Transcript of RuneScape Behind the Scenes #35 - Mod Mark Interview, Behind the Updates

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[00:04] Behind the scenes
Behind the updates
[00:07] You want updates and you want them now, so in a change to this weeks behind the scenes,
[00:11] Paul M went to find out how the team decide what updates they'll be releasing throughout 2013.
[00:18] So Runescape is 12 years old, and keeping content that kind of appeals
[00:21] and is tailored to such a wide variety of players is like, an unbelievably massive task.
[00:25] So I guess my first question really is, how do you do it.
[00:28] Well it's not an easy job that's for sure.
[00:30] What we tend to do is think about the next twelve months of content that we've got planned,
[00:34] what we want to achieve within those twelve months, and also kind of have a broad idea of what we want to achieve within the next three years.
[00:40] When we're thinking about what sort of players we've got,
[00:43] we try to make sure that the content we've planned over the next year is appropriate for all of those different groups.
[00:48] Some of the bugs that we've got, some of the problems that players have with content.
[00:51] We also need to think about all the different skills that we've got in the game,
[00:55] we need to think about which pieces of content we've updated recently,
[00:58] what things we haven't one for a long time, but also areas of the game that have become a bit dated,
[01:04] we want to make sure that the game is constantly relevant to players,
[01:08] so we need to always update, so there's really quite a lot of juggling acts that we're doing all the time.
[01:13] How do you choose what goes in and what stays out.
[01:15] Every single project that the entire RuneScape development team is working on is put into a schedule,
[01:21] right now I've got about six years worth of content in my mind,
[01:24] we can't do it all at the same time, so it's about making sure what's right for the game and when.
[01:29] But how do you decide "right, okay, well this contents going to go in and this content isn't going to go in".
[01:32] A lot of the times its about availability, it's about working out how many hours we've got in every day,
[01:38] how many hours each department has got to work on things, and then fitting everything together, almost like a jigsaw puzzle.
[01:44] Some quests can take up to a year to create, we've got other pieces of content that are very very short,
[01:49] we've just recently done a rework to the demon slayer quest for example, which we should be seeing in the game within the next few months,
[01:57] and we restricted ourselves to only a week or two weeks of development.
[02:01] The grandmaster quest that we've got coming up in the next few months has been about nine to twelve months development time.
[02:08] Even though I've been here almost ten years I'm still surprised by the amount of development time that it takes to do certain things.
[02:15] It doesn't surprise me that the players underestimate the amount of work that it takes because I do it every single day.
[02:21] So would you say then that ten years ago making a quest was a much simpler process.
[02:25] The content that we're producing now is so much more challenging to make just because we've got so many more things to think about.
[02:32] For example the graphics, the quality of the graphics that we can produce now is just astronomically higher than it was before.
[02:38] We have a lot more invest in things like 2D concept art so that we've got a team of concept artists
[02:43] that will actually produce really cool images for the modelers and animators to work from.
[02:47] Audio is a lot better now as well, the quality of the audio that we're producing, using full orchestras,
[02:54] proper voice over's, actually thinking a lot more on how we want those characters to talk - it adds a lot more to development really.
[03:03] If we player wants this or wants that how do you decide what goes in, what doesn't go in, whether is a good idea, a bad idea - how does that work.
[03:10] It's quite often the case that the ideas that the players really want to see in the game,
[03:13] we also want to see in the game, because we're all players of RuneScape as well.
[03:17] How long do you think it takes for a player idea to...
[03:19] Oh and RuneFest as well...sorry.
[03:21] Oh yea, RuneFest, we got loads of good ideas from RuneFest.
[03:23] Yea, well the Runespan, the update last year, that was voted on by the players from RuneFest, and we're really looking forward to doing that again.
[03:31] So, it wouldn't be behind the scenes and I wouldn't be doing my job properly if I didn't harass you a little bit
[03:35] and ask you for a bit of a of a heads up for future content. So, what have you got.
[03:40] This is a bit of a cryptic clue, I guess, the gods will be hunting for the rarest butterfly.
[03:49] That is very cryptic.
[03:51] Also something cool - Death, one of the characters that we've got in the game,
[03:55] he's always been a bit of a comedy character but he's actually going to be doing a bit of fighting this year.
[04:01] Do you have any body set to voice Death?
[04:03] No. Not yet. I'm not sure.
[04:06] Are you taking auditions?
[04:07] Maybe we are, I'm not sure we're going to voice that quest to be honest with you, we'll see.
[04:14] Okay well I don't want to be the one to stand in the way of progress so I should probably let you get off and crack on.
[04:18] Mister voice over guy can we hear about next week's BTS please!
[04:21] But of course! Next week on behind the scenes we really will be looking into the coming desert achievement diary, promise!