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Underrail: Expedition Interview

Discussion in 'Underrail' started by Diggfinger, Jul 2, 2019.

  1. Diggfinger Cipher

    Diggfinger
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    EDIT2
    - Thanks for your contributions, especially epeli Infinitron Daedalos and cherry blossom
    - Below the list of questions Ill be sending to Styg
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    Hey Codexers!

    Having just spent a few days in Belgrade, I got inspired to reach out to Stygian Software for an interview to celebrate the forthcoming release of Expeditions. Actually, Styg even OKd me to visit their offices but unfortunately timewise it didn't work out.

    Anyway, below are the questions Ive drafted so far and Im looking for 5-7 addition ones. Only high quality questions, keep your joke-bullshit to your deaf grandma.
    Also, Styg said to not ask about future dev plans, as those will be addressed after the release.

    List of questions
    Q1

    Underrail: Expeditions will be released on July 22nd. Which features of the expansion are you most excited about?

    Q2

    The original development schedule for Expeditions was around 6 months, with the game being slated for an 2017 release. What made you decide to extend development - was it an ongoing process of adding elements, or had you underestimated the time it would take to realize your original ideas?

    Q3

    How big is Expeditions compared to the base game? How many areas/feats/weapons were added?

    Q4

    Which specific books, movies etc. inspired the look and feel of Expeditions? Waterworld comes to mind is a likely reference.

    Q5

    Is there anything in the expansion (content or systems) that's meant to address complaints people had about the base game, such as walking-speed and lack of fast-travel.

    Q6

    Are there any major changes to quest-design in Expeditions? I.e. will there be more choice and consequence, or will the game generally be more combat-focused?

    Q7

    Will the lore of the new factions tie into the main quest-line and/or characters in any way or is it a completely separate part of the Underrail universe?

    Q8

    What made you chose a mid-game instead of end-game expansion? How hard was it to balance it with the main content, I.e. not ending up with over-powered characters for the ending of the base game.

    Q9

    Which level do you expect players to be when accessing the new content? What have you changed in terms of balancing character-builds - are there many fundamental changes or was the base-game left untouched?

    Q10

    Which, if any, inspiration from real-life events did you use when creating the world of Underrail? Being from Serbia, how much would you say your background influenced the look and feel of the game? E.g. naming the Institute of Tchort etc.

    Q11

    When can we expect new announcements on the future of the Underrail franchise?

    Q12

    Which other games have you and the team been enjoying these past years?
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
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  2. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    You should ask whether there's anything in the expansion (content or systems) that's meant to address a complaint that people had about the base game.

    This may in fact be the most important question. :P I'm sure folks here can come up with a list of things that pissed them off in Underrail if you want to be specific.
     
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  3. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    I'll leave the DC questions to others, who will then summon Blaine

    Q: The mind wanders, even as you barrel down on the final touches to Underrail. What are some of the game concepts or ideas that you've considered or just daydreamed about over the last couple years?
     
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  4. Jenkem Cipher Patron

    Jenkem
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    Make the Codex Great Again!
    Will there be a map?
     
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  5. Ent Learned

    Ent
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    Will any enemies in the base game be updated to have equipment or powers introduced in the expansion?
     
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  6. Jinn Arcane

    Jinn
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    1:48 (should be queued up when you hit play).



    There's one in the base game, why wouldn't there be one in the expansion?
     
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  7. lukaszek the determinator

    lukaszek
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    How many times did you have to watch waterworld to finally realize that penalizing melee on jet skis combat was a mistake?

    How about sneaking on jet skis? Is pacifist sneak run still possible(minus eye and fungis)

    Will we meet kevin costner

    Whats the economy expectation now that we have 3rd money sink (jet skis) after house and steel

    Will there be a nice changeset, proper feat info and weapons so that we can plan characters in advance?

    Is stealing getting more love? It felt more like early game skill to get xp boost by getting selected oddities early.
     
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  8. Jenkem Cipher Patron

    Jenkem
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    uhh was the map always there in the first one? I don't remember it.. either I am retarded or it was added later?
     
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  9. Ent Learned

    Ent
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    It was an update from a couple of years back.
     
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  10. Daedalos Arcane The Real Fanboy

    Daedalos
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    What major/important/big updates have you made to the base game, if any?

    Fans really want a faster walking speed between distant locations, is that something on the way or in the expansion?
    Have you made any changes to the ending of the game? And does the expansion tie into the ending at all or just isolated?
     
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  11. Wunderbar Arcane

    Wunderbar
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    Is it possible to add image scaling?
    Hard to see anything when playing with high resolution.
     
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  12. epeli Arcane

    epeli
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    Styg said I could answer this. They're not secrets or particularly interesting interview questions, and I've kept tabs on numbers anyways.

