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Swen Vincke on creating 'Skyrim-like' RPGs

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Swen Vincke on creating 'Skyrim-like' RPGs

Editorial - posted by Zed on Tue 21 August 2012, 12:57:25

Tags: Larian Studios; Swen Vincke; The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Swen Vincke of Larian Studios is back with another blog entry. This time, the topic is "afterthoughts I have after a conversation with another developer on creating a Skyrim-like RPGs".

Here's a piece of it:

Said developer has been doing the rounds with a video of a very ambitious RPG that clearly wants to be a Skyrim killer. Now I’m no big fan of these enormous systemic simulations, preferring instead handcrafted dense worlds with rich backstory, but I recognize that if done well and coupled to a powerful character development system, games like Skyrim can offer players a lot of fun. The logistics of making an RPG being an active topic of interest for me, it was therefore with real interest that I queried about the size of his world because games like this are reknown for being large.

Predictably he told me that he planned on having several large areas ,with one area typically containing a few cities and several villages, linked by realistic environments. At the word ‘cities’ I cringed, not because I don’t like cities in RPGs, I do, but because of the work involved in making them fun, and also because I know what they lead to development wise.

I couldn’t help myself and immediately projected the following scenario in my mind: Game will be late, will cost much more than he’s thinking, will require many iterations of the storylines as stuff gets cut, will show scars as a result of the cutting, will probably be pretty unbalanced and all of these things together might mean the game never gets made, which would be a pity because it looks like there’s a passionate nice team working on it. That, or it’ll be extremely boring because these will be the dullest cities ever made.​

Ambitious RPG developer creating a Skyrim-killer. Who could that be?

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