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EverQuest: Building EQ - The Brad McQuaid Interview

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,610MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

It's EverQuest Day today at MMORPG.com and we have a pair of features that should bring a starry tear of remembrance to our readers' eyes. In our second feature, we had the pleasure to sit down with Brad McQuaid to talk about the earliest days of EverQuest. It's an exciting interview that you won't want to miss. Read on!

How did EverQuest gestate as an idea; what inspired you initially?

Making a 3D online RPG was John Smedley’s idea. Steve Clover and I were working on a 2D single player RPG called WarWizard 2 at the time. Our inspiration came from the desire to create a 3D fantasy world as well as from playing text MUDs (especially Sojourn/TorilMUD).

Read more of Adam Tingle's EverQuest: Building EQ - The Brad McQuaid Interview.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • JaggaSpikesJaggaSpikes LabinPosts: 421Member Uncommon

    "We made the game we ourselves wanted to play."

    this, again, and again, and again. a mantra for any game designer out there.

  • PhelcherPhelcher Boston, MAPosts: 1,053Member

    You have to be an Enthusiast first... business man second, to make the next-gen game. Jake Song & Brad prove this.

     

    "No they are not charity. That is where the whales come in. (I play for free. Whales pays.) Devs get a business. That is how it works."


    -Nariusseldon

  • ProsonProson MandalPosts: 544Member

    Agreed, but not alot of game developers seem to do that nowdays. they make games that is for everyone so that they can make as much money as possible.

    Only a handfull of game developers seems to make games they themself wanna play. But they are greatly lacking in funding since nobody wanna fund them since its not "mainstream" enough so they all end up very buggy and with little content.

     

    Currently Playing Path of Exile

  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing Editor Berea, OHPosts: 2,362MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

    The best part of the quote: "Making the game we ourselves wanted to play" to me is that this is exactly what it seems like the majority of AAA games coming out are going after.  ArenaNet, Funcom, Carbine, etc.  They're all a bunch of gamers trying to make a game they'd really want to play.

    That's exciting.

  • mhoward48mhoward48 Florida Keys, FLPosts: 94Member

    "Making the game we ourselves wanted to play"

    I do not know anyone making this statement about games these days, except maybe Curt Shilling. It still remains to be seen if he comes thru for us. so far EQ was the best online game  I have played. I have tried so many more since then. The only one that came close, was Vanguard, and unfortunatly, it just was not done, when I tried it. I personally like Brad's games.

  • shakermaker0shakermaker0 SheffieldPosts: 194Member

    I want to see Brad doing more games.

  • mrpoepoemrpoepoe cloud city, KYPosts: 4Member

    Originally posted by shakermaker0

    I want to see Brad doing more games.




     

    I second that; Vanguard was/is a great game that was ruined by circumstance and a iffy launch. The guy's got something that the genre needs.

  • UtukuMoonUtukuMoon ParisPosts: 1,066Member



    Originally posted by mhoward48

    "Making the game we ourselves wanted to play"





    I do not know anyone making this statement about games these days, except maybe Curt Shilling. It still remains to be seen if he comes thru for us. so far EQ was the best online game  I have played. I have tried so many more since then. The only one that came close, was Vanguard, and unfortunatly, it just was not done, when I tried it. I personally like Brad's games.










     

    I agree  about EQ,it was and still is the best MMO i have ever played.Vanguard has come a close second because i stuck with the game and five years later its turned into a fantastic PVE mmo.



     

  • VesaviusVesavius BristolPosts: 7,643Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by mhoward48

    "Making the game we ourselves wanted to play"

    I do not know anyone making this statement about games these days, except maybe Curt Shilling. It still remains to be seen if he comes thru for us. so far EQ was the best online game  I have played. I have tried so many more since then. The only one that came close, was Vanguard, and unfortunatly, it just was not done, when I tried it. I personally like Brad's games.

     

    In terms of MMOs, I think still Jake Song approaches games in that way, Shilling as well, and I think the ANet guys probably still do... I am not sure about others. I think their philosophy would be more 'make commercial games that our shareholders like to the best of our ability'.

    I like Brad's view of game design as well. it's a shame that VG was plagued by so many other issues.

    He remians an icon in the MMO space though as probably one of the most important players ever, whatever some rant about him.

