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Codex Interview Swen Vincke talks to the Codex

VentilatorOfDoom

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Tags: Dragon Commander; Larian Studios; Swen Vincke

Larian Studio founder Swen Vincke was kind enough to waste his precious time answering a couple of questions. Initially the interview was all about Dragon Commander, Larian's upcoming RPG/Strategy hybrid, but then we digressed a bit. Keep in mind that those questions were asked and answered in December, but since the frontpage still isn't up yet I'm publishing the interview here and now in the news forum and will add it to the content system properly at an unspecified later point.

Here we go.

Thanks to Swen for his time.
 

ghostdog

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Nice interview. :thumbsup:

I wasn't that interested in DC , but now I am.
 

Infinitron

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Codex Year of the Donut 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 Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Too bad we don't have a FRONT PAGE to put it on!:x
 

Skittles

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Project E = Dragon Abortion Clinic?


More seriously, cool chat. I don't know that I can buy Dragon Commander on release, but maybe I'll give the Divinities a try--I like how he talks about games.
 

Morkar Left

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He comes up with such silly examples that the game seems to be worth playing only for seeing this examples in action.
 

Jasede

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Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Codex Year of the Donut I'm very into cock and ball torture
That certainly depends on the gentleman on gentlecreature in question.

What's up with these awful titles? You should have asked that. "Dear Larian, why can't you make titles that don't sound like they won't sell?"

Divine Divinity? Dragon Commander? What's next, Dragon Mounter? I'd buy it, but...
 

DraQ

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That certainly depends on the gentleman on gentlecreature in question.
In that case mounting should be mutually consensual and even talking of it without explicit consent given is just rude and ungentlemanly.

Someone actually talks to the Codex in this day and age. We should have him stuffed and mounted.

You do mean that as in "mounted on the wall", right?.

...Right?
My work here is done.
:troll:
 

Shannow

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I'm not bitter about publishers, I just see most of them as a hindrance. For whatever historic reason they managed to put themselves between developers and players and in the past as a developer there was no real choice but to go through them if you wanted to get your game sold. I don't think that's been beneficial for the evolution and quality of gameplay. I also don't think they should be the ones dictating what gets made and what not. Because that determines what gets played and what not, and imho that should be up to players, not a couple of guys in an office who think they know what players want.

Just imagine that all the money lost on middle-men during the history of videogames was actually used for development. We'd have a very different state of the art.
:bro:
But in the same breath, the ability to do targeted promotions helps a lot with the backend of the sales curve, and it's something you can't do in retail.
Huh? Bargain bins disagree.
Divine Divinity is still selling very decent numbers thanks to Good Old Games, almost 10 years after it's release.
I still sometimes see Shogun: Total War (the original one, not Shogun 2), Gothic, Blizzard Box (Diablo, Warcraft 2 and Starcraft in one package) or other old games on shelves, so one has to assume they're still selling. But it of course depends on the game and Germany is supposedly a special case...
In any case, you can rest assured that developers publishing directly on digital platforms make a lot more money than they would if they'd go through a publisher via retail.
...and there is that.
"Do I consider abortion an evil or a right ? And if I consider it evil, at what point does it become evil ? From the moment of conception, or at a later stage ?"
Is that actually in the game or is that Sven explaining their take on moral ambiguity?
Anyway, I see potential for shittiness here. It depends strongly on expectations and viewpoints, both of the dev and the player. Much potential for devs clashing with players (like DAO did for me). (EG: the fundamentalist christian player gets disappointed because abortion doesn't lead to god smiting the PC. The feminazi is disappointed because the abortion doesn't lead to the PC being commended for respecting the woman's right to choose. The normal player being disappointed by being pushed into either of those viewpoints.)

Anyway, an intriguing concept for a game. The crux will lie in dragon gameplay and Larian's handling of C&C.
 

CappenVarra

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Depends on your definition of RPG I guess. There's really a lot of choice and consequence where we did our best to bring you situations you'll easily recognize, albeit in a fantasy setting. And we also did our best to attach tangible consequences to these choices. It's not only going to be "will I give npc X the sword or keep it for myself" but rather "Do I consider abortion an evil or a right ? And if I consider it evil, at what point does it become evil ? From the moment of conception, or at a later stage ?".
This is so utterly... codexian (first, define an RPG; then, move to GD and discuss abortion)... that I'll be disappointed if one of the options isn't Islam has all the answers :P
 

Aldebaran

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The frightening bit was the revelation that only 7-17% of a developer's group works on gameplay, and I won't be surprised if I find that this percentage is a lot smaller in larger studios. This really is a strange industry. Can you imagine a car manufacturer where over 70% of the developing team only focused on making the body look nice?

