Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Interview RPG Codex Interview: Grimoire: Heralds of the Winged Exemplar

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Zed, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. Zed RPG Codex Staff

    Zed
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    Tags: Cleveland Mark Blakemore; Grimoire

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    Grimoire: Heralds of the Winged Exemplar is the long-awaited dungeon-crawler from Cleveland Mark Blakemore. This love letter to the golden age of party-based CRPGs has been in development for over 17 years, which is like a world record or something. With Grimoire now up on the crowdfunding website indiegogo, are we finally seeing the culmination of this game development epic? We thought it would be a good idea to catch up with Cleve and have him tell us about Grimoire, what he's been up to and what his future plans are.

    Here's a taste of what's in the interview:

    Grimoire has been in development for over 17 years. Have you stayed true to a singular vision throughout these years, or has it been altered in any way?

    I imagined it this way at the outset and hoped it would turn out pretty much the way it has ended up. Sir-Tech would have never let me make this game. They would have had ten mediocre cooks spoiling this broth and it would taste so foul when it was finished nobody could stomach it. This game ended up being pure Cleve Blakemore from start to finish and when people play this game they will have a good idea of what is meant by “pure Cleve Blakemore.” There is plenty of absurdity in the game, lots of humor and the whole thing is meant to be good fun right up to the very end. I mix moments of cosmic horror with abject ridiculousness, terrifying revelations alongside baffling irreverence and some stuff that just never does make any logical sense, the same way I write on the internet. Like it or leave it this is my product and I am proud of it. If you don’t enjoy it then it is likely that you just don’t enjoy my kind of game.


    What can you tell us about Hyperborea, the world the player explores in Grimoire? What sort of environments are there to traverse, and what manners of creatures inhabit them? What served as your greatest inspirations when crafting the world and its lore?

    Hyperborea is based on the many disparate writings of Greeks and other archivists, from Pliny to Virgil, Pindar, Simonides, Hellanicus and several others. All of these men described this place alongside other accounts of geographic regions that we know are real. Nobody has ever fully understood exactly why Hyperborea was written of so earnestly when all the evidence indicates it was a mythical place. One of the things all the writers were agreed on was that Hyperborea was somewhere on earth but a difficult place to reach, almost requiring some sort of spiritual transformation to arrive in.

    Hyperborea was commonly envisioned as a place where there was no sorrow. I began to think about the implications of a place that is perfectly serene and content all the time. Without some conflict, how would any progress occur? Then I imagined I was in charge of Hyperborea and I have been tasked to keep it intact. Would I make the mistake of thinking introducing a bit of trouble might actually be part of my job? Based on this initial premise, the entire story unfolded for me quite rapidly very early on. A recurrent theme present in my ideas about the world from a young age is the notion that humans often try to fix a world that isn’t broken and doesn’t need any intervention by them. In doing so they always manage to make things much worse, even intolerable and they don’t know how to recover what they didn’t appreciate they had. I have always believed that humans often have just enough brains to get themselves into dire straits they do not correspondingly have the brains to get themselves out of. This cycle is repeated in history until it is the rule, not the exception. Why shouldn’t the same mistakes be made in the mythical land of Hyperborea?

    I have drawn on a broad assortment of legendary creatures and fantastic writings to populate this world from thousands of different sources. I have modeled characters in the game after figures from Rudyard Kipling, Ambrose Bierce, Kafka and Emily Dickinson. I have a rich interior and I didn’t cultivate it to impress girls. It is the result of hundreds of thousands of hours of reading, including the Western pantheon and all the other books they tell us are not worth reading anymore. I have a peculiar fondness for Cervantes' anti-hero Don Quixote and he appears in the game as a knight errant.


    For Grimoire, you take inspiration from Wizardry 6 and 7, but not Wizardry 8. What makes the former superior to the latter, in your view?

    Wizardry 8 is a derivative work attempting to copy the superficial mechanics of the earlier two games. I believe it is soulless and empty compared to Bane of the Cosmic Forge and Crusaders of the Dark Savant. There is more atmosphere in the first city you enter in Wiz 7 than the entire game in Wizardry 8. An honest appraisal would conclude that the primitive 3D in Wizardry 8 is manifestly inferior to the hand crafted artwork of W6-W7 for atmosphere and immersion. The graphics in Wizardry 8 were not good 3D environments and they weren’t much for classic dungeon blobbers. Lands of Lore was infinitely superior and they made the same mistake, moving from a beautiful handcrafted appearance in the first game to a sterile, flat and unconvincing 3D engine with flat billboarded sprites in the sequel. I thought the first Lands of Lore looked like a Richard Corben graphic novel from beginning to end.

    Wizardry 8 was what flowed into the vacuum left behind by David Bradley and Anthony Greenberg at Sir-Tech. It was the absence of the good, which is the worse thing you can be as far as I am concerned. The absence of the good is worse than merely bad.​

    We also have three new screenshots of Grimoire on display in the interview, so make sure to check it out.

