Piranha Bytes - All News
Thursday - March 14, 2013
Piranha Bytes - Interview with Mattias Filler
World of Risen have an interview with Mathias Filler, former employee of Piranha Bytes on Piranha Bytes, the games industry, his plans and the Gothic and Risen games.
Could you give some advices to our Gothic-Modding-Teams or to our new indie teams which would help them in the development of their own stories?
Finish it. Cut down everything that causes to much time and work, stay at a manageable level, put goals and check them. Referring to the development of the story, it is quite helpful to present it to someone else. If you convince the other person, you'll be on a good way. If the other person doesn't even understands the story, you'll better reflect on it and check if it is really as good as you think.
Do you plan to create your Dream-RPG (not important with which developer) somewhere along the way? That means, to write a story, that is perfect in your view, for a RPG?
There really is an idea I would like to realise in a RPG (by the way, I've already discussed about that in the forum) but “perfect” doesn't exist and my RPG doesn't have to be like that. Creating a good game would suffice.
Sunday - January 27, 2013
Piranha Bytes - Cofounder Alex Brueggemann Passed Away Last Week
From World of Risen comes this sad news: Alex Brüggemann, one of the co-founders of Piranha Bytes passed away last week:
In the night from Saturday to Sunday, [last week] Piranha Bytes co-founder Alex Brüggemann died in presence of his wife and mother. Alex Brüggemann was one of four founders of Piranha Bytes and thus, one of the spiritual fathers of the Gothic series. As Ralf Marczinczik wrote in his blog, Alex was diagnosed with cancer about three years ago. It appears he now succumbed to this dreadful disease.The World of Risen mourns with the family and friends of Alex and wishes them all the best and the strength to see through these difficult times.
For sone reason, I can't use the ü-letter in the newsbit title - sorry for the inconvenience.
Sunday - October 14, 2012
Piranha Bytes - 15 Year Anniversary Retrospective
It was the 15 Year Anniversary of Piranha Bytes yesterday and Thomas from Gamers.de writes in with their retrospective interview (German only - Google translation here). There are no revelations but fans will enjoy the trip down memory lane.
PCGamesHardware.de also has a (German) retrospective article.
Saturday - October 15, 2011
Piranha Bytes - Sascha Henrichs Leaves
It's not uncommon for staff to come and go but Piranha Bytes has lost another "original", wth 3D artist Sascha Henrichs leaving to head off on his own, according to a Google+ post picked up by World of Risen:
15.10.2011 my last day as an employee at Piranha Bytes. from then on self employed.
a weight is finally lifted from me!
Friday - May 06, 2011
Why Piranha Bytes Dumped JoWooD @Eurogamer
Internet drama time! Eurogamer interviewed Gothic 3 developer Piranha Bytes not only about their upcoming Risen 2 (see newsbit from 12 hours ago) but also about their acrimonious divorce from former publisher JoWooD back in 2007. Other topics are the Gothic rights and, briefly, ArcaniA.
Here's a quote:
"The problem was - to cut a long story short - there were a couple of differences in opinion between the publisher and us," said Piranha Bytes co-founder Michael Hoge. "And the whole thing collapsed when the publisher forced us to release Gothic 3 while it was not ready."
"To be fair, if we had finished it in the time that we promised, it would have been fine. But as it was, the development took longer on the project, and instead of trying to find a solution with us - how to get this right - they just wanted to release it. It was because of their stock market orientation, I think. So we decided to go separate ways then."
Wednesday - May 04, 2011
Piranha Bytes - Sascha Henrichs Interview @ WoR
Pirahna Bytes' artist/modeler Sascha Henrichs has been interviewed at World of Risen, talking about the PB design team and their approach:
4. How creative can you be without falling into conflict with the game designers?
Back in the day there was more room for an artist to come around with his own ideas. Today the amount of work has more than doubled and I rarely have time to create a design by myself. However, from time to time our concepter is too busy with concepting for the character department, and cannot deliver concepts for our department. Then we have to make our own concepts. From time to time there is also an idea you really want to bring forward, then it's mostly no problem for anyone to go for it.
