Firefall interview with Red 5 boss Mark Kern

Red 5 Studios founder and CEO Mark Kern comes to the Shacknews offices to discuss Firefall, revealing details on armies and the business model behind the game.

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"There's a big request for mustaches. We're going to hire a physics programmer just dedicated for mustaches, I think," Red 5 Studios founder and CEO Mark Kern joked during an interview last week at the Shacknews office. It's impossible to ignore the explosion of attention Red 5 Studios' upcoming free-to-play shooter Firefall has received throughout the Shacknews community. After publishing our recent preview, Kern urged the Firefall forum community to jump into Chatty to discuss the game. In a few short days over 1,000 comments were made on the story. A few days later, Kern was in the Shacknews office, sitting in front of a video camera under bright lights. In the ensuing interview, Kern detailed Firefall's story, outlined the game's business model, and more. Firefall's business model extends into two branches. Players will be able to purchase aesthetics, such as new colors and patterns for a character's Battleframe as part of the game's "Warpaint System." The other branch of the business tree for Red 5 is selling players "opportunity." "You can pay to send your kid to Harvard and coming out with a Harvard degree, you have more opportunity. Your kid still has to make that a reality," Kern told me. I quickly recall it's one of his favorite analogies, he described the business model the same way to me at PAX Prime 2011. In Firefall, Red 5 plans to sell users opportunities, making it clear that players still have to "put the work in" for themselves. The example he gives is selling players the opportunity to completing two daily quests, rather than one. "That doesn't mean anything, though," Kern says. "You still have to play the game and earn those rewards. That's a variant of what some games do with time compression."

Firefall features content for both PvP and PvE aficionados

Firefall is expected to launch in December, however, beta testers are already enjoying the game. According to Kern, Firefall is currently available "by invitation only." Players can register for the access on Firefall's official site. Eventually, players will be able to invite friends to the game, akin to Gmail's staggered launch. "We plan to grow it that way because it's a team-based game. We want it to be about your friends." Taking a page from his former employer Blizzard Entertainment, Kern did say that Firefall is "done when it's done" despite confirming the planned December launch. "We're always listening," he said, urging players to join the Firefall community and tell them what works and doesn't work after they have a chance to play the game. Make sure to watch the video interview above for more details on Firefall. Tomorrow a big community-focused Firefall reveal awaits you, so stay tuned.
From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 19, 2011 1:15 PM

    Xav de Matos posted a new article, Firefall interview with Red 5 boss Mark Kern.

    Red 5 Studios founder and CEO Mark Kern comes to the Shacknews offices to discuss Firefall, revealing details on armies and the business model behind the game.

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      September 19, 2011 1:42 PM

      Thumbs up for this business model. Lets people dip their toes in the water, invite their friends without having to convince them to spend $60, and lets people pay as much or as little as they want, but ultimately if you can't buy power then everything still remains pretty level.

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        September 19, 2011 2:21 PM

        We ultimately want all games to be free. We think paying for a box makes no sense anymore...it's like a pay wall.

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          September 19, 2011 2:26 PM

          It IS a pay wall, and I agree for sure--retail makes ZERO sense now. So stoked to see everything I've been looking for in a single game (and game studio!).

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          September 19, 2011 2:27 PM

          All games? Not just online games?
          How do you think this would work with a game like Mass Effect, for example? Some games just don't seem like they'd make money if they were F2P completely.

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            September 19, 2011 2:30 PM

            True...but mass effect online would be awesome.

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              September 19, 2011 2:47 PM

              Maybe that'll be BioWare's next project after they're done SWTOR...

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                September 19, 2011 3:23 PM

                I actually remember there where hints about that awhile back, several discussions about it on Gamebreaker TV, and no, its not some dumb TV show, its a group of well known gamers from various communities who post their stuff online.

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            September 19, 2011 2:36 PM

            I think ALL games should be download-only, and a mailed disk be optional if you don't have a net connection. Right now it's the other way around.

            Online shops like Steam have it going on. It's truly a success.

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              September 19, 2011 2:50 PM

              One thing to keep in mind there is DRM. What happens if the digital download service goes out of business (or something different, but that makes the games unavailable)? Do I not get to play my games anymore or do I have to obtain them from "other" sources?

              I wonder if Red5 has any thoughts on this matter, especially how it relates to Firefall.

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                September 19, 2011 3:00 PM

                Well, you are starting to get into my beliefs about how I feel games need to move into the cloud, online. At least for the game logic. We have so much more computing power for AI, dynamic content, and storage for cool features that a console would never have. PCs too. For this to work, the games have to reside on the servers, then you don't need DRM. Even if they client still renders the graphics. I'm not OnLive convert, for example, since the tech is not QUITE ready and graphics don't scale across a datacenter as efficiently as AI or game content does in terms of serving multiple players.

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                  September 19, 2011 3:27 PM

                  I can think of some very interesting things one could do with lots of the game logic online, especially with AI and highly interactive environments. Of course, it would take massive amounts of computer power to do well, which is well suited to sitting in a datacenter. Especially with regards to MMO games, and scaling player numbers above the standard-for-a-normal-game of 64 players or so.
                  While I personally like having a local copy of a game (and I do have the local storage and processing power to do some crazy things), I do realize that many people don't.

                  Do you have any idea why graphics aren't scaling well across datacenters? Is it the current videocard paradigm in hardware?
                  Or is it something different, like treating the problem like a normal gaming problem versus treating it like a "normal", albeit very latency sensitive, distributed computing issue?

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              September 20, 2011 3:37 AM

              Except digital distribution has made it far easier for publishers to practice price gouging.

              Look at EA. On Origin, BF3 is £40. At retail it is £28 - £35
              Activision want £40 for MW3 on Steam, but in stores its £34

              Whatever happened to DD being a good way to get games cheaper? They cost less to ship, so the publishers are just being greedy. If retail goes away, then consumers are fucked.

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            September 19, 2011 10:08 PM

            That's a game that's not based in a dynamically moving environment. Sure, it has a couple playthroughs, but there's no life-time commitment that can be brought in like a large playerbase game. Multiplayer really brings a lot to the table, especially when it's free.

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          September 19, 2011 3:00 PM

          I think all games will eventually be in this model honestly.

