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Meet the Dev Team of SyFy’s Defiance, & news on the H. G. Wells Spin-off

20 Oct

As a true fan of SyFy Channels golden child,Warehouse 13, myself and many fans have been asking about the spin-off with Jaime Murray.
The proposed series would be based on Jaime’s character, H. G. Wells and be set in the Warehouses past.

Meet the Dev Team – Special Edition: Nathan Richardsson, Executive Producer | Defiance

Many have asked yours truly where the series is going, and if it’s happening at all. I spoke with Jack Kenny last night and sadly, the news is less than desirable.
According to Jack:

Jack Kenny Dead in the water, as far as I know… alas…

When I mentioned how lovely it would be to see Jaime Murray’s name in the new series, Jack had this to say:

Jack Kenny  I mean, never say never, and networks change their minds all the time… but she’s currently a regular on “Defiance.” it’s on hold indefinitely…

Which brings us to the “Defiance” part of this article. although we won’t be seeing Jaime on her own show, we can enjoy her in SyFy’s newest project.

Meet the Dev Team – Special Edition: Nathan Richardsson, Executive Producer | Defiance

For the full article, media, cast and much more, go to Defiance.com today!

As announced last week, all-star gaming industry veteran, Nathan Richardson, has joined the Defiance team as Executive Producer. We were lucky enough to get him to sit down and share with us a bit about who he is and what he brings to Defiance!

Elizabeth Tobey:Can you tell the folks at home who you are and what you do at Trion?

Nathan Richardsson:I’m a mildly insane Icelander that missed the meeting about taking myself very seriously but did find myself working on serious spaceship business once. I’m involved in general game development at Trion as VP of Development, but my primary focus is Executive Producer of Defiance.

Elizabeth: What does an EP do? What does your day or week look like?

Nathan:Besides being responsible for everything that is Defiance, like ordering pizzas and pointing seriously at the pictures the artists create and asking for more blue, an Executive Producer should be making sure that there are great people on the team and that they have what they need to fulfill their responsibilities.

The week is usually packed with meetings (surprise!), but I try to make sure that they are 30 minute meetings and that most of them are either spent in 1on1s with team members or dealing with obstacles that need to be cleared. For me, being an EP involves active listening, facilitation, and clearing blockers so we can achieve our goals. I think a big part of leadership is simply being there for someone.

So while the core duty is leadership and vision, people are often surprised that it’s not all about jumping around in a spandex suit, dancing, and pointing in the direction where we all should be going (while looking strikingly handsome). It’s about leading in the direction we should be going, and having people trust you. Otherwise you’re just a guy pointing somewhere. And then nothing happens. I can do both quite well.

Elizabeth:We’re closing in on the release of Defiance. What are some of the things you’re focusing on right now?

Nathan: Defiance is so massive that we still have quite a few things to take care of. It’s easy to get derailed. The most important part right now is keeping our content and feature pipeline flowing so we can ramp up alpha and start beta on all three platforms. Then we can get solid feedback and go through our polish phase.

We are also planning all the features and content to be deployed in the years after we go live. It’s a pretty ambitious schedule, but since we have the entire team working on Defiance after we launch as well, I think we can deliver some amazing experiences.

Alongside this, there is the operational side of everything Defiance. Making final adjustments to our game operations platform and our server hardware and hosting so we can start beta. I’m trying to keep us focused on distribution, sales, and marketing as well since they are very tightly integrated into the game. I’m also personally pointing at some pictures of the collector’s edition items that we’re creating.

Elizabeth: What is the most exciting thing for you about this project?

Nathan: I think, with something like a massive online co-op shooter experience on three platforms that’s integrated with an international TV show the size of Battlestar Galactica, the lunch options and weather here in San Diego really stood out for me.

The cast and crew of the show didn’t exactly hurt either. When I found a team that understood launching an online game is basically when all the fun starts, and that you can constantly evolve the game and expand to even further platforms, that was exciting. Still, the lunch and weather really got me.

Elizabeth:How about the scariest thing?

Nathan: The size of the freaking bugs here.

Elizabeth: What’s it like making an online game of this scale for consoles?

Nathan:It’s immensely fun. There are a ton of challenges as there aren’t that many groups out there that have created a game the way we’re doing it. From the features we have, to the content, the server architecture and how people interact, to all the dirty details on how to make the interaction with the console platforms work, there is a lot of uncharted territory for this kind of large-scale co-op and player-versus-player game on consoles. I enjoy that kind of work.

Elizabeth:What were you doing before you came to Trion?

Nathan: I was making games with an Icelandic company called CCP before this, involved with EVE Online, DUST 514, and The World of Darkness. Before that I was in telecommunications where I was involved with a lot of new things back then, like Video on Demand, fiber optics, DSL, gaming services, online communities, and even gaming tournaments. Gaming has always been in my blood but so has product development, so when I got the opportunity to work on EVE, I took a loooong time to think about it. Almost like, three seconds.

That isn’t exactly true though. Both companies were great and I learned a lot. I have very strong feelings towards them – I stayed almost eight years at both. I guess that’s part of my personality.

Elizabeth: What games are you playing right now?

Nathan:Last game I pressed play on was League of Legends. There’s also Paper Planes, some Firefall and I need to do more of Faster Than Light and Borderlands 2. I also end up buying an unhealthy amount of games on Steam that I still need to start playing. And then there is my Blood Angels army that I have to paint so I can start the new Chaos Marines in Warhammer 40,000. Oh, and if Hawken would give me beta access, the bastards, I’d be playing that as well.

Elizabeth: Outside of work (and games!) what do you do for fun?

Nathan:Eat, drink, love. Or, you know, I love travel and being with family and friends. I also watch way too many movies and television shows.

Elizabeth: What’s the next item on your agenda when you head back to your office?

Nathan:Sleep. It’s midnight and I was fortunate enough to have a great dinner with Syfy and other partners, so I just have to wrap up a couple of things, then head to bed. I intend to watch a Sons of Anarchy and a Revolution episode first though. Or fall asleep trying. Then it’s a fresh day, starting with a series of 30-minute meetings with my managers and four 1on1s, then checking in with the community team, the video team, and also our game platform team.

Elizabeth: Last question: What’s something we don’t know about Defiance, that only you could tell us?

Nathan: That I intend to infuse Defiance with the rich heritage and cuisine of my homeland so that I get my own species. Titan zombie-mech rotten sharks.

And that’s it for this installment of the Defiance “Meet the Dev” series. Be sure to drop by the forums to discuss Defiance with your friends, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get all the latest news and updates.

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