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Mercredi 9 décembre 2011
 
PlanetSide 2 Dev Chat with Brad Heinz

It takes an extremely talented team of artists, coders, designers, audio engineers, and production staff to build the enormous, incredible, unbelievably badass game experience that is PlanetSide 2. This week some members of our dev team share a little about themselves and their experiences building the future of online gaming. Next up, Brad Heinz.

1) What is your name and what is your role on the PlanetSide 2 team?

Hello, my name is Brad Heinz and I am one of the team's senior gameplay programmers, primarily in charge of weapons systems and combat feel.

2) How did you get into the video game industry? Give us a little background.

After graduating from Pomona College with a degree in Computer Science, I got into the industry on the ground floor, working in QA because the only game studio in my home town didn't have any open programmer positions. After a couple months I got my first programming gig on a combat flight simulator and I've been programming ever since. I've always enjoyed tinkering with computer games. When I was a kid I would write simple text games in Basic on my dad's TRS-80, then in high school on my graphing calculator. I didn't realize it would be my career until I took my first CS course in college and it all clicked.

3) What games have you previously worked on?

Some of the games I've worked on are Tribes 2, PlanetSide, Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom, FreeRealms, and Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures.

4) What are you currently working on for the game?

I'm working on fine tuning our weapons systems so that our designers can create an arsenal of lethal options for each empire and play style.

5) What most excites you about working on PlanetSide 2?

I'm proud to be one of the members of the original PlanetSide® team, and I'm excited to help reimagine the game with our new engine and for a new generation of gamers. I think we're creating a game that, like the first PlanetSide®, will have experiences that can't be found in any other game.

6) Terran Republic, New Conglomerate, or Vanu Sovereignty? Which is your favorite faction and why?

The NC is my faction. I'm no techno-religious zealot or mindless imperialist drone. Besides, I've been told I look good in blue.

7) What do you do outside of work?

I play a lot of sports – basketball, softball, and ultimate Frisbee, and I am an avid University of Oregon Ducks fan.

 
 


Mardi 8 décembre 2011
 
PlanetSide 2 Dev Chat with Shaun Johnston

It takes an extremely talented team of artists, coders, designers, audio engineers, and production staff to build the enormous, incredible, unbelievably badass game experience that is PlanetSide 2. This week some members of our dev team share a little about themselves and their experiences building the future of online gaming. Next up, Shaun Johnston.

1) What is your name and what is your role on the PlanetSide 2 team?

Hello, my name is Shaun Johnston and I am one of the Senior Animators on the PlanetSide 2 team. I use a combination of traditional keyframing techniques with Motion Capture.

2) How did you get into the video game industry? Give us a little background.

Well it's a long story but here goes…While my wife was working in sales at a cell phone company in Carlsbad back in the early 90's, a customer came in the door and started buying an exorbitant amount of expensive cell phones and accessories. Being intrigued by this she struck up a conversation with him and learned that he was the president of a local video game developer. She then proceeded to tell him that she was a "Computer Widow" and never saw her husband anymore because when he came home from his day job he glued himself to the computer and played video games all night. He laughed and gave my wife his business card and told her to have me give him a call. That night when my wife said what had happened earlier that day, and that he wanted me to call him, I almost jumped out of my skin! I was so excited, because I hated my current job and had always fantasized about working on video games! I immediately called him and left a message on his answering machine and did that every single day for the next thirty days. Finally because he probably got so sick of me calling, he setup an interview at the studio with one of his top game producers at the time whose name happened to be John Smedley. John gave me a short tour of their impressive studio, looked over some of my sketches, and then offered me a job on the spot as a 2D sprite artist working on tiles for the Super NES® console. My job consisted of cleaning up pixel by pixel, (or what's called rotoscoping), video images of characters shot on a Greenscreen stage.

3) What made you want to be an animator?

The first seed was planted in my mind after seeing the original Tron movie back in the 80's, and being mesmerized by the CG light cycles and other FX. The second was getting my first PC and playing tons of video games, specifically Wing Commander and the Shareware version of Wolfenstein 3D. Lastly my wife told me I should get a job working on games since I spent so much time playing them!

4) What games have you previously worked on?

    Clone Wars Adventures™
    Free Realms™

    EverQuest® II Rise of Kunark™
    Vanguard Saga of Heroes™
    Untold Legends™ Dark Kingdom™

    EverQuest® Depths of Darkhollow™
    EverQuest® Gates of Discord™
    EverQuest® Omens of War™
    EverQuest® Lost Dungeons of Norrath™
    EverQuest® The Legacy of Ykesha®
    EverQuest® The Shadows of Luclin®

5) What are you currently working on for the game?

All aspects of 1st person and 3rd person character animations.

6) What most excites you about working on PlanetSide® 2?

Finally being able to work on a FPS game for the first time!

7) Terran Republic, New Conglomerate, or Vanu Sovereignty? Which is your favorite faction and why?

New Conglomerate because I can imagine myself as a freedom fighter, fighting against both the TR who are cruel authoritarian dictators and the VS who are traitors to humanity!

8) What would you say to someone who wants to get a job in the video games industry?

If it's truly your passion, don't take "no" or "can't" for answer, and as the Great Winston Churchill said, "Never, never, never give up."

 
 


Lundi 7 décembre 2011
 
PlanetSide 2 Dev Chat with Kenneth Coker

It takes an extremely talented team of artists, coders, designers, audio engineers, and production staff to build the enormous, incredible, unbelievably badass game experience that is PlanetSide 2. This week some members of our dev team share a little about themselves and their experiences building the future of online gaming. Next up, Kenneth Coker.

1) What is your name and what is your role on the PlanetSide 2 team?

Hello, my name is Kenneth Shofela Coker and I am a Character Artist for PlanetSide 2. I model armor sets, helmets, and full body suits for the soldiers in game using programs like Zbrush, XSI Softimage, Maya, etc.

2) How did you get into the video game industry? Give us a little background.

I originally graduated with a BFA in illustration from the Memphis College of Art in Tennessee. However, I had been learning CG tools in my spare time during college, knowing that I wanted to work in video games or animation. After a few months of freelancing I got hired at Robomodo LLC in Chicago as a character artist for the skateboarding game Tony Hawk: SHRED.

Growing up in Lagos, Nigeria I suppose I probably developed a unique love for videogames because it felt almost like an underground movement. Videogames were hard to get in Lagos during the 90s so playing them, whenever there was electricity, was extra special. Lagos had frequent power cuts back then. Lots of rage and corrupted file saves for Final Fantasy 7. I've always been drawn to immersive worlds, and successful videogames excel at that. The thought of being able to contribute and create worlds for people to play in is a strong daily incentive for working on videogames.

3) What games have you previously worked on?

Tony Hawk: SHRED

4) What are you currently working on for the game?

This week I am working on a set of first person arms for the Vanu Stealth class. The Vanu MAX suit is up next.

5) What most excites you about working on PlanetSide 2?

I am excited by the chance to work on an immersive universe with so much history and unique fan fervor.

6) Terran Republic, New Conglomerate, or Vanu Sovereignty? Which is your favorite faction and why?

Terran Republic. I suppose I align more with the N.C.'s ideology, but the T.R. are more fun to play.

7) What else are you passionate about?

Family, Soccer/ Arsenal (Gooner for life), comics and animation.

 
 


Dimanche 6 décembre 2011
 
PlanetSide 2 Dev Chat with Lenny Gullo

It takes an extremely talented team of artists, coders, designers, audio engineers, and production staff to build the enormous, incredible, unbelievably badass game experience that is PlanetSide 2. This week some members of our dev team share a little about themselves and their experiences building the future of online gaming. Next up, Lenny Gullo.

1) What is your name and what is your role on the PlanetSide 2 team?

Hello, my name is Lenny Gullo II (@Kalyper) and I am a Game Designer for PlanetSide 2. I am the product owner for the world environments and facilities team. I'm basically the go-to guy for anything regarding the level design of PlanetSide 2 which includes continents, facilities and territory control. I keep the flow of the design direction going with this talented group of artists and designers. Basically, I make sure the world is fun to play in. :)

2) How did you get into the video game industry? Give us a little background.

Initially I was beta testing for Vanguard and decided to make a fan movie for the game. At the time, I was still under the NDA so I sent it to CEO of Sigil, Brad McQuaid, and he gave me permission to release the video to the public. He liked the movie and asked me to make some more, so I did. After making a few more, one day he asked me if I was interested in a position at Sigil Games Online as an associate designer. I've been playing video games since the Commodore 64® and it wasn't until after EverQuest that I realized I wanted to be a game designer. So when Brad asked me this question, I said "YES, absolutely"!

