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Default Drakensang - The Dark Eye - Interview @ RPG Codex

November 9th, 2006, 00:00
RPG Codex has a great interview with Jan Lechner and Bernd Beyreuther from Radon Labs on Drakensang. Here's an interesting question and response:
You've also mentioned that you feel that a "purely turn-based system only addresses a minority of today's RPG audience". Even though I agree with you 100%, unfortunately, here is a simple question: why? Do you feel that the era of turn-based RPGs is over and no TB game, no matter how successful it is, can bring it back? Or do you feel that a TB game simply can not be successful these days, at least not the way a Baldur's Gate-like game can?

Bernd Beyreuther: That is a good and very interesting question. I don’t think that a round-based RPG can not be a success, quite the opposite, I played “Advance Wars” obsessively for several weeks on my DS not long ago. I do believe that you can still make turn-based games that reach the masses. In fact, we are working on several concepts in this direction, especially with the new portable systems in mind.

It is another question, whether an RPG that aims to captivate and entertain – which needs to have cinematic, dramatic, emotional aspects in addition to the rules and combat system – is well served by interruptions. I believe that the intellectual, pondering chess-like style of a TB game does not mix well with atmospheric elements, story and emotion, as it breaks the player’s immersion.

Jan Lechner: One problem of the question is the assumption that real-time systems are an evolutionary advance over turn-based systems. I think that is wrong. That the one came after the other – chronologically speaking – is a result of technical developments and not advances in gameplay concepts.

Similar discussions are prevalent about 2D and 3D and I regard them as similarly nonsensical. Just because we have certain technical possibilities today, doesn’t mean that we have to use them at any cost. But if a concept works best as part of a certain system, it should be done regardless of what’s currently en vogue.

The idea of “bringing TB games back” is already thinking in the wrong categories, I feel. Every game has its own, unique demand and the question shouldn’t be what the contemporary method is, but what delivers the best result, the best game.
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