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Riftrunner developer chat log
Interview - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Wed 17 September 2003, 04:16:22Tags: Beyond Divinity; Larian Studios
[Saint_Proverbius] Larian, while I harvest questions, can you tell us who you guys are, and a little about what you do on Riftrunner?
[Lynn] Who starts?
[Lar] I'm Lar, project leader
[Lynn] I'm Lynn taking care of press, and editing the RR world
[Exitium] Must be one hectic job! :D
[Lar] @Larian members: If you have a + next to your name, you're a larian member ;)
[Lynn] Sometimes, but that makes it fun
[valtar] I am a damn good consept artist
[Exitium] What with crazy people like us asking crazy questions and all.
[antx] Im Ant making art for RR...
[Relex] I am Lex, artist
[Arhu] Arhu, doing preliminary balancing work...
[Yann] I'm Yann, programer
[Fredric] I'm Fredric, content editor
[Lynn] we do like the crazy questions, I think... ;)
[Lar] We might invite Thorun too
[Lar] He'd like that I think
[Fredric] hi thorun
[Lynn] Hi Thorun!
[Lar] Hi Thorun
[Yann] Hello Thorun
[Arhu] There, tell us who you are, Thorun. ;)
[Spazmo] Tell us when the introductions are done so we can lay on the QUESTIONS!
[Thorun] Damn, you're still awake?
[Thorun] we just started...
[Lar] Thorun, if you introduce yourself, this man here can start asking questions
[valtar] euuhh ...thorun ,??
[Thorun] Who? Err, di'nt i said i'm a stu... anyway, i'm the senior character animator at Larian
[Exitium] Alright. First question.
[Exitium] [DEATHATTHEDOOR] will there be cloaks in RR?
[Lar] That has Thorun written all over it, that question does.
[Thorun] Damn, i feared you would say that...
[Arhu] Complex answer, I would guess, yes...
[Thorun] No cloaks, sorry. We had already big trouble with the robes for the player characters, but for cloak we would have needed seveval new bones, then they would have interfered with the weapons on the back on so on...
[Spazmo] Please say "done" if you're finished with a question. Next question...
[Spazmo] [Morbos] When will a gameplay movie be availible, And I remind you. You are under of a truth-o-scope
[Lar] I'll take that one
[Lar] There will be a number of gameplay movies
[Lar] closer to release
[Lar] And before you ask
[Lar] It'll be in Q1 2004
[Lar] The release that is
[Lar] Not the movies
[Lar] Er... next ?
[Arhu] Don't forget the "done", when you're done. ;)
[Lar] Done ?
[Exitium] If you're done here's the next question :
[Exitium] [Morbos] How will the save function be implimented (auto-save,quest-save, time-save or the save system like in DD)?
[Lar] Mine again I assume
[Lar] The save system from DD will be maintained, but it'll be a bit faster
[Lar] yielding smaller saves
[Lar] The discussion on the forum regarding the savegames was
[Lar] quite interesting and the idea of showing an icon
[Lar] when a save should be done has quite some merit
[Lar] I don't know if we'll do it for Riftrunner
[Lar] but it's something we'll keep in mind for D2
[Spazmo] [Human_Shield] Are the events of DD important in the RR timeline, is playing the first game important and if so is there a summary?
[Lar] Fredric ?
[antx] The gfx for the save plate is alreay done, (in case someone wants to know...) :-)
[Fredric] You will be able to play RR without having played DD
[Lynn] antx: lol
[Lar] But if you have played DD,, you will enjoy Riftrunner more
[Fredric] there are plenty of things DD players will recognize
[Fredric] done, i guess...
[Saint_Proverbius] Please send all questions to me, /msg Saint_Proverbius [questions]
[Lynn] some little jokes are involved too
[Lynn] referring to DD I mean
[Exitium] [Jarlaxle|TWL] Will any characters from the first game be in RiftRunner? For example: Geoff the blacksmith/shopkeeper.
[Lar] He really does like Geoff ;) Fredric ?
[Fredric] yes, there will be, but you'll have to wait and see who :-)
[Spazmo] [Morbos] can you give an example of a large sub-quest?