After a few phone interviews, they flew me out to San Diego from Florida and I had a tour of their studio and a sit down interview with the execs, senior designers and the rest of the design team. I was nervous as hell! After returning to my home construction job back in Florida, I hadn't heard anything for a couple of weeks. Then one day, I get a phone call telling me I got the job. There is no doubt that I was very lucky. :)

3) What games have you previously worked on?

Most of my design career was on Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. I did a little bit of time on the EverQuest II Sentinel of Fate expansion (did the Bonemire part of the golden path) before I ended up moving over to the new project "Planetside Next", which then was eventually revealed as the most awesome PlanetSide 2!

4) What are you currently working on for the game?

Currently, I'm kicking off design of a new continent. I'm making sure things go smoothly with development of key assets, defining that gameplay is fun and feels different, and of course making sure that it looks awesome. Look forward to it!

5) What most excites you about working on PlanetSide 2?

I've been an FPS gamer since I first laid my hands on Wolfenstein 3D. I've had my fair share of clans in Quake, Team Fortress, Half-Life, etc… Ever since I wanted to be a game designer, I've had that itch to work on an FPS game, especially one with a massive world. I'm really looking forward to seeing our territory control in action. In all the popular FPS games out there you play a map, win, and feel good about it. But in the end, it's just another map in the rotation and winning or losing it doesn't have much of an effect on your immersion. With PlanetSide 2, "winning" or "losing" means much more. Even more so than the original Planetside. I can't wait!

6) Terran Republic, New Conglomerate, or Vanu Sovereignty? Which is your favorite faction and why?

New Conglomerate first, Vanu second. When I first tried PlanetSide, I really liked the idea of the separatist faction fighting for what they believe is right. But I also liked the idea of the scientific cult of the Vanu Sovereignty. I started off as N.C. and then later tried V.S., but I really dig the armor style of the N.C. in our new game and will most likely be starting off with them again. But man, those V.S. weapons and vehicles are so cool!

7) Tell us something interesting…

You Bet!

 
 


Samedi 5 décembre 2011
 
PlanetSide 2 Dev Chat with Amit Patel

It takes an extremely talented team of artists, coders, designers, audio engineers, and production staff to build the enormous, incredible, unbelievably badass game experience that is PlanetSide 2. This week some members of our dev team share a little about themselves and their experiences building the future of online gaming.  First up, Amit Patel.

1) What is your name and what is your role on the PlanetSide 2 team?

My name is Amit Patel and I am a User Interface (UI) developer for PlanetSide 2, primarily in charge of implementing the core architecture and various UI elements in the game.

2) How did you get into the video game industry? Give us a little background.

I hadn’t planned on ending up in the video game industry. I majored in applied mathematics/biology at Harvard in ‘07 and had intended on going to medical school. However, I realized my passion was for programming more than anything else so I decided to shift gears. I worked as a quantitative analyst at a hedge fund developing trading tools before I ended up working on games. I developed an interest for User Interface (UI) development at that job and decided to pursue it further. I was tired of the east coast and decided to apply for UI related jobs in the west coast and ended up landing a job at Metaplace in San Diego, now acquired by Playdom™. After a few months at Metaplace working on developing tools for their proprietary iso-world engine, my interests shifted towards working on 3D games. So, I interviewed with SOE and started working on UI development for Free Realms under Matt Higby’s creative lead, who was the UI Product Owner at the time.

Working on UI has been quite an interesting experience; you get instant feedback from other developers and players when your work goes into the game. This can both be a blessing and a curse, as UI developers are generally the first to be blamed when something goes wrong ;) (e.g., "Amit, I’m clicking this button, why won’t it equip my loadout?!?!" ) But I enjoy the constant push/pull involved in developing UI, it’s a very dynamic element of the game and quite a rewarding experience as a programmer.

3) What games have you previously worked on?

Previously I developed UI for Free Realms®, Star Wars®: Clone Wars Adventures™, DC Universe Online and now, PlanetSide® 2.

4) What are you currently working on for the game?

Core UI architecture design and implementation and various UI elements in the game, including: infantry HUD, vehicle HUDs, character create/select screen, respawn screen, character/vehicle loadout pages, profile page, social page, settings page, and will be the primary developer of the marketplace.

5) What most excites you about working on PlanetSide 2?

For the first time here at SOE, I feel like I am working on a game that I have something invested in as a gamer. I am an avid first-person shooter fan, and working on a game like PlanetSide 2 has been absolutely amazing. Working with SOE’s finest designers, engineers, coders and artists on this team has been very rewarding. It’s nice to be on a team that produces results at the highest caliber, even in an extremely fast-paced development environment.

6) Terran Republic, New Conglomerate, or Vanu Sovereignty? Which is your favorite faction and why?

Vanu Sovereignty – Best vehicles, best equipment, best everything. It’s pretty much an open and shut case there, anyone who disagrees is clearly and unequivocally wrong.

7) Tell us something interesting…

Hobbies: Build and fly RC gas powered / electric airplanes, Krav Maga, Bikram Yoga, archery, play tabla ( Indian hand-drum, what Apu plays on The Simpsons™! ), and play tennis; Pet: Sukhi, 3-year old havanese dog.

 
 


Lundi 7 novembre 2011
 
PlanetSide 2 Empire Brief - New Conglomerate

Traitors.  Rebels.  Terrorists.

These are words often associated with the New Conglomerate, one of the three major powers fighting for supremacy on the battlefields of Auraxis in Planetside® 2.

However, to many the New Conglomerate are something else entirely: Heroes.  Freedom Fighters.  Protectors.

The New Conglomerate value freedom above all else and see anything that encroaches upon freedom as an affront to their fundamental rights.  Originally founded by some of the most powerful corporations on Earth as a political entity working against some of the restrictive policies of the Terran Republic the New Conglomerate’s “spirit of opposition” has only increased in the intervening centuries.  Now an empire in their own right they are in total open war with both the Terran Republic and the Vanu Sovereignty, seeking to free humanity from the tyrannical grip of the former, and defend them from the fanatical alien influence of the later.

Since the start of hostilities, the unpredictable and ruthless tactics employed by the insurgent N.C. have allowed them to gain significant ground against the seemingly overwhelming T.R. military.  Their methodology is to achieve victory by any means necessary and they are not afraid to use experimental weaponry, guerilla tactics or unconventional warfare if the need arises.

While they’re not blessed with the infinite resources of the Terran Republic, the N.C. have managed to build up enormous reserves of weapons, armor and vehicles which they keep well maintained.  Their equipment might not be the prettiest on the battlefield, but the N.C. philosophy is that as long as it shoots straight or can take a pounding that’s what really counts.  This gives them access to an incredibly diverse range of weapons and gadgets to help get the job done.

From a gameplay perspective, the Blue and Gold are built around hitting first, hitting hardest and taking a beating.  Although their weapons might not have the most finesse (often having strong kick, long reload times, and slower firing rates) they do pack a hell of a punch.  The empire specific vehicles, the Reaver attack fighter and Vanguard medium battle tank pack on more armaments and armor as well as abilities that allow them to stay in battle longer than the other empires equivalents.  While the N.C. vehicles excel in durability and sheer firepower, their trade off is in mobility and speed.

Check back over the next couple weeks as we release new info about the New Conglomerate, their weapons, vehicles and more.  As always, we’ll be answering your N.C. questions on Facebook and Twitter, so log on and hit us up, we can’t wait to hear from you!

Freedom from Tyranny!

And, as a personal note, I’d just like to say:  NC 4 LIFE!!

Matthew Higby (@mhigby), Creative Director – Planetside 2 (@Planetside2)

 
 


Jeudi 3 novembre 2011
 
Backstory - Historical Archive - Thomas Connery Holovid - 14.07.2638

From the holovid diary of THOMAS CONNERY, Commander, Terran Republic, Discovery-1. July 14th, 2638        

Two months out of twenty-eight have passed in our long journey to the wormhole and ultimately to the future of mankind.  Despite the never ending list of things to do, extended space travel has a way of offering plenty opportunities for introspection.  Lately my thoughts have turned to war; odd that they should, as it is something that no living human has ever experienced.

War had always defined human existence, and has many times taken us to the brink of no existence at all.  Before the formation of the Terran Republic, Earth had known no years without the blemish of war, no time of worldwide peace, nothing but strife and anguish.

