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Interview Brian Fargo on his new game

VentilatorOfDoom

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Tags: Brian Fargo; InXile Entertainment

InXile teamed up with Bethesda for a new game, Hunted: The Demon's Forge.
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Brian Fargo, Founder of Interplay, <a href="http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=239562&site=pcg">gives an introduction. </a>
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<p style="margin-left:50px;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;border-top-color:#ffffff;padding:5px;border-right-color:#bbbbbb;border-left-color:#ffffff;border-bottom-color:#bbbbbb;"><b>PCG: What's the game's focus? Combat, RPG, or story?</b>
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BF: I think all RPGs - setting aside that this is not technically an RPG - all RPGs, if you're designing it right, you focus on the combat system first, because it's what you're going to be doing 99% of the time. The combat system is what will generate the most emotion, better than any kind of writing that we could do.
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An example - when I was playing Wizardry, and I was in a dungeon and I couldn't save my character. I had to get my way out and I was down to 5HP, and I kick in one more door because I'm greedy, then I get ambushed, and I'm taking hits to my back, and finally I bust out of the top - I would jump up and dance around the room - I knew if I screwed up, I'd just put four hours down the drain. There is no greater emotional motivator than wasting four hours. No amount of story can recreate that. So you've got to make the combat fun and interesting. If you've upgraded on spells and weapons, you need to be able to feel it. So that's number one.
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Number two is atmosphere, we're very much more of the journey is the reward, and then after that is plot and story. If you force me to order it, I'd put it that way.
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</p>
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This is not technically an RPG, but the genres are blurring anyways as of late and I predict it will be at least as RPGish as the Lara Croft series or Gears of War, so it is a good thing that I posted this as news.
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<a href="http://bitmob.com/articles/5-reasons-why-hunted-the-demons-forge-isnt-the-game-the-developer-thinks-it-is">There's more.</a>
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thanks Quilty!
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Spotted at: <A HREF="http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=239562&site=pcg">Booze & Videogames</A>
 

Wyrmlord

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I like his priorities.

Combat, atmosphere, scaling rewards properly for big effort, and then marginalize plot and story as far down below as possible.

In short, he understands gaming, and many don't.
 

janjetina

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Wyrmlord said:
I like his priorities.

Combat, atmosphere, scaling rewards properly for big effort, and then marginalize plot and story as far down below as possible.

In short, he understands gaming, and many don't.

Apparently, you don't. A writer writes a story, a system designer designs the system. Different assets are involved. Atmosphere is inseparable from the setting, which is inseparable from the story. Unless by atmosphere you mean "moar bloom" and shaders 945943598798.0.
 

DarkUnderlord

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I don't really care what Brian Fargo said but I am trying to work out how what janjetina said relates to what Wyrmlord said.
 

Rhalle

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Pace Bioware, he makes games-- not digitized soap operas.
 

ghostdog

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but the game that immediately comes to mind when seeing Hunted in action is...Gears of War, believe it or not. Gears of War in a fantasy setting. Here are five very specific reasons why.

:lol: it's a gears of war rpg after all.
 

Texas Red

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janjetina said:
Wyrmlord said:
I like his priorities.

Combat, atmosphere, scaling rewards properly for big effort, and then marginalize plot and story as far down below as possible.

In short, he understands gaming, and many don't.

Apparently, you don't. A writer writes a story, a system designer designs the system. Different assets are involved. Atmosphere is inseparable from the setting, which is inseparable from the story. Unless by atmosphere you mean "moar bloom" and shaders 945943598798.0.

I completely agree.

An ARPG would be more enjoyable if you cared about the protagonists personal story, if the unique setting made you want to continue just to discover more, if you had only a few choices and some basic concequences here and there and if the antogonist had some kind of a personality and motives.

There is absolutely no reason or excuse to leave out any innovations or aristry when other genres and sub genres employ them. Jesus Christ, they have been doing basically the same ARPG for 2 decades and all of them, even Diablo, are archaic. You wont need more recources to develop some quasi SF antogonist compared to ancient lizardmen or gods.

Also, Brian Fargo, everything your new company has made has been utter shit. I hope your new ARPG fails and sets you back making phone games again. APRG is the most stagnant, brain dead genre generally made only to leach off money with as less effort as possible. The Indi ARPGs at least try something new and are infinitely more important to gaming that whatever you can pull off.

BF: Usually when you work on a prototype, you do something that's a visual representation, but it isn't playable. I think the original one was simply a dungeon. It was you coming round a corner, running down a hall, and you're in combat with this thing. So you never got the sense of the epic nature of what it is we're doing here. It was just to show "look what a dungeon would look like with today's technology - bricks with water running down them, and chains swinging", and they said "yeah, that is cool!" So we just made a cool looking dungeon, then we threw it in the trash and went off to create this.

hunted_206316.jpg


hunted_206319.jpg


No, it doesnt look cool. It looks like a generic 3 year old ARPG that cant be distinguished from any other APRG.
 