1. Be sure to check out Jann Kerntke's website, PB's concepter.
2. Have a look at Ralf’s Developer Diary entry concerning character design
Friday - April 08, 2011
Piranha Bytes - Bjorn Pankratz Video Interview
German video site has 3min.de has a video interview with Risen lead designer Bjorn Pankratz (and a handful of other developers follow). Bjorn chats as they wander around the town but that's about all I can tell you.
Thanks, World of Risen.
Wednesday - April 06, 2011
Piranha Bytes - Gothic Interview @ Gothicz.net
Czech Gothic fan site Gothicz.net published an English translation of their recent interview with Piranha Bytes co-founder Mike Hoge. Most questions deal with specific Gothic and G2 topics, with a little excursion of to the business side of things. Hoge explains a couple of loose ends and design decisions in PB's trademark no-nonsense style. Nothing really new, but it's a good read for fans.
Gothicz.net: As we know, the magic barrier in G1 was created by twelve magicians plus Xardas. In the Colony we can find precisely the same count of them, however the fire mage Milten came in to the Colony after the Barrier was created. So we are missing one fire mage. It seems to me quite impossible, that you would overlook this disharmony. So what happened to this unknown mage?
Mike: The Magic barrier was created by 12 magicians, Xardas being one of them! When Xardas left the old camp, there were only 5 Mages left.. So they took Milten as an apprentice, when he was thrown into the prison after the barrier had been created. There is a dialogue in the game where one of the mages gets the numbers wrong. I think it was Saturas... I noticed that error, fixed it and some ex-team member of mine "fixed" it back because he didn't understand the background. There is no missing mage. The guy just messed it up :)
On a sidenote, Mike says the Gothic rights will return to PB:
Mike: We get the rights to Gothic back when we have finished Risen 2. Why? Because we did only sell them to our ex-publisher for a certain amount of time ;)
This is the first time somebody from Piranha Bytes officially clarifies the rights situation. It's more than welcome to finally have official word on it.
Risen 2 is expected in 2011.
Thursday - January 15, 2009
Piranha Bytes - KaiRo Profile @ World of Risen
German readers can find a profile interview with Piranha Bytes' popular composer and effects artist Kai Rosenkranz at World of Risen (and links to lots of other PB profiles as well).
Friday - November 28, 2008
Piranha Bytes - Distance Themselves from Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods
We've decided against posting this last week, but in the light of the upcoming flood of G3:FG newsbits it has to be posted to get the full picture.
Here is Piranha Bytes' / Pluto 13s' full PR (minus the company blurb):
Gothic ® 3: Forsaken Gods released
Essen, 2008-11-21 Today JoWooD Productions Software AG, publisher of our games Gothic II, Gothic – Night of the Raven and Gothic 3 has officially released their new game Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods (date for German market).
We have agreed to their usage of our registered trade mark „Gothic“. However, to avoid any misconceptions about the game itself we have to state that we have not been involved with its development in any way. All development was done by the India based company Trine Games who have been hired by JoWooD for this purpose.
There has never been any contact between us and Trine Games. We do not know more about the game than anyone else – in fact we have bought our copy of the game at a local retail store only yesterday 20th of November.
Piranha Bytes have been busy developing their upcoming fantasy RPG named “Risen” since 2007.
Thursday - September 25, 2008
Piranha Bytes - Interview @ Piranha Club
A site called Pirahna Club has an interview with Piranha Bytes' art director, Ralf Marcinczik, in Russian and German. Luckily for most of us, World of Risen has an English translation. The conversation centres on Ralf's background, rather than Risen:
1. Does a graphic artist really need a professional training? If so, please explain why!
Not really - but it helps a lot.
Over the years I met a lot of graphic artists in the games industry who were never professionally trained to draw or to see thing analytically from a painters perspective. And in the long run, this causes communication problems because these basics are missing. Be it a technical issue (how to create a good pose? what criteria determine the best way to present a character?) or a theoretical one (how to develop a unique style for a certain project? how do colour systems work?)
Many graphic artists get to this job because of their enthusiasm about games. Some have learned to handle 3D programs by themselves, others just like to modify games.
