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Game of Thrones RPG Interview at Dagon's Lair

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Game of Thrones RPG Interview at Dagon's Lair

Interview - posted by Crooked Bee on Fri 10 August 2012, 14:12:58

Tags: Cyanide Studio; Game of Thrones

French website Dagon's Lair has posted an interview with Game of Thrones' lead designer Sylvain Sechi. Have some tidbits:

First reviews on english console dedicated website gave to the game average ratings, whose I really don’t understand regarding the PC release. After, other specialized websites, like us at Dagon’s Lair or RPGFrance published far more positive reviews. Are the sales meeting expectations? How was the reception? Are there big differences on PC or console? What was your studio’s reaction regarding the reception for the game?

Syl : It’s too early to have detailed sales figures, but the game seems to do well. About the press reviews, it’s something which touched us much. It’s hard to work 3 years, sweating blood, without reacting regarding the comments of the journalist testing our game. First opinions were mainstream magazines whose readers are mainstream action gamers / core gamers who play mainly on consoles. We knew GOT was a hardcore game. An « old school » RPG, and those journalists didn’t like at all some aspects of the game. In Europe, the critics were mostly better, with some good ratings. I think european gamers are more bound to the game and to its’ story than next-gen graphics.

On the player side, it’s been mostly positive and that made us feel good. Even if they didn’t like the game, we had a very good reception from RPG fans. It’s mainly for them we created this game. Respect of the licence and of the story are two strong points. Players are divided about the combat system. Some love it, some hate it…

I think ingame narration is well implemented and cutscenes are evenly disseminated through the story. Were there discussions about narration and dialogue quantity for the game?

Syl : About narration, we knew since we started we would like to keep two stories, told from the point of view of each of the two main characters. It’s something I love in the books, which gives great possibilities in term of writing and twists. So we knew we would keep this element. It’s been obvious the story was important and it had to go through storytelling and dialogues. Overall, the games has about 270.000 words, as a comparison, it’s about the length of the Game of Thrones first book. After having all the quests written, we re-read all the quests and we made some dialogues shorter, because they became too long as the writing developped. It was the thing to do, as we had already many dialogues and didn’t want to bury players under dialogues which were not necessary.

Combat system and skill development is especially intersting, and quite tactical, even if we can’t control many characters. The slowdon allowing to order commands is excellent. Somewhere it feels like the mythical Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, but has its’ particular feeling and specificity. What were your goal by making this gaming system? Were there tentation or pressures to do something more action oriented?

Syl : About character development, being a pen & paper player, it was an important point for us, where we wanted to offer the player maximum choice to customize his character, but staying true to the game and the world.

About combat system, of course Kotor is a big reference, but we didn’t want action, as it wouldn’t fit to the Game of Thrones universe which is much in strategy and politics. We didn’t want a combat system not on par with the universel. There’s also very few fights in the original IP, and we wanted to keep those elements. We wanted our combats to last a bit longer, so they can be more strategic and more rare.​

Click here for the full interview (but be sure to scroll down a bit for the English version, translated from French).

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