You guys had some really good questions for Titan. There were a few rage posts posing as questions, a few questions about AQW (Titan works on ED not AQW) and a few things that were just statements or suggestions but for the most part people asked a lot of really great questions.
Titan went through them all and picked his favorites to answer. The ED team is in crazy crunch mode right now, coming in early and working very late (16 and 17 hour days) so the fact that Titan was kind enouhg to take some time out to answer your questions was very generous of him.
You asked. Titan answered...
Mr.Butter: Favorite Number?.. Because why not..
YamiKakyuu: What games inspired you as a kid when you were creating EpicDuel?
As a kid I played Zelda on NES (had the gold cartridge) loved it. Dragon Warrior 1, and an awesome game no one has ever heard of called the Magic of Scheherazade. Later I got into RTS games like Warcraft, Age of Empires and more strategy based games. I was in college when I started the EpicDuel project from my dorm room. ED started a class project, my goal was to beat Artix Entertainment to PvP, but now we’re all on the same team.
Ellonnah: How do you like your eggs? :D
Over-medium with hot sauce
D.A.N.: Where do you see EpicDuel's future in 5 years?
Our goal is to empower our most creative players to help us create content, drive the storyline, and maintain balance. EpicDuel’s future will be in the player’s hands.
D.A.N.: Do you have any siblings? If so, how many? Can you tell us a story about one?
I have an older brother. Really smart guy. He works for the same company that makes both Frank’s Red Hot, and Durex Condoms. He’s a category manager responsible for 8 major brands in the US. When I was little he setup a zipline in our backyard and built a pulley out of legos, then proceeded to convince me to be his test dummy and jump out of a tree 15 feet up. Scream, Ouch. Hospital. Fail.
One Winged Angel: What was it like working at your old local before moving down to the Underground Lab?
Working on ED before joining Artix was scary but exciting. Had absolutely no money, shared a small apartment with Nightwraith, lived on $80 / month for food for both of us. I remember when we sold our first “Elite” upgrade (that’s what we called it before Artix)... I was so excited I broke the handle off the screen door trying to get outside and tell people.
Vejix: If you had the option of going back in time to change anything you want. Would you?
Nah, that’s OP.
jackhunt: who or wat inspired you to make epicdeul ?
I was in a college Flash authoring class for my Computer Science degree, and for a project I was going to make a Flash-based resume that I could potentially show to future employers. My professor basically told me that was a super-boring idea and suggested I do something more fun. So I changed the idea to a turn-based fighting game.
D.A.N.: Could you describe with lots of details how you make a sandwich?
Grilled cheese and tomato-wich coming up. Gotta have a good bread, this is critical. Something flavorful, maybe Rye, or Sourdough. Next, melt some butter, spread a little on each slice of bread. Get yourself at least 2 different cheeses, one mild, one strong, and cut a few thin slices off each brick. Get your pan on med-high, assemble your sandwich with tomatoes between the cheese to prevent the bread from soggin’. Cook on each side til golden awesome, and you’re done. Bonus, stick some bacon in there because why not.
2046808: Do you like potatoes?
Sure, boil em, mash em, stick em in a stew.
PyroPuppy: What do you like the most about the AE community? Sure, we can be a real pain, with all of our annoying questions (Right here!), but we also have our great moments. Is there something in particular you're proud of?
I’m proud of the game as a whole and everything we’ve learned along the way. It started as nothing, an experiment, a class project, and then evolved into something pretty amazing overtime.
PyroPuppy: I know many staff members don't work from the lab, and some don't work from the US at all. Did you had the chance to meet any of them?
Sure, I’ve met some volunteers and remote staff at conventions, and others have taken trips to visit us at the lab.
PyroPuppy: Have you ever had the the chance to see a AE player in real life at a random place? Did they recognize you? What was their response after recognizing you / finding out who you are?
Aside from at conventions, this has actually never happened, really glad I’m not that famous, haha.
PyroPuppy: I'm sure there's quite a difference between your real-life appearance and your NPC's look. Was a player ever really surprised by your real-life look?