I probably shouldn't bring that up since, at this point, it is likely the case.
 

VentilatorOfDoom

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The frightening bit was the revelation that only 7-17% of a developer's group works on gameplay, and I won't be surprised if I find that this percentage is a lot smaller in larger studios. This really is a strange industry. Can you imagine a car manufacturer where over 70% of the developing team only focused on making the body look nice?

I probably shouldn't bring that up since, at this point, it is likely the case.
Right. And Divinity 2 really wasn't that cinematic to begin with. Games like DA2 or TW2, well I'd imagine the percentage of "production-value focused" effort would be much higher. And it shows.
 

Murk

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The title for Divine Divinity was okay with me, very Pratchett-esque. It sounds dumb til you get to the joke, assuming you even get it, but then again the game is very light hearted so I had no problem with the title being humorous too.
 

DraQ

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Anyway, I see potential for shittiness here. It depends strongly on expectations and viewpoints, both of the dev and the player. Much potential for devs clashing with players (like DAO did for me). (EG: the fundamentalist christian player gets disappointed because abortion doesn't lead to god smiting the PC. The feminazi is disappointed because the abortion doesn't lead to the PC being commended for respecting the woman's right to choose. The normal player being disappointed by being pushed into either of those viewpoints.)
I'd FFFFUUUU- in advance if it was made by anyone else, but I think Lar has enough distance to himself and his own opinions, and is :obviously: enough to not turn the game into derpy author tract (see EZKeel's user-made SP maps for Unreal for an example how horrible those can get - EZKeel was a christard getting through a crisis of faith at that moment and desperately trying to reinforce his fiath. It showed.)

Failing that, I hope he's not a dumbass and thus his opinions overlap with mine in 100%, precluding any value dissonance in my case.
:troll:
 

Damned Registrations

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Interesting stuff. My attention has grown from 'might remember it when it comes out' to 'actually want to know the release date'.
 

commie

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Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Divinity: Original Sin 2
The frightening bit was the revelation that only 7-17% of a developer's group works on gameplay, and I won't be surprised if I find that this percentage is a lot smaller in larger studios. This really is a strange industry. Can you imagine a car manufacturer where over 70% of the developing team only focused on making the body look nice?

I probably shouldn't bring that up since, at this point, it is likely the case.
Right. And Divinity 2 really wasn't that cinematic to begin with. Games like DA2 or TW2, well I'd imagine the percentage of "production-value focused" effort would be much higher. And it shows.
Again with the Twitcher bashing...can't stand it that sold more than a million just on PC eh? I can only imagine the delicious tears you will shed when the console edition sells even more thus creating the revenue for a further continuation of THE WITCHER!!!!
 

VentilatorOfDoom

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Again with the Twitcher bashing...can't stand it that sold more than a million just on PC eh? I can only imagine the delicious tears you will shed when the console edition sells even more thus creating the revenue for a further continuation of THE WITCHER!!!!
Why would I shed tears? I don't have any ill wishes for CDProjekt. They can sell their console game on consoles as much as they want, with my best wishes and my blessing.
 

DwarvenFood

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Strap Yourselves In Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
Great job getting the interview, it was a refreshing read, I really like the man's honesty about the subjects - even though I do not necessarily go crazy over DC just yet, it sure deserves a chance.
 

snoek

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I've visited their (first) office when I was still a kid and later applied for a QA position (which I didn't get). It's amazing how they're still going and how far they've come since then. I wish them all the best and I hope being independent brings them everything they want. I also hope for an awesome dragon commander offcourse :) While high fantasy isn't really my thing the c&c part of this title looks promising.

Oh yes, too bad their original 'LMK' never got realized.
 

Black

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Huh, I thought no "self-respecting" developers would talk to Codex.
 

janjetina

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I'm sold. Another game to look forward to wait impatiently for and fear that it would turn to vapour.
 

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