- Von Thor / Matthias Wichert
- Veröffentlicht am 26.12.2004
Christmastalk with Johann Ertl (JoWooD)
Co-Worker at JoWooD and Community Manager for Stargate SG-1 - The Alliance
Stargate-Project: Hello Johann and many thanks for taking time to answer some of our questions. I suggest you introduce yourself first. Who are you, what do you do and what are your tasks concerning the Stargate game "Stargate SG-1: The Alliance"?
Johann Ertl: Let's start with the basics: I'm 27, austrian-czech citizen and in first line computerfreak since many, many years. I studied Psychology, worked at many magazines as journalist, editor and editorship leader. Before coming to JoWooD I was professor for foreign languages. Here at JoWooD I am Online and Marketins Editor in the Marketing management, that means I am responsible for the text and contents of the news and stories on our website, the main part of our game websites and the Newsletter of course.
SG-P: As we know you care a lot about the fans of Stargate SG-1. Are you a fan yourself? Do you watch the show often, and if yes, what do you think of it?
JE: I'm nearly a Science Fiction fanatic. As a little boy I read Heinlein, nearly knew all the Star Trek shows and episodes by heart, watched Babylon 5 from the first to the last episode, admired Space 2063 and even became acquainted with my wife via a Star Trek online role playing game. That's why I am also a big Stargate fan, and I was impressed by the movie also. The hypothesis, that ancient gods were in fact technologically superior aliens, that wasn't new, but was converted really tense and conclusive in Stargate. By including the Asgard and especially Thor the show really did good, this mythological-technological conception of the world is incedibly fascinating.
SG-P: Sounds good! As a fan you surely know the term "Furlings"?
JE: One of the old races. What's your point?
SG-P: Absolutely right. The producers of SG-1 said, that race may never be seen in Stargate, but how about the game? JoWooD always gave "No Comment" about this question.
JE: We don't want to talk about the story and the details yet.
SG-P: Okay, and how do you personally imagine the race? Many fans think they are little furry beings, much like the Ewoks from Star Wars.
JE: Okay, but we don't talk about our game or anything else, just my private opinion: The Stargate Univesre is scientifically very correct, i't much more "Science" than "Fiction" - at least that's what I feel. That's why I think that the Furlings have to be beings with a figure that from xenobiologic criteria has to be able to develop a high level of intelligence. They wouldn't be in the High Council, sure. But intelligent beings tend to lose their fur, because they can control the temperature of their environment. That's why I don't believe in that "Ewoks" theory... but as I said, that's only my private opinion.
SG-P: Let's change the topic: How did the contact between you and the fan sites come off? Did you have the idea?
JE: Yes, as I said I'm home in the ScienceFiction scene a long time and I knew there are a lot of well organized fans. And that they're not just potential customers, but critical advisors and outstanding idea givers as well.
SG-P: You're right. I think Webmasters like us really want to see a good game and are happy that fan sites are included.
JE: Well, behind every fan site and their creators there are between a couple of hundred and a couple of hundred thousand fans commenting this site. That's a mighty voice...
SG-P: Indeed, and the reactions after the first screenshots and informations were overwhelming. Did you at JoWooD notice it as well? Do you notice, what fans write in the forums around the world, anyway?
JE: Partly yes, partly no. You notice the trend, the feelings and the tendency, but of course you can't read every single post in every single forum of that topic. I regularly visit the biggest of them, write something sometimes, but it's very time-taking. And the positive reaction of 99% of all readers was very, very overwhelming...
SG-P: Really overwhelming, but let's talk about the game itself. You have the possibilities of playing the game, right? If yes, what stadium is the game in and what are your impressions so far?
JE:Yes i played Stargate SG-1 - The Alliance a couple of times already and my impression was always amazing. Especially if you are versed with games and graphic engines youself, you always ask yourself: "How do the boys at Perception do that?"
SG-P: Are you responsible for the website Stargate-TheAlliance.com as well?
JE: It's taken care of by an own team, where I am a part. Our graphic designers for example co-work directly with the guys at Perception.
SG-P: When is a public forum to come?
JE: In the 1st quarter of 2005.
SG-P: What will fans be able to to on the forum?
JE: Fans from all over the world can exchange themselves, there will be Sweepstakes and Polls. And of course we will try to get the SciFi Fans and Hardcore Gamers at a round discussion table.
SG-P: Can the forum members await a trailer to the game soon or when will there be moving images of the game first?
JE: Of course there will be a trailer and our forum members can download it. But I cannot tell the date.
SG-P: Okay, but what about conventions? E3? Games Convention Leipzig? Will JoWooD/Perception be there, and what can you already say about it?
JE:We definitely will be at both conventions. I personally am already pleased for being in LA, because I toured in California a long time ago and I am at the E3 the first time. Bod JoWooD will also be at the Games Convention.
SG-P: Can you already tell us some details about the story or maybe some scenarios you can visit in the game?
JE: Well, the screenshots and artworks given to the fan sites speak a clear language. Of course there will be scenarios from the show that are converted precisely, Stargate Command for example.
SG-P: Which projects of JoWooD do you supervise as well?
JE: Basically I do homepage texts, content and Events like Sweepstakes or Contests for all our games. At the moment my main work besides Stargate is at SpellForce, the recently released Ski Racing 2005 feat. Hermann Maier an of course we all wait for Gothic 3.
SG-P: It seems you have a lot of work. But let's get back to the website: on Stargate-TheAlliance.com it says "Full Site coming soon" - when is "soon"?
JE: It means "soon". OK, seriously: Rumours said at the beginning of 2005, so I think you can stick it to the first two months of the year...
SG-P: We are strained. At the end: ist there something you want to say to fans of the show? Especially those who are sceptical about the game, because you often get "bad" film or series conversions...
JE: All fans who are waiting for the game already I wish the best of patience to bear it until release. And to all those who are sceptical because of the sometimes really bad "conversions", I want to say: It's a game, developed by fans of the show, including the team of the show and supported by the fan community - you have the chance to be a part of it. Visit our forums after opening, discuss ideas and bring in suggestions!
SG-P: That brings in hope for all of us an I can say, we at SG-P really can't wait until we holt the game in our hands! Thank you for the interview and the impressions you brought to us about the future of Stargate SG-1: The Alliance. We wish you, JoWood, Perception ant MGM the best of luck for the future and hope it will be an amazing video game to our beloved series Stargate SG-1.
JE: Thanks - and thanks for the support we already got from fans and fan sites from all over the world.
This interview was translated into English by Matthias Wichert, thank you very much!