Fallen Age Interview prior to the Fall

The Fallen Age may be on hold, but its parent
continues to care for the game’s players

By Michael Lafferty

The Fallen Age has tumbled. The
massively multiplayer online game from Netamin, which featured a combination of
adventure, role-playing and civilization, has been placed on hold indefinitely.

“We have run into creative differences
with our partners in Korea, and have decided this week that we had no choice but
to put the game on hold," said Daniel Manachi, producer of Fallen Age.
"We sincerely apologize to our testers for the time and effort they’ve put
into helping test the game."

But don’t fret for the beta testers
for this program. They will move on to other realms, thanks to Netamin. The
company has arranged for its testers to enter the beta realm of another online

Prior to the announcement of The
Fallen Age’s departure, Manachi – who must have had an inkling of what was
to come – took time to talk with GameZone about the progress of the program,
and lessons learned. This interview formerly contained some questions that are
no longer applicable – such as the launch date and what those who haven’t
participated in the beta could expect. Those questions have been deleted from
the material presented here.

Question: The Fallen Age actually
launched before the expected time frame. Did that launch go as smoothly as you
had hoped it would? What were the biggest challenges initially?

Manachi: “Yes, we indeed did
launch the Beta early! The launch (and Beta up until now) has gone as smoothly
as possible. We haven’t crashed a single time!  We have had no reports of
any serious lag.  From a technical standpoint, this Beta has almost been
surreal – things are going so well from a technical standpoint that I’m
expecting the world to crumble into a fiery pit of hell at any moment now.

“The only real challenges we’ve had
so far are getting content in quick enough to please the Beta Testers. There are
sometimes expectations for us to, say, add more newbie monsters immediately or
balance the classes right away… While we are trying to do all that, we also
have to make sure we stay on track for adding all the major mechanics and what
have you that we

have schedules.  So the biggest
challenge has been keeping up with tester demand and our own internal schedules
at the same time.”

Q: The game kept evolving –
overall, can you rate the beta test. What was the major contribution of the beta

Manachi: “The biggest issues
with the game have been balance and content. The only real notable technical
problem has been a graphical glitch with some graphic cards, which causes the
screen to be choppy. Besides that, though, the only real complaints have been
about not enough content and class balance. There really is a minimum of
content, and balance does indeed need tweaking – but that’s what Beta’s for,

“The most fun people have been
having is with our Colony Mode… Players constantly boast (or complain, heh!)
about how money they made (or lost) in their colony, and how they are managing
it.  We recently added a Colony Ranking ladder in the game itself, and now
they’re all competing for the number one spot.”

Q:  What was the biggest

Manachi: “How loyal some of
our testers have been. We had some delays with "the big patch" and
small glitches… and throughout it all, the testers remained quite loyal.
They’re toughing it out with us, and we appreciate them all.”

What the future holds for The Fallen
Age, only time will tell. But to its credit, the game charged into the maw of
the online-gaming monster and though it may not have changed anything in terms
of actual play, Netamin did a first-class job in getting the game on the map and
addressing the minor problems along the way. In a world that is sometimes full
of hype and little substance, Netamin told the gaming world what it was going to
do, and then did it – often before it was scheduled to do so. That speaks
volumes about a company that cares about its product and the people who play it.