    Overall Expedition is around half of the base game, although in file size it's bigger due to ample amounts of character/vehicle sprite animation sheets. Be prepared for a 5 GB download! There are around 250 new areas whereas the base game has over 500. Number of feats/specializations went from 117/0 to 187/180. Most of these are either for the new weapons, veteran feats or special feats you acquire outside leveling, but there are a few new general feats as well. As for weapons, 16 new uniques. Mostly swords, spears/staves and shotguns. Crafting-wise, there are 3 regular shotguns, 3 combat shotguns and each craftable melee weapon (spear, curved machete, straight machete) can be made from any metal as usual. Some base game weapons will also be getting a bit of love.

    In return, a question I would have Styg answer in an interview:
    Expedition lets players experience Black Sea and learn other bits of the human world's history beyond BioCorp's Underrail. Were these parts of the Timelapse Vertigo universe you had planned from the beginning, or something you formed with the team?

    Infinitron yes, but Styg probably wouldn't talk about it in detail before the DLC is out. You'll see soon.

    Already have. Death Stalkers have always had Blindsiding. If you have the DLC installed, new equipment will appear in certain parts of the base game where it makes sense. For example: spears are a popular weapon choice in a community of hunters, iron bandits may employ shotguns and some lurkers will now carve you up with machetes.

    You'll get patch notes for base game changes as usual (and there'll be a new experimental version before DLC release), but expansion will be entirely new territory. underrail.info.tm/build/ will be updated immediately when DLC releases, or perhaps a bit in advance. Gotta balance my timing against Styg's hate for pre-release leaks. Wiki updates after DLC release, how fast depends on how many testers I can coax to help and/or if I can finally get Styg to open editing for everyone.
     
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  13. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    epeli Are you an official Stygian Software developer now or just a very dedicated volunteer tester?
     
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  14. epeli Arcane

    epeli
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    Infinitron I'm still just the #1 Underrail fanboy. I correspond with the devs a bit more than others since I run underrail.info.tm and helped set up styg's wiki.
     
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  15. Black Angel Arcane

    Black Angel
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    Blaine do you have objection against above statement or nah?
     
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  16. HeatEXTEND Cipher Patron

    HeatEXTEND
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    Did working on the expansion make you regret design choices in the "base game"/engine? If so, please elaborate :]

    :rage::yeah:
     
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  17. Gaius maximus Arbiter

    Gaius maximus
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    since crafting food was nerfed what new system will be implemented?
     
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  18. Drowed Arcane

    Drowed
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    Wow, and Styg's still planning to launch another expansion after that? Now I'm wondering, how big the next expansion would be? It wouldn't be something that big, I guess? Because if it is, there will be 3 more years waiting for the next expansion (and at this point I imagine it would be better to invest that time in the next game). The game would basically be more than double in size at that point.
     
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  19. Ivan Arcane

    Ivan
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    I went with a fast melee build my first go around, what's another fun build I might enjoy?
     
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  20. jungl Learned

    jungl
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    crazy how all these fallout inspired games play nothing like the fallout games. ATOM and Underrail. I really loved fallout tactics because its essentially fallout 1-2 but 1.5. Your seeing how the franchise would evolve if bethesda did't make oblivion clones with it. The vehicles where really cool addition and its awesome how you could have your squad all fire in them at the same time. Maps were well done and the mission briefings set the tone right what u expect like the final mission was really cool. Also there was multiplayer support and you can play role play maps with other people where you can larp as the town dog or the local military. Those were funny cause they eventually end sooner or later with everyone killing each other. The pvp maps were dope and somewhat skill based. Everyone tended use the flamer because outside of bethesda fallouts few armor provided protection against it. And it was hilarious knocking someone down with a shotgun blast then lighting them up literally.
     
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  21. cherry blossom Arcane

    cherry blossom
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    Is Expedition more combat oriented or more story or C&C oriented? The best quests in Underrail involved competing perspectives, a "slow-burn" pace with the investigations and bits of information. Sadly, there weren't many of those. Will we be getting such?

    Lore in Underrail is very rich and to me very believable, with lots of myth and mystery surrounding events and entities. I have always wondered about the inspiration for these and what, if any, the real-life parallels were. Can you share anything, both from Underrail and Expedition?

    Will Jetskis spill over into the base game as well?

    How does Underrail in its first released form (post-Early Access) as well as its final form with the upcoming Expedition compare to your original vision back when you first started working on Timelapse Vertigo? Were there things you wanted to but didn't or couldn't do for whatever reason? Does Expedition contain anything that you planned, designed or intended early on but eventually left out of Underrail?

    For instance, you started on Timelapse Vertigo as a RTwP before switching to TB based on feedback. How do you feel about that now when you look back?