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Way too early for me to make any guesses as to the game's quality, but one thing comes to mind: what the fuck does that game have to do with Wizardry-style-gaming? Reading that interview made me think 'yep, another old great has succumbed to the insanity that afflicts 1980s/90s developers (see Garriot, Molyneux)'.

Was drinking from lead pipes part of the standard crpg development process in the 80s? Did they all sit around sipping methylated spirits at the launch parties? It just seems to be a truism that anyone who made good games in the 80s or very early 90s doesn't just lose form, but goes utterly nuts.
 

janjetina

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DarkUnderlord said:
I don't really care what Brian Fargo said but I am trying to work out how what janjetina said relates to what Wyrmlord said.

Wyrmlord states that system design should take priority and the story should be marginalized, and that such an approach shows "understanding the gaming". It reminds me (as to the details of my thought process and associative sequence forming, I can't be of much help) of a recurring mondblutian (and Wyrmlord is a mondblutian) fallacy that you can't have a good system and a good story as you can devote assets only to one of them. I disagree and state that, while making system (by system I mean character system, combat system, the way that exploration and puzzles are handled, AI) encounters, design a priority, reasonable attention can be given to the story as well, as different resources are involved. You can have a single guy working on the setting and the story and a few teams of people working on aspects of the system and get a game with complex gameplay and a good story. No sane person would claim that a good story makes a game worse.
 

Zeus

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I think all RPGs - setting aside that this is not technically an RPG - all RPGs, if you're designing it right, you focus on the combat system first, because it's what you're going to be doing 99% of the time.

It's true, it's true. I'll never understand why RPGs don't put more work into things like multiple battle themes. I'm not talking a jazzier remix for boss fights, I'm talking a Final Fantasy Tactics style full-soundtrack worth of songs randomly selected for each battle.
 

Burning Bridges

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Azrael the cat said:
Reading that interview made me think 'yep, another old great has succumbed to the insanity that afflicts 1980s/90s developers (see Garriot, Molyneux)'.

Was drinking from lead pipes part of the standard crpg development process in the 80s? Did they all sit around sipping methylated spirits at the launch parties? It just seems to be a truism that anyone who made good games in the 80s or very early 90s doesn't just lose form, but goes utterly nuts.

I believe this is all because of the money. You see things differently when you have millions on the bank. Or more precisely, too much money turns hard working, creative, likeable guys into hedonistic, cynical and self-centered cunts.

On top if that these guys lost touch with reality from permanent cocksucking. People should have stopped telling these guys how great they are even when they began to suck. Garriot for example clearly lost his genius around the time they developed Ultima 8 (I believe 1994), and everything he turned out since then was shit. Yet people call him a genius all the same.
 

Serious_Business

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GlobalExplorer said:
Azrael the cat said:
Reading that interview made me think 'yep, another old great has succumbed to the insanity that afflicts 1980s/90s developers (see Garriot, Molyneux)'.

Was drinking from lead pipes part of the standard crpg development process in the 80s? Did they all sit around sipping methylated spirits at the launch parties? It just seems to be a truism that anyone who made good games in the 80s or very early 90s doesn't just lose form, but goes utterly nuts.

I believe this is all because of the money. You see things differently when you have millions on the bank. Or more precisely, too much money turns hard working, creative, likeable guys into hedonistic, cynical and self-centered cunts.

On top if that these guys lost touch with reality from permanent cocksucking. People should have stopped telling these guys how great they are even when they began to suck. Garriot for example clearly lost his genius around the time they developed Ultima 8 (I believe 1994), and everything he turned out since then was shit. Yet people call him a genius all the same.

salute.gif
 

ghostdog

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Luzur said:
i would want a story to why i am going around and killing things.

You kill things because killing is your business and things need to be killed, dude.
 

random_encounter

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Azrael the cat said:
Way too early for me to make any guesses as to the game's quality, but one thing comes to mind: what the fuck does that game have to do with Wizardry-style-gaming?
Absolutely nothing, mechanics-wise. I think he was pointing to eliciting the same kind of thrill that he felt when he was playing Wizardry and had barely escaped with his life by gambling on kicking down one more door.

Now whether his skills are still up to evoking that level of emotion with a new game and its gameplay mechanics, I guess we'll have to wait and see. I'm still on the fence on this one despite having Fargo's name attached to it, though. The last title I had played from Fargo was the Bard's Tale with Cary Elwes as the Bard.
 

Kraszu

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ghostdog said:
Luzur said:
i would want a story to why i am going around and killing things.

You kill things because killing is your business and things need to be killed, dude.

That is actually a better story then rescuing the earth. :incline:
 

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