Even considering the great technological advances we had made, we couldn’t keep up. Earth’s human population had grown far past a sustainable capacity. In the years leading up to the great war, tensions had begun to rapidly increase as countries scrambled to claim what was left of the planet’s natural resources. It was all futile, though, as we had set the course for this conflict centuries before.

The morning of January 18th, 2426 marked the beginning of what would become the greatest loss of life humanity had seen. Responding to intel indicating imminent and simultaneous attacks, Earth’s six greatest countries declared war on each other. As we know now, nobody in command of any of the countries who survived the initial firefight could remember issuing the codes that launched their missiles, nor did they know who sent out the initial warnings. But they all knew the war that began that cold winter morning had been long expected. Perhaps it was even desired.

The first year of worldwide conflict drastically changed everything. Nearly half the human population died, either in the war or because of it. Our weapons and tactics did far more than just destroy targets; they crippled integral parts of our civilization, from communication to food production. Starvation and disease killed as many as guns and bombs.

But then, eighteen years later, on December 19, 2444, our final war ended. Not because we learned the folly of our ways, but because scientists announced the existence of the wormhole, and a new threat from beyond. We were not alone. All past truths were eradicated in the single instant the universe opened wide, and they were replaced by a single new truth: If mankind wanted to survive, all nations and all people would have to work together.

On May 13, 2445, an armistice was signed by all the nations which codified the end of war. Amazingly, in the following decades, borders fell and governments merged. Where there had been nearly two hundred separate countries, now there would only be one united planet under the banner of the Terran Republic.

Representatives from all the former nations would sit on its council. Because those in charge understood that Earth either moved forward together or perished together, they lay down laws that would be strictly and evenly enforced. It was vital to the T.R. that no individual would ever again be permitted to slow down the safe progress of all peoples.

For first time in her history there was peace on Earth, and this time that peace was embraced by everyone.

At the end of its ten-year term, the Terran Republic constitution mandated free and open elections. The people, freed from worry, didn’t want anything to change and voted the Terran Republic back into power. Ten years later they did the same. At the end of the first century, on the date the wormhole was to open one more time, the people once again voted the Terran Republic into office. And so they did for another hundred years.

There were some who fought against such mandated peace. There were always those who wanted more. But when they struck, the Terran Republic struck back, harder. To ensure the continuation of peace, the T.R. enacted strict laws and harsh penalties. But the people, enjoying the most prosperous moment in humanity’s history, encouraged them on. As T.R. President Harrikan proclaimed in 2598: “All citizens must display loyalty and fealty to the Republic, above all.  Strict retribution is sometimes required, and if minor freedoms must be compromised to ensure the continued security and prosperity of all, then so be it.”

Loyalty and fealty to the Republic, above all.  These became the words the Terran Republic lived by and the words the people embraced.

And they are the words I spoke on the day I took office; however, I have always disagreed with Harrikan about the second part.  One should never give up their freedoms for security. A man far greater than Harrikan said that 600 years earlier.

Today, under the banner of the Terran Republic, I lead a bright and hopeful fleet toward a new frontier and a new future. But though the ships are at peace as we speed toward the wormhole, I sense a frightening undercurrent. I believe there may be some who don’t want this trip to succeed and I fear others whose doubt could blossom into something more. And, I am also sensing, as we speed closer to the wormhole, something else; that same imperceptible, subliminal dread I felt on my first voyage to the Moon Belt, that warned me not to continue, yet still forced me onward. Something is out there and I am being told to turn away from it, but something inside me tells me I cannot.

So why, you who are watching this must ask, do I still lead us on?  The answer is simple and it has fired mankind’s imagination since we lived in the darkest caves. No matter the warnings or the doubts, no matter how inflammatory words become or how many fists are raised in resistance, mankind has never, and can never, turn from our future.

Whatever must, will occur today, but there will always be a tomorrow.

 
 


Mardi 25 octobre 2011
 
PlanetSide 2 Empire Debrief - The Terran Republic

Hey PlanetSiders!

In PlanetSide 2, the team you’re on means a lot more than just what color armor you’re wearing. Each of our three iconic empires has access to unique weapons and weapon attachments, vehicles, abilities and more. You’re really choosing a play-style that will mold your character throughout their entire life time.  This week we will reveal some exciting details about one of these empires, the Terran Republic.

The Terran Republic brought an end to wars on Earth and ushered in an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity that lasted for hundreds of years. It was under the banner of the Terran Republic that humans reached for the stars and eventually landed on Auraxis. Their Republic is built around order and the rule of law, with the central tenant that no individual is above the rules. Loyalty and fealty are core to the Terran Republic ethos and from that grows a spirit of total camaraderie and brotherhood amongst its proud and mighty warriors.

More so than any other empire, the TR are a professional military, they are the most synergistic of the teams and benefit the most from numbers and coordination. Their weapons and vehicles are top of the line, shining and new, but conventional. They eschew experimental ordinances and energy weapons, preferring to stick with what has worked for hundreds of years – accurate, high velocity bullets, and lots of them.  Terran Republic weapons have the fastest firing rates, largest ammo capacities, and are generally designed to allow for maximum sustainable damage.  A well drilled squad of Terran Republic troops is one of the most fearsome and deadly forces you’ll ever meet on the battlefields of Auraxis.

On the vehicles side, the Terran Republic has two unique empire vehicles, the Mosquito fighter jet and the Prowler battle tank.  The Mosquito is an extremely agile attack aircraft, which can be outfitted with a variety of weapon systems to suit the needs of the republic, and has the fastest top speed of any air vehicle allowing it to quickly disengage from a sticky situation and regroup.   The Prowler is a medium tank that is not only the fastest empire specific tank on the field but it can be armed to the teeth with extra weapon systems beyond the other empires medium tanks, making it one of the deadliest vehicles in the game.

Over the next few days we will be releasing some really exciting stuff including new screenshots, 360 degree turn-arounds of some of the Terran Republic armor and more details about the Terran Republic and their military machine.  We’ll also be continuing to release some new backstory and as always will be answering your TR related questions on twitter, facebook and the forums.

So, until next time, remember: “Loyalty until Death, Strength in Unity!”

Matthew Higby (@mhigby), Creative Director – PlanetSide® 2 (@PlanetSide2)

 
 


Lundi 24 octobre 2011
 
PlanetSide 2 Theme of the Week - Terran Republic

PlanetSide 2 Theme of the Week – Terran Republic
By Paul “Virrago” Williams

Hello Soldiers!

This week we will brief you on the Terran Republic in PlanetSide® 2! Get ready to go deep inside the TR, learn what sets it apart from the other factions, and find out if this is the faction for you. Keep reading to find out what we have coming this week.

PlanetSide 2 Comm-Link: Matt Higby

A Comm-Link from Creative Director Matt Higby will go live on Tuesday, October 25, 2011. In this Comm-Link, Matt will provide intel on PlanetSide 2’s Terran Republic, including details about the faction’s theme and special capabilities in game. Throughout the week we will also show off some of the unique features of the TR. Whether you intend to fight with or against the Terran Republic, you won’t want to miss out on this intel.

Twitter Chat

On Friday, October 28, 2011, starting at 4 PM Pacific Time, the PlanetSide® 2 Development Team will host a PlanetSide 2 Twitter Chat to answer your questions about the Terran Republic. If you would like to participate in the PlanetSide 2 Twitter Chat, make sure to follow @PlanetSide2 on Twitter.

That’s what you can look forward to this week, Soldiers! Stay sharp and keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter so you always have fresh intel.

Virrago out!

 
 


Vendredi 21 octobre 2011
 
PlanetSide 2 Backstory - January 5th, 2642 - The Holovid Diary of Colonel Richmond Morgannis

Jessicana Morgannis, Part I

From the Holovid Diary of COLONEL RICHMOND MORGANNIS, Chief Operations Officer, Terran Republic, Discovery-1. January 5th, 2642:

To my daughter, Jessicana:

We’re here, at the far end of the solar system, because of the vision of one man, Tom Connery. You know him as our former President and more recently, as the man who inspired the world to reach into the unknown.

I’ve worked alongside him for years, and knew him since our Academy days. And as he would tell you himself, his story is only one of many that led to this moment, but I think it’s important to put this in context. Before the May 13, 2445 Armistice ended the “war to end all wars”, mans’ battles had ravaged the planet. Once we exhausted virtually all natural resources, the wars began in a futile grab for what little was left. Seventy-eight years of struggle, starvation and plagues left most major cities leveled and in ruins. Millions died and there seemed to be no end to our futile wars.