Alas, a real professional training that covers all aspects of games production does not exist.
I myself had, when I was still in school, absolutely no idea how to realise my career aspiration. It took me some detours to finally come to study "communications design / specification: graphics". And even so I was a bit disappointed about not really learning a lot of technical stuff at the university, it still taught me how to understand graphics and that anatomical drawing does not have to be boring.
Source: World of Gothic
Monday - January 21, 2008
Piranha Bytes - Bjorn Pankratz & KaiRo Interviews
World of Piranha Bytes has translations of two profile style interviews with Piranha Bytes' Björn Pankratz and Kai Rosenkranz that originated at German games mag Games Aktuell (links to the originals with each translation). Here's a snip:
What is your job and what are you doing the whole day?
My name is Björn Pankratz. I am a game designer, story writer and the project leader at Piranha Bytes. My areas of activitys are very ambitious and interesting. Design concepts and game situations, write dialogs, implement quests. Project planning, operational procedure, content-assets, controll features and so on. So I am running through the building one half of the day, and the other half of the day I'm sitting in front of my Computer and bring the oral developed events in an electronic form and wait.
Friday - September 07, 2007
Piranha Bytes - Job Openings
Piranha Bytes / Pluto 13 is seeking coders. If you are a senior core engine programmer or a programmer for game / physics and you can read German have a look at the job openings on their site.
Wednesday - September 05, 2007
Piranha Bytes - Video Interviews @ WoP
Two video interviews with Piranha Bytes are up at World of Piranha Bytes for those with the appropriate German skills. My Google-fu of the accompanying newsbit says there are no huge revelations about their new game but there is some explanation why they are discussing it so early in the development.
Thursday - August 23, 2007
Piranha Bytes - New RPG Teaser Site
World of Piranha Bytes is pointing out a site called rpb.deepsilver.com, which is a teaser site for Piranha Bytes' new project. The game remains untitled and there is only a couple of short German sentances and a single piece of art to look at - but one can reasonably assume from the art that the project is a fantasy RPG.
Thursday - August 16, 2007
Piranha Bytes - MoCap Session Photos
Not exactly big news but it's nice to see anything about Piranha Bytes' new game. World of Pirahna Bytes has half a dozen photos of a recent motion capture session for their upcoming game.
Friday - July 27, 2007
Piranha Bytes - New RPG to be announced at GC
Deep Silver/Koch sent out a press release in their lineup for the Leipzig Games Convention (Aug 23-26) and it includes this tantalising bit:
Deep Silver & Partners press conference on 22/08.
Piranha Bytes meets Deep Silver: The new RPG from Germany for the international market. Live on stage: Piranha Bytes (Mike Hoge and others) and Klemens Kundratitz, CEO of Koch Media.
Thursday - July 05, 2007
Piranha Bytes - Sascha Henrichs Interview @ World of PB [updated]
Piranha Bytes' level designer and texture artist Sascha Henrichs has been interviewed at World of Piranha Bytes. The conversation mostly covers Sasha's background and experiences on the Gothics:
And than came Gothic 3. Was that a great change? Suddenly working with something completely different: next-gen graphics and new programming tools and equipments? How did you get accustomed to that?
Yes, it was really a great change since we didn’t know anything about these techniques. That's why we made so many bad normal maps, forced too many polygons on some parts where it wasn't necessary and so on. We made many mistakes... but we must have made something right too since the overall graphical beauty of G3 is - well, at least in my opinion and with all video settings on maximum - still in the lead when you compare it with similar games like Oblivion, Two Worlds etc. Our level of detail is still unmatched by any other current game of its genre.
Wednesday - June 27, 2007
A Day at Piranha Bytes'
World of Piranha Bytes posted a huge picture collection illustrating a work day at PB´s office. The pics are sorted in chronological order from 8 am to 8 pm. Art director Ralf Marzcinzcik wrote some German annotations into them but unfortunately he didn´t forget to blur all parts showing their next game.
Tuesday - June 19, 2007
Piranha Bytes - Interview @ World of Piranha
Not surprisingly the new fan site WorldofPiranha.de scored the first interview with Piranha Bytes after yesterday´s announcement.
