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General: Interview With Mark Kern

GFullsGFulls Hillsborough, NJPosts: 475Member

Mark Kern of Red 5 Studios talks with MMORPG.com. See what Mark has to say about his past, present, and upcoming future with Red 5 Studios.

Mark Kern was the Team Lead on Blizzard's gargantuan hit, World of Warcraft. Now, he is the President and CEO of Red 5 Studios. In this interview, Mark answers Garrett Fuller's questions about his past, future, and the direction of the MMO industry.

MMORPG.com: Great to talk with you Mark. Can you tell us how you got started in video games and more importantly MMOs?

Mark Kern: I wrote my first computer game on a TRS-80 computer so I've been at this for some time now! I knew I always wanted to make games, but it wasn't until college that I started to think about online games. I played a commercial mud called Gemstone on the Genie bulletin board service back when you paid $5/hour to play. I was absolutely hooked, and nearly flunked out of school until one day I quit cold turkey. But even though I had quit, I kept thinking about designing the ultimate text-based MMO. Things have changed now, but I'm still trying to create teams and make the best games possible. And if you look very, very closely, you'll see some Gemstone influence in World of Warcraft today.

Read the entire Interview here.

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Comments

  • ItzcoliuhquiItzcoliuhqui LisboaPosts: 94Member













    MMORPG.com:


    Some people say there are too many MMOs; others think the market is only beginning. How do you believe these games will grow in a very competitive platform?

    Mark Kern:

    Take a look at Asia, where the dominant form of gaming is online. I think there is tremendous opportunity to grow in the market in North America and Europe, but we are going to have to stop making the same game over and over. The current rage seems to be to use a movie or book license to gather support and minimize risk, which is the wrong way to do it. We have to recognize that most narrative driven IPs are very, very ill-suited to open-world, thousand-hero MMOs. We also have to realize that people playing MMOs have stopped watching television and are now deriving their entertainment from these much more powerful and immersive games. Games are going to be the leading source of IP in the future, especially worlds created around MMOs.

    Just something I enjoyed reading.

    The Anti Social Gamer

  • UgottawantitUgottawantit Houston, TXPosts: 146Member

    Looks like it's gonna be sci-fi to me from the artwork on their website. http://www.red5studios.com/  Which will be a welcome change imo. Tabula Rasa isn't going to be a persistent world and I'm already sick of Startrek and Stargate and CCP.

    This looks promising

     

  • DristolDristol Santa Barbara, CAPosts: 59Member
    Great article.



    "We recently hired Scott Youngblood, the lead designer of the Tribes series, and he's very excited because he's always wanted to work on a massive online game."



    The Tribes series was one of the most innovative games in the history of FPS, I can't wait to see what these guys announce.
  • altairzqaltairzq barcelonaPosts: 3,811Member
    Smaller time play to achive goals and cross platforms which means more simplification, not a MMORPG I want to play really.
  • DeathpooperDeathpooper Indianapolis, INPosts: 265Member
    Have all original WoW devs left already?
  • digibluezdigibluez jooppPosts: 20Member
    As soon as Hell and heaven aca diablo3  comes out i leave WOW. As he saied it is getting old because the system is built up that all the surroundings in game are static, it dose not envolve or change because of your actions, but that is a big part in the next-gen mmo's. First will of this kind leader will be SGW, as they pay much attention to make the game dynamic,always changing.
  • KryogenicKryogenic Pensacola, FLPosts: 663Member

    The lead designer of the tribes games is apart of it.

    God, please, PLEASE, let them make a Tribes MMORPG with skiing, discing, all that. God that would be sweet.

    Vivendi pissed all over the Tribes series. I've been jonesing for a good complete Tribes game since Tribes 2.

     

  • neothoronneothoron ParisPosts: 6Member
    "The real issue is that our worlds are static, and they need to become much, much more dynamic."



