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The Continuum Q&A
(hx) 11:41 PM CET - Feb,02 2007

Seven Lights PR folks sent us a pre-arranged Q&A with Seven Light's CEO, Tim Harris as he talks about their upcoming premier, online, collectible war game ­ The Continuum. The Q&A gives more insights into the game, why it is unique and how it plays.

Two months after its company's debut announcement, Seven Lights CEO Tim Harris sat down to answer some of the many questions posed to the company by fans waiting for more news on The Continuum. The Continuum is the premier, online collectible war game featuring evolving characters and storylines influenced by the player. With its universe of ever-expanding characters, The Continuum blends the best elements of strategy gaming, collectible gaming, RPGs and virtual economies into a distinctive game universe.

Q: What is The Continuum's storyline?

Tim Harris: After a mysterious disruption in the space/time continuum, four planes of reality collapse upon each other, forming a new distinct reality dubbed the Crossworld by its denizens. The Crossworld is fused together from the four previously separate realities, and as a result, contains pieces and inhabitants of each. As the beings who find themselves in this new world try to survive and rebuild their lives, conflict arises, leaders emerge, and war ensues over the precious resources and ruins of the four once separate worlds. New characters join the epic storyline as additional planes of reality collapse into The Crossworld, leading to questions­what is the cause of the disruption? How many more worlds will fold into the Crossworld? And what manner of beings are destined for the Crossworld in the future?

Q: How much is the game going to cost?

Tim Harris: The Continuum will be free to play with a starter group of characters, and we plan to launch with 30 total characters. Afterwards, players can purchase new character packs at a nominal fee (somewhere around $5), or choose to buy a subscription of new character packs (5-10 new characters) at regular intervals.

Q: What's unique about The Continuum?

Tim Harris:  No other game has put all of these pieces together (strategy gaming, collectible gaming, RPGs and virtual economies) in the way that The Continuum has. It will be a game, a narrative, and a world to explore. In addition, our devotion to letting the gamers influence the narrative and characters is extremely unique.

Q: If I don't want to buy the character packs, will I be at a disadvantage?

Tim Harris:  Absolutely not. Players that practice and hone their Characters, strategies and knowledge of the game will be the ones who have the advantage. The game is designed so that someone who only has 5 Characters can find people with similar armies to battle against. A dynamic point-value system is setup so that players are matched by the relative strength of the armies they wish to field in battle.

Q: How are you making sure that gameplay is balanced between players?

Tim Harris:  There are a number of play-balancing systems in place to keep things fair.

1) the point-value system, which allocates a certain number to each Character, based on innate power, characteristics, and level.

2) Players have a Rank associated with them that lets other players know where they stand in terms of experience/skill. Other players can examine their record as well. These elements are visible to potential opponents prior to them accepting a battle with the player.

3) the Game Setup screen is a double-opt-in term negotiation that doesn't progress without consent by both players.

Q: How will the battles work?

Tim Harris:  Gamers choose their set-up options (battle map, point value, etc…), deploy their forces in squads, and then enter the movement phase. In this phase, the entire battle map can be viewed and squads can be examined. Then there is the combat phase, where the two squads engaged in combat are represented in detail on the screen. During combat, the players will see damage dealt/given and have the ability to examine all of the characters in the combat instance. Once victory conditions are met, both players enter the game wrap-up screen, where they see who won, how each character did, what points were awarded, etc…

Q: What are some of the characters in the game?

Tim Harris:  The Characters in the release set will come from 4 distinct realities:

1) A world of shape-shifters, where all humans go through the Change into wolves, hawks, bears, and great cats

2) A world overrun by vampires, where the last remaining humans and elves have developed the power to bring forth Light to destroy their blood-sucking oppressors

3) A world where all people manifest a distinct power at some point in their lives (e.g., fire, ice, electricity, etc). The later in life the power is manifested, the greater the power. Thus, older people who have not yet manifested are at once the most potentially powerful in the world and the most vulnerable.

4) A world based on a dominant society conquering most of the known world (the Roman Empire meets medieval Asian Dynasties) and their enslaved species, thrust into gladiatorial combat as entertainment.

Q: How do you manage the characters?

Tim Harris:  Players can examine their characters in the character detail. As the characters level, they can purchase upgraded abilities, which include combat characteristics, and order abilities. Players can also place characters in multiple pre-made armies that they can use in games, and they can equip items that they have in their inventory on each character.

Q: What abilities or weapons will the characters have?

Tim Harris:  Each Character has a slot for a Weapon, Armor, and an Item. Weapons do damage (and may have other special Abilities). armor provides defense (and may have other special abilities), and items have a variety of offensive/defensive/buff/ability effects.

Q: What was appealing about The Continuum's concept that made you want to create the game?

Tim Harris:  What is most appealing is that we are giving our players a feeling of ownership over their characters, the storyline, and in the world where they are investing their time. Beyond the cool factor of blending all of these genres and taking elements from different gameplay styles, The Continuum allows players to take an active role as part of a community in influencing how the story, and in turn the gameplay, evolves. And, at the same, by virtue of the player's individual changing characters they have a unique experience unlike any other gamer's experience.

Q: How do players sign up for the beta?

Tim Harris:  Gamers can sign up at to get news and updates on The Continuum including the latest info on when they can sign up for the beta program.

related links: video - animated walkthrough.

genre: online turn-based strategy/RPG
developer: Seven Lights
publisher: homepage + beta sign-up

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