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Matt Chat 446: Kevin Saunders on Mask of the Betrayer and Storm of Zehir

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Matt Chat 446: Kevin Saunders on Mask of the Betrayer and Storm of Zehir

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Mon 30 March 2020, 14:20:48

Tags: Alpha Protocol; Dwarfs; Kevin Saunders; Matt Barton; Neverwinter Nights 2; Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer; Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir; Obsidian Entertainment

The latest episode of Matt Barton's interview with Kevin Saunders finally leaves Torment behind and works its way back to Kevin's years at Obsidian. Kevin was the lead designer on Dwarfs and afters its cancellation was briefly involved with Alpha Protocol, so he only arrived on Neverwinter Nights 2 near the end of its development. His next major role was as lead designer on the Mask of the Betrayer expansion, which is the main topic of the first half of the episode. Did you know that George Ziets wanted to resign from Obsidian because he was dissatisfied with how the story was turning out and Kevin persuaded him to stay? Also, apparently it was Feargus Urquhart who pushed for the implementation of the expansion's new camera options and for the addition of the Genasi races.

The second half of the episode is about Storm of Zehir, though it quickly turns into a series of digressions about the proper taxonomical classification of RPGs with full party character creation and the idea of using procedural generation to create dialogue. In practice, Kevin only had a minor oversight role on Storm of Zehir as he was simultaneously working on the cancelled Aliens: Crucible. He credits Tony Evans as the primary lead on the expansion and Nathaniel Chapman for coming up with the concept of the world map layer.

Matt says there are two more episodes left to go. If he is working his way backwards that means the next one might be about Knights of the Old Republic II, though I wouldn't mind hearing more about Aliens: Crucible first.

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