Guild Chat - Episode 74

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Guild Chat - Episode 74

Mythwright Gambit
Rubi Bayer
Alex Kain
Jason Reynolds
Anthony Tran
October 5, 2018
Official video
The following is an unofficial, player-written transcript of the episode. The accuracy of this transcription has not been verified by ArenaNet.

The 74th episode of Guild Chat aired on October 5, 2018. Host Rubi Bayer interviews some of the developers involved in the Mythwright Gambit raid release.



Introduction (6:30)[edit]

Rubi Bayer: Hi guys. I am your host Rubi for today's Guild Chat and we are going to be talking about the Mythwright Gambit raid wing. I've gathered up three of our raid wing devs. So why have you guys introduce yourselves and about what you worked on for the raid and what you're drinking?

Alex Kain: This is really nothing actually. It's a prop. This, it's all part of my scheme. I'm Alex Kane. I was a writer and narrative desire. I am a writer and narrative designer here at ArenaNet and I was the lead writer on the Mythwright Gambit raid.

Jason Reynolds: I'm Jason Reynolds. I'm a game designer at ArenaNet and I was the team lead for this particular release.

Anthony Tran: My name is Anthony Tran. I'm a game designer and I was a principal designer for the Mythwright Gambit and I've since taken over as team lead for raids.

Jason: Yeah. No.

Rubi: And this is Anthony's first time on Guild Chat. Wow. That was mean.

Alex: No that was, that was entirely. I knew he was going to not see me here.

Rubi: Jason is a really nice guy, you guys. This is Anthony's first time on Guild Chat, so welcome and thank you for your time.

Anthony: Thank you, thank you for having me.

Rubi: Yeah.

Alex: It is not normally this wild.

Rubi: Really? Because I.

Alex: Yeah.

Rubi: I've been. Well okay. I'm gonna have a drink of nothing too because you seem to be enjoying it.

Jason: Ah, I didn't know that one.

Alex: That was very loud.

Rubi: So glad we didn't break those.

Alex: Yeah.

Rubi: So. We've been the worst

Alex: Sorry. Well anyway.

Rubi: So, it's really, the past hour has been like this. Well let's talk a little bit about the specifics of what each of you guys worked on and what some of the highlights were for you.

Theme & Responsibilities (8:05)[edit]

Alex: Cool. So yeah, I came on to the project and the general sort of theme had already been decided on. We're going to the mythwright, the mystic cauldron, mystic forge. Words, we're going to the mystic forge. Zommoros is going to be in there. The very first sort of conversation that I had was with Jason and he kind of approached me and was just like, alright so here's the pitch. This is kind of what we're doing. You know I had just come off of the the fractal the, the.

Jason: Twilight Oasis.

Alex: No, the one after Twilight Oasis.

Jason: Oh.

Alex: I just finished up the Deepstone fractal, so you know it was it was cool to be offered a comedy. You know they wanted like a lighter, a lighter take on the raids after going to a magical dungeon and then literally to the underworld. So it was a cool little break from that, but the pitch was you know, you go into the Mystic Forge, Zommoros is there. He's kind of this, you know, kind of this, you know uh wheeling and dealing djinn and he's kind of like you know, like a, like, like the genie meets Jeff Goldblum from Thor Ragnarok meets.

Rubi: Yeah.

Alex: You know, like this is the greatest idea in the universe and I want to write this so badly. When does it start and he was like yesterday.

Jason: I need that script.

Alex: Yeah, so yeah.

Rubi: Welcome to game dev.

Alex: Yeah, videogames.

Rubi: How about you, Jason?

Jason: So yeah, so I've been on raids since I joined ArenaNet and so a couple of years ago, about two years ago I was trying to generate a list of places we could go to.

Rubi: Yeah.

Jason: And one of the ideas that really stuck out for me, was Mythwright Gambit, cuz no one, no one knows anything about it, even internally. Sorry.

Alex: No, we knew everything. We know everything.

Jason: It is all planned.

Rubi: Do you guys know he is writer?

Alex: Shush.

Jason: I thought it'd be really fun to do a more lighthearted raid, that focused on so Zommoros and what's going on in the Mystic Forge and all the kooky stuff that could go on in there.

Rubi: Cool.

Jason: I had a pitch for it that I gave to like the the leads and directors and what not and they loved it and so we started moving that direction and then all these creative cats came on and it became even bigger and cooler than what I thought it was gonna be.

Rubi: Nice, so how about you Anthony?

Anthony: So I joined ArenaNet during the development of raid 5: The Hall of Chains, the Underworld and we were, I joined kind of towards the beginning of that. So Mythwright for me Mythwright Gambit, the mystic Forge was my first raid by ArenaNet where I've started from the beginning, right. Then I was responsible for the first encounter, the Conjured Amalgamate and it was just a great experience to go from beginning to end and ship that with this team.

Rubi: So Jason you touched on this a tiny bit, but how did we decide. Okay, we want to go lighthearted, the Mystic Toilet. We've called everything else, so someone had to say it. How many things are we calling this Mythwright Gambit, Mystic Forge?

Jason: How did we land on the name?

Rubi: How did you decide to go there? How did you decide? Okay, Mystic Forge is what we need to do.

Jason: Oh. A lot of that is because I really thought it'd be interesting. I really wanted to go there and and so like, Lindsay the design leads agreed and so did Krystal the old raid team lead and it was, it just got a lot of traction ,because it's a really interesting weird place to explore. There's a lot of touch stones like Willy Wonka and like Thor Ragnarok and things that we can play with too and and we've, all of our raids have been very serious and we just want to do something that was a little more like lighthearted.

Rubi: Yeah, totally.

Alex: Yeah. It was, it was one of those things where the idea, it even without explaining anything about the idea it's really exciting. Like we want to go and into the Mystic Forge, great. Also Zommoros is there, great and he's weird and kooky, great. His skritt are the ones who manage all of the organization. This is all great. There's nothing bad about this.