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          September 20, 2011 3:03 AM

          i like how its actual free,no hidden fees or arias to unlock. thank you red5 for doing it right.

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        September 19, 2011 2:26 PM

        Thats what i love about the game to and i'm definitely gonna support them :)

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      September 19, 2011 2:17 PM

      Firefallw ill change the world of games. Let it be known.

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      September 19, 2011 2:18 PM

      The logo says "FireFall", but all I see is "StarCraft"...

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      September 19, 2011 2:19 PM

      BEST GAME EVER!!!

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      September 19, 2011 2:19 PM

      I will be here to answer questions, I hate being on camera, but ask away!

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        September 19, 2011 2:23 PM

        Speaking of not liking being on the camera, are we going to get to see some more developer diary videos? Or is more stuff like this video to be expected?

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          September 19, 2011 2:26 PM

          We just bought a truckload of video equipment so we can boost our video production. Dev diary coming soon...and more video in general.

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            September 19, 2011 2:32 PM

            What about this pet feature are you most looking forward to?

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              September 19, 2011 2:34 PM

              Watching people faces the first time their pet gets shot...

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                September 19, 2011 3:01 PM

                Can't wait for that... hehehehe MWAHAHAHAHAH!

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                September 19, 2011 3:26 PM

                Pure. Unadulterated. Awesome.

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            September 19, 2011 2:32 PM

            Yes mor Dev diary's thats great! it was prity quiet in the video department can't wait to see mor

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            September 19, 2011 2:33 PM

            Right, the fancy Red camera. Enjoy those.
            I'll be looking forward to seeing some more.

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              September 19, 2011 2:39 PM

              We are still learning to use them, but they are awesome so far.

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                September 19, 2011 3:31 PM

                Odds are good, even after you think you have learned them, a few months down the road someone will ask what a certain option is and everyone will be like "oh, cool, didn't know you could do that with them".
                Happens in all my tech classes halfway through the semester or so.

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                  September 19, 2011 3:35 PM

                  The thing about RED is that they are always updating the firmware and activating new features...kinda like Firefall and Red 5. ;)

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                    September 19, 2011 7:35 PM

                    Did you get lighting and sound gear as well (and all the other stuff that goes along with video production)?
                    Do you have a person on staff whose job it is to do these sorts of things?

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            September 19, 2011 3:23 PM

            Sweet! Great news in my opinion :)

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        September 19, 2011 2:42 PM

        First off looks great and the players working together to acquire game content should be awesome. How large does Red 5 plan to make the beta? Expecting that you'll do some sort of server stress testing. I'm personally hoping that test is sooner rather than later (Really want to jump in-game and experience it all).

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          September 19, 2011 3:29 PM

          As we prove out stability, we are just going to grow and grow through the invite system, just like Gmail.

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        September 19, 2011 3:27 PM

        Does it have something to do with being a vampire? I know you don't show up in mirrors, so is it the same type of thing for film?

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          September 19, 2011 3:30 PM

          Well, being a vampire, I have no soul to steal...but I do avoid mirrors. My wife says its because I never comb my hair.

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        September 20, 2011 7:11 AM

        Can you have seasonal mini-games like protect the polar-bear mini pet pvp for winter. Winners get in game coins so they can buy the seasonal minipets for a short time and also make them available through the store :)

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      September 19, 2011 2:21 PM

      I can't wait to hear about the army logo editor....grummz! are there any more details about just HOW custom they can be that you can share right now?

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        September 19, 2011 2:32 PM

        I'd like to hear more about this as well. And if Red5 is looking for a Flash developer... I might come a knockin' ;)

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        September 19, 2011 2:33 PM

        I would love to hear about that as well. I have to know just how close to my clan logo I can actually get in-game.

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        September 19, 2011 2:44 PM

        I'm looking forward to this feature as well. I'm hoping that its features can even assist us poor artists with making something pretty badass.

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        September 19, 2011 2:44 PM

        i've asked about this a few times now in a few different places...never seems to get noticed...maybe if we all start doing a ritualistic chant grummz will come!

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          September 19, 2011 3:09 PM

          Right now, the design consists of different images that you can combine together to create a logo. Its too early to tell if that will be its final design. What would you guys like to see?

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            September 19, 2011 3:18 PM

            I bet it's probably too hard to moderate and censor a simple "upload" feature (plus it'd probably be ugly overall),

            and on the other hand, looking at games like Halo, the logos feel a little bit constricting...

            maybe you can have a construction set of pens and shapes to somewhat build/draw the logo you want. as much creativity as you can allow...i guess it's another tough game of balancing

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              September 19, 2011 3:45 PM

              Another thing that they're going to have to be careful of is the copyright of user uploaded content. Not just an original work from a user, but also them uploading other people's images. In the current US copyright climate, that could get Red5 in some trouble.

              Maybe moderators/GMs (or even a panel of trusted normal players) who could vote whether an image should be allowed or not.

              I do think some tools to allow for custom logos would be worthwhile.

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                September 19, 2011 3:50 PM

                I like the idea of crowd sourcing this, but that's something that we have no plans for right now.

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            September 19, 2011 3:22 PM

            It would make sense to have stock images that we can buy in the shop and place them "intelligently".. as in, not have it look like it really was copy-pasted together.

            Maybe a template system that makes it easier to place art pieces? Templates can be portraits (Stellar Pony style), tribal (as in Tribes.. or abstract I guess), etc that we can also buy. This all kinda sounds like it could be an extension of the crafting system heh.. buy blueprints to craft your emblem with pieces you bought or found ingame.

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            September 19, 2011 4:20 PM

            You need to talk to my Brother Soulie about this kind of stuff.. He is very much invested in customization. Me personally would be happy with some good primitive shapes that we could slide around and put colors and effects on a la Forza 3. Perhaps not as complicated, also there is a major issue with the immaturity of the internet at large who like to make phallic images anywhere possible.... not that wouldn't happen anyways.

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      September 19, 2011 2:22 PM

      It's nice to see a company actually care about their product enough to offer it entirely for free, but if you LIKE IT then you can support it through bonus aesthetics/opportunities. I hope this sets the standard for other up and coming games to raise the bar.

