Interview with Game Content Designer Lionet 09-12-2015 / Ice Crambler
Do you want to know what is a game content designer and what they have to do in their work? Maybe you want to know if anything been unexplored in the last update? So read the interview with Lionet!

• Deutsche Version German version

Interview Heusa Lionet ! great you found the time during the prepation of the Winter update to take this interview.

LionetHello GuildStats, thanks for the invitation to the interview! ;) So first of all please tell us something about yourself, where are you from, your interests, hobbies, favourite music...

Lionet I'm from a small village in the former "Eastern Germany" actually, but today I live in the same city Tibia was born in - Regensburg. I spend most of my free time doing stuff related to videogames like playing, watching, reading about and even designing them. I actually also have a large library of retro game soundtracks but I do listen to some "real life" music as well (I like 80s music in particular and more recently Synthwave). Every Cipsoft member got his personal "fantasy name" might wanna tell us why you deciced to name yourself Lionet?

Lionet Well it has two reasons: one, I do like lions and usually play as a knight in some form in a lot of RPGs with a lion, owl or eagle in his banner or name somewhere. Two, I was just starting out with Tibia at that time so the word "lionet" (which also describes a lion cub in english) was a very good fit ;) By the way, there is also a certain video game character by that name... ;) Most players complain that Cipsoft members can't feel what Tibia really need because they're not playing Tibia, so we would love to ask you "Do you play Tibia" ? If so, what world typ do you play and what is your level?

Lionet Actually, all members of Cipsoft who work on Tibia have to "learn" the game by playing it in their first months at the company ;) It is part of the training and even continues afterwards. Of course we all have private accounts as well. We even created and maintain a guild in our free time :)
Naturally, if you already work on the game during the day you usually do not continue playing at home. You need to keep your interest in the game fresh and your mind open to create new things and expand the game every day. For me, Tibia was actually part of every day at CipSoft since I started working here, and it continues to fascinate and motivate me - in fact I am already working on some new ideas which I will share with you later in the interview ;)
As for my highest level, I know we don't usually talk about the levels but everyone handles it differently. However, if I would tell you my highest level, I would have to admit defeat to the Count (who frankly has a far higher level than me - but let's keep this a secret between your readers and me... ;)) After your university you had to apply for a job was there any specific reason why you wanted a job at CipSoft?

Lionet Oh indeed - I wanted to work on a game of course! :) I wrote my thesis about video games and to a certain extent, the industry itself. After that I was looking specifically for a job in the games industry here in Germany. Another reason is that working on an MMO was and still is an interesting and challenging task. As a Game Content Designer you got several tasks, would you explain us what is your main task? or your favourit?

Lionet I always have and still like designing dungeons and environments most :) However, I am also very fond of scripting. In recent updates I actually focussed more on that part, especially when designing and planning the PvP Arena together with Hecrapin and the programming team. Players wounder how your everyday work in the office is looking like, first of all a cup of coffee I suppose?

Lionet Well, let's just say that I had quite a lot of caffeine in my past - I'm basically running on the stuff so I try to focus a bit more on tea and water... :) First thing in the morning is starting our computers, checking updates or mails and sometimes talk about upcoming tasks for the day. During an update (like now) for example, each member of the team has separate tasks to complete.
We help each other out if there are questions and sometimes brainstorm solutions for certain problems on-the-fly. If a public test is ongoing, we also have to check the boards, the test server and fix reported bugs. There are also phases where planning our next steps takes up most of the time.

Questions asked by members!

• If you design new content. Do you take a closer look on spots that could be used for botting and power abuse?
(asked by Tustanuxo)

Lionet Unfortunately, botting is indeed a topic we have to keep in mind when designing. We are clearly not starting to design with the bot problematic in our focus, but we certainly try to design in a way that does not favour cheating. As you can probably imagine, this is not always possible. In rare cases it is a question of compromise even. That being said, we try to focus on designing content the way we want you to experience it while adding precautionary measures where necessary.