    Read the full article: RPG Codex Interview: Grimoire: Heralds of the Winged Exemplar
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  2. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

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    Good ideia. :salute:
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  3. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator Patron

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  4. Crooked Bee Nyadmin

    Crooked Bee
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    Codex 2014 MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    Good interview, if I may say so myself, and some good answers, even. Gonna wait for the demo.
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  5. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator Patron

    Jaesun
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    MCA Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera
    But will it have Machetes?
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  6. Dorateen Savant

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    There is so much truth and wisdom in this interview. He makes excellent points about Wizardry 8. A little harsh, but accurate enough. The virtue of Wizardry 8 was in closing the saga of the Dark Savant. It was ten years since the cliff hanger ending of Wizardry 7, and there needed to be a resolution. No question, the move to 3D graphics in 2002, led to much of the loss of soul compared to its predecessor. It is also important to remember the era, the times when Wiz 8 was being made compared to other diabolical developers who were starting to flex their muscles and brainwash the masses. Wizardry 8 was good for what it was, especially given the state of the sinking Sir Tech.

    Having said all that, Grimoire's return to the style of Wizardry 6 and 7 will be nothing short of a triumph. I'm pumped up and ready to go.

    Harumph!
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  7. Unorus Janco Lurker

    Unorus Janco
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    Awesome interview, incline of codex :salute:
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  8. Phineas Educated

    Phineas
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    There was actually a Grimore beta back in 1998.
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  9. Volrath Arcane Patron

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    Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera
    Can't wait for the Codex LP :incline:
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  10. Don Peste Cipher

    Don Peste
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    I was hoping for more info about running on turtles.
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  11. mindx2 Arcane Patron

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    Codex 2012 Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    I'm really excited to play this game regardless of all the drama surrounding Cleve.
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  12. Humanity has risen! Arcane Patron Repressed Homosexual

    Humanity has risen!
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    Same. Now if only the elitist negative nancies on Broken Forum, RPS and others could understand that. This is going to be such a great, imaginative game. If you're a gamer, you should give it a fair chance, and it should tickle your fancy, else you're just a poser. At the end of the day, even if we disagree, we're gamers and we're united by a desire for having great adventures above all else.

    I'm trying to fight the good fight or so to speak, but it's proving to be hard. At least in the end when it is released and its quality and sheer fun factor becomes obvious, this will be a delicious day of reckoning. I can already delight at picturing their forced unconcerned, dismissive attitudes in a desperate bit to brush it all off.
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  13. DwarvenFood Arcane Patron

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    I'm really excited to play this game because of all the drama surrounding Cleve.
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  14. alx3apps Educated

    alx3apps
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    Any chances for interview with Shams, that great guy, who didn't refuse to answer questions about Brenda Brathwaite sucked off during Stones of Arnhem development (answers were posted on grimoire thread, spoiler: he denied this)? And who can shed some light on grimoire and it's development without neanderthal humor. Some weeks later maybe?
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  15. Infinitron RPG Codex Staff Patron

    Infinitron
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    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
  16. tindrli Liturgist

    tindrli
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    yeah a 700+ LP
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  17. Major_Blackhart Codexia Lord Sodom Patron

    Major_Blackhart
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    Cleve always has been and always will be a piece of work.
    Gotta love him.
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  18. mediocrepoet Learned Patron

    mediocrepoet
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    Codex 2012 MCA Project: Eternity
    Garriott was always a bit weird with his cosplaying and LB persona and such. It doesn't really surprise me that someone like him came up with a series that for awhile really tried to push simulation aspects of fantasy RPGs and their worlds over anything else. I have no doubt that it was a work that he really enjoyed because it was the aspect of RPGs that most appealed to him.
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  19. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    Yup, quotes like this make it looks even more promising:

    Major_Blackhart, SCO and Infinitron Brofist this.
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  20. Stabwound Magister

    Stabwound
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    I honestly don't give a shit about Cleve's persona. I can separate the person from the art: Burzum is one of my favorite bands, but Varg Vikernes is a despicable person. This game looks great despite the whole Cleve persona, which is likely very intentionally exaggerated online anyway.

    But I don't believe this game is ever coming out. I think Cleve just likes the attention, and being able to hold the game above everyone and keeping it to himself. I will eat my hat if May 2012 rolls around and this game is actually out there for public consumption.
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  21. Nomask Alt Savant

    Nomask Alt
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    The interview seemed insanely long before I started reading, and too short after I had finished. :salute:
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  22. Haba Harbinger of Decline Patron

    Haba
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    Codex 2012 MCA Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    A good interview. A nod from my top hat both to the interviewer(s) and Cleve himself, for showing a saner side for a change.
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  23. The Vanished One Arbiter

    The Vanished One
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    He's looked for real before.
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  24. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator Patron

    Jaesun
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    I love the MIDI and 8 bit sound effects but solid MP3 and 16 bit stereo sound would be a terrific development before it goes out. I will keep the option to switch to the original sound and music as an option in the configuration.

    :salute:
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