I wish I could tell you otherwise, Jess, but mankind didn’t stop fighting because we suddenly learned our lesson. Nothing in our history indicates we ever learned anything that way. No. We stopped because scientists announced a historic discovery, the existence of a fracture in space within our own solar system.

It turns out the phenomena had actually been spotted nearly a hundred years earlier, on November 28, 2345, but it disappeared weeks later before it could be researched. The government launched probes to the area, but there were no new sightings until 98.3 years later on March 16, 2444. The probes examined the phenomena, sent back information, and then ceased operation as whatever was out there disappeared again, but this time the scientists weren’t left in the dark. The probes reported three possibly connected discoveries that forever changed the history of mankind.

The first discovery was the existence of the fracture, or “wormhole” as it has been called.  Scientists theorized that this phenomenon would allow near instantaneous transportation between two discrete points in space, potentially allowing us to reach far beyond our limited space-faring capability, but where the wormhole might lead remained unknown.

Still, any wormhole leading to another part of the universe would in of itself be historic. Even though  the wormhole is what has brought us here today, at the time, it paled in comparison to the probe’s other discoveries.

On the day the fracture closed, the dwarf planet Pluto was inexplicably torn to pieces. We had no idea what could possibly destroy an entire planet, but you can easily understand the panic it caused when the news was released.

Despite Pluto’s destruction, it was the probe’s third discovery that had the most immediate and profound effect.

Prior to Pluto’s destruction and the closing of the wormhole, scientists around the world detected multispectral transmissions originating from the fracture directed at Earth. We had been scanned, but by exactly what or perhaps the better word would be “who” remained unknown. Still, whatever it was, we now had incontrovertible proof that we were no longer the only intelligent life forms in the universe. The implications were clear - whatever destroyed Pluto also scanned our planet and knew of our existence

Jess, there could no longer be any time for our petty feuds and wars. Something existed out there with a terrible power and if we were to survive as a species, we had to finally stop warring with each other.  We would have to learn to work together if we wanted to survive

It took over a year, but on May 13, 2445, the treaty was finally signed that promised all countries would lay down their weapons and work together for the hope of mankind. You realize when I was a kid, I saw those old vid clips of that momentous signing and even at seven, I understood its significance, but I never expected that you and I would become part of its history.

For the next hundred years, we worked together, learning to compromise and cooperate and guess what? We not only rebuilt Earth, but we created new technologies that allowed us to salvage squandered natural resources that had originally led to war. We made incredible technological leaps in medicine, aerospace, materials sciences, manufacturing and nano-agriculture. Even without traveling to the stars, Earth became a paradise.

There was no longer any need for individual governments. The Terran Republic, working for all the people, took their place. With representatives from all member nations, the T.R. dedicated itself first and foremost to worldwide defense, then to peace, prosperity and technological advancement for all. To achieve both security as well as advancement, the T.R. created a strict code of conduct for its people, with its ruling tenet being: No one is above the law. For all people to be free, all must follow the same rules. For the first time in mankind’s history, there would be total equality for everyone.

In every way, the T.R. succeeded beyond anyone’s imagination.

Exactly 98.3 years later, on July 3, 2542, the wormhole opened for the third time. Our probes and automated defense perimeter were ready, but we detected no further scans of Earth. It was suggested that what we believed to be alien scans was in fact only feedback from our own probes. Perhaps, some scientists theorized, we were never in any danger at all.

Fear set in…Without any reason to join together for mutual defense, would we now drift apart and resume our old ways?

In fact the old ways did not resume. We had actually changed as a people in the intervening years. With a never-ending abundance of created fuels and food, there was no longer any reason for war. We created a world at peace as a means of saving ourselves, and in effect, we had. Freed of the need to fight to survive, our spirit of adventure, lost for so long, returned.

By June of 2582, exploratory colonies travelled the solar system and terraformed worlds and moons. Where we were once trapped on a single, tiny planet, the spirit that led Columbus to search for new trade-routes and lands led mankind to discover unknown worlds beyond the orbit of Pluto. Jess, you were six when we lived on Mars’ moon, Phobos, but before we terraformed it, that moon was incapable of sustaining life. After…Well, you must remember its great parks and rivers. From death came abundant life.

That spirit of adventure and discovery grabbed the imaginations of all peoples. We realized we wanted, no, we needed to explore further. That is where the story of Tom Connery began and that is why you, I, and more than 75,000 others embarked on this, mankind’s greatest journey.

Hon, I should be back from my meeting tomorrow before dinner. In the meantime, I’ve provided you with access to Tom’s public diary as well as my private one. When you read his words, and maybe mine, they should put this entire mission into perspective for you. I would hope it brings to life what may have been abstract before now and that it shows you why we’ve come so far and refuse to give up. Finally, if you find any of what we wrote of interest and educational, or at the very least fun, I urge you to think about writing your own diary, in your own words, about the world we’re looking for and the wonderful people you are going to meet. And who knows, hon? One day, your children and their children might find your words fun to hear too.

Col. Richmond Morgannis, Holovid diary… out.

Over the next few months, I watched my father’s vid-diary a hundred times. Every time I did, and he blew me his goodbye kiss with a promise to hug me when he returned home the next day, I cried.

Just as my father and the other Terran Republic officials meeting aboard the Colonial-7 boarded their transports to return home a massive explosion ripped through the shuttle bay and destroyed the ship. They never identified the terrorists who destroyed the Colonial-7, murdering my father and 591 others.

January 6, 2642. That day my life changed forever.

 
 


Jeudi 20 octobre 2011
 
PlanetSide 2 Backstory Part 4 - The Holovid Diary of Thomas Connery

From the Holovid Diary of THOMAS CONNERY, Commander, Terran Republic, Discovery-1. January 6th, 2642

Perhaps I should have known it was a pipe-dream. If I had, I wouldn’t have all this blood on my hands. If I had, seventy-five thousand men, women and children would be safe in their bedrooms on Earth, and not wherever here is, on the other side of the universe, lost and with no hope of ever returning home. 

There is no way back. Starmaps are useless. Our scanners haven’t detected even a single oxygen based planet anywhere near us. And as awful as our plight is, there are rumors that there’s been talk of armed insurrection. I hope for all our sakes that talk is all it is. I’m afraid if that sort of rebellion begins I won’t be able to hold back the Military who’s been begging me for weeks to let them deal with the “mess” as they call it. As much as it goes against everything I believe I may not have any choice.

Despite it all, and I’m probably an idiot for saying this, I still have confidence. Perhaps not as much as I had on May 13, 2638 when we launched our fleet of 128 ships, but I believed then and I believe now:

We will find a planet.

We will find extraterrestrial life.

And we will do more than survive… We will thrive.

Unfortunately, I worry I may be one of the only few who does believe.

Rich is another who hasn‘t given up on us. Then again, he and I have been friends for so long we think alike. He thinks today’s meeting will reset our course. We’ve had two hundred years of peace and prosperity and he’s certain people won’t want to go back to the old days. I hope he’s right.

Thomas Connery, Holovid diary out.

 
 


Vendredi 14 octobre 2011
 
PlanetSide 2 Recap of the Week

PlanetSide 2 “Backstory” - Recap of the Week
By Paul “Virrago” Williams

Hello Soldiers!

This week you learned about the exciting, war-torn history of Auraxis in PlanetSide 2. Keep reading for a recap on where to find all the information on our site, Stickam, Twitter, and in the press.

PlanetSide 2 Comm-Link: Matt Higby - Backstory

PlanetSide 2 released its third Comm-Link Tuesday, October 11, 2011. Creative Director Matt Higby shared details on the immediate backstory of PlanetSide 2, why we needed a detailed history of Auraxis, and introduced legendary comic book writer Marv Wolfman, who is writing the PlanetSide 2 story.

Story Updates

The first three chapters of the PlanetSide 2® story were released this week on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

In the Press

Massively interviewed legendary comic book writer Marv Wolfman. Marv discussed the difference between writing for comics and writing for MMOs, and shared his vision for the ‘hundreds of years’ worth of history he’ll be writing for PlanetSide 2. Check it out here.

Twitter Chat

On Friday, October 14, 2011, the PlanetSide 2 Community Team hosted a PlanetSide 2 Twitter Chat and tweeted with the fans about their favorite parts of the PlanetSide 2 story. If you would like to participate in the next PlanetSide 2 Twitter Chat, make sure to follow @PlanetSide2 on Twitter.

That’s it for this week, Soldiers! Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter so you can be ready for any fresh intel.

Virrago out!

 
 


Vendredi 14 octobre 2011
 
PlanetSide 2 Backstory Part 3 - Joe Walsh, New Conglomerate Master Sergeant, Searhus

JOE WALSH, New Conglomerate Master Sergeant, Searhus. June 21, 2845.