    What was the idea behind the original name "Timelapse Vertigo"? It has always made me think of a rather different vision than the game at release, especially looking back after having played it. Perhaps one with more Biocorp, Faceless, Oculus, "Godmen" and quantum mysteries stuff than Tchort and endless caves?

    At what point did Tchort come into the picture? Was it a later addition or something you had in mind from early on? What were the influences for it (well, besides Lovecraft, perhaps)?

    There is a very varied and sometimes unusual lingo between the different groups in the game. How did you come up with these, what influence did Serbian (or any other language) did have on this? With examples where applicable please! The naming conventions within the Institute of Tchort in particular were so original and captivating to me and I couldn't help think of religious influences, probably in a negative way. Is that correct?

    Can you talk a little bit about Kokoschka of Free Drones, as well as this West Underrail he speaks of? He sounded like a typically traditional Balkan guy to me, and therefore like breakig the 4th wall, though that might also be my bias. There is a definite reflection of Balkan cultures in some parts of the game, and I have always wondered about how this relates to you personally? Will we get more of that influence in Expedition? I can't help but expect, what with the name of choice, "Black Sea".

    Would appreciate if all questions could be answered <3
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
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  22. cherry blossom Arcane

    cherry blossom
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    Furher questions:

    Not necessarily future plans but more like entertaining thoughts: Where does the idea of Underrail go next in your mind, beyond the second add-on after Expedition? Not concrete plans but what you feel like doing or simply imagine. Continuing the story? Another single character experience? A more tactics oriented party experience? More/less story/branching? Exploring different game mechanics or styles altogether? Bigger/better graphics? Anything.

    Based on your previous posts, you seem to detest the idea of making modding in Underrail possible, beyond the amount of work it would entail to polish, document and release the tools, like you don't want to enable any authorship over the game to others as if to protect it from "outside taint". Would that be a correct assessment? I guess I am asking because the game is truly asking to be modded, with new environments, NPCs, quests and writing. How does the idea of others breathing new life into your baby sound to you? How do you look at the popularity (and longevity) of modding in other games? Is it something you would ideally do at any point, time and resources permitting?

    Also not future plans: do you have any other game concepts in your mind that you are evaluating or think of maybe doing at some point?

    Just a side note: a FO:T or Dungeon Rats type of 3-6 character tactics game would be an amazing choice, a lot of people would agree I'm sure. Such a game would also lend itself very well to modding :wink:
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
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  23. Black Angel Arcane

    Black Angel
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    What do you mean 'there weren't many of those'? On the contrary, Underrail is filled to the brim with investigation quests. While seemed like a simple fetch quests, looking for the drill parts in Junkyard is investigation, if only just slightly because you ought to ask around Junkyard for those parts and ultimately go ask help from 1 of the 2 factions or both to know where it is. Heck, before that, GMS expedition is also an investigation of sort, from looking for a way to open that vault to solving the problems with the inhabitants and the bandits in the floors below. Finding out what happened with those trains meant to arrive in Rail Crossing, what happened to the Bakers couple, finding Cornell and the Acid Hunters, retrieving the Cube, finding out the nature of the Beast in the Foundry and how to defeat it, the conflict between Camp Hathor and the Rathound King and the solution to that conflict, all the way to the quests in the Institute especially the scientific departments, until the very end in the Deep Caverns where you need to find out how to restore power to some section of the Hollow Earth, why the Tchortlings are afraid of the Mushroom Forest and finding out that it's capable of getting rid of biomass blocking the gate, etc etc.....

    The thing about them, however, is that the 'investigations' part aren't as intricate and complex as the ones we got from the Jack Quicksilver and Abram, and that one quest from when we got to the Oculus. To get to the investigation and bits of information part of the other quests, it's the usual combat, subterfuge, and/or diplomacy route, or worst, the backtracking that's still present in the Foundry questline. Not that there's anything wrong with them, but yeah I'd like to see more of Jack-Abram-Oculus quests designs.
     
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  24. cherry blossom Arcane

    cherry blossom
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    Final question: We need a proper money-sink in the game economy: hirable mercenaries. Hire them and send them to their death while you enjoy your popcorn from afar. The ultimate pacifist playthrough. Will you do it?

    You can keep one or two with you as bodyguards to most places (morr expensive) or tell them to meet you in a specific place at a specific entry point for your next visit.

    Mercs that you hire and survive long enough around you level up and increase your reputation with the mercs, making you a reliable contractor, keep hiring rates stable and unlock better mercs. Frequent loss of mercs, however, drop your rep and inflate the rates for future hires.

    Yeah ok, wasn't serious, the scope and the style of the game would likely be a whole other level with too many design considerations, but it would be so cool.
     
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  25. Diggfinger Cipher

    Diggfinger
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    Thanks, see Q7

    Appreciate the detailed run-down. But the question about the size of the name game remains valid indeed, especially since the interview will be published for people not frequently using the Codex to read as well
     
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