Questions and Message — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Questions and Message

Hello!
This is my first ever post on the Guild Wars 2 forums (on any forums ever in fact), so apologies in advance for any mistakes I make posting this. It is quite rare to talk about Guild Wars so long after it has released with developers who worked on it so I thought it might be nice to ask a few questions, and share a bit of how Guild Wars 1 has affected my life : )

Long posts are really boring to read so I'll try and keep this short:
I grew up with guild wars 1 so it holds quite a special place in my heart, especially Kaineng city and the Nightfall maps. I am one of the (probably few) people who really enjoy exploring Kaineng (its my favourite part of factions) because like the concept artist Daniel Dociu I have also been pretty fascinated by Kowloon Walled City (a now-demolished settlement in Hong Kong which was very crowded and ungoverned and had inspired parts of Kaineng City). Another thing I remember is when I accidentally explored waaay ahead of the story and stepping through the Gate of Desolation. I was absolutely awestruck by how eerie and menacing it looked, and memories like that inspired me to a lot of my A-level art project on the environment of North Africa, its people and its history.

I've played quite a few other video games over the years now but nothing quite captures my imagination like the dated but gorgeous GW1 graphics (thank you to everyone who took the time to update them a bit by the way ^^). If it wasn't for guild wars 1 I wouldn't have found my passion for art and writing and that led me to apply for a computer arts degree in university. I don't know if I'll want to stay in the creative industry but video games have had such a profoundly good effect on my life that I really want to give that kind of impact to other people, and help to create something as incredible as the Guild Wars franchise!

So my question to any developers and players:

  • what is your favourite zone or area in GW1?
  • has GW1 effected any part of your life in a big way and how?

and also to anyone who can provide insight:

  • what is it like to work as a concept designer or animator in video games?
  • If you are a developer who worked on GW1, what work are you most proud of in it?

Thank you to anyone who took the time to read this or answered a question, and also to Gaile Gray and everyone who set up the Guild Wars 1 AFC!

Tagged:

Comments

  • Favorite area: I really like Vabbi. One of the first quests I worked on was a link quest for the Vabbi section of the Nightfall storyline, so I had to run around those maps during my first week at work. They were still in early development, but the dazzling architecture and floating gardens were incredible looking even then.

    I'm also a big fan of Imperial Sanctum, because that walk across the bridge to confront Shiro, with an epic view and the imperial palace surrounding you, was an incredible leadup to the final battle.

    The thing I'm most proud of in GW1... I said the M.O.X. quests yesterday to a similar question, but on a more development level one of my proudest moments was the 4th Anniversary Build, which added Equipment Bags, extra Xunlai Storage panels, the Hall of Monuments upgrade, Zaishen Menagerie, the Hair (and indeed everything) Stylist, Zaishen Challenge Quests, character renaming and last but not least Nicholas the Traveler. It was a huge update, probably the most files I ever had to merge up to the Live servers, and somehow it was nearly bug-free. The team had put an immense amount of effort into that patch to get everything done and deliver a bunch of long-awaited features, and it was a huge relief to see it all working the day of the patch.

  • edited May 24, 2018

    Favorite area:

    • Pre-Searing. It takes me breath away every time I visit it. The ambiance, the architecture, the verdant woods with their enchanting falling leaves... it's just lovely!

    For the most part, though, my favorites are more cities and map areas than whole regions, although Kryta holds a special place in my heart.

    • I love Lion's Arch most of all. As I said at a company meeting when the devs were talking about changing it in Guild Wars 2: "Lion's Arch is the heart and soul of Tyria." I believe that in any form -- since we can't go back to Pre-Searing ;) -- LA is it for awesomeness.
    • Kodash Bazaar -- love the architecture and colors
    • Ruins of Ascalon -- when you step out into the bleak, seared landscape, the simplicity and the colors and lighting are really mind blowing.
    • Verdant Cascades -- one of the more remote spots, so pretty!
    • Bergen Hot Springs -- Nice, but it makes my favorite list for an outlier reason: The music in BHS is my favorite Guild Wars theme, and I have been known to go to that map just to hear the music.
    • Crystal Desert -- interesting landscape and fun events, enhanced again, by simply amazing music... ~sigh~
    • Gates of Kryta -- there's a particular farming run that I enjoy and it's another pretty area.