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        September 19, 2011 2:23 PM

        Our fate is entirely up to our community and if we do a good job at creating fun. I

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          September 19, 2011 2:28 PM

          It is this level of commitment and innovation that games lack now a days. Too many companies are settling for mediocrity instead of trying to raise the bar.

          I'd say good luck, but with such an awesome game and community, you guys don't need luck. :)

          PS: 1 more week till the brew is done fermenting :)

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            September 19, 2011 2:32 PM

            We are trying to bring the same ideas to our gms as well. That's why we toured Zappos last week.

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              September 19, 2011 2:37 PM

              Anything big you guys learned at your tour?

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              September 19, 2011 2:46 PM

              Hmm what does zappos have to do with this?

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                September 19, 2011 2:52 PM

                Zappos is a company with a good reputation for exceptional customer service. To the point that they sell training/consulting on how to make customer service better.
                My assumption is that Red5 went to talk to them to learn what makes them so great in the hopes that Red5 can bring that magic to their own customer service team, and make for a great experience for their customers (whether paying or not).

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                  September 19, 2011 2:55 PM

                  We went for two reasons:

                  1) How can we learn from Zappos to make our customer service truly great.
                  2) How can we codify and extend Red 5's culture as we grow.

                  Zappos does a tremendous job at both.

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                    September 19, 2011 2:59 PM

                    So no firefall brand shoes :(

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                      September 19, 2011 3:01 PM

                      I tweeted that I wanted the Back to the Future kicks and got knocked for it. Guess I need to recover from that first. :)

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                        September 19, 2011 3:02 PM

                        Lol those are sweet shoes I like the whole auto tieing system in them but the style is kinda off

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                    September 19, 2011 3:01 PM

                    It's always good to try to take care of these issues before they actually become issues. Having worked at companies with similar issues, I know how hard they are to take care of somewhere else along the line.

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          September 19, 2011 2:32 PM

          Im really looking forward to hearing about and seeing what is going to be offered in the cash shop. It isnt a question about wanting to supprt Red5 or not, it is more a question of is there going to be stuff I want to buy. "Exp boosts" only last so long, Im normally not a big fan of a lot of aesthetic options in F2P games (up to this point), and Im not a pet hoarder so buying a ton of pets doesnt interest me. Really looking forward to seeing the cash shop offerings.

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            September 19, 2011 2:36 PM

            Hmmmm...what would you, personally, buy?

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              September 19, 2011 2:47 PM

              Well what i would really want is to make the character mine and different guns how guns look thats a start i'm u guys got more ideas

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              September 19, 2011 2:48 PM

              different color flame for jump jet boots (even today you can get green flame with butane, etc)

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              September 19, 2011 3:14 PM

              I would totally pay for a disco ball that hung over my head from a fishing rod attached to the back of my battle frame :) That or a giant mustache...

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              September 19, 2011 7:32 PM

              I would buy paint and pets and whatnot if they look good, Mark. I want to be clear that it is simply up to this point a lot of that hasnt interested me. I have played Dungeon Fighter Online for example... I didnt buy the avatars for the looks I bought them for the stats, something you all probably arent going to do. I have played Dragon's Nest ... I havent bought anything on their cash shop because the stuff they have looks terrible to me.

              I would buy paint.
              I would buy matching pets.
              I would DEFINATELY buy good looking battleframe skins.
              I would DEFINATELY buy enhanced particles and emitters for guns and backpacks (like the outstanding flames from jumppacks, hyper-active beam effects for my healing gun, etc)
              I will buy exp boost stuff, you just get to a point where you no longer need the boost, obviously.
              I would be very interested in sound packs if they were interesting to me.
              I would even consider buying things like titles and special graphics like that.

              All of it is just a matter of "does it match the rest of the game?" So far I am very impressed with your asset and design teams' work so Im betting I will be buying the looksie stuff.

              I hope you see what I am saying.

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                September 19, 2011 9:06 PM

                Variations of particle effects could be cool for various things... Take the Healing Gun as the biggest example. I think lots of people would love to buy different looking stream effects for it.

                Some awesome alternatives I can think of are ones that make the stream spin like a vortex, one that makes the stream look like liquid instead of gas (really could have fun making Fireman jokes with a liquid stream and a blue tint), one that makes the stream glow brightly, ect. Have the ability to combine a lot of these different particle effects and you might see some truly interesting Medic gun streams.

                A lot of these variations on particle effects can also be applied to other things too, like jet pack/boot streams or "aura" effects people can apply to themselves (some people would -love- to make themselves look cloudy, glowy, or like they're burning). Tons of things they could do with this alone.

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            September 19, 2011 3:38 PM

            What about custom voices? If it's like the voice system in Tribes (and in several other games now), where you just choose a preset voice (Male1, Male2/Female1, Female2) for the things your character says, maybe you could also sell different voices in the shop. That's something lots of people would pay for.

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        September 19, 2011 10:38 PM

        Im not usually that intrested about cash shop items but in this case ill surely buy something just to support.

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          September 19, 2011 10:48 PM

          Please do! Or we'll run out of hamsters for powering the servers...

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      September 19, 2011 2:35 PM

      will people that solely want to pvp be forced to pve to gather resources?

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        September 20, 2011 7:35 AM

        I think you are able to collect resources and level up by solely focusing on PvP but you may get better results by doing the PvE content. They said they wanted the game to fit a bunch of different play styles. I wouldn't rule out the PvE aspect of the game though.

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      September 19, 2011 2:37 PM

      Good news )

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      September 19, 2011 2:38 PM

      Are clan names going to be plainly visible underneath player names like what is common in many mmo's?

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      September 19, 2011 2:40 PM

      And here I was only hopeing to maybe play Dominion this week assuming LoL does the test this week. Now i found out about awesome killable pets in Firefall and even more news coming tomorrow and a challenge wednesday for firefall! Here's to a better week than I thought would occur! :D

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      September 19, 2011 2:40 PM

      Heh, I've already replied on the previous article, but since red 5 "goofed", I'll post again.
      Not the same thing though. That's kinda spammy.
      In any case, a pet system in an FPS is indeed quite strange. I have to wonder how it will work. Will pets take an active part in battle or will they just be there for show?

      Oh, also, will we be able to personalize pets as well (I.E using warpaint on them? Dibs on camo mustache!)

