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-   -   Age of Decadence - Interview @ RPS (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3813)

Dhruin February 2nd, 2008 02:43

Age of Decadence - Interview @ RPS
You may recall the second combat video released a few weeks back for The Age of Decadence was given a mildly derisive mention at Rock, Paper, Shotgun and the comments exploded as one group decried the turn-based combat and another supported AoD. In the end, Kieron Gillen decided to follow the game further with an interview with Vince that is now up. The article is probably more interested in VD than the game and after a conventional start, VD decides to let go:

Now, let’s go back to the responses to that article and take a look at the points your audience made:

“I’d rather puke a lung, to be honest. It would probably be more fun.”
“I am a discerning gamer of the modern age. I demand heads that smush like rotten melons, over then top rag doll death animations and screams recorded live from Nike sweatshops.”
“They took their combat model from Bookworm Adventure. Snore!”
“This is for those times when you want to sit back in your chair and only click the mouse once every 10 minutes.”
“Taking turns fighting may be something “classic” and “niche” audience, but it’s “niche” for a reason, people are looking to new things, and while rolling dice worked for pen and paper, we don’t have to do that anymore and for most people, it’s just not all that fun. Real time is just more immersive for most that want to deal with something that feels more like a real world, not a jumble of numbers and calculations on screen, the illusion is maintained with it off screen, happening in real time while people move and fire freely aiming where they want, when they want, how they want.”
“Wow, I will never play a game like that, ever. I loathe turn-based games, which is the main reason why I refuse to play any Final Fantasy game. It takes me straight out of the immersion of a game when everyone lines up and takes TURNS swiping at each other. Give me something that involves my skill. I absolutely hate it when my hit chance relies on some random dice roll. That is pure and total BS.”
When you have time, Kieron, how about writing an article explaining the difference between RPGs and shooters to your audience? Or maybe an article mentioning that the first computer games were real-time, not turn-based, and disputing the popular opinion that RT is more advanced than TB? I mean, it’s nice that your site tries to attract morons and makes them feel at home, but shouldn’t you be educating them too? It wouldn’t take much to double their IQs, so if you want, I can give you a hand there.
More information.

magerette February 2nd, 2008 02:43

Very interesting and informative . I thought VD did a good job of fielding questions and providing the explanations of TB vs RT very competently and clearly. It was hard to tell if RPS was being antagonistic, dense or just sincere on a different wavelength, but overall, a good interview.

Dhruin February 2nd, 2008 03:46

I've got mixed feelings about this one. I can see Kieron was more interested in VD than the game but I'd rather see more emphasis on AoD than CRPG dogma. I can see a bunch of "Yeah! Stick it to 'em! Best interview ever!" posts at RPG Codex but I'm not sure how well it communicates with people who know nothing about AoD.

VDweller February 2nd, 2008 03:59

Well, it's not just the Codex crowd. Have you seen the reaction at RPS?

"Best. Interview. Ever. Seriously, that’s some fantastically unrepressed Speakers’ Corner craziness in there. “Weller” has obviously put so much of himself into this thing that he’s beyond rationality.
And now I’m going to buy his game. Obsession should be rewarded."

"He’s brilliant. FACT.
Can we keep him please, Mummy RPS? I promise to feed him and not let him crap on the comments thread.
Regardless of wrongness or otherwise, I always admire somebody who finds things to get fired about."

"Good to see a candid interview. While I don’t agree with all the points, it’s always nice to see some honesty."

"That segued into a wonderfully refreshing blast of invective; like a spearmint tornado to the face. The existence of an ever-widening niche for games containing nuanced choices and consequences (yawning chasm by now, though, I think) can’t be in doubt."

"I think this Weller geezer is a gem. I like these outspoken designers. At least they’re not just knocking out games to put big numbers on graphs that the suits can feel proud of. I’ll take Romeros over the alternative any day.
Face it, Mr/Mrs RPS. You love interviews like this! What’s more boring than a dev replying with 1 line stock answers? what’s more exciting than a rabid, angry game-dev? They’re Gold. Pure Gold!"

"That was… great. Just great.

Granted, he lost some of my sympathy when he told me that I wasn’t, in fact, a person but rather three retards stapled together. Still, that’s not so different from what I got in public school.
I only wish that a major game developer would come unhinged like that during an interview. Good show keeping your head about you, Kieron.
Definitely buying the game now."

I'm surprised at such a positive reaction but I guess everyone *is* tired of all the vanilla PR crap and people are ready for and interested in something different.

Dhruin February 2nd, 2008 05:12

Yeah, I read all of them. I'm still not sure that people being amused or entertained by an aggressive interview necessarily means much in terms of buying the game but I could well be wrong.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate an honest interview but what does Joe RPS reader know about AoD now that he didn't know before?

Brother None February 2nd, 2008 06:00

The answer is nothing. But I do think VD is right in that they appreciate his attitude enough to be interested in the game, so they'll go to the site and look it up.