    As you can see, I can't pick a favorite but I can share a wealth of favoriteS. :D

    Guild Wars impacted my life in inestimable, wonderful ways. While I had been three things before -- player/fan, fansite writer, journalist -- Guild Wars was the first game for which I worked directly within a studio in a role that embraces my favorite thing: people. I loved the game, treasured the opportunity, and grew as a person through the trust that the ArenaNet placed in me. I'm grateful to this day -- and every day -- for being here.

    Gaile Gray
    Communications Manager: ArenaNet
    Fansite & Guild Relations; In-Game Events; Community Showcase Live

  • Ok I Did It.2854Ok I Did It.2854 Member ✭✭✭

    @Gaile Gray.6029 said:

    • Bergen Hot Springs -- Nice, but it makes my favorite list for an outlier reason: The music in BHS is my favorite Guild Wars theme, and I have been known to go to that map just to hear the music.

    Its funny you mention the music, I really enjoyed all of the shiverpeak mountains, I remember VQing them zones during the winter when it was snowing outside, and the music in them zones was rather relaxing.

  • Narcemus.1348Narcemus.1348 Member ✭✭✭

    @Ok I Did It.2854 said:

    @Gaile Gray.6029 said:

    • Bergen Hot Springs -- Nice, but it makes my favorite list for an outlier reason: The music in BHS is my favorite Guild Wars theme, and I have been known to go to that map just to hear the music.

    Its funny you mention the music, I really enjoyed all of the shiverpeak mountains, I remember VQing them zones during the winter when it was snowing outside, and the music in them zones was rather relaxing.

    For me it was always Ascension Song in the Crystal Desert! I could listen to that music for days!

  • edited May 25, 2018

    Thanks for taking the time to post and share your experience!

    I started working at ArenaNet during production on Factions—I guess I'm partial to the later campaign & expansion maps because I either built them in MapEdit or saw them being built.

    I still really like Shing Jea Monastery, the Archipelagos of the Jade Sea, the Kodash Bazaar, Arkjok Ward, the charr homelands maps like Grothmar Wardowns, and far Shiverpeaks maps like Drakkar Lake. I think the explorable areas were my favorites in game—that's always been my style of play.

    It's been an honor to work with all of our concept artists and animators here for almost thirteen years. Though it's been sad to see some of them leave us, it's also exciting to spot their names in movie credits or see their book cover illustrations on the shelves.

    The Guild Wars franchise and ArenaNet has been an amazing experience, at this point representing half of my career in the game industry. I started as an artist and now I'm a writer here, and I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to flex two sides of my creative mind. It's inspiring to work around so much raw talent—I'm always learning here. I've loved every opportunity to meet and try to give something back to our fan community. You're the ones who made all this possible—we owe our livelihoods to your enthusiasm for the franchise. Thank you for making it possible for us to keep creating for you.

    Edit: I forgot to say something about the music of Guild Wars. I worked with Jeremy Soule on Secret of Evermore, which was his first industry job. I remember him as a nineteen year old kid freshly moved to the west coast from a small town in Iowa, and I've worked alongside him on several games and franchises since. I saw him go from creating ambient chiptune music for the SNES in the side room of an industrial office park to conducting full orchestral scores with live symphonies.

    I'm still partial to his Nightfall tracks, like Festival of Lyss and Resplendent Makuun.

  • Dami.5046Dami.5046 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I'd be more stuck to say an area I dis-liked, each area was different and special in it's each way. Maybe missions I could say , gah Gate of madness, But i could write an essay about my reason why so many areas were loved.
    I loved pre, I loved ascalon , the desert. I also loved vabbi - I spent many a happy hour farming for those vabbi armour skins or lightbringer points just outside. I have never shied away from my love of Cantha. Due to the PVP , I spent more time there then any other expansion. I loved the kurzick side the most, loved the foreboding music, the dark atmosphere.
    GW was a big part of my life, I was in a wonderful guild, made some amazing friends and even married the Guild leader, and we have just introduced our daughter to the game we met on. So yeah it changed my life in the best way possible.

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