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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Rise of the Argonauts - Interview @ Eurogamer

Default Rise of the Argonauts - Interview @ Eurogamer

August 10th, 2007, 14:11
Rise of the Argonauts lead designer Charley Price is once again answering questions about Liquid's upcoming action/RPG, this time at Eurogamer. Here's a bit on RPG systems and dialogue:
Eurogamer: What sort of role-playing elements are you including and how do they work?
Charley Price: When we sat down to make Rise of the Argonauts, our goal was to make a series of systems that exist to reward the player's choices in cool and unique ways, while removing a lot of the minutiae that can often bog down games in this genre.
As mentioned earlier, Jason's progression and character development is centered on his favour with his four patron deities: Athena, Ares, Hermes, and Apollo. While just about anything the player does in the game can affect his favour with one of the gods, the primary means are through Deeds and Narrative Choices.
Deeds are our means of cataloguing the player's epic trek through mythological Greece. Any meaningful action within the world can trigger a Deed. Killing 20 Dryads, discovering the cave where Zeus was hidden from Cronos, saving hunters from certain death, or successfully outwitting or intimidating an NPC are all some examples of Deeds the player could acquire.
When players come across a temple, they can dedicate their Deeds to one of their patron gods, proclaiming that they performed it in question in their honour, thus increasing esteem with the god in question. Each god holds dominion over a certain set of powers and abilities that reinforce specific domains and play styles. Thus, as Deeds are dedicated to a given god, Jason will be able to select from a wide assortment of powers and abilities appropriate to each one.
The other way to gain favour with the Gods is through narrative choices. Dialogue in most games requires players to choose from a list of options that generally include a right choice (maximum reward), an evil choice (tempting, but often just "gets you in trouble"), and a filler choice (which splits the difference). We contend that this is a false choice, where the player is merely attempting to decipher the intonation and intent of each of the lines before picking the right one. As such, the player isn't really making a decision about what kind of character they are or how they want to handle a situation, they're just trying to get into the designer's head and figure out what answer they wanted them to pick.
In Rise of the Argonauts, the gods are always watching Jason's actions - even in dialogue. As such, when you enter a conversation, each of your choices is represented with an icon reflecting one of the patron gods - each of which infers a tone for the line in question. An aggressive or confrontational choice will please Ares, causing your Favour with him to increase, whereas a cunning or manipulative choice would please Hermes, and so on. As such, every narrative choice that the player makes will level-up their character. This is something very unique to our game and to role-playing games, and it very quickly reinforces our primary goal - make every choice meaningful.
Thanks, Prime Junta!
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August 10th, 2007, 14:11
I like what they say about choices and consequences, especially about tying dialog choices to feed into game mechanics rather than the other way around.

I wonder, though, which kind of choice they're talking about — narrative choice or gameplay choice. Of course, either is better than irrelevant choice (e.g. Oblivion — you can choose to do anything you like, but none of it makes any difference) or no choice at all (e.g. any corridor run-n-gunner).

So far, it sounds like they're talking about gameplay choice — choices you make affecting the powers you have and the ways you can attack problems in the game. I would be even more interested if there was narrative choice — that is, choices you make profoundly affecting the world, the storyline, or other characters around you.
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August 10th, 2007, 15:13
I like this rather too.

However, I don't like "killing 20 Dryades" at all. I just hope this is just an example, but somehow I doubt that, from what I've heard about the game this far.
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August 10th, 2007, 18:09
"while removing a lot of the minutiae that can often bog down games in this genre."
Read: dumbed down, as if ARPGs weren't already dumbed down enough…
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August 10th, 2007, 19:04
That bit looked really good, and I was starting to get hopeful, when they said "each of your choices is represented with an icon" - now that's just silly. The player is supposed to figure that sort of thing out themselves, or rather, roleplay. Kinda makes it another "trying to get into the designer's head" except it doesn't even take effort!

Still, all-in-all, it does sound decent.
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