Anthony: It's got a gambling problem.

Alex: Yeah, that's phenomenal. They're gonna be Largos in it. What, okay. Like every, like every new piece of information that I got about the raid and you know with the direction that it was moving in. It was just like. Oh, what's the first boss. Oh, it's a giant monster made of, you know, pieces of, you know, other creatures. Like what, what, okay. That's cool.

Jason: Yeah, the lore on that one's a little. It's kind of interesting.

Alex: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Rubi: Thanks.

Jason: So the high level Qadim is releasing all these creatures, so that you have to fight against them and so the Conjured Amalgamate is actually this sort of like ethereal, smokey thing that inhabits. It's a kind of like a poltergeist and it inhabits things and that brings them to life and that's what it uses to interact with the world and fight. so that's why the Conjured Amalgamate is an amalgamate of all these different things that were in the sorting and appraisal space and so it's just as hunk of stuff.

Alex: Stuff, yeah.

Anthony: Fun fact to me, we originally wanted the Conjured Amalgamate for it to be an amalgamate of all the items that you would find in the mystic forge.

Rubi: Yeah.

Anthony: So we're talking about gold pieces, legendary weapons, armor, just junk, bones, clovers, but obviously that has changed over time. He's more of this architectural amalgamate, what.

Jason: Yeah, but that was more of like an art decision.

Anthony: Absolutely, yeah, yeah.

Jason: If you think about how if you were if it's a pile of coins and like a bunch of little swords and he's the size of a building, like it's gonna be very noisy and so we ended up pulling in more like architecture from like the pillars and whatnot, so that we could have more like broad features. That's, it's all more recognizable.

Alex: Yeah and you know as it's moving around and like the arms are slamming down. Larger pieces sell that better than lots of smaller ones.

Anthony: Definitely, actually we designers have great pie-in-the-sky ideas and the artists have to kind of bring us.

Alex: Yeah, what do you mean?

Anthony: Back down to earth.

Alex: Yeah.

Rubi: Well, you mentioned it being very noisy and I'm thinking like visually.

Jason: Visually noisy, yeah.

Rubi: Thank you. What if you have something with arms made out of Eternity? What's and forty of those? What's that going to look like?