    You gave me hope. Thank you.
  • PaksPaks No Where, OHPosts: 263Member
    Really nice article.  I'll be interested in seeing what they come up with.
  • MordacaiMordacai Atlanta, GAPosts: 309Member

    Based on a few bits of easy research the Tribes mmo is a good guess.

    points

    1. 18.5 Mil in funding. http://www.red5studios.com/about/press/1

    2. Looking for people (on their recruitment site but you have to dig) with Unreal engine experience hints at poss fps related game or reverse engineering http://www.red5studios.com/recruit/

    3. Tribes sold (dynamix/vug/sierra) picked up and lost by french company then abandoned for years to Garage Games who converted to unreal engine.  http://www.tribalwar.com/forums/archive/t-421542-p-3.html

    4. Red5 signed exclusive use of the Offset engine (project offet is an FPS game/engine) http://www.red5studios.com/about/press/3

    5. Signed deal with webzen, this ones throws me for a loop not sure where they fit in ....yet....after a little review of their site I see Huxley and APB both shooter types so could be a possible GTA knock-off as well. It's a good guess, since Huxley another webzen is fitted with an FPS engine as well. http://www.red5studios.com/about/press/2

     

    Overall, with the art work I'm leaning more towards a new tribes mmo then a GTA  style mmo. Mainly because of one word which was used in their most recent announcment on this and their site. The word Tribe. http://www.red5studios.com/about/press/7

  • JetrpgJetrpg Whitehouse, OHPosts: 2,376Member
    This guy is is the real thing, many people go aroudn and look at companys ... but that means nothign its all about the PEOPLE who make the game. IT obvious to see why wow is the way it is now , they killed most of the people who shaped its orginal form , this is almost becomign a standerd with mmos, however, i will be watching Mark for new games that are worth playing.

    "Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one ..." - Thomas Paine

  • YaishaYaisha Mt. Pleasant, SCPosts: 117Member
    Great interview.  I'm really excited to see what these guys come out with.  I would much rather see a new IP though rather than a Tribes MMO.  It would be wonderful for an MMORPG with such a big budget to be a fresh and totally new world.
  • KryogenicKryogenic Pensacola, FLPosts: 663Member
    Originally posted by Yaisha

    Great interview.  I'm really excited to see what these guys come out with.  I would much rather see a new IP though rather than a Tribes MMO.  It would be wonderful for an MMORPG with such a big budget to be a fresh and totally new world.



    It's not like the Tribes IP has been done to death or over used.

    Tribes would make the perfect MMOFPS.

    Tribes is fun, fast paced, you could easily make it skill based to be able to use light, medium, and heavy armor; not to mention weapon usage and utlities. Not only that, but Tribes has a rich history of lore from which to pull from.

    Most, if not all, of the new MMORPG IPs are uninspiring, boring, and shallow.

  • RomseRomse Montreal, QCPosts: 198Member
    Originally posted by Ugottawantit


    Looks like it's gonna be sci-fi to me from the artwork on their website. http://www.red5studios.com/  Which will be a welcome change imo. Tabula Rasa isn't going to be a persistent world and I'm already sick of Startrek and Stargate and CCP.
    This looks promising
     
    Hmm that artwork looks like a crashed or exploding Death Star to me... which might just be a little acknowledgement to their name... and not a hint on their current project.



    But maybe it is about their game... they've got a lot of art that seems to be about a particular project as they use this in some sort of hiring kit with branded iPods. There's also little blurbs of texts that to me immediatly said something about "terraforming a planet"... "colonists tot a new world" kinda thing...

    http://senzee.blogspot.com/2007/02/red-5s-pitch.html



    also from their FAQ:
    Q: Can you tell us about the game you're working on?

    A: We're still hard at work on our announcement, and for now everything is still under wraps. What we can say at this time is that we have no desire to create yet another fantasy based RPG MMO as our next title.





    I think we're a long way from hearing anything from them... Webzen doesnt talk too much about what they work on until they're close to release... we're barely hearing anything from Huxley and APB and that's supposed to release this year and next year.
  • KryogenicKryogenic Pensacola, FLPosts: 663Member
    Originally posted by Romse

    Originally posted by Ugottawantit


    Looks like it's gonna be sci-fi to me from the artwork on their website. http://www.red5studios.com/  Which will be a welcome change imo. Tabula Rasa isn't going to be a persistent world and I'm already sick of Startrek and Stargate and CCP.
    This looks promising
     
    Hmm that artwork looks like a crashed or exploding Death Star to me... which might just be a little acknowledgement to their name... and not a hint on their current project.



    But maybe it is about their game... they've got a lot of art that seems to be about a particular project as they use this in some sort of hiring kit with branded iPods. There's also little blurbs of texts that to me immediatly said something about "terraforming a planet"... "colonists tot a new world" kinda thing...

    http://senzee.blogspot.com/2007/02/red-5s-pitch.html



    also from their FAQ:
    Q: Can you tell us about the game you're working on?

    A: We're still hard at work on our announcement, and for now everything is still under wraps. What we can say at this time is that we have no desire to create yet another fantasy based RPG MMO as our next title.