[Lar] No he can't ;)
[Lar] Ahum - to be a bit more diplomatic ;)
[Exitium] [MetalWyrm] is this game a hack and slash, kinda like diablo?
[Lar] We don't want to give any spoliers (referring to the previous question)
[Lar] That's up to Arhu I guess - Arhu ?
[Arhu] Uhm, yeah. Divinity was more like Diablo, but..
[Arhu] RiftRunner is supposed to be a bit more tactical, and better, of course ;)
[Lar] but Riftrunner has a totally new and rebalanced statistics system ?
[Lar] With brand new combat equations
[Lar] Next I guess ?
[Spazmo] [DAD] Are we going to have to make rune language dialog choices in the game?
[Arhu] As a result, monsters will be stronger and more challenging...
[Arhu] ok ;)
[Lar] if (Content question) -] Fredric answers.
[Lar] Referring to the hack & slash question - There will be less monsters and the fights will take longer.
[Fredric] yes, there are some quests related to the rune language
[Lar] Fighting with a party also makes a big difference when compared to fighting with a single avatar.
[Lar] The fight system itself is also more "realistic" and "plausible".
[Fredric] next (when lar is finished) :-)
[Lar] I'm done
[Arhu] You're not.
[Lar] Just quite happy about the new fight system
[Exitium] [Hyrrix] Also, will the system still be level-based?
[Arhu] Oh, my question. ;)
[Arhu] Yes, it's still level based like in D.
[Arhu] With _lots_ of skills though.
[Arhu] The skill system itself is subject to many speculations, which I think I can not reveal just yet.. right?
[Larian] Excellent response
[Arhu] Sorry, guys. ;)
[Arhu] done on my part
[Spazmo] [Hyrrix] In what way will the skill system from RR be different from the system in Divinity?
[Larian] It's totally different
[Spazmo] That one should have come before the last one; bit of a SNAFU
[Larian] some things are the same ;)
[Larian] Next I guess ;)
[Exitium] [NemisisDragon] Is the user interface finished yet and when can we expect a screenshot which contains it?
[Thorun] hehe, Andre?
[antx] Its almost finished.
[antx] for screenshots: Lar?
[Larian] There will be a couple with some components coming up soon.
[Lynn] and it looks awesome - the interface
[Larian] Done for me
[antx] me too
[Spazmo] [xanlosch] Who is the publisher ?
[Lynn] It's not the three letter word
[Larian] There are multiple - we'll let them announce it themselves
[Larian] US publisher should announce in the next couple of weeks
[Exitium] [EEVIAC] [Has pathfinding been improved. Like no more clicking on a door and having the character walk all the way along the outside of the building.]
[Arhu] I like that question.
[Larian] I don't like it
[Larian] And I don't like you either
[Thorun] too late
[Larian] Er...No, not at this point.
[Larian] To be honest
[Larian] I never really experienced the problem that much
[Larian] But, I'm sure some critter will put it in our bug database
[Arhu] So am I.
[Thorun] good idea actually
[Larian] I think we should complete this question right now
[Fredric] arhu's probably busy right now :-)
[Spazmo] [El_Gammon] [02:06] [Lar] It'll be in Q1 2004 --- How realistic is this release date? Is it already planned with the publishers - whoever they might be - or is it just scheduled within the developing team?
[Larian] IT's signed and committed to.
[Larian] We expect beta for November so it's pretty realistic.
[Larian] Of course, we have learned some lessons in the past so things can go wrong.
[Larian] But we'll try very very hard.
[Exitium] [Alrik] Question : Will it be possible to solve quests nearly without fighting ?
[Larian] I love that question - Fredric ?
[Fredric] that depends on the quest offcourse...
[antx] and on the definition of "nearly" I suppose :-)
[Larian] fighting obviously can be interpreted in many ways
[Fredric] some quests can be solved by talking, and by fighting, some can only be solved by fighting. Some monsters don't like talking :-)
[Fredric] some quests don't require any fighting...
[Lynn] like orcs :)
[Fredric] it's a micture really... done
[Thorun] Orcs? In RRR?
