I'd like to introduce you to the Beta Testing team for Modson Technologies's newest game in development: Hero Games! Modson is using their proprietary, experimental Neural Interceptor technology in a full immersion virtual setting for this new game. If the Beta trials are successful, they expect this technology to radically change the gaming industry, along with many other applications. Modson has been kind enough to allow us access to this technology to interview their Beta testers. Each one we interview will actually be comfortably at home, hooked into their Modson gaming system. Since this system interacts directly with their minds, we'll be able to get much more complete answers than subjects may otherwise give. It'll be almost like they are having a dream.
This week, we'll talk to... Paul! A stocky, broad shouldered Hispanic guy comes in, smiling and waving to a non-existent studio audience. He pretends to shield his eyes from bright studio lights (though his lime green sport glasses are bright enough), scan the 'crowd,' recognize someone with a big smile, and point them out before finally joining us in the overstuffed interview chairs. The Hero Games tee shirt from the company is put on over top of the collared golf shirt he wears underneath.
JACE: Good morning, Paul. You seem to be in good spirits today.
PAUL: Every chance I get! He shrugs. I try to focus on the happy side of life. So, what did you want to talk about?
JACE: Laughs. Well, I thought we could talk about your role as a Beta tester, and your experience in the game, and maybe a little bit about you. Tell us about Hero Games.
PAUL: Okay. Well, you have this tower thing, with a helmet-gizmo attached to it. I think they call it a Neural Inter-something. Anyways, you put on the headset, and your whole body starts feeling numb. Oh, and everything is dark. Then all of a sudden you're floating kind of in space, and there's a start button that you can reach out and click, then you're in the game. You start by making a hero character, and then you become the hero and go out and fight crime.
JACE: That sounds intriguing. So, what sort of hero did you make?
PAUL: Oh, mine is named The Peace Keeper. He's got all this body armor, and he uses a quarterstaff that shrinks down when I'm not using it. When I level up some more, I plan to get a Bolo Gun.
JACE: I couldn't help but notice that you switched pronouns, there, Paul. You went from talking about 'him' to yourself.
PAUL: He grins sheepishly. Yeah, well, that's kind of the way it happens in the game, you really do become the hero. It feels so real. Once I finished creating the character and got into the armor myself, it was me out there fighting crime. It isn't like you're just pushing buttons and watching a screen; you're really out there- or, in there, or whatever, I am the Peace Keeper. It's great.
JACE: So, Paul, there may be some of our audience that don't know what a Beta tester is. Could you explain that for us?
PAUL: Sure. When a company is making a video game, they have to write all the programming, and then part of the programmers' job is to test it. Only they can't see all the problems, cause they're too close, so they do a Beta Trial. They invite a small group of people to play the game and see if they can find mistakes, or problems. We can make suggestions, and we can even try to break the game. I know one guy that always tries to find the highest part of the game he can and jump off, just to see how the game handles it.
JACE: I see. Have you tried that in Hero Games?
PAUL: He shakes his head vigorously. Not me; not in Hero Games. It's too real. I'd feel like I was really jumping off a building. Some of the heroes can fly, though, so maybe they've tried it. But you do some exploring, you try to go into places of the game environment that the designers don't expect you to go. I'll be honest, I've mostly been having fun just playing the game. The world's pretty complete, though. My buddy Blue Bow has been following the NPCs trying to figure out the patterns. He says they're more complicated than any game he's seen yet.
|Images thanks to HeroMachine.com|
PAUL: Oh, sorry. NPCs are Non-Player Characters. They're just fake people run by the game to help fill up the world the game is in.
JACE: Well, Paul, you've told us a fair bit about the game, but what about you? Who is the 'man behind the Peace Keeper'?
PAUL: His grin expands to cover half his face. Aw, there's nothing interesting about me. I'm just a guy.
JACE: I don't believe that for a moment. What's your family like? What do you do for fun?
PAUL: Not much family, really. Just my mom and me. Mom doesn't want me to work so I can concentrate on school. She wants me to get into a good college. She says she's supporting me now so I can support her later. He laughs. She says when I turn 27 she's going to retire, so I'd better be ready to take care of her. For fun, right now, I mostly just play Hero Games. It gets pretty addicting. I'm in there most of the time.
JACE: Offers Paul his hand to shake. Well, Paul, it's been a pleasure having you stop by. I wish you great success in the future. Before you go, though, I have a special announcement to our audience:
The Beta tester that gets the most attention for his interview will receive a special in-game reward! So, tell all of your friends to come check out your interview, and comment, Like, +1, etc so you can get that special in-game prize. Also, the lucky Beta tester will choose one of their supporters at random for a cameo appearance in Hero Games!
PAUL: You got it! He gets up and again waves to the imaginary crowd, his grin as big as his heart.
Hero Games Introductions:
Nick "Virgil Ante"
Erin "Vanessa Pyre" Moore