It's a considerable task, turning the popular Stargate SG-1 TV series into an MMO. Currently, the developer plans to put the game into public hands at the end of the year - we caught up with studio head Dan Elggren to find out more...
Tell us what Stargate Worlds is all about?
Dan Elggren: Stargate Worlds is a science fiction massively multiplayer online role-playing game based on the longest-running science fiction series in U.S. television history, Stargate SG-1. It's the only game where Scientists, Archeologists and grey aliens can team up with soldiers, commandos and warriors to save the galaxy.
Stargate Worlds will be a story-driven MMORPG that features modern tactical combat, science fiction weapons and innovative non-combat gameplay through integrated mini-games.
If you're not familiar with Stargate, the concept of the series is fairly simple. Stargates built by an ancient, highly advanced civilization allow near instantaneous travel from planet to planet across the galaxy.
The U.S. military operates Stargate Command from a secret base inside Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado. Stargate teams, like SG-1, travel through the gate to explore other planets and find human and alien civilizations. They also reignite a war with an alien enemy, the Goa'uld, and their warrior servants, the Jaffa.
When you sat down to sketch out the original concept for the game, what were your high level goals and would you say you've achieved - or are achieving - what you set out to do?
Elggren: Our high-level goal was to create an authentic Stargate experience that could please the hardcore fans of the series and broaden the audience to people who have never even heard of the series. In fact, a key part of our mission was to expand the Stargate fanbase and increase the overall profile of the franchise.
Are we achieving those goals? We are well on our way to crafting the Stargate experience we want gamers to be a part of. Our creative team, led by Creative Director Chris Klug works extensively with Brad Wright and Robert Cooper, the show creators, to ensure that the story we are writing fits seamlessly into the Stargate canon.
The MMO space has become highly competitive. Is having a major, established license such as Stargate the only real way now to succeed in this genre in your opinion?
Elggren: I don't believe that a license is necessary to succeed. As a developer, it does jumpstart the community aspect of your game because the dedicated fans of the license are likely to be your biggest advocates.
We have benefited from a strong, vocal community that started forming early in 2006. Unfortunately, a license also comes with the stigma of rushed and poorly executed games based on blockbusters and children's movies.
The key to success is simple: build good, fun games that people want to play. We know what the key is. Now it's all about execution.
Exactly how traditional is Stargate Worlds? By that I mean does it have a feature set similar to the World of Warcrafts out there, or are you attempting something new?
Elggren: We are traditional in the sense that an experienced player of MMOs will be able to sit down and immediately understand what's going on.
World of Warcraft is a great game, but we don't see them as "competition," per se, anymore than the Big Mac sees the Quarter Pounder as competition. Sometimes you're in the mood for a good sword fight, sometimes you would rather shoot up aliens with a P90!