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JAXX' NEWS
Here the entire session:
(interesting questions are highlighted)
thanxx to "The YETI (eavesdrop)"
 

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...