VD: "everyone" being tired is overly positive. The RPS readers are more intelligent than GameSpot readers.

also, while this interview is certainly a bit more accessible, if still a bit aggressive (and, indeed, not very informative), it's still funny to see VD's complete inability to say "you're right" in action :D

rune_74 February 2nd, 2008 07:15

Hmmm not so sure about that….he comes across as a jerk nothing more….like one of those guys who likes to use big words to show he can outwit you….fine if thats his character but not very shopper friendly….then again this was classic vd.

Who knows I may check it out inspite of VD.

Prime Junta February 2nd, 2008 20:19

That was way less vitriolic than I expected. And the game seems more and more interesting the more I hear about it.

I realize that in an interview format, sometimes "pithy" is more important than "fair," but this bit still stuck in my craw:


Originally Posted by Vince
Now, fun is a very subjective concept. Some people think that playing chess is fun. Some people think that playing in traffic is fun. Go figure. So, if tactical chess-like combat filled with “what happens if I do A vs what happens if I do B vs. …” decisions sounds like fun to you, then you won’t find TB odd or slow. If you prefer non-stop, mindless by definition, action requiring nothing but manual dexterity and fast reaction, then RT is your friend.

I think this is a false dichotomy. Real-time isn't "playing-in-traffic" brainless by definition any more than TB is wonderfully tactical and brainy by definition. For example, the Close Combat series features extremely demanding, real-time tactical combat, and Fallout features brain-dead, repetitive, and boring as hell turn-based combat.

IOW, the TB/RT thing is a red herring. If your goal is to make a combat system that's engaging, intelligent, and tactically challenging, you can do it in either mode. If your resources are limited, it might be somewhat easier to do this in TB. And, of course, if you just *prefer* TB, then obviously TB is the way to go.

But railing against "the market" for preferring RT is just silly, and branding people who prefer RT as twitch-addicted morons is actually stupid.

Edit: I noticed that VD addressed this in the comments on RPS, so never mind (I guess).

Arpyjee February 2nd, 2008 21:42

It's really all a matter of retro views being inevitable (in games, music, movies, etc) when exponential technical progress and obsession with visual imagery reaches a point where it becomes a dominant conformist model which sacrifices many CRPG elements for the corporate FPS clickfests.

PJ might not like the polarized extremes, which do indeed often represent false dichotomies, but the retro view is actually just an inevitable counterbalance to boundless, rampaging progress.

The retro axiom can be observed wrt the continuing popularity of Bach, Mozart, Oscar Peterson, The Beatles, Tolkien, Star Wars, Fallout, Baldur's Gate and 1000's of other persevering old-school examples.

Dyne February 3rd, 2008 02:41

A fun read. A pleasant change from the usual dev interview that just bounces from point to point, blandishment to blandishment.

I didn't like Gillen's early peripheral questions though. Seemed a bit of a waste of time and column inches, shooting off on a music analogy.
"Is doing this and your job like being a split personality or being like a secret agent?"
"No. It's like doing two different things, at different times."
"Is making this game like making music because you have to?"
"No. It's like making a game that could be successful."
"OK, is it like making a game for you to play?"
Seemed a bit silly to pursue, after the first couple of "grounded" responses.

I was surprised, reading the comments, that the real-time throne is so zealously guarded. Rather than greet it as "Hmm, that's a change. A bit of variety.", much consternation. Maybe that's just down to VD's spicy words.

RampantCoyote February 3rd, 2008 08:54

Well, it garnered attention, so at least there's that. Since the biggest problem indie games have is getting noticed at ALL, the net effect should be pretty positive for AoD. Maybe. I don't know these things half as well as I'd like. According to the interview, he actually IS a VP or marketing and sales for a well-known Canadian company… so going on the offense during the interview like that may have been a very calculated move.

Amasius February 4th, 2008 02:51


Originally Posted by RampantCoyote (Post 66081)
Well, it garnered attention, so at least there's that. Since the biggest problem indie games have is getting noticed at ALL, the net effect should be pretty positive for AoD. Maybe. I don't know these things half as well as I'd like. According to the interview, he actually IS a VP or marketing and sales for a well-known Canadian company… so going on the offense during the interview like that may have been a very calculated move.

Well, VD has written all his content for the Codex and posted there in the same "offensive" style for years now so the only possible calculation on his side I can see is, that he decided not to change just to promote his game. Hardly a bad thing and judging by the comments it seems to work. Finally something different than the usual PR bullshit from a game developer. He just has to take care that he doesn't overdo it or he might end with a reputation like Derek Smart.

MudsAnimalFriend February 4th, 2008 17:21

The interview contained actual opinions, a fact which places it above the usual onanism:

Interviewer: Tell us about your fantastic upcoming title.
Developer: It's fantastic.
Interviewer: Thanks. Next week we'll be talking to Peter Molyneux on his new project, an RTS with a novel twist: tanks rushes commanded by a loveable animal companion!

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