• Tibia increasing emphasis on a fantasy world, making the game contains less components of medieval world. In the future, you are going to maintain this trend?
(asked by Heliosophist)

Lionet There is no such trend, Tibia will always stay medieval fantasy at its core. So, no need to worry there at all ;) Yes, we added several components which are a bit more "progressive" in comparison to classic fantasy settings but a) we wanted to go as far as we did, not any further b) it was implemented to add a comfortable background for some more maverick stories, not to redesign the Tibia setting completely ;)
It also allowed us to do a lot of quite unique stuff actually. For example, in one of our more recent updates, we added Rathleton. See, Rathleton has an obvious "steampunk" touch. Yet, it is not "steam" per se: Our main propellant was "glooth". As the "punk" sub genres are also defined by their main propellant or innovation (such as the "dieselpunk" genre), I wonder why Tibia fans never considered the term "gloothpunk".
This would actually be one of the many things which are very unique to Tibia ;) In any case, with all of the more "futuristic" things we have such as relatively modern pirates, manufactured (if crudely) iron and even some quite progressive furniture - that's as far as we'd go in that direction and the content already there fits right into the Tibia world ;)

• Where do you get the ideas from? Pure imagination? Some help from x places?
(asked by Eduemu123)

Lionet We actually draw most of the things in Tibia from pure imagination. It was always our goal to be that tiny bit different with Tibia and it is still imperative for us to give new things in the game that typical Tibia "spin" ;)
We do try to focus on tradtional fantasy themes often, however, so even with all the more "progressive" stuff I mentioned above, we always try to stick to our and fantasy roots in general.
That means we are also inspired by a lot of fantasy books, comics, movies or even music for that matter.
For some of the graphical designs (where the content team often delivers the basic idea and concept) we tried to combine classic creatures or environments with new ideas and a certain "twist" to them.
So basically you have your influences here and there but for a commercial product and especially Tibia you really want to be different so you cannot really rely on too many sources ;)
But that's not a problem at all as trying new things and getting creative is quite fun, even if you have to do it on a daily basis - trust me! ;)

_____________________________________________________________________________ What are you currently working on, possible on an idea for the level 999 door?

Lionet We are currently working on a PvP Arena system (which may just have been released as you are reading these lines) as well as a completely new Ferumbras storyline. I will not spill any beans concerning that door you mentioned - you'd have guessed that, right? ;) In your eyes.. what's your best creation in Tibia? do you regret something on places you worked on, that you didn't added x and y aswell?

Lionet Well, all our creations are a team effort so there is no real "my" creation. One of the things I was resposible for almost exclusively was the deepling area, their language, designs and culture. That is still my favourite creation and I am looking forward to actually expanding their lore in the future! ;)
As for my regrets, yes there are indeed some. I was also responsible for the map design of large parts of Zao. While the area and its lore is interesting, I feel that I added way too much stuff that wasn't really necessary. There is a lot of detail going on and too many paths even though the area is already quite hard on its own.
Of course you cannot truly anticipate how hard an area will be until the map is about half way finished, but it's something I always kept in mind for later designs and would actually design a little bit different if I had the chance to do it again ;) Is there anything that you would like to add to Tibia, but it got rejected? *(If Yes) Could you give us an example?

Lionet So far nothing got "rejected" but a lot of stuff was put "on hold" or left behind. After so many years there are a lot of things that get lost in time. Some I could tell - others I still plan to implement and won't spoil ;)
One thing I would have liked to see was the inclusion of actual effects of our day/night cycle. For example, lights in the cities at night or different monsters/monster strength in the dark. I don't say it may never happen but it certainly was not possible in the past :) What is your favourite city in-game and why? (Grey Island won't be accepted!) maby because of nostalgic reasons?

Lionet Clearly Edron - because of Spectulus! It was the character I first brought into the game (no, he is actually neither a "steampunk" nor "gloothpunk" character, you can put your hands down now) and I still like his character a lot! ;) Edron has a lot of interesting things going on but the Academy with its weird characters and magical experiments fascinated me right from the start. If you had the chance to change something in Tibia for yourself, what would it be?

Lionet I would like it to be even more open, more sandbox and more interactive. It already had some things that were taken out and I'm trying to get some concepts done to have some of that back in the game or even expanded. How you would describe Fansites in one sentence?

Lionet Fansites accompany Tibia and its community for nearly as many years as the game exists now - and what's a journey if not travelled in good company. And another sentence: kudos for that and keep up your good work, you're doing great! ;) Did you ever visited our Fansite if so you liked it there?

Lionet We're actually browsing fansites quite often! :) I've been on several times and I've known the site for quite some time. It's a great place for players to compare stats and various playstyles but also for us as it offers an interesting external view on Tibia's community and especially guilds. Wanna give us a small hint what's gonna await us on the Winter Update?

Lionet As the update may already be out when you are reading these lines, let me just tell you something else: there are some things in this update which players have not found out during the public test, and others which will probably take even longer to fully figure out... ;) so before we finish the interview, wanna tell our community something?

Lionet Thanks for all your support and the love you put into Tibia! I hope you like the update, there is a lot more where that came from, can't wait for you to see! ;) Thanks for for the interview! we're wishing you all the best !