Walsh watched helplessly as Privates Ken Edmund, Jr. and Adira Sullivan, both doing their best to hold Lavastorm’s south ridge, fell dead to the ground, Terran Republic bullets penetrating their chest armor then exploding inside them. Although he didn’t know Sullivan, Walsh had been friends with Ben’s father from their Academy days. These kids were good. Walsh would make certain the T.R. murderers paid.

“Miller. Cohen. Move into their positions. You see any T.R. scum, take them out.” The two scrambled over the crusted lava field and filled the empty spaces. “In place, Sarge,” Miller shouted, “and ready.”

The Terran Republic had been the single political force on Earth since the Armistice and the formation of the new Government. They had set up an open and transparent Government that kept the peace for nearly two hundred years. Walsh had no problem with them, but he certainly did with the current crazies who used their name to rule over Auraxis, not as a democracy but as a harsh and cruel dictatorship. Strict curfews, which had been put into place during their travels when discipline needed to be maintained, were not rescinded after they landed on Auraxis. In fact, they were made more harsh.

“Don’t worry,” the T.R. council told the people, “we have a planet to reshape, cities to build, and we don’t know what the hell might be out there. As soon as we can, all restrictions will be lifted, but for the safety of our 60 thousand citizens, we have to keep all rules and laws in place."

But what really clawed Walsh’s ass was that the people voted with the T.R.; they voted down their own freedoms.

In a move directly planned to keep the New Conglomerate from resisting Terran Republic control, all political gatherings were banned. Groups of more than three, unless they were a family, were not permitted the right of assembly. Refusal to follow T.R. laws were punishable by imprisonment, and in some cases death. N.C. officers were rounded up and imprisoned without proof of wrongdoing or even a trial. The N.C. pleaded for the return of all personal freedoms, but the T.R. refused. They were trying to work a compromise when both sides walked from the table and war broke out.

So much for Thomas Connery’s belief that men could work together in peace.

Walsh and his unit grabbed their heavy gauss rifles, tri-barreled “jackhammer” shotguns and carbines and carefully moved down Lavastorm. Walsh knew the T.R.’s tactics. They hid behind realistic 3D holo-boulders, lying in wait until N.C. soldiers passed. Walsh held his jackhammer close and fired it in a wide arc as they passed all possible hiding places. But when he heard gunfire erupt just behind him he knew he screwed up. The T.R. were hiding in a real crevice, large enough for a half dozen men. When Walsh’s unit moved past they leaped from their spots and opened fire. Nine of his boys died. Three were wounded and captured. Return fire only killed four of their ambushers.

Walsh and his men scrambled for safety behind an outgrowth of rock. They had high ground; they’d be safe, if only for a few minutes.  He gave the signal and Miller, Cohen and the Dorsey twins revealed the seven Phoenix missile launchers they had hidden along the volcano’s rim.

“Now!” Walsh screamed. Jimmy Dorsey fired launcher one. His brother set off Launcher two. Walsh and the others set off the rest. Rockets careened down alongside Lavastorm’s wall and exploded. Four T.R.s, broken and lifeless, were thrown from cubby holes. Through his binocs Walsh could see two of the T.R. bastards. One, a kid, probably 19. “Screw you, moron for picking the wrong side,” Walsh shouted. The other looked like a girl, a little older, with flaming red hair.

 
 


Jeudi 13 octobre 2011
 
PlanetSide 2 Backstory Part 2 - Sandy Jones, Vanu Sovereignty Chief of Research and Development

SANDY JONES, Vanu Sovereignty, Chief of Research and Development.

Jones looked up from his computers to the bank of monitors lining the wall above where he sat. He had been warned that morning by his sister, Genny, a Private in the Terran Republic military, that something big was going down on the volcanic island of Searhus.

“Why are you doing this, G?” he asked her. “There’s no reason you have to join the military. There’s no reason you have to take sides. They’re both insane, you know, the Terran Republic and New Conglomerate alike. They’re going to kill each other and take down a lot of innocent bystanders.”

“Unlike you Vanu lunatics? You believe in the magic powers of some alien God…”

“Not a God. Just an alien. We know they existed. We’ve excavated their cities. We’ve analyzed their artifacts. And ever since what happened to Briggs we’ve gotten sporadic telepathic feedback. Vanu and his people were real.”

“Operative word, Sandy, is ‘were.’” They died off a zillion years ago. And don’t dare correct me. Five hundred years or a zillion don’t make a hell of a difference when they’re dead. Look, I get it, brother. You scientists don’t take sides. You analyze. You poke. You rip the atoms out of whatever the hell you’re researching just to see what happens. Then you do it again and again to see if the results are the same.”

“The scientific method. It’s worked since the dawn of science.”

“I know. And I love you for your dedication. But those of us who don’t hide our emotions behind test tubes and equations get excited about things. We’ve only been on this world two hundred years. That’s not enough time for mankind to want to wipe everyone out again. We need peace. I believe in that so much I want to be part of the process.”

Sandy gave her that look he knew she hated that said, I’m now going to speak sense into you, kid, so you’d better listen. “Which is why I’m telling you that you should stand aside and let both sides blast each other until the idiots are dead and stay dead. Then this planet will belong to the rest of us who believe in peaceful research. Besides, you do know your Terran Republic friends aren’t all sweet innocence and light. They’re dictators of the worst kind.”

He saw her face flush red with anger. “And the New Conglomerate are any better? They’ve worked against the colonies since day one. They refused to do their jobs unless they were paid and when there was no way they’d go back home and get their creds, they took off. The T.R. wants us to work together…”

Sandy leaned in and interrupted. “Under their rules and draconian laws. And if you disagree, you are either arrested or executed.”

Genny talked over her brother as if he hadn’t said a word. “…while the N.C. went off and built their damn underground cities and let the rest of us rot.”

“Exactly. For them it’s all or nothing, my way or the highway” Sandy said. “Which is why I stay neutral. It’s why I and the rest of us refuse to get involved with that insanity. Sis, all I want is for you to be safe. Look, why don’t you let me take you to our camp. See what I see. Understand what we’re about. When you’re shown the truth of Vanu, I know you’ll want to join us.”

“Sandy, come on, be serious. I love you. Really. And because I do I read about Vanu. I understand him. And that’s why I am not going AWOL to watch your friends talk their mystic gibberish.”

“Gibberish? Genny, you’ve only read T.R. and N.C. propaganda. You have no idea what Vanu is about. Please. Let me show you.”

Genny gave her brother a dismissive kiss on the cheek. “I’m sorry, but no. I can’t and I won’t. Besides, you and I both know it won’t come down to war. They’re talking. They’ll find some compromise. They always do. We’re all stuck on Auraxis so ultimately we’ll have to work together whether we want to or not,” she said as she gave her brother a kiss, and promised she’d be back in time for Wednesday’s family dinner. It was Genny’s birthday and Sandy’s wife, Elayne, was preparing Genny’s favorite, Turkey faux. 

She gave one parting grin, flicked her brother’s earlobe as she always did, then left. Tomorrow was going to be one helluva day.

Sandy looked up at the live news feed that scrolled across the monitors. The reporter, Richard Morgannis, named for his great, great, great grandfather, Richmond, and the great grandson of the still beloved Jessicana Morgannis, looked serious as he spoke, his voice barely above a whisper.

“Representatives of both the Terran Republic and the New Conglomerate report that all peace treaty meetings have been cancelled.”

“There’s no way we can reason with those traitors,” said George Harris, the T.R. spokesman.

New Conglomerate spokesman Diane Draper responded by saying, “We didn’t walk from the peace table, George. Your side did.”

Harris’ face filled the screen again. “We left because your people ordered your mercenaries to attack T.R. settlements in the Kaorr desert region.”

“No, you marched in and slaughtered dozens of settlers.” Draper responded.

“Settlers? They were building weapons of war out there, Diane, and don’t act like you didn’t know it! You terrorists were intending to use them against innocent citizens of the Terran Republic!” Harris yelled.

Morgannis’s face replaced the two feuding representatives. “T.R. officials say they deny all N.C.claims and that unless the N.C. leadership is willing to…” Morgannis touched his earpod; he was receiving new information.

“We are now getting reports that a large scale battle is taking place on the island of Searhus, in the vicinity of the Kane Prison Compound. Both sides have sworn that the battle will not stop until their opposite numbers are all dead. Our reporters on the scene are replaying information indicating that weapons of mass destruction are being used and that the death toll on both sides is quickly rising. They say… wait… I’m no longer connected with our people on Searhus. All I’m getting is static. It appears communications are...”

