Thursday, May 27, 2010

An Interview with Angela Gillespie, Live Operations Producer for True Games Interactive

Hello readers!

Today I have a very special interview for you with Angela Gillespie, The Live Operations Producer from True Games Interactive. Angela provides the fans of Mytheon with some interesting insights and even hints at possible expansions to the current content. I think you'll like what you have to read.

Q: Hi, Angela, it's good to have you on the Friendly Warcaster blog today. I have to tell you that even though I haven't experienced the game all the way through yet, I'm thoroughly enjoying what I've played of Mytheon. From what I've seen so far, I really believe I am a part of your company's demographic, and I would assume that would be all the people that played Diablo or one of the many Diablo-clones that popped up in the late 90's and at the turn of the century and wished that these games were more like an MMO! Am I right?

A: Thanks very much, Friendly Warcaster! It's awesome to be able to talk to you today. I think you're right about people loving classic game elements and wondering why they aren't in MMOs today. That’s one of the reasons we were very excited to work on Mytheon. Mytheon combines the strategic, top-down RTS elements from Diablo-style games with RPG elements and storylines. As far as I know, this is the first MMO of its kind that combines these elements, and we’re excited to see the audience this type of game play brings to Mytheon.

Q: I like that you've interjected some randomness into combat, and I'm not mashing the same 4 skills over and over. In fact, I think that your game seems to be set up more like a CCG than is presented. Also, the fact that you can control up to 5 summoned allies at once makes it similar in play style to a strategy game. What were some of the considerations when approaching this kind of combat style?

A: Mytheon was designed to be a game that is easy to jump into, but with additional layers of strategy built in as players progress, so the complex strategic elements are difficult to master. Players that are used to a CCG style of game play will find complex layers and strategies in Mytheon, and that the CCG element was thought of from the beginning of design,; however, players not familiar with CCG can still learn game play and enjoy themselves with the RPG elements of Mytheon.

Q: In game I've heard people call this the "Clash of the Titans" MMO, what do you think of that analysis?

A: To be honest, I haven’t seen Clash of the Titans yet. I know, I know... I should have! However, the story of Mytheon differs from the movie’s plot, because the player has been given the gift of powerful, magic stones from the Three Fates who have betrayed the gods in order for humankind to have control over their destiny. The players then become “Stonecasters” and are tasked with defeating the gods in order to retain control over mankind’s destiny.

Q: I know your ratings are still being worked out, but overall I worry about chat filters as a parent. I will say that I like that there isn't much blood in the game so far . . . people seem to just fizzle away when they're defeated. What were the considerations in those directions, and what can parents look forward to with chat controls in the future?

A: Since the overall focus of Mytheon is about strategy, we didn’t feel lots of blood or overt violence was necessary to get the core theme of the game across. We know that many of our players will be teens, and because of this, we have implemented a chat filter along with a pretty comprehensive list of banned words, which will grow as we see fit. Is the version in Beta final? Not by any means.

Q: If there are expansions to this game, will we start to see perhaps more unknown mythology from around the world play more prominently in the game? Will we someday be descending upon Incan civilizations to take on Viracocha or are we sticking with the Greeks?

A: We definitely have expansions planned, and that is one of the great things about a game based on world mythology; the opportunities for content are vast, as every culture of earth has mythology we can draw from and expand upon. We currently have an Egyptian expansion planned for release this year, and we are considering Chinese Mythology in 2011, but from there we can expand to Norse, Native American, Roman mythology, etc. as the game grows.

Q: Can you tell us why you decided to go with a free-to-play format with a cash shop rather than a subscription model?

A: It seems the online game market is moving toward a free-to-play with microtransactions model. As more and more games become available to players, they demand to see the content without an upfront subscription fee. Also, with a free to play model, we have a low barrier to entry for players who just want to see what Mytheon has to offer, then they can enhance their game experience with items from the cash shop as they see fit. We wanted to appeal to a large number of players, then allow them to customize their experience once they see what Mytheon has to offer.

Q: A big challenge for some free-to-play/cash shop games seems to be that the difficulty of the game near the final stages becomes almost too great without dipping into the cash shop, how does Mytheon handle this challenge while still meeting your financial goals as a company?

A: We wanted all players to be able to experience Mytheon in its entirety without being forced to purchase items. However, if players want to enhance their experience visually, get through content quicker, or choose not to group with other players, items are available for purchase to appeal to these users. As we expand, there may be some areas or content that are for purchase only, but only if they do not directly affect game play, as we want Mytheon to be accessible to all users.

Q: How close are we to going live with Mytheon? It seems like at this point some of the larger bugs are being worked out of the game (I still find myself getting stuck on a loading screen from time to time, but it is happening less frequently than a week ago). Can you give us a guess?

