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9Dragons: Interview with Steve Altman

DanaDana Halifax, NSPosts: 2,415Member

The best-selling author and Lead Writer for 9Dragons talks about the game and his task of adapting the world to a Western audience. How historically accurate will 9Dragons be? What liberties will be taken to keep 9Dragons a long running MMO?

Steven-Elliot Altman: Good question, Garrett. As far as visuals go, our Korean design team was given a mandate: If it didn't exist in China during the Ming Dynasty, it doesn't exist in 9Dragons. That speaks to the design of the cities, the wardrobe, and even the available weapons. You won't find Shuriken (throwing stars) for example, because they were yet to be introduced during that period in China's history.

As far as the writing goes, I researched each of the Clans to the best of my ability (Shaolin and Wu-Tang Clan had the most available literature of course) and hopefully no one will observe any serious anachronisms. That being said, we have ancient Chinese wisdom being offered in English, so we have to allow for the cultural bias first, and then flavor as we go. I think it's the correct flavor we all strive to experience, not dead on accuracy. Believe me, that would be boring. The process is very similar to writing and then shooting a historically based movie. You have to balance familiar storytelling elements with historically accurate visuals and tune the language as close as you can without losing too much in translation. The only element that keeps me from total immersion in the time period is the fact that I have a mouse in my hand. As far as liberties go... without giving away too much... there just may be an invasion from a foreign land brewing in a not-too-distant expansion event... and we may be compressing time a wee bit.

The whole interview is here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios


  • KeridwanKeridwan BrightonPosts: 118Member

    Steven-Elliot Altman has always provided unique insights into the development of what appears to be an exceptionally unique and potentially compelling game. This game will stand apart from the rest in the field, and whilst it has Korean influences in relation to the history line and martial arts it will offer originality and splendour otherwise not seen in the MMORPG genre. A deep appreciation and adherence to an authentic story-line is at stake here. I must say, as a female gamer, that the prospect of joining the "Sacred Flower" clan and using the feminine guiles in various way is very appealing. This game will be much more than a Korean grind feast and slash and hit.

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