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Lionheart Developer chat log.
Interview - posted by Deathy on Thu 16 January 2003, 03:19:56Tags: Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader; Reflexive Entertainment
[Ausir] well, first, can you introduce yourselves? :)
[BISWolf] Doug Avery, Associate Producer, BIS.
[Bryce_Reflexive] I'm Bryce, a designer here at Reflexive
[Skinflint_Reflexive] Ion Hardie, Co-Producer and Lead Designer
[EricD_Reflexive] Hi everyone! I'm Eric Dallaire, lead writer on Lionheart.
[DanR_Reflexive] Dan Ruskin, designer at Reflexive
[Lars_Reflexive] Lars Brubaker, CEO and Co-Producer at Reflexive
[Deathy] [Pracht] Will there be anything similar to the Pip Boy featured in the Fallout series that will be included in this game?
[EricD_Reflexive] I'll take this one.
[EricD_Reflexive] We thought about doing something along those lines, but alas time was a restriction on that.
[EricD_Reflexive] So, no, we don't have images for all the traits and perks in a pipboy style.
[EricD_Reflexive] next question
[|Mistress|] [enjaku] will there be in-depth conversations alÃ¡ BGII? or just plain questions and no emotional answers?
[EricD_Reflexive] Got this one.
[Bryce_Reflexive] There will be some pretty in-depth conversation trees, not dissimilar from BG
[EricD_Reflexive] We've put a good deal of effort to make sure that conversations have depth.
[EricD_Reflexive] The speech skill is a very useful one, and will allow you to get out of some situations.
[Skinflint_Reflexive] And get into others...
[EricD_Reflexive] Also, barter is used in the game, not only to give you better rates, but it can give you responses for negotiation.
[BISWolf] They also have various dialogue options available to the player depending on various skills like
[Skinflint_Reflexive] We even use some of your base attributes for intimidation among other things.
[EricD_Reflexive] you can be as terse if you want, but you can also play more of a diplomat characeter. some npcs have more to say than others.
[EricD_Reflexive] So, overall, yes, we think people will enjoy the depth of conversations, and that they're more than simple yes/no/can i buy something.
[EricD_Reflexive] next question?
[Ausir] [Trip]When do you expect lionheart to be released ?
[BISWolf] I got it.
[EricD_Reflexive] Wolf? :)
[BISWolf] We are expecting Lionheart to be released late first quarter or early second quarter.
[Deathy] [Sabani] Concerning dragons- will we be seeing the traditional D&D kind of thing, or will you be giving us something a bit different?
[EricD_Reflexive] For one, dragons are not plentiful in the game.
[EricD_Reflexive] we've tried to instill personalities to the major enemies of the game.
[EricD_Reflexive] As mentioned in the timeline backstories, dragons are actually powerful spirits in the world.
[EricD_Reflexive] there are also some plot related story background items that i can't really mention that seperates Lionheart dragons from traditional.
[EricD_Reflexive] they are fearsome, big, and intelligent though. next question?
[|Mistress|] [DemonBoy] will someone with no diplomatic skills be able to attempt diplomatic dialog options? or will the options only show up if you have sufficient skill persuade the NPC to talk?
[DanR_Reflexive] The options will only show up if you have sufficient skill.
[EricD_Reflexive] You need to have a proficient skill to have options show up.
[EricD_Reflexive] There are some early responses that have some very low requisites, but the reponses require greater skill levels later on. Magic items can raise speech skill as well.
[Ausir] [DeadReak] Are you guys planning to include different styles of playing? For example if I want to be Evil character, is there a way to finish different main quests in the different ways (evil ones)?
[EricD_Reflexive] We think so. The game supports diplomacy, and stealthy characters, as well as magic-casting characters, archers, melee warriors, unarmed monk types, and hybrids therein.
[EricD_Reflexive] You can also play a character that has a fairly mean streak, and join a particularly nasty faction.
[Deathy] [TheWarlock] how open ended (will the game be?)
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] there is no preset way to do anything
[EricD_Reflexive] The game is pretty much wide open at the beginning.
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] at the beginning
[EricD_Reflexive] After the intro, you have the option of pursuing several factions, and doing or not doing tons of side quests.
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] you can take any quest in any order for a good long time
[EricD_Reflexive] Eventually, there are funnel points where the plot brings you, but you could have done things several different ways.
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] or not done them at all
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] next question?