10. The Gothic 2 Mod Khorana has reached a level of interaction and immersion with a lot of care for details, the likes of which we’ve never seen in the world of Gothic 2. That’s been done with movers, for instance, who are more numerous than in the whole Gothic 2 world in spite of a comparatively small world. That can only be done with a high level of manual work. Regarding Gothic 3 people often stated, that due to the sheer size of the world a lot had to be automatised along with a lot of handy work. In the future, what will the ratio be between automatically generated content and manually designed stuff? How much manual work and corresponding detail is possible?The original German interview can be found nearby.
We will do almost everything manually again. That especially applies to manually placed items and chest contents as well as manually placed monsters. We don’t think we should pursue the path of automatic generation. I’ve already said in another Interview (Game Face) that in my opinion the automatic levelling system was the biggest weakness in the design of Gothic 3, because a lot of problems that occurred later in the game (for instance balancing) were a consequence of this decision.
Regarding more interactivity – that’s just the point that we’ve put on top of the list beside a completely revised battle design – we’ve already started working on that as well.
Monday - June 18, 2007
Piranha Bytes - New Publisher: Deep Silver [Updated]
Piranha Bytes and Deep Silver come together
Planegg/Essen, 18-6-2007 – The German development team Piranha Bytes and Koch Media's premium games label Deep Silver will be working together in future. Deep Silver has already acted as a co-publishing partner for Gothic 3, the most recent title developed by the team from Essen. Further details concerning the two companies' cooperation will be released at a later date.
"We came to appreciate Koch Media as a competent, reliable and strong partner during the development of Gothic 3. We look forward to continuing and extending our cooperation with them with our work on a new joint title," says Michael Rüve, Commercial Manager for Piranha Bytes.
"We are very happy about this collaboration with Piranha Bytes. The team possesses a lot of experience, maintains close relations to its community, has established a successful brand within Germany and beyond its borders and captivated countless players. We're very excited to be able to exclusively accompany Piranha Bytes' work," Koch Media's Managing Director Klemens Kundratitz comments on the forthcoming cooperation with the team.
It has been a rumor for weeks, now we have the official confirmation: Deep Silver, the Gothic 3 co-publisher and at least exclusive distributor for Gothic 2 in its home market publishes Piranha Bytes´ next game.
Update: Eurogamer has a brief comment from Deep Silver and it seems we'll know some more in a few weeks time:
"We aren't speaking about Gothic 4 at all, as it isn't a game that will be released by Piranha Bytes; we are speaking about a new project," the spokesperson told Eurogamer.
"It will be something that takes advantage of the know-how and knowledge of previous Piranha Bytes games. We expect to have details in roughly a month's time."
Wednesday - June 06, 2007
Piranha Bytes - Clarifies the Gothic Rights Situation
A few hours ago Piranha Bytes / Pluto 13 published a press release on their website. In it they clarify their position and correct what they consider wrong information spread by the German and Austrian press. Here is it, as always minus the company details:
Rights to „Gothic ®“
Essen, 2007-06-06 Regarding the rights to the “GOTHIC” series, statements and incorrect reports have been published by the German and Austrian press. Pluto 13 GmbH has to clarify on this matter:
Specific rights to already or yet to be published games of the “GOTHIC” series were contractually granted to JoWooD Productions Software AG, Austria. The same applies to usage of the trademark “GOTHIC”. These contracts are extensive and confidential.
Claims that all rights to all future games of the GOTHIC series have been exclusively granted to any company are definitely wrong.
And the German version:
Rechtslage von „Gothic ®“
Essen, 06.06.2007 Aufgrund von in der Presse veröffentlichten Aussagen und Berichten zur Rechtslage von „GOTHIC“ sieht sich die Pluto 13 GmbH veranlasst, hierzu Stellung zu beziehen.
Über einzelne Nutzungsrechte an den bereits veröffentlichten und künftig aus dieser Reihe noch erscheinenden Spielen sowie der Marken „GOTHIC“ gibt es umfangreiche und vertrauliche vertragliche Vereinbarungen mit der JoWooD Productions Software AG.