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      September 19, 2011 2:41 PM

      voice boxes have been mentioned as something that may be bought. do you think there would be an option for players to ignore them, or at least limit the frequency of them being used? i fear voice box spam in pvp.

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      September 19, 2011 2:42 PM

      @Grummz: So the open world is said to be ~10 square miles with only a small portion of that available to players at release. Do you foresee needing more than this 10 in say, two years? Would it be difficult to add more in the future?

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        September 19, 2011 3:02 PM

        No, we can add more content and have lots more space. Its a resource issue, even though our terrain tools are very, very good. We're looking to expand the company if Firefall does well.

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          September 19, 2011 9:13 PM

          I'm curious now... Do you have any ideas about sectioning off certain parts of the world into different channels? Say keeping it in 10 mile increments "states" where you go through a loading section or something to be able to transfer to the other 10 miles and those 10 miles are there own series of channels each with more people within those channels. I think that might be interesting to see where people spread too as well as take some of the server strain off without making people feel -too- instanced off so long as each of those channels still allows hundreds of people in them.

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            September 19, 2011 10:54 PM

            Hmmmm....Never thought of that. Might start to feel like EQII's zoning system though.

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              September 19, 2011 11:02 PM

              Hmmm... Maybe the transition can be made decently smooth somehow? How do you guys have it set up to look when you transfer channels as is? Does it go to a loading screen like in Champions Online, or does it just switch maps and slowly load in people's characters over time like in Vindictus? Cause I've seen both system before and if yeh can make the switch smooth you'll still have that open world feel while keeping the low server strain. Might be a good idea to check into how Vindictus made that work.

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                September 19, 2011 11:04 PM

                Or did Vindictus work that way? Can't remember since it's been a while since I played but I thought it did...

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      September 19, 2011 2:43 PM

      Great interview! Can't wait to hear more!

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        September 19, 2011 2:47 PM

        yes, with every new video I want to see more ^ ^

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      September 19, 2011 2:44 PM

      Just posting here for people not already in the firefall IRC I highly recommned go checking it out to go chill with a bunch of community members and some devs

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      September 19, 2011 2:44 PM

      русское комьюнити присоединяетя ко всему вышесказонаму )
      рад за то, что компания не оставляет нас без внимния ^^

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      September 19, 2011 2:53 PM

      Firefall is now appearing on the right rail in the news section as one of the Shack Community's "Top Games."

      http://chattypics.com/files/firefallPNG_rlc5s42oa7.png

      Congrats, Red 5 Studios.

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        September 19, 2011 2:54 PM

        Woot! Awesome!

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          September 19, 2011 3:21 PM

          Yay for everybody posting on these boards and grummz for answering questions on them, keep it up!

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        September 19, 2011 3:15 PM

        It was always appearing there... in my mind.

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      September 19, 2011 2:58 PM

      Any chance of a Mac version post open Launch? Im sure I read something about it somewhere but I think it was from a while ago. I just spent a good 10 minutes telling a person I know riding home on the bus (captive audience WOOOH!) and they seemed interested yet unexcited. Then they tell me "This is for PC right?", Well yes, "I use Mac", what, "You thought I WAS A PC :V ".

      So yeah, you have one interested party right there if it ever comes to Mac or Xbawks.

      Also, do the pets actually attack anything or do they just follow you around?

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      September 19, 2011 2:58 PM

      when can i play it?

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      September 19, 2011 2:58 PM

      Pretty good interview mark.

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      September 19, 2011 3:00 PM

      When you say Next year for the Emblem Editor... do you mean... end of 2012, or early 2012?

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        September 19, 2011 3:01 PM

        First half of 2012 would be the goal.

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          September 19, 2011 3:04 PM

          On the website in Flash? Or ingame?

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            September 19, 2011 3:05 PM

            Well he said it would be a browser editors, so... probably not in game.

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              September 19, 2011 3:11 PM

              Unless the game uses a browser.. which it will since at least some of the army tools have been confirmed to be web-based.

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          September 19, 2011 3:05 PM

          Awesome. That's one of the thing's Im really looking foreward too.

          Are you going to have some sort of... JPG upload system to hold us over previous to that, or are we just going to suck it up and be without emblems for a few months?

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            September 19, 2011 3:10 PM

            Nothing before the editor launches, I'm sorry.

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              September 19, 2011 3:13 PM

              eh. I'm sure I will live... I'll probably be to busy killing Chosen to really be bothered with it anyways.

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      September 19, 2011 3:15 PM

      @Grummz Suggestion: you can always take a look at online (and maybe ingame) advertisment if the ARPU stays low. You can draw players to your website by letting players the game start from the main site (like Battlefield Heroes / Play4free and Quake Live).

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        September 19, 2011 3:20 PM

        We've discussed that before. Our launch sequence isn't quite perfected yet.

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      September 19, 2011 3:19 PM

      It's impossible to ignore the explosion of FireFall !!! Safeguard your web :)

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      September 19, 2011 3:19 PM

      I'll do my best to find whats wrong with the game even if I know that it will be hard but only when i'll get my hands on this beast!

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        September 19, 2011 3:21 PM

        Oh believe me, its a work in progress. In many ways, Firefall will never be finished.

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          September 19, 2011 3:26 PM

          On that note, will you be expanding the map even larger than the current size? I mean after two or three years or hopefully even 10, people might get bored of the same stuff once its all been unlocked. In general, any ideas for stuff after that?

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            September 19, 2011 3:28 PM

            Too many idea, and too little time. We've actually built more than we've talked about, including some things that are pretty large features of the game. But they are not ready, not FUN enough yet. Once they are, we will integrate them into the game.

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              September 19, 2011 4:49 PM

              Does this mean there might be an ongoing beta to test out new features that haven't made it into the main game in place sometime after the game opens to the public/leaves the beta phase?

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      September 19, 2011 3:20 PM

      Wicked!! I'm glad you guys are implementing the pets!
      I'm excited to see the cash shops available items as well!
      This December is going to be falling on fire.....

