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    Continuing from the last Meet the FK'ers with Jordan Leithart, we've got a brief chat with Frostkeep co-founder Jeremy Wood. Check it out below.


    RF: What's your name and what do you do at Frostkeep?

    JW: Jeremy Wood, Co-Founder


    RF: Tell us a little about your backstory, where have you worked prior to joining Frostkeep, what games have you been involved in making?

    JW: I got my start as an engineer on the original World of Warcraft team back in 2001. After seven years and two expansions, I moved onto Titan, which eventually became Overwatch. In 2012, I joined Carbine to work on WildStar, until forming Frostkeep in 2016.


    RF: What game most influenced you? Was it something in your childhood or in later years?

    JW: I play a wide variety of games, PC and console, as many as I can get my hands on. I feel that there is something to learn from every single game, and the more I play, the better I am able to contribute to the games I work on. World of Warcraft is probably my single biggest influence, and probably the game I've sunk the most time into over the years.


    RF: What are you main influences in your work? Is there anything outside of the gaming world you feel has helped you become a better developer?

    Being a successful game developer is mostly about effective two-way communication. I am always looking to better myself from that standpoint, and I've been incredibly fortunate to learn from many amazing people, both professionally and personally. Understanding human psychology provides great tools for communication, as well as for game design in general. Game developers tend to focus so much on "fun", which is ultimately impossible to quantify. Really boiling down the psychological impact of content and systems is a more objective way of measuring the success of your designs.


    RF: There have been a lot of Early Access Survival games released over the last few years, what do you think makes Rend stand out from the rest of them?

    JW: The biggest things we've tried to do with Rend is provide social structure for those who come in alone or in small groups, and to really give strong competitive goals to all players. Most survival games rely entirely on their sandbox elements, which is obviously enough for a large section of players.  Our aim is to bring some structure to the genre and attract a wider swath of players to this rich and interesting survival community.


    RF: The team have been pretty fantastic at engaging with the community so far, is that something you feel is a real differentiator between Frostkeep and your competition?

    JW: One of our goals as a company has always been to be "real", cliched as that may be. We are gamers just like everyone else in our community, and we engage with them as gamers first, not as developers. We are all creating Rend together, even if Frostkeep is ultimately making the decisions and building the game. We want to be human beings, rather than faceless PR bots, and that means sharing in our failures and our successes, and ultimately being honest with the community about the realities of game development.


    RF: Being with such a small team, what benefits do you feel you have against working in a traditional AAA studio? What do you miss from previous work?

    JW: Our size allows us to have a highly collaborative work environment, in a way that would be difficult in a larger team setting. We all sit in one room, working together on every problem. Everyone's voice is heard and given equal objective weight. We can quickly pivot on new ideas without hours and days of meetings. The downside, of course, is limited resources. We have to be very conscious of our direction, and make sure that we have the capability of delivering on our goals.


    RF: What's next after Early Access, are there any extra features you'd love to implement in Rend?

    JW: We come from a MMO background, where launch is just the beginning, and Rend will be no different in that regard. During Early Access, we will be adding tons of content and features, working with the community to grow the game into a full and satisfying product. When we think we have come to a point where Rend is truly a complete game experience, we will lift the Early Access tag. After that, we will take stock and see where Rend should go, whether that be new maps, new game modes, etc.


    RF: And finally, which aspect of Rend are you most excited for players to get to experience?

    JW: The Reckoning, even in its early state, has been a blast. Experiencing a true war, where all sides are present attacking and defending, really epitomizes the fantasy that draws most people to the survival genre.


    2 New FKers!

    By NewsBot, in Articles,

    A few exciting things happened over the past few weeks that I didn’t mention before because we were getting ready for and talking about PAX.

    The first is that we hired two more developers at Frostkeep Studios! Don’t worry, we’ll get headshots and a new team page as soon as we get a better camera. Without further ado, here are the bios of our two new FKers!

    Jake Strapko
    Jake is known for breaking game mechanics in Rend and exploiting them to his advantage, in that order. With a lifetime of experience in competitive gaming, Jake grew up in a household where LAN parties were the norm. He competed against his brother and father in popular online games like Quake, Command: Modern Air Naval Operations and Conquer Online before eventually shifting his reserves to focus on Counter-Strike. Jake is formally trained in graphic design, product branding and apparel design, and has also ventured into competitive teams with Counter-Strike 1.5 and playing on multiple tournament teams during the Overwatch Beta where he was one of the top 500 players for Seasons 1 and 2. As one of the most active players in the Rend pre-alpha, Jake can be found streaming on Twitch and helping to build game communities. His focus at Frostkeep will be on making Rend as fair and balanced as possible.

