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Gameogre Interview with Torn

Discussion in 'MMO Interviews' started by GameOgreVideos, Dec 20, 2010.

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    GameOgreVideos Game Ogre YouTube Channel GameOgre Developer

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    "Torn requires that little bit more than your average online multiplayer game. More content than all other online rpg games, 40,000 daily players. No resets, no costs, no adverts, do crimes, attack, train in the gym, start a faction, collect items, invest in stocks, go to jail/hospital, undertake missions, race a car, marry someone, get a job, start a company, take education courses, play in the casino, play poker, trade in the markets, invest in the bank, shop for items, program viruses, read or write for the Torn City Times newspaper, buy multiple properties, travel, hunt... The list is endless."



    GameOgre: TORN, previously known as TORN CITY when launched in 2004, is one of the largest online text-based RPG’s today with over 40,000 users logging on daily. Can you tell us a bit about the team of developers behind TORN, and how it’s been working together for the past 6 years?

    TORN: It has been a pretty crazy six years! We have a bunch of developers ranging from contract workers, freelancers, volunteers and co-owners. We each have our own separate skills that we excel in, and work as a team to bring them together.

    We’re all very happy, and it’s exciting bringing new updates and changes to over a hundred thousand people - that’s what keeps us motivated. We try to bring more and more people on to the team as the game grows and as money comes in thanks to our supporters. The bigger the team, the bigger Torn can become.


    GameOgre: Can you tell us about the background of Torn City? Is this background similar to the history of some cities in the U.S. or in other countries? How are the players intertwined with this story?

    TORN:Torn City is based in America, a large city torn apart by crime and warfare. We try to maintain a strong storyline through Torn City Times chronicles and missions, and the general aura of abilities and functions available to players.

    Storyline is not a huge part of the game, players tend to make their own by the different actions they take and the people they meet, some time making huge rifts by collecting parts with their faction of friends to build a large and expensive dirty bomb. Dirty bombs are global events, everyone online is made aware when one is detonated, usually during a faction war - and often many people online end up in hospital as a result of it. These are rare, but just an example of how players can form their own storyline.


    GameOgre: Today most people play games for the awesome graphics and effects. Do you feel that text based RPGs are dying out? What are you doing to ensure your players are happy and to continue to appeal to a new generation of gamers?

    TORN:Text based games have many huge perks which large graphical games simply can’t deliver. Firstly text based games can never be outdated; they are simply made of text and images, and always will be. They won’t become obsolete a few years down the line when a game with better graphics comes out, I have no doubt Torn will last for decades, maintaining its strong and loyal user base. It’s perfect for players looking for long term game play, being able to constantly improve your character on a constantly updated and never outdated game forever.

    You don’t need to install Torn, or buy any disks. Anyone can play and enjoy 99% of the content completely for free. It can be accessed from anywhere in the world, instantly from a browser - on mobile phones, computers, consoles, net books etc. Most other games simply cannot compete with that.
    We’re working on many aspects and vastly improving the game for new players and old, all of the time. It’s often hard to make everyone happy, mainly our older user base who dislike change - but we certainly do try to cater for everyone.


    GameOgre: What do you think makes a text-based RPG like Torn City fun?

    TORN:The vast, vibrant community. How friends can work together, and how enemies can hurt each other in a multitude of ways. It’s all based around the fact that you’re playing with tens of thousands of other players each day, and everything you do can affect others in some shape or form.

    The ability to constantly improve your character in a huge amount of ways, customising and making yourself totally unique from anyone else. Gaining skills and using them with your friends, against your enemies.
    The large amount of content. Players can pick and choose exactly what they want to do and how they want to improve. They completely tailor their play-style and only do what they want to do, creating their own game out of Torn. This seems to be a winning formula for Torn, and has retained loyal players for over 5 years.

    GameOgre: In Torn City, committing crimes is the way of life, and avoiding a trip to jail is one of the first things new players must learn to do. Can you tell us what some of the easy crimes are to commit? As you gain more experience, what are some of the harder, more exciting crimes?

    TORN:One of the biggest mistakes new players make is trying to jump in to difficult crimes as soon as they sign up. Torn is a long-term strategy game, you can’t simply complete it in a number of days, although if you’re smart and active you can easily overtake people who started way before you.

