Eschalon: Book II - Interview @ Rampant Coyote
Indie developer and RPG blogger Jay Barnson caught up with Thomas Riegsecker to discuss Eschalon: Book II. The conversation covers a little of Thomas' thoughts, the development and the game itself:
Rampant Coyote: The big marketing point for Eschalon: Book 1 was that it was “old school” in style. What does “old school” mean to you? How did you incorporate that feel into Eschalon: Book 1?
Thomas Riegsecker: Modern RPGs tend to consist of action-oriented game play, “skill trees” and storylines that can fit on a napkin. You may ask: what is wrong with a skill tree? Well, with a skill tree you can’t build an incompetent character- your skills may branch out, but they all lead to the same bad-ass dealer-of-death by the end of the game. It doesn’t matter what branches you take- you will have a successful character by game’s end. The only difference is the special effects you’ll get to see blasting out from your weapon.
Old-school, to me, means that we give the player ultimate control over the development of their character. With a complex array of attributes, stats, and skills you have the freedom to experiment with your character’s design- and that means you have the potential to make a jack-of-all-trades dud…or a god-like titan that can walk through the game with little effort. There is freedom in an old-school game; not just in the character design but also in the world design- a sense that you really can go anywhere from the very start.
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