Timestamp: 14:20

 definitely yeah it was definitely thrown
out we originally wanted to be the joke
was that it's gonna be made of a bunch
of legendary great swords great swords
everywhere but the issue with that if
you look at eternity the the great sword
is the size of a player right so you
when you think about in a technical
perspective like how many Polly's is
that like what's the texture of
resolution of that and the scale of the
conjured amalgam is a hundred times the
player two hundred times a player so how
many Poly's does that end up being like
what's what's the resolution that can
you attain with something of that scale
and then when you're a player of that
size looking at this giant thing that
visual fidelity just this good guy
really noisy performers will take a huge
hit it just was not going to work it's
that's like you say there there's some
great pie-in-the-sky ideas what
be amazing if we could do that but then
reality happens but reality happened
really really well I mean this was such
a fun raid to get to do so let's talk
about some of the highlights and some of
the fun things that you did get to do
that you especially loved and I'm
looking at you also the books I love I
loved writing the books and I'm glad to
see that players are enjoying reading
the books we started creating this book
tech for season four and it debuted in
episode 1 of living world season 4 I was
one of the writers on all of the books
that you found in the library in the
astral areum
thank you it was that was a lot of fun
but because there was so much stuff to
write all those books were like back of
the book quotes
yeah little blurbs like like pamphlets
bless so than books but in the back of
my head I always wanted to do more with
them so when the raid came up and you
know the we wanted to drop some lore in
there was this whole wealth of stuff to
talk about like we'd never gone into Jim
Tom Rose has all this weird stuff going
on you know anything that we couldn't
really sell visually easily was
something that was fair game for lore
books so things like legendary weapons
that haven't been you know that I like
we had he had to cancel for some reason
or another you know because like oh it's
a it's a couple of invisible Flying
Daggers that are around you at all times
but wait wouldn't that be dangerous it's
it's oh this staff siphons the life
energy of opponents but he like he he he
goofed up a variable somewhere and now
it sucks up the user's life and they all
slip into comas user satisfaction is
very low as a result so that those were
a lot of fun there was just a lot of
lore there and I had time thank goodness
to actually write actual short stories
so the fourth for gin I think is the
yeah thank you was the I think it's the
longest book yes that we've written I
could be wrong about that but it's
pretty long it's a full short story that
you can find in in the Mithraic am
betrayed is it longer than the NDA
longer it's longer than the NDA the
zamora says NDA in the knot yes it was
it was harder to write the NDA obviously
the NDA and the hope in the story takes
inspiration from of course Willy Wonka
you know in the film there's like that
giant contract on the wall and you see
the text get smaller and smaller I
wanted to do that in game but I was
informed that it was technically
infeasible which is totally a reason not
to do it so yeah so so yeah again one of
those things were like okay so there's
just like a little thing at the end it's
like the text gets smaller and smaller
until you can't read it anything is the
same effect across so can you give a
tldr of the fortune for our non reading
viewers sure so the four gin is a short
story about an unnamed traveler in Ilona
who comes across four gin each one
representing one of the four main
elements having an argument in the
middle of the desert and all of them are
trying to discern which one of them has
the superior element which one
represents the superior element you know
it's like Oh fire banishes the darkness
but you can't live without air and you
can't walk without the earth and so
they're in the stalemate and they've
been arguing for months and this
character comes in and is able to give a
very reasoned explanation as to why one
element is better than the others based
on her experience and it turns out that
it's me Ani the character yeah from that
you that you see outside the mystic
forage and it's sort of this this origin
story about how the two met it was you
know it was supposed to be kind kind of
on on the DL but players figured it out
like instantaneously which I was very I
was very happy about so yeah that's
that's that's the gist of it awesome how
about you guys what were some of your
highlights my favorite part other than
the script its critters so
well just the fact that it's the script
that's handling better handling
everything like that gets definite like
yeah sure find and they throw back one
and that's when you don't get anything
in the script but my is the the mini pet
menagerie I think is probably my
favorite like little encounter space
because the the whole lore there is
generous is kind of doing some
shenanigans and he accidentally made
mini pets big and so now you have to
love mini pets we don't like kill them
so really the task is to rish Rinker
Reem immature eyes that's so this kind
of goofy and fun I'm not sure that that
all the players will know about the
different lanes that you can do every
week so you might want to just you might
want to they just found out about that
they did yeah so we have there's the two
different lanes that you can do and they
just alternate every week and just keeps
things a little bit fresh but also
inside the mini pet room there's there's
four different mini pets but you only
have to deal with two so there's even a
little bit of Brandon jason glossed over
this grit
aside from cheese Jason the encounter
that I built the the first boss I really
liked the script just the sorting that
appraisal room where you see them
running around jumping through portals
and then actually at the entrance of the
myth right gambit you see script running
through and throwing piles of junk back
through this toilet and if the players
jump through that that leads them back
to lionsearch or the aerodrome so the
idea is that the throne is junked back
out into the int Alliance arch for
players there's there's a Vista right in
the beginning that I absolutely love
where you can see this big arch over and
they're running okay and you can see
like their little silhouettes running
across and like perfect unison and it's
yeah that's actually actually you
mentioned going back to Lyons arts a lot
of players are curious why we don't have
the great entrance in Lyons arts and
it's it's for disease there's already a
lot of stuff in lion's arch and like if
you look at the map there's all these
icons and there's people waiting around
and so we didn't want to add an
additional bang to the map and then also
confuse like the script of like jumping
into the mystic boards it just it made
it very like
messy yeah in inside of lion's arch and
so we erred on the side of not doing
that and so the entrance is only in the
in the aerodrome but so that's why it
happened out that way yeah other other
players were curious why it's not the
the old Zamora Slayer and Ilona and
there is actually a narrative reason why
he's there's therapies he is not he is
no longer allowed in Ilona
for reasons that are hypothesized in the
in the raid itself so that's why that
that portal doesn't necessarily connect
to his mystic Forge the one that the one
that that players know and love so or
don't love but right experience and so
like what the mystic boards is actually
sort of his own like pocket dimension if
you will it's not actually in Ilona or
anywhere else it's like you're basically
inside of his bottle when you're in the
in the mystic for it's very you have
given me an idea for a fantastic April
Fool's Day prank though like everybody
who walks into the into the mystic
foraging lion's arch as you're now in
the raid party of one no warning no
warning about de amor people because I
can't help but notice they just do of
you it seems like a bad idea anyway one