    Michele Cagle
    Known for “making lemonade” and finding the good in everything (as Bob Ross would say, “there are no mistakes, just happy accidents”), Michele Cagle is a seasoned communications executive with nearly 20 years of gaming, corporate, entertainment and consumer products experience. Michele previously led global communications efforts at Sony Online Entertainment, Daybreak Games, THQ and Mattel, including corporate communications, brand PR, internal communications, influencer relations and events. When she’s not off saving animals or channeling her inner Bruce Lee to execute awesome campaigns, Michele can be found chasing sunsets, eating mangos, and getting salty with her family at local beaches on the mainland and in Hawaii.

    The next thing that happened was that we were put on Tech Raptor’s top 10 games at PAX West! This was a huge surprise and an incredible honor, especially when looking at the other games on that list (Dead Cells is sooooo good). We’re so excited to show off the game, and can’t wait to open up the pre-alpha servers again.

    As far as happenings around the office, I’m still plugging away at the UI rework (we’ll get another UI blog later). Tyler and Ron are working on AI and Item system design. Jake is doing some super secret work as well as focus testing and balance design. James is working on new prop items. Travis and Mat are working on making the map bigger and all the cool new biomes. David is working on some performance things regarding base building.

    As always we’re here answering questions from the community on Twitter, Facebook, Steam and the community Discord! Come join us!

    read the original article


    Meet the FK'ers is our new short interview format to get to know the folks working at Frostkeep who are responsible for Rend. 

    We're opening up the series with a brief chat with community superstar @FK_JarNod



    RF: What's your name and what do you do at Frostkeep?

    JL: I'm Jordan Leithart, aka JarNod. I do anything and everything, except art... and naming things. I had my naming privileges revoked. Mostly I'm an engineer/community person. I've written almost all the UI in Rend and some of the systems. I also answer as many community questions as I can, so if you tweet at Frostkeep, I'll be the one responding.


    RF: Tell us a little about your backstory, where have you worked prior to joining Frostkeep, what games have you been involved in making?

    JL: I did all sorts of things before I got into the games industry, so I'll pass those by. I previously worked at Carbine on WildStar. I was a build engineer there. Then I moved over to AI, then I moved over to Combat/Spells for the F2P launch.


    RF: What game most influenced you? Was it something in your childhood or in later years?

    JL: Vanilla World of Warcraft had a large impact on my life, but the game that made me want to get into the games industry was actually a more recent one, Dragon Age: Origins. It was the first roleplaying game that I played through again immediately after I finished it for the first time. A year after I played that I went back to school for my Computer Science degree, and 3 years later I was working on WildStar!


    RF: What are you main influences in your work? Is there anything outside of the gaming world you feel has helped you become a better developer?

    JL: My whole life has been an influence on my work. In my opinion, games should reflect something about our world. I play lots of games, and I learn something from every single one, but outside experiences are how I became a better developer. Whether it's working at companies that weren't video game companies, to where I grew up and other hobbies I have. Everything I do helps me grow as a developer!


    RF: There have been a lot of Early Access Survival games released over the last few years, what do you think makes Rend stand out from the rest of them?

    JL: The biggest thing that separates us is our performance. We're mindful of having as performant a game as possible and that helps guide our development process. Another aspect that separates us is our focus on making a faction based survival game. We want to create a community so new players won't be lost and veterans will always have people to play with.


    RF: The team have been pretty fantastic at engaging with the community so far, is that something you feel is a real differentiator between Frostkeep and your competition?

    JL: I've seen many other studios engage with the community in a different but just as important way as Frostkeep. I've also been on the other side countless times, so it's important for me to treat the community how I wanted to be treated when I wasn't a developer. All I really know is that the Rend community has been amazing to work with so far. I don't think you can credit us at all when everyone has been wonderful.


    RF: Being with such a small team, what benefits do you feel you have against working in a traditional AAA studio? What do you miss from previous work?

    JL: Instant collaboration. If there's a problem, we can solve it quickly.

    Ownership of the product. We all own the entire game, not just one pie slice.

    Family atmosphere. We get to know each other very well.


    I think the biggest thing I miss from my previous work is actually the developers. I've worked with many fantastic people already in my short career and I would love to work with them again. But I know that Frostkeep is where I belong and so I don't miss much!


    RF: What's next after Early Access, are there any extra features you'd love to implement in Rend?

    JL: The most important thing after early access launch is getting the game out of early access to a full launch. Once we've accomplished that, we need to figure out if we're gonna work on an expansion or a second game. I have a few ideas.


    RF: And finally, which aspect of Rend are you most excited for players to get to experience?

