Official Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Codex Interview RPG Codex Interview: Rich Thomas, White Wolf's Creative Director, on World of Darkness & Art Design

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Grunker, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. Grunker RPG Codex Ghost Patron

    Grunker
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    21,517
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Tags: PnP Interview; Rich Thomas; Vampire the Masquerade; Vampire the Masquerade - Redemption; Vampire the Requiem; Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines; White Wolf; World of Darkness; World of Darkness MMO

    For the second interview in the Codex' mini-series on Pen & Paper role-playing games (you can find the first here), we reached out to Rich Thomas, creative director at White Wolf Publishing - the company behind Vampire the Masquerade and Vampire the Requiem, as well as a long list of other products set in the World of Darkness. From a cRPG perspective, White Wolf is responsible for Vampire the Masquerade: Redemption, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines and the upcoming World of Darkness MMO. Due to the MMO being an upcoming title, there were some restrictions on Rich's ability to discuss cRPG specifics with us. Nevertheless, we asked him a few questions focusing on creative design for pen & paper games, the digital media in role-playing, and many related matters. Read on!

    Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your responsibilities at White Wolf Publishing as Creative Director? What project(s) are you currently involved with?

    RT: Very briefly, I began working in 1986 (I know!) illustrating for White Wolf Magazine and within 6 years was in Atlanta Art Directing for the whole company including a little game called Vampire the Masquerade. About seven years ago I was asked to become the Creative Director, which combined my work in charge of all of WW's visuals with responsibilities for overseeing all the writing and editing as well. For the past seven years my tasks within the Creative Director umbrella have been many and varied, but the key responsibilities have been to evolve White Wolf into a company better capable of thriving in the changing publishing marketplace, and to sustain and surpass our long history of compelling worlds and great art.​

    The new World of Darkness game introduced many significant changes. Could you name some of the improvements NWoD made from your perspective? Looking back, do you think something should have been done differently about the new edition?

    RT: Although they can get cheesy, especially if overused, I like the idea of things like Bloodlines - the offshoots of the larger groups that are a lot of fun to create for the Storyteller, and to personalize for the players. The biggest thing I liked was the tone shifted to the idea that even for these ancient supernaturals there were still unknown and unclassified dangers out there. I think we dropped the ball on providing a rich backstory - we really needed something with more secrets and layers of lore than cWoD. But our plan was to rely on giving that depth in fiction books, and then we discovered we didn't have the bandwidth to create those books. So I think our community, who was used to the depth of content of cWoD, was left unsatisfied. We created a toolkit approach to NWoD, but we never gave enough examples of how that toolkit should be used.​

    What are the main ways video game art influences pen and paper art today, and vice versa? How would you describe this process?

    RT: In general terms, because if I go to specific here it may suggest a direction for the WoD MMO that isn't true, I think all illustration is influenced by other media that exists either at the same time or as influences on the artists. What we have now is an entire generation of illustrators who are exposed to so much more in the way of visuals that ever was possible before, and who grew up on visual input from computer gaming. On the plus side, this means there's an incredible richness there, and on the downside there may be too many artists working now who really haven't fully studied their craft on a technical level. But a great illustrator is going to shine no matter what, so I think the amazing range of beautiful art we're seeing now wins out.​

    For more on Rich Thomas' thoughts on pen & paper art design, as well as roleplaying in general and in the digital medium, read the entire interview!

    Read the full article: RPG Codex Interview: Rich Thomas, White Wolf's Creative Director, on World of Darkness & Art Design
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 13
    ^ Top  
  2. hiver Guest

    hiver
    Im never going to get my improved new Vampire Masquerade: Redemption, am i?

    The one with turn based combat, greater non linearity, C&C and story based somewhere in the past...
    Fuck you white wolf! Stick yer modern Masquerade where the sun dont shine!!!

    also... why is there an ! at the end of "read the entire interview" ?
    Full stop not emotionally engaging enough?
    just rhetorically wandering here...
     
    ^ Top  
  3. TheCatsofSanktPetersburg Learned

    TheCatsofSanktPetersburg
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    163
    Since I've never played the PnP, it's hard to decide on whether the series is awesome by itself or because Troika did such an awesome job at presenting it (the same way Obsidian did with Forgotten Realms in MotB) thus forever setting the tone and flavour with which I view WoD.

