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Torchlight II - Eric Schaefer Interview @ The Critical Bit

by Dhruin, 2012-07-13 23:09:32

Runic's Eric Schaefer has been interviewed at The Critical Bit about Torchlight II and starting a studio. Here's an interesting quote, leading on from talking about the compexity of the game systems:

I could expound on the complexity forever, but it’s pretty dry to discuss and probably not that much different from any other RPG, so let me digress to where I think our methods are different, and where it gets fun, for me, at least. I don’t even try to balance the game!

I suspect that’s a shocking statement, considering how much balance gets discussed in reviews, within our team, and amongst my peers in the industry, and it may come back to haunt me if our game isn’t well received, but I think we do it differently here at Runic. One reason, as you allude to in the question, is that the game is simply too complex; there are too many systems and too much randomness for my puny brain to deal with. But the more important reason is that I think balance is boring. I specifically want you to find a weapon that’s just too good. I want you to discover a skill combo that makes killing certain monsters seem too easy, and I want your summoned Nether Imp to feel “way overpowered.” But these imbalance spikes are designed to be temporary. A few levels deeper into the game, you might be struggling to find a replacement weapon, your skill combo won’t work as well against the new monster varieties and your pet will start to seem weaker. The multiple, overlapping systems and heavy randomness work to my benefit in this respect. I just stand back and try to manage the chaos. So all my spreadsheets and assumptions become less important as we finish development, and I concentrate on playing over and over again, getting tons of feedback, and ironing out the really crazy peaks and valleys. Fun always trumps balance.

Information about

Torchlight II

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released