Darstellungen, nach denen alle Rechte an künftigen Spielen der Gothic-Serie ausschließlich und exklusiv bei einem Unternehmen lägen, entsprechen in keinem Fall den Tatsachen.
Piranha Bytes - "No longer working with the [Gothic] brand"
World of Gothic has some revealing quotes from both sides of the Gothic split that appear to show Piranha Bytes has ceded the future of Gothic entirely to JoWood. Here's a snip from their latest newsbit:
For JoWooD's CEO Albert Seidl it is all perfectly clear. In an interview with Börse-Express.com last Friday, he claims the rights to Gothic 4 complete with all derivatives and possible sequels for his company. He also stated to be in close contact with a good and qualified developing studio. He just not mentioned its name.
Today in our forum, Piranha Bytes' art director Ralf Marczinczik referred all fans to direct their questions about the future of Gothic 4, any AddOn or patches straight at JoWooD. Piranha Bytes is "no longer working with the brand" and therefore not in a position to answer any of those questions.
Here's the full post from Ralf on WoG's English board:
Hello to everybody here in the english speaking community!
Sorry that we (from the studio) can´t regulary post here. (Big thanks to Christopher Weckwerth, who is constantly engaged here)
As some of you know, we answer questions quite regulary on the German side of the Forum- but for some reason we rarely post here (even though, most of us are quite fluent in English).
(Maybe I get Kai to check in more regulary too...?)
You propably know allready that the publisher of the Gothic Games, JoWood, and the Studio parted a while ago. Sad story- and I am sure you read the news in the trades.
Any questions you might have about the future of Gothic IV, any AddOn or patches, please contact the publisher via their homepage. It´s not that we don´t want to answer your questions, but all those answers can only be given by JoWood, since we are not longer working with the brand.
And yes- we are not too happy about it too, but the step was necessary to protect our studio.
I hope you understand...
Piranha Bytes itself is still very much alive and of course we are working- allthough, it might take a little while until you will get any official announcements about WHAT we are doing at the moment.
Thanks anyway for your encouragement and welcome criticism about the split.
Tuesday - May 22, 2007
Piranha Bytes and JoWooD Go Separate Ways
"Piranha Bytes and JoWooD go separate ways in the future. The future of our brand Gothic is at present unclear."
(linked PDF, full German PR except the usual filler):
Piranha Bytes und JoWooD gehen getrennte Wege
Essen, 22.05.2007 Nach dem endgültigen Scheitern der Verhandlungen über eine Fortsetzung der GOTHIC ® Serie sind Piranha Bytes gezwungen, sich anderweitig zu orientieren. Welche Titel in näherer Zukunft unter dem Namen GOTHIC veröffentlicht werden, ist derzeit völlig unklar.
Die seit November 2006 geführten Verhandlungen haben am Ende nicht zu einem für beide Seiten akzeptablen Ergebnis geführt.
Piranha Bytes können den von der Community vielfach geäußerten Wünschen nach inhaltlichen Veränderungen im Rahmen eines Patches nicht mehr nachkommen. Es war angedacht, diesen Patch als Nebenprodukt während der Entwicklung eines AddOns oder eines weiteren Teiles (sowohl als Beigabe zu diesen Produkten als auch als free Download) zur Verfügung zu stellen.
Here is a quick and dirty unofficial translation. We´ll post an update if we receive something official. It´s quite probable that JoWooD as a public company will issue their own PR.
Piranha Bytes and JoWooD to go separate ways
Essen, May 22 - 2007 After the final termination of negotiations over a continuation of the Gothic series, Piranha Bytes are forced to move in other directions. Which titles are to be published under the Gothic brand in the nearer future is totally unclear at this point in time.
The negotiations which were held since November 2006 did not lead to an acceptable result for any of the parties involved.
Piranha Bytes can not meet the demands of the community by releasing a major patch with content-related changes. The original idea was to develop this patch as a side-project along with an add-on or a further title (and to provide the patch as a free download as well as to include it with the boxes of said products).
Information aboutPiranha Bytes