Questions by Brian Perry Jr.
Answered by Lee Hammock, Lead Game Designer
Onrpg: How would you describe Fallen Earth to those who have never heard of it?
Fallen Earth is a post-apocalyptic massively multiplayer online game with a first person shooter style combat mechanic. Fallen Earth uses a mixture of first person shooter and role playing game systems, relying on player skill to remain on target but using a more role playing game style system to determine weapon damage and effects.
Onrpg: What is the setting for the game?
Fallen Earth is set one hundred and fifty years in the future and one hundred years after the fall of civilization due to a biological and nuclear holocaust. The game takes place in the southwest United States, specifically in the region around the Grand Canyon. The game world is over 7,000 square kilometers in size and is based on real topographical maps of the Grand Canyon. This region is some of the last habitable land in North America, so it is a heavily contested area. Numerous factions fight for control of food, minerals, and other supplies. The players can choose to join these factions or go it alone.
Onrpg: According to the website the background mentions that you are near Hoover Dam. Will the entire game, or at least what is available at launch, take place in this area?
Hoover Dam looms large in the background of the setting, but it will not be part of the initial release. The area used in the initial release material is close to Hoover Dam, but it won’t appear until later expansions.
Onrpg: Fallen Earth features several factions. How will players interact with them and will they be able to be a part of one?
Players will be able to join the six main factions, gaining ranks and access to missions, equipment, and special training. Players will be able to earn points with their factions by completing PvE or PvP missions and can help their factions control towns and territory through PvP activities. Each of the six main factions has two allied factions, two that are enemies, and one archenemy. Each time you gain points with your faction you gain half as many points with your allies, lose an equal amount with your enemies, and lose twice as much with your archenemy. Because of this it is impossible to remain friends with everyone. Players can choose to remain neutral and eventually do some missions with the minor support factions in the game, such as the Banker’s Guild or Franklin’s Riders, but characters who remain neutral will not see the same depth of content as players who choose to join a faction.
Onrpg: What will the gameplay be like?
Fallen Earth uses the standard WASD controls for movement and the mouse is used to interact with objects in the world and to aim when in combat. Attacking a target requires a placing a targeting reticle over the target and clicking the mouse or activating a special attack, so if players are not able to keep their target in their sights they won’t hit. The effect such attacks have on the target is determined using a role playing game style system where the attacker’s weapon and skill are compared to the defender’s armor and skill to determine how much damage is done. Because of this structure, players will have to constantly adjust and move in combat, especially in PvP conflict. Players can choose to play in first or third person. Fallen Earth concentrates on combat, crafting, exploration, and mission-oriented play. We have a huge environment for players to run around in and a massive amount of content for them to experience, so players will be able to find something to their liking.
Onrpg: Will there be crafting in the game?
Yes, it is one of the primary activities in the game. 95% of the items in Fallen Earth are craftable by players, and all the best equipment is made by players. Players can develop ten different tradeskills, from Ballistics and Armorcraft to Cooking and Science that allow them to harvest resources, refine resources, and use them in constructing items. Players must find recipes for items that they wish to make, which can be found through missions, purchased from merchants, found on enemies, or learned from other players. Crafting in Fallen Earth has a real time component, so making a gun may take a few hours. This time passes regardless of what you do, including logging off, and you can queue up a number of items to build if you are going to be offline for a significant amount of time. This limits the number of items a player can build without getting in the way of their play experience.
Onrpg: How will players get around in the game? Will there be transportation of any sort?
Players can use underground trains, mounts, and cars for transportation, though these all must be found in the game and may be very expensive or very resource intensive. Initially players will have to rely on their own two feet.
Onrpg: Can we expect a large amount of the game to focus on PvP?
About a third of the content is oriented toward PvP, the core of which is conflict towns which players can claim for their faction through PvP activities. Our PvP conflict is zone-based so if you enter a PvP zone you are a target, and players can shoot anyone except members of their group so members of the same faction can attack each other. Players can avoid PvP by staying out of PvP zones.
Onrpg: Tell us a little about some of the teammates over at Icarus Studios.
Fallen Earth is actually a separate company from Icarus Studios, though we’re using their tools for making the game. The other top folks at Fallen Earth are Colin Dwan, the Lead Game Engineer, and Steve Coyle, who is the Art Director both of whom are a joy to work with. Within my own department, Content, which handles all the writing and game balance issues, we’ve got a mixture of computer game writers, old school table-top writers, comic book writers, scriptwriters, MUSH runners, and LARP staff. It’s quite an eclectic bunch.
Onrpg: Do you have a rough idea of when we can get our hands on the game?
While we are making excellent progress, we’re not ready to set a release date. Thanks for letting us talk with OnRPG readers!