Ever wondered what does it look like in the working areas of ArenaNet, developer of the world-renown Guild Wars and the upcoming sequel, Guild Wars 2? Established in the year 2000, the studio joined Korean MMO giant NCsoft as on of it subsidiary subsequently and went on to sell over 7 million copies (edited from 700 million, I posted this at 4am in the morning, give me a break. For the one reader who is overwhelmed by my mistake, yes I did not check, the article posted 700만장, which is 700 million when translated due to English) of the Guild Wars game and its expansions. Just recently, Korean gaming website, Chosun Game, visited ArenaNet’s main development office and had a guided tour around the facility. Let’s take a look!
Located within a park-like area near to the forests, the studio is located away from skyscrapers or any modern buildings. ArenaNet’s secret to success is by being close to nature?!
The main entrance to the offices. The walls are filled with artwork, awards and honors from various game events and trophies as well.
Mike O’Brien, co-founder of ArenaNet and its current president, explained that the office was much smaller in the beginning compared to its current massive floorspace. The studio eventually took over the whole building.
Much planning had to be done, for example which departments should be closer to each other to facilitate efficiency when getting tasks done.
Some of the items sent by fans were also on display, even emails sent by players and fans and also a handmade doll in the shape of a Charr!
Although the studio felt like walking through a maze at times, the work space generally did not feel cramp at all. There were also no partitions placed between work desks, as Mike O’Brien stated that this will encourage staff to share ideas and discuss about issues more openly.
The offices of this studio current house 175 employees, from the original 8 when the company first started out. Just to clarify, the number is stated by the article, I am not going to change it. It is most probable some staff are located at other offices under NCsoft.. Much walls were torn down over periods of time as the company grew in size consistently.
The biggest room in the studio belongs to the design team. Here, the game’s storyline, quests, events are being produced by the programmers and developers.
Below, you can see the Skill System Design Team. This department is mainly responsible to test out the various skills and balance them accordingly.
The team to create prototypes of ArenaNet’s upcoming games. Interns at the company are usually placed here in the beginning.
Concept art for the Guild Wars series of games can be found posted on almost every wall. Concept art, if you do not know, is one of the very first steps to produce and develop a game.
The character modeling team. This team focuses on using the concept art for characters and monsters and turn them into 3D forms players see in the games. How fitting to have a human structure model on the desk… to find out how to fill up the pixels on the characters’ 3D structures…
The staff here is apparently working on artwork for Guild Wars 2 judging from the various concept art posted on the wall.
The Quality Assurance (QA) team in-charge of Guild Wars’ concept art and User Interface (UI).
Below, you can see the team responsible for creating the various locations, environment and world of the Guild Wars games.
Man, How I wish my current office is like ArenaNet’s! Even a 50% similarity will amke me a happy staff… Lol.