    There is a long list of crimes for users to do, each one escalating in difficulty, risk and reward. Crimes range from shoplifting, larceny and pick-pocketing to assassination, kidnapping and bombing. Each crime is then broken down into sub-options to customise your crime into exactly how you want to do it.

    New players should start with ‘Search for cash’ or ‘Sell copied media’. These crimes are easy and only give a small reward, but as you succeed each crime, you’ll constantly get better and be able to do harder crimes. Slowly working your way up to ‘Grand Theft Auto’ or ‘Arms-Trafficking’ - Or even planning huge organised crimes with your faction mates, like hi-jacking a plane or a political assassination.


    GameOgre: Can you tell us about the Union and their Point system?

    TORN:Points are a currency used to purchase special features and useful abilities for your account. Players can earn points by helping Torn in certain ways, winning competitions or donating real money to help support Torn City. Players can also trade points for Torn City dollars on the points market, turning their points in to money.

    Points are often rare and hard to come by, sometimes the market is completely empty so players who do not donate are often unable to get hold of them. A year ago we added a temporary system to automatically flood the market with points so they could be purchased with Torn City dollars; this was to deflate the economy - reducing the amount of TC dollars within the game. This worked well and we successfully stabilised Torn City’s economy. Now we’ve stopped pumping points into the market, a small minority of players are finding it hard to adjust to TC life where points are no longer available on demand.

    GameOgre: Can you tell us about the feature that allows players to marry and divorce, and what effect does this have on players’ in terms of gameplay?

    TORN:Any couple can get married on Torn by using wedding rings; it works almost exactly like real life. Young female players often sign up to Torn and become gold diggers, seeking high-level rich players and using their charm to form a marriage. When married, you can share your property with your spouse, living with them every day, both receiving the perks of a high-end expensive property.

    People often regret hasty marriages, but thankfully the divorce system is relatively painless compared to the real world.


    GameOgre: There have been some recent complaints about starting players having to pay a $5 donation. Can you explain this situation to us and how exactly it works?

    TORN:Torn is 100% free to play, and always will be. However, like most MMORPGs with a huge support infrastructure, hardware and human costs need funding somehow. This financial support comes via our donator system, but this is 100% optional.

    Torn allows all players the ability to donate $5 via PayPal to support the game and in return players earn “donator statusâ€. This status brings extra in-game benefits, such as 50+ points, increased energy, quicker recovery and lots more.

    Historically we allowed players to trade points for “donator statusâ€, but this has recently changed and donator status can only be bought with real money donations. Sorry folks - unfortunately Dellâ„¢ would not accept Torn City points as payment for our new servers!

    GameOgre: Are there special features or rewards in game for the long term players who have stuck with Torn City for the past few years?

    TORN:We’re always introducing new aspects for older players. Torn is a long-term game and always advances with it’s older users, there is always something to do and nothing is fully capped - your account can always increase in skill further and further the longer you play.

    As you level up, you’re always unlocking new content and opening up new areas. We have a huge base of old users who have been playing very actively for five or six years now, and they still show no signs of quitting.


    GameOgre: What do you have planned for the future of Torn and its community?

    TORN:We’re actively working on new updates, every single day, as hard as we can, but we can’t say what they are just yet.

    What I will say is now’s a great time to enter Torn City as we’ve done a huge amount of work on new player journeys to ease new players into the game. With Torn City being so deep, it’s often daunting to know where to start, so we set new players introductory missions to complete which is proving a great success. We’ve also got some incredible designs in place for some pretty serious updates which everyone will enjoy.

    Over the past 2 months, we’ve released some great updates including Racing, City Watch, Help Wiki, and the aforementioned new player missions.
    As I say… For new features; until they’re released, we cannot divulge in any information.

    GameOgre: Is there anything else you would like to tell our community about Torn?

    TORN:Keeping our users happy is our primary goal. We’re not in it for the money, simply the joy of creation and bringing cool updates to the masses. We believe any single person can get addicted and enjoy Torn, all they have to do is give it a chance, but the rewards are huge for those who persevere.

    Play Torn Now!
     
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