day one day it's just a thing to think
about that I wanted to put out there no
big deal um you'd mentioned the little
parade carnival barkers scene oh my gosh
yes I loved that scene so much so I was
I was asked by Jason to write a little
normally like when when a raid launches
there's some there's like a little event
that plays out in the open world that
sort of sort of types the raid a little
bit you know it offers a little bit of
oh you know a little a little kernel
that that makes you want to find the
rate entrance in this case I actually
made it so that it is za morose himself
and his sort of like hand-picked scrit
Stooges literally hyping the raid to all
of lions are fantastic so I it's
probably not running in
more but there there's video footage of
it on YouTube where every other hour
zom Rose would erupt from the mystic
forage along with his whole like with a
whole bunch of squid and you know the
script would ask planted questions like
he's like I know what you're asking how
does the mystic it was it was awesome it
was I think it was the whole it's the
whole tone of the raid encapsulated in
like a two and a half minute scene it's
fantastic yeah it was it was great I
love that they throw out gifts - yeah
they so there's two scrit in the back
yeah man Byron had this idea of like
like a t-shirt gun and they're just like
I could do that let's do that I added
some script to the back that just they
shoot random loot bags out into the
audience essentially it's perfect
that's fantastic we need t-shirt gun
with loot bags get on that I'm sure we
could totally do that um so let's go
back to the books a little bit you had
mentioned there's a lot of really good
stuff hidden in those books here and
they're just little Easter eggs little
little tiny Easter eggs that I'm sure
most of which have just gone over most
players heads except it's uh there
there's a book that you find in the myth
right gambit right dad mentions a
character that we have not heard about
in a long time named is Guerin and yeah
it's you know he's just he's there he's
in the book he visited the the mystic
Forge at some point as is established
now yeah Zoomers is just that cool of a
gang yeah I know so and he's one of the
things that you mentioned was that he's
a wine connoisseur he is it's not so
much that he you know he said he sort of
fell into it or rather the wine bottles
fell into the mystic Forge and he do
yeah so that's always been sort of a
running joke is that you have to throw
so much wine into the mystic forage that
he's a morose obviously must be like
drinking a lot of wine so we sort of
into that a little bit he has a wine
room and but he he has a there's a book
that you can find which is his musings
on the wine and the quality of the wine
and what his favorite wines are and his
his his realm is very met his is magical
it has no like weather it has no
humidity so he so let you know or at
least not normal humidity so he's able
to the wine doesn't spoil so he's got
this infinite amount of wine from an you
know however however long he can keep it
he can keep it long he doesn't drink it
oh yeah so that was a lot of fun coming
up with like fake fake like the the
thing I like most about wine to be
honest are the crazy bottle designs and
the logos that they have on all of them
so there was one it was like it was a
Jacaranda firing a lightning bolt into a
bottle into like a glass of wine like
like that was fantastic
yeah it's like someone someone can make
that that actually is another thing that
I loved about so morose is that he's his
character he's a he's a collector of
things and artifacts in history and so
what we tried to do with like the Lord
like Italy suggests is that his this his
space is enormous it's sort of like a
TARDIS and he could have any number of
artifacts or historical documents and
just all kinds of things that he's
collected and hoarded over like like
hundreds of years or whatever long has
been around so there's you could have
all kinds of secrets in there we should
keep exploring them I like this yeah but
then we've got Kadeem who is the other
character in the Rey the antagonist of
the raid and he is a collector of exotic
specimens some of some of which you
fight over the course of the raid
including the conjured amalgam it who
who you fight in the beginning and the
twin largos as well so yeah we've
probably talked a little bit about be
and and I love that shark that shark is
great Chirk mm-hmm internally we call
him a junk shark and also all of these
creatures in in the Kadeem fight in the
oh yeah the holy bananas that he come
the creatures down in the prison you
guys you guys you guys should talk about
the encounter design okay it's actually
super cool let's go let's work our way
through let's talk about the junk shark
because she seemed I'm just gonna call
it that until the end okay so tell us
about the junk shirt the junk shark I
mean he's a creature that sort of likes
sand sharks he's like but he's kind of
like a creature that I think you would
be able to explain the lore a little bit
better but essentially he thrives on
junk yeah and so he's just always
swimming around and Kadeem in an effort
to be a little bit more sneaky maybe
like release that one and sent it
through the sorting an appraisal space
so that it could maybe like hunt out and
look for key items or or maybe just
hopefully grab something and bring it
back to Kadeem that would be of interest
and so your job is to sort of and while
he's doing that they've all the sharks
doing that he's kind of breaking stuff
and so that's why you go through and you
need to deal with the ectoplasm room
because the shark is messed up the
ectoplasm room or the mini pet room or
what have you no it was VA so we wanted
an enemy that wasn't going to be a huge
encounter but the stakes could still be
high and so the idea that he releases
this entity that loves junk into a
universe full of junk
was was pretty cool like what is like
what's gonna happen well he's gonna he's
gonna wreck stuff and you're gonna have
to go yeah so like the the panicked
script coming out you know you know
yelling that he's you know chewing
everything up which I thought was great
and then there's the fun little mechanic
it's a it's a relatively small fight
compared to the other ones in the raid
but it's still very clever where you've
got like all the junk piles and he's
jumping between all the junk piles I
know that was a lot of fun it used to be
we wanted it to be more like a grabby
claw kind of mechanic and so like you'd
have to wait for him to be in the in
like a pile and then there'd be like
this claw that come through and like
lower down and grab him out and then
bring it back to the center
damn amazing does every just use bombs
cuz that's Michael Bay it'd be the odds
on the bombs are way better than the
grabby claws way better yeah yeah so we
didn't get the grabby claws oh and now
I'm bummed butt bumps you know okay
yeah so what about the rest of the
encounter we were talking about some of
the other parts of that encounter I mean
we can go on to the mystic are sorry the
conjured amalgam it mystic constructs
what we called it internally yeah the
first boss yeah so that boss where do we
start with that the bus wanting to be
made up of a lot of junk right made up
of great swords and such so one of the
first ideas we had was when the boss
slams its arm that junk would pop off
and so in our design process we have
these brainstorming sessions and once we
throw a bunch of ideas on the wall and
we have a few ideas that's thick each
designer goes back to their desk and
does what we call a paper design and we
diagram our skills our ideas our tactics
or strategies the arena the shape of
things and so these diagrams here I just
want to show some of these this is the
one of the first ideas we had which was
an arm slams down and adds pop out so we
see here right arm attacks shield adds
spawn we try to diagram like the role of
all 10 players where the ads are this is
showing like one players going to go
around collecting these power-ups while
the others are taking care of the ads
and this was the the clap or the
thunderclap and the idea was that the
