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NEO Scavenger - Interview @ The Digital Fix

by Dhruin, 2012-05-06 11:15:25

Ex-BioWare dev and creator of NEO Scavenger, Daniel Fedor, has been interviewed at The Digital Fix, mostly about his background and inspiration. You may recall NEO Scavenger is a post-apoc survival game - well worth a look. Here's a lengthy snip from the interview, which offers a trip down memory lane for some classic games:

You describe yourself as a "huge RPG nerd". Which games have inspired you?

As kids, we played a ton of AD&D. Pretty much all of the campaign settings. We also played quite a bit of Rifts and Shadowrun. Outside of those, we dipped our toes in Car Wars, Traveller, Twilight 2000, Mage: The Ascension, and GURPS, and I bought at least half a dozen RPGs just to enjoy reading the rules and settings.

In the realm of video games, I was big into CRPGs like Fallout, Shadowrun (Sega Genesis), Baldur's Gate, Arcanum,, this could be a long list. Looking over the stuff on my shelf, I think there are definitely some front-runners in the list of direct inspiration.

Rifts is a big one, for sure. I really enjoyed the mix of sci-fi and supernatural horror in a post apocalyptic setting. It went a bit bonkers, true, but the core concept was really cool to me. Arcanum had a similar tech/magic mixture, and offered a cozy paradise for the scavenging type.

GURPS's mechanics were always fascinating to me (and therefore Fallout's). The idea that one chooses a balance of advantages and disadvantages really grew on me later in life, as it forced more interesting role-playing and problem solving. You'll find that direct influence in NEO Scavenger right from the start, when choosing skills and traits.

The GDW games like Traveller and T:2000 were awesome because of their attention to detail and realism. I like my science fiction moderately hard, and most of the tech in NEO Scavenger is meant to be plausibly grounded.

Finally, the way magic is handled in Mage: The Ascension is really attractive to me. That it works in various and mysterious ways, and cannot be fully understood nor explained, is really cool to me. I'm annoyed by games where magic is formulaic to the point where a spell is just a +/- stat and one of the four Greek elements. Old D&D had some cool magic: the kind that was so idiosyncratic and full of contradictions that it felt like a forbidden art. If I can capture the mystery and power of magic like they did, I'll be happy.

There are a ton of other games that inspired NEO Scavenger, which itself is really just a collection of things I like from gaming. The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, Deus Ex, Civilization, Silent Storm, Nethack...there are just so many games I've been influenced by, it'd be hard to list them all.

Source: RPG Codex

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