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-   -   RPGWatch Feature: Meriwether - Interview with Joshua DeBonis (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20883)

Myrthos June 17th, 2013 15:37

RPGWatch Feature: Meriwether - Interview with Joshua DeBonis
 
GhanBuriGhan had the opportunity to ask Sortasoft's founder and director Joshua DeBonis a few question on “Meriwether: An American Epic”. Like this question on the RPG gameplay elements:
Quote:

RPGWatch: The historical setting as well as the financial support the project received by various public sources could lead gamers to the conclusion that Meriwether will be more Edutainment than game. What are the central gameplay elements that you think will make Meriwether attractive to RPG players?
Josh: It's been a constant struggle to separate Meriwether from edutainment. Yes, you will learn things playing this game. But we are approaching it first and foremost as a game, in the same way that we approach other games we design. I tend to favor elegant, distilled game mechanics that are easily approachable but have great depth to explore. This philosophy manifests itself in Meriwether in many ways; we wanted a game that won't feel too daunting to a history buff who doesn't play a lot of video games, but also will have lots of difficult choices to offer to hardcore gamers. We have shown and playtested the game at both PAX East and a Lewis and Clark convention, and had a very positive response at each. I think we are well on way to making that difficult balance a reality.
There's two parts that will be especially attractive to CRPG players. The first is our dialogue system. Our writer, Carlos Hernandez, is an incredible storyteller and he is giving a unique voice to all of the amazing characters. The conversations are a pleasure to play, but they also offer an interesting "facet" mechanic. We associate each dialogue choice with one facet of Lewis's personality-leader, soldier, diplomat, scientist, or melancholy. When you choose an option, it increases your level in that facet. Occasionally, you need to choose melancholy to keep balanced, which can often lead to an undesirable situation. The trick is to choose it at the right moment! So the facet system will couple a good story with good gameplay and provides players with a pretty unique dialogue system.
The other mechanic that I think will interest CRPG players is managing the party as a whole. You need to balance all of your resources very carefully. Will you spend your timing hunting or clearing a safe path for your boats? Will you trade your last spare rifle for horses to make your journey across the Rocky Mountains easier? The real Lewis and Clark Expedition had to think about balancing those choices every second of their voyage, and they import beautifully into our game.
More information.

guenthar June 17th, 2013 15:37

There are many great games that have had much educational value in them so I don't see a problem with it. One of the things I dislike about the newer Civilization games is the removal of the educational elements that were in Civilization 2.

tomasp3n June 17th, 2013 18:18

Quote:

Originally Posted by guenthar (Post 1061203703)
There are many great games that have had much educational value in them so I don't see a problem with it. One of the things I dislike about the newer Civilization games is the removal of the educational elements that were in Civilization 2.

True, but you can't expect people to actually read themselves do you? And to do voice overs for all that text would be costly and time consuming. Better to just cut down on interesting text and make some really cool cut scenes instead…

HiddenX June 17th, 2013 19:51

Interesting game and interview - thank you.

I like to see some good games not focussing on combat, could be a new experience.

HiddenX June 17th, 2013 20:10

GhanBuriGhan should be a RPGWatch staff member.

Only commitment :deal:
At least 4 interviews and 4 reviews per year ;)

more info:
Dev Team Insider: "Meriwether" Developers Joshua DeBonis and Carlos Hernandez

GhanBuriGhan June 18th, 2013 08:49

Quote:

Originally Posted by guenthar (Post 1061203703)
There are many great games that have had much educational value in them so I don't see a problem with it. One of the things I dislike about the newer Civilization games is the removal of the educational elements that were in Civilization 2.

I am not so sure about the educational value of Civ - I mainly remember Roman-Aztec wars and Lincoln's alliance with Ramses… :D

There is only two historical RPGs I remember playing in the past, Teudogar - The alliance with rome, and Spiderwebs Nethergate. I enjoy these kinds of settings and I hope Conquistadors and Meriwether will do well enough that we see more developers exploring historical settings in their games.



Quote:

Originally Posted by HiddenX (Post 1061203729)
GhanBuriGhan should be a RPGWatch staff member.

Only commitment :deal:
At least 4 interviews and 4 reviews per year ;)

o_o Thanks, glad you enjoyed the interview. If people at my favorite RPG website enjoy what I can contribute, that is motivation enough.

Sacred_Path June 18th, 2013 11:48

I'm not even interested in this game and I still read the article. Go GBG!

Arhu June 18th, 2013 12:49

Quote:

Originally Posted by guenthar (Post 1061203703)
There are many great games that have had much educational value in them so I don't see a problem with it.

I hated history class but used texts from History Line: 1914-1918 (a.k.a Great War: 1914-1918) to study for an exam back in high school. Good stuff.


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