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Matt MacLean on Tyranny's upcoming Bastard's Wound expansion at PC Invasion

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Matt MacLean on Tyranny's upcoming Bastard's Wound expansion at PC Invasion

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Tue 15 August 2017, 01:56:13

Tags: Matt MacLean; Obsidian Entertainment; Paradox Interactive; Tyranny; Tyranny: Bastard's Wound

PC Invasion have an interview with Obsidian's Matt MacLean about the upcoming Bastard's Wound expansion for their rapidly-receding-from-memory 2016 RPG, Tyranny. It's a frank and somewhat awkward piece. Matt doesn't want to talk about the expansion's story, but he's not shy about revealing how limited its scope will be. See for yourself:

PC Invasion: Whereabouts in the game’s three acts does Bastard’s Wound slot into the story?

Matt McLean: This DLC is designed to be accessible to players who are at almost any point in the game. We put most of the action in the second Act of the game, to make it accessible to players on any of the major branches of the quest.

PCI: Is that so players who may have already finished Tyranny last year will be able to jump in asap?

MM: We have a New Game Plus mode that was released [for free] alongside the last DLC [Tales from the Tiers]. Our goal with this one is to have a DLC that doesn’t require the player to have already beaten the game. If they beat the game already they can go to an old save at Act Two, or just New Game Plus their way to Act Two. Act One isn’t very long, so we figured that’s the sweet spot to get the most players.

PCI: The main setting is a refugee camp that’s hidden from Kyros, can you talk a little more about that?

MM: We’ve kind of already spoiled a little bit too much about the story and the big thing we traffic in here at Obsidian is story, so I don’t want to speak too much more about it. But yes, the action takes place in a part of the world that was ignored by the major thrust of the war. Kyros’ armies marched past this place. It’s a spot where things are happening … not really a side-story, but one that’s happening concurrently with the main story. So players get to look on something that the rest of the armies haven’t seen.

PCI: So will actions you perform in Bastard’s Wound have an impact on the original story, or is this more separate?

MM: Yeah … there are certain ways to have it react to the main story, yeah. But I would say that the focus is not on a story that interacts with the main story. We only have so many hours in the day to work on content, so we wanted to create most of the content to be multiple ways to play out this additional adventure area. There are connections to the main world, but we wanted to focus more on lots of things to do in this area, and have less focus on how the ripples affect the main world.

PCI: There was reference in the original Bastard’s Wound announcement that this expansion would give a closer look at the Beastmen. Can you elaborate on that?

MM: In the main game we only really got to show one of the tribes of the Beastmen throughout the tiers, the Stonestalkers. There’s more to the Beastmen than just that tribe, unfortunately the story never took us to the places where we’d show you more of them. So we’re excited to have a chance to show more about the Beastmen, teach you about their history, have more characters to show you the different experiences the tribes have and what makes the different.

PCI: It seems like there are three companions who are getting new quests in Bastard’s Wound, is that right?

MM: That’s correct. For this particular DLC we have companion quests for Lantry, Barik, and Verse.

PCI: Since it deals with the Beastmen, is there any particular reason Kills-in-Shadow is not one of the companions getting a new quest?

MM: That’s a great question, but I don’t have a good answer for that.

Julia [Kernan]: Other than having time. Production time only allowed for us creating so much.

PCI: The spell system was one thing I really enjoyed in Tyranny, will the expansion add anything to that system?

MM: With the last DLC we’ve had some modifications to the spell system in terms of balance. We’re not adding any major sigils, mainly out of a problem of multiplicity. Any new sigil has to interact with every other shape and accent. We certainly thought about it, and it’s something we kinda wanted to do, but it’s something that turned out to be more expensive than we initially thought possible.

In some ways we made the magic system so complex that adding to it is a multiplication problem out of the scope of what we were trying to do.
Equally revealing are some of Matt's answers in the second half of the interview, where he appears to engage in an apologetic defense of Tyranny's style of choice & consequence and its much-criticized third act. It's a strange interview, but I guess that's par for the course for this strangely marketed game.

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