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    Meet the FK'ers - Jordan Leithart


    iamacyborg

    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!

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