January 18, 2008 - It's a powerful idea for a game, especially an MMO - an entire fictional universe built around the concept of shimmering circular portals that can lead anywhere. After 10 seasons of Stargate SG-1, there's certainly no lack of material for Cheyenne Mountain to work with when converting the fiction to the MMO space. We got a chance to speak with studio head Dan Elggren, creative director Chris Klug, and art director Howard Lyon about how their game is set up, how it'll play, and how it deals with the story, personality, and races of the Stargate mythos. IGN: The concept of a Stargate MMO seems to be pretty good since you can basically use the Stargate to gate out to wherever. How is that being incorporated into the game? Chris Klug:: Because we want to try to craft the player's experience, initially you'll get gate addresses you can use and over time you'll accumulate a bunch of gate addresses. Once you do that obviously you can travel to whatever world you have the gate address for but we're using them sort of as carrots to entice the player to move forward and get gate addresses to worlds they want to go to. IGN: So a gate address would be something like a quest reward then. Chris Klug:: Yeah sometimes it's a quest reward, sometimes it's just given to you when you get the quest assigned to you, it varies. Some of them are given -- again it sort of depends on the situation. IGN: Could you just give a very general overview of where the game is set and how it relates to the TV show, or TV shows? Chris Klug:: It's set in the same universe at coincidental places in the timeline. You'll meet characters from the show in the game, you'll be able to talk to them, they'll give you missions, you'll be able to play characters on either side -- the good guys and the bad guys. IGN: Could you go over the process of how you start a game, how you create a character, what choices you have, and where you start out? Chris Klug:: In an overview sense, you choose whether you want to be on the side that Stargate Command is on or you want to be on the side the Goa'uld are on. We have a basic set of archetypes on each side. You can play a soldier, commando, scientist or archeologist; there are humans on both sides. In addition you can play an Asgard and a Jaffa on the Stargate Command side and on the Goa'uld side you can play a Goa'uld and also a Jaffa. IGN: Then where would you start out? Chris Klug:: Each archetype starts out in their own location. For instance the bad guy humans start out in a world called the Castle. Each archetype gets set up in a short solo experience that defines who they are. We do this for a couple reasons. One, we want to carefully craft the opening few minutes of the game so we can handhold the players a little bit. Secondarily, we can't assume that the players of the game know the Stargate universe the way that a hardcore fan would so we're taking that time to introduce them to, for instance, what it would be like to be an Asgard or what it would be like to be a Goa'uld. If a casual gamer comes to the game, we're not expecting them to watch 10 seasons of DVDs. IGN: No, that would be a steep system requirement. Kevin Balentine (Senior Marketing Manager): But we could pre-package that. [laughs] IGN: So race is basically tied to archetype. Chris Klug:: Right, a scientist is basically a human. A Goa'uld is a Goa'uld that has a certain set of abilities that tend toward science and not so much toward combat, but it is the abilities and the mix of abilities that you choose that truly defines what your character can do in the game. And what happens is as you level up, abilities become unlocked, you get to make choices as to what abilities you want, and you proceed down an ability tree that is not unlike the talent tree in World of Warcraft, but more robust and deep. IGN: Why is it more robust and deep? Chris Klug:: There are many more abilities. Instead of being adjuncts to your character class like in WoW, they are the things that you do every day. So what happens in WoW typically, as a Druid, you get a certain skill, you get a certain spell list, and in addition to that you get talents that modify that spell list. In Stargate Worlds what happens is that the abilities are the equivalent of the spell list or the attack types, and you are picking your way through areas of specialty in those ability trees that define your character. IGN: The archetypes themselves are self-contained then? At no point in the game can you merge archetypes? Chris Klug:: Correct. IGN: How's PvP going to work? Dan Elggren: With PvP we're looking at sort of a staggered launch. We're going to start it off with some servers that are going to go through and just have the [PvP] flag turned on. We're going to slowly bring in events, battlegrounds, and that sort of thing, but it'll be staggered as the game progresses and grows.