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PotBS - Interview @ MMORPG.com
by Inauro, 2007-11-01 21:02:52
MMORPG.com talks to Jess Lebow, the Content Director for Pirates of the Burning Sea.
MMORPG.com: What makes working on a pirate-based game different from working on, say, a fantasy or sci-fi game?
Jess Lebow: Working in fantasy give you a lot of flexibility. Anything you could possibly need you can simply make up out of thin air. With pirates that's a little different. You need to base everything in reality and work out from there. The best example I can think of for this is trying to create a live event around a winter holiday.
In Guild Wars, we just made up a story about what the people in the world believe and what they celebrate. But when you're dealing with the Caribbean in 1720 and real history you can't just go around inventing new winter holidays that no one has ever heard of. So we did a whole bunch of research and discovered that there is a festival called Junkanoo that's celebrated in the Caribbean on December 26th. It even started in the 17th century, so it's believable that people in our game would be celebrating at that time of year. We of course took some liberties with our storytelling, but it all has a basis in reality.
This may seem restrictive, but really the history of piracy is a terrific place to find inspiration. I guess that's probably the biggest difference. Pirate stories have real-world reference material. Fantasy stories don't.