[|Mistress|] [Pracht] When traversing the world of Lionheart, will it be displayed in the same way as Fallout's overhead map, and if so, will the types of creatures encountered vary with the time of day?
[EricD_Reflexive] The map we're using is more like Baldur's Gate style.
[Bryce_Reflexive] We're going ot have more of a traditional world map system like the IE games
[EricD_Reflexive] Places on the world map open up as people or things tell you where the areas are.
[Bryce_Reflexive] Fallout covered a relatively small area, so that map system made more sense given the setting
[EricD_Reflexive] There are wilderness areas around some of these places of interest as well.
[Ausir] [Tomo] Is there other huge boss type monsters besides Dragons?
[Skinflint_Reflexive] Yes. Demons, Wizards and the like...
[EricD_Reflexive] there are demons that have some interesting semi-historical backgrounds that oppose you.
[DanR_Reflexive] mmm... demons [in Homer style]
[Skinflint_Reflexive] Well, I guess a wizard is not huge...
[EricD_Reflexive] Rock Titans are also fairly nasty.
[EricD_Reflexive] but yes, there are some pretty varies boss-like enemy types.
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] there is a nice assortment of things to put down
[Deathy] [lev] will we be able to steal in the game?
[EricD_Reflexive] There is no steal skill in the game. So we made much more of an emphasis on Find Secret Doors and Lockpick.
[DanR_Reflexive] You can steal from chests and the like but not directly from NPCs
[EricD_Reflexive] A stealthy character can still make a living by robbing chests and the like, and finding lots of secrets.
[DanR_Reflexive] Sneak is used as well to see if you are caught opening a chest you aren't supposed to
[|Mistress|] [TheCruelOne] will Lionheart have any easter eggs?
[EricD_Reflexive] We had a naked picture of Saint Proverbius, but legal made us take it out.
[BISWolf] Nah, I put it back in.
[EricD_Reflexive] I kid the Saint. We do have some jokes and stuff.
[EricD_Reflexive] But we're really trying to keep the story and dialogue straight.
[EricD_Reflexive] With no pop culture references. There is humor, but it's in context usually for the scene.
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] no pop culture references has been something of a mantra around here
[EricD_Reflexive] But you never know, as we get punchier during the beta, we may slide more stuff in. :)
[Skinflint_Reflexive] that's been tough...
[Ausir] [Corellian] Will a knife throwing character be doable, or will the knives be underpowered like most other rpg's?
[Skinflint_Reflexive] Knives are so underpowered in other RPG's that we focused on other ranged weapons, like bows and crossbows instead
[EricD_Reflexive] we just went through a big balancing pass on archery to bring its potency in line with the other combat disciplines too.
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] we think it's pretty fun stuff
[Deathy] [TheCruelOne] will LH be as easy to mod as IE?
[Bryce_Reflexive] I doubt it owuld be any harder, our programmer seems to be taking a nap :)
[Ausir] is IE that easy to mod anyway?
[Lars_Reflexive] I don't know how hard IE is to mod.
[Lars_Reflexive] But if the hackers out there get busy I think there is a lot that can be done in LH.
[Skinflint_Reflexive] What an invitation...
[Lars_Reflexive] We will not be providing tools but the data format should be easy to dig into.
[Saint_Proverbius] (You will give us tools)
[|Mistress|] [Trip] Will there be multiple ways to do quests ?
[Bryce_Reflexive] Some quests, yes
[Skinflint_Reflexive] I agree. Some yes, some no.
[EricD_Reflexive] In general, there are a good number of quests that can be done through dialog or combat.
[Skinflint_Reflexive] Some maybe done differently for the "diplomatic" character as opposed to the guy who always kills stuff.
[EricD_Reflexive] And the stealthy character can avoid combats in those quests.
[Ausir] [TheWarlock] [how many factions are in the game so far ]
[EricD_Reflexive] There are quite a few factions in the game, but only a few you can join.
[Skinflint_Reflexive] Eric is typing...
[EricD_Reflexive] The Inquisition, Knights Templar, and a secret sect of wizards are fairly large and important.
[DanR_Reflexive] There are a few big factions and then a bunch of littler ones
[EricD_Reflexive] There are also lesser factions, like a thieves guild and a group of beggars that you can also ally with for different quests.
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] some of the little ones give a lot of quests
[Skinflint_Reflexive] And he knows 'cause he had to script a lot of them...
[EricD_Reflexive] Helping out a faction does have reprucussions. For instance, the thieves and beggars are at war - helping one makes an enemy of the other.