two hands would smash together in the
middle and everybody would die unless
they're inside the safe zone and so we
brainstorm all these ideas and we tried
to prototype it on paper in a visual
manner so that when we go into
implementation we design it to spec that
we have a running start as we're
building these things and so this was
the laser sweep or junk torrent original
and this is an example of how we iterate
originally we decided that oh yeah
there's going to be the safe zone at the
end so the idea is that everyone's just
going to run towards the end and then as
we played it we're like all right well
people can just jump the laser beam so
then we decided alright we need to one
let's allow that let's allow them to
jump it and then - let's make that laser
go all the way to the end no more safe
and then three let's also have like
damaged fields to persist a bit and just
add a little bit more pressure right
stuff came online while we were going
through play testing right I like the
the the damaged fields was like what
like three quarters away through
development yeah that was the idea and
like really you just have to you just
adapt to this while your play testing
stuff Ian if we didn't get rid of the
safe zone until probably 85% of the way
through it was just uh saying let's just
make it harder like well actually really
what it is is if you want me these
players to react to a mechanic in a
particular way the idea was players need
to use the shield to protect themselves
if you want them to do that make them do
that and so when we had the safe zone it
was that left two options well we can
run to safety or you can use the shield
and we said scrap that let's just stick
to one counter play and and then that's
the way it plays out okay all right so
what were there more yeah so actually
the the next slide here that I want to
talk about was so you just see the body
here one of the cool things about this
boss is that it's actually three bosses
stacked or three I should say three
assets stacked on top of each other and
so the way that the reason that we did
it like this like you'll see the body
the left arm the right arm and the
reason that we built it like this is
because towards the end of the encounter
in the final phase the two arms act
independently of each other so when we
designed the fight we said alright he's
gonna smash one arm and then he's gonna
smash another arm but as the fight
progresses we want the two arms to act
independently from each other so we
actually have three separate AI loops
running by the end of the fight to
control the two arms and the body so we
stack it on top of each other we used
something attack that we call model
permutations and permutations
traditionally we say like alright here's
a skeleton now here's a permutation it's
a fire skeleton what that just means is
that we we alter what the mesh shows or
if the mesh shows at all so in this
scenario we decide all right the body's
going to show in this permutation now
the arm now this arm and alternatively
you can imagine it as three different
models but the
we didn't do that for pipeline reasons
the artist only needs to deal with one
model and these are just permutations of
that one model otherwise we would be
dealing with three models we would be
importing exporting animations to all
three models the pipeline just gets
complicated so it's really neat that we
have this tech to be able to pull this
off and then this last slide this is
this is our card dealer right and just
talk about more to talk about more to
talk more about the design process we
prototype all the time and this is very
early on before we even had the final
model this is just some asset we pulled
from the ether as you can see he has
legs this is just some guy we scaled up
and then I asked for the permutations
and this is what we fought with for a
good chunk of development yeah great box
version of the boss well that back when
the fight was a gambling game not quite
but thank you I'm easily pleased what
you mentioned
so you mentioned fighting with this for
a while let's go into some of the
challenges of that and how you came
overcame them well the challenges was in
creating the asset so we worked with
this for a while and a lot of it was
working with our animators in particular
caught and what he had you know we would
say all right that arm smash ability or
it caught we need you to make an arm
smash so this is a prop boss this isn't
actually a creature so for people that
aren't familiar with our technology
these are gadgets and these gadgets are
also known are are of type prop boss and
so these prop boss have animation states
but because they're not creatures they
don't have animation blending so one of
the challenges that we run into is that
the animations have to match up
perfectly so from idle into armed smash
into the arm smash idle into lifting the
arm back up into idle all of those
transitions do not have any
Meishan blending so in the fight you
often see the the construct or the
amalgam it ends up going back into the
idle pose often so a lot of that there's
a lot of iteration with our animator
basically and getting the timing correct
building it so that we can loop the arm
laying on the ground for some amount of
time there was basically manual
animation states and it was quite the
process but we pulled it off well I
promise tag they're literally state
machines yeah that's exactly what
they're they're state machines and we
manually define alright in this state
you're gonna play this animation I'm
gonna play this animation for how long
and then when do you move out from that
so the the arm attack is three parts
right it's the arm going down the arm
staying there for an indefinite amount
of time and then the arm lifting back up
so basically all the attacks had two or
three different animation states and we
had to kind of fill in those blanks with
the timing with yeah so I want to back
up just for a second and touch on the
term animation blending and I know
you're not an animator so please give me
as head talk but talk a little bit about
what animation blending is it's pretty
much what it sounds like I think it's
pretty self-explanatory yeah they
actually after we released this raid now
prop bosses do have animation do you
guys want credit for that because nobody
else is in this room aleem actually put
that tech together so Thank You Elena
Thank You Alina animation blending to
clarify it's the idea that when you go
from one animation to another there's
this moment where you slowly actually if
you think about when you listen to music
right you have one track and it's gonna
it's about to go into next track you
have the option of starting to play that
second track to overlap the first track
right so the first one fades out a bit
while the second one ramps up that's
exactly what animation blending is okay
perfect that's it you get such a good
analogy well so sorry I murdered this
not mutter compliments
same thing with state machines again
pretty much what it sounds like they
just turned out state from one to the
next mm-hmm okay
the classic sketch comedy troupe the
state yeah anyway as long as we're
behind the scenes of game design and
talking about things that were kind of
difficult that we overcame what else was
kind of challenging in this because we
talked about all the fun so let's talk
about that final encounter because there
yeah it's like a master class in moving
things yeah fixing bugs and updating and
adding features to our moving company
meeting it as a presentation talking
about all the new moving moving
platforms and you it was a great
this right here Ben magic right that's
what we're gonna call it and players
that are familiar they'll recognize some
of these configurations but this is one
of the early prototypes that he put
together with just gray box platforms
and this was him experimenting with
different platform configurations for
each phase of the fight and there were a
lot of things that were done with it we
had platforms that would follow players
so you can kind of ride it like this
flying the mist in the sense but we
didn't go with that route right we
really not yeah but you know it's really
