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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » ES4: Shivering Isles - Interview @ FiringSquad

Default ES4: Shivering Isles - Interview @ FiringSquad

February 3rd, 2007, 21:52
Bethsoft's Shivering Isles expansion for Oblivion is the subject of an interview at FiringSquad. Providing the fairly routine answers is Lead Designer, Mark Nelson - one of the few occasions Pete Hines or one of the Producers hasn't been the public face:
FiringSquad: Will the art style of Shivering Isles be radically different than the original game?
Mark Nelson: Absolutely. We always want the player to know that he's playing in the expansion material. The Shivering Isles has a very different feel. It's much less of a traditional medieval fantasy look, and has more of an exotic feel.
FiringSquad: What sort of new character options will the player have when creating a new character for Shivering Isles?
Mark Nelson: The character creation system from the base game hasn't changed for the expansion. Still, there are tons of new clothing, armor, and weapon options in the expansion to allow the player to further customize his character.
More information.
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February 3rd, 2007, 21:52
FiringSquad: What are the dev team's favorite new monsters in the expansion?

Mark Nelson: There are so many, it's hard to choose. The Scalon is one of my new favorites. They're large, hulking, amphibious creatures that can really startle you. It doesn't hurt that they have the ability to become invisible when they are about to jump out and attack.
so he already knows there will be new monsters? Why didn't he ask if there were any new monsters before asking this question.

I hate to sound paranoid this interview sounds a bit like Bethsoft wrote their own questions before answering them.

ie.

FiringSquad: Will the art style of Shivering Isles be radically different than the original game?

Mark Nelson: Absolutely. We always want the player to know that he's playing in the expansion material. The Shivering Isles has a very different feel. It's much less of a traditional medieval fantasy look, and has more of an exotic feel.
how would he even think to ask this question and then suddenly get an "Absolutely" for the answer? Did anyone ask the same question for the first expansion?

FiringSquad: What sort of new character options will the player have when creating a new character for Shivering Isles?

Mark Nelson: The character creation system from the base game hasn't changed for the expansion. Still, there are tons of new clothing, armor, and weapon options in the expansion to allow the player to further customize his character.
this one does sound like ah honest answer to a legitimate interview question.

To me at the very least, I think this is a heavily edited interview. It almost could read like a FAQ.

ld
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February 4th, 2007, 00:51
I don't know if that's the case but I do believe Bethsoft is careful to only proceed with interviews that ask the "right" questions.

I had an agreement with Pete Hines for preview code and an interview for Knights of the Nine. I'm not a Bethsoft fan so I spent some time trying to get the right balance in the questions - I wanted to ask genuine questions about the features for fans but probe a little on other issues (rather than just being a marketing instrument).

So, I asked obvious questions about the stated features but also asked a couple along the lines of "will future expansions change or add to the core gameplay (as opposed to simply adding more content".

Never heard from them after that.

To be fair, the emails might have been lost or some other issue but that's not what I think happened.

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February 4th, 2007, 01:34
Lucky Day you have a good point about the monster question.

It's possible that the "art style" question is based on the fans overwhelming disappointment about the constantly respawning dungeons which also constantly use the same textures.

I believe Mark Nelson's "Absolutely" is bethseda's acknowledgement of the fans disappointment and I think you will notice this also when he refered to each NPC "having distint dialogues including "their individual" personality disorder present during dialogue which leads to the "Most" telling line of all.
"We used different voice actors for each NPC, becasue they "Weren't" repeating the same dialogue line", this isn't exact quote but I didn't want to read the interview again.

Anyway this means also they are acknowledging the horrendously inaine decision to have 100s of NPCs in oblvion all being voiced by a handfull of people becasue they all "The Same Frigging Dialogue is Constatly Repeated NPCs like the Dungeons Respawn", .Bah bethseda teh sux0rs!

Trust me, most of the names I have been called you can't translate in any language…they're not even real words as much as a succession of violent images.
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February 4th, 2007, 01:36
Odd double post removal.

