Thursday, January 25, 2007

Exclusive Interview with Corey Bridges

Joss Whedon's much beloved Firefly may have found a new media to keep it alive for all the Browncoats that can't get enough of the metaverse. On December 8,2006 The Multiverse Network, Inc., announced that it optioned the rights to develop an MMOG based on Firefly the television series. The game itself is in the early beginning planning stages, but I had to interview Mr. Bridges about the concept and how he would bring the beloved characters and story to the gaming world.

Firefly is such a beloved tv show, how do you plan to capture that essence in the game?

Joss Whedon created a phenomenal, unique show. The characters were amazing but so was the feel of the show--the sense of adventure, and quirky humor--and that sense of being on the frontier, where there's unknown danger just past the edge of camp. An MMO can do a good job conveying those aspects of the show. You can't play as Captain Mal Reynolds--but you might meet him in the game. And maybe you could accept a smuggling mission from Badger or, if you're kinda nuts, from Niska. Just don't fail. We'd love for cast and crew from the show to be involved in the game. We just finalized our partnership with Fox, so now we are able to reach out to cast and crew, and see if they are interested in being involved in this project.

I read that you will be providing the tools for the game to be made. Do you have a team of developers ready to work on this game?

That's right. What we're doing at Multiverse is actually building a whole network of MMOs and other virtual worlds. You'll be able to use one installed program--the Multiverse Client--to play any game that's built with our world-creation tools. So that's what Multiverse does. But in our discussions with Fox, this opportunity arose to enable a Firefly game to be made, and we couldn't pass up the opportunity to make that happen. We'll be hiring an independent team--someone who has the vision worthy of Firefly--to make the game.

So you were a Browncoat yourself?

Yep. Although I have to say, I didn't really know true Browncoat spirit until I went to a Firefly convention last weekend. It was remarkable--the convention's organizers cancelled the show at the last minute. But the Browncoats, who are used to people cancelling things things they love, said, "The hell with that--we're going to hold our convention anyway." So a replacement show sprang up from the ashes. People from all around the world--who weren't even at the convention--donated money so that the fans who were already in the hotel would have their show. Actors from the show--even though they'd been stiffed by the original convention's organizers--showed up out of the goodness of their hearts, to hang out with people, sign autographs, take pictures, and so forth. It was incredibly inspiring.

Is there any sort of time line on the game? Would you hope to show a test at next year's E3?

You'll be able to play at least a beta in 2008. That's a pretty short timeframe, compared to traditional MMO development, but the Multiverse technology platfrom saves at least a couple years in development time. We haven't decided whether we'll show anything at E3. In the meantime, look to the Firefly fan sites for news. We'll be keeping them in the loop because without the Browncoats, we wouldn't have had the inspiration to make this project happen.

Thank you Mr. Bridges for your time and for chatting with us about the verse! I look forward to reporting here what happens with the game.

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