Mark Jacobs Interview Explains Alpha Plans and Wants a Pie in his Face

In an exclusive Mark Jacobs interview with GAMEBREAKER, Jacobs answers questions about his Camelot Unchained Kickstarter and about the game itself. City State Entertainment announced its plans to fund the new game with a Kickstarter, and has listed the reward tiers. Jacobs is hoping for feedback on the tiers before the Kickstarter goes live. This is a prelude to the video interview with Gary that will take place this Monday. Jacobs has visited GB before, so we know to expect great things. Stay tuned!

The Mark Jacobs interview starts now!

-The pledge tiers for the CU Kickstarter are just as you described them: generous. You have mentioned you are looking for feedback about the pledge tiers. What are other possible rewards you are looking at?

Thank you very much. It really was quite important for me personally to offer our backers very generous tiers given that we are asking them for $2M. In terms of other rewards, well, we have some of the more common RPG ones like owning an inn and naming a structure, but we also have a tier where you get to throw a fruit pie in my face and have it uploaded as one of our CSE videos.

-You said in your blog post “Clear As Mudd” that you have a dozen more tiers planned. Any hints at what your plans are for those?

Hints? We can do better than that for you guys. We have a $75 tier named “I love Tchotchkes!” that gives our backers lots of Founders Points to buy hats, cloaks, etc. We have a guild tier called “That’s one big guild!” priced at $1,700 that comes with, along other things, 30 digital copies, and “I own an island” at $5,000 where we will build a custom island for a player that is non-instanced and part of the game’s world.

I Own An Island at $5,000 where we will build a custom island for a player that is non-instanced and part of the game’s world.” – Mark Jacobs

-It seems that you looked at the most successful projects on Kickstarter as examples. Did you also look at some of the less successful or failed ones as well?

Absolutely. I’ve always preached the importance of learning from unsuccessful games as well as successful ones, and it’s no different here. I have spent a lot of time looking at all the game-based Kickstarters I could, and I tried to learn from both the successes and failures.

-If so, were there any that you thought might have succeeded if the project had offered a different tier structure or rewards?

Yes, as well as issues with lack of updates, transparency and constant feedback from the key members of the team.

-The dev diary outlining the pledge tiers just came out yesterday. Have you had useful feedback since then?

More than I could fully handle actually, with the vast majority, thankfully, being positive. The largest amount of negative feedback we received was on our “Alpha Access” tier because my definition of alpha is very different from what’s usual today. To me, alpha means helping us break barely working code, boring and repetitive testing, shell of a game, etc., where the players were expecting the more PR-oriented versions now common with MMOs. So, I’m restructuring the wording and some of the tiers to reflect this. Now, I’m not complaining – I can’t, really – since way back in 2000, I pushed the whole concept of tiered betas (Beta 1, Beta 2, etc.) and was mocked wildly for it. :)

-What about really unique reward ideas?

We have some really unique ideas such as allowing people to have their voices in our game, throwing a pie at me, etc., but we are always looking for more, especially before we launch. As long as it doesn’t change the balance of the game and/or add an advantage in RvR, I’m interested.

-What’s the best way to send you feedback and is there any particular feedback you are looking for most at this point?

I can be found lurking on the MMORPG site, Massively, our subreddit but I’ll be happy to jump into your forums as well if people want to give us some feedback there.

We have some really unique ideas such as allowing people to have their voices in our game, throwing a pie at me, etc., but we are always looking for more, especially before we launch” – Mark Jacobs

-Several designers have taken to inXile Entertainment’s Kicking It Forward project where successfully funded projects pledge to put 5% of their profit toward funding other Kickstarter projects. Is this something you’ve considered?

It’s already in our Kickstarter. I worked with Brian Fargo’s Interplay/Engage years ago and I’m absolutely planning to back his initiative. Frankly, I think it’s the least anyone can do who is successfully funded on Kickstarter. If we are, I hope CSE ends up backing more projects than anyone else does; that would be a wonderful legacy for Camelot Unchained.

-What are a few things us fans can get excited about for when CU goes live?

They won’t have to read any more Foundational Principles from me! J Besides that lovely perk, if you are a player who is interested in RvR or crafting and want a game that won’t hold your hand, isn’t a WoW-clone (or WoW-spawn), then I hope you’ll like Camelot Unchained. This game will be about the RvR, not PvE, raiding or other such current MMO staples. Besides that, well, I’m sure players will get to kill me quite often in the game as I plan to show up regularly, and without special powers, abilities, etc. Should be a lot of fun.

Don’t miss the exclusive GAMEBREAKER Mark Jacobs interview with Gary Gannon this Monday.


