Agency HQ: Q&A with Hal Milton Lead Designer of The Agency - Part 1

The Agency HQ interviews Hal Milton lead designer at SOE Seattle, whos working on spy-themed MMOG, The Agency.

Q: When picking between the different bodies, what effect does that have on gameplay? Or is it looks only?

A: Right now, it's just looks. What we're going for is to give people the ability to create an action figure with the look they want that has all the same options as everyone else. Separating the basic look from the gameplay keeps it easier for us to balance gameplay while not punishing people for pursuing the look they want.

Q: Tying into that, we didn't see any attributes when building the character. Does the game use them?

A: We decided to go really thin on visible attributes. So currently there aren't really attributes the player has to be worried about up front. The attributes that we have are nested on the things you gain as you advance; generate reputation, influence, your alignment, outfits, weapons, gadgets, etc. This reveals complexity naturally over time, rather than drowning players in it up front. So, up front, players are not going to need to worry about strength versus intelligence, etc. Additionally, we are thinking of having background attributes that are associated with agents. Like generating a back story that might affect some hidden attributes that we'll use behind the scenes to weight the Operatives you are exposed to and more.

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