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\It’s really become an art for the team\” — How Warframe’s 50th frame reflects current day Digital Extremes”

By | 07/09/2022

Warframe readies for new chapter with new creative manager

Rebecca Ford, Warframe creative director.

Rebecca Ford, Warframe creative managing director.

Image Credit: Digital Extremes

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Warframe and its developer, Digital Extremes, are entering a new globe. The MMO shooter has managed to remain a hit for years, thanks to its free-to-play accessibility and steady stream of new content. A major update, The Duviri Paradox, is coming out afterward this twelvemonth and will add a new open up-earth environs with rogue-lite elements.

Digital Extremes is also working on a new game, Soulframe, a fantasy-based MMO. Keeping ane online game going is hard enough. Having two MMO hits is a taller gild.

With Soulframe’s evolution comes a shift in Warframe’due south team, as some veterans are moving onto the new game. With this, Rebecca Ford is now Warframe’s creative manager. Ford has been with Digital Extremes since 2011, most recently working equally the live operations and customs director. She’s also the voice of Lotus, the character who guides players throughout the game.

I had a take chances to talk with Ford ahead of Tennocon 2022, which took place on July 16. I asked her about her new role and the futurity of Warframe. Below is an edited transcript of our conversation.

War never changes … well, mayhap a piffling

GamesBeat: You’re at present the creative director for Warframe. How does that experience? What are your goals?

Everything I learned from the customs and working with the dev team and so closely over 10 years, and just putting it in a style that translates into updates and changes that experience very impactful for the future of Warframe and what people like about the game. Trying to nail it as much as I can, but also hopefully having enough experience with the community that, for the moments that are me finding my footing in this new, much more than high pressure function, that there’south going to be a lot of respect and understanding that it is a transition flow, and we’re all in this together. That’s where my heart and soul are.

GamesBeat: Is the team only splitting into two to support development of both games, or are yous hiring to expand both teams?

Nosotros are hiring. We are hoping to go as many folks equally nosotros tin interested in both our sci-fi and our fantasy endeavors. We have a really early evolution lead on Soulframe. In that location’s a tight strike team working on it. The team size there isn’t as big as Warframe yet, only we’re hoping to abound into that and come across what nosotros can do with some fantasy experts in our sci-fi realm.

The Duviri Paradox offers a new kind of Warframe experience.

GamesBeat: I imagine it’s pretty busy this time of the year when you lot’re thinking about TennoCon.

Information technology is. Information technology’s our seventh year doing it. In that location’s ever a dissimilar series of challenges. The first year, the challenge was, is anyone gonna scout? The second yr was, how do we make information technology better than the first yr? So you have that competition with yourself to go far an impactful event for everyone that cares about Warframe at all, or hopefully new people that care most it.

This year the challenges have been, at present we’re doing a transition in the heart of it, so let’southward see how we swing that. Nosotros started the transition in this new role of mine much earlier in the year. The squad gave me a big trial menstruation to figure things out with the squad, which has been peachy. Merely this one has had a lot of back and forth about, tin nosotros even have our own staff sentry the show due to COVID? In that location’s been a couple heartbreaks this week where another moving ridge is happening in Ontario. I was nearly to run across 200 of my teammates for the first fourth dimension in two and a half years, and at present nosotros can’t. Those types of challenges are a bit more emotional, because you think you’ll have this live audience with only your team, who made it all happen, and then for rubber I totally understand we tin’t practice information technology.

Merely then of course there’s actually the demo itself. We always exercise alive gameplay, making sure that every scrap that tin exist polished is polished for showing the version of the Duviri Paradox that we think is demo solid, and then actually coming back right away later on making it all happen.

GamesBeat: Is it stressful getting ready to bear witness off then much new content?

It would accept been if we didn’t brand the Duviri Paradox work, because of the power and the earth that Warframe is. This is sort of a different time and place in Warframe’southward canon timeline, where nosotros’re at present going to be able to leak everything Warframe into this world that but plays at a different pace. It is a rogue-low-cal, and information technology is Warframe. If you tin imagine everything you know about Warframe, from the amount of weapons we accept — we have more 300 weapons, l Warframes, 500-plus mods, all these different things, and we’ve thrown them all in a funnel where players become to choose what ones make their build for that mean solar day, and for what the game asks of them in a given loop or cycle for the open world experience. We’re really trying something different, simply none of it would work without the nine years of legacy content we accept to make it work in this shard universe where you lot’re starting from a very dissimilar ability level.

