desert game level which is a deserted military
LouisC : installation. One of the C&C designers saw it, and the drama with the computer that
LouisC : looks over the base and said it looked like Cabal, the NOD computer
LouisC : I was very worried about the crossing of FRP with Sci-Fi, I'm generally not a big fan of
LouisC : genre busting
LouisC : So we made sure the story was from the context of what Copper knows. He is a fantasy character
LouisC : so the thinks the computer is a wizard hold up in a room within this strange keep
LouisC : it is great fun to see how Copper deals with the "magic" that is technology
Sigourney : How many spells can I use in the game? And.. is this gonna be the last LOL game?
LouisC : We have over 70 spells each with its own magical effect
LouisC : as well as over 200 items, many of which have spell like effects. You won't be left wanting to have some magical power that was not in the game!
LouisC : We have already started working on the next Lands of Lore trilogy
LouisC : We have the overview story for LOL 4, 5 and 6 and we are now in the planning stage for LOL 4
LouisC : It is hard to keep focused on LOL 3 to make sure it gets done! :)
VrtualTed : Thanks Sigourney! Halibut is up next, and I think he wants a job... : )
halibut2 : I'm a college senior Computer Science major. What can I do to get into the gaming field?
LouisC : Well, I would say for our company your chances are better as a graduating CSC major than
LouisC : as an artist, designer or producer. For CSC I would say to send out your resume
LouisC : and maybe even write some of your own game engine tools
LouisC : It is pretty easy to demonstrate competence in CSC and many companies even have tests (like ours)
VrtualTed : Great. next up is nimrod69.
nimrod69 : What is the point of view, what are the fight secnes like, and how do you think LOL3 will compete w/
nimrod69 : some of the newer rpgs like baulders gate?
LouisC : The game is from first person, check out the new screen shots on our site, they were posted today
LouisC : I like playing RPGs so I'm happy to say how our new RPG compares to theirs
LouisC : Ours is easier to get into and focuses more on story and visual effects
LouisC : Theirs is very rule oriented and focuses on detailed oriented character development
LouisC : I think we are similar in scope, but I can't say for sure since I have not finished BG yet
LouisC : I did like the game, but I'm BUSY!! My only complaint on BG was it seemed pretty encumbered
LouisC : byt the AD&D rules and it did have more bugs than I would like
VrtualTed : Great.. Just to let everyone know, we have already awarded
VrtualTed : quite a few prizes (tee-shirts, games) to people that have
VrtualTed : asked questions so far. We'll announce the winners at the end of the conference!
VrtualTed : And, we'll try to get to everyone's questions as fast as possible. We have a _LOT_ of questions to go through!
VrtualTed : I think b5morden is up next!
b5morden : Besides characters, lands, etc.; what major differences not already discussed will there be between 2 and 3?
LouisC : The interface, the character development through shops and a large town, and the familiar which you
LouisC : can solicit to join you.
LouisC : From the technology part there are too many enhancements and changes to count, but a few are
LouisC : voxel characters that cast shadows, lightmaps, dynamic lighs and shadows, and more
VrtualTed : Alright. Apochrist is up next!
VrtualTed : His question was...
VrtualTed : <Apochrist> What kind of RPG do you classify LOL as, and is that likely to change in future games
LouisC : LOL 3 is a easy to get into and very deep POV RPG
LouisC : I definately would not classify it as RPG light, bit it is simple enough and has on line help to
LouisC : make sure anyone can play. It also has so much depth I think even the most hard core
LouisC : RPG fan will fine lots of things to get into and explore
VrtualTed : Thanks! Next up is Tricksy
TRICKSY : how replayable will LOl 3 be
LouisC : LOL 3 is very replayable
LouisC : There are 4 guilds each with their own set of quests
LouisC : since you can compbine any guilds you like as you join them, the game can be very different as
LouisC : you play through it with different classes
LouisC : However, the main sotry of Copper retreiving his soul and the reparing of the rifts that threaten
LouisC : the Lnads is the same every time you play
LouisC : You can do a few worlds in different order, but ultimately, you will need to complete all the rifts worlds in some manner to finish the game
LouisC : I would say you will not feel like you have to play it again, but you will definately know that
LouisC : you have not seen everything
VrtualTed : Bottlenek is up next!
bottlenek : as cofounder of Westwood, I would like to tell you Westwood rocks
bottlenek : keep up the good work....
bottlenek : can you comment briefly on the overall direction that Westwood is headed with RPG and RTS, etc???