  • CelestianCelestian DFW, TXPosts: 1,151Member Uncommon

    I wouldn't trust Brad to create anything these days. After the mess he made of VG and how he handled everything after that...

    He had a hand in EQ and at the time it was a great game. That type of game would be dead on arrival if it released today and I am certain that's the type of game he'd re-create.

    The whole "we made things hard because we remembered those games" ... well that's not what I like. I remember games I have fun in, not ones that are pointlessly a pain in the ass.

     

  • BigHatLoganBigHatLogan Bellingham, WAPosts: 688Member

    I hate how developers nowadays make easy games because they think westerners are pansy gamers who would cry if a game had even a slight challenge.  I blame WoW's easymodeness for making these type of gamers think they are good at video games.   I have always liked Brad's games, especially Vanguard.   I also know that a lot of westerners love challenging games and are sick of throwing money down on something they will finish in a week.  Just look at how well Dark Souls sold in North America as proof.   Anyway, i hope for a gamer revolution soon where we get some more challenging games.

    Are you a Pavlovian Fish Biscuit Addict? Get Help Now!
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    I will play no more MMORPGs until somethign good comes out!

  • gboostergbooster Indianapolis, INPosts: 712Member

    "Some of my favorite memories playing MUDs and then later EQ are the corpse runs. Having friends and guild mates log on late into the evening and risk everything to save us - it was challenging, even frustrating, but in the end the comradery and team-work employed made for the most fun I've had playing online games." -Brad

     

    This is pretty much what has been lost over the years, no one has the balls to do this anymore. To force team work.

    It's part of the reason the genre is so goddamned boring anymore.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member

    Originally posted by sullivanj69

    I hate how developers nowadays make easy games because they think westerners are pansy gamers who would cry if a game had even a slight challenge.  I blame WoW's easymodeness for making these type of gamers think they are good at video games.   I have always liked Brad's games, especially Vanguard.   I also know that a lot of westerners love challenging games and are sick of throwing money down on something they will finish in a week.  Just look at how well Dark Souls sold in North America as proof.   Anyway, i hope for a gamer revolution soon where we get some more challenging games.

    Nah won't happen. If you want a challenge, go play WOW hard mode raid. Very few get that done. Now that is a challenge.

    For the rest of us who want a good game, there is ALSO WOW LFR and normal modes.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member

    Originally posted by ghettobooste

    "Some of my favorite memories playing MUDs and then later EQ are the corpse runs. Having friends and guild mates log on late into the evening and risk everything to save us - it was challenging, even frustrating, but in the end the comradery and team-work employed made for the most fun I've had playing online games." -Brad

     

    This is pretty much what has been lost over the years, no one has the balls to do this anymore. To force team work.

    It's part of the reason the genre is so goddamned boring anymore.

     

    Force team work is just failed. Asking a week after week work-like commitment for an ENTERTAINMENT product is just bad design for most players.

  • mrpoepoemrpoepoe cloud city, KYPosts: 4Member

    I don't understand the MMO audience, on the one hand the fact that games are easier and more accesbile is lamented; we hate that they've dumbed down, but anything more challenging or commited gets cries of "WE DON'T WANT TO SPEND ALL OF OUR TIME IN-GAME". It's a strange Catch 22 situation, and one that you really have to say, this game is made for this audience, and this is made for the other, because no game is yet to reach a balance that is convincing. 

  • UnSubUnSub PerthPosts: 252Member

    Originally posted by mrpoepoe

    I don't understand the MMO audience, on the one hand the fact that games are easier and more accesbile is lamented; we hate that they've dumbed down, but anything more challenging or commited gets cries of "WE DON'T WANT TO SPEND ALL OF OUR TIME IN-GAME". It's a strange Catch 22 situation, and one that you really have to say, this game is made for this audience, and this is made for the other, because no game is yet to reach a balance that is convincing. 


     

    It's different audiences though. The players coming into this thread to wallow in the nostalgia of Brad's EQ possibly want to go through that kind of experience again (but with better graphics, improved UI with all the expected functions, bug-free gaming experience etc) but they are in the vast minority.

    The vast majority want to log in, play an hour or two and achieve something, sometimes with friends / a team.

    There are players out there who believe that forced downtime, forced teaming, lining up to fight a named boss who has a 5% chance of dropping an item they need, corpse runs et al are great things, but huge numbers of players went to MMOs that got rid of those things.

