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Interview with the Gamigo's product manager about his new MMO Patrician OnlinePosted 04/18/12 3:19 PM
Take a look this exclusive interview about the Patrician Online, with Nina Manning the Gamigo's Product Manager.
Thanks for giving us the opportunity to interview you about Patrician Online.
First of all, could you introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Nina Manning and I'm the Product Manager at gamigo for Patrizier Online. I'm in charge of coordinating all the tasks related to the game, from community management and marketing to our cooperation with the developers of Patrician Online, Funatics Software.
How would you describe Patrician Online to someone who has never heard about it before?
Patrician Online is a trading simulation set in the 14th century, at the height of the Hanseatic League. Players take on the role of merchants, building up their trading empire and earning political clout through trading, politics and sheer cunning. The great part is: Everything that happens in the game is a result of the players' decisions.
Could you tell us what are the main features of Patrician Online?
The main feature of Patrician Online is definitely the trading, which is completely dynamic and lies in the hands of the players. That means that we don't influence the goods being offered, but rather that it is entirely up to the players how much of which goods they produce and trade. So every single player has a direct influence on what happens in the game when they build production sites and sell and buy goods.
Besides trading, the political system is also essential. Anyone looking to gain power and influence in the game will need to join together in a guild with other players or become the mayor of their home town. Patrician is not only a unique player-based trading simulation, it also has a political component: Only by gaining popularity among the other players and sharing their wealth will they be successful in the long run.
Trading seems to be the main occupation in the game, but will the player be able to have any other occupation like a career in politics or piracy, for instance?
Patrician Online is based on the popular PC series “Patrician”. So naturally trading takes center stage in the game. But whether you produce and sell your own goods, specialize in buying, transporting and selling goods or prefer to follow the path of piracy and steal other players' goods is entirely up to you. There are lots of ways to increase one's fortune and power.
For those whose strength does not lie solely in business, the political offices of mayor and eldermann also provide a great opportunity to show one's power. Every mayor has the chance to be remembered in history as a great philanthropist by building important buildings to increase the city's prosperity and wealth. The eldermann can also work to create great advantages for the entire Hanseatic League, or he can also play favorites and only do good things for his own faction. He's unlikely to be re-elected then, though, as having the support of the entire Hanseatic League is very important.
How does the economic system works in the game? Is it a free trade system or are players able to regulate the economy by taking some political actions or laws in certain cities?
The economy in the game is entirely a result of the players' actions. The players are responsible for making sure that fur, for example, which is only produced in the east, finds its way to England. The prices are based on supply and demand, which means that choosing strategically advantageous cities for additional counting houses and production sites is very important for success in the game. Of course in addition to building up the classic lines of production and trading goods, there are also other factors the player should keep an eye on. It is important to provide enough living space for workers and to have a good enough reputation in town in order to produce certain goods.
Mayors and eldermen can also gain advantages for the citizens of a city, a faction or the entire Hanseatic League by building special buildings or giving out certain bonuses, which will affect the economy on the whole.
And, last but not least, there are also pirates looking for an easy target.
So Patrician Online has a complex economy in which each player needs to keep a number of factors in mind in order to be successful.
How does the characters’ progression work in Patrician Online? Selling by any means is the only way to become powerful in the game?
Trading takes center stage in the game. Goods need to be produced and then processed. To get the highest profits possible for one's goods, one needs to travel all across the entire Hanseatic region. In order to open additional counting houses in other cities and thus set up lucrative production lines, these cities need to be supplied with all the important goods - because only if you're in good standing with the citizens of that town will you be able to even think about gaining the rights to produce goods there.
Is Patrician Online completely free to play?
Yes, Patrician Online can be played entirely for free. You have the option, though, to use gemstones to unlock special features and content.
In what languages are you planning to launch Patrician Online and do you already have an approximative date to communicate for an international version?
We are planning an English version, but there is no set release date for that right now. Other settings are also possible. Trading on the Mediterranean was very interesting during this time too!
From your point of view, what makes this game more fun than others?
The exciting thing about Patrician Online is that, as a player, you really get to control whether you are trading profitably or not. The system reacts dynamically to each individual player and the goods produced and traded by them. By watching the market, you can find the niches in it and sell your goods for the highest possible price. But you always need to be a few steps ahead of the other players, because if someone else just sold the same goods in the city you're traveling to at a good price, then you're left high and dry.
Thank you for your time.