LouisC : Thanks! All the people here love it when we get feedback from the public
bottlenek : (realtime strategy RTS - RPG role-playing game)
LouisC : We really love making games, and we always have more ideas for making more and better games
LouisC : With RTS we will continue to further the C&C line (of course) and we may explore other ideas in RTS
LouisC : We feel the category is still rich for new ideas and in fact, it is getting a bit stale
LouisC : We are looking forward to introducing new ideas and see which stick to the wall
LouisC : On the PRG front we are looking to pusht he genre
LouisC : IMHO no one has met the excitment of a table top RPG much less bested it. That
LouisC : is my goal and the goal of the LOL team
LouisC : I'm very excited about LOL 4 and what it will mean to the fundemental game
LouisC : mechanic of PRGs but that is a story for another chat! :)
bottlenek : thanks......I am more RTS, but I look forward to looking into the LOL RPG genre.....
LouisC : LOL 3 is a very nice wrap up to the first trilogy and I really feel we havesomething special on the
LouisC : int4erface and online help features that raise the state of the art
VrtualTed : Thanks Bottlenek!
VrtualTed : Tymaster is up next..
tymaster : How would you describe some of the sounds and music of LOL 3?
LouisC : Well, it is always hard to write what something sounds like <Kaboom!> :)
LouisC : But,. I would say that the sound design is something we work extra hard to get right
LouisC : We have rewritten the entire sound system for LOL 3 and have created hundreds of new sounds
LouisC : As with all Westwood titles we have created all original scores and have recorded
LouisC : tens of thousands of lines of dialogs from famous and upcoming actors
VrtualTed : ok! wa4jte is up next.
wa4jte : sorry
wa4jte : do you ever use beta testers for your games and if so how do you get to be one
LouisC : We use an internal testing staff mostly.
LouisC : We do open beta tests with limited numbers of people for our online titles
LouisC : for our CDROM releases we usually don't send out betas
LouisC : This is due to the rampant piracy that seems to be rekindling itself in the industry
wa4jte : thanks, i was a beta tester for sole survivor.
LouisC : we simply can't aford to put out products that take millions of dollars to make and have them end up from free
LouisC : all over the world
wa4jte : i understand. thanks
LouisC : So, sorry but not too many external beta sites. You can always be a tester ! :)
VrtualTed : Okay! Madluther is up next!
madluther : what are the minimum System requirments, and will the game run on NT4 workstation ?
LouisC : P166 with 32 megs RAM and 6X CD (looks much better with a voodoo card)
LouisC : The reviewers have been playing it on a P200 with a voodoo 1 and when they are told what
LouisC : they are playing on they can't believe it. So, you probably won't have any trouble
VrtualTed : okay! We have time for two more questions...
VrtualTed : Kicdababy is up next!
VrtualTed : Don't kick the baby!
KICdaBABY : How much is it gonna cost?
KICdaBABY : Heh :)
LouisC : We don't set retail prices but I imagine you will find it for $45 to $55
KICdaBABY : Is there gonna be any online play ?
LouisC : Not for LOL 3. :)
LouisC : The story line and engine lend themselves to single player action
LouisC : but we are definately committed to online play for most of our titles, so watch this space!
VrtualTed : Okay, our last question is from LTJ976!
VrtualTed : (then we'll announce the winners..)
LTJ976 : with the overwhelming succes of C&C....
LTJ976 : do you think that LOL will be brought to these levels?
LouisC : Wow! Well, LOL 2 has sold of 1/2 million copies around the world. That
LouisC : is pretty good by any measure so I think it is already way up there
LouisC : As for C&C, that kind of success tends to happen only once every few years so
LouisC : I can't say when, or if we will hit numbers like that again
LouisC : but that's waht we keep trying to do! :)
VrtualTed : Thanks LTJ976. And, thanks to everyone that participated!
VrtualTed : I think we'll let Louis do the honors of picking our winners tonight...
LouisC : Heck, I can't pick
LouisC : How about we give prizes to all the questions we posted? :)
VrtualTed : No Louis! no! (well, I guess you're the boss...)
LouisC : Heh
LouisC : Guess we have to now. It will all come from that big "marketing budget"
LouisC : Sorry Laura! :)
VrtualTed : Alright! We have all the information on file for each of you, so we'll be getting tee-shirts and some other goodies out to everyone that asked a question publicly!
VrtualTed : Thanks again Louis for stopping by! It was great having you visit.
LouisC : Thanks to all of you for showing up to hear (read) me bable!
LouisC : I look forward to the next one.
VrtualTed : Great!
VrtualTed : Well, for further questions please visit the Lands of Lore 3 website
VrtualTed : We have a message board there where you can ask questions, as well as a FAQ sheet,
VrtualTed : And, a couple new .MP3 files which are EXTREMELY cool.
VrtualTed : Just head to http://www.westwood.com!
VrtualTed : Now, I'll make the channel public...