neat and then we ended up using it in
the encounter so and I obviously was not
aware of just how finicky our moving
platform technology was before
beforehand but through Ben's very
exhaustive presentation on the
intricacies of our moving platform tech
I now have a much greater appreciation
for just how many little things are
moving around
that finally gunner they used to be that
you could get a gadget which is like a
prophecy actually become gadgets and you
could put it on a rail and it could move
on that rail that's it and I don't even
think until even a year or two ago it
could loop like you wouldn't go back on
itself it couldn't go back and forth it
would just go from start to finish and
you couldn't have combat on but there
were a lot of Jews moved from platform
there are a lot of things I know that
been fixed such as the venturi tablet he
needed to make sure that that followed
the platform oh yeah I didn't yeah
pets making sure that they knew where
the navmesh was VFX orientation so like
let's say you have a skill that places
an AoE on the ground and has a VFX
associated with it so what we're talking
about is local and global space right
and so normally if you're just on
terrain you only care about global space
but if you're on a platform
now that VFX needs to rotate with the
platform and also stick to it and also
stick to it when it goes largos a fight
with the the platform moving down so not
just rotation but then we also had to
deal with the the vertical height change
with the largos fight with everything
moving down yeah a lot of things yeah
that raid brought the whole design team
a lot of new fun toys that yeah
something that we've talked about more
often on Gil chat lately is how we as
ArenaNet as game designers are
constantly pushing the boundaries to see
what else can we do with this thing how
can we make it better how can we make it
more versatile more useful more fun and
this is such a good example of that like
yes remember when we could just go from
point A to point B and you're doing this
huge this huge thing now where the
platform's going everywhere and figuring
out how to drop it and figure out how to
make people not fall off of it
I wasn't gonna say it but thank you for
thanks for taking out my hand flop it
and twist it I'm okay with that so
there's another thing that I want us to
look at and that's this huge river and
that spits out billiard balls yeah let's
take a look well first I want to talk
this here speaking on behalf of Ben this
is us using reusing the assets that we
have and similar to this and working
with what we have we often just work
with what we have right this waiver and
this is the charge animation and this is
how Ben made them leap from platform to
platform and it just looks perfect right
but this is we didn't request a new
animation for it this is a launch
two-point action and then we reuse his
charged animation and it's it just looks
billiard balls billiard balls so this is
an unused attack in the ghetto yeah so
if you notice again working with what we
have right the wyverns
head goes from left to right and
normally if we do a flamethrower attack
we just say here's a cone here's the
attack region if you're in the cone you
take damage there's no sense of like all
right I was on the left side of the
attack and I got hit before the fire
even reached me sure so the way that we
built this is with these splines and
these splines they're just they're a
string of nodes that we place down in
our map and so what we do is we say all
right as the creature is animating its
head from left to right we're gonna fire
these fire a ohi's along the splines to
kind of match with its head movement to
match with the the flamethrower breath
that comes out of it you can see the
individual nodes right where all the AoE
the area of effects are yeah it's it's a
lot more refined and like you said if
you're on the left side of the cone and
it hasn't hit yet mm-hmm you have some
time to get out of there that's an
awesome example of working with what we
have and making it better so well what
else do you guys want to talk about from
behind the scenes of development what
don't we know tell us all your secrets
the largos we originally wanted it to be
a secret that you weren't fighting to
largos at once we were not the original
ideas that you were going to fight this
one largos but then suddenly like you
fight the second largos and it has full
health and they were supposed to look
like twins yeah at one point they're
actually like
vo is actually gonna be them talking
together right yeah yeah like Siamese
twin that was yeah it was the first pass
of that and that changed who's also a
fun story where it's been so long since
we have used Lagos in the game that like
when Eve our vo director discovered that
we were using she's like what the artist
to because they because they had no
one's touch loggers and so long so the
artists were like quality up the part we
need to update their their textures
their models literally how they speak
yeah yeah we try and use reuse as much
as we can because I mean it's a lot of
work to make all this different artwork
it's really well argos like players want
to see largos and we have the assets
it's gonna be fine but if you have if
you've got the largos if you've got
something already and you can bring it
in that frees up more time to make more
stuff i really did turn around very
quickly it was it was much different and
easier request than a brand new creature
yeah but we still ended up trend like
having to do new animations and so like
their animations and the rigs are based
off of human female I think and so but
they also get their own rig so they we
animated on human and then moved it over
to the lar ghosts and then added like
the wings animation so that it was a
little bit flow a little bit better
because yeah the wings are actually like
purposefully animated it's not just like
cloth tech or something where they're
flowing behind them they're they're a
deliberate part of their of their
rigging the skeleton so it was there was
definitely some work adding but they
were I think probably our cheapest as
far as a sent requests really yeah it's
still a very complex fight a lot of a
lot of tweaks and balance and yep yeah
we actually wanted to feel like a
Bellagio fountain oh that room yeah yeah
great yeah yeah the cave the lights on
top of the the ceiling its
very big that's a large bath just to add
more to that we as designers we were
going to use just humans with the Largo
swing backpacks that's what we talked
about right we often try to go for the
minimum as well I mean one we said that
we wanted a an amalgam it made of
legendary great swords and at the same
time we also try to be very minimal and
just work with what we have it's very
polarized but the point there is that we
want a lot of plans and options yes a
something falls through we have
something to fall back on it's really
important the artists help balance it
out they're like no you're not using
packs we're gonna animate these wings
for you see the way you phrase this in
my head says to me that you want an
actual human characters with largos
backpacks running in like boom alarm
what are you trying to pull yeah thank
the Lord tidbit that I can think of is
like yeah this critter handling all this
stuff but like the myth right cauldron
where you end the raid that's that's
where like the cool magic happens like
that's where legendary items are created
like that is Forge yeah that was like
one of the earliest Lord discussions I
think we had with regard to the raid was
okay we have this idea that the scrit
are throwing or throwing stuff out and
that's why people you know don't always
get the coolest thing in the forge when
they throw their items in but there has
to be an explanation for why you get
legendary items out of the forge so that
you know is it's a morose like with a
little loot with a little like cheat
sheet and he's like uh they threw down
the right four things they get this cool
sword like you know it's not it's not
that at all sort of a craftsman and he
is the one that's helping combine all
these magics and it's he's doing it in
the in the myth right exactly yeah this
