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April 8th, 2013, 17:36
Matt barton interviewed Larian Studio's Swen Vincke about the Divinity: Original Sin Kickstarter.
In this one-hour interview with Swen Vincke of Larian Studios, we chat about the team's Kickstarter project for Divinity: Original Sin. Unlike the previous, publisher-pleasing action-based RPGs, the new game will be just like Swen wanted all of them to be—turn-based tactical PC-centric awesomeness. They've also done some important innovations here to accommodate the drop in/drop out co-op mode. Even if you haven't played the other Divinity games and have no idea who these people are, go watch their KS video. This is some really impressive stuff.

Help Larian reach their Stretch goals! It'd be tragic if they fell a few dollars short of their goal, and we ended up with another lame game without proper DRM. Those Lenslocks don't come cheap, you know.
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April 8th, 2013, 17:36
Edifying is the part where he relates on the relations the studio had with its publishers ! Very interesting interview overall and very enticing to keeping very high hopes for the upcoming game quality.
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April 8th, 2013, 18:21
It's interesting how Sven says he's disappointed with Diablo 3 but when asked about his thoughts about Skyrim, he pointedly skipped the question!

Doesn't want to mess with the hornet's nest while he's asking for backers
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April 8th, 2013, 18:26
I was cheering in the part of the video where he talks about rewarding exploration. I think Swen really nails it.

I watched Parenthood with my wife last night - it was movie night, her pick. One of the themes of the movie is how kids are being raised sans risk and reward. The baseball scene in that movie is hilarious when you discover that nobody ever strikes out because the rules are that the pitcher keeps pitching until the batter hits the ball. And then you learn that all games end in a tie so that nobody loses.

RPGs in general have become this. They lead you around by the nose, keep you safe with scaling, and never evoke much emotion in part because they never piss you off anymore with their difficulty and rarely elevate you with their their rewards - it's all level-scaled same-y same-y through and through.

As much as early RPGs used to piss me off with how hard they were, now I know why I have such fond memories of those games - because they were freaking hard, sometimes even unfair, but the satisfaction of beating them was great. I'm even starting to miss the death consequences of the early EQ1 days… it really made the game world a dangerous place to be respected - every step further into the game world was a reward in itself when you didn't get snuffed out.

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April 8th, 2013, 18:44
Well said, TheMadGamer!

For example, I loved how punishing the early levels were in Gothic 2: NoTR (as well as the painful controls in Gothic 1 )

And remember how in the Infinite Engine games, you'd get excited when you found anything with a +1 suffix. A +2 would elicit a squeal of delight or a *swooon* +3?! I would need to have a lie-down

And how I love exploration! Laboriously checking every nook and cranny for goodies and hidden things. Walking off the beaten path and suddenly you're in the middle of some madcap epic adventure.

Only with great difficulty can there be great accomplishments. The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory.

Let's hope more developers realize that many gamers require a more cerebral and satisfying experience.
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April 8th, 2013, 19:13
Originally Posted by Dr. A View Post
For example, I loved how punishing the early levels were in Gothic 2: NoTR (as well as the painful controls in Gothic 1 )
I agree. Hard = bad these days and I think that equation is false. Perhaps to the casual gaming audience hard=bad=true but then there's the rest of us who want difficulty.

When it comes to replay value, many people focus on choice and consequence and character development. Those two things are certainly worthy reasons to replay a game. But after I finish up a game, in addition to taking different paths with C&C and character development, I like seeking out weapons, armor, & items (that you can only know about by having played the game) that give me an edge over creatures who are around my level. For example, that shrine near the bandit camp in G2 is something I try to beat as early on as I can (and damn that place is hard early on). But if you can beat it, you get some items that really give you a leg up for a while. Can't do that in Skyrim with the scaling - at least not without mods or cheating.

I can't say that I share your sentiments for the controls in G1. In fact, it was the controls in that game that made me lose interest at first. But then over a year later I fired G1 up again, stopped wimping out over the controls, and discovered the great game that is G1. And then I discovered that the controls were actually quite efficient - those darn Germans and their efficiency…

Originally Posted by Dr. A View Post
And how I love exploration! Laboriously checking every nook and cranny for goodies and hidden things. Walking off the beaten path and suddenly you're in the middle of some madcap epic adventure.
I love exploration that rewards the player beyond just providing pretty scenery - which sadly is mostly what games offer in terms of exploration. Pretty scenery is nice but gets old quickly. Discovering treasures, quests and stuff like that are things I enjoy very much - even more so than combat, character development, and C&C even. Even in my older age, I still enjoy Easter Egg hunts and my kids have to compete with me. On my 40th birthday my wife made me a treasure hunt to find my present. I'm a nut for exploration and discovery. If I didn't need a job and I had no family I'd probably be one of those weird dudes with the metal detectors searching for crap in the sand at the beach.