    I think we're a long way from hearing anything from them... Webzen doesnt talk too much about what they work on until they're close to release... we're barely hearing anything from Huxley and APB and that's supposed to release this year and next year.

     

    Wow...

    That's an amazing recruitment package. I really hope that that is indicative of the passion, effort, art, and polish of the their new game. I'm really impressed by that.

    I hope that they stay true and create games for the sake of the players' enjoyment, and not for the sake of profit margins. With a recruitment package like that though, it says volumes about the company. Only time will tell.

  • damian7damian7 middle-of-notsosmartPosts: 4,449Member

    so, he agrees with what a lot of people labeled as wow-haters and naysayers have been saying all along about wow.  yet again, a dev-type agreeing with the non-fanboi opinion.

     

    incredible.

     

    gives me hope that they're actually ignoring the fanboi-base and listening when people have intelligent comments to make and understanding that this shouldn't be a JOB, it's a game and should be entertaining.

     

    now, having read and said all that, i wonder if their mmo will be just more of the same old eq-clone with touch-ups here and there (ala wow, vanguard and quite a few others), or if they'll try to break the mold somewhat (ala eve, pre-cu swg, old school UO, and a couple of others).

     

    could we please get correspondent writers and moderators, on the eve forum at mmorpg.com, who are well-versed on eve-online and aren't just passersby pushing buttons? pretty please?

  • stormbaronstormbaron Ottawa, ONPosts: 17Member
    Go to http://www.projectoffset.com to get a preview of what we could expect (graphics wise) in their next game. Looks FANTASTIC from what I can see. Gonna need a beefy pc for that.
  • RomseRomse Montreal, QCPosts: 198Member
    Originally posted by stormbaron

    Go to http://www.projectoffset.com to get a preview of what we could expect (graphics wise) in their next game. Looks FANTASTIC from what I can see. Gonna need a beefy pc for that.

    Project offset does look incredible... unless I'm mistaken it's not related to Red Five though.

  • VodunVodun North Bay, ONPosts: 77Member
    Originally posted by neothoron

    "The real issue is that our worlds are static, and they need to become much, much more dynamic."



    You gave me hope. Thank you.
    Becoming much, much more dynamic will not be easy but it is a worthy goal indeed. Will have to keep an eye open for this company.
  • KryogenicKryogenic Pensacola, FLPosts: 663Member
    Originally posted by stormbaron

    Go to http://www.projectoffset.com to get a preview of what we could expect (graphics wise) in their next game. Looks FANTASTIC from what I can see. Gonna need a beefy pc for that.

    This game is just more of the same crap. It's like that FPS fantasy based game that has a single player campaign and multiplayer games. I'm so sick of fantasy based games that I don't even like reading fiction set in fantasy backgrounds anymore and I used to love those kinds of books.

    Besides the game that Red 5 is working on is sci fi.

    This game has nothing to do with the topic.

  • smutsmut West Grove, PAPosts: 250Member
    Yes it does. Red5 signed exclusive use of the Offset engine which is being used in that game. So yes, it does have something to do with it. All he was doing was showing the game ENGINE Red 5 liscensed (sp?) to use!
  • RomseRomse Montreal, QCPosts: 198Member
    Well then, in that case... YAY!
  • slapme7timesslapme7times riverton, UTPosts: 436Member
    it's quite paradoxical that what i, i hope people in general eventually want is a dynamic mmo... given that we live in a dynamic world, and we want to run to a virtual dynamic world...



    it's just strange to me that i have no real desire to live my actual life... i want to live a dynamic life in a mmo...



    maybe that's because mmo's are a microcosm of a real existence, but they're one where you are constantly building  and moving forward, whereas in real life you age, become ugly, and then die.



    i suppose i'm just trying to run away from that horrific reality, which i am not forced to personally confront in an mmo.

    --people who believe in abstinence are unsurprisingly also some of the ugliest most sexually undesired people in the world.--

  • slapme7timesslapme7times riverton, UTPosts: 436Member
    --thoughts on the offset engine being used in Red 5's game.



    those graphics are fucking sweet.  the dwarf looks just like the CG one in blizzard's world of warcraft cinematic.



    fucking great :)

    --people who believe in abstinence are unsurprisingly also some of the ugliest most sexually undesired people in the world.--

  • LethalityLethality Apopka, FLPosts: 61Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Deathpooper

    Have all original WoW devs left already?


    Kern was a minor player... the article makes him sound like "the team lead" and in actuality it's "a" team lead, of which there were close to 100.

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