we wanted us we wanted a different thing
a different artifact that you would you
know that would create these things that
are completely unique that are that are
totally awesome
Zamora I believe is wielding legendary
weapons and the various fighters
yeah like a baller spreading around
going this is the one I didn't give you
so actually the the culture and if I
recalled the actual mechanism to
creating legendary weapons I was our our
goal was to to find that more serious
note at the end right because that's
what Kim was really after yeah and
otherwise it was just a gambling problem
and does something paid that's actually
a really good point like when you're
telling one of these stories when we
were first going through like
brainstorming this story start to finish
it was more of like a light-hearted
gambling and you're helping him resolve
its gambling debts and oh boy
but it there's no like there's no
impetus is no important yeah I think
there's nothing bad that's gonna happen
you're just stuck here helping this jerk
yeah it's something that you wrote
that's not very funny like as a as a
player like maybe it's funny for like a
short story so we had to find a reason
to have it be important players who
wants to do this there was no there was
no there's no like end of the second act
where like everything has gone wrong and
you know khadeem has got you on the
ropes and what are you gonna do and that
like that that was that was the moment
that we were really looking to find that
bit after the largos fight i remember we
spent a lot of time pacing that out and
figuring out how much information we
were going to give the player and who
was going to say what how that was
staged i know that in the write in the
writers room in particular there were a
lot of there's a lot of back-and-forth
on exactly how much how much characters
spoke versus how you know making sure
that players weren't held up too much on
stuff there's a lot of give-and-take on
that but i think ultimately we we hit on
a nice sort of balance where you know
it's a fun raid it's these are fun
characters there's just enough
seriousness where you know what the
stakes are the whole time more so in the
last act of the story and then when
you're fighting Kadeem on those moving
platforms and he puts you in his
menagerie and you can see just how weird
twisted he actually is all throughout
that whole fight I think ultimately I we
hit we hit that the way we wanted to we
wanted to hit those notes I was pretty
happy about yeah it seems well yeah you
can now you can tell that's that's
Jason's throw a cliffhanger too so yes
that was that was also fun coming up
with like what we whoa what is the
funniest thing that Zamora scan say at
the very end of this cinematic but that
also sets it up but it's like it's peak
so morose at the end of that at the end
of that cinematic and let's spoil it
what does he say that's probably bad the
villain the villain is transformed and
escapes from the mystic forge and he
just kind of looks like was one of the
all wise like that is hardly ideal
actually I must have written like 20
lines and and Rick Wasserman the the
voice actor for Sam Rose did all of them
and it was all variations on like huh oh
oh or you know like like you know like
whoops that's not good or that's no good
just like like 20 of these lines and we
picked we picked that's probably bad
because it made it it made us laugh the
most I cannot stress enough by the way
Rick Wasserman's vo session we were all
like in tears laughing it is so perfect
he found the voice immediately and just
all like his like every single take was
just gold and like it's perfect yeah it
was it was great he was wonderful and
sam riegel of course as Kadeem was
phenomenal he found the voice
immediately to who's like so tell me
about this character I'm like he's evil
he's like great let's go yeah it was it
was good it was a lot of fun putting
putting out putting that all together
all right well let's finish up by
talking a little bit I would love to
hear from each of you what your absolute
favorite little thing is that is your
personal touch that you put in here
Oh pick a favorite child do it now I
don't I would love it if you did one of
your favorites it doesn't have to be
okay good
yeah there's um I'm trying to think of
the d'arnot so yeah they're so okay I
know it is in in in the lore book where
Zamora was talking about his failed
legendary weapon concepts one of them is
a rifle that shoots skeletal fists and
and also feels pain and it yells all the
because it's in pain I don't know why I
did just I love it it's like it's just
stupid little there's no practical
purpose for this thing that's probably
it was like I was like sitting at my
computer writing
I like everything else - yes there's
nothing I dislike about this rain yes
I'll say that I just like this more than
one of many favorites
yes how about you Jason so since the
beginning you've always called them zoom
arrows and actually Zamora ready to die
on even though I was given actual
grammatical evidence to the contrary
until I heard vo in lions are - this is
sir saying azam ro something his
characterize I love his character he's a
lot of fun and I like his interactions
with the scrit and how he's employed
them and and just like the the wonder
and like even I don't know it but fully
going on in the in the mystic chords
everywhere and I think that that's
really cool it makes for great he's
delightfully wacky mmm I thought was
great sounds like back of the box
taxi this might be a bit of a cheat
answer or a broad stroke but I thought
the environment art was
just the way actually this is you way
the way you fall into the mystic for the
gambit you only do that once a week it's
pretty great
you enter the rate and you fall down
like junk there's like streams of junk
falling down you fall into a pile of
gold and junk so good and then like you
mentioned Alex you see that archway with
the script running across and then the
sorting the appraisal room like jumping
through all the portals with the Jackals
it just feels like this what you were
mentioning Jason just like a spaceless
limitless writing could go on forever
and ever and ever the fountain room was
great the fire hall the fire hall was
just that run down the bridge and go
staircases are fireballs coming down yes
and then the final room with the
platform just everything was just
visually we visually are literally
geeked out about everything all right
like every every little thing it's like
oh man the water on the sides of the
opening area it's so beautiful when you
go down there or even underwater in the
largos fight like you don't fight
underwater but if you go down you
collect that lower book and then the
underwater is art it out and it's
fantastic it's just it looks so good
Jeff did a great job putting all those
props together linking everything a lot
of stuff in there is unique and and and
Jeff like hey I'm just cracked it all
out it was great fantastic that's not a
cheat answer at all because it's exactly
the environment art is a good answer
it's exactly what it should be
mm-hmm and that is it sounds like a
simple statement but it really speaks to
how well everybody came together yeah
and since we're talking about literally
everything the new musical tracks to the
largos music track in particular I
thought was a phenomenal that made that
fight yeah it really did it really felt
different and unique and cool and I look
it's like the pacing of the fight the
music matched the pacing of the fight
yeah and doesn't it it's dynamic based
on with the phase which phase of the
fight you're on which I thought was
great too yeah I'm really happy with her
music has come along in the past several
years I mean it was amazing to start
with yeah and we've raised the bar so
much it's so good everyone's really good
is what
is that everyone's really good what they
do I mean I think when we release the
the trailer for the raid that there was
so much hype just from a few shots of
the raid that just speaks to how well
the environment looked we've never
really done a trailer for a raid as I
understand it not like that I think a
while yeah so well thank you guys very