Sandy Jones stared at the monitor screens alive only with static. Genny was somewhere in that warzone. He had to know what was happening.

“Sandy,” a voice coming from behind him called his name. He turned to see Chairman Willis Scott enter the room. “Those fools did it. This planet is now at war.”

“We’re staying neutral, sir. Aren’t we?” Sandy asked.

Scott shook his head. “We’re not siding with either of them, if that’s what you mean. But we also can’t stay on the side any longer. To save the world that Vanu once ruled, in order for humanity to reach its full potential, we must take up arms and destroy them both. We must eradicate all that stands against us. Today we have declared our Sovereignty, a Vanu Sovereignty. Only one force can live on Auraxis, and it must be us.”

 
 


Mercredi 12 octobre 2011
 
PlanetSide 2 Backstory Part 1 - Jake Duffy, Terran Republic Quartermaster

JAKE duffy, Terran Republic Quartermaster, AMP Station Gamma. June 21, 2845.

Duffy’s voice could be heard through the walls of his Plexi-enclosed office. “What the freakin’ hell are you standing there for, Jones? You playing with yourself? I told you to get those !%$#$@ weapons to the loading dock-A…now.”

He glanced at the manifest, then glared at Private Genny Jones, quaking in fear, a tiny, little thing, no more than five feet one, if even that, with shoulder length flaming red hair and a temper to match. She had been assigned to weapons’ supply only two weeks ago when they were still at relative peace with the New Conglomerate and they thought she’d have time to learn her job while the two sides tried to reach some tentative compromise. Nobody expected those idiots to start shooting at each other before dawn the very next morning.

“115 Mini chain guns. We need two crates of bolt drivers. They’re also going to need cyclers and repeater pistols. And don’t forget the dome blasters. You got all that, Jones?”

“Yessir,” she shouted back. “I gathered them soon as I saw the manifest this ayem, sir. And they’re already loaded onto the Galaxys. I was just waiting for coordinates to dispatch them, sir.”

Duffy looked her over. Two weeks on the job and she nailed it. Damn. “Good work, Private. Punching them in now. And one other thing, Jones.”

“Yessir?”

“I’m the Quartermaster, not an officer. Call me that, or Q, or Duffy. Not sir.”

“Sorry, won’t happen again…Duffy.”

“Make sure it doesn’t private. Now get on board. You’re with Booth and Erickson.”

She was already on the move.

The troops took their places in the Galaxy and braced for lift-off. Two minutes later Duffy’s voice crackled over her head-armor earphones. “The brass just told me to relay your mission. So, listen up, soldiers, I’m not repeating it. Two platoons of T.R. soldiers are trapped on the volcanic island of Searhus, under fire by ^&%# New Conglomerate dirtbags. Appears they took control of Mount Lavastorm on the mistaken belief we’re gonna let ‘em free their captured forces from the Kane Prison Compound. If they succeed, the N.C. armies would be equal to T.R. forces. Our job’s to make certain that will never happen. You got that?”

Genny Jones joined the chorus with a loud, “Understood, Quartermaster Duffy. Understood.”

As the Galaxy sped across Auraxis toward Searhus, Jones mentally catalogued what she had been taught about the enemy. The New Conglomerate were originally from three very different groups who came together for their mutual benefit. First and foremost there were the businessmen. They may not have been the highest of the muckety-mucks, but they ran the most powerful companies back on Earth and the Terran colonies and were sent to establish a foothold on the other side of the universe to exponentially increase company profits. They were the VPs and managers of the original conglomerates and now they were going to control the new businesses. Of course, Jones realized the bosses weren’t expecting to do any of the hard labor by themselves, so they brought along the civilian workforce, men and women paid to join the mission to build the new cities, factories and more. Once done they would return to Earth to collect their creds. Finally, because the businessmen never went anywhere without protection, they brought along the third group that made up the N.C.’s: the highly paid and highly dangerous mercenaries.

Unlike the bulk of Connery’s crew who intended to colonize and live on the new worlds they discovered, these groups were in it for creds only. They planned to return home as soon as they could. They had no loyalty to Connery or the mission. All they cared about was what they could get out of it. The New Conglomerate, as they came to call themselves, were always willing to work with them. But, Genny remembered reading that once they found themselves on the other side of the wormhole with no way to return home, meaning no way to get their creds, they slowly moved apart from the others.

Genny remembered her Sergeant’s words, drilled into her squad of new recruits. “You wanna know the difference between us an’ them,” he shouted. “Once those N.C. bastards landed on Auraxis, they came to the high ‘n’ mighty conclusion that the Terran Republic’s laws, which they had followed ‘til then, were suddenly incompatible with their own selfish needs. They could never accept that the laws were enacted to protect all the people, seein’ we were so many lightyears from home. Like always, those N.C. buttholes only thought about themselves an’ nobody else.”

She took out her tab and flipped through the vids of her family back on Cyssor and hopefully safe. Her mom smiled at her and blew her a kiss. Her Dad looked at her like he always did. To him she was still nine years old and in pigtails. Her sister, Lea, mouthed the words, “Be safe, sis,” which made Genny grin. Sandy, her older brother, just waved solemnly. He was the one who fought the most with her not to join the T.R. army. Sandy, a theoretical physicist, was caught up with the Vanu cultists and was against some of T.R. laws but those Vanu nuts were nothing compared to the N.C. traitors. They argued endlessly over who was right and who was wrong, and she recognized that he made some good points, but ultimately she had to fight for the cause she most believed in. Still, she loved him and knew he loved her, and they both prayed that war would not divide their family as it was doing to Auraxis.

Back in his office, Quartermaster Duffy watched the Galaxys take off for Searhus. Before they took off he had done his traditional one last walk through. He saw the shock of red hair in the back. Genny Jones was talking with Billy Pelz, a recent recruit no older that eighteen unless he had lied about his age. A lot of the kids did these days. They talked excitedly about going off to war. Idiots. They got no idea what war is all about, Duffy thought before giving a silent prayer that they all came home again.

He turned away and scanned the news vids looking for any word whether the group that was now calling themselves the Vanu Sovereignty was remaining neutral, taking sides or launching their own offensive. So far nothing. He prayed they would stay out of it. Life on Auraxis had suddenly gone to hell and Duffy didn’t need another conflict to make it worse. 

He shook his head wondering how it had come to this. By the time they found Auraxis and landed, the people had joined together for mutual protection.  They tamed the savage planet, terraformed it, grew food enough for everyone, built cities and fortifications, and worked together so they could survive together.

So much changed in 175 years.

He sighed, breathed in a deep breath, then called in Ben Davids, yet another new kid who joined up only this past week. “What the freakin’ hell are you standing there for, Davids?” Duffy shouted. “ You playing with yourself? I told you to get those !%$#$@ weapons to the loading dock-B… now.”

 
 


Mardi 11 octobre 2011
 
PlanetSide 2 Backstory - An Introduction by Matt Higby

Greetings PlanetSiders

We’re really thrilled this week to be releasing the first in a series of backstory fiction for PlanetSide 2.

One of the many ways that PlanetSide 2 is more than just your average FPS is that in addition to making a kick-ass GAME we’re building a kick-ass and believable WORLD.  Our planet, Auraxis, is a enigmatic world with a deep sense of place and a rich and storied history.  Part of bringing that world to life is creating the backstory for it, crafting the fiction that informs everything from why a continent is covered in charred ruins to why buildings look like they were dropped in from orbiting capital ships.  Beyond grounding the design of the world, the story gives meaning to who the people fighting on it are, how they got there, their motivations and what their conflict signifies.  Ultimately a cohesive and compelling story creates a cohesive and compelling game.

With PlanetSide 2 we’re resetting the PlanetSide lore.  Rather than a sequel, we call it a re-envisioning, or more accurately a re-imagining.   We’re doing this for a couple reasons, but the biggest is that we want to bring more depth and focus on to the story of what Auraxis is, how humanity discovered it, how they were stranded there, and ultimately how all hell broke loose and the epic unending battle for supremacy began.  Those of you familiar with PlanetSide will recognize all the players, but the board they’re on and how they move will be a lot different. 

I’m incredibly proud to announce that working with us on this re-imagining is legendary comic book author Marv Wolfman.  Marv has created such iconic characters as Marvel’s Blade and DC’s New Teen Titans among others, he is a true luminary in the world of comics and is a big-time gamer to boot.  When we approached him with the idea of working on PlanetSide and what we wanted to do with it he was really excited.  Over the last few months we’ve been working together to craft a series of stories, told from multiple perspectives that will help to put the entire history of the PlanetSide universe into one exciting and compelling interwoven narrative.

