My Interview With Jamie Perkins
When I was at Adepticon, I had a great time. I also had the pleasure of interviewing Jamie Perkins, one of the key designers and developers at SFG. He was kind enough to spend a bit of time after our game talking about Godtear with me. I found his thoughts to be revealing and insightful. I hope you agree.
Here's how it went:
OH (Objective Hex): What’s your favorite thing about Godtear?
JP (Jamie Perkins): It’s a game with a lot of variation in play styles. You can play a lot of different ways, and they all work.
OH: A lot of players coming in are eager to know about the future of the game. Will it keep going?
JP: Yes. There are no plans whatsoever to scrap it.
OH: Is there an endpoint in mind?
JP: No, there isn’t.
OH: I’ve noticed that after 28 champions, we will have one of each class for each origin. Is there a 29th champion planned?
JP: Yes. I can also share that we are currently working on the first champion that we have designed specifically to address concerns within the meta game.
OH: Oh interesting. I’m glad we can all acknowledge that a meta exists at this point. What do you notice about the meta right now?
JP: Well, we monitor data about the game. This includes pick rates, champion stats, and sales of individual champions over the last 6-12 months. That gives us a pretty good sense of what people are playing and not playing. We also monitor players and what they are saying about the game on social media and other platforms because player perception is very much a part of the meta game. Even if something is mathematically balanced, players can still tell you it feels unbalanced. How the game feels is valid feedback even if it contradicts the math.
OH: So - do I have to feel guilty about playing Raith and Kailinn all the time?
JP: Not at all. The meta is just data. It’s not something to be defeated. Currently, the game is being played as intended. There is no really divisive play style out there. We do want to vary things, though. Our goal is to give players reasons to consider varying their champion selections. This keeps the game feeling fresh.
OH: So what are some of the ways SFG can do that? Champion rotation?
JP: Absolutely, that will come into play at some point. We also plan to eventually rotate scenarios out as well. Construction, for example, is a scenario that is better for some champions than others. By rotating scenarios, we can affect the balance of the meta game.
OH: New champions also create balance, right?
JP: Yeah. As I said before, we’re now designing with this in mind.
OH: Which one will be rotated out first? Will it be Quest?
JP: I can’t answer that.
OH: What about an errata?
JP: Well, the longer a game can go without an errata, the healthier that game probably is. We don’t want new players to buy a champion only to find that the cards they bought are no longer valid. That’s a negative experience for a new player, and we’re trying to grow the game. For that reason, we are hoping to manage the game’s balance in other ways for as long as possible.
OH: Ok, fine. Will there be new champion origins at some point?
JP: That’s been under discussion.
OH: Ok, so what’s the next champion and their abilities? *laughs*
OH: Alright, we’re getting to the point where I’m asking things you can’t answer. Is there anything you want my readers to know?
JP: Well, we’re really excited about expanding the lore of Godtear. You might have noticed that around Christmas, we released a short story about Rangosh. We’re planning to do more of that. The idea is to release a short story with each champion, so Fenra will be the first to have one.
OH: That’s great! Are there any plans for fan-driven interactive lore?
JP: Well, we did a fair amount of that with Guild Ball, and it was great fun. Maybe in the future we could do something like that, but we’re not there yet.
OH: Thanks, Jamie.
JP: You're very welcome. By the way, we shouted you out on Twitter.
OH: You're the best! Thanks!