A: We are working very hard to make the player experience as smooth as possible, and even the next open beta release will have many improvements to stability and game play. As for a definite launch date, I can say this . . . very soon. :-)

Q: What do you see as your greatest success and challenge when it comes to motivating those around you when it comes to crunch time (as one might see in the beta stages of a game)?

A: The home stretch before any MMO goes live has interesting effects on the people that make it all come together. As a manager, I have to modify motivation techniques to fit each individual’s personality. There are a lot of long hours involved with making an MMO come together, so rallying the team to stay focused on the end goal is extremely important. This includes keeping everyone in constant communication with each other, so we don’t work over one another or lose focus. It’s also important to have a bit of comic relief from time to time, and as such, every person on the True Games’ team is equipped with a Nerf gun or sword in the event of a Nerf war. :-)

Red Sonja, I mean Angela, brandishing her Nerf Sword.


Q: Where do you think Mytheon will be advertised in the future? Do you see them infiltrating game shops through comic books and magazines, and how will your fans be important to your overall strategy?

A: Only time will tell for sure, but for now, we’ll focus heavily on building our relationships with online sites, game aficionados, and great bloggers like you. :) As for our fans, they will definitely be our number one focus in building and maintaining a game experience they can enjoy for a long time down the road.

Q: Speaking of fans, what do you think of the Mytheon community so far, and what do you see coming from the Mytheon community a year down the road?

A: So far, the Mytheon community of beta testers has been fantastic! We have a core group of players who have been extremely helpful in reporting bugs and giving valuable feedback of their overall experience. We value our community’s feedback and are very happy with the group of players we have in Mytheon currently. I think that if our community continues to grow with members like our beta players, we will have a fantastic group of players a year down the road.

Thank you so much for your time, as per usual with my interviews, I like to end with this: Do you have any questions for the Friendly Warcaster?

Angela's Q: Yes, if there was one feature you'd love to see in the game, what would it be?

Friendly's A: I love being involved in the community and especially the random parties and fun that happen. I would love to see some items added to the cash shop for nothing more than the sake of fun. For instance, currently the /dance feature does nothing more than return a text emote. I would love to be able to lay down a few Mytheon coins for the ability to make my character get jiggy with it. I’d also like to be able to purchase things like goofy costumes, fireworks, and illusion potions. Now I realize that most of these things have nothing to do with being a hero being blessed by the fates to destroy the oppressive gods, but at the same time, I think it’d be smart to give tools to the community to have fun when they’re taking a break from their adventures. I feel a big part of MMOs is that you can be social in them! Tools to that end are appreciated.

Thanks so much Angela!

Keep throwing the stones!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

New Mytheon Iphone Ap!

Yup, The fine people from True Games have released a brand new Iphone game called . . . dun dun dun . . . Mytheon: The Assault of Gaia!

Oo! I've been snapping some screenshots here.

I title that one, "Friendly Gets Owned By This Game."

First, the basic premise of the game is similar to Plants vs. Zombies. If you're familiar with that game, then great . . . you'll get how to play it.

This is more like skeletons vs. stonecaster.

As a stone caster, you'll be laying down mana towers and war towers as they lumber in towards Gaia.

That darn Poseidon keeps smoking me on this game. I have to say that the difficulty I've experienced so far has really exceeded what I experienced in the first few levels of Plants vs. Zombies. Of course, I never progressed much past the beginning of the free trial in that game.

The game currently costs $2.99 in the app store (I have no idea how much it'll cost after it goes up in price). I've yet to experience anything where playing the game on your iphone nets you rewards for your characters in the real game, but that might just be because we're in beta, or they've decided not to do that . . . But seriously, that would be a huge wasted opportunity. The fact that I can give people codes from Wizardblox to apply for in-game rewards in Wizard101 is one of the main reasons I love that particular app so much.

I really hope something like that gets implemented in this game because it'll make playing it so much more meaningful.

Keep throwing the stones!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Time Critical Contest for Mytheon!

Here’s the link to information about this event from the official Mytheon forums. All the specifics can be found there and that is also where you'll want to enter, but let me roll this out for you:

This is your chance to receive 1,000 Mytheon coins for the official launch. That’s a 1,000 Mytheon coins of super fun my friends! Power ups galore! What’s more, they’re going to dump 1,000 coins on you now in Beta just for fun! That’s awesome. They’re actually giving you a chance to learn how to best use those coins before you spend them when the game goes live. WOOTS!

Ok, so here’s the basics you guys need to know about capturing screenshots for the contest.
1- F12 captures your screen . . . plain and simple.
2- Backspace is your friend when you start to fight. Backspace puts you at a ground level view so you can snap the good pics.
3- Make it awesomesauce. Probably the more mobs hacking and slashing at once or laying down the big towers and nukes are going to be more epic
4- Choose a really cool boss methinks.
5- Bribe people to vote for you. ;p jk.
6- Don't photoshop your screenshots or you'll be disqualified (but do convert them to .jpg for easy upload)

The top five photos will be pitted against each other on the forums as people vote for their favorites.

