Wed, Sep 21, 2011 | 06:24 BST
Firefall has pets, a Frag Doll, and a love of moustaches
Firefall! Firefall! Firefall! We have not one, but threee exciting things to share with you about the game today (the extra ‘e’ is because it’s excellent!). The game is introducing pets, has recently signed up a former Frag Doll to work on eSports, and company boss Mark Kern is more than happy to talk about his new baby.
Red 5 founder and CEO Mark Kern asks, “When’s the last time you heard about a shooter with pets?” The answer, in case you missed it, is “Firefall”, the new MMO shooter his Californian development team is currently working on.
“Not only can you get a pet, but we’re thinking that there’s actually an item you can buy in the store to load your gun with special ammunition so you actually shoot the other guy’s pet,” and if that’s not vicious enough for you, carrying this all out will “despawn” your opponent’s companion.
The first pet, launching this week for lucky beta testers, should be familiar to fans of online comic Penny Arcade: The Merch. “He’s all about merchandising and he fits with our item-based theme,” explains Kern.
So that’s one big addition to the game. The other big addition this week is Morgan “Rhoulette” Romine, founder of the all-girl gaming team the Frag Dolls. She knows a thing or two about eSports, y’see – and now she’s bringing that knowledge to Red 5, in her new role as eSports Maven.
On a development team already boasting a number of former pro-gamers, Romine is looking forward to her job, and she seems to get what she’s there to do. “We want to make it so that Firefall is an amazing experience, not only for the competitive players but also for the people who would be interested in watching it,” – reassuring words!
To find out more about what Romine has planned, head to this video interview on Shacknews – that way you’ll get a moving picture to go with her sentiments, too.
And that’s not the only video interview feature from the company, with Mark Kern spending a little time in front of the camera as well.
This time, Kern focusses primarily on the history of Red 5, the company’s business model, and his preferences when it comes to facial hair. (“There’s a big request for mustaches. We’re going to hire a physics programmer just dedicated for mustaches, I think.”).
Firefall itself is working towards a December launch, but there’s more than a handful of beta testers already running around the place. They’re all there “by invitation only”, but by all means, you should go and sign up if you’re interested.
The beta is working its way through a staggered launch, which will see players able to invite friends to the game at a later stage, and this was a very deliberate move from Kern’s team.
“We plan to grow it that way because it’s a team-based game. We want it to be about your friends.”