On December 3rd, over in the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, Canada, Piranha Games is hosting a day long BattleTech and Mechwarrior themed convention.
A variety of events and fun stuff is planned. Many guests from various community members and companies are planning on attending, such as Jordan Weisman and Randall Bills or online media personalities from Twitch and such.
In the best traditions of the Solaris VII Games, one of the headline events is the first World Championship of MechWarrior Online. Don’t you want to establish dominance and win that trophy?
Hey look, everybody knows that we don’t always get a chance to flip some dice and push around metal the way it was meant to be in real life. I’m playing online with stuff like MegaMek. So, getting the chance to play live with real enthusiasts, purchase stuff from live vendors, get some autographs, and rub noses and talk shop with with all of you folks is a great opportunity.
So what about you? Are you heading over? Why not check out all of the information they have to see if you are interested in getting your ‘Mech on, Vancouver style!
Needless to say the community was pretty excited, and I was lucky enough to get some time with the two of them to ask what BATTLETECH will look like.
Nic Jansma: Can you both give me a little intro into who you are, and what your day-to-day role at Harebrained Schemes is?
Mike McCain: I’m Mike McCain. I’m one of the creative directors here at HBS, on BattleTech, and just finishing up Shadowrun Hong Kong with Mitch here. I’m co-directing BATTLETECH with Jordan.
Mitch Gitelman: My name is Mitch Gitelman. I’m the cofounder and studio manager of HBS, and I also make games.
Nic: I obviously saw your announcement earlier this week. Took me by surprise! I’ll be honest, I’m really excited for it. I know you guys have done a great job with Shadowrun, and have Jordan behind you. And judging by the comments on Sarna and on Facebook, it sounds like the community as well is just as excited to see what this could be. So we’re really getting behind you guys.
After their unsuccessful Kickstarter in October of last year, the Oakland California-based MegaBots Inc. seems to have done the best thing they could do to stay active in the public arena. They picked a fight.
In late June via video, Andrew Stroup and Gui Cavalcanti challenged Suidobiashi Heavy Industries to a duel- Abatchall, if you will, to fight against Suidobiashi’s current combat mecha- Kuratas. Neither Stoup nor Cavalcanti are unfamiliar with either engineering competitions nor high media exposure. Both appeared in the 2012 Discovery Channel reality show: The Big Brain Theory: Pure Genius.
I was a backer of MechWarrior Tactics before it fell apart amidst development. MechWarrior Online is alright from the first-person view- vehicle simulation side, but I was hankering for something a little closer to the original source material, and with a much richer immersion in the interstellar politics and intrigue that makes up the BattleTech universe. Personae Studios‘ MechWarrior Tactical Command was, in my opinion, an unsung classic game that gave me a mobile MechCommander fix. But the game was fairly short and its title’s similarity to MechWarrior Tactics as well as its exclusivity to high end Apple mobile products made it instantly obscure and isolated. Of course there is always Megamek, but for one reason or another, I’ve never really had a good experience with it.
After years of anticipation, the Clans are now finally coming to MechWarrior Online. Known to the lore as “Operation Revival,” the Clans returned to the Inner Sphere after centuries. Now their wonderful and iconic OmniMechs (not BattleMechs!) will be laying waste to a match near you.
As like previous pre-orders, you can buy up to assault-class OmniMechs and get all of the lighter weight ‘Mechs along with it. The full $240 dollar package (the Masakari package) gets you eight Clan OmniMechs: the Warhawk/Masakari, Timber Wolf/Mad Cat, Stormcrow/Ryoken, Adder/Puma, Dire Wolf/, Summoner/Thor, Nova/Black Hawk, and the Kit Fox/Uller. You also get all of the variants for each OmniMech.
I know I talk about him a lot, mainly because of how much he’s involved in. Let’s face it; Tony Scroggins is good at networking. Almost as good as he is at designing custom Reseen Marauders. He always seems to be working with somebody on something.
I emailed him on Piranha’s contest last week, and unknowingly unleashed the Kraken upon the contest. You can see here in the official contest thread that there is mainly positive feedback when he said he’d enter himself. Not to belittle anyone’s artwork, if you look on Deviant art, there is probably as much high quality fan art as there is professional work. So Scroggins entering is probably blowing the Bell Curve.
Scrogginized MAD in 3D.
Judging by his popularity though, I don’t think too many people mind. Thanks to RAGoody via Reddit.
I would SO try my hand at this if I were not involved artistically with another, non-BattleTech related subject. If you can pencil, use a 3D rendering program, or even sculpt, you can try your hand at Piranha Games’ MechWarrior: Online Marauder redesign contest. I’m hyped at this not just because the Marauder is one of my all-time favorite ‘Mech designs (and that goes back to the Glaugg Officer’s Combat Pod design from Superdimensional Fortress Macross), and not because the reseen version looks…. well not bad, but definitely not like a Marauder should.
Not a bad design at all, but doesn’t look like a GM model body revamp either.
No, What I would like to see take to the field is the unholy offspring between the Piranha artists signature blocktastic look and Anthony Scroggins’ version of the venerable ‘mech. I even emailed him to make sure he knew this was going on. I don’t think he’d be eligible, and it really wouldn’t be fair to most other fans if he was. But the Marauder is one of his favorites too, and would like to see him get involved somehow.
Submissions must be in before November 10th 2013, at 11:59PM PST, and you also need a MW:O account on the website. Voting begins on November 13th.
It will be interesting to see what people come up with.
After two years in development, closed and then open Beta testing, the constant work on Piranha Games’ MechWarrior: Online is only gathering steam. “This is just the beginning, we’ve now laid the framework and the base of this big pyramid and we’ve got this really fun core action experience that people can play.”
Russ Bullock and Bryan Ekman talking to Barry White
On ABC News 10 in Sacramento California, Barry White’s interview touched base on going back to MechWarrior’s roots as a first person sim compared to other genres the BattleTech license has been used for (MechAssault, MechCommander). The duo from Piranha have also mentioned on what it’s like to work on such a venerable property as BattleTech. “Both Russ and I played the original MechWarriors, to be able to bring this franchise back to modern gaming is huge and to be a part of that legacy now – this 30 year legacy – it makes us very proud.”
I can’t say I blame them. Being able to report on the property, and interact with the movers and shakers in the industry has been a nearly overwhelming experience at times for me.
Bullock and Ekman also made it very apparent of a new faction to be introduced at the end of the year. Star Commanders, we have a go for invasion. I hope they make a huge event out of it, like sneaking the Clan mechs into an update and having a group of insiders interrupt random games and start whomping on the inner sphere fighters with Timber Wolves, Summoners, Fenris’, and other first wave clan ‘Mechs.
If so- I’d love to be a fly on the wall listening to the spheroid players freak out.
We have a great day approaching. The first serious live tournament for MechWarrior: Online is going to be showcased on Twitch.TV starting at 2pm PST (that’s 5pm EST for you guys on the East Coast and 10pm for all of you in the U.K.).
I’m very excited and I’m certain you are too. Let’s go through a quick rundown.