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      September 19, 2011 3:20 PM

      Hi Grummz, a few questions if you don't mind answering:
      1. Has there ever been debates about whether Firefall is going to be a niche/mainstream game? Planetside and Tribes are great, but we can only dream about >5 million folks playing the game.
      2. What's red5's internal projection on the number of players 1 quarter/ 1 year after launch?
      3. If there's one thing Red5 will definitely do and one thing that Red5 will definitely not do, what will they be?
      4. How do you plan to build Red5 such that the studio can grow healthily while maintain its current culture? Or, better phrased, what kind of studio/firm are you trying to create?

      If you may answer these questions, I will be immensely grateful. Thanks!

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        September 19, 2011 3:27 PM

        Wow! Lots of questions. Let me try:

        1. Yes, we debated many, many times about who would play our game. In the end, we decided we were going for shooter fans first, but that we wanted to create a range of Battleframes that had different levels of twitch to accommodate more players. We also wanted to be sure we had online Open World co-op, because everybody can "win" that if they put the time into it. In short, we want to have a wide base and teach people how cool shooters can be.

        2. I can't reveal internal projections. They are very modest right now, but we also don't see why we can't grow to be as large one days as other top free2play games. We think we're brining the best F2P shooter to the market in quality and scope, so why not?

        3. We will definitely engage our customers directly, not through a wall of PR and doublespeak, good and the inevitable bad. We will definitely not lose our culture and focus on creating fun.

        4. Again, we visited Zappos to gain some clues. We are currently asking ourselves what makes our culture a great one to have, and are implementing widespread training and orientation for new hires. This program has just started the planning stages. Oh, and we'll always have free beer and a Tiki bar. :)

        • reply
          September 19, 2011 3:31 PM

          Thanks Grummz, really appreciate it. I hope that Firefall will indeed become the best f2p shooter ever made, like you described.

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 3:21 PM

      Sweet, I have the felling I'm going to be on my computer pretty much all of tomorrow to be honest...

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 3:22 PM

      Here is a question I didnt think about before... If lets say... I have that Pet shooting ammo equipped. Would the Pet actually be able to block an shot that would have normally hit the player?

      I know they will likely be positioned in a way so that it would be completely minimal, but I think it might be dangerous to have this sort of shield up, particularly if it was capable of blocking sniper rounds.

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 3:23 PM

      Wow I really like the video :) The game looks so amazing for a f2p game normally you need 2 buy a subscription for a game like this.

      • reply
        September 19, 2011 3:26 PM

        Nice a Guild System like on world of warcraft thats just an amazing idea 2 bring it in this shooter

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 3:25 PM

      Hahahahahha...I love how the threads about wanting mustaches made it into the interview article.

      • reply
        September 19, 2011 3:32 PM

        Don't forget beards, though. I must have a beard!

        • reply
          September 19, 2011 3:35 PM

          Okay...guess that's TWO physics programmers.

          • reply
            September 19, 2011 3:40 PM

            Don't forget that JDHarris wants to unlock booby physics too ;)

          • reply
            September 19, 2011 3:41 PM

            Awesome! So far, you're my favorite part of Firefall, Grummz.

        • reply
          September 19, 2011 3:45 PM

          I wonder how many people will start asking for giant, brick like eyebrows...

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 3:28 PM

      Will pets be able to use small minor special abilities in PvE (no PvP please?)

      Will pets be able to pick up items?

      How many pets can each player/account have?

      What do you feel will be the best thing about pets?

      Will you have a robotic dog, and will you have a walking auto turret like Bietols avatar?

      Sorry just a few questions.

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 3:29 PM

      Yeh the devs in this game always listen! Firefall has the best devs/nicest i've ever seen!

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 3:29 PM

      Interesting...This seems to be the start of a new game. a Revolutionary game if i must say.

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 3:36 PM

      Truly a fantastic game and the direct developer relations to the community is awesome. I like the idea of the guild support system, not only will we be able to gain a common point to gather with or friends and compete yet we will also unlock bonuses over time :D I am a happy panda... now for the 5th frame :)

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 3:44 PM

      Truly astounding. This game is going to be one of a kind and take the world by storm (a melding storm?). Red 5 will go very far, and will hopefully use this game to change the future of Free-2-play mmo's forever!

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 3:47 PM

      I like the sound of pets but will they be helping u attack things or just for decoration?

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 3:48 PM

      Firefall is so amazing! :)

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 3:48 PM

      Firefall is so amazing! :)

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 3:49 PM

      Its shaping up to be great but i check my mail today for a beta key and i found this instead.....:(

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6KOEMJKdEI

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 3:49 PM

      grummz, in exchange for never complaining about the super-bright blue light that was at your PAX booth and constantly shined in my eyes while working my booth right next to yours, can I have a beta invite?

      That light was very blue. And bright!

      • reply
        September 19, 2011 3:51 PM

        You can shine a red light light into you eyes and it should even out?

        • reply
          September 19, 2011 3:56 PM

          You truly are a miracle worker!

        • reply
          September 19, 2011 3:56 PM

          no... then your blinded by a purple light....pimptastic.

          • reply
            September 19, 2011 4:13 PM

            Huh...yeah..guess you'd have to add green to the mix too.

      • reply
        September 19, 2011 4:31 PM

        Did you see the fog machine running the one afternoon (I think it was Saturday)? That whole end of the expo hall had way too much fog in it. But it did make for cool lighting effects.

        • reply
          September 19, 2011 4:46 PM

          Haha yes that was in the same place. The 2K Games booth (which I worked) was right next to it.

        • reply
          September 19, 2011 4:51 PM

          but their carpet was so squishy it was nice to stand on

          • reply
            September 19, 2011 7:17 PM

            Well, we knew we were all going to stand on it, since all the devs go to PAX, so we splurged. We won three "carpet of the show" awards too. ;)

            • reply
              September 19, 2011 7:33 PM

              I always like demoing games at standing stations that have good carpet. Maybe that's why there were so many people playing Firefall...
              ...Or maybe it's because it was awesome.

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 3:55 PM

      This game is going to be AMAZING! REVOLUTIONARY! IT WILL CHANGE THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT.

      • reply
        September 19, 2011 4:01 PM

        or at the very least your world as you knew it.. :)

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 4:14 PM

      I'm wondering how well the pets will work with the visual style of the game. Are they going to float over your shoulder like Mags from PSO? Or perhaps you'll drag around a little floating hologram projector?