    Also, EQ was considered the 'themepark' of its time compared to the 'sandbox' UO. Which game was overall more successful in drawing in players? EQ.

  • chbautistchbautist Montreal, QCPosts: 50Member

    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    Originally posted by sullivanj69

    I hate how developers nowadays make easy games because they think westerners are pansy gamers who would cry if a game had even a slight challenge.  I blame WoW's easymodeness for making these type of gamers think they are good at video games.   I have always liked Brad's games, especially Vanguard.   I also know that a lot of westerners love challenging games and are sick of throwing money down on something they will finish in a week.  Just look at how well Dark Souls sold in North America as proof.   Anyway, i hope for a gamer revolution soon where we get some more challenging games.

    Nah won't happen. If you want a challenge, go play WOW hard mode raid. Very few get that done. Now that is a challenge.

    For the rest of us who want a good game, there is ALSO WOW LFR and normal modes.


     



    hard modes and challenging may fit well in a sentence but they are not synonymous.

    skill in combat and battle tactics in a given game will make you overcome challenges like large mobs and bosses... waves of attacks but that's only one type of challenge a MMO can have you go through challenges that test your knowlege your ability at calculus... riddles, puzzles. Challenging us with quests that have a marker to find the target and quest textes that only tell of the task and none of the indications that the said marker replaced? I don't think so, no matter how many cows there are to kill in that quest or how you get there, that's just a quest to kill cows. compare it to looking for tresurs with a hand drawn map without a marker... which one challenges you?

  • Ngeldu5tNgeldu5t PhoenixPosts: 606Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by mrpoepoe

    I don't understand the MMO audience, on the one hand the fact that games are easier and more accesbile is lamented; we hate that they've dumbed down, but anything more challenging or commited gets cries of "WE DON'T WANT TO SPEND ALL OF OUR TIME IN-GAME". It's a strange Catch 22 situation, and one that you really have to say, this game is made for this audience, and this is made for the other, because no game is yet to reach a balance that is convincing. 


     

    That's because the mainstrean crowd don't know what they really want and that's one of the biggest hurdle MMO developers have been facing since 2004.We should blame Blizzard for that but 2012 looks like some developers seems to go back to the roots and want to make game that they want to play...I'm following  the development of games such as ArcheAge,Copernicus,GW2,The Secret World because they are the games that will make MMO evolve from the WoW template.

    In the land of Predators,the lion does not fear the jackals...

  • JayFiveAliveJayFiveAlive Arvada, COPosts: 534Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Ngeldu5t



    Originally posted by mrpoepoe



    I don't understand the MMO audience, on the one hand the fact that games are easier and more accesbile is lamented; we hate that they've dumbed down, but anything more challenging or commited gets cries of "WE DON'T WANT TO SPEND ALL OF OUR TIME IN-GAME". It's a strange Catch 22 situation, and one that you really have to say, this game is made for this audience, and this is made for the other, because no game is yet to reach a balance that is convincing. 






     

    That's because the mainstrean crowd don't know what they really want and that's one of the biggest hurdle MMO developers have been facing since 2004.We should blame Blizzard for that but 2012 looks like some developers seems to go back to the roots and want to make game that they want to play...I'm following  the development of games such as ArcheAge,Copernicus,GW2,The Secret World because they are the games that will make MMO evolve from the WoW template.




     

    Thats my hope as well - I am following the same games (except The Secret World) and hoping that one of them will hit home for me. If the current games are what the MMO genre is moving toward (Rift, SWTOR as the latest two) then I see no future MMO gaming for me. I just can't play stupidly simple games like that anymore and have any sense of enjoyment over the long term.

    Sure, I am in the minority, but there are a lot of folks in the minority... there is a market for us, I swears it. I think games like Demon's Souls/Dark Soul's success shows that as well.

  • xeraxxerax LondonPosts: 61Member Uncommon

    Everquest did really have something.  I started playing before kunark came out and  yes i lost a few corpse and had some bad days but it was overall a really fun experience.

    It was really hard but at the time there wasn't an expectation to reach end game content asap and begin raiding etc. It was quite normal to still be lvl 20-25 after a few months of playing. Therefore you relaxed and enjoyed the journey.   

    People were less rude to one another because you never knew when you would need the help of your peers and people had long memories. I remember having 98 days played on a lvl 59 character,who would risk that ammount of time invested by being an A hole to people?