[Lynn] I was referring to the talking - a joke - DONE
[Spazmo] [Killzig] What kind of paths are you going to allow in the game? Can I be a wicked evil bad man or am I stuck playing the role of a self righteous paladin?
[Larian] If the battlefields work out well, you'll be able to do so within the battlefields (being wicked and evil)
[Thorun] since you have the deathknight always with you, no problem, i'd say...
[Fredric] your partner is a deathknight... there is definitely room for evil :-)
[Fredric] i guess so...
[Exitium] [Rince] Divinity packed a lot of content into nicely low system specs; will Riftrunner's system requirements be similar? significantly higher?
[Larian] There's a need for DX9 right now
[Larian] How that affects system specs still needs to be looked at, but the idea is that they shouldn't be much higher
[Larian] You will need a 3D accelerator however - that you didn't need for Divinity 1.
[Spazmo] [Equinox] What kind of environments can we expect to see in RR? Will they be varied or will they primarly be dungeon based?
[Larian] Relex ?
[Relex] We have dungeons offcourse, but also quite some variation in the environments.
[Larian] The game is split in 4 acts - one act takes place in a dungeon (the first), the second and third outdoors and the fourth in a big tower
[Relex] You probably already noticed the mushroom-vegetation, but there are way more...
[Lynn] The mushrooms you have seen in recently released screenies are one of them, but we do have more
[Exitium] [El_Gammon] Do you give us your word that the final title won't be something like "Riftrunning Riftrunner's Riftrun" or something like that?
[Lynn] sorry, no ;)
[Thorun] Why not? I like that title...
[valtar] yeah sure you do
[Relex] pray that doesnt happen...
[Lynn] I pray with you ;)
[Arhu] Every night..
[Lynn] We didnt like the DD title either
[Larian] Never say never
[Relex] lets erect a shrine for it!
[Arhu] You have my word, ElG, but that doesn't say much.. ;)
[Lynn] and kill the inventor!
[Larian] I honestly thought that when I saw Divine Divinity it was a typo in the contract
[Lynn] yes, me too - i was shocked, and not only me
[Larian] It took several hours before I finally figured out that it was for real
[Thorun] We were all shocked when Lar told us...
[Arhu] Divinity 2 is supposed to be called just that, not the Double-D-Word 2.
[Lynn] you had to see the faces of everybody - they all thought we were joking
[Larian] And then I had to listen to somebody for hours on how market research had shown Divine Divinity to be better than Divinity.
[Lynn] we still have nightmares
[Larian] Never trust market research
[Larian] Don't quote me on that when it comes to the box guys ;)
[Thorun] But later the same evening we were all so drunk we forgot about it...
[Lynn] yes, but the next day..
[Larian] Oh yes, that was very bad ;)
[Lynn] I have pics - anyone? ;-)
[Larian] Ahum - done
[Spazmo] [DAD] Are there going to be more items that could be combined to make yet a critical item to finish a quest?
[Larian] FrÃ© ?
[Fredric] yes, there will still be item combinations like in Divinity
[Fredric] and yes, there are quests requiring item combinations
[Arhu] But they are not critical to the main plot, I believe.
[Fredric] no, since these tend to be quite advanced actions we limit it to side quests
[Spazmo] [NemisisDragon] The demo release date is still a few weeks before the retail ships? And will be this time the savegames compatible with the retail version of Riftrunner? How many % of the retail will be in the demo?
[Larian] Yes, no, 10%
[Larian] Make that 5%
[Larian] Er...act 1, until key level, how much percent is that ?
[Fredric] ummm, good question
[Fredric] i'd say around 5-10%
[Relex] make it 8,765436456423465465464% to be exact :)
[Larian] Trust Relex to come up with good numbers
[antx] that figur is good for marketing
[Thorun] you can't even count til that, Relex..
[Fredric] i think he's off by a 1/1000000
[Larian] Yes, but I can already hear the artists complaining that it doesn't fit on a cover CD ;)
[Relex] damn you marian! :)
[Exitium] [Morbos] How deep is the party aspect of the game. Is it just you and the dark knight or is theire more than that e.g groupspells, complex team tatics,...?
