RPGWatch: Before we talk about your upcoming projects, I’ve got to ask about some of the comments you’ve made in your RPG Vault column. Your last Why I Hate Fantasy RPGs piece created quite a bit of debate, with some disagreement over what you really meant. I take it to be a bit tongue-in-cheek but let’s clarify some things. Were you seriously railing against any character progression, wanting to see RPGs transformed into action games or were you giving the industry (including yourself) a prod about mundane content design?
Jeff Vogel: Mainly the third one. I think that game developers need to be far, far more respectful of the time of the player. Leisure time is precious. We should not waste it. We shouldn’t burn time at the beginning making the player grind out levels before he or she can get into the plot. We shouldn’t burn time with faction grinding and trash clearing. We shouldn’t pad the game out with tons of B material.
Part of the reason I wrote those articles was to flog myself for my failures in the past. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve padded. I’ve wasted the time of the player. I want to get better.
And my time is much shorter now. I won’t play any game that wastes my time. God of War 2 gave me 13 hours of first rate material, and I was done. If a game doesn’t give me something like that, I’ll read a good book instead.