Project Eternity - Interview @ Iron Tower Studio
Josh Sawyer has answered some questions about Project Eternity over at Iron Tower Studio's forums:
3. So, a brand new world, with elves, dwarves, the godlike and the odd, as well as souls and firearms. How do the firearms fit in there from the design perspective?
I think early firearms are interesting and I've enjoyed reading about their use in late Medieval and early modern Europe. From a gameplay perspective, they pack more of a punch than bows and crossbows, but they have worse accuracy and take much longer to reload. They're also particularly good at penetrating wizards' arcane veils, which are commonly used for defense. In our setting, I believe the presence of firearms helps shift the feeling of the world away from the equivalent of Earth's High Middle Ages and into the Late Middle Ages and early modern period. Europe's early modern period was a time of domestic social unrest and extensive exploration by imperial powers. I think those topics aren't explored a lot in fantasy RPGs (Maztica [RIP] being a notable exception) and the presence of firearms helps give the feeling of that age.
4. Speaking of arcane veils and such, one of the most praised features in BG2 was the mage duels. In BG a wizard was an annoying pest lurking behind fighters and waiting to be shot full of arrows. In BG a wizard was an impregnable juggernaut, capable of wiping out your entire party, if it was caught unprepared. What should we expect in Project Eternity?
Personally, I believe AD&D elevated the "glass cannon" conception of wizards to an un-fun place. It's cool that, especially in 2nd Edition, wizards had so many spells to use, but in Baldur's Gate II, I believe it resulted in more-or-less strict combat puzzles rather than loose combat puzzles or tactical challenges. If the only viable way through a fight is to use a specific sequence of spells, that's not something that you tactically opt to do -- it's the thing you must do to move forward. And in many of those fights, the only way to figure out what spells to use is to trigger the fight, get wiped, reload, and try again.
I think we can still have powerful, high-threat wizards in Project Eternity without using rock-paper-scissors defense and counter mechanics. I'd like to present players with challenges that make them think of a variety of solutions. I want them to feel like they can be flexible and adaptive when an unforeseen challenge appears. If the game comes out and I see walkthroughs that all suggest the exact same tactics for going through a tough fight, I believe that's a failure on my part.
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