Starting this week and over the coming months we’ll be revealing this backstory episodically as we ramp up to beta and launch.  We’re all looking forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback on where we’re taking the story, and of course the game.  So, as always, hit us up on the forums, facebook or twitter – we can’t wait to hear from you.

Until next time!

Matthew Higby (@mhigby), Creative Director – Planetside 2 (@Planetside2)

 
 


Lundi 10 octobre 2011
 
PlanetSide 2 Theme of the Week - Backstory

Hello Soldiers!

This week we will brief you on the backstory in PlanetSide 2! Get ready to learn about the exciting, war-torn history of Auraxis. Keep reading to find out what we have coming this week.

PlanetSide 2 Comm-Link : Matt Higby

A Comm-Link from Creative Director Matt Higby will go live on Tuesday, October 11, 2011. Review the Comm-Link for intel on PlanetSide 2’s immediate backstory, the history of the planet Auraxis, and introductions to some of the key players behind the story for PlanetSide 2’s massive world.

Story Updates

The first three chapters of the PlanetSide 2 story will release this week on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday on PlanetSide2.com.

Twitter Chat

On Friday, October 14, 2011, starting at 4 PM Pacific Time, the PlanetSide 2 Community Team will host a PlanetSide 2 Twitter Chat to talk about what’s been shared about the PlanetSide 2 story. If you would like to participate in the PlanetSide 2 Twitter Chat, make sure to follow @PlanetSide2 on Twitter.

That’s what you can look forward to this week, Soldiers! Stay sharp and keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter so you always have fresh intel.

Virrago out!

 
 


Vendredi 30 septembre 2011
 
PlanetSide 2 Art - Recap of the Week

Hello Soldiers!

This week you were briefed on the art of PlanetSide 2. We shared intel about the direction the artists are taking with PlanetSide 2. Keep reading for a recap on where to find all the information on our site, Stickam, Twitter, and in the press.

PlanetSide 2 Comm-Link : Tramell Isaac

PlanetSide 2 released another Comm-Link Tuesday, September 27, 2011. Tramell “T-Ray” Isaac shared details about his past experience, PlanetSide’s visual influence on PlanetSide 2, and SOE’s powerful ForgeLight engine. You can read it here.

In the Press

This week in the press, Game Informer featured an exclusive time-lapse video and Q&A with PlanetSide 2 Senior Artist Patrick Ho. Check it out here.

In other great news, the October Issue of PC GAMER UK, available now, features a four page feature preview on PlanetSide 2.  This interview with Matt Higby gives a colorful overview of what new and nostalgic players can expect when they hit planet Auraxis the second time around. 

Webcast

On Thursday, September 29, 2011, we had our second PlanetSide 2 webcast. Our host, Creative Director Matt Higby, interviewed Art Director Bill Yeatts, Art Director Matt Broome, and Senior Art Director Tramell Isaac. If you missed Thursday’s webcast, you can watch it on our YouTube channel.

Twitter Chat

On Friday, September 30, 2011, the PlanetSide 2 Development Team hosted another Twitter chat and answered questions from the fans. If you would like to participate in the next PlanetSide 2 Twitter chat, make sure to follow @PlanetSide2 on Twitter.

That’s it for this week, Soldiers! Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter so you can be ready for any fresh intel.

Virrago out!

 
 


Mardi 27 septembre 2011
 
PlanetSide 2 Theme of the Week - The Art of PlanetSide 2

.................. Comm-Link 002 Established....................

What’s crackin’!

It’s Tramell “T.Ray” Isaac, Senior Art Director on PlanetSide 2™. In last week’s COMM LINK you met some of the core dev team leads; this week we want to switch gears and focus on the art style of PlanetSide 2. Currently, a majority of our team is comprised of artists, including concept, environment and character artists, 3D modelers, animators, tech artists and 2D graphic designers, to name a few. These artists have been diligently working on the paramount task of defining, and in some respects, re-defining the art style of PlanetSide 2. From this lens, we would like to give you a better understanding of how the overall aesthetic of the game will come to fruition throughout the course of development. But first a bit of background on me, just so you know where I’m coming from:

Seventeen years ago I started in the video game industry as a 2D animator. My first game was a title for Interplay, Blood and Magic. I think that sold like 7.5 copies…My second title started out as Steve Jackson’s GURPS. I believe most of you know this product by its true name, FalloutFallout 2 and Icewind Dale followed and a few short years later I began working on the original PlanetSide and all of its expansions. We had an awesome time working on original PlanetSide, and even though most of that team has moved on to other companies and games, we are still very close to this day. Soon after SOE released PlanetSide: Aftershock, I decided it was time for me to move on. I then went on to work on Neverwinter Nights 2 and Duke Nukem Forever. But SOE couldn’t take me being gone so long, so once again I returned and joined forces on The Agency. Now it’s time to make history again with PlanetSide 2.

The groundwork we put into the original PlanetSide established the foundation for much of the look and feel of PlanetSide 2. The original PlanetSide started out fairly simple in its visual approach. I came onto the project after about a year of production. A few things had been loosely defined, but there wasn’t a final cohesive look and feel to any of the factions, buildings, weapons, or vehicles. We started small by refining the look of the Terran Republic (TR) and the New Conglomerate (NC) characters, and then moved to the Vanu Sovereignty (VS) faction which had been designed but not created on the art side. By associating the factions with basic geometric shapes, we found a simple way to create visual opposition. We ended up with Circles (TR) v. Squares (NC) v. Triangles (VS). These shapes are simple and straight forward which works really well for player identification.

The iconic faction colors were also something that we played with, but ultimately chose Red for TR, opposing color Blue for NC, and combined them both to make the Purple of the VS. We needed colors that stood out on the screen for easy friend or foe identification. With the Vanu Sovereignty’s main color being so dark, we need a color that complimented purple that was vibrant and wasn’t used in the other two factions. Teal was the color we went with for these reasons. Once all the basic shapes and colors were established we took those cues and expounded upon them for the vehicles and weapons. The buildings were another story as they needed to have a nonspecific look that players could immediately recognize and not mistake for their own or as constructed by an opposing faction.

For PlanetSide 2 we took the origins of the factions, buildings and environments and re-imagined them with today’s technology. The buildings and structures now have more depth and detail. We took a look at what was created in the original game and re-developed it to fit the needs and aesthetic of the current gaming landscape. You will definitely see some familiar cues from the original bases in the buildings that we have re-visualized for PlanetSide 2. Each facility will still be identifiable as it was represented in the original game but with a modern twist.

The basic style cues for each faction are still intact. The Terran Republic is the faction that started it all. Their shapes and design are formed from circles and smooth lines. The TR look is more refined and sports some wear and tear but never looks overly used or secondhand. Most of their armor, weapons, and vehicles are constructed of composite materials that require a more sophisticated manufacturing process.


Terran Republic Mosquito

In contrast, the New Conglomerate is a bit less refined than the TR. The NC base look is derived from squares, rectangles, straights and 45 degree angles. The NC are a resourceful bunch, which is important in maintaining an older set of vehicles, armor and weaponry. Although NC weapons aren’t the most advanced, they ARE lethal just the same. NC armor will be chipped, dented and dinged but never compromised. The weapons and vehicles are worn but well maintained, something like your dad’s ‘77 Oldsmobile.


New Conglomerate Liberator

The Vanu Sovereignty is the most technologically advanced empire in the PlanetSide Universe. The VS are worshippers of the ancient technology found throughout planet Auraxis. I would say that they are more like an extremely powerful religious cult with energy weapons. As with some religious structures you would see things that are fairly ornate and somewhat extravagant. VS armor, weapons, and vehicles appear to be fairly contemporary with very little wear or damage. The VS is symbolized by triangular shapes and angles. Armor, weapons, and vehicles sport a carapace like shell layered like the plates of a lobster.


Vanu Sovereignty Magrider

New to PlanetSide 2 is the manufacturing company Nanite Systems (NS). NS created all the common pool vehicles and weapons. They are the PlanetSide equivalent to Stark Industries in Iron Man. We created NS to add an additional element and background story to the planetary war. Visually, NS is very generic Sci-fi. There is nothing particularly unique about the NS items; their colors are warm grays with off white and tan to accent. NS shape language is taken from the combined shape language of the three empires. NS weapons and vehicles can use straights, 45 degree angles, some curves, with some shallower angles incorporated into the form. Nanite Systems hardware is built to last not for flash.  

