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NWN 2: Storm of Zehir interview at RPG Vault
Interview - posted by Elwro on Sat 16 August 2008, 01:37:23Tags: Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir; Obsidian Entertainment
Well, at least part one. Jonric from RPG Vault has interviewed several Obsidian developers regarding their newest NWN 2 expansion, due to be released this year during the winter.
Jonric: Considering it's a pretty significant departure from the property's past, why did you decide to implement full party customization?So it seems that even though the expansion will be more about "adventure and exploration" than "narrative pacing", dialogue will still be an important part of the game.
Tony Evans: Well, I'd like to be able to say that our decision to have full-party customization in Storm of Zehir was motivated primarily by the millions of voices of our fans crying out for it. However, I was frankly deaf to those voices - or hard of hearing at least. Instead, I listened to my inner geek, at whose behest I neglected socializing during my formative years for the sake of enjoying great party-based computer role-playing games such as the original Pool of Radiance and other Gold Box releases, Wizardry, Might & Magic, Magic Candle, the first Final Fantasy, and many others with titles including something about wizards, magic or fantasy.
it allows us to create a game with a truly epic scale without making exploration tedious or same-y. It offers more dynamic, non-linear play. It provides a grander sense of adventure and travel.
That voice in my head commanded me to make Storm of Zehir all about the party, insisting that there were others out there that might actually enjoy it. However, you can be assured that we're taking the best of classic role-playing, and lovingly sculpting those influences into a modern adventure. We're not simply cloning games from the past and foisting them on unsuspecting individuals who weren't even born when the first Final Fantasy came out. Um, I'm making myself sound really old, am I not? The voice in my head is telling me to change the subject...
Jonric: What are the main benefits this change will bring, and what's your response to those who are saying it will alter the nature of the game?
Tony Evans: The pros of doing a party-based game are numerous and sundry, but I'll go over a couple of that are more important. One advantage is that you will be able to fill the ranks of your group with whatever kinds of characters you like, plus you can customize them as you see fit and get a lot of reactivity based on factors such as race, class, gender, skill, attributes, and deity. And if a particular member just isn't working out, you can just drop him or her off at any tavern; the replacement can be another that you create, or any of the various cohorts you can recruit throughout your adventures.
Also, our new party conversation system will give you far more interactivity and choice than you've ever had before in dialogues. No longer will you be forced to sit idly while the game's story is spoon-fed to you by talking heads. Your party members will have a lot of different reactions that you can choose from to steer exchanges where you want them to go, and if you get bored or confounded, you can leave any conversation at any time.
To those who feel that full party customization changes the nature of the game, my response is yes... yes, it does, and you will thank us later. ;-)
Read the interview here; it also tells e.g. about new locations and Fallout and Darklands being an inspiration.