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MotB interview at GameBanshee
Interview - posted by Vault Dweller on Wed 31 October 2007, 21:52:58Tags: Neverwinter Nights 2; Obsidian Entertainment
GameBanshee has posted an interesting interview with Obsidian's Kevin Saunders, MotB lead designer.
The expansion focuses more on an inward story combined with cosmological elements than on any of the classic down-to-earth approaches of RPG storytelling. Why did you choose this route?Thanks, Kevin.
It was the type of story we wanted to tell. NWN2 had a classic fantasy RPG story and we didn't want to do that again. As an expansion, we felt we could try something different and gamble a bit with the story. The majority of people who buy an expansion for a game like NWN2 are pretty hard core gamers and role-players and we thought they'd appreciate an atypical story.
The expansion has been praised for its dialogue, story, and NPCs, but somewhat criticized for bugs and gameplay elements like the camera, UI, and spirit meter. How do you feel about such criticism?Thanks a lot, media assholes. Now we'll get games that clearly explain and spell out each choice and benefits, because god forbid I try something and see what happens.
All opinions are valid when it comes to something like game design. Our goal is to entertain the player, so when someone dislikes an aspect of the game, we've disappointed that person in that regard. I'll briefly discuss each of the elements you mention separately.
With regard to the spirit meter, I think the situation is slightly more complicated. I'm not sure that the system itself was flawed, but rather our presentation of it. For example, some reviews have mentioned that the "evil" path is inferior to the "good" one. But there are actually some huge game play benefits you gain by succumbing to the spirit hunger. You gain new combat abilities as your craving increases and you also acquire unique essences that can be used to create artifacts or add very powerful enchantments to your existing items. So I think where we could have improved the spirit-eater implementation was to better train the player in how the system works and what the trade-offs were.
Now back to your original question: how do I feel about the criticism? Terrible. The team did a fantastic job creating Mask of the Betrayer and, because of a couple specific decisions, they aren't receiving the praise they deserve for their incredible work over the past year.We feel your pain, Kevin, we really do.