    JL: With pre-alpha going dark, there are a few systems that I can't wait to talk about, but we're gonna hold off for now. Mostly, I love the faction based gameplay. I love being a part of something greater than myself. It's gonna take a lot of work for us to get it right, but it'll be worth it!



    Stay tuned for more interviews with the team behind Rend!



    The lovely folks at Frostkeep (thank you @FK_JarNod!) have very generously given us an additional 10 pre-alpha keys to giveaway to some lucky winners.

    We've had a lot of success with the previous two giveaways, so we'll be keeping things the same.

    We'll be running this on a pure RNG basis, with the contest ending and winners being picked by random number generator on Thursday 25th May at 8pm (UK time).

    Want a chance to win? Simple, all you need to do is register an account on the forums. Already got an account? No problem, you'll automatically be submitted for a chance to win.



    • Anyone with a forum account, excepting previous forum contest winners will be eligible for entry
    • Anyone caught making multiple accounts will be banned from this and all future contests

    Winners will be notified privately upon completion of the contest via pm on the forums. 


    Taken from a post by @FK_JarNod on the official site.


    Whenever we tell someone about Rend and we explain the faction system, they always ask us the question, “But what’s in place to protect the players?”. It’s a fair question, and one that we analyzed and discussed extensively. In fact, we had to expedite a few of the systems due to some griefers in pre-alpha, so thanks to them for discovering it early!


    A look at the Conclave base

    The system that we designed to combat griefers in your faction is called the Reputation system. Since you’re joining a faction, unless you’re on a private server, you will end up with some random people on your team. Some of my favorite experiences in online games are meeting new people, and I’m excited to hear some amazing stories about people meeting others in Rend, but we all know that there are griefers online. It’s our job to come up with a system to protect the faction from the single person hellbent on destroying it. Obviously this system will require an amount of iteration, which our current pre-alpha testers are helping us out tremendously.

    The first aspect of the reputation system is the permissions subsystem. Your faction reputation level dictates what permissions you have. These permissions allow you to do things that directly benefit the faction. Like placing a chest or building in the mid level, or placing walls in the next tier up, or destroying walls in the top tier. The purpose is to have only the people who have top reputation to be allowed to remove walls. It would be a terrible thing if someone removed a wall in the middle of the Reckoning after all. Not currently implemented, but definitely in the works, is the player guidance system. Basically, players above a certain rep level will be allowed to flag resources that the faction needs. Other players will be able to go look at the warehouse and see which resources are needed. Depositing those flagged resources into the warehouse grants the player more rep for doing so. This will give new players guidance, as well as help the faction work together across different play times.


    I’m inside Revenant taking screenshots!

    Your faction reputation level is determined by how many things you’ve done to help your faction. In pre-alpha right now, there are only two ways to gain reputation. The first is to use your own resources to research tech for your faction. Technology is how your faction gets to the next tier of weaponry/gear/structures. Without using your resources to research, you’re liable to fall behind. But it’s clearly a balancing act because your faction will need to spend resources to build the base, craft gear for everyone, and do research. Finding the right balance is key. The other way to gain faction reputation is to deposit resources into the warehouse. While it’s still being iterated on during pre-alpha, the general idea is that anyone can deposit resources into the warehouse for reputation. Then, players who are above a certain rep level, will be allowed to craft faction beneficial items or research tech for the faction. They won’t get the reputation for doing so because they’re using the faction resources. The idea is that new players won’t be able to log in, loot the community chest and immediately log out effectively removing a significant amount of resources from the game. But the warehouse will still act as a community resource deposit so new players don’t have to hide their loot.


    I wish I could have taken a video of Order’s base. It’s awesome looking. I can’t wait for the Reckoning to blow it all up!

    At the moment, we’re iterating heavily on the reputation level subsystem. In its current state, the levels are dynamic in size. Using statistics to determine who has “done” the most for the faction over a period of time provides us a bucket. Think of it like a percentile. The top 90 percentile have permissions for everything. The next 20 percentile have permissions for most things, and so on down the list until you get to the no permissions bucket (usually reserved for people who shoot teammates or talk during movies at the theater). But, you can always raise your permissions again using the warehouse.

    This is one of those systems that has to be iterated on a lot. We’ve already changed a few things about it in the week that it’s been live in pre-alpha. This was one of those systems that we had to design on paper due to the size of our team, and I can’t stress enough just how awesome the community has been in helping us test, providing us feedback and suggestions, and just playing Rend over the last month. I know that a lot of you are chomping at the bit to get in, and we’re sending out more keys soon, go sign up!



    In collaboration with the folks at Frostkeep, Gamepedia have just announced three new creatures that you can expect to see in Rend.


