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Mysteries of Westgate Retrospective
Editorial - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Thu 12 August 2010, 14:53:42Tags: Neverwinter Nights 2: Mysteries of Westgate; Obsidian Entertainment
Ossian Studio's Luke Scull a.k.a Alazander reflects on Mysteries of Westgate, its development, the things they did wrong, the things they did right, the 20 month release date delay, the mixed review scores and more.
There was a lot of intrigue and many layers to the story which were not satisfactorily introduced on a single playthrough. This added replay value, to be sure, but it's preferable to put the focus of additional playthroughs on discovering the consequences of different choices rather than comprehending the story. The problem stemmed from the fact that the initial story draft was not sufficiently deep and needed more of a rewrite than it received in the limited time frame we had. As it was, we stuck a lot of stuff in there at the end which somewhat unbalanced the flow of plot events,
On the positive side, the story did reward multiple playthroughs. For a modern RPG it was also fairly reactive; rather than just funneling the player down the same path with different dialogue and motivations, there were significant sections of game that provided entirely different experiences. The game had two very distinct endings, for example, and you learned different things depending on which path you took. I suppose it's fair to say that the story in MoW rewarded those who invested more time in understanding it, but that doesn't excuse the odd pacing. In summary, the shaky execution of the story was the result of an decent but underdeveloped (in terms of character and emotional investment) initial draft hastily expanded without sufficient input from the writing team. The mask hook was also weak.
Spotted at: GB