Might & Magic I - Retrospective @ RPG Codex
RPG Codex has done another one of their retrospective interviews. This time they've talked to Jon van Caneghem from New World Computing, the company behind the Might and Magic games. Today Jon van Caneghem works at EA as a general manager for Command and Conquer. Thanks Crooked Be :)
And with this introduction, onto some quotes from the interview, first about if he would have changed anything:
RPG Codex: As one of the most distinguished game developers, what was the biggest challenge you have faced in your career? Looking back at your career now, is there something you would have done differently? JVC: The biggest challenge for me was being the designer / creator of the games and the CEO of the company. This dual role always created personal conflict. On the one hand I wanted to make every game perfect, more features, better polish… and on the other I had to pay the bills. My ongoing compromise was: if I stayed profitable, I will always be able to make another game. Doing something differently, would have to be not giving up programming. In the early days I did all the coding, but as the projects got bigger I had to focus on overseeing the teams. I really enjoyed programming.
A quote on how Might and Magic would be different from Wizardry.
PG Codex: In what ways did you intend Might and Magic to be different from Wizardry and Ultima, design-wise? What did Wizardry and Ultima lack that you wanted to do in your games? JVC: Wizardry and Ultima were great inspirations for me. But I wanted to make my own vision for a CRPG. I wanted more of an open world feel with quests, puzzles and an emphasis on exploration and discovery. I wanted party based tactical combat, tons of magic items to find and an ever increasing feeling of power as you leveled your characters. Most of all I wanted players to feel free to experiment with all the "tools" I put in the game so they could enjoy playing any way they wanted to.
A quote about the marriage of MM4 and MM5 came about in the World of Xeen:
RPG Codex: What gave you an idea to bundle Might and Magic IV and V together into World of Xeen in such a unique way, and why did you not handle any other games in the series in the same manner? To elaborate, usually expansion packs added something "on the side", but with World of Xeen you could tell that, when Clouds of Xeen shipped, all the connection points were already there. JVC: I thought to myself as a player, what would be cool if a new version of this game comes out, so I came up with the crazy combining scheme that would be magical to the consumer. This was a monumental task especially in those days. But I thought it was an amazing idea and we keep working on the concept until we figured out how to do it. Thank you for recognizing that feature, we were very proud of that accomplishment and to this day I don’t think anyone has repeated it.
A quote on what Jon van Canegham views as most important in crpgs:
PG Codex: In your view, what makes a good role-playing game and what are the defining elements of the genre? Is it combat mechanics, character development rules, exploration, story, puzzles, or something else? Does what you are looking for in a cRPG now differ from what you were looking for back when you designed the Might and Magic games? JVC: I would say all the above, my preference is for open world, freedom to explore and let players be creative. Strategy and great games systems is what I look for the most.
Source: RPG Codex
Information aboutMight & Magic I