SOE’s ForgeLight Engine™ has allowed us to bring the PlanetSide universe to life in a way that could not have been realized until now. The environments for PlanetSide 2 are the star of the show. We are working hard to give the players game environments that are immersive and believable. Much like the original PlanetSide, we will offer up a wide variety of ecosystems to wage war upon. Continents like Indar will present the player with a vast desert wasteland with canyons that stretch as far as the eye can see. Dust storms will plague the landscape. As the suns set, watch the shadows stretch and fade into the night. PlanetSide 2 environments will be “living” worlds. The battles will not only be about battling the other empires, they will also require the player to strategize against the continent itself.

Ok, enough of this bulljive. I have to get back to making the most bad-ass MMOFPS that you’ve ever ‘done seent’. I hope you enjoyed my little nugget of info about the art style of PlanetSide 2. For more information on the subject, please join us this for this week’s Webcast and Twitter Chat (info below). Until next time my friends, T.Ray signing off.

Tramell “T.Ray” Isaac, Senior Art Director, PlanetSide 2

 
 


Lundi 26 septembre 2011
 
PlanetSide 2 Theme of the Week - Art

Hello Soldiers!

This week, we’ll brief the troops on anything and everything related to the art of PlanetSide 2! The latest intel on PlanetSide 2 art will be presented by Senior Art Director Tramell Isaac, who just happens to be the Art Director from the original PlanetSide! Here’s what we have coming this week:

PlanetSide 2 Comm-Link: Tramell Isaac

Review the Comm-Link from Tramell “T-Ray” Isaac on Tuesday, September 27, 2011. He’ll into detail about his past experience, the original PlanetSide’s legacy and influence on PlanetSide 2’s art style, and how SOE’s powerful ForgeLight engine will carry this vision forward.

Webcast: The Art of PS2

Tune in Thursday, September 29, 2011, for the second PlanetSide 2 webcast on our Stickam channel. Join host Linda “Brasse” Carlson for interviews with Art Director Matt Broome and Senior Art Director Tramell Isaac, including discussion of images showing the evolution of the art style.

PS2 Twitter Chat

On Friday, September 30, 2011, the PlanetSide 2 Development Team will host another Twitter chat to answer your questions, live!  Be sure to follow @PlanetSide2 on Twitter and get your questions ready!

That’s what you can look forward to this week, Soldiers! Stay sharp and keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter for fresh reports from the front lines.

Virrago out!

 
 


Jeudi 16 septembre 2011
 
PlanetSide 2 'Meet the Team' - Recap of the Week

Hello Soldiers!

Our theme this week was “Meet the Team.” We shared some more intel about PlanetSide 2 and the minds behind the game! Keep reading for a recap on where to find all the information on our site, Stickam, Twitter, and in the press.

PlanetSide 2 Comm-Link : Matt Higby

PlanetSide 2’s first Comm-Link was released Tuesday, September 13, 2011. Matt Higby explained his role, introduced three more members of the team, and talked about some of the design goals the team has for the game.

In the Press

This week in the press, PC Gamer included an excerpt from an interview with Creative Director Matt Higby in their current November issue, available now. The interview has Matt breaking down three of PlanetSide’s main features: Mission Systems, Classes and Vehicles.

Rock Paper Shotgun also posted an interview with Matt Higby that details various aspects of the game and its mechanics, including support roles, customizable vehicles, factions, and weapons. You can check out that interview here: http://bit.ly/pdKeBL

Webcast

On Thursday, September 15, 2011, we had our first PlanetSide 2 webcast. We learned more about Creative Director Matt Higby, Executive Producer Joshua Hackney, and Senior Art Director Tramell Isaac. We also learned what makes them passionate about online gaming and PlanetSide 2, and how they found their way onto this incredible project. If you missed Thursday’s webcast, you can watch it on our YouTube channel.

Twitter Chat

On Friday, September 16, 2011, the PlanetSide 2 Developer Team participated in a Twitter chat and answered questions from the fans. If you would like to participate in the next PlanetSide 2 Twitter chat, make sure to follow @PlanetSide2 on Twitter.

That’s it for this week, Soldiers! Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter, and check back for more intel soon. You won’t want to miss what we’ve got coming down the pipe.

Virrago out!

 
 


Mardi 13 septembre 2011
 
Comm-Link - Matt Higby

.................. Comm-Link 001 Established....................

Greetings,

My name is Matthew Higby and I have the privilege of working as the Creative Director on PlanetSide 2. My role on this team is to steer the game design vision and manage the design team responsible for the overall gameplay experience that players will encounter once they step foot in the game. So you know where I’m coming from, prior to PlanetSide 2 I worked on a number of SOE titles, including the original Star Wars GalaxiesEverQuest® IIFree Realms® and most recently, Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures™. From the early days of development, original PlanetSide was a title that I respected, admired and had a hell-of-a-lot of fun playing. As an avid FPS gamer and fan of competitive online gaming and e-sports, being able to take part in the creation of the follow up to such an epic franchise is an absolute dream come true for me.

Of course, it takes an extremely talented team of artists, coders, designers, audio engineers, and production staff to build the enormous, incredible, unbelievably badass game experience that is PlanetSide 2. I’m really proud to be working with an extremely passionate and hard working team whose drive and determination inspires and amazes me daily. The PlanetSide 2 team members are some of the most talented and proven developers in the industry bringing together hundreds of years of collective experience from all over the gaming map especially the MMO and FPS genres-- and we are still growing. Together we are building the future of online gaming with PlanetSide 2.

It has been a little over two months since we officially unveiled PlanetSide 2 to the world and to say it has been a busy couple months is a huge understatement. We are really stoked at the reaction we have received from the PlanetSide community and are amped to relay our goals and aspirations for the game and inevitably create a direct back-and-forth communication with our players. This COMM-LINK will be a resource to the PlanetSide community; a place where we plan to deliver news, assets and information to keep you involved in the PlanetSide 2 development process. This is a place where we will share insight directly from the team on the game in our course to launching PlanetSide 2.

So, a bit about the team- our ridiculously talented art team is led by Senior Art Director, Tramell "T-Ray" Isaac. With an impressive resume that spans more than 15 years and includes games like FalloutFallout 2, Never Winter Nights 2, and the original PlanetSide, Tramell is a force to be reckoned with, often ending arguments with nothing more that his steely gaze.

With a project as technically ambitious as PlanetSide 2, we could not get anywhere without a brilliant group of engineers, technical architects and coders. We have some of the finest in the industry including our Technical Director, Ryan "Forge" Elam, who is not only one of the smartest and most dedicated teammates but he is also one of the nicest dudes around.

Heading up the whole crew is our Executive Producer, Joshua Hackney, who somehow manages to keep us all in line and at the same time keeps the energy drinks flowing, the paychecks signed and the suits and bean counters off our backs so that we can concentrate on making the best possible game.

There are a ton of reasons that we are all excited to work on PlanetSide and for those of you who have not heard what we are building, allow me to lay out a few of the fundamental features so you can see why:

Our goal with PlanetSide 2 is to create a game where you will fight against and alongside thousands of players, competing simultaneously and directly against one another in massive battles featuring intense infantry action as well as incredible air and ground vehicle combat. You will be able to traverse enormous open-world maps featuring massive gameplay space and unique biospheres, punctuated by massive facilities, towers and bunkers. Persistent conquest warfare is facilitated by territory control where you will earn resources to unlock weapon add-ons, vehicle customizations, and more. No instancing here, everything is 100% PVP and 100% open world combat. And of course, a deep character customization and personalization will allow players to create your very own soldier, customize your weapons and vehicles to fit not only your own personal play style but the needs of your outfit or the entire empire.

All of these features come together to deliver what we feel will be not only the world’s best MMOFPS, but the ultimate online FPS experience. The feedback and excitement we have received from the PlanetSide community thus far has been amazing and we are just getting warmed up! Over the next few weeks and months be sure to check back here periodically as we release additional COMM-LINK articles featuring myself, Tramell, Josh, Ryan and the rest of the dev team. As I said earlier, here we will share some extensive details about the game systems, continents, vehicles, weapons, etc., through screenshots, gameplay videos, and more. PlanetSide 2 is about to go off and we are thrilled and honored to have you, our player community, along for the ride.

Until next time, please keep in touch- we would love to hear from you!

Matthew Higby 
Creative Director, PlanetSide 2 

& The PlanetSide 2 Team

 
Posté par Matthew Higby, Creative Director

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