      I am slightly concerned about this turning into TF2, as this could be hugely immersion-breaking (for people like me who enjoy a good setting and a good story), but I'll have to hope that Red5 can do it right. Or alternatively, to make it a end-user option to turn all pets into a generic robot drone, like disabling helms in WoW.

      • reply
        September 19, 2011 4:16 PM

        We'll have to be careful. But the manga shader gives us some leeway.

        • reply
          September 19, 2011 4:24 PM

          Cool, just as long as it stays under consideration (and considering Red5's already stellar work in listening to the community's feedback, I am not overly concerned =D )

          • reply
            September 19, 2011 4:28 PM

            if i can have a pet wolf with a turret on its back ill be happy... even without the turret.

            • reply
              September 19, 2011 4:34 PM

              Nope. Reminds me too much of The legend of Zelda game Twilight Princess.

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 4:16 PM

      I hope I can get the pet in that challenge. This game looks awesome!

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 4:37 PM

      F2P AAA game! Give me a beta invite R5 so I can help with testing!

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 4:45 PM

      Looks good. It'll have some stiff competition from Tribes Ascend I think. It's not the same game but they are similar enough to run into each other

      • reply
        September 19, 2011 4:47 PM

        Firefall also has a much grander PvE aspect to also fall back on. I mean, it is gonna be mostly PvP I think, but it will draw in a larger crowd.

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 4:53 PM

      any idea how soon the fifth battleframe will be revealed ?

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 4:55 PM

      Interesting. I had never even heard of this game till now. Looks pretty good I'll definitely give it a try, hey with free why not? Sorry if I missed it but when is the expected launch date?

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 4:58 PM

      How strong will these army wide perks be? Im just picturing an army that you have to pay (outside of firefall) to be a part of, and then those people having better stuff...I guarantee that stuff like that will happen. Still sounds like a cool idea, but maybe have each person in the army having to collect so many resources or something like that. Where you cant get around the in game work rather than just buying your way into an army for better perks.

      • reply
        September 19, 2011 5:02 PM

        I like this idea of the army "gathering" resources in order to "fuel" the army wide perks.

        • reply
          September 19, 2011 5:05 PM

          Exactly, they will have to work for their army to be successful

      • reply
        September 19, 2011 5:36 PM

        They have also talked about a design strategy, though, where armies don't have to be homogeneously resource-gathering. That is, you can have people who love farming for crystite, and then you can have hardcore PvPers who can take advantage of that.

        Their other main design concept, that you can't buy power and that skill is the most important factor, will probably be in effect with armies too.

        • reply
          September 19, 2011 6:23 PM

          Yea, but they cant control paying outside of the game. If they dont implement some sort of "fuel" or something and give the army their perk(s) then they could just charge to be able to be in the army....people do this in TF2 with servers and such

          • reply
            September 19, 2011 6:37 PM

            People could just report that kind of stuff, and then Red 5 can disband their army, or ban the leadership or whatever.

            • reply
              September 19, 2011 7:13 PM

              Yeah, thats true...just trying to help the cause

              • reply
                September 19, 2011 7:15 PM

                If you're talking about selling Crystite to armies...well...that assumes armies can trade Crystite like gold...which we need to think about. Obviously we don't want large secondary markets unless t hey help the game.

                • reply
                  September 19, 2011 8:21 PM

                  I was talking more about the army perks and armies charging people to be a part of the army in order to get the perks that they have. Having to fuel the army perks would make everyone have to do something in game rather than just pay real money to the army outside of the game.

                • reply
                  September 20, 2011 9:04 AM

                  Crystite is in M.U.L.E.

                  I wonder if this is an intentional nod to one of the most groundbreaking games ever.

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 5:02 PM

      This and Tribes Ascend are on my complete and total hot-and-bothered list

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 5:03 PM

      Are there going to be GMs for this game? Are they going to be managed from within Red 5 or externally?

      • reply
        September 19, 2011 7:15 PM

        Yes, we already have a couple of GMs on staff and are hiring more. I think you will find our level of service to be surprising...not just for a Free2Play game either.

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 5:08 PM

      Awesome info ....is it wednesday yet.

      Can't wait for the this game.

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 5:18 PM

      great Interview gave me more info about ff that i did no know. i look forward to part 2.

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 6:40 PM

      So stoked about pets! More so about killing pets! Don't hate me for wanting to kill all things fluffy! Awesome, awesome idea to be able to kill pets!

      • reply
        September 19, 2011 7:20 PM

        :) You must mean the other thread.. but yes, we are excited about giving ways for people to take out someone else's pet. It is a shooter...

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 7:24 PM

      "Im glad you like it, but please, tell us what's wrong with the game!" ... there is a problem a lot of other games online wish they had.

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 7:45 PM

      I was a bit hesitant hearing about the free to play model for this game. But after jumping into World of Tanks (granted, there are a few issues with that game), I was surprised how much enjoyment I got out of a 'free' game. I found out with WoT spending $5 or so a month in a cash shop is frugal, but allows me to get a lot of enjoyment out of the game. I think it'll work well with Firefall too.

      This is looking pretty amazing, and I think the move to make the nuts and bolts gameplay free a sound move by Red 5.

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 10:20 PM

      Kinda weird that this video has generated far less comments and discussions that the pet announcement page did. Wonder why....

      • reply
        September 19, 2011 10:47 PM

        Original video was mislinked. So most people hit the pet article first.

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 10:50 PM

      One of the thing that excites me the most about this business model is that it keeps devs really closely connected to the gamer community. This company, in particular, appears to be checking the pulse constantly and looking to quickly iterate off their launch. Excited to see it grow, and see how the game evolves around the community that joins it.

      • reply
        September 19, 2011 11:19 PM

        Yes, the devs really are amazing. First time I've ever seen a game studio being so close to the community and considerate of their opinions.

        • reply
          September 19, 2011 11:39 PM

          You're kidding right? Have you ever followed a games development before?

          • reply
            September 20, 2011 3:08 AM

            Yes I have. Many other game studios promise that kind of attention, none of them actually deliver.

            All of Red5's developers actively post in the official forum, answering questions and commenting about members' opinions. They even hang out at our IRC channel, and openly chat with people about whatever. Give me one big game studio (they have over 60 people) that I can chat with its CEO on IRC about waffles. Give me one that I its entire sound team comments on a fan music, and its entire art team on fan art. One that its executive designer will ask you to tell what you, personally, think about a possible issue you raised in a forum thread.

