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Alpha Protocol Interrogation at IGN
Interview - posted by baby arm on Mon 3 November 2008, 06:14:45Tags: Alpha Protocol; Obsidian Entertainment
IGN had a chat with Sega's Tim Ernest and Obsidian's Matthew Rorie about the upcoming Alpha Protocol.
IGNPC: Developers of shooter-based RPGs like Deus Ex and Fallout have always had to strike a balance between character stats and player performance. Where do you draw the line between the player's abilities and their characters skills?
Matthew Rorie: Obviously this is a tricky balance to strike, perhaps especially in an action RPG - you have to ensure that the skills a player invests in are meaningful to the gameplay experience, but at the same time you have to avoid the randomness of dice rolls and probabilities that can sometimes frustrate even experienced RPG players. It's important to keep in mind that while Michael Thorton is an inexperienced agent at the start of the game, he's been very well-trained in the weapons and technology that he's using. So if you line up a critical hit with your pistol on an enemy, you're not suddenly going to miss due to a dice roll.
On the other hand, Mike will gain more experience with his weapons as he travels the world. Adding skill points to weapons will allow you to deal more damage and aim more quickly, and will also unlock new special abilities for the weapon (such as Chainshot for the pistol, which was mentioned previously). Without any points in martial arts, you'll still be able to hit dudes in the face, but if you level it up, you'll gain some impressive maneuvers that will let you drop fools that much more quickly. This helps to ensure that the player feels empowered by their choices without completely eliminating their ability to use skills they haven't invested in quite as heavily.
One of the Obsidian folks around here should let Matthew know that most experienced RPG players aren't frustrated by dice rolls and probabilities when it comes to dropping fools. We're actually quite comfortable with them.