Massive Multiplayer.org have posted an interview with Lyra-Mike, PR and Marketing Coordinator for Lyra Studios, where he speaks about the plans and design phase for their new MMOG, Underlight II.
Q: All of the developers at Lyra Studios are volunteers. How does the fact that they've produced one successful game for 4 years running, and that they're about to produce a sequel, impress on you the uniqueness of your product? What do these Honda-driving, 9-5 day-jobbers think of the Porsche owners over at Verant and Turbine?
A: Nice question, particularly since I actually do drive a Honda. It's certainly not easy working on such a tight budget, but if we didn't enjoy it, we wouldn't do it. Underlight has always had some relatively unique concepts that aren't commonly found in other games, and that's been a big factor over the years. As a general rule, I think if you want to see innovative gameplay concepts, the small online RPGs are the place to look. As far as the likes of Turbine and Verant, that's not something we think about too much. It's really a matter of putting out the best game you can. There is one thing that continues to amaze me, however; the power of money and promotion. Right now, we're a relatively small company, and somewhat forgotten among today's current mass market games. Just having gameplay features that are innovative by today's standards isn't enough to get you noticed. However, if we were to get a multi-million dollar budget tomorrow, suddenly a lot of people would be watching. Really, I think the line between the big name developers and the smaller ones is often more fine than people realize. In the end, we're all doing the same thing with the resources we have available. With or without a large budget, we will work continue to work to the best of our abilities.