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Geneforge 2 interview
Interview - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Wed 2 April 2003, 20:48:19Tags: Geneforge 2; Jeff Vogel; Spiderweb Software
1.) Can you briefly explain, for those who haven't played the first one, the world of Geneforge? What do you think makes this setting interesting for players?
Jeff Vogel: Basically, you are a Shaper. You're a member of a secretive, magical sect that has the ability to create and mutate lifeforms to suit their purposes. So they spend half their time creating horrible armies of mutant monsters and half the time killing anyone who tries to steal their secrets.
It has appeal in part because people like having their own horrible army of mutant monsters.
2.) In the first Geneforge, you only saw glimpses of the past of the Shapers on the barred island of Sucia. Geneforge 2 takes place in a land populated by them. Does this mean we'll get more insight in to the sect? After Geneforge 2, will there still be mysteries of that sect?
Jeff Vogel: Geneforge 2 takes place in another remote area, but this area has a lot more Shapers in it. You get to experience a lot more of how they function and how they move into and remake unpopulated areas in their own image.
You don't find out everything, though. Yet.
3.) In the first Geneforge, there were three classes, all of which were part of the order of the Shapers. Will there be more classes in Geneforge 2? Will the original Shaper sect classes be expanded in another way?
Jeff Vogel: The same classes and the same skill system. However, there'll be a lot more spells and creatures you can make.
4.) Sucia was a barred island populated by rogue creations. If Geneforge 2 takes place on a mainland, will there be more emphasis on town locations than the ruined dungeons that consisted of most of Sucia? About how many towns are there in Geneforge 2?
Jeff Vogel: Geneforge 2 takes place in a much more settled area. It's a larger game. Instead of 3 factions you can talk to and join, there are four. There will be four large cities and a scattering of towns. Plus, since this is a role-playing game, there will be the expected ruins.
5.) Will there be any new skills in Geneforge 2? Are there any skills from the first one that you drop?
Jeff Vogel: The skill set will be the same. I thought it worked very well. I did, however, dramatically expand the spell system and the sorts of conditions that can afflict and help your character.
6.) A big part of advancement in the first Geneforge revolved around barred technology, like canisters. Can we expect canisters to make a return in the second one, even though they're barred?
Jeff Vogel: Unfortunately, the magical technology that was forbidden will have an irresistible pull for a lot of people. The skill canisters from Geneforge will pop up occasionally. Some Shapers are secretly working very hard to make more of them.
Unlike in Geneforge, however, you won't get most of your skills from canisters. Now there are actual Shapers around to train you.
7.) Will the events of the first Geneforge have an impact on the second one?
Jeff Vogel: Very much so. It's really a continuation of the story in the first game. And I already have planned out how the story will continue past Geneforge 2.
8.) Since the technology left on Sucia in Geneforge was 200 years old, have the Shapers made any progress since what we've seen in the first one? Will there be better technology and versions of what we saw from Geneforge in Geneforge 2?
Jeff Vogel: There will be better technology, but it won't have been created by the Shapers. The Shapers sealed up the Geneforge because they were scared of what it can do. They haven't done much more in the last 200 years, but more out of prudence than stupidity.
9.) Shapers used projectile weapons called spore batons in Geneforge, yet a lot of players felt they were awkward to use due to the lack of reload during noncombat and other issues. Have batons been changed for Geneforge 2?
Jeff Vogel: Reloading now happens automatically and instantly, without taking up time. It should not be a problem anymore.
10.) Geneforge featured several different factions to meet and join, all with different belief systems with regards to the Shapers. Will Geneforge 2 feature different political groups which can offer distinct differences in how the game unfolds? Can you give us any information about these factions at this time?
Jeff Vogel: There will be four factions, each with their own beliefs, cities, and paths to victory. The Awakened survive from Geneforge. There are Shaper loyalists. There are rebel Shapers, who are really up to no good. And there is something similar to the Takers from Geneforge. But much stronger and weirder.
11.) And now, the pedantic question. In one of the screenshots, there's a town with wooden walls. In Sucia, there were no towns with wooden walls. What's the deal with that?
Jeff Vogel: Sucia was a major and long-term Shaper installation. They could afford to take the time to make stone buildings.
Geneforge 2 takes place on the frontier. Their architecture is less advanced.
12.) Geneforge 2 will feature a few new spells. Can you tell us about the newer spells?
Jeff Vogel: A few examples: There are mind clouding spells, to distract excess monsters and fog the minds of guards when infiltrating forts. There are area of effect spells which torment all enemies around you. There are a wide variety of buffs, some of which last for a very long time at a high essence cost.
13.) Lastly, Geneforge 2 for the Windows and Macintosh are both to be released this summer. Will both versions be out at the same time, or the traditional Mac first, Windows later release method?
Jeff Vogel: Yep. I am a creature of habit. I'm very used to doing primary development on the Mac.
13a.) Will the Windows version have a windowed display mode?
Jeff Vogel: Very doubtful. DirectX does not love me.
Thanks to Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software for taking the time to answer these questions!