very much and that's thing everybody
does fantastic work we only have three
chairs it's a problem because like
sometimes I'll email a lead like hey who
worked on this thing here's 30 names I'm
going oh this is a wonderful problem to
have but I appreciate you guys coming in
and speaking on behalf of so many people
to put in work on this because it turned
out beautifully I mean the mystic Forge
is something that's such a thing in the
game and to turn that into a right wing
is really incredible work so you guys
did good that's the understatement of
the year yes
likewise so far you guys pretty happy
with the reaction so far yeah and that
was that was a safe question because
I've seen it - no it's okay yes yeah
watching people play the raid and you
know stop and look at things and you
know like oh did you see this thing no I
didn't then they all like train over to
it and look at that isn't that great and
it's all worthwhile
like how good does that feel it's so its
launch day watching people stream it's
great yeah yeah like like like any time
spent on literally anything
if you see someone appreciate that thing
you're like ah yes literally why I mean
game design yeah I like making things
and then people enjoying it it's really
great yep um like watching a stream like
like like first day stream and people
people are trying to get through as
quickly as well yeah and then you get
you get a couple of people were like oh
here's a nine-page Laura book and I'm
like they're not gonna they're not gonna
sit there and read that no I'm gonna
read it so I could you could have done
that with like a quaggan mug in each
fist it would have been fine I would
have smashed them together alright well
thank you guys very much
I appreciate your time I appreciate you
coming and chatting with me forever you
guys stick around because we have two
new behind the voice videos you should
probably stay - because I should
okay yeah all right let's take a look at
those thank you again thank you guys for
watching guild chat with us
so here we go on let's see line 6
gorrik Blish let's give Lord Ferran and
the commander some privacy tie me is
really memorable to me because she's
she's spunky and she's not afraid of
what people are gonna think about her
pretty much ever and she's this old soul
in a young person to me anyway she sees
like a kind of person yet you look up to
and you want to respect and be like cuz
it nothing gets her down really time he
is getting older and she is going
through a lot of things that people her
age or her mental age should not have to
go through as I get older and I have to
go through things in my life that are
experiences that have changed me I feel
like time he's gone through those things
like kids do but it affects her the way
it affects adults it gives because she
started out as an old soul and now she's
even wiser and more worldly so now when
she might have been just a smidge more
flippant about things
maybe she's she has some memories that
give her pause before being so impulsive
so my favorite thing about timey is some
time you will get her done I saw the
sign driving and it's like get her done
that's like time he's slogan her credo
you know she puts everything else aside
but not like she's a hard hardened
person she has emotions and
sensitivities and I don't even think she
really hides it that much she just is
very pragmatic oh forgot to mention to
prove it only infects humans he did
expose himself to the contagion but
nothing happened a lot of my characters
I will either arrive at technically or
I'll channel someone and tie me is my
niece and my niece
is a Spitfire and she just goes after
what she wants he just doesn't doesn't
always think about the repercussions but
it's easy for me to get to her well now
I fall into tiny you know in my sleep
huh is that a thing
but to find her initially that's where I
got her from and and all I have to do is
put myself in my niece's body and
imagine I'm with her and then her voice
comes out because to me all my
characters they can sound the same it's
my voice but it's the personality
underneath them that determines all the
the innuendos and the inflections and
the different emphases and the the
attitudes towards things if you have a
teleporter in your arm that information
should come out earlier time he knows a
lot of things that she's maybe not
sharing with everybody yet and it's that
adult secret that a kid has to keep so
she has a big box of Secrets that she
has to keep to herself I wasn't ready to
tell you but my condition it's um it's
not in remission anymore it's getting
worse sometimes the pain is so bad I can
hardly focus
I can't calculate how much time I have
but there was an end putting tie me
through a lot of the emotional things
that she's going through right now it's
it draws on a lot of things I have my
strong acting training too as a
foundation but then the things that I've
gone through with my in my life and my
niece has gone through and we've gone
through together all those experiences
they really helped get to that point
this is probably of all the video games
and jobs I've done the one that has
required such an extreme shift in
emotions because she goes from the the
snarky to broken and very frightened too
scared scared for her life
and losing someone she loves so there's
this huge range of emotions and I'm I'm
really grateful that you know you guys
the producers the whole company has
trusted me to be able to navigate tie me
through all these different emotions
because she has a lot she has a lot of
stuff going on with her it's painful and
there's been a lot of painful things
with in my life that hurt a lot both
with my niece and my mom and just stuff
so it does help me get there
so sadness is part of life and it really
helps in acting and it's not fun but
that's the job Blish sacrificed himself
to give us time to stop Krakatoa
that's her priority hey we have a job to
do but there's no way we can do this
without or eeen we have to find her
mr. Gore you stand accused of conspiracy
to release a deadly plague upon our city
first of all it's just Gork a sewer do
not have surnames Korek I mean aside
from his intelligence and his different
take on most situations which i think is
what really makes him stand out I just
think he has just a unique heart you
know he genuinely loves what he is into
and though sometimes he's not always
concerned about what people think about
that it's a genuine love I don't think I
know he'll be the best Beetle steed ever
I just need a few items for the last
mutation and an incubation so he's a
giant nerd and so am I the way that he
loves bugs and the things that he's into
is the way I love technology I used to
be a programmer like that's my thing ooh
you can zap it with the tribo
electrocute er if you could get gorrik
any piece of advice what would it be
oh um stop and smell the roses I would
tell him to slow down and smell there he
wouldn't listen
but yeah it's thumbless stop and smell
the roses I can smell the pestilence in
here the direction I was given the input
and the research that was already done
for me really helped me to be able to
get a better understanding of how to
reach from where I am to where he is she
said Couric's really excited here he
might speak a little faster he wants to
talk about something he's super excited
about so he's going to forget social
etiquette because he's focused on his
interests gotcha gotcha good good here
here I've just confirmed a suspicion
I've had oh this is big very big for me
it's it's finding not just his voice but
sort of what he actually really cares
about you know it's some of it is the
obvious stuff like bugs but then when
you see his relationship with his
brother how it's a it's this real
closeness and how much he genuinely
cares about not just what happens to his
brother but how about his feeling and
how it affects him yeah I think that's
the most special thing about
gorrik you did it commander we're
receiving a signal from the tracker but
like always Blish was 100% correct I
don't don't know how I never doubted him
bliss can do anything he puts his mind
did did he say anything but I saved him

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