Rogue globe

GamesBeat: You’ve mentioned that The Duviri Paradox has rogue-calorie-free elements. Just how far is it going in that direction?

There’southward a lot I tin can say and a lot I can’t say, but from a very conceptual point, for players who are familiar with our franchise, we desire players to know and to feel that when they arroyo this, at that place’s going to exist an overarching progression that allows them more control over what the earth volition throw at them.

Usually when we do open worlds, we practice something called syndicates, where you’re hitting a daily cap to turn in and rank upwardly. We’re treating it a petty differently this time. We’re going to let the player progress as a thespian in the world. That allows them more control of what happens equally they engage more with the content. I don’t want to put labels to it just yet. Some players would be able to sniff out exactly what we’re going to do. But there will be progression points where players will just exist given a wider arsenal to choose from in certain moments.

There’south a beat in the TennoCon reveal where your drifter walks into a room with iii starter Warframes. That’s really to convey a couple of things in terms of where this could fall in the game, or the fact that y’all volition be making choices like that in your gameplay feel. If you tin can imagine, the more yous play, the more choices you’ll have available to you to fine tune and carry over your experience.

GamesBeat: Does progression in The Duviri Paradox necktie back into the principal game?

Yeah, nosotros’re going to accept some bigger picture unlocks for the main experience. There will be gear and other things that you’ll bring back with you. There’s likewise a couple little, I would say more RPG-like things that we’re hoping to bring back also. There’s a little dwelling nosotros have in a sure part of the game, then having more than for that could come up from this as well.

GamesBeat: I enjoyed seeing some puzzles in the open up globe.

Information technology’s really unlike for u.s.a.. For the showtime time we’re like, okay, what can nosotros put in an open up world that will be a little action that someone can practise to get XP or become a perk or something for a given play session? We’re trying to seed the open globe with little optional things people tin can do to contribute to perks for that play session.

We play a lot of open world games, and nosotros’re trying to either make them feel as tight and simple as the Korok Seed puzzles from Jiff of the Wild, or in the case of the quest one that you saw, where you have your younger mirror dimension self from a different time and identify, that one is a very narrative-focused one. There’s a pretty big breadth of complexity. The quest one you lot saw is of class probably the peak cease complexity for the narrative, just we’re doing some other little ones just and then a player can engage with information technology, unlock something on that run. Maybe they’ll get another role or boon that a player who didn’t engage with that didn’t go.

The Duviri Paradox does some interesting things with color.

GamesBeat: You’re also playing with color a lot in this world. Everything is black-and-white unless you start messing with things. How did this idea come around?

The first thing they had to do is nail downward the artistic direction and what color actually means and how important it is to player agency. Once yous build and germinate a seed of intention, so the tech follows. Luckily our tech team and our art squad and our technical artists were able to make colour on control really work. And then of grade you need your entire art team to build a world of colour underneath your depth layers, then yous can activate it when you want the thespian to activate information technology. Which all worked out very nicely. For just full general choices and where that’s going to go, the finale of color, permit’southward say, will accept a lot of splendor and moments for the player to really experience like they fabricated a difference in their lives in this globe.

And beyond

GamesBeat: Earlier even Duviri launches, y’all take some other update, Veilbreaker, coming out.

Well, it’s a huge surprise, considering no one had whatsoever idea we were doing it. Getting to show a trailer for a very, very tailored mail service-New War experience for players is quite exciting. I similar surprising people with where we’re taking things. Veilbreaker for me is an update that brings back the excellence of the New War. The New State of war was a solo campaign, four hour quest, that took players through a ridiculously detailed series of assets and characters and globe. And then you’ve done the New State of war. Nosotros wanted to make sure everything that stood out in that update gets a second pass in the player’s hands in a manner that makes sense narratively and that is fun to play. Bring the multiplayer in for the boss battles with the Archons, and then bring a beloved character back, who is named Kahl-175. He is back. He’south going to–players will get to play as him again and do some operations that allow united states to further the Veilbreaking crusade. Because somehow, Veils are still out in that location and people are still supporting the enemy faction.

GamesBeat: The game is getting ready to introduce its 50th Warframe. So out of all of those frames, which one is your favorite?

Oh, Lord. You’re trying to make my first calendar week equally creative managing director. Well, not literally my first week, but yous’re going to brand this dramatic. But right this very second in fourth dimension, every bit though fourth dimension stood still, it would be Protea right now. I but recollect she’south super fun. She has gadgets. She has ability. She’s beautiful and powerful, and I dear her.

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Source: https://venturebeat.com/games/warframe-readies-for-new-chapter-with-new-creative-director/