    These three are the Raptilisk (pictured) the Fangbar and the totally-not-a-Chocobo Hookbill.

    Rend features some exciting monster design, with the aim of providing a whole host of harvestable nasties to pit your faction against as you push to overcome your enemies.

    At Rend Forums we'll have a full Bestiary database in due time, but in the mean-time, why not check out some of the screenshots taken by community member @Roque Kazin in this bestiary guide.

    Click here to read the full article on Gamepedia.

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    • The awesome folks at ShackNews interviewed Chief FK'er Jeremy Wood. Check out what he had to say in the video below.    
      View full news
    • We’ve just returned from meeting press and partners at Game Developers Conference 2018, our second convention of the year, and the resulting interviews and articles demonstrate how excited game journalists are for what Rend is shaping up to become! Here’s a few quotes from some well-known press outlets along with links to their full coverage. Game Informer: The Best Indie Games of GDC 2018 “Frostkeep Studios is trying to elevate [the survival genre] to a higher plane. Rend shakes things up by trying to redefine isolation to be less about the player and more about your tribe. Alongside its tight shooter gameplay and a sense of scale that intentionally seems to invoke Xenoblade, Rend seems to be making interesting changes and has shared stakes that I have wanted from online survival games since their inception.” Shacknews: Exclusive Rend Interview “Unlike most of the survival games crowding the early access PC games market, Rend takes a different approach and mixes in a healthy dose of fantasy elements into the formula. Players choose one of three factions and then work towards pushing that faction to victory against the others. You can choose how you serve the faction when you play, either through resource gathering or in direct combat. Shacknews editor Greg Burke got some one-on-one time with Frostkeep’s Jeremy Wood at GDC to find out how the game is progressing.” Gizorama: A Whole New World – Update on Rend from Frostkeep “One of the main goals for the team is to have a robust steam workshop available, and they’re not shy of drawing comparisons to games like Skyrim that have remained relevant for years thanks to mods. Frostkeep wants players to feel like they have no limits when modding Rend allowing them to create new creatures, weapons, or even entirely new mechanics. As an example, one of their developers was able to create a hornet’s nest in game with entirely new functionality, all through the modding tool.” Massively Overpowered: Rend is Looking to WoW the Survival Genre “One thing that I really like hearing is their idea of Early Access: It’s a real release. It’s a product they feel should be worth your time, not investment. CEO Jeremy Wood says it is still a refining period, and that the goal is to get community feedback and reward passionate players. Fans get to play the game more than the devs, so they can understand it in different ways. That should be rewarded, but it doesn’t require years of development. Release just means the product is something borne of the devs and players working together. I’ll believe all this when I see it, but damn, do I ever want to see it!” WCCFTech: Fantasy Survival Game Rend Launches on Steam Early Access This Year “Rend is one of the next games you should be keeping an eye on. As if the playable build at [PC Gamer Weekender] wasn’t enough, the sheer volume of people, particularly children, crowding around the booth was enough proof that this game could be something special when it releases. The Minecraft-era of gamers is maturing and Rend already seems to be securing that market by introducing a combination of building, teamwork and RPG-style progression. Of course, this isn’t just a game for children, and it certainly has all the aspects that would appeal to adults too, whether you’re interested in jumping in as a team or playing solo.” GameReactor.eu: Rend Heads to Early Access in 2018 “Rend will have both PvE and PvP components, as well as player factions, RPG elements, sandbox gameplay, different win/loss conditions and “massive, culminating battle experiences the like of which have never before been witnessed in this genre”. The idea behind Rend is to join one of the three factions in the game, and then explore the world. It is a brutal place, so it is encouraged to team up with other players to fight against creatures and other factions. So player community will be key to the game’s fortunes. Co-founder and CEO of Frostkeep Studios, Jeremy Wood, had this to say about Rend: ‘We are huge fans of the survival genre and are delivering an in-game experience that the community and our own team wants to play. We value player feedback and want them involved from the very beginning so they can influence the future direction of Rend as it heads into early access this year.'” We look forward to bringing Rend to many more conventions (and countries!) as 2018 continues marching towards the game’s closed alpha, Early Access, and beyond! read the original article
    • Missed our first-ever Rend livestream recorded at PC Gamer Weekender in London earlier this month? Catch the replay on PC Gamer’s YouTube channel or simply watch it embedded in this news post! If you haven’t yet, be sure to join the Rend community on Twitter, Facebook, Steam, and community-operated Discord. While you’re at it, read about our 2018 plans and sign up for the game’s alpha test! read the original article
    • Didn't catch the Rend PCG live stream? Don't worry, you can watch it below.  
      View full news
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