    Still, I have to say that readding about the setting on Wikipedia is a very special experience. None of the elements in any of these games are at all original, being drawn from popular culture, urban legends and folklore. But they way they're put togheter, creates a central theme of darkness and secrecy which makes all these stereotypes blend togheter in a immersive and even believable manner.

    That takes a certain type of creative talent. To take every popular trope about monsters and still make it all feel authentic and special.

    May this be my compliment to you guys. Someone who's never played one of your games, yet who's very much impressed by the concept. (especially Prometheus)
     
    ^ Top  
  4. catfood AGAIN

    catfood
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Messages:
    6,408
    Location:
    Nirvana for mice
    Very nice interview. WOD does indeed have some very nice artwork. In fact the books themselves are beautifully crafted and manage to suck you in during the first few pages. I've skimmed over numerous RP systems but White Wolf's stuff is the one that stands out the most. More developers should use them as an inspiration on how to make game books attractive. Also the fact that the system is fairly easy to understand and work with is a big plus.

    That being said I've never played WOD, but I've read a fair number of the stuff, both new and old, and there are only maybe a couple of settinings which I would consider playing. Most of it is just too far and out there, and require a specific mindest which I don't have. It's mainly targeted at emos and goths and people who Black Cat tried to parody through his trolling. For instance I read Wraith and I thought "wow! this is such a neat concept, almost planescapetormentish", and then I realized that it's unplayable, at least in the way that the books wanted it to be played. And some of the passages in the books are eye-rollers for anyone who is over the age of 16 and has half a brain cell still in servicable condition. It's a such darn shame.


    Also, the images don't show up in the article. It's just some empty (img) tags. Anyone else have this problem?
     
    ^ Top  
  5. Grunker RPG Codex Ghost Patron

    Grunker
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    21,517
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Hmm, they show up fine for me. Dunno what the problem might be.
     
    ^ Top  
  6. catfood AGAIN

    catfood
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Messages:
    6,408
    Location:
    Nirvana for mice
    A problem on my end then. Must be because I'm using an older browser version.
     
    ^ Top  
  7. Excidium P. banal

    Self-Ejected
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Messages:
    13,693
    Location:
    Third World
    No question about the other auld WoD reboots? :(

    I can't wait for the Werewolf and Mage anniversary editions, I just love the settings of those two games and it'll be great to see them coming back to relevance.

    Please interview Phil Brucato. :love:

    Really? WW books have p. unimpressive art in my opinion. There are some good pieces, some bad ones, some anime...
     
    ^ Top  
  8. sgc_meltdown Arcane

    sgc_meltdown
    Joined:
    May 8, 2003
    Messages:
    6,000
    I wouldn't say they had unique qualities but at the very least the artwork from my two favorite clanbooks conveyed a very suitable mood

    http://imgur.com/aJrkG,NYHLs

    hrrmn, I seem to be missing the other tzimisce clanbook
    you know, the one with teeth.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  9. Excidium P. banal

    Self-Ejected
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Messages:
    13,693
    Location:
    Third World
    I like that artist's style a lot, he's just perfectly suited to draw spirits and other weird shit. :D
     
    ^ Top  
  10. sgc_meltdown Arcane

    sgc_meltdown
    Joined:
    May 8, 2003
    Messages:
    6,000
    • Brofist Brofist x 5
    ^ Top  
  11. TheCatsofSanktPetersburg Learned

    TheCatsofSanktPetersburg
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    163
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  12. maverick Cipher Patron

    maverick
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    504
    Location:
    Brazil
    Codex 2012 MCA Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera
    Any news on the WoD MMO?

    I wish they would see the light, learn from TORtanic, and just give us a single-player CRPG. It's just so simple.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  13. Excidium P. banal

    Self-Ejected
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Messages:
    13,693
    Location:
    Third World
    I think they have a better time looking at their own MMO, EvE, which is p. succesful for such a niche game.
     
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above buttons helps us pay the hosting bills, thanks!)