Now that Nate Simpson’s groundbreaking comic Nonplayer is officially available on comixology, we’re bringing you part two of our exclusive interview with the man behind the magic. This time we talk, comics, video games, the future, and even video games of the future! Check it out below along with part one a little further down this page:
comiXology: So as a game designer could you explain a little more about how the game “Warriors of Jarvath” works? How different is it from the MMO’s of our time?
Nate Simpson: I get into this much more in the second issue, but the key difference is that the non-player characters are unique and mortal. No two players ever have the same experience, and if an NPC dies, he’s dead forever. It isn’t an on-rails quest structure, like you find in WoW. Instead, there’s a much more generative experience — player actions have lasting effects on the way the world of Jarvath develops.
comiXology: Just for fun could you give us your top three favorite fantasy video games?
NS: If you’ll allow me to stretch the traditional definition of “fantasy,” I’ll say Katamari Damacy, Ico, and Shadow of the Colossus. That’s in no particular order.
comiXology: What about Sci-fi adventure games?
NS: Half-Life 2 and Portal are easily my favorites. As for the third… can I just say Katamari Damacy again? It’s got space shuttles in it. That makes it sci-fi, right?
comiXology: Now that the first issue is available to readers everywhere, what are you hoping fans will take away from the story?
NS: The key goal for issue one was to show Dana’s dual existence, and how her personality changed in different contexts. I also needed to push over the first plot domino by taking Queen Fendra away from Heremoth — that’s the event that propels the rest of the story. And behind all that, I wanted to reveal as much as I could about the setting and backstory without resorting to expository dialogue. Hopefully the takeaway is that Dana’s interests, problems, and flaws are not all that different from ours, and that there are some things going on around her that will challenge her world-view and her sense of herself.
NS: Hm. All I can say is that the central premise of the story has yet to be shown, though there are hints in the first issue that I have not yet heard discussed online. It’s been tough to talk about Nonplayer’s plot in public, because the core of my original elevator pitch hasn’t been revealed yet. It’ll be interesting to see how people react to the second and third issues.
comiXology: What’s it like seeing your work on comiXology? and for that matter what are your thoughts on digital distributions so far?
NS: This is huge for me. Frankly, I feel like I came to comics at the last possible moment to see my work in print. It’s great to have something physical to flip through, but I’m also very excited about the democratization, decentralization, and format flexibility that’s coming with the movement of comics into iTunes territory. And with the advent of tablets, we’ve now got the comics equivalent of the iPod, as well. As soon as digital displays cross the 300dpi threshold, I’m going all-in. I fully expect the primary thrust of my next series to be digital, with physical copies becoming the comics equivalent of LPs. For readers who are comfortable with owning ones and zeroes, the digital version should be perfect, and that will allow us to focus on a nicer presentation for the physical version — perhaps in a European format, with larger pages and hardback covers. It’s a very exciting time to be making comics, and you guys are a big part of that!
Nate Simpson’s Nonplayer #1 is available for download on the Image app, Comics app, our web store and on Android. Be sure not to miss this incredible debut from one of the best new creator’s of 2011 and don’t forget to bookmark the blog at comiXology for all the latest in exclusive creator interviews and digital comics news!
Tagged: ComiXology · digital comics · image comics · nate simpson · Non player · warriors of Jarvath
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