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April 8th, 2013, 19:25
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
I agree. Hard = bad these days and I think that equation is false. Perhaps to the casual gaming audience hard=bad=true but then there's the rest of us who want difficulty.
Not necessarily true. Dark Souls was punishing and difficult, but its design was mind blowing and character customisation and rewards were even better. Not to mention exploration with excellent replay value. Thus it is very popular even on consoles.

So bottom line, as long as the difficult game is designed and made well then it will have following. Making a difficult game that is poorly designed and calling it hardcore or old-school to justify poor popularity is not an excuse for a bad game.

As for Original Sin, everything that I have read about it demonstrates brilliant and careful design, originality, hard work and dedication.
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April 8th, 2013, 19:32
Originally Posted by SpoonFULL View Post
Not necessarily true. Dark Souls was punishing and difficult, but its design was mind blowing and character customisation and rewards were even better. Not to mention exploration with excellent replay value. Thus it is very popular even on consoles.

So bottom line, as long as the difficult game is designed and made well then it will have following. Making a difficult game that is poorly designed and calling it hardcore or old-school to justify poor popularity is not an excuse for a bad game.
Yes, I agree with you. The demographic to which you refer to that enjoyed Dark Souls is 'the rest of us.'

People that play angry birds and farmville (and there are a massive amount of those kinds of players) are rarely going to be found playing difficult and involved games like DS.

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April 9th, 2013, 03:44
Can't do that in Skyrim with the scaling - at least not without mods or cheating.
Actually Skyrim only has a limited level scaling with a range of levels per area. You can go into areas that are far above or below your level. It is similar to Fallout 3 and New Vegas and not like Oblivion. I really haven't played Skyrim enough so haven't actually went into an area that was beyond my level but in Fallout 3 and New Vegas I ended up in areas that were well beyond my level many times and died many times because of it.

PS. If you want a game that punishes you when you die you should check out Wizardry Online which has permadeath so after the initial parts of the game you risk losing your character when you die.
Last edited by guenthar; April 9th, 2013 at 04:17.
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April 9th, 2013, 07:31
Originally Posted by Dr. A View Post
It's interesting how Sven says he's disappointed with Diablo 3 but when asked about his thoughts about Skyrim, he pointedly skipped the question!
Yeah, that was weird.

I'm pretty sure he just felt comfortable saying he didn't like diablo3 because of the low metacritic user score.

What bothered me though was that he "played about 30 minutes" with his girlfriend and quit because it was too easy? Umm… Guess he missed everyone raging that Inferno was impossibly hard? Besides, does a game really have to show its most difficult sections/gameplay in the first 30 minutes? A game that's designed to be played for 100s of hours? He bought a diablo game and expected what, exactly? I'm pretty sure the hack n slash gameplay expected was provided.

Then he says he likes diablo2?! How is the first 30 minutes of diablo2 even remotely better than the first 30 in diablo3?! When I first played diablo2 I thought Act1 was the most boring, confusing zone in a game ever. Diablo1 was a million times better. I still think diablo1 is better, but eventually I did get into diablo2 playing co-op with pros who twinked me the whole way to free up stash space. (another thing the auction house killed!)

So, he didn't really give it a chance then he didn't really explain WHY he didn't like it. Not in the way you'd imagine a GAME DESIGNER to talk; with design FACTS rather than personal FEELINGS. He just said he didn't like it but didn't explain what he didn't like other than it being easy at the very start.

I'm bored of diablo3, and the auction house is mostly to blame for that, but I got 250 hours of co-op play out of it.(and did inferno rainbow world) When I quit it was because it was way too hard to play and the only way I could progress was to find items in the auction house!

edit: Having to win the game 3 times to play on hard is another matter, though. And you start to wonder if the "levels" really add to the game at all since you kinda get to level 1 when you hit level 60 and start playing on Inferno with its new multiple difficulty settings…. But I'll end that long rant early.
Last edited by SirJames; April 9th, 2013 at 07:52.
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