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] and there are repercussions
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] to helping one faction versus another
[EricD_Reflexive] The Inquisition doesn't like the hidden wizard sect.
[Deathy] [TheCruelOne] Will there be any uber items like The Holy Avenger in bg2?
[EricD_Reflexive] There are some items that you'd be crazy not to quest for!
[EricD_Reflexive] Some of the better items are attached to historical figures. Like DaVinci can help you create this very wicked crossbow he's been fiddling with..
[DanR_Reflexive] There are definately some big ticket items
[EricD_Reflexive] We have a mix of pre-gen magic items, in addition to a neat random magic generator. It adds variability to areas that we want - but some powerful items are static as well.
[|Mistress|] [DeadReak] If for example you play as a Feralkin, will Inquisition hunt you down on the streets?
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] they definitely don't appreciate the fact that you are mulling around
[EricD_Reflexive] Only if you cast magic openly in the streets!
[EricD_Reflexive] Tainted races are allowed in the poor district of Barcelona.
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] the city proper
[DanR_Reflexive] They react to you differently but will not outright try to slaughter you
[Skinflint_Reflexive] Tainted races are shunned by the upper strata, but not spit on immediately. Just given a very hard time.
[EricD_Reflexive] They're treated as second class citizens. It's a bit more challenging to overcome prejudice as a tainted race.
[EricD_Reflexive] In out backstory, tainted races had a much harder time at the hands of the Inquisition. In 1588 of LH, they're allowed in society, but treated badly.
[Ausir] [Trip] Can targetted hits be done? For exmaple i really would like to kick a dragon in the bag
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] in the bag?
[Bryce_Reflexive] I thought the bulletin board had decided that dragons didn't have bags...?
[Skinflint_Reflexive] Yes, targetted shots are in, but currently "in the bag" is not.
[DanR_Reflexive] We do have a body part targeting system
[Skinflint_Reflexive] head, body, arms, legs are in.
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] in the bag? I've been working too much in this office if such choice slang is passing me by
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] next question?
[Skinflint_Reflexive] Different effects, like blindness and the like, can come about from targeted shots.
[Skinflint_Reflexive] We have been asked about groin shots a lot. We might put them back in, as they seem cool to me too.
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] i figured it out, I'd just never heard it before
[Skinflint_Reflexive] We may also make them a part of body shots...we'll see.
[Deathy] [Pracht] Will there be technological trinkets that can only be deciphered or used by characters with high intelligence?
[EricD_Reflexive] Not really, because science has been replaced by magic.
[EricD_Reflexive] There are some 'objects' like in Davinci's workshop, that work more like puzzles.
[EricD_Reflexive] they won't mandate that you have a certain intelligence though.
[|Mistress|] [AgentJ] What sort of monk items will there be that deliver damage? Gloves, Boots?
[EricD_Reflexive] Spiked Gauntlets!
[EricD_Reflexive] There are several different types of gloves/gauntlets geared toward unarmed player.
[Skinflint_Reflexive] The unarmed style of combat will definitely be a viable career path...
[EricD_Reflexive] Our goal is that unarmed is a very viable path for combat.
[Skinflint_Reflexive] I owe you a coke
[Ausir] [Sabani] Will there be varying levels of 'taintedness'?
[Skinflint_Reflexive] Some Demokin traits give the character the ability to "pass" as untainted, like a slight biforcated tongue and the like
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] other demokin traits are a dead giveaway and will draw the ire of the Inquisition
[EricD_Reflexive] Sylvants and Feralkins can't pass as humans at all.
[Deathy] [lev] will there be firearms?
[EricD_Reflexive] We do have gunpowder. Dan?
[EricD_Reflexive] In our backstory, Europe caught onto gunpowder late. It's also very rare.
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] we took the viewpoint that with magic spells in the world kind of reduced the need to develop guns
[DanR_Reflexive] you can get gunpowder and use it in the game
[EricD_Reflexive] There are some rare powderkegs that you can purchase after doing a quest that can be detonated.
[DanR_Reflexive] but not in a gun
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] why shoot someone with a bullet when you can shock the daylights out of them with a lightning bolt
[EricD_Reflexive] We just made a design decision not to include firearms to focus on magic.
[EricD_Reflexive] Though historically, there were guns, we wrote a semi-historical explanation involving Marco Polo about this.
[EricD_Reflexive] to explain the lack of guns. Done.
[|Mistress|] [Trip] Can limbs be broken like they can in fallout?
