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Codex Interview RPG Codex Interview: Antharion, Indie Turn- and Party-based RPG

Crooked Bee

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Tags: Antharion; Kickstarter; Orphic Software

Another promising RPG project currently on Kickstarter is Orphic Software's Antharion, "an old school turn-based party-based RPG set in a huge open fantasy world." According to the Kickstarter pitch, the intention behind Antharion is "to combine an immense open-ended living-breathing world where the player is free to go anywhere and do anything, with a deep tactical turn-based combat system, a rich skill set and character creation system, and the distinctive feel of old-school classic RPGs."

Antharion has grabbed the attention of some Codexers already, so we reached out to Ari Rae-Silver of Orphic Software with some questions in the hope this interview would help shed more light on and bring more attention to the game. Here's an excerpt from the interview:

The Kickstarter page doesn't have any information on races and classes. Could you describe them for us and explain how they relate to the game world? Will NPCs react differently to characters of different races?

There are 5 races: Human, Lynx (the cat-like creatures), Elves, Orcs, and Necrophils (the demonic beings). Each race has its own set of strengths and all are inextricably tied in with the game world and storyline. Humans are the most politically powerful race and the de facto rulers. Elves are a noble race and are widely admired for their beauty but have little influence beyond culture. Orcs, once a great race of warriors whose warlords ruled over Antharion for aeons, are now taken and sold as slaves by Humans. Lynx are subterranean and reside solitarily on the fringes of society. Necrophils, originally the magical creations of adept Wizards, gradually improved their own powers through magical self-replicating techniques, eventually becoming more magically proficient than their creators. Some NPCs will react to your party differently depending on its racial makeup. Sometime favorably, other times disfavorably.

Antharion seems to be very dungeon crawling-heavy and action-oriented. Are there any non-combat skills such as thievery skills, alchemy, speech skills, etc.? What sort of interactions are there with the gameworld aside from killing monsters?

There’s definitely tons of dungeon crawling, but it’s not all about that. One thing we’re really trying to do is to create the sense of a living world. NPCs don’t just wait around for you in their shops. They go home at night, go to lunch at the nearby tavern, that kind of thing. There’s also a big stealing component. Get caught stealing and you’ll either be attacked or the npc will flee to alert a guard. The guard will alert other guards and chase you down, throwing you in the nearest jail if you’re caught. As far as non-combat skills go, we’re definitely adding alchemy and are considering adding persuasion, pick-pocketing, crafting and a few others.

How diverse are Antharion's quests going to be? What other types of quests apart from kill and fetch quests are you going to put in the game? You also call the game world of Antharion "open-ended". Does this include alternative endings and multiple quest solutions?

There’s a lot of diversity. Of course you’ll have the standard Fed-Ex style quests, but you’ll also have some pretty unique stuff. For example: you meet a local slave trader in one of the sleazier taverns on the wrong side of town. He tells you that he’s just had a shipment of Orcs stolen by a rival slaver and asks you to go retrieve them. From this point there are a number of possible outcomes: (1) you could go and retrieve the Orc slaves and return them to the quest giver; (2) you could go and free the Orc slaves; (3) you might happen to run into the rival slaver who would then offer you money to kill the quest giver; or (4) you could just kill all of Orc slaves for the heck of it. Personally, I love these types of quests and will put as many of them in as possible. The decisions that you make in a quest like this will have a direct impact on your party’s alignment which in turn affects the world in all kinds of other ways.

So definitely, Antharion has multiple endings and lots of multiple quest solutions.​

Read the full interview: RPG Codex Interview: Antharion, Indie Turn- and Party-based RPG
 
Self-Ejected

Excidium

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Game looks p. cool, except for those balloon-headed characters. I don't understand the decision behind that, because the monsters don't have the same proportions.
 

Zed

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Game looks p. cool, except for those balloon-headed characters. I don't understand the decision behind that, because the monsters don't have the same proportions.
They've said here on the Codex that they will look at reducing head sizes :D
 

CWagner

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They've said here on the Codex that they will look at reducing head sizes :D

I'm pretty sure I just posted a quote of the answer I got from them on KS;)

Though by now they even said it in one of their KS updates:)
 

PosledniKovboj

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Interesting, but it looks a lot like an amalgam of various aspects of Jeff Vogel's games.
if you abstract from the fact that he's been producing utter shit lately, some of the oldest spiderweb games rock(ed). From what the author says I get the feeling that he gets some of his ideas from the good part of Vogel's portfolio.
 

ajrs84

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Hey guys, thanks for your interest our little project.

Antharion drew from a variety of influences, one of which was Avernum 3's combat mechanics, which i personally really loved. Both games have 4 character parties (which is really the magic number for party-based RPGs) and an isometric perspective (though Antharion's, unlike Avernum's, is 2 to 1) but this is pretty much where the similarities end.

One of the races is basically the Nephilim, and another sounds suspiciously like the Shapers.

While not very original, cat-like races are pretty standard fare in many fantasy games (e.g. Khajiit from The Elder Scrolls). And the Necrophils share little in common with shapers - Necrophils are just a demon-like race bent towards the use of black magic whose lore has them as having been created by powerful wizards.

I'm always happy to answer any questions or concerns you guys have.
 

Metro

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Only piece of advice I have is to stay far away from Jeff Vogel's concepts when it comes to game design.
 

Bruma Hobo

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While cartoonish it looks functional, and that's what really matters to me at least. And I think those big heads will attract the casual and consoletard crowd and give you the golds you need to continue making old-school RPGs, I would not change it.
 

ajrs84

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While cartoonish it looks functional, and that's what really matters to me at least. And I think those big heads will attract the casual and consoletard crowd and give you the golds you need to continue making old-school RPGs, I would not change it.

Funny, I'd never thought of it like that.
 

ajrs84

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Avernum 3's combat mechanics, which i personally really loved.
Why?
Both games have 4 character parties (which is really the magic number for party-based RPGs)
Why?

I liked Avernum 3's combat because it felt "snappy" and simple (though not in the sense of lacking depth). I'm not trying to replicate it but it was one of a large number of influences.

I played around with party sizes ranging from 2-6 and 4 by far struck me as the most sensible size. With 3 or less tactical complexity diminishes. 5 or more and you lose the sense of flow. I'm not saying that I think 4 is right or the only sensible solution, just that it strikes me personally as the most reasonable choice.
 

Grunker

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I pledged, but this is a sad, sad statement:

4 character parties (which is really the magic number for party-based RPGs)

:(

6-8 is awesome.
 

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