            It doesn't exist.

            • reply
              September 20, 2011 3:09 AM

              Riot did for quite a while in thier beta...

              • reply
                September 20, 2011 3:23 AM

                Look at Riot now. 'nuff said.

                • reply
                  September 20, 2011 3:25 AM

                  Right... but Red5 hasn't gotten to the same position that Riot has. Given time, I think it will have to be mandatory that they will stop being so open and up front with the community. It's mostly because the communities start turning sour, and start to overanalyze everything they say. That's what happened with both WoW and LoL

        • reply
          September 20, 2011 12:50 PM

          You only post in Firefall threads.

      • reply
        September 20, 2011 12:46 AM

        It doesn't. Go look at Riot, though they started off like that, the more popular the game became, the more they HAD to distance themselves from the community. The gamers would catch every little mistake that was made, and then just throw it back in thier face. It was a sad sight to see. Anyways, Riot now doesn't seem to let thier 'Reds' post anymore because of it.

    • reply
      September 19, 2011 11:29 PM

      Bahaha, this thread is so weird! Why are you all patting each other on the back about this one specific game. Who are you trying to convince? You've just moved your own forums over into another venue, but you're still repeatedly saying the same things to the same people!

      • reply
        September 20, 2011 12:37 AM

        Fool! Little do you know you are working with us... mwuhahahahaha. Our plans will become clear to you soon enough! Once the jade monkey is in our possession you shall rue the day you dared to attract our gaze for this brief time it has taken to put you in your place.

        • reply
          September 20, 2011 1:28 AM

          hi every1 im new!!!!!!! *holds up spork* my name is katy but u can call me t3h PeNgU1N oF d00m!!!!!!!! lol...as u can see im very random!!!! thats why i came here, 2 meetrandom ppl like me ^_^... im 13 years old (im mature 4 my age tho!!) i like 2 watch invader zim w/ my girlfreind (im bi if u dont like it deal w/it) its our favorite tv show!!! bcuz its SOOOO random!!!! shes random 2 of course but i want 2 meet more random ppl =) like they say the more the merrier!!!! lol...neways i hope 2 make alot of freinds here so give me lots of commentses!!!!DOOOOOMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • reply
            September 20, 2011 1:30 AM

            Oooh, hey there... Katy...

            I heard you wanted to meet random people... Boy, do I have a surpriiiiise for you... *wink*

          • reply
            September 20, 2011 2:29 AM

            LMIRL

      • reply
        September 20, 2011 2:32 AM

        we want to convince YOU to check out this awsome game. ;)

        • reply
          September 20, 2011 2:41 AM

          Do you know how marketing, or just even basic human interaction works. In the real world, people aren't enraptured by this behaviour. It's like every self help spokesman and used car salesman combined into a horrible mass of praise endowing automatons.

          This behaviour is entirely creepy and unnatural, and you're pushing people away from what is a genuinely interesting free game.

          • reply
            September 20, 2011 2:47 AM

            Well, I don't honestly know the numbers, but generally a community is populated by only about 15% of forum users. Now that is built on my experience with video games, so this website may be wildly different. Anyways, if these events allowed Firefall to achieve some frontpage banter, as it has been recently achieved the 3rd space on your most anticipated games, then it is likely worth it. Even if you have 75% of the participants in this forum, hating what has happened, then it still exposed a large market that may not have even heard of the game given it's lack of advertisement until recently. Those who DO participate in the forums, aren't all going to be pissed off as some of you are.

            This event exposes more people to the existence of the game, and will probably end up having a net gain from the event, even with some backlash.

    • reply
      September 20, 2011 12:39 AM

      God damnit I already invited all my friends to the beta! Now I need to get more friends if I want that stupid pointless Penny Aracde pet!

    • reply
      September 20, 2011 1:00 AM

      wait.... Shacknews has an office? Is this somebody's basement?

    • reply
      September 20, 2011 1:00 AM

      I am intrigued by this crystite challenge. Some of us have already dragged everyone we know into the beta invite pool, so I hope it isn't just "send more people to the beta signup page!"

      The Merch character is second only to the fruit... juicing robot from penny arcade. Though I think merch would make a better pet.

      • reply
        September 20, 2011 1:11 AM

        There will be other ways in the future to earn Crystite, yes, we love that fruit bastard too...

    • reply
      September 20, 2011 1:24 AM

      Damn straight, keep the Firefall coverage rolling. So excited for first beta experience... not long now ;)

    • reply
      September 20, 2011 1:40 AM

      Any1 who has heard of firefall by now is thinking the same thing.....
      WHEN can i play this
      It's amazing how the idea of red 5 just connects tot he people and makes them wanna see more of it
      I'm loving how the game looks so far
      Wish i could add my 2 cents in the beta though
      But i'm sure there will be much to help out with after release :)
      thanks to red5 for a great game

      • reply
        September 20, 2011 1:46 AM

        Is this what people refer to when talking about drinking the kool-aid?

        • reply
          September 20, 2011 1:47 AM

          Well... I don't think he is dead yet... so no.

        • reply
          September 20, 2011 1:49 AM

          I have to believe that some of this shit must be lurkers engaging in parody. Otherwise it's too depressing.

          • reply
            September 20, 2011 1:53 AM

            I hope, for the sake of them, these are just their post to get their free shit, if not, god help the community of weirdos this game will spawn.

            • reply
              September 20, 2011 1:55 AM

              Im sure a lot of them think that there will be some reward in the ways of a beta key, but I doubt it. Any actual reward for this run doesn't exist externally.

            • reply
              September 20, 2011 1:59 AM

              I think the weirdo level is pretty much confirmed already. When is the last time you spent your time astroturfing a random games website because some game dev asked you to?

              • reply
                September 20, 2011 5:39 AM

                Its called good business. Red5 gets its name out there, and ShackNews gets a crap load of new people registering as users. This helps out both companies. It boosts ShackNew's numbers which allows them to charge their advertisers more and makes them a more desirable site to advertise on, and It boosts the interest in FireFall. Hell you read the article, the posts, and posted yourself.... I say Red5 did a good job...

