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Paul Barnett (Born January 15, 1970) is a northern English game designer currently employed by EA Mythic as the Creative Director for Warhammer Online. He is mainly responsible for merging Mark Jacob's vision of the perfect RvR MMO with the Warhammer IP while keeping within the realistic limits of a playable, sustainable game; in other words, for making sure WAR is "not crap".
After a series of uninspiring and underpaid jobs, some time in the early nineties Barnett decided to try his hand at designing computer games. He set up his own company - the Online Games Company - and created several pioneering European MUDs including Legends of Terris and its successor Legends of Cosrin before creating the fantasy realm of the Kingdom of Heroes, all of which proved to be fairly successful (Terris was the highest rated european game on AOL for 5 consecutive years). With the money he earned from these games sitting in his bank account, he decided to move away from the games industry, taking time to get a university degree and working as a consultant for various companies, including Games Workshop.
Paul Barnett is also quite notable amongst his peers for his extreme enthusiasm and energy when presenting his games, being cited as one of the reasons many people found interest in Warhammer Online. The video blogs he records on his mobile phone provide a fascinating and irreverent behind-the-scenes look at the development of WAR, and he is regularly stuck in front of a camera (usually accompanied by The Hickman) to give his opinionated take on the latest game feature to be announced. He freely admits that at the end of the day he just wants to make his mum proud.
- "Warhammer is Batman."
- "FARTs. It’s about FARTs. See, there’s Features, Resources, and Time, that’s the F and the R and the T, and that equals the Actions. FARTs. Now, the thing about FARTs are, if you’re not careful they’re very smelly, no one wants to take the blame for them, they leave a nasty mist, and you all feel really really bad. So, what you’ve got to do is realize you’re going to FART, you’ve got to say “How many Features have we got, how much Resources have we got, how much Time have we got?” And when you add all that together, you then say, “Therefor what action should we take?” Once you’ve done that and you’ve looked at this terrible FART we were going to have, the natural conclusion was: move the release date. Put more resources in, and make the game even better. Basically, without farting."
- "“Fun, you Fuckers!” I tell you what, the amount of people who don’t get that just drives me mad! Right, it drives you mad. The people who work on this game, they have to understand that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. There are people all over the world who want our job. There are people who would kill to get our job. Look at where the planets are in alignment: we got a really good property, we’ve got the right timing, we’ve got good tech, we’ve got a good design, we’re going to win! And you sit there and you say to yourself, “It’s not going to happen again! It’s not going to happen for another 10 years, there isn’t another property out there. It’s … just unbelievably good.” So that’s a really good thing. So then you have to say, our job then is: don’t be crap. Make something what is not rubbish. So then you say, what’s important? It’s a weird thing, right? You talk to people about what’s important they get obsessed on the product. The get obsessed on the frames per second, the colors, the brightness, the usability of the interface. And you go: “It’s none of those things!” That’s just the dressing, that’s the just the stuff that makes you go: “Yes, yes, yes, I see, I see, I see.” What is at the core of it? FUN! Fun, you FUCKERS!"