BnB: You’ve previously mentioned implementing adventure game elements into Frayed Knights as well as what sounds like a deep and com­lex RPG aspect. My question to you would be, “Are you mad, sir?!” Or more specifically, how do you see the adventure game elements as helping your game?
JB: If I was com­letely sane, I probably wouldn’t have even started this project.
Some of it is the old-school feel. Back in the day, there wasn’t quite the clear delineation between the adventure game and RPG genres. It was all fuzzy, and you had a lot of adventure-game style puzzles mixed into your RPGs. And I have to admit, there are a cou­le of titles out there that I never com­leted on account of getting stymied by one of those puzzles and losing interest by the time the internet made those obstacles easy to overcome.
We still have those today, but it seems that more of the time they’ve been sup­lanted by “quests” — often of the “kill ten rats and bring me their tails” variety. While Frayed Knights has a little of that kind of thing too, and adventure-game style puzzles aren’t a huge part of the game, I really prefer it when the “quests” are really more organic, evolving from a need to overcome an obstacle.
But sometimes I allow you an out, too. There’s one guardian in Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon that kicks off a whole quest line back in town just to get this one item. It’s pretty funny and not particularly difficult, and some players have already solved the quest except for the final stage before they meet the guardian. But because it involved back-tracking back to town, I left in an option to just say “screw it!” and attack the guardian, skip­ing the whole quest line and moving on. Assuming you survive. An option for the impatient…