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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » KoA: Reckoning - Interview, Preview

Default KoA: Reckoning - Interview, Preview

April 13th, 2011, 02:26
Here's a couple of new Reckoning items. First, AusGamers has an interview with Ken Rolston. Oddly, Ken identifies himself as a PC gamer but then goes on to admit he hasn't played around much with the PC version:
AG: Now among our readers we have a big die-hard PC gaming contingent.

Ken: Good. Like me!

AG: Right. I think a lot of RPG developers are cut from that cloth. Now Iíve seen the Reckoning gameplay demo and its loot and inventory system and it has been very tailored to be user-friendly towards console players, but Iím a bit concerned as to how that would translate to a PC experience. Are there going to be any differences between how that works on PC? To make it easier for someone with a mouse to use?

Ken: How do you mean? The interface of going through loot?

AG: Yeah, and when you pick up loot from the ground or youíre adjusting the items equipped to your person, it seems to be very tailored to a control-pad experience.

Ken: Oh do you mean the ways the menus work and stuff like that?

AG: Yeah, exactly.

Ken: The first step for me as a being a role-playing gamer, I want to make sure that the interface is better than other games are. For example… itís interesting, the console gives you the… even though there are fewer buttons, our having a weapon on each of the different buttons gets past one of the awkward things. For example: you always want to switch between your ranged weapon and your melee weapon, so that happens automatically and easily. And for example: when you open a chest or a body, you can equip directly before you go into your inventory.

So that we have all of those consciousness things of what hasnít been done well in the past for RPGs. I admit, it hadnít occurred to me — I havenít played the PC version that much — if thereís any kind of a problem with using a mousewheel… do you consider the mousewheel to be an acceptable.. is the mousewheel a familiar tool?

AG: Yeah I think it is for most PC gamers.
…and StrategyInformer has a general preview that looks gathered together from existing information:
Considering the game engine being used was last seen in the likes of Catan and Rise of Nations, it's rather impressive to see how the company's proprietary 'BigHugeEngine' has come a long. They hope to dazzle us with a wide range of high-quality locations and assets, and we're told there's a lot of visual content in the game that helps bring it to life and to create a world that'll make you want to protect it. Big words, and whilst it certainly looks impressive, what we've seen isn't necessarily striking in any particular way - but with plenty of time to go, perhaps that will be improved.

Make no mistake though, this is going to be a content filled game. Along with the main quest, thereís supposed to be side-quests, as well as separate faction quests. Players can also engage in crafting, such as alchemy, smiting and sage-crafting and we wouldnít be surprised if thereís other meta and mini games tucked in there somewhere as well (and thatís not forgetting Achievements, Trophies etc…). Prepare yourself for many an hour of travelling, collecting and grinding… although from what we've seen of the combat system, it should be entertaining at least.
More information.
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April 13th, 2011, 02:26
Ken Rolston is a die hard PC gamer who isn't sure if die hard PC gamers are familiar with mousewheels? Wow, that explains just about everything wrong with Oblivion (and Morrowind's more ridiculous shortcomings.) How did this guy get to where he is? Is he someones brother or something?
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April 13th, 2011, 02:55
Originally Posted by darkling View Post
Ken Rolston is a die hard PC gamer who isn't sure if die hard PC gamers are familiar with mousewheels? Wow, that explains just about everything wrong with Oblivion (and Morrowind's more ridiculous shortcomings.) How did this guy get to where he is? Is he someones brother or something?
Well, he did make two really successful rpgs. He must have some idea what he is doing wouldn't you say?

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April 13th, 2011, 04:13
He was actually an award winning pen-and-paper rpg writer before he worked for Bethesda.

So that's probably the experience that got him hired by Bethesda.

In the 80-90s era people just rolled into design/program positions since there weren't really courses one could follow. I believe some even started as webdesigner (I believe one of Obsidian's guys) or journalists (Emil Pagliarulo of Bethesda) before actually working on a computer game. So p-n-p designing experience was probably more qualification than most had to get into the crpg business.
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April 13th, 2011, 05:30
J.E. Sawyer started as a web guy at Black Isle…but he clearly knows his stuff.

As for Rolston, no doubt he has the credentials to be a designer but is it too much to ask that a "PC gamer" actually, you know, plays the PC version?

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April 13th, 2011, 07:00
Sounds like he is one of the many, many developers (and gamers) who was a hardcore PC guy "back in the day" but migrated to the Xbox and Xbox 360 when they came out.

Convenience rules for most consumers and consoles are more convenient. I think a lot of people before the Xbox were PC gamers because that was where the FPS games and Western RPGs were. When those genres moved to consoles these people were very happy to move over with them.
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April 13th, 2011, 09:30
He's a die hard PC guy who.. seems completely oblivious of the fact that PC games have rubbish interface when they've been ported from consoles?

Either he's just plain lying, or he hasn't played PC games in years.
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April 13th, 2011, 09:30
Ken Rolston should not be doing interviews. He said all those words, but at the same time, barely said anything. I used to work at a bar and I've had more comprehensible conversations with people wasted off their ass. Ken may be a good game designer, but doing interviews is just not his forte.

I don't want to seem overly harsh. Ken is obviously a good designer. I loved Morrowind, but he seems to have a problem communicating ideas in a succinct and informative manner.

Even the interviewer seemed to be off put by most of his answers.

P.S. Ken left Bethesda because he didn't like the direction that they took with Oblivion.
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April 14th, 2011, 02:26
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
J.E. Sawyer started as a web guy at Black IsleÖbut he clearly knows his stuff.

As for Rolston, no doubt he has the credentials to be a designer but is it too much to ask that a "PC gamer" actually, you know, plays the PC version?
I was just answering the "how does a guy like that get where he is" and the accompanying nepotism remark.

No doubt he is out of touch with PC interfaces. That was not what I was responding to.
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April 14th, 2011, 12:52
This is either overt deceit or delusion - or both.
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April 19th, 2011, 07:58
Pretty sure it's just delusional. I don't think Ken would lie or be deceitful on purpose. But if he keeps doing interviews, we may have a new Peter Molyneux on our hands. Only with 300% more confusion and befuddlement thrown into the mix.
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