And most importantly:
This contest is open to all Mytheon players, from all countries. You must submit your screenshot by May 25th 11:59PM CDT, and you must vote by May 28th 11:59PM CDT. Each player can only vote once. The Mytheon coins will be deposited into the account of the winner within 48 hours of the end of this contest. The screenshot will go up on the homepage within 72 hours of the end of this contest.

p.s. on the insider's tip, I caught wind that an ulterior motive for this contest is to also help stress test the server. They want a lot of people to hop on the game, so pitch in and do your part for beta testing Mytheon! Anybody up for an in-game mytheon party with Friendly?

Keep throwing the stones!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Medusa joins Facebook for the Mytheon Promotion!


Just a reminder that the promotion ends 16 May. That's not a lot of time to get 5,000+ fans! haha. Hope this video helps. :)

Keep throwing the stones!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Echidna Speed Run (for the leet loots!)


I made a short video of a level 8 loot run on Echidna, skipping past all that early stuff to get to the final two bosses. Running to the bosses simply involves a click in the right area from the town. Check it out!

There's a run speed boost somewhere in the game isn't there? That would make this even easier. My main objective was to get to that health shrine then take out the two bosses. I'm sure at some point you might even be able to just run to the bosses and kill them (haven't tried that yet).

Keep throwing the stones!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mytheon, Push for Chat Filters!

I wouldn't be the "friendly" warcaster if I didn't warn a few of you that know me (and all concerned mothers) about this game's chat. You should be aware that at this time there is no chat filter in this game. I've seen some absolutely crude things jump across the chat.

And believe me, that is not the worst of it.

Now, friendly is going to push for something in this game that probably a lot of players won't really like. In fact, this won't make me popular by any means, but I would like to see some chat controls instituted for this game. I want you to know that I've already talked to a couple of people at True Games and asked for this feature. I'm not sure where it will lead, but if more people raise their voices for some kind of chat filter option, then the better our chances are for getting that instituted into the game. This is the time. We are in beta. Things can change more easily in this time period than when beta ends.

Please voice your support below.

Secondly, I also want you to know that there are two VERY easy ways of silencing the unfiltered chat if it becomes too offensive.

1- Simply click on the combat tab in the chat window, and all the bad stuff goes away. It's probably not the best idea for when you're in groups and need to coordinate, but for now, it's the best (and easiest) I've got.

Moms, if your kids want to play this game and you don't want them experiencing the joys of unfiltered chat, you might want to make a rule for your kids that until chat filters are applied to this game, your kids can only look at the combat chat window (police them too, of course).

2- Ignore the offensive person. This is a little more complex to do and, of course, you have to be offended first before using it (so it's a little reactionary instead of precautionary), but it's nothing more than a four-step process. (you may want to click on this graphic to make it bigger)

That'll take care of the potty mouths! ;-)

Thanks for your support and I hope some of you come forward in support of chat filters for this great game. I think it'd make it even better to get a few parental controls in here. :-)

Keep throwing the stones!

Mytheon Facebook Promotion!

Hey! Check it out! This is an official message from the Mytheon newswire:
The Mytheon Facebook Challenge has begun! Help us reach 10,000 fans by May 16th and get early access to Mytheon, before the official launch. Fans will also get awesome prizes, discounts, and much more! Tell your friends to become fans and play Mytheon today at

You can join our fan page at:

Come and help us reach our goal.
I really like the sound of "Fans will also get awesome prizes, discounts, and much more". Easy enough! I think I'll go become a fan on my three or so facebook accounts. haha!

Thrown the stones this way! BOOM!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I leveled! From a duel?

I started up a new Eiodlon (named eviltwin) to refresh my memory on the class and get a second character going. I played him up to second level and then, crashed out, again. I'm so sick of doing that, but I'm hopeful this will get more stable as Open Beta progresses.

Anyway, as I dropped into the tutorial zone, I got a challenge to a duel from some random level 1 character. /shrug. Never tried THAT before. ok, you're on!

The next thing I know, I'm transported to an arena where I am on one end and my opponent is on the other. So I summon up all my companions and charge out! HAHA. My opponent came out and started swinging. BOOM! He's dead, and I get some experience for my first win at a duel. COOL!

I repeat this next round (wow, multiple rounds in a duel!). BOOM! He's dead.

I repeat this a third and final time, and then I get even MORE experience for winning all three.


Level 3.

Wild. And in case you don't know this about me . . . I really don't like pvp. hmmm. Maybe Mytheon is going to turn me into a sassy pvp kid yet!


I highly doubt it.

Keep throwing them there stones y'all. word.