Gothic 3 - Interview & Music @ World of Gothic
World of Gothic has released a German interview with Pirahna Bytes' KaiRo, which delves into some of the reasons for the state of Gothic 3 and their current plans. An English translation will be released in due course.
Based on a Google translation, KaiRo explains most of the team is still working on patches for G3, with only a small number working on the addon (and possibly future projects?). The latest v1.12 patch was released as an interim based on community requests.
He goes on to explain their Genome engine was built from the ground up with certain AI capabilities to aid a non-linear and dynamic world but their inexperience with this approach created problems and complications. They remain dedicated to this approach and hope to refine it in future projects.
In addition, several music tracks have been released.
Thanks Dhruin. :)
"KaiRo explains most of the team is still working on patches for G3, with only a small number working on the addon (and possibly future projects?)"
Not sure I have ever been happier, to have been worng. ;)
I keep getting amazed by PB's willingness to be honest about their mistakes and inexperience. How many times already have they admitted that some things have not been as they wanted them to be? I guess with a small team it's easier to do this.
I wouldn't say inexperience since the core concept of their latest attempt is something that has never been done before. They no more rely on scripts but rather the game's engine automatically calculates most NPCs' reactions. This makes it relatively simple to tell a story in a nonlinear world where every NPC is mortal.
Whether this approach is better than handcrafting every single NPC is another discussion. But they are working on 'virgin ground' using novel concepts. Most of the problems they are facing come from this fact. Once again it becomes apparent that the storytelling suffered since the game's world was made so large.
PB has got to be one of the best developers in the gaming industry. Technically they may have some issues but they really are very honest and forthcoming.
And to think they are doing so much (developing a game engine from the ground up, creating vast landscapes with related content, directing an epic story, etc) with a small group of people (around 30, i believe). Significantly smaller than most mainstream developers. Also, they listen to the community. To me, this shows dedication.
Personally, I think only Jowood is preventing them from attaining pure greatness.
So I guess Gorath is translating the interview? *cracks whip* :p
I agree but would go on to say what PB do/did was miraculous and PB's skills and imagination seem only limited by their publisher, I certainly don't blame PB. :)
"with a small group of people (around 30, i believe)"
I heard 19 for G3.
Gorath translate it? I guess he could but it isn't our content…I meant that World of Gothic suggested in their forums that a translated version would be along in due course.
Actually there are 32 people credited, and that doesn't include the music or production teams.
Modest, even humble developers. I am shocked, and impressed at the same time.
" Actually there are 32 people credited, and that doesn't include the music or production teams"
I see multipule listings with only a total of 27 including everything listed under PB, so I am guessing some maybe contractors or temp.
Here is what Kai Rosenkranz had to say to the question from Jonric at RPG Vault.
"Jonric: Where is Piranha Bytes, how large is your team, and did most of you work on the previous Gothic games? "
"Kai Rosenkranz: Most of the team has been together since the first Gothic game, and we are thoroughly dedicated to the brand. We are located in Essen, Germany, and currently employ 19 people - some of us even live in the office and I mean that literally. ;) Gothic 3 will be distributed by Aspyr Media in North America.
Uggh, wouldn't let me make columns. :(
I was going by what I saw with a quick glance of the official credits. Page 49 of the Gothic 3 manual. (NA version).
Actually, as I look apon the credits at this very moment I see that a few of the names are listed more than once.
Michael Hoge is listed under 'Project Management', 'game design', and 'additional programming'.
Bjorn Pankratz is listed under 'Project Management' and 'game design'.
Mario Roske is listed under 'Level design' and '3d design'.
Guess I should have looked a little closer the first time. :)
Anyways, taking into account multiple listings, I count 28 in the credits. Like I said, that doesn't even include people who worked on the game music.
"so I am guessing some maybe contractors or temp"
That makes sense. I also assume that's what the other people are, since Rosenkranz commented about the 19 employees.
Im glad you thought of checking the credits that's how I found those names.
I guess I missed one if you found 28 and I am too tired to look now.
Donīt forget natural fluctuation. Itīs more than probable several people left during the last 3.5 years. Outsourcing is also a factor. Most of the 243 German studios donīt release their own (retail) games. Maybe some of the people listed under PB are really self-employed.
Now that I am awake. :)
I actually checked the movie credits of the international version, that is proabably why there is still a difference.
The 27 included all under the PB banner, music and sounds.
What,32?No,Europe is evolving in temporary work to gain flexibility in working hours :D
That was a really good read. I think he hits the nail on the head when he says that the game lacks a soul (in reference to the story elements, not the graphics). It's nice to know that the developers have a vision for RPG design that extends beyond Gothic 3, but it's unfortunate that G3 had to be the guinea pig.
That said, trying to create large dynamic worlds in which story and NPC reactions are generated by complex AI algorithms based on the player's actions is always going to present immense difficulties. Personally, I still prefer a hand scripted approach. This is of course more labor intensive, but it avoids that generic soulless feeling that usually comes from games that rely on templates, random generation, NPC AI etc.
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