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J.E. Sawyer on RPGs at NWN2News

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J.E. Sawyer on RPGs at NWN2News

Interview - posted by Spazmo on Thu 18 May 2006, 18:27:33

Tags: Josh Sawyer; Neverwinter Nights 2; Obsidian Entertainment

Everyone's favourite design apologist J.E. Sawyer has been interviewed by Neverwinter Nights 2 News. He discusses RPGs and the industry in general rather than answering stuff like "Are there maces in NWN2? How many?"
When do you feel we will ever see another Fallout, Planescape or BG2 type epic, deep story driven game?

I really believe that developing games with stories like Fallout and Planescape, where the player has a lot of freedom, requires designers to re-focus their attention. You can't build a linear RPG for twelve months and just decide, out of the blue, to transform it into a non-linear, "do what you want" RPG. That has to be the focus from the beginning. Plot critical characters have to be rare in the extreme, plot critical events also have to be rare in the extreme. It requires planning and it requires focus, but I don't honestly believe it's tremendously difficult. It's only hard because designers often want to have it both ways - telling a super tight, super controlled story and allowing some sort of lip-service to non-linearity. Something's got to give, guys.

When will designers decide to do that in an RPG again? Beats me.
And when will Obsidian decide to do that in an RPG at all? Don't hold your breath.
Spotted at: Blue's News

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