Trust me, most of the names I have been called you can't translate in any language…they're not even real words as much as a succession of violent images.
Last edited by Acleacius; February 4th, 2007 at 13:16.
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February 4th, 2007, 01:48
Well, they are currently collecting questions for a community Q&A at the ESF forums and official word is…
So now's your chance to ask Todd Howard and the team anything/everything you've wanted to ask about Oblivion, Shivering Isles, or anything else related to The Elder Scrolls for that matter.

So go ahead and submit your questions. Alexander has offered to help with organizing all the submitted questions into a manageable pile. We'll handle as many as we're able. Alexander asked for 25 and I think we can do at least that many. No topic off limits, so ask away.
Doesn't seem like they are afraid of critical questions.
And as far as the Firingsquad Q&A is concerned, I'd say you're a little paranoid, Lucky Day .

The questions are pretty much standard stuff for an interview. The Firingsquad editor probably did some research on Shivering Isles and then asked questions where he already knew the answer. But since you're supposed to put yourselves in the shoes of the uninformed masses as an interviewer, it might seem like he was asking the "right" questions.

For example, he probably knew that the Shivering Isles is going to introduce a whole new art style to Oblivion. That's why he asked that question because he knew that Mark Nelson would be able to provide an elaborate answer to that.
Of course, you could ask more specific stuff or critical stuff but usually you don't want your interview to end up with a bunch of 'no comments', 'can't reveal any details about that yet', 'has yet to be decided'. How boring would that be? Right. Very. That's why you ask questions where you know that the interviewer will be able to answer them (hopefully with some elaboration and no copying and pasting from previous interviews).
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February 4th, 2007, 08:08
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
Well, they are currently collecting questions for a community Q&A at the ESF forums and official word is…

Doesn't seem like they are afraid of critical questions.
And as far as the Firingsquad Q&A is concerned, I'd say you're a little paranoid, Lucky Day .
I think LD is being a little paranoid but just because Bethsoft says "no topic off limits" doesn't mean they'll follow through with that. The proof is in the pudding — let's see if the final article honestly contains any difficult / critical questions and whether they give those questions decent answers, shall we?

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February 4th, 2007, 11:31
off track a little, but I never see anyone complaining about the redundant voices in the Gothics like they do in Oblivion. You know, the same 5 things being said in the background crowds over and over again. "Oh that's terrible!" "You didnt hear that from me" and so on and so forth. It's absolutely mind-bending, I cant stand it, I have to just nix the sound when I'm in towns sometimes or I end up finally just going postal and attacking the closest person next to me.

Then I of course get slaughtered, but it's well worth it at the time.
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February 4th, 2007, 15:31
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I think LD is being a little paranoid but just because Bethsoft says "no topic off limits" doesn't mean they'll follow through with that. The proof is in the pudding — let's see if the final article honestly contains any difficult / critical questions and whether they give those questions decent answers, shall we?
Yes, of course, we'll have to wait and see which 25 questions they will pick but the invitation to ask anything you want must be recognized as an attempt at generosity at least . Though it doesn't really matter which ones they will pick anyway because I think we all know that they will put a heavy PR spin on any given answers (like any and every publisher would… let's not pretend like not accepting or answering honestly to critical questions is exclusive to Bethsoft - 99.7% of publishers are like that).

BTW, I don't think that they trashed your interview because it was too critical. The question you quoted is worded well and actually not critical at all IMHO. Pete Hines would probably answer along the lines of "Oblivion's core gameplay has been a huge success so we won't change the formula or the basic ingredients in future expansions. However, as the term 'expansion' implies, we will most definitely expand upon the proven concept and continue to provide gamers with exciting new quality content. Blah blah blah…".
Nah, I don't think that they are afraid of rather harmless questions like that. Seems a lot more likely that it is indeed either a case of lost in transmission or that they put it on low priority because they want to serve the 1st tier sites/mags first and foremost.
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February 4th, 2007, 22:20
True all of that. But I retain the right to be cranky over my wasted time.

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February 5th, 2007, 13:55
Have we ever heard anything that sounds like a 'tough question' … ? And I don't just mean of Bethesda. There was a post CE release interview with DWB that was *still* all softball …

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