                • reply
                  September 20, 2011 5:41 AM

                  BAHAHA what the fucking shit is this?

                  • reply
                    September 20, 2011 5:47 AM

                    Hmmmm... Its pretty much self explanatory. Maybe if you pointed out what confused you I could break it down for you.

                    • reply
                      September 20, 2011 9:13 AM

                      I've been trying this for hours... Good luck = )

                • reply
                  September 20, 2011 6:38 AM

                  Saying: Sour Grapes.

                • reply
                  September 20, 2011 8:04 AM

                  Lol.
                  even answer nothing, you still can not understand.

            • reply
              September 20, 2011 6:21 AM

              Got SOAP !

          • reply
            September 20, 2011 5:35 AM

            Hello, sunshine!

          • reply
            September 20, 2011 7:41 AM

            Hello! Sunshine!

      • reply
        September 20, 2011 2:29 AM

        Keep up the fake posts, maybe Red 5 will take pity on you and let you into the beta, but I doubt it.

        • reply
          September 20, 2011 2:35 AM

          I like that shacknews exists as a place on the internet where strange, unnatural, or inflammatory statements are actually called out for what they are.

          I think a lot of these Red5 fanboys genuinely think people will either ignore, or be convinced by these terribly worded first posts, because its just one of those anonymous internet things.

          • reply
            September 20, 2011 6:15 AM

            wow so negative. they are just trying to show they support the game. ya i am sure some are doing it just in hope they get pity beta invite but i think we all know as stated that’s not going to happen. not every ones native langue is English so there’s bound to be grammar errors and bad spelling. but i get you

            • reply
              September 20, 2011 12:48 PM

              I would say the vast majority of them are doing it not to support the game but because they feel like they might get something in return whether it be some sort of weird online friendship from the developer or some cheap poster, t-shirt, or mouse pad.

              • reply
                September 20, 2011 3:53 PM

                I'de just like to add that we post only in Firefall threads possibly becuase its the only game covered here we're that excited about?

                hell I dont ever read shacknews otherwise. No point for me really i get my MMO/game news elsewhere. My posting here on Firefall stories is just me, supporting the company. Which i will continue to do as its the only developer out there where the majority of thier staff interacts with the community in game, on the forums and via multiple external communication mediums.

                • reply
                  September 20, 2011 4:56 PM

                  "Woah firefall just looks better and better evry day. Damn im glad there will finally be a new game that actually praises the competitive scene. Thank you Red 5"

                  That is not part of a discussion, it is an advertisement and a cry for attention to get credit from the Red5 staff.

            • reply
              September 20, 2011 12:52 PM

              Also you only post in Firefall threads.

    • reply
      September 20, 2011 2:26 AM

      nice interview but next i will love to heard any details about plan for PVP servers and PVP big scales war keep it up !! Firefall FTW

    • reply
      September 20, 2011 2:46 AM

      He's tha boss!

      Just like the guys from The Lonely Island ;)

    • reply
      September 20, 2011 3:42 AM

      But wait! Theres more!

    • reply
      September 20, 2011 4:26 AM

      I loved the interview! Can't wait to see what that crystite collecting starting from wednesday means and who the 'special guest' was. By the way, do the monsters still just "sink" into the ground after you've killed them like a monster did at 3:21 because in my opinion, that looks pretty... Well, stupid. I guess I can't complain too much about it though since I haven't got any better suggestions.

      • reply
        September 20, 2011 6:12 AM

        i am looking forward to it to and I like the way monsters diaper like that, its better than just disappearing.

    • reply
      September 20, 2011 5:33 AM

      I dislike Free to Play. I end up paying more then if it was subscription based. The game looks awesome, I just hope I don't spend too much money on it.

    • reply
      September 20, 2011 6:47 AM

      Pets?!?!!!? Cant wait to roll up on someone with my grenade lobbing gorilla.

      • reply
        September 20, 2011 7:41 AM

        Oh I wish that won't happen. I hope the pets will be fully aesthetic so you aren't required to have a pet. But hey, that's just my opinion.

    • reply
      September 20, 2011 8:57 AM

      Great interview with Mark! Can't wait for today's interview again. :)

    • reply
      September 20, 2011 9:22 AM

      Great interview with Mark ! Can't wait for today's special interview :)

    • reply
      September 20, 2011 11:14 AM

      this thread makes me never want to even try this game

    • reply
      September 20, 2011 1:41 PM

      Great information , oh Mark , good job!

    • reply
      September 20, 2011 1:41 PM

      Great information , oh Mark , good job!

    • reply
      September 20, 2011 2:48 PM

      some nice info there. keep em coming.

    • reply
      September 20, 2011 3:08 PM

      This only proves one more time how much effort these guys put in. Firefall will be great.

    • reply
      September 20, 2011 5:13 PM

      so, what are some of you looking forward to more, this or Planetside 2?

    • reply
      September 21, 2011 3:46 PM

      I want to play this.

      • reply
        September 21, 2011 4:04 PM

        My only fear is that they make stuff like good weapons/gear purchase-able. That always hurts F2P systems, in the way that you are REALLY gimped if you're not Paying.

        • reply
          September 22, 2011 8:02 PM

          Nope, we are not selling power.

    • reply
      September 23, 2011 8:43 PM

      Are there going to be fun things on this game to do when you're tired of shooting you're gun?

      • reply
        September 24, 2011 7:44 AM

        There's crafting. And pets. But both those things also involved guns...

        • reply
          September 24, 2011 2:54 PM

          lol, well, it is a shooter. I was just wondering.

    • reply
      September 24, 2011 4:55 PM

      Grummz, here is an idea about pets that would make them even more shooter based. follow the link if you're interested, its on the firefall forums. --> http://www.firefallthegame.com/community/threads/critter-hunting-pets-idea-that-is-fun-and-makes-real-money.10020/

      • reply
        September 24, 2011 5:01 PM

        Maybe you've already thought about it or seen it, but I really like the idea for if we're to have pets in the game.

        • reply
          September 24, 2011 5:05 PM

          Or.. maybe you've got a secret better idea!

      • reply
        September 26, 2011 11:02 AM

        Pretty cool! Elaborate too. Will think about it for next year.

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