People are probably less shocked that I’m not a mysterious mountain dwelling bearded guy in neon yellow and green armor, and more surprised that I’m I am 6’6” skinny white guy.
PyroPuppy: Do you picture yourself working on a new game, other than ED, in the future of AE?
Definitely, although making the time to do so hinges on our ability to empower the ED community. In the past few months we’ve worked with several amazing volunteers to teach them how to create visual content. We’re in the process of expanding our toolsets to allow the community to also balance the game on the data side of things.
shayshay: Why won't you ever listen to your player base and want they want in the game instead of just what you think might be good for us?
While at times it may not feel that way, we’re constantly trying to deliver what the players want. Our primary goal is to empower the player base to create content, balance the game, and drive ED forward.
Epfmaster: Are you a star trek fan?
I’ve watched my fair share. Not sure I’m a fan of the newer movies though, I really enjoy episodes with the Borg.
GhostGod: How often do you play ED?
Every day, although unfortunately mostly on the dev server because that’s where the work gets done.
GhostGod: Will you ever let us fight Dage?
This is a good idea.
Trans: Do you often find yourself struggling to release something, balance and non-balance related, due to engine limitations?
Sometimes. I like to say that nothing is impossible in the game, it’s just a matter of how long it will take to build. Our dev cycles usually involve a cost-benefit analysis in terms of time. So we list what we could do in a given week, and then select the changes, features, balance updates, and bug fixes that would have the most positive impact on the game.
GogetaSS4: Will you guys be ever bringing back agility?
SMGS: How do you feel about the current state of EpicDuel? If you are satisfied with the current state, what plans do you have to keep the player base? If not, what do you plan to do to attract new players?
I’m difficult to please, so I don’t think I would ever be completely satisfied with the current state of ED. EpicDuel needs to be better balanced, and we need to make further improvements to our content creation pipeline.
SMGS: What is the biggest challenge you've faced as a developer?
The most difficult thing I’ve ever done was rewrite the battle engine for EpicDuel during the transition to Omega. Over 10,000 lines of code we’re written in a matter of 40 days. I barely slept, was over caffeinated, and probably did permanent damage to my body trying to get it done. In hindsight, I wish we spent even more time on the engine but due to pressure from the company to get it released by Christmas, we had to make some sacrifices. If there is one thing I’ve learned from EpicDuel and from working at Artix Entertainment is that it’s better to spend the time upfront to do things right or you’ll pay for it later. Measure twice, cut once.
SMGS: How has the acquisition of AE affected EpicDuel (positively or negatively)?
Artix and I have very different philosophies about games. Artix likes to crank out games super quick, dive right in and fix things on the fly as problems arise. I on the other hand like to plan things out, and shoot for a longer-term solid plan. It can be be difficult for us at times to work together, but in the end a mix of both strategies is probably the best way to go. In general, it's been a very positive experience. Bringing the AE community into ED has been great.
The_Argonaut: Why are there so few Skill Cores being introduced?
Now that any weapon can have the same stats, Cores are crucial for diversity. But you have cases like guns, which now have a wide selection of exactly one non-Rare Active Core
MohamedM: Serious Question ! how old are you ^_^ ? :D
I’ll be 30 on August 11.
GhostGod: How old were you when you started Epicduel?
Hmm, I started the class project around 2006, so I would have been, 22 or 23.
GhostGod: Why can't we have a lot of simple features implemented into the game every week? Like 3 new missions, weekly challenges, 2 cores a week, a win/lose counter, solo options on some bosses.? etc etc. I'm not a programmer but these sound simple enough.
We do try to implement some content and smaller features each week, but sometimes to make engine level progress we have to sacrifice the smaller content releases in order to get the larger features out.
Withered: Why Titan of all names?
Started out as an ED character name way back from the first iterations of the game and just stuck I guess. Not really inspired from any sources.
One Winged Angel: We've seen the pictures on twitter of you towering over the other ED team members but how tall are you actually?
6’6” on a good day.
D.A.N.: Could you explain the origin of your name, and how the name EpicDuel was created?
In college I had several working titles, but when it came down to it, we needed something that was short, somewhat explained the game, and that wasn’t already in use. I snatched up the domain name early on and the name stuck.