[Skinflint_Reflexive] Are you talking animations, or usefulness?
[EricD_Reflexive] I think it's called Crippled, in ours.
[Saint_Proverbius] [Trip] usefulness
[EricD_Reflexive] But critical strikes can reduce the effectiveness of arms/legs. Effectively breaking them.
[Ausir] [DeadReak] You said that game engine will be much better than IE, by that you mean what? (better animation for example).
[Skinflint_Reflexive] Better graphics will be the first thing you notice
[Lars_Reflexive] All the art in the game is anti-aliased on the fly (for 1)
[Skinflint_Reflexive] I think we cant go anywhere but up with the pathfinding... :)
[Skinflint_Reflexive] Doug, still there?
[Lars_Reflexive] we don't have to do clipping with polys. This makes trees look MUCH better.
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] the artists take a lot of time to add a lot of detail to the world
[Lars_Reflexive] All our characters or 3D polys rendered on the fly so we can have more animation
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] (not that IE doesn't) but
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] we just think the art in our game is really good.
[Lars_Reflexive] Our ground is not tiled (at least in the traditional sense) so there is much more variation.
[Skinflint_Reflexive] Gameplay is a mixed bag. I loved BG2 and Icewind Dale, so I cant bag on them at all...
[EricD_Reflexive] designers can manipulate terrain as well. we have some instances where the ground changes because of what you've done. a river drying up, grass dying, etc.
[Lars_Reflexive] All the objects in the environment can be placed anywhere rather than just on tile bounds
[Deathy] [Pracht] Will the engine the game uses feature true 3D graphics? i.e. Will the camera be capable of rotating, etc.
[Lars_Reflexive] Most of the art in the game is still 2D.
[Lars_Reflexive] Only the characters are 3D.
[Lars_Reflexive] So, the camera cannot move.
[Bryce_Reflexive] It's a standadrd isometric view, like the IE games, not like Dungeon Siege
[EricD_Reflexive] you can't change the camera.
[|Mistress|] [Pracht] Will the death animations be as delightfully gruesome as in Fallout?
[EricD_Reflexive] well, no, sadly, we're not a Mature game like Fallout.
[Bryce_Reflexive] I think animations like Fallout would have the ESRB slapping an "M" on our box pretty quickly
[Bryce_Reflexive] But that isn't to say we don't have some nice animations for criticals and deaths
[EricD_Reflexive] death animations are fluid and nice, just not slick with blood and gore.
[Bryce_Reflexive] The knockback effect for a crit is a favorite of mine, for instance
[Deathy] [Pracht] Will there be environmental hazards as cool as radiation?
[Skinflint_Reflexive] Does lava count?
[Bryce_Reflexive] It radiates heat ;)
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] a lot of it
[EricD_Reflexive] we have some odd and wicked spore creatures that make things unpleasant for the unwary :)
[EricD_Reflexive] Aside from that..
[DanR_Reflexive] there are lot's of traps to either find or be hurt by
[EricD_Reflexive] yeh, we added quite a few to make find/remove traps very important
[|Mistress|] [enjaku] will there be romances/sweet lovin'(BGII or Fallout2) in the game?
[DanR_Reflexive] if you do the right thing...
[RFLX_HudsonHalo] I know I put one in...
[DanR_Reflexive] and don't have 1 CH
[EricD_Reflexive] Yes, there are a few for both genders.
[EricD_Reflexive] They're not all about hopping in the sack though. But they can lead to other things, like a companion that follows you around, more information, a treasure, etc.
[Deathy] I understand that you've included a tactical pause feature. Why was this considered necessary? Aren't you worried that this game might be viewed as a Baldur's Gate clone?
[EricD_Reflexive] Not worried at all.
[Bryce_Reflexive] A tactical pause was included to allow you to conduct fights in a more thoughtful way
[EricD_Reflexive] Our pause doesn't operate like BG's, for one.
[EricD_Reflexive] You don't queue commands. You can sift through your inventory and prepare for combats. Set your targeting critical. Prep a spell in the quickbar slot.
[EricD_Reflexive] The pause was considered necessary to help during larger combats with multiple factions.
[EricD_Reflexive] There are other reasons, but mainly it was a highly requested feature and the designers agreed it added to the game experience.
[BIS_Jessica] I'd just like to thank everyone for showing up and asking such great questions this time around!
[EricD_Reflexive] Absolutely. Thanks to everyone for showing up and asking questions!
[Deathy] Thanks to the developers for answering the questions.