  • Deadalon

    I believe it when I see it. Talk is cheap Mr Jacobs. We have heard if from you before. Asking us to give you money before you are in alpha doesn’t work. Even if I get you throw a pie in your face.

    • Snark

      snark snark snark

  • Brad Schlosser

    This was the man who fought against Trails of atlantis and admitted it ruined the game. Just ask any DAOC player who left. The game had a major player base and in less then 6 months after ToA came out the game was on life support.

    You wonder why he is so anti PVE? ToA taught him there is a large player base who wants to RVR and have player crafted be the best out there. Was a Legendary Grandmaster in all crafts in my realm. Just ask anyone who played daoc and they will tell you the commitment it takes to do that. But it was worth it. I made gear for everyone and made a profit (imagine that make a profit crafting in a mmo). Everyone wore mostly crafted gear with a few drops sprinkled in. Heck I had a program to figure out how to craft and spellcraft the gear to the customers wants. Because in DAOC you couldnt have it all. You had to choose your weaknesses and strengths.

    God I miss DAOC pre ToA… I am buying the $200 level min just to get into alpha to do everything I can to help make this game the best that I can.

    • Deadalon

      PVP only does not work. 50% of the playerbase will end up as losers. They leave and game will flop. We saw it in DAOC and we saw it in WAR.

      Players are not stupid. They dont pay for being losers.

      • Brad Schlosser

        LOL what killed doac was pve… Trials of atlantis is when the game died. It turned into who had the most leveled artifacts = auto win.. not skill anymore. DAOC was going strong with many good fights going on in rvr till they released ToA and within 6 months the servers were dieing.

        I mean people who loved rvr loved that you hit 50 then went to a good crafter (like myself) and used a couple of pieces of drops then had the rest crafted with the stats of there liking.

        And 3 way war. Every server I played on.. had 3 because I liked to try each of the races… never wanted to be the top realm. Because being the top realm meant you were fighting a war with the other 2 realms.

        RVR didnt kill daoc… PVE did with its stupid 5 hour raids and auto win gear you needed to level… I mean who wants to have to level there pants…..

  • ZaneStriker

    My guild and I are very excited for this game. We played GW2 from launch solely for WvW but it soon became a stagnant, zerg-filled giant match of sPvP where taking nodes for points right before the clock was more important than the actual RvR.

    If Mr Jacobs can deliver, then he’ll have a strong Aussie guild joining his game from day 1.

    • Brad Schlosser

      There was so many was to avoid the zerg in DAOC. I was part of a guild that avoided the zerg and harassed supply chains and even took a few keeps with just a few of us. Took alot of towers. Zergs very rarely had scouts or roving smaller bands reporting to them. So with no teleporting around it was fun to make them run around chasing the crossed swords.

    • Thomas Vu

      You need to get to the top two tier brackets. Sure there are zergs, there always will be zergs, but one zerg will lose (hands down) to another zerg if it didn’t have proper strats/leadership.

      • Kasern

        We were always in the top tier. We were founding members of Titan Alliance at launch on HoD, then after the collapse we went first to Blackgate and helped pull them up to the top for a few weeks then we transferred over to SoS to play with other Aussies in the top bracket. We’re currently back on Blackgate again, but we’re down to a handful of active members and we’re not real interested anymore.

        Fighting AA and War Machine was a ton of fun in the beginning but the game just isn’t fun for hardcore RvRers. It feels far too casual. That your efforts have no impact.

        • Thomas Vu

          I agree with you on the casual part. Since GW2 is suppose to be the successor of GW1, I am assuming the casual part is intentional. Hell, even the devs had said that after purchasing the game, players agree free to come and go as they please.
          The game is marketed towards the masses, not us more serious MMO players that constantly troll the forums and news media in search of the holy grail MMO.

  • Peter McKenzie

    Go easy on the man, he is putting his neck out there for a niche of people that just want a game designed for them. If you like PvE good but don’t bash on a game that you don’t intend to play anyway. There are plenty more options out there for people like you! Let those that want this type of game enjoy the build up to it without the “The game will suck cause it has no PvE!”

  • Alphabater

    I’ll be watching this games progress. Two things though… First: NO STEALTH of any kind. Too one sided in any form. Second: Don’t make PVE access dependent on RvR control aka Darkness Falls. DF ruined RvR. People would RvR only long enough to get into to DF. Boring.

    As for the tiers, they look interesting. I’ll be interested in an alpha access tier. A REAL old school alpha like Mark describes. lol Need a table with all these tiers and their options for side by side comparison.

  • Jado Cast

    This is going to be very interesting to watch as it progresses.

  • T3chn0Viking

    I’m heavily invested in CU. I don’t care how much it costs. I need for this game to be made!