From a comment on Facebook....

  • From Facebook:

    Mathew Chilton : Brad McQuaid , not often I get to do stuff like this. Had a discussion at school today and had the teacher ask how I became such an open minded and well adjusted individual. I got to tell them about Everquest  Tell them how the huge diverse population, and constant need for friendship and teamwork formed me into who I am today when I didn't have parents who were able to spend much time with me.

     

    Brad McQuaid:   I love hearing stories like this. EQ was so much more than a game to so many people. It did so much good for people above and beyond mere entertainment. And I hear similar stories from people who played VG. Way back in '96 we just wanted to make a great game, a game that we ourselves would love to play, and a game that would capture the community and teamwork and friendships we'd experienced and developed playing MUDs, but on a much larger, dare I say it, commercial scale.

    We had no idea what would happen, if EQ would even be commercially viable at all. But, at the same time, we stuck to our convictions and created a game where to really be successful, you had to make friends, perhaps leave your comfort zone, and to learn how to work together as a team. And that's where the magic happened, because the relationships that were a result of needing to reach out and work together with other people, people of all ages and backgrounds and geographic locations, transcended the game itself. Many people didn't understand at the time, or were skeptical, but these relationships players needed to develop in order to be more successful in-game were also relationships that were very real and quite often grew into something far above and beyond the mere game itself -- the game was the catalyst, the initial mechanism, but what grew out of it was so much more.

    I will always be grateful and honored and blessed to have been in the right place at the right time, with the support I needed, and accompanied by a team that poured their hearts and souls into making our dream become a reality. There is no question in my mind that making MMOs is what I want to do the rest of my life, and hearing stories like yours and others validates my conviction. From those who truly gave VG a chance, who stuck with it, and who became part of that next community, despite it being a smaller bunch of folks, I hear the same kind of stories. 

    So, God-willing, the Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen team and I will be able to make or allow that magic to happen a third time, and it too will be not just a great game, but also that catalyst again that brings people together, sometimes out of their comfort zone, learning how to work together not just tactically in a virtual world but also socially in the real world. Its why we're not afraid to make a game with a target audience who enjoys grouping and being part of a team, even if that turns other potential players off. It's really the only kind of MMO I want to be involved in and it's why we're going to stick to our guns and try to re-capture that magic again. Honestly, nothing else appeals to me -- I want to always be part of creating 'more than a game' and then, after release, to personally be part of that community as well. 

    It's actually already happening to some degree -- the Pantheon team right now are all volunteers. We're all people who share a dream but most of us have never even met each other in RL... and it's been fun and rewarding building a community within the development team itself. We are all working remotely, chatting in Skype all day long, sharing screens, uploading and downloading code and images and ideas, and becoming not mere co-workers, but real friends and team mates. The tools and technology are finally here to make such a thing possible -- if you had asked me even 5 years ago if a group of volunteers spread throughout the country could come together and make an MMO, I would have told you you're crazy. But it's really happening and the project is really coming together. And if we can do this as a development team, then I truly believe that the community of players that comes later, when we start bringing people in to actually play, in alpha and beta, will be all the more like what you experienced way back in EQ. We'll be able to capture that magic again, the sum will be greater than the parts, and Pantheon will become more than just a game and a fun experience, but also a vehicle or medium where people can and will come together and create true friendships and relationships, where they can break out of their shell, where they can learn social skills, no matter who they are, where they're from, or what their past might be. 

    Because, believe me, if we just wanted to make a game that people enjoyed and had fun with, and to make a living financially doing so, there are a lot of genres far easier to do so in than MMOs. MMOs are tough, they take more time, more collaboration, longer development cycles, etc. But, at least for me, because they have the potential to touch people's lives in ways other games can't, it makes all of that effort more than worthwhile. Hopefully I'll be able to be a part of making MMOs until I'm on my death bed, and hopefully the mechanics, the need to group and work with others, that we so adamantly insist be part of the MMOs we make, can be captured again and a new generation of gamers will have the opportunity to be touched like you were.

    -Brad "Aradune Mithara" McQuaid
    www.pantheonrotf.com

11 comments
  • Antonym
    Antonym This largely sums up my reason for enjoying EQ and VG and why I think there's a niche in the market that is wanting slower, group-based levelling rather than just soloing to the maximum level in just a few days. Keep at it Brad & team.
    August 25, 2014 - 5 like this
  • BloodbeardBattlecaster
    BloodbeardBattlecaster In August of '99, a good friend of mine showed me the game Everquest. It was exactly what I had been waiting for since I had first began playing around in MUD's. I bought it that evening, installed it, and couldn't play on that old IBM I owned. I...  more
    August 25, 2014 - 7 like this
  • Azraell
    Azraell In Brad we trust.... ☺
    August 25, 2014 - 3 like this
  • Aerolia
    Aerolia Great story. I know a few couples that met in EQ and later married (irl). I can't think any other computer game in history that managed this. We'll done!
    August 26, 2014 - 3 like this