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Interview with Mo Fadl of Ember Sword: “We don’t play for money, we play for fun”

An Interview with Ember Sword

It’s been a few months since we took a detailed look at the state of the upcoming MMORPG sandbox. Ember Sword. When I last traveled through the deserts and forests of Tanabusa, it was a very limited technical test that was cut short after developer Bright Star Studios felt they had all the information they needed. This week the team unveiled the new, updated gameplay, and I was able to chat with Moe Fadl, the main publisher of Bright Star, and ask him a few questions about how development is progressing.

Although several minutes have passed since I was able to carefully study the move Ember Sword, it was pretty easy to keep track of what the team was up to with our weekly updates in our Indie MMO Spotlight column. Clearly, Bright Star Studios has been supporting their growing fanbase through their Work in Progress posts on Wednesday as well as ongoing community events. When I met with CPO Moe Fadl this week, it was important for me to get a clear idea of ​​where the game is and what Moe and his team are working on.

Mo started his gaming journey at Lahza Games and then moved on to some of the most popular publishers in the online gaming industry such as Blizzard, NCSoft and Riot Games. Mo met with the Bright Star team earlier this year and was impressed with what they were working on, which ultimately led him to join the project:

“I told them that I am from the gaming industry, mainly publishing, I have little knowledge about Crypto. (I have a lot of information) about blockchain technology and what it could be if used properly, but the crypto aspect is something that is being abused in many ways in today’s society. You know, “Crypto Scheme”. Blockchain technology itself, beauty!

Then they showed me the game and I was like, “Wait a minute,” and I asked them, “How did you record the game in the browser,” and they said, “We made the game in the browser.” brilliant minds said they made their own engine in the last two years.”

– Mo Fadl, Director of Sales, Ember Sword, Bright Star Studios

The implications of what a cloud engine can do surprised Mo. With the help of the new engine, the team can send live updates to the entire game at any time with a live service, be available to everyone through a web browser, and run their game without updates and without any major hardware requirements. During our conversation, Mo noticed that despite Ember Sword using blockchain, it’s not really a blockchain game. This was quite interesting to hear, especially considering how the economy of NFTs, crypto tokens, and blockchain gaming has struggled throughout 2022. Here’s what Mo had to say about how the market has changed and how it’s affecting Ember Sword:

We are not a blockchain game. We are making an amazing game. We are a gaming company. We use new technology for the economy, which allows us to create a truly great experience for everyone who is interested.

In Guild Wars 2 or Riot, we would never say that the economy in the small parts where we monetize is a key element of the game, because it is not. It’s the gameplay, the progression, the depth, the connection, the experience you create, how we put together a real game. So the core game (for Ember Sword) hasn’t changed, nothing has changed there, because the team has always said, “We want to make an amazing game with the right use of the blockchain.”

The way we monetize is not to play to earn, you play to play, you play to gain experience, you play to have fun, and if you want to get cosmetics, you find them or you want to buy them. its on the market because you don’t have it.

– Mo Fadl, Director of Sales, Ember Sword, Bright Star Studios

In our previous extensive review Ember Sword We spoke with Executive Producer Lauren Roosendaal about how cosmetics will be the main driver of the NFT in-game economy. Mo was candid about how the team is sticking to this philosophy, even if it doesn’t get as much attention as new game features are revealed. “Most likely, we will no longer focus on this and say: “This is a crypto game” – no, because why?Mo said. “No one cares if they have to buy Riot Points, World of Tanks Gold, or ArenaNet Crystals. No one cared, so let’s focus on the players, how they communicate and how they have a good time.“He continued. “Then if they want to use cosmetics, buy cosmetics or sell cosmetics, we have the opportunity to earn income. For them to generate income. To share it.he concluded.

Despite the emphasis primarily on the game, Ember Sword still uses blockchain to own land which is constantly sold off during each land sale, and the team has also sold NFT badges that provide early game access and other features depending on the level of the badge you purchase. This is how Moe described the relationship between these NFT holders and the potential population of gamers who are not interested in participating in the blockchain game:

There is currently a new demographic of gamers who are blockchain gamers. They’re gamers, don’t get me wrong, and they’ll be a part, and they’ll have a key part where they’ll maybe focus on one part of the game, like economy, or trade, or land and badges. and they should.

But if you look at the gamer market, you will see that there are about 3 billion gamers in the market. They are limited by infrastructure, so imagine we can offer them a great experience when you remove that part and it suddenly becomes available.

(Accessibility) by itself increases transaction speed, engagement rate, success rate and creates momentum, and it brings non-blockchain enthusiasts, like most current players, into a world where they understand, “Hey, blockchain can be done.” Yes, we unite the worlds. The landowners there are content with you.

…If you just want to play, play! If you just want to trade, trade! Whether you want to be a landowner and create content or just earn an income, there is a place for you too. The more successes, the more likely that everyone will get what they came for.

– Mo Fadl, Director of Sales, Ember Sword, Bright Star Studios

Finally, the interview touched on the current state of the game. Bright Star Studios has kindly provided us with the latest gameplay demo trailer, showcasing a populated world with multiple players running around each other, fighting monsters, and traveling the world. While the content is clearly a work in progress, it turned out to be way ahead of what was available during the technical test I reproduced in March. Moe explained that the game has made a lot of progress this year as the team has expanded and it has changed the development cycle so they are fast approaching an alpha build.

The process of obtaining a comprehensive feature set for Alpha was a new approach for Bright Star. In the spirit of transparency, the team decided to ditch the hard release dates and instead provide test targets that will mark the start of the next phase of development.

Some developers procrastinate 5 times and then decide when it’s ready, it’s ready. Everyone loves to use it now. But we decided to say no, but how about we look at the features we need to reach a certain point in the game cycle – alpha, closed beta, open beta, launch.

(We decided to) Open up with (our core community) and start the feature testing process. Where as we say is the features we have for the green light process, you will test with us. Green-lit features (may) activate alpha or beta. The community has a full understanding of where we are, what is being tested and why it is being tested, because some features are not even relevant to the community and they can give very clear feedback.

– Mo Fadl, Director of Sales, Ember Sword, Bright Star Studios

Moe mentioned that combat has gotten a lot tougher when skills start to feel more efficient and useful, to the point where they’re comfortable talking about how they plan to balance popular combat features like PvP. The video shows a melee set the team has been working on, but ranged weapons will start to form very quickly and balancing between each set will be a constant challenge for the team.

This brings us to the final question, where I inquired about any future trials that we can look forward to, especially since we had several trial delays in 2022. Mo assured me that new challenges are on the way, and that as they start to go through different stages of development, we may even see testing open to those who are not landowners and do not have a badge, giving the broader gaming community an opportunity join and test the game along with their core community. Ember Sword aims to be accessible to as many gamers as possible that Bright Star can reach, and while Moe couldn’t directly confirm if we’ll see testing on mobile devices or third-party game stores like the Epic Game Store, and when, he said that these are all the features the team is looking at and stay tuned for more information on this.

It’s been exciting to see how far Bright Star has come, and with passionate industry veterans like Mo Fadl on the team, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Ember Sword is preparing to become a unique MMORPG. I’m looking forward to the next phase of testing and hope to see a full alpha release on the horizon.

Written by khirou

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