[Larian] It's more than you an the DK though the two of you play a dominant role
[Larian] There's quite some group spells and the tactics are a lot complexer
[Arhu] Keyword summoning dolls.
[Larian] Also, you can split your party to a certain extent and that
[Larian] comes quite naturally i.e. it adds tactical options
[Larian] to the game.
[Larian] A very complex question actually because it requires a lot of response to answer it right.
[Larian] Let's keep it at this for now.
[Exitium] [Human_Shield] Is your character limited to only good options because of his past, are evil actions a result of the deathknight?
[Fredric] you can do both good and evil things... your partner offcourse has a tendency to take the evil choice :-)
[Spazmo] [RGF_Myn] Will the battlefields have anything to do with the main quests and/or the sub-quests?
[Larian] Hmmmm...very good question.
[Larian] On first answer, no.
[Larian] But that's not 100% right.
[Larian] For now, a no will suffice however ;)
[Spazmo] [kiya1] Question Mslynx ] What exactly will the runes and dolls do in the game?
[Larian] Fre ?
[Fredric] the runes are a form of language, which the player can decipher
[Larian] I'm really crashing over here - the dolls are what you call your summoning dolls with.
[Larian] One particular doll has a very important impact on the main story line
[Larian] Done on account of falling asleep
[Exitium] [Percolator_Fish] Please ask if there are vehicles in the game, like in the upcoming SMASH hits Half-Life 2, and UT2k4.
[Thorun] Its a fantasy game...
[Larian] There is a frogger level
[Saint_Proverbius] Welp, that's a wrap. Unless Larian people have anything else to conclude the thing with?
[Lar] Not for me. I'm literally falling of my chair over here. Thanks for your interest guys - to larian members, see you tomorrow.
[Thorun] oh, we can go on...
[Exitium] yes thank you for participating
[Lynn] We don't have to go, Thorun ;)
[Spazmo] So more questions?
[Lynn] Sorry guys if we were a little slow, but we are tired - it's 3 in the night over here - but we do want to answer some more questions
[Thorun] Now i'm filled with so much coke light, even if i tried to sleep now...
[Spazmo] Okay--you asked for it!
[Spazmo] [Threepchoad] How replayable is the game?
[Thorun] that is hard to answer
[Thorun] depends on your playing style i'd say...
[valtar] how fast do you forget ???
[Fredric] i think it is definitely replayable
[Lynn] some people did replay DD many times where as
[Lynn] others didnt - so I guess that'll be the same for RR
[Fredric] there are different ways to develop your character
[Fredric] aÃ©nd the battlefields will make sure the scenery changes...
[Relex] you can replay it as much as you want, you can make sooo many combinations!
[Lynn] yes, that's for sure
[Lynn] --] to the battlefields
[Fredric] plus there are alot of hidden things which you won't all find the first time...
[Thorun] and beautiful eastereggs...
[Lynn] we like hiding stuff ;)
[Exitium] [El_Gammon] what do you think how long will it take to finish the demo? Can you compare it to the DivDiv demo?
[Fredric] hard to say really...
[Lynn] cant answer that right now
[Thorun] we could answer that if the demo would be ready now...
[Spazmo] [Human_Shield] How do you interact with the deathknight?
[Fredric] you'll find out :-)
[Exitium] [DAD] What is the highest resolution supported and what would be the average height of the avatars then?
[Lynn] I'm afraid I can't answer this question now, that'll be for Lar, but he is gone...
[Fredric] for the heighest resolution: undecided
[Thorun] The highest resolution we don't know yet, it has to be tested first enough
[Fredric] definitely higher than divinity though
[Thorun] And the avatar will be scaled in the engine, no fixed size
[Spazmo] [DEATHATTHEDOOR] Is it possible to own a land/house/kennel/den in RR?
[Relex] thats a question for fre to answer
[Lynn] yes --] content
[antx] I dont think so and it wouldnÂ´t make much sence in RR either...
[Fredric] kill the owner of a house, and move in?