Fredy: Scorpion or Sub Zero?
Easy one, Sub Zero all way. I actually really like fighting games. My now wife and I used to play Mortal Combat 3 in the dorm all the time on her old SNES. She was a force, but I could usually take her as Sub Zero. (She will probably argue otherwise).
Aero: What is the most effective way to get a question answered by a Dev? because Twitter is not an efficient option anymore.
Create a forum topic that clearly states the question with support from other members in the community and we or our volunteer staff will generally respond with our thoughts.
DualThrusters: We all know you like bacon, but have you ever tried the Bacon Bowl :O
Nope. That’s a dangerous concept for someone like me.
DualThrusters: Where did you graduate?
Bachelors Degree - Computer Science and Information Systems
Masters Degree - Business Administration
Youngstown State University, Ohio
s.michael: Can we have a trade system in epicduel?
Really common question, but at this point we have no intention to implement a direct player to player trade system. While it would be really cool, this would introduce many new risks that our systems are not prepared to deal with.
Vertice: What are the required qualifications to become a member of the AE team? And which did you posses when you joined?
The best advice I can offer anyone interesting in getting into this industry is to simply make a game. Concept it out on paper first if you need to… even if you have no coding or art experience, just come up with the concept. What you’ll find is that once you have a general idea of what you want to build, you can always break it down into smaller chunks. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. I think there may be a misconception that you need a specific set of degrees or school coursework to get a job in the gaming industry. This is false, you need to prove that you’re someone who is willing to work hard and learn independently. Making your game or learning by volunteering is the best way to get experience, and ultimately that’s how I am now working with Artix Entertainment.
(Cysero's note: Read more about how to become a member of the AE team HERE)
ExodusRaven: On a scale of 1-10, how much do you enjoy home fries?
Some where in the 9er range.
Desti_ED: How would i go about becoming a moderator if you are searching? i am a very old player haha , all the way back to elite days. So i was just wondering thanks!
Get really active in the forums. Do something positive that forces our attention. Some of our currently volunteers have been discovered because of how frequently they would show up being helpful in the forums or because they created amazing volunteer artwork and have now joined the ranks of Charfade’s Awesome Army of Art.
(Cysero's note: Read more about how to become a member of the AE team HERE)
Rui.: why does the titan bike have onions rings and not smoke ?
Because Nightwraith and Charfade like to play up the fact that I’m a deranged burger and junk food-aholic. Might have to ask them for more details on that one.
LillyBird: Titan, Do you find working on EpicDuel as a leisure activity or is it just a job. And How much time do you actually spend playing your own game? and do you find your own game enjoyable?
EpicDuel started as a hobby, then it became an obsession, and now I'm fortunate to say it's my career. I've enjoyed building and playing EpicDuel from the start, and I think like anything, if you don't love what you're doing you should probably be doing something else. I play ED all the time throughout development, but I don't play on the Live servers as much given our obvious time constraints. I enjoy making games, but make no mistake, it's not always a walk in the park.
Godrickk: do u speak another language?
I took Spanish and French in school for what ever that's worth but let's go with no.
Finally, while I have the opportunity, I wanted to address a common theme that keeps popping up in the forums, on Twitter and even in many of your questions. There seems to be a strong notion that the changes implemented in Omega negatively impacted the game and additionally comments that suggest we should just revert back to a previous phase of ED to make things "better." I want to be extremely clear that Omega was a necessary system change to allow us to continue developing the game. It's difficult to concisely explain the technical limitations we faced prior to Omega, but by overhauling the battle engine and other back-end systems, we were able to continue adding new features and content. Without Omega, EpicDuel would be more or less stuck. System changes are understandably under-appreciated, and with that I can understand player frustration, but at the same time, it's important to realize that EpicDuel could not have continued without many of the back-end improvements. Regarding any player-facing features that may have fallen short of your expectations, I apologize, and we expect to continue making improvements to the game per your feedback.
Once again, thanks to Titan for taking time to answer these questions. Let us know in the comments below if you enjoyed this Q&A and we'll do more.