    I went back to Everquest last year, level from 1-90 and 2000 aa very quickly, different game but still has some of the old feel, well worth a look. I also played on progression server a little. Very cool had the old feel but the player base had changed gone were the roleplayers and slow paced fun seekers of yesteryear replaced by the hardcore mix-max speed levelers of today.

    Its not just about busier lives people really have changed i dunno what you would do as a developer!

     

     

  • AutemOxAutemOx Fullerton, CAPosts: 1,704Member

    MMORPG players have become obsessed with progression and they are no longer enjoying the games.  Probably because the games are no longer enjoyable?  It gets boring playing the games with the same mechanics over and over.

    Play as your fav retro characters: cnd-online.net. My site: www.lysle.net. Blog: creatingaworld.blogspot.com.

  • AutemOxAutemOx Fullerton, CAPosts: 1,704Member

    I thought the interview was interesting, but if you are a fan of sandboxes, read up on Brad McQuaid, and you might come to the conclusion that I have that he has contributed strongly to the death of sandboxes over the last decade.

    His piss-poor management of Sigil ran Vanguard into the ground, which was the last hope of AAA sandboxes of the last decade.  After Vanguard's failure, few developers will have the guts to put the big money into a sandbox game.  Brad's vision was good and I love his passion, but if you read up on the way he managed his company it is obvious that he has some serious issues and is at fault for VG's failure...

    2002, sandbox MEO cancelled and replaced by linear LOTRO

    2003, linear WoW is released to unprecedented success

    2004, SWG undergoes 'enhancements' to make it more linear

    2006, Brad runs VG, the last big budget sandbox, into the ground

    2012, still no big budget sandboxes on the horizon, save maybe a korean game

    Play as your fav retro characters: cnd-online.net. My site: www.lysle.net. Blog: creatingaworld.blogspot.com.

  • BuccaneerBuccaneer Under The BedPosts: 507Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by wormywyrm

    I thought the interview was interesting, but if you are a fan of sandboxes, read up on Brad McQuaid, and you might come to the conclusion that I have that he has contributed strongly to the death of sandboxes over the last decade.

    His piss-poor management of Sigil ran Vanguard into the ground, which was the last hope of AAA sandboxes of the last decade.  After Vanguard's failure, few developers will have the guts to put the big money into a sandbox game.  Brad's vision was good and I love his passion, but if you read up on the way he managed his company it is obvious that he has some serious issues and is at fault for VG's failure...

    2002, sandbox MEO cancelled and replaced by linear LOTRO

    2003, linear WoW is released to unprecedented success

    2004, SWG undergoes 'enhancements' to make it more linear

    2006, Brad runs VG, the last big budget sandbox, into the ground

    2012, still no big budget sandboxes on the horizon, save maybe a korean game


     

     Sorry but VG was never going to be a sandbox.  It was suppose to follow the path of EQ in it's core design but Brad decided to chase the golden carrot and wanted a slice of WoW's pie.

  • ValkaernValkaern OxfordPosts: 512Member

    Originally posted by BillMurphy

    The best part of the quote: "Making the game we ourselves wanted to play" to me is that this is exactly what it seems like the majority of AAA games coming out are going after.  ArenaNet, Funcom, Carbine, etc.  They're all a bunch of gamers trying to make a game they'd really want to play.

    That's exciting.


     

    That may be so, but without hesitation I can say it's been way too long time since I've felt I was playing a game that was born of pure passion.

    Instead I'm left feeling as if I'm playing a series of mechanics reverse engineered from various spreadsheets and profit based analysis. It's as if modern triple A MMOs are just flat out being made backwards.

    I for one don't think AAA MMOs are the place to look for games born of creativity and passion as the developers hands have proven over and over again to be too bound and the risks are too great should they stray from established models.

    I think we'll be looking to smaller independant development houses if we want to see developers making the game they themselves would want to play.

    Taking engine advancements into account and potentially greatly reduced development time required, that may not be a bad thing in the long run.

    While it may not lead to the reinvention of the wheel, we might at least be treated to a slightly different wheel for a change. 

     

  • fledurfledur Fort Lauderdale, FLPosts: 77Member

    To the poster above: Vanguard isnt and was never intended to be a sandbox. Vanguard was intended to be the sucessor of the original Everquest with a bigger scope.

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