[Relex] I made some funny houses though
[Lynn] that's a possibility ;)
[Fredric] as for housing in the story: you'll have to wait and see :-)
[Exitium] [RGF_Myn] can you describe the battlefields a little more for us? Will they just be ppl standing there to fight or do you get little battlefield quests that dont have anything to do with the game? Will some battlefields be more difficult?
[Fredric] battlefields will increase in difficulty, the plan is to make them the places where you can level up, so the fights will always be around your lmevel
[Fredric] hard to comment on battlefields as it is still undergoing development...
[Spazmo] [NemisisDragon] [Is there still the "pseudo" lightsource around the character(s) at night or do we have to carry this time real ones (like torches/candles)?]
[Fredric] the lightsource will always be there
[Fredric] but increasing it with candles or torches is a good idea
[Exitium] [Morbos] Are the battlefields random generated in the beginning of the game or each time you enter a battlefield.
[Fredric] don't know yet... done
[Spazmo] [Threepchoad] Can you get tatoos in the game?
[Fredric] lol, artists? ;-)
[Lynn] No, but nice idea ;)
[Thorun] The avatar is too small, you wouldn't see it anyway... so nope
[Exitium] [Killzig] What kind of post release support can we expect? Are there any plans for expansions?
[Thorun] Yes, D2
[Fredric] support: lynn? ;-)
[Lynn] We will expand the DD universe to a D2
[Lynn] post release support?
[Thorun] Well, RRR is already sort of an "expanded" expansion...hehe
[Lynn] I can't tell that yet, I don't know - sorry, I'm getting slow - tired ;) but go on :)
[Fredric] we're hoping we'll get it right the first time :-)
[Fredric] amazing, the game isn't out yet, and they allready want patches ;-)
[Spazmo] [Threepchoad] What would you add if you had another 2 years to work on RR?
[Relex] A LOT!
[Lynn] Nice question!
[Relex] time is the key
[Thorun] o, a lot... probably full 3D environment for instance...
[Fredric] definitely multiplayer
[Lynn] more acts :)
[Fredric] we'd basically start all over again :-)
[Thorun] an editor maybe?
[Thorun] an LMK mod for RRR?
[Lynn] Yes, multiplayer would be the thing to add
[Relex] the graphics would also be way better
[Fredric] or just nothing and relax for 2 years?
[Thorun] hopefully, dear apprentice Relex...
[Lynn] Graphics are good like this!!
[Lynn] But of course, there's always room room for improvement, that counts for everything but
[Fredric] they'd spend more time pixel f*cking :-)
[Lynn] you had to put a stop at a certain moment, or you can keep on adding and improving
[Lynn] and that's why we will keep on developing games ;)
[Relex] shut up frÃ©! :):)
[Thorun] Yeah! Fre! Wann go outside???
[Fredric] ok, you go outside opver there in germany, and i'll step outside here in belgium?
[Lynn] We have many cool ideas, but simply lack the time to put it all in one game
[Thorun] okay, we delay that...
[Lynn] And we get many great response from our forum members too
[Thorun] Jepp, a big Hoorray to our forumguys!
[valtar] idd guys
[Thorun] We couldn't have done it without you all!
[Fredric] yes! thanks!
[valtar] we love you ( the croud goes wild
[Thorun] Valtar, you can stop now, there are no groupies around...
[valtar] i know ..im still in denial
[Lynn] Does somebody has an extra question? Keep in mind that we are tired ;)
[Saint_Proverbius] 47 more to go.
[Lynn] 47? really? cool :-D
[Relex] what? 47more questions?
[Lynn] Saint: we are strong :)
[Thorun] i don't get it eighter...
[Relex] do I level after each question? ;)
[Lynn] yes, down :)
[Exitium] [Morbos] Will theire be new races (dark elfs...)?
[Thorun] the raanar
[Lynn] yes, there will be new races, but we can't tell which ones yet
[Thorun] Lar has mentioned them already
[Exitium] [kiya1] what enhansments do the runes provide when deciphered?
[Relex] quest-related stuff
[Fredric] you'll understand some things better,and will be able to solve certain quests...
[Exitium] [DAD] Question: Is the inventory window going to be well organised and classified so that we can see fabulous weapons and armour or shall it be encumbered like that in Divinity?
[Thorun] much better. But we should keep that for lar to answer...
[Fredric] we are redoing it, but it's currently still being developed
[Exitium] [Threepchoad] How would you react if they turned your game into a console platformer?
[Thorun] probably make a lot of money with it!
[Lynn] I would be very happy
[Fredric] i'd like it...
[Relex] why not?
[Thorun] Waht? playing or money?
[Exitium] [DAD] Can the death night and the hero be separated or are they always chained?
[Fredric] they can be separated to a certain extent
[Relex] you'll find that out during the game
[Exitium] [Raze] Any plans for a special edition, or RR merchandise (maps, coins, etc... like the ad for a pin/poster CDV put in Divinity boxes for the German (IIRC) release)?
[Lynn] We will take care of goodies, but that needs to be discussed with the publishers
[Thorun] yes, but we can say that we discuss it already...
[Lynn] Yes, we do idd have things in mind - but let's keep it as a surprise ;)
[Fredric] that's question has lar written all over it :-)
[Saint_Proverbius] Call him and wake him up, Fre!
[Fredric] @saint: bad idea :-)
[Relex] yeah fre call him! he'll love you for it! ;)
[Thorun] Uh oh, we'll need a new editor then...
[Fredric] that's ok, relex can handle 2 jobs?
[Thorun] Pah! He can'T even handle his ONE job!
[Lynn] The extra's can differ from publisher to publisher, e.g.
[Lynn] for Divinity there was a clothing map distributed by the Chinese
[Lynn] but only there - that was really nice, so maybe... ;)
[Thorun] yes, very cool. Maybe lynn could post a photo of it in the forum...
[Fredric] so if you want to have a clothing map, go to... um, was that mainland china, or taiwan?
[Lynn] we are talking in riddles
[Arhu] I think Thorun is right on this one.
[Fredric] wait, i'll get the box :-)
[Lynn] go away, kitty ;)
[Thorun] at least once! YES! uh...nevermind...
[Fredric] umm, hmmm... can't read chinese :-(
[Saint_Proverbius] Exitium can.
[Thorun] Why not?
[Lynn] I can too, I just don't understand what I read
[Fredric] it's taiwan...
[Relex] and HE works at Larian....tsstsss
[valtar] hey ...even I work at larian
[Thorun] we know... unfortunately...
[Fredric] and he doesn't speak any language correctly :-p
[Exitium] [DAD] @ Yann, how far is the programming finished? :)
[Yann] We almost finish, just waiting for the job of lazy artists
[Thorun] Pah, we always finish first!
[Fredric] yea, cause we have to wait for you...
[Thorun] not my problem, isn't it?
[Relex] its always our fault....I say;Blame the programmers! I never needed a graphicspatch! ;)
[Fredric] oh no?
[Thorun] Yeah! Lets make another textadventure!
[Exitium] [Rince] Any music samples anytime soon?
[Thorun] i would say music samples depend on how far kirill is. Usually nobody knows that...
[Exitium] [Morbos] @lynn is it easy being the only woman at larian (my cace 80 students,one girl)
[Lynn] Yes, that's the perfect school for "how to teach men!" ;-)
[Thorun] haha! sure!
[Lynn] I really enjoy it in Larian, even when I'm the only woman - thanks for your concern ;)
[Thorun] She keeps the company together, we all would be long dead without her...
[valtar] oohhh :)
[Saint_Proverbius] I think we're done.
[Lynn] Ok, thanks very much Saint and to all the people: many thanks for joining!
[Saint_Proverbius] And to all the Larian people, I'd like to thank you for being here, and remind you that Lynn is the one who set the time for this.
[Lynn] blame me!
[Spazmo] Saint will have a nice log up for us in no time over at http://www.rpgcodex.com
[Thorun] we will...
[Fredric] her punishment awaits... :-)
[Saint_Proverbius] Hah, you guys have been great!
[Lynn] Really? did u understand us?
[Thorun] he pretends
[Saint_Proverbius] Oh, eh.. I never read anything, I was just cutting and pasting.