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Project Eternity Interview @ Irontower

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Project Eternity Interview @ Irontower

Interview - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Thu 6 December 2012, 00:51:16

Tags: Iron Tower Studio; Josh Sawyer; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity; Vince D. Weller

Irontower Studio's Vince D. Weller caught up with Obsidian's Josh Sawyer on the subject of "Project Eternity".
1. Let's skip traditional KS questions like "Did you really think it will get funded? What are you going to do with all this money?" and jump straight to game-making business.

So, a brand new world... What are elves and dwarves doing there? Mind you, I'm not against "encompassing the recognizable", I'm merely curious what your reasons were. Is it a Baldur's Gate thing?

A large number of players like to play familiar races. Of the common fantasy RPG races, dwarves and elves are the two that players gravitate toward most often. Also, because we stated we were making a game inspired by the Infinity Engine games and, implicitly, the Forgotten Realms setting used in most of them, it seemed appropriate.

We're going to have subrace offshoots that are slightly less traditional (like the "boreal" dwarves that people have already seen) as well as increasingly unusual races like orlans, aumaua, and godlike, but if you want to play a fair-haired bow-twanging elf or an axe-swinging bearded dwarf, we've got it covered.

2. As a follow up question, when it comes to recognizable and familiar vs strange and bizarre, how far is too far? Do you find that the players in general are more comfortable with the familiar? How willing are they to take their time to figure out something truly different?

People in general are more comfortable with the familiar, but players vary a great deal. Some players react extremely negatively if any aspect of the setting or mechanics in the game is unusual or unorthodox. Some players are of the opinion that if something's been done before, they're not interested in seeing it done again. There are also single-issue gamers. I've seen gamers who aren't interested in an RPG unless there are dwarves in it and I've seen gamers who write off an RPG if there are firearms in it. Above all else, many RPG fans are passionate, so if you push their buttons, there's a good chance the response will be strong.

I also think that gamers often trip over the same logical and emotional hurdles that anyone does. If they've used something before and liked the experience, it can be hard for them to see the flaws in that experience. Similarly, if they don't like the ideas they formulate about how something is going to work, they can have difficulty revising their views even after it's been explained to work contrary to their assumptions.
So, he knows gamers who aren't interested in RPGs unless there are dwarves in it... hmm.. I wonder what he's on about FFS.

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