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October 1, 2004

Everything Indeed!

A very familiar face from Avalon’s past has just been interviewed at EA’s recent ‘UO Community Day’. The full report was found yesterday on the Stratics Community News Board. Some of you might recognize her as Crysania, the 4th Captain of Avalon’s old Elite Guard Unit, the Guards of Avalon [GoA]:

Community Day Exclusive Interview: Niobe

At the Community Day, Lady Malynn got to meet a very nice person who is one of the newer members of the UO development team. Her name is Jennifer Lane (Niobe). Niobe has been working exclusively on the Samurai Empire expansion.

Lady Malynn: What is your role in the expansion team?

Niobe: I am a Designer. I’ve been working on the Samurai Empire since the UO development team moved to California in April. So, I’ve been on this project about 6 months.

I’ve done a lot of work with the new creatures in Samurai Empire. I worked on such things as creature tables and the new house objects. I had a lot of input into the new content for Samurai Empire.

I got to work closely with Oaks. That was a great opportunity. I really admire him.

Lady Malynn: What has been particularly challenging for you on this project?

Niobe: I worked on Earth and Beyond before joining the UO development team. But, I’ve played Ultima Online since it came out. I’m a long-time UO player. Working on UO involves a different set of tools and different people. But, it’s been a good experience. It’s nice to get back to a fantasy type game. It’s great seeing it all come together and work.

Lady Malynn: Did you learn anything when developing an Asian-themed expansion that surprised you? Anything you that caused you to think… “Wow! That’s neat!”

Niobe: Oh yes! I did a lot of research into the Japanese lore. We didn’t want to offend anyone in the Asian culture when we made Samurai Empire.

Japanese lore and the feudal Japanese stories behind the culture are fascinating. We chose many of the Samurai Empire creatures based on that lore. The depth of the stories behind some of the creatures is amazing.

Did you know that there are many different types of dragons? Even the number of toes on a dragon has meaning. Did you know some dragons have wings and some do not? Only the most powerful and ancient of the dragons in Japanese lore have wings. Most Japanese dragons do not fly; our Samurai Empire dragons do not fly.

Lady Malynn: If you were going to create a new Samurai Empire character, would it be a ninja or samurai? Why?

Niobe: I think people will pick the ninja initially because it’s cool. But, I think I would try the Samurai first. After people try Samurai Empire for a while, I think they will appreciate the abilities of the samurai.

Lady Malynn: What is your favorite new feature in Samurai Empire and why?

Niobe: I can only pick one? *laughs*

I like that chefs are getting something to do. And I like the new items. I am really excited about all the new craftables in Samurai Empire.

Niobe previously worked on the Community Team for EA's Earth & Beyond and then became